April 8, 2009

Bush 1 knew. Clinton knew. Bush 2 knew. And now Obama knows. The dirty little secret isn't this crisis. No, it's Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security

You thought this housing Ponzi Scheme was big?

Oh, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

The entitlements scam is so ginormous, so massive, so unbelievable, that this tiny little scam will look like childs play in a few years.

Here's the bad news - we're broke, we've over-promised, there's no way we can deliver, and if you' expect government cheese in your old age, you are a fool.

So how do we fix it?

1) Retirement age raised to 70 or 75, adjusted for life expectancy. It is what it is. Deal with it.

2) $250,000 or $500,000 cap on medical malpractice lawsuits.

3) Means testing on benefits

OK, that problem is solved. What else do we need to fix today?


fat amelican said...

Quadrillion -- that's 1000 trillions. Get used to seeing it, pronouncing it, make friends with the concept. The federal budget will oneday be measured in quadrillions, and sooner than you think. This is how TPTB will "solve" the entitlement crisis.

Tony said...

Good point Keefer,

We may have troubles ahead with the limited entitlements we have here in the US.

Europe, on top of having larger economical challenges as is and entitlement at the core of their culture, do you think they’ll make it without a bloody war past 2011?

patrat said...

Yes I have heard the quadrillion word lately. Isn't it great that TPTB are bringing back all the rules now that they got theirs? Just in time! Nifty maneuver.

Anonymous said...

The chart above is outdated and irrelevant. The entitlement disaster will blow up in our faces withing 5 years, and continue to worsen for decades. The social security surplus will be gone next year due to falling tax revenues. The surplus was supposed to last another ten years. Without the surplus funds the gov will be forced to find other ways to fund it's ever increasing debt.

With this looming disaster around the corner, how can anyone in their right mind see green shoots.



Anonymous said...


Gimme Cheese.

Anonymous said...

Soc Sec was never originally intended as a retirement program. It was intended as an INSURANCE program--insurance against you living past the expected age, and not being able to work for your living.


Why did Reagan cut benefits, raise the witholding rate, and raise the retirement age for eligibility?

To make the program solvent? No.


And give it to their rich friends. And they did. They took EVERY EXTRA DIME and spent it on Haliburton, Lockheed-Martin, etc, etc.

What was Bush's plan?


What was McCain's plan?

He said in the second debate and on his website that "promises to future retirees cannot be kept."

He wanted to get all Reagan on our assess and cut benefits, raise withholding, and raise the eligibility year.

Certainly NOT raise the withholding exemption for the wealthy. In fact, what was he going to do with the savings? USE IT TO FUND CONTINUED TAX CUTS FOR THE RICHEST TINY FRACTION OF AMERICANS.

In other words, let the richest americans get their DIRTY, STEALING HANDS ON YOUR MONEY.

Great plan, Republidiots, let's make sure the RICH eventually have ALL the wealth, and the other 95% of Americans have NONE. Why? Because the rich are the "job creators". Well, just make SURE you can GUARANTEE every blind, arthiritic 90 year old a job SO THEY CAN EAT.

Or, let's fix this greatest-in-history transfer of wealth from the POOR to the RICH:

Either eliminate the withholding exemption for the richest americans, TODAY, and eliminate any payouts for the richest americans, TODAY, or, STOP THE PROGRAM DEAD, including any withholding and any payouts beyond the next five years, TODAY.

SweetMaryLamb said...

1) Retirement age raised to 70 or 75, adjusted for life expectancy. It is what it is. Deal with it.

REPLY: Screw that. In my glorious state we have state/city workers retiring at 45 who then start instantly receiving retirement pay equal to 70/80 percent of the average of their three highest earning years. No set-off for outside income, and no set-offs for social security. By the way, COLAs are guaranted at a minimum of 3 percent per year, regardless whether there is any inflation at all. Of course, there is no ceiling on the COLAs. I will not work until I am in my mid-70's just so these assholes can suck off the govt tit for 40-50 years. Reform govt pensions first, then talk social security second.

2) $250,000 or $500,000 cap on medical malpractice lawsuits.

REPLY: No way. I deal with doctors on a regular basis. Too many of them are sloppy, too many of them are in it solely for the money, too many of them are cocky. If we had more malpractice suits, it would be better. An example: We have one doctor who was sued in seven separate lawsuits for making the same damn mistake, with a crippled baby as a result in each case. He settled all seven lawsuits with the insurer paying out almost a million per lawsuit. The doctor still practices. How he gets insurance I'll never know. Another example: We had a back surgeon who loved surgery--he'd cut and cut and cut all day long. The doctors with whom I worked talked of his arrogrant incompetence and his numerous failed surgeries. Only recently was he forced to "voluntarily retire".

The medical community does not and will not police itself. Until it does, then we can talk. (NO profession should solely police itself)

3) Means testing on benefits

REPLY: Great. Now the house hogs and credit pigs will get social security because they spent every dollar they ever made. On the other hand, I will have to pay down my savings before I see a dime. If this passed, I would never save another dime again, and I would live like the house hogs and credit pigs-- treat every day like a carnival and let the debt accumulate

patrat said...

Why doesn't someone introduce a bill to stop them from raiding the soc. sec. fund? There might still be time to save it.

Mitesh Damania said...

The young need a chance to get out of the ponzi SSI scheme. A person should be able to get out after 10 years of putting money in.

nenwerd said...

The USA sucks out loud.

Stu said...

Kieth you asked:

"OK, that problem is solved. What else do we need to fix today?"

How about the Federal Budget Deficit...

Anonymous said...

no. the solution is to remove the income cap and include a tax on capital gains to fund SS.

Wind Farmer said...

Don't forget all the bankrupt public employee pensions...
Their investments blew up this year and will not recover. Check out Pension Watch from time to time. There is no safety net.

"But as bad as the budget picture looks, it is dwarfed by the size of the gaps in states' pensions, which have collectively lost at least $1 trillion as financial markets swooned over the past year. Public pensions cover about 14 million state and local employees and paid out almost $163 billion to seven million retirees in 2006-2007, according to the Census Bureau"


Lady Di said...

4. Take care of your health. After injuring my back trying to snowboard like my kids (big mistake, never again), I realized that good health is everything, especially with all the old geezer baby boomers that will be clogging up the system and using up all the medical care. Eat right, keep fit, avoid prescription meds, explore alternative care, no meth, no crack, etc. etc. you know the drill.

Anonymous said...


Why do we need Means Testing for eligibility? Why not give coverage to every US (documented) citizen?


Anonymous said...

FDR knew, Truman knew, Eisenhower knew, Kennedy knew, LBJ knew, Ford knew, Carter knew, Reagan knew.......yep they all have known. but they stole the money keith. they stole it from the taxpayer and then they spent it and now the ss ponzi scheme is running out, just when the baby boomers need it most since their stock market ira's are gone. oh its true. its true.....no difference in parties. they pretend to be different but they are all the same because the same people who run the banks, control our presidents and see to it, that their candidates, not ours are elected. this is the way it is keith. there is no power in the vote. none. there is no power in the constituancy. the only power there is, is the money power. now then keith, who has the money? then who has the power?

anonywuss said...

2) $250,000 or $500,000 cap on medical malpractice lawsuits

I am not a lawyer, but that is a terrible idea, unless you like the idea of malpractice victims being forced into penury and long term govt care. For how many years do you think 500k provides full time care? Obviously, the tort system is broken, but that can't be the way forward.

Anonymous said...

A limit on malpractice lawsuits? Then we should have a limit on how much a hospital can charge me! They can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Why do most Americans believe in our government so much even though they keep getting it in the ass by Uncle Sam? I never for the life of me understood this! The government promises and then breaks the promise and yet people still believe in Uncle Sam's word!

Sean Profanity said...

If the Repubes had their way, the American landscape would be littered with destitute old people begging in the streets for food. Who gives a sh*t about Gramma starving in a cardboard box because Soc Sec is broke?
Rush Limbo says Soc Sec is Socialist, doesn't he?? So that means it's bad, right?
Hint to dumbasses: Gazillionaire Rush Limbo won't need Soc Sec in his old age. Get it now??

Anonymous said...

No need to worry! Papa Helicopter will save us!

He will take care of all our financial needs!

No more need to worry! Everyone just get in line and you will receive your billion.

Thank you Papa Helicopter.

Can I have my blanky now!

Anonymous said...

Never gona happen. Baby Boomers want to live forevah! And you are going to pay for it. The sooner you get use to it the better.

Anonymous said...

face it keith, you got a lot of bears around here. we have read too much and we have seen too much the last couple of years or more. nothing is being fixed. nothing is being repaired. yet we are having our money stolen at record rates and nobody in our elected officials seems to care. bears are what we are and bears we will always be.

vanilla ice said...

In between Medicare/Medicaid/SS and the current financial panic/recession/depression train wreck, we have peak oil barreling down the tracks.

Peak oil's going to run into the financial panic as its clean up ends. Peak oil goes off the rails, creating another disaster.

highroller said...

Raising the retirement age to 70 or 75 would ensure that I'll be dead before I can possibly collect anything. Why not just revoke it altogether and quit pretending?
I am sick of the government gouging me to pay for lazy immigrants and their inferior progeny.

Anonymous said...

Deficits don't matter.

Anonymous said...

"..."...over the second half of this year...the correction in housing activity comes to an end"..."

Roccman said...

the secret keith is...



and its production decline


Anonymous said...

There is another dirty little secret it is call Shadow Inventory.


"We believe there are in the neighborhood of 600,000 properties nationwide that banks have repossessed but not put on the market," said Rick Sharga, vice president of RealtyTrac, which compiles nationwide statistics on foreclosures.

"California probably represents 80,000 of those homes.

It could be disastrous if the banks suddenly flooded the market with those distressed properties.

You'd have further depreciation and carnage."

A second DataQuick study of all Bay Area homes repossessed by banks in the 18 months ending January 2009 tracked how many of those homes had resold by mid-March.

It found that 65.5 percent had resold.

Discovery Bay's ForeclosureRadar.com compared its database of Bay Area foreclosures to MLS listings for the past 120 days and found that fewer than one-fifth of the foreclosures showed up as for-sale listings.


Anonymous said...

"Bush 1 knew. Clinton knew. Bush 2 knew. And now Obama knows. The dirty little secret..."

...is that the POTUS is required to dance to the orchestrated agendas of the Fortune 500 bandleaders.

Anonymous said...

What about Geithner's dirty little secret


What Geithner does not want the public to understand, his "dirty little secret", is that the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act in 2000 allowed the creation of a tiny handful of banks that would virtually monopolize key parts of the global "off-balance sheet" or OTC derivatives issuance.

Today, five US banks, according to data in the just-released Federal Office of Comptroller of the Currency's Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activity, hold 96% of all US bank derivatives positions in terms of nominal values, and an eye-popping 81% of the total net credit risk exposure in event of default.

The top three are, in declining order of importance: JPMorgan Chase, which holds a staggering $88 trillion in derivatives; Bank of America
with $38 trillion, and Citibank with $32 trillion.

Number four in the derivatives sweepstakes is Goldman Sachs, with a mere $30 trillion in derivatives

Anonymous said...

C'mon Keith, why should these or any other unfunded liabilities concern you ?

Have you forgotten, its now your hero's watch, the Great Messiah himself.

Whats there to worry about ?

Unfunded ?

Yo, Ben; we need a couple of Obamillions here.

Thats right folks, an Obamiliion has an unlimited number of zeros.

Now, everybody gets some cheese.

Thank you, Great Messiah.

You truly are the chosen One !


Anonymous said...

How will Geithner's dirty little secret work.


Gaming the System for Buying Toxic Assets

A special-purpose vehicle controlled by a bank (Mr. Sachs uses Citibank as an example) could bid up and purchase all the toxic assets off the parent bank’s balance sheet at full value. The purchase would be largely financed with taxpayer money under P-Pip, with Citibank paying in just a sliver of the price.

Eventually, under Mr. Sachs’s example, the vehicle controlled by Citibank would go bankrupt, as the asset was worthless, and the government would lose all its money. Meanwhile, Citibank would have disposed of a worthless asset and taken just a small hit.

West Coast Willie said...


Why are you adopting the right wing playbook on med mal lawsuits?

There is so much misinformation and distortion there, its hard to know where to begin.

California has a 250k cap on general damages. It hasn't been raised since 1975. It's a gross disservice to crippled and maimed victims of malpractice.

Malpractice cases are incredibly difficult to bring and are tenaciously defended. Cases are not taken indiscriminately for that reason.

Finally, any savings by putting a nationwide cap will have a negligble impact. Insurance companies will find other reasons to keep rates high.

You need to do some more research on this one.

Anonymous said...

Timmy who paid the banks if everyone wants to do a causal short sell.


Client has great credit, no lates, parents need(have) to move in with him. He needs a larger house,wants to do a short sale, buy a larger house.

Anonymous said...

A good investigated piece or another dirty little secret would be to do a study on temporary workers who were the first to be let go during this crisis by many companies.

Since many of these self employed employees do not get unemployment benefits, the government do not counted them in the unemployment numbers.

What is the true unemployment numbers if these self employed employees were counted.

les said...

Social Security trust fund will be in the red next year.

I don't see any possible way that the US can ever generate a surplus again. Unless its willing to make drastic cuts to the budget (not likely).

Too many boomers are retiring early because of forced layoffs or buyouts, we can't push back the clock on them.

I think it's obvious that we're going to inflate our way out of this problem.

It now becomes a question of when will the dollar bubble burst? When will foreigners dump dollars? And dump it for what? It won't be the Euro, the pound or the yen. The world will probably want something tangible. In other words, no fiat currency. The answer is commodities.

When this dollar dam breaks, there will be riots. Food and energy becomes expensive. 30% of Americans will go hungry within 2 weeks and they will blame the govt. The govt will send out the army and they will round up the worst agitators. They will also shut down sites, such as, soot and ashes.

Our govt has been preparing for this day.

Anonymous said...

It's not that it doesn't need to be modified, but anybody notice we're trying to scare people with data decades from now, when we are highly unlikely to have anything like our life now, in any area. And the funds have been tapped into already by sticky fingers, isn't that right?

Isn't this a pr scam like" government is too big" which we were subjected to under Reagan and subsequent prezzes largely because business wanted their hands on the money?

I'm sorry, I'm having an old fashioned fu moment, because I'd like to honesty and I don't. We can handle our medical care issues far more inexpensively than we do, but medicare/medicaid is such a little piggy trough...My brother and sister in law pay almost $1000 a month for Kaiser under Cobra.
They have health issues, which require medication, and ongoing
monitoring, but in general are in pretty good health, eat right, don't smoke, and so on. There is no way they spend anywhere near 12,000 a year if they just paid for things directly themselves. Maybe $4-5000 but I doubt it. Most of it would be meds. I have not needed a doctor in over a decade by some years. The whole medical situation is so skewed and overpriced. Hospitals take people without insurance in the emergency room? Are you telling me they couldn't set up a small urgency area for that? Duh..

I understand the need for insurance. Don't get me wrong; I get the possibility of disastrous
health issues. But one of the reasons aside from being sick, it's comes as disastrous, is because of overcharging. The situation is set up so that seeing the doctor at all is a small disaster.

Grandma PKK

gutless and lazy said...

Recessions are good. Recessions are necessary. Recessions take out excess. Recessions clean out the zombie, dead companies.

A gov't only interested in "good" times means it's only interested in going from bubble to bubble.

If we stay in the recession and let normal economics go unfettered, then maybe we wouldnt pile up so much debt and have such massive trade deficits.

But Nooooo! The U.S. gov't has edicted that there will be good times only!!

In the long cure, the policies to 'cure' the recession will do more harm than good.


thecitadelgroup said...

This country is so screwed up. It seems that the #1 goal of any politician is to get re-elected and the #2 goal is to put off dealing with major issues until the next guy comes along.

Hyperinflation, uber-high tax rates, it means little, as they'll probably trash the dollar in favor of some global currency.


JAWS said...

I don't care about retirement age anyway because we're on our own from here on out. "Retirements" are gone as previous generations knew them.

It doesn't matter. We who are approaching 65 had best figure out how to keep our bodies in motion and balanced.

We'd better figure out a way to keep money flowing in. There's not one of us that should be sitting on our asses watching Lunesta commercials on TV.

We are way more focused than young people who are still raising families and trying to make ends meet. We have a clue how things work and should be out there starting small businesses so there's something to pass on.

Don't count on anything other than generating your own security. Hanging onto "entitlement" thinking is just fooling yourself.

Daphne64 said...

Have you actually found estimates of how much money these measures would save?

Social Security can be saved by jacking up the age limits, but Medicare can NOT be saved by tweaking. Means testing will only add a layer of lawsuits to the mix - 99% of everyone will be wiped out in a few years from high inflation.

No - medicare will either have to be rolled back to basic services that have high bang for the buck, or it will crash entirely.