Trust Fund

“My solution has always been a means test. If you have $100k in taxable income you don’t get paid. Finished. I’m not sure that is legally possible. But to me it is the only option. The alternative will impoverish those that are/will be dependent on SS benefits. Raising taxes on America’s 90 million workers and their employers is just bad economics. It should not be considered.”

Bruce Kastings – S.S. trust fund year end results

The Dysfunctional State

ON MAY 19th Californians will go to the polls to vote on six ballot measures that are as important as they are confusing. If these measures fail, America’s biggest state will enter a full-blown financial crisis that will require excruciating cuts in public services. If the measures succeed, the crisis will be only a little less acute. Recent polls suggest that voters are planning to vote most of them down.

The occasion has thus become an ugly summary of all that is wrong with California’s governance, and that list is long. This special election, the sixth in 36 years, came about because the state’s elected politicians once again for the system virtually assures as much could not agree on a budget in time and had to cobble together a compromise in February to fill a $42 billion gap between revenue and spending. But that compromise required extending some temporary taxes, shifting spending around and borrowing against future lottery profits. These are among the steps that voters must now approve, thanks to California’s brand of direct democracy, which is unique in extent, complexity and misuse.

A good outcome is no longer possible.

Without bubbles the state of California is fiscally screwed. No doubt some form of drastic change will likely come out of this. I’m glad I won’t have to deal with it. What’s interesting (as the article points out) is that California is a mixture of a representitive and direct democracy, and that system has apparently completly failed to work. I’ve always kind of liked the idea of more direct control by the people over government, but clearly there are flaws, as the mess in California shows.

Economist Link

Doubling the national debt

In 2014, at which point the White House projects a deficit of $570 billion, it’s now expected that CBO will show a number in excess of $700 billion. Five years later, in 2019, Obama’s budget concedes that the deficit will have widened to $712 billion; Democrats expect CBO to put the number over $1 trillion.

The cumulative impact could be substantial. The White House has already conceded that the Obama budget will produce deficits of about $6.9 trillion over 10 years. If the CBO projections were to add in the range of $1.5 trillion more, as some Democrats expect, that would be more than a 20 percent increase and would surely affect debate in Congress.

Politico

Lets assume a few things – one, these numbers will be revised upward again as the downturn worsens, two, when it’s all said and done, the cost of Obama’s programs are probably underestimated, and three, there will be unanticipated additional costs during Obama’s tenure. (e.g. another Katrina, Afghanistan, major bank failures, etc..)

In the end, we will likely double our national debt in eight to ten years. (Assuming the world continue to lend to us, which isn’t assured.) Debt payments currently make up around ten percent of the total federal intake. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid costs are currently rising. Where does this put us in eight years, and why do Obama supporters think this is grand idea?