Originally Posted by MJ1970
(I know. I know)
Who is "we" here? Do you mean individual US citizens and US companies?
The debt is US government debt. The debt is held by US corporations, citizens, banks, investment firms, etc.
Well, the relatvie size (to GDP, to the budget, etc.) matters more than the nominal amount. But I think we cannot run deficits in perpetuity without negative consequences. It just might take a longer time for those consequences to manifest themselves if the deficit is smaller.
Anything matters more than a nominal amount. I agree we cannot run them without consequences. What I'm saying is those consequences would be much, much further down the road. We're now running deficits 4x higher than the Bush deficits. The deficit is larger than the entire budget for FY 2001. The clock is ticking...and it's moving faster every day.
Yes, and Medicare also.
First step with SS is to adjust eligibility age to align with what it was when it was started...about 1-2 years before average lifespan (this would be close to 80 now...it was 60-65 then). It was intended as last ditch safety net old age insurance. Second is means testing. Third is break the bad news to the youngest generation. There will be none when you get to that age so start saving for yourself.
These are hard, they might both seem and actually be unfair. But short of just a hard crash for the system, this is the smoothest approach.
The problem is people think retirement is a RIGHT. My Dad saw a prime example of this recently. He was at a party and talking within a group of people. One very liberal woman was talking about her father who was turning 65. She was arguing for more social security and medicare benefits. She asked "He's 65! What is he supposed to DO?" My Dad responded "Let me tell you something. My grandfather died on on the job at the age of 92. And do you know why he was working? Because he needed the money
." This represents one of the main problems: An entitlement culture.