Friday, September 3, 2010

Liberal Demagoguery On Social Security

The name of the MSNBC host is Cenk. List of Cenk Fallacies:

1) Refusing to admit that the retirement age has to reflect a 2010 lifespan.

2) While complaining about maintaining the full faith and credit of the USA, no criticism of Obama trying to screw middle class bond holders of GM.

3) Denial that Iraq had illegal chemical and biological weapons and denial of Saddam Hussein's interest in atomic weapons.

4) Denial of America's role in maintaining global stability and U.S. national security via the huuuge U.S. military.

5) Denial of Social Security's monetarily bankrupt nature, and denial of the need of REFORMING social security.

6) Denial of need to reduce the national debt.


Maghetti said...

1. Retirement doesn't have to reflect 2010 lifespan, don't need to punish people for staying alive longer.

2. I don't know enough about this to comment.

3. No weapons were ever found. He of course had interest, but thought isn't a crime.

4. America may play this role but it shouldn't. We can't afford to have this massive military. If you haven't noticed, were in a bit of debt.

5. Social Security IS in a surplus. That is, it is taking in more money than the amount of money going out to people on retirement. The issue is the government is taking that extra money and spending it on other things. After taking the surplus you can't then come back and talk about cutting the program. It needs a reform, but that reform should be something like an extra tax or simply stop spending the surplus, etc.

6. Cenk rails on the debt all the time. This is just silly. There is just different priorities for fixing this. Cenk would want increased taxes, cutting of military spending, etc to fix this. To progressives, if you have spending as is, and taxes as is, top priority is maintaining social programs and creating jobs. Military and many other things are secondary in importance.

SJ said...

Social Security is for people too old to work. In 2010 this age is higher than in 1910.

Helloooooo, Saddam had chemical and biological weapons. He came close to having a nuclear reactor in the 1980s but Israel took care of that.

We need our defense spending. We neeeeed to be on top of military technology. During World War 2 the Japanese Zero fighter was somewhat superior to the American planes until a shot down Zero was captured by the allies. Also, as we know in 2010 there are rivals who would like to see our sphere of influence shrink, and there are dangerous people out there who make no mistake, would like to see American cities nuked.

Cenk thinks that social spending in a sacred cow. To be serious about debt reduction all sectors of government need to share the pain.

However, I'm sure Cenk as a Muslim would like to see American defense spending shrink.

As far as social security reform, a greater reliance on personal retirement accounts should be considered and a pool should be only as a last resort for people who go broke.

Lastly, the Stimulus has failed to create jobs. Keynesian economics failed.

Maghetti said...

LOL, with that terrible response i will keepthis short to not waste my time.

Social security is for retired people, only thing that matters is how long people have worked.

Link didn't work.

You your self said all sectors should be cut to save money and then make an exception for military spending. I don't want our military influence to go beyond our borders.

Social spending doesn't need to be cut. taxes and military spending will do just fine. Lets not fuck the people over.

Cenk is an agnostic atheist, he doesn't believe in god.

Privatized social security isn't worth taking seriously.

The economic problems are systemic, that is, the system is broken. Stimulus did as good a job as expected, but we will need a lot more things done. Capitalism is broken.

Consider this my last response. I can only take someone so serious who resorts to calling people muslim to make a point.

Milltycoon said...

Wow. Rebuttal:
1. Cenk Uygar is not a Muslim.
2. We did not find caches of biological or chemical weapons in Iraq in any way sufficient to justify our invasion, regardless of what Saddam used in the 1980's.
3. There is no evidence that, in order to prevent getting nuked, we need a military that is as big as the next 15 most expensive militaries in the world combined, nor that we need to spend (as we now are) about $250B a year building Cold War fighter jets. There is, however, evidence that our huge military did not stop 19 men armed with box-cutters from inflicting a trillion dollars damage on us and killing 3,000 people.
4. Social Security was put in place in the 1930's, not 1910.
5. "All sectors of government" who should "share the pain" includes defense, which accounts for about 1/5 of the budget.
6. According to the CBO, the stimulus has created millions of jobs, with 3.3 million being the rosiest estimate.
7. Social Security operates in a surplus and is neither bankrupt nor in need of reform. If left to itself without the funds being raided, it has over a 2 trillion dollar surplus.
8. Your second point (about GM) might be an omission by Cenk, but it is not evidence of a "fallacy". I'm not sure that any of your criticisms qualify as fallacies, just mostly disagreements of opinion (or factual inaccuracy on your part).

SJ said...

Maghetti, Social Security is for people retired in other words, too old for work. As a young person, the only case I can imagine someone can make of an older person milking off my tax dollars IIIS if the person is too old to work.

The link works.

I'm ok with some military spending being cut if all sectors of the government shares the pain. I'm not for picking on the military as if there's no wasteful spending anywhere else.

There is plenty of room for privatized social security. A person should be able to live off of himself before having access to a public pool. A public pool ought to be the last resort, not the first resort.

As for Cenk being Islamic, during the flotilla incident, Cenk was lauding Al Jazeera as if the Arabs would neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever lie to give Israel a public relations defeat. It was ridiculous. Even wikipedeia says Al-Jazeera tends to be biased towards the view of Arab governments.

Stimulus failed. more than 54,000 Jobs were lost in August. Capitlism is only suffering because of socialist interference.

SJ said...

Milltycoon, Iraq's WMDs were shipped to Syria. If the Democrats weren't holding up the war, maybe we could have caught some.

I'm aware Social Security was a New Deal program. I said 1910 for the heck of it.

Saddam wasn't allowing the U.N. to inspect. That's cause enough for military enforcement.

As apart of America's ability to deter terrorism, America needs the ability to knock down terrorist sponsoring governments on short notice. Seems to me that this basically includes utilizing the whole military.

Why Social Security Will Go Bankrupt Sooner Than People Think
Waving one number around as a figure is nothing without the big picture.

NineSpine said...

How does disagreeing with Israel make you believe in Muhammad? That' the most illogical thing I have ever heard. Besides, whether Israel has a right to board ships in international waters really has nothing to do with supporting or opposing Israel. It has to do with supporting the rule of law, and international law is quite clear about the matter: Nobody, including Israel, can board a ship in international waters. It is an invasion of the sovereign territory of the boat's homeland.

The weapons inspectors were allowed in Iraq, were claiming full cooperation from Hussein, and then were forced to leave Iraq when we attacked. Here is the CRS report on the topic:

If you want the military to be effective, you should want it made smaller and streamlined. As it stands, it is a bloated, clumsy, archaic machine. It's sheer size is rendering it ineffective. It's poisoned by ridiculously expensive contracting and the procurement of weapons we don't need and will never use.

All of this is nonsense anyway though, because the war on terror is a war of intelligence and law enforcement... but oh wait... now the intelligence agencies are big bloated piles of crap.

Bottom line: More money doesn't mean more effective.

If you care so much about the budget, you should also care about the bloated military budget. Social Security is not part of the deficit. Period. If social security AND the social security tax disappeared tomorrow, the deficit would be roughly the same. Cutting the military by 1% is more effective than taking away the entire social security program.

As far as Sada's claims about Syria go, I find it hilarious that you are basing your entire argument on the world of one of Saddam Hussein's top men. That's your reliable source? Really? There is no evidence. None. Zero. The idea is laughable at best, and sad that you believe it at worst.

SJ said...

Ninespine, Wikipedia says that Cenk was born to Turkish Muslim parents. That means Cenk is Islamic. Islam is passed down by the father. Muslims will view Cenk as Islamic, albeit a secular lefist one.

International law allows boarding ships that are suspect of aiding an enemy so what Israel did is legitimate.

This is a list of the U.N. resolutions that Iraq was violating.

You can't have effective counterterrorism without a military that can retaliate in a complete and timely manner.

Again, I'm for cutting waste in all areas of government but nooot for picking on the military and having social spending as a sacred cow.

The thing about proof is that in a WMD situation the standard of evidence is different than in a civilian criminal trial. Saddam had chem and bio weapons. Saddam had a nuclear program at one point.

Are you for real up for taking the word of an Arab dictator that he had zeeeeeeeeero WMDs with a track record like Saddam's? That idea seems insane if you ask me.

NineSpine said...

I'm for taking the word of the weapons inspectors who were there. You can't make the argument that we needed to invade because he wasn't complying with inspectors, and then when I post irrefutable evidence that he was, tell me the inspectors don't matter. There is only one of us taking the word of a high level Iraqi official, and it's you.

You also can't justify the invasion of Iraq on the basis of violating U.N. resolutions, when we invaded without U.N. approval. You can't be for and against the U.N. in one breath. It's idiotic and a waste of my time, so come up with a more reasonable point... oh wait... there aren't any. The war was a dismal failure and a waste of lives and money. To watch someone complain about the deficit and then support a pointless war of aggression is pathetic.

Islam is a religion, not a genetic marker. It doesn't get passed down through birth. It's a belief system. If you believe it, you are a Muslim. If you don't, you aren't. The end.

The flotilla had no weapons on it. There was no reason to believe it had weapons on it. There is zero justification for boarding it in international waters. There is also zero justification for Israel turning Gaza into an apartheid state in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions by blocking medicine and food from getting in. Mass punishment is barbaric and immoral.

The reason we pick on the military instead of social spending is that, with the exception of medicare, social spending is a pathetically small portion of the deficit. What are you going to cut? The $40B food stamp program? Oh yeah, that's really running up the debt!

Defense, on the other hand, is closing in on a whopping 2/3rds of the entire discretionary budget, putting us at roughly more than the entire military budget of the rest of the planet. The next country on the list is China and they spend less then 1/10th what we do. It's complete insanity.

The majority of our foreign troops are stationed in random countries where they aren't doing anything except exist and cost money, when they at least could be here doing public works projects or better yet working other jobs that boost the economy. You think it helps the economy that massive numbers of citizens are living on foreign soil, spending all of their money there, while contributing NOTHING to our GDP?

We spend absurd amounts of money on weapons that are built to fight advanced military enemies that don't exist, like anti-aircraft aircraft. You think we are getting involved in aerial dogfights again? No, we aren't. Ever. This isn't the early 20th century.

We keep building nuclear weapons when we have enough to destroy the world so many times that we have about 9000 contingency plans. What sense does that make? Isn't the ability to destroy the entire world 10 or 20 times enough?

NineSpine said...

We spend absurd amounts of money on weapons that are built to fight advanced military enemies that don't exist, like anti-aircraft aircraft. You think we are getting involved in aerial dogfights again? No, we aren't. Ever. This isn't the early 20th century.

We keep building nuclear weapons when we have enough to destroy the world so many times that we have about 9000 contingency plans. What sense does that make? Isn't the ability to destroy the entire world 10 or 20 times enough?

The military is not the answer to every problem. In fact, it's the answer to very few. If we had simply stuck with intelligence, bombing, targeted aid, and covert ops in Afghanistan, we would have easily toppled the government except we wouldnt have created an insurgency and skyrocketed Al Qaeda's recruitment in the process.

The military is, more often than not, a DESTABILIZING force. It's great for blowing up people who need to be blown up, but it sucks for almost everything else. The presence of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan simply turns the region against us. The American military could be all sunshine and roses, and guess what, they would still be a destabilizing force that turns people against us, BECAUSE NOBODY LIKES TO BE OCCUPIED NO MATTER WHAT THE OCCUPIERS DO!!! Do you want Germany to come around and tell you what to do, even if it matches YOUR agenda and ideology perfectly? NO! So why the hell do you expect different from everyone else?

We need a sleek, efficient military that can be fast and responsive. As it stands, we have a wasteful, bloated behemoth with a ridiculously complex chain of command, too many toys, and too many contracting jobs. You could EASILY half the military budget AND make us safer in the process, because would still have five times the budget of the next country on the list.

Again: Defense is closing in on 2/3rds of the federal discretionary budget. Social spending is a pathetic joke when compared to this, because most of the social spending is paid for with it's own taxes. Medicare is bleeding, and I'm all for suggestions to fix that, but as it stands your entire argument is ridiculous, uninformed, illogical, and based on nothing but your own ignorant prejudices. Boohoo the government spends $40B on food stamps that mostly go to feed poor children, and stimulate the economy in the process. Meanwhile, we spend more than that every single year on weapons we will never even take out of their boxes. Give me a break.

How about this to fix the budget: Make the rich pay their fair share of taxes instead of abusing loopholes so that they can pay a lower percentage of taxes than the rest of us. The middle class is getting squeezed because the rich can legally dodge taxes and you have the audacity to say social spending is the problem. Get real.

SJ said...

Saddam was playing games with the United Nations inspectors. That's a simple fact. Everyone knows there's alot of corruption at the U.N. Their opinions don't mean anything to me.

The rest I'll answer tomorrow night. Thank you to everyone who posted despite any heatedness that may have occured in the discussion.

Milltycoon said...

I await your response, SJ, because right now Ninespine is handing you one of the most dominating landslides of debating victories I have ever seen, and he is doing it on your own blog. He is completely accurate on the discrepancy between the military's massive, massively bloated, and ever-increasing budget and the comparably anemic budget for most of the social programs you belittle. And the social programs have bigger economic multipliers. He is correct that we have seen no independent evidence of Iraq's WMD's piling into Syria, even though men with power, resources, and a major political incentive to show this evidence have tried for the last 7 years. He is correct that you baited and switched him on the UN inspectors, claiming that their dismissal was an outrage that caused the war but that we shouldn't have cared about what their findings were going to be anyway.
And your analysis of Cenk Uygar is disturbing. By heredity, he is Islamic, but he renounced the Muslim faith (listen to his show), and yet you use his father's religion as the basis for his condemnation of Israel in the flotilla incident (when he frequently makes a very complete, nuanced case about who is right and wrong in the region and why, and it is certainly not kind to Islamic extremism). But you also posit that since he is descendant from Islam, he naturally wants to see America made weaker. Cenk lives in America because he likes it. He has complete contempt for Sharia law. This was a cheap and bigoted shot because you have a problem with how SS is run, so anyone who does not apparently must have some ulterior America-hating agenda.
And this is while, by your own logic, making the following case: "America needs every penny to go into our military to keep us safe, but you're willing to cut some of that money, ergo making us less safe, just as long as it ensures that we can also slash a bunch of largely inexpensive systems that keep poor people from starving and freezing to death. But Cenk is the one who hates America because he points out that the Right has stolen the SS surplus and handed it to the richest corporations in the country."
You might want to come a bit stronger than this the next time.

SJ said...

1) There was no bait and switch on the inspectors. I never once ceded any point that Saddam was all nice and honest. That's absurd.

2) As per an alleged discrepancy between the military's massive, massively bloated, and ever-increasing budget and the comparably anemic budget for most of the social programs I "belittle." ........

I don't deny that some kind of safety net is needed.

Spending by major government function
Pensions $747.1 5.7
Health Care $783.8 6.0
Education $900.8 6.9
Defense $622.2 4.8
Welfare $411.4 3.2
Interest $312.3 2.4

Milltycoon, consider yoursef PWNED. I'll answer the rest of the stuff from you and Ninespine tomorrow. I am busy.

Thank you for posting.

NineSpine said...

1. You said the inspectors weren't let in. When I proved they were let in, you said you don't trust them. Why were you so upset about them not being let in if you don't trust them?

The reason is because you don't really care about the facts and figures. You work the logic completely backwards. You don't say "Because of reasons A, B, and C, I believe invading Iraq was right." You say "Because America is great, invading Iraq must have been right." That's fundamentally flawed logic. If our actions were so great, you shouldn't have to resort to clear logical fallacies like you have on inspectors and the U.N..

You can't in one breath tell me that we needed to invade because Saddam was breaching U.N. resolutions, and then in the next breath say that it was OK to attack Iraq in violation of the U.N.. That doesn't make any sense.

Then you proceeded to cite insane conspiracy theories which have as SOLE evidence the word of a high level Hussein government official as if that's really a reputable source.

It's clear that your concern with Iraq is justification, not truth. You are grasping at every straw possible to justify it, and every straw leads to another hypocrisy. You hate the U.N. but want their resolutions followed, except by us. You want Saddam to allow inspectors you don't trust. You think Saddam was a liar so you want us to believe a high ranking official from his government. It's absurd.

2. There are numerous problems with those numbers:

They aren't the Federal numbers. Those are numbers for Federal, State, and Local. Almost all of the states have little to no deficit, so it isn't really an issue. All of the states added together have around $100B in deficit. That's a joke. That's a low enough deficit to be practically negated by inflation except in a couple of states. It's comical to even talk about it. The Federal government is what is running a massive deficit, so trying to include state numbers is intentionally disingenuous and a clear attempt to subvert the debate.

Those numbers put Veterans Affairs as part of Healthcare spending. Veterans Affairs is part of Defense spending.

NineSpine said...

The issue isn't overall spending. The issue is the deficit. Spending doesn't really matter if you are paying for it. Therefore, the "pensions" section of your numbers is not an issue. That's social security. It's in the black. It takes in more than it puts out. It's irrelevant to the deficit issue.

Since the entire Federal budget is even itself misleading, because the vast majority of non-discretionary spending is in the black and paid for with it's OWN taxes, here are the numbers for the Federal discretionary budgets for 2009 and 2010, which is where the real deficits come from:

As you can see, the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security make up more than HALF of this.

Here's a chart using the numbers from SIPRI:

That's the defense spending you are defending as totally rational. It's unreal. How can you possibly defend a military budget that insanely bloated just compared to the SECOND largest country on the list? How can you say with a straight face that we really need to spend 7, 8, or 9 times as much as the second biggest spender?

Here is the rate of increase:

Our defense spending has more than DOUBLED since 2000, and that's ignoring homeland security. Even if you remove the war, it's STILL almost doubled. If you remove the war and include homeland security, it STILL HAS MORE THAN DOUBLED IN TEN YEARS!!! What planet are you debating me from?

Our military spending is INDEFENSIBLE. If you really cared about the deficit, you should have thought about that before you decided occupying two Middle Eastern countries was constructive. You should have thought about that before giving the rich giant tax breaks. You should have thought about that before the conservatives ran the country into the ground, tarred and feathered it, quartered it, lit it on fire, and then pissed on it. You need to wake up and stop ignoring the elephant in the room: The military-industrial complex that one of the last great Republicans (Eisenhower) warned us about.