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U.S. Topic -- President Biden's Covid Stimulus Plan Includes Temporary $200 Monthly Raise in Social Security


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1 hour ago, newnative said:

     I think the answer to your 'why' is that a lot of seniors--about 40% in a new report--rely solely on social security to live on.  I am lucky in that I also have a state pension but if I was relying solely on SS my monthly income would be about $1400 a month.   Not really much to live on--either here or in the US.  An extra $200 a month would certainly help out a lot of seniors--especially those with no other income.  Even before covid there were proposals to change the COLA formula for SS so it better reflects the cost of living for seniors.  

    

Yeap...higher payments are always helpful, but Social Security was never meant to be a person's only source of income in retirement.   A person needs to save/invest during their career to round out needed income in retirement....or hopefully have a career that provides a separate pension to combine with the Social Security pension.

 

Yeap, I know savings/investing is hard to impossible for many, but as said Social Security was never meant to a person's only source of income in retirement.

 

 

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I am on social security.  My first question would be why?  Of anyone who has been relatively unaffected financially by the Covid pandemic it is retired people.  Retired people, me included have got th

This is at the policy proposal stage only.  My understanding is that it will be retroactive to January 2021 if passed and the time span will be one year. I wouldn't spend the extra money yet

The point is that those impacted by Covid have lost their income stream.  Those on social security have not.  Additionally, giving it to seniors does not guarantee it will get spent.  Some will just t

3 hours ago, Pib said:

Yeap...higher payments are always helpful, but Social Security was never meant to be a person's only source of income in retirement.   A person needs to save/invest during their career to round out needed income in retirement....or hopefully have a career that provides a separate pension to combine with the Social Security pension.

 

Yeap, I know savings/investing is hard to impossible for many, but as said Social Security was never meant to a person's only source of income in retirement.

 

 

    Yeap...and it was probably never meant for 1% of the population to hold 30% of all the household wealth in America while the bottom 50% of the population holds just 1.9%.  And, it was probably never meant that most of the tax breaks and tax loopholes favor the wealthy, making it much easier for them to save for retirement than someone earning a low wage and trying to support a family.  

    Warren Buffet famously said that his secretary pays her taxes at a higher tax rate than he does.  When that's the case, things are seriously out of whack.  Yeap, of course people should be saving for retirement so they don't have to solely depend on social security but perhaps some wage improvement and tax fairness would make it easier for those in that bottom 50%.

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On 1/14/2021 at 12:36 PM, Thomas J said:

The point is that those impacted by Covid have lost their income stream.  Those on social security have not.  Additionally, giving it to seniors does not guarantee it will get spent.  Some will just tuck it away in their savings worrying about the future.  Irrespective, somehow the idea of borrowing money giving it away actually works to stimulate the economy is foolish.  If it worked there would never be a recession since government would have to only borrow and distribute more money and the recession would end.  If the money was used to "invest" in capital improvements.  Roads, bridges, electric grid upgrades, statewide electric car charging stations, grants for new business construction etc, those will pay dividends and the economy will reap rewards for decades to come.  Giving some money to a senior so they can buy a better cut of beef dissipates after the meal is eaten and the "stimulus" is flushed down the toilet. 

 

The average SSI payment is $551. per month. For most it's their only income. Can you live on $551. a month? I know I could not.

Did you get the Stimulus Payment. If you don't need it to live on you can return it. 

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1 hour ago, Jeffrey346 said:

The average SSI payment is $551. per month. For most it's their only income. Can you live on $551. a month? I know I could not.

Did you get the Stimulus Payment. If you don't need it to live on you can return it. 

I think its actually about 1200 but that's not much either in the U.S.

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SSI and SSDI and two different programs....and also not to be confused with the basic Social Security pension.   See the monthly averages of the three different programs below.

 

Average monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI)is around $551 in 2019

https://www.disabilitysecrets.com/page4-44.html#:~:text=The average SSI payment received,average of %24655 per month.

 

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How Much Does SSI Pay?

The average SSI payment received in 2019 (by adults) was $551 per month. Children on SSI received an average of $655 per month.

While SSI is a federal program (administered by the Social Security Administration), and the federal government pays a standard base rate of $783 per month, most SSI recipients receive less than the federal benefit rate, and some receive more. The federal benefit rate for couples is $1,175, which you'll get if you are married and your spouse is eligible for SSI benefits as well. In addition, the federal rate amount regularly changes with cost-of-living increases. But most importantly, your actual monthly payment will depend on how much income you or your family brings in or earns and how much of a state supplemental payment (SSP) your state pays, if any.

 

 

 

 

Average monthly Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)  average for 2021 is $1,277

https://www.disabilitysecrets.com/how-much-in-ssd.html#:~:text=Most SSDI recipients receive between,your payment may be reduced.

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If you are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, the amount you receive each month will be based on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. It is not based on how severe your disability is or how much income you have. Most SSDI recipients receive between $800 and $1,800 per month (the average for 2021 is $1,277). However, if you are receiving disability payments from other sources, as discussed below, your payment may be reduced.

 

 

Average monthly SS Pension in 2020 was $1,514.

https://www.cbpp.org/research/social-security/policy-basics-top-ten-facts-about-social-security#:~:text=Social Security benefits are much,aged widow received slightly less.)

 

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Fact #4: Social Security benefits are modest.

Social Security benefits are much more modest than many people realize; the average Social Security retirement benefit in June 2020 was about $1,514 a month, or about $18,170 a year. 

 

 

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15 hours ago, newnative said:

 I think the answer to your 'why' is that a lot of seniors--about 40% in a new report--rely solely on social security to live on.  I am lucky in that I also have a state pension but if I was relying solely on SS my monthly income would be about $1400 a month.   Not really much to live on--either here or in the US.  An extra $200 a month would certainly help out a lot of seniors--especially those with no other income.  Even before covid there were proposals to change the COLA formula for SS so it better reflects the cost of living for seniors.  

Sure it might help.  That is not the point.  It "might" help if they gave the money to homeless vets, it "might" help if they gave it to underprivileged children, It "might" help if they gave it to people working on minimum wage.   The fact remains that if there is a group of people LEAST IMPACTED by Covid financially it is those on social security.  Their payments have been coming uninterrupted.   Money can be spent only once.  Those monies given to any group to spend on consumer goods in the economy quickly dissipate.  If they "invested" the spending in projects that provide long term benefits such as improved roads, repaired bridges, a modernized electric grid system, new power plant construction, etc. That spending would have multiplier effect in the future as it fuels the economy and growth.  A couple of hundred dollars the senior can spend on a new pair of shoes, a better cut of meat, or taking a trip to see the grandkids is nice, but it does not enrich the economy going forward.

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2 hours ago, Jeffrey346 said:

The average SSI payment is $551. per month. For most it's their only income. Can you live on $551. a month? I know I could not.

Did you get the Stimulus Payment. If you don't need it to live on you can return it. 

You are missing the point.  It is suppose to be COVID RELIEF.  The group least impacted by Covid financially are those on social security.  The fact that seniors may or may not have a small SSI is irrelevant.  They could just as easily said that they were giving money to the movie industry to subsidize the starving movie stars whose income is impacted due to fewer people going to the movie theatres.  The latter statement is actually more true than giving an extra $200 to seniors for Covid relief.  Seniors on Social Security were unaffected financially. 

 

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1 hour ago, Jeffrey346 said:

beg to differ. IMO seniors have been impacted.  Last year their cost of living increase was 1.5% and this year 1.3%. A $7.16 monthly increase covers nothing. It's actually an insult.

That cost of living HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH COVID.  The fact remains that waitresses, movie theatre workers, truckers, farmers, waitresses, cooks, taxi cab drives etc the list goes on, all have had a DECREASE in their income because of Covid.  My comment is correct, that Seniors were not financially impacted.  They got their retirement checks no different than before.  And the fact they got an increase speaks to the fact, their income went up, not down. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Thomas J said:

That cost of living HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH COVID.  The fact remains that waitresses, movie theatre workers, truckers, farmers, waitresses, cooks, taxi cab drives etc the list goes on, all have had a DECREASE in their income because of Covid.  My comment is correct, that Seniors were not financially impacted.  They got their retirement checks no different than before.  And the fact they got an increase speaks to the fact, their income went up, not down. 

 

 

Don't waste your breath, he doesn't get it.

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On 1/19/2021 at 8:53 PM, Thomas J said:

That cost of living HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH COVID.  The fact remains that waitresses, movie theatre workers, truckers, farmers, waitresses, cooks, taxi cab drives etc the list goes on, all have had a DECREASE in their income because of Covid.  My comment is correct, that Seniors were not financially impacted.  They got their retirement checks no different than before.  And the fact they got an increase speaks to the fact, their income went up, not down. 

 

 

 

Seniors weren't impacted? Did they need to make special provisions to go shopping or have delivery costs added to their food and other supplies because of Covid? Did they get free masks, gloves, hand sanitzers, and face shields? I am asking, because I don't know. I don't live back in the US. But one thing I am sure of is that all the trillions of dollars going to airlines, defense contractors, banks, and other big corporations has had the effect of seeing the dollar fall against the Thai baht. So, yes, even in Thailand, I was affected by Covid and Covid policies in the US. My income was reduced from an exchange rate of 33 Tbaht to $1 to 29.92 Tbaht today. Another half trillion in stimulus checks will likely affect that a bit more but it will at least get me some of my value back. 

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4 hours ago, John Drake said:

Seniors weren't impacted?

Which part of THEY WERE NOT IMPACTED FINANCIALY which is what I said do you have trouble understanding.  Unlike the workers who lost their jobs seniors social security checks went on without interruption.  Were they inconvenienced or impacted by Covid yes.  But to say it is a stimulus for the financial impact seniors suffered is Bogus and  is a false narrative.  If you want to pass on money to seniors OK but don't use the façade that it was because they were financially hurt during the pandemic.  It never ceases to amaze me how people think the government can somehow just magically create unlimited sums of money and there are no negative ramifications.  If that were true, then why not make the money to the Seniors $100,000 per month.  The reality is that money once spent and borrowed can not be used for truly worthwhile capital investment projects that the USA needs desperately.   I in no way implied that other monies were not also not wasted and went to undeserving people and companies.  However because you throw away money to one group hardly is a good justification for throwing it away to yet another. 

 

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16 hours ago, Thomas J said:

Which part of THEY WERE NOT IMPACTED FINANCIALY which is what I said do you have trouble understanding. 

 

What do you not understand about my question regarding costs? To be financially impacted means 

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Financial impact means any transaction, matter or thing which affects or would affect revenue, expenses, liabilities or income of a Purchased Entity. https://www.lawinsider.com/dictionary/financial-impact#:~:text=Financial impact means any transaction%2C matter or thing which affects,income of a Purchased Entity.

 

Thus costs for services, expenses for Covid, and, yes, exchange rates are a financial impact. You seem to think it simply means getting an uninterrupted paycheck versus being unemployed. Most seniors live on a fixed income. An increase in costs due to Covid is a fact. So is a decrease in interest on savings and bonds due to interventionist policies of the Fed to help big companies and stockholders because of Covid. Your definition of financial impact, sorry to say, is simplistic.

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On 1/22/2021 at 10:14 AM, John Drake said:

Thus costs for services, expenses for Covid, and, yes, exchange rates are a financial impact. You seem to think it simply means getting an uninterrupted paycheck versus being unemployed. Most seniors live on a fixed income. An increase in costs due to Covid is a fact. So is a decrease in interest on savings and bonds due to interventionist policies of the Fed to help big companies and stockholders because of Covid. Your definition of financial impact, sorry to say, is simplistic.

Ok John,  

Maybe there should be a Covid relief bill for prostitutes and drug dealers.  After all with Covid their business is obviously impacted.  The reality is, that of anyone impacted Seniors financially were the least.  You have numerous industries, whose business was ruined and workers out of a job.  The decrease in savings rates happened a long time ago, and if you bothered to check Social Security recipients got a 1.3% increase to compensate for the cost of living increase. 

If there will be inflation that impacts everyone it will come from the spending binge that has caused the U.S. dollar to decrease in value resulting in anything imported costing more.  You say my definition was simplistic.  Yours is grossly overstated.  If anything Seniors likely spent less during the pandemic since their travels were limited.  Also, you seem to believe the the money is coming from goose that lays golden eggs.  Even taking the position that the seniors should receive money and you are "helping them"  That money is borrowed and is owed by future generations.  So you are helping today's seniors at the expense of the current and future working generations.  

I am a senior and on a fixed income living on Social Security.  The proposal to give Seniors and increase is merely a pretense and not a valid reason.  Everyone was impacted by Covid to a greater or lesser degree but of anyone, Seniors financially were the least impacted group. 

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When free money is being handed out most people want to be in that line whether they need the money or not....just human nature. 

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On 1/13/2021 at 8:44 PM, Thomas J said:

I am on social security.   Giving an extra $200 a month to retirees on social security so they can buy a nicer cut of meat at the Winn Dixie may help the grocery store.  However its benefit literally goes down the tank with the next bowel movement. 

What about those of us who own BTC and put an equal amount into our account monthly? What about those of us who are single but now can afford to employ attractive companions to assist us? 

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On 1/18/2021 at 7:24 PM, Thomas J said:

Sure it might help.  That is not the point.  It "might" help if they gave the money to homeless vets, it "might" help if they gave it to underprivileged children, It "might" help if they gave it to people working on minimum wage.   The fact remains that if there is a group of people LEAST IMPACTED by Covid financially it is those on social security.  Their payments have been coming uninterrupted.   Money can be spent only once.  Those monies given to any group to spend on consumer goods in the economy quickly dissipate.  If they "invested" the spending in projects that provide long term benefits such as improved roads, repaired bridges, a modernized electric grid system, new power plant construction, etc. That spending would have multiplier effect in the future as it fuels the economy and growth.  A couple of hundred dollars the senior can spend on a new pair of shoes, a better cut of meat, or taking a trip to see the grandkids is nice, but it does not enrich the economy going forward.

 

The average monthly social security benefit as of June 2020  was about $1,514 a month, or about $18,170 a year.  HHS "poverty line" for a single person is $12,880, so the government doesn't consider $18,170 a year poverty, but I do and I think most who live on this income think so too.   If 40% of seniors live primarily on SS retirement benefits, a $200 bump for them will probably be spent and help drive the economy. 

 

The idea that the benefit should go to those most impacted by the COVID pandemic is one way of thinking but it is not inevitable.  It might be thought that the injection of cash into the economy is best spent where it has the most positive effect on the economy.  One great advantage of the SSA bump is that it can be done rapidly and directly and with minimum of administrative costs.  Infrastructure projects will have all the benefits you list but require a much longer time to implement, and significant cost just to administer applications and processing of applications for infrastructure projects.

 

Again as the average income of SS beneficiaries is $18,170 a year I am inclined to believe it would be spent rapidly and be a benefit to the economy.

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8 minutes ago, cdemundo said:

Again as the average income of SS beneficiaries is $18,170 a year I am inclined to believe it would be spent rapidly and be a benefit to the economy.

Sure, why not give money to school teachers, they were impacted,  Why not students, they were impacted.  Why not inner city youths who lost jobs etc.etc.etc.  

Which part of while Seniors may or may not "need" the money.  THEY WERE THE LEAST IMPACTED GROUP FINANCIALLY do you have problem understanding.  Their social security checks went on uninterrupted.  To call it Covid Relief is a red herring. 

As to helping the economy.  The government creates "nothing"  It can only take from one to give to another.  Any current assistance to Seniors is a debt to be paid by the next generation(s)  So money given to Seniors today to spend on a nicer cut of beef at the Winn Dixie will be the burden of their children, grand children, and great grandchildren for generations to come.  If the money was used as "stimulus" but invested in capital projects like improved infrastructure, modernizing the electric grid system, and for the environmentalists installing things like nationwide automobile charging stations those projects will 'BENEFIT' future generations while still providing stimulus to the current economy.  I am a senior so sure it is nice to get some extra cash but we are the least impacted group financially.  

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12 hours ago, Thomas J said:

If the money was used as "stimulus" but invested in capital projects like improved infrastructure, modernizing the electric grid system, and for the environmentalists installing things like nationwide automobile charging stations those projects will 'BENEFIT' future generations while still providing stimulus to the current economy. 

If a child is drowning I might throw him a life preserver or swim to him and assist him; this however would be a very short-sighted solution.  He would benefit much more from swimming lessons which would result in a benefit for the rest of his life.  Unless of course he drowns.

 

Infrastructure projects cannot be implemented in an emergency time frame.  You can't cut a check to Turner Construction for a billion dollars and say "Go modernize the electric grid system" for instance.  Any infrastructure projects will need a long lead time and significant administrative costs.

 

As we saw with the previous stimulus checks, the social security increase could be sent out in a matter of weeks.

 

 "As far school teachers, they were impacted,  Why not students, they were impacted.  Why not inner city youths who lost jobs etc.etc.etc. "  

 

The purpose of the stimulus is not to give money to the deserving which you seem think, but to give money quickly to someone who will spend it immediately and thus benefit the economy.  The reason I discussed the level of income of those who receive SS was not to make the case that they were more deserving, but to indicate the probability that they would spend the money in a short time.  Additionally, the list of people who receive SS benefits of and their addresses or banking info is readily available and so the payments could go out quickly.

 

The two points that I think are important are:  

1)  whether the recipients are deserving or not is not paramount, what is important is that those receiving payments will spend the money

2) there is urgency that at least part of any stimulus program gets money into the economy quickly, payments to SS beneficiaries can be made very quickly, infrastructure payments cannot.

 

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7 hours ago, cdemundo said:

1)  whether the recipients are deserving or not is not paramount, what is important is that those receiving payments will spend the money

2) there is urgency that at least part of any stimulus program gets money into the economy quickly, payments to SS beneficiaries can be made very quickly, infrastructure payments cannot.

Screwball thinking

Why not then give it to skid row bums.  They will certainly spend it quickly since that seems to be your only criteria.  Secondly, the Keynesian theory of government stimulus to boost the economy is bogus.  If it actually worked then THERE WOULD NEVER BE A RECESSION.  All governments would have to do is do deficit spending and the recession would cease.  Has that worked in the past.  NO.  Finally, you can only spend the borrowed money once.  The benefit from the money given to seniors to buy a nicer cut of beef is spent quickly and its benefits disappear as soon as the toilet is flushed.  While it may take longer infrastructure projects provide investment that has rewards long term.  Hence the benefit to the economy going forward is sustaining.  Using your logic, why doesn't the government just print money and have airplanes drop it since that would be the quickest way of getting money into the hands of people who will spend it.  Finally, when you just frivolously throw away money whatever benefit it provides quickly dissipates,  however the damage to the economy long term lasts.  Money spent today has to be paid back or at the very least serviced by future generations which reduces the amount of discretionary funds for the economy in the future.  You are helping today's seniors at the expense of future generations.  

 

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On 1/29/2021 at 11:34 PM, cdemundo said:

I addressed this question, you seem to be fixated on the succulent grandeur of your own opinion.  The purpose of economic stimulus is ... well economic stimulus, not the redress of the unfairness of who was impacted by COVID.  I understand and disagree.  I respectfully disagree, something you might consider.

Didn't your mama ever tell you that money doesn't grow on trees? @Thomas J's opinion is shared by many, at least those that understand economics.

 

Give me $200 now, inflation will take it back soon enough. No thank you.

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22 hours ago, frantick said:

Didn't your mama ever tell you that money doesn't grow on trees? @Thomas J's opinion is shared by many, at least those that understand economics.

 

Give me $200 now, inflation will take it back soon enough. No thank you.

 

The following explanation of a government stimulus comes from the website of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which employs actual trained economists, not folk wisdom sages instructed by their mamas.  It explains why both the Trump administration and the Biden administration (who have widely differing views of economics) both have employed a direct to consumer stimulus.

 

https://www.stlouisfed.org/open-vault/2020/february/meet-multiplier-effect

" Meet the Multiplier Effect...

The initial increase in government spending has a direct effect on GDP. But it also sets off a chain of additional spending throughout the economy:

  • dollars spent in one place are received as income elsewhere
  • some of that income gets spent and received as income elsewhere
  • then some of that income gets spent and … you get the idea"

Or maybe you don't.

You brilliant TVF folk wisdom economists (and your mamas) ought to offer your services the the Biden administration before they make a horrible blunder.

 

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On 2/4/2021 at 4:23 PM, mtls2005 said:

Seems like another $1,400 payment may make the cut in the new stimulus plan, but with stricter income thresholds (seen $50,000/single mentioned).

 

Haven't seen anything about temporary SocSec bumps.

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/04/fewer-people-may-qualify-for-the-1400-dollar-stimulus-payments-heres-why.html

 

https://www.warren.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/schumer-warren-and-wyden-unveil-plan-to-increase-benefits-by-200-per-month-for-all-social-security-beneficiaries

 

"Schumer, Warren, And Wyden Unveil Plan To Increase Benefits By $200 Per Month For All Social Security Beneficiaries"

This has been floated earlier in the year, don't know if it is still considered a live option.

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On 1/18/2021 at 8:35 PM, Pib said:

Yeap...higher payments are always helpful, but Social Security was never meant to be a person's only source of income in retirement.   A person needs to save/invest during their career to round out needed income in retirement....or hopefully have a career that provides a separate pension to combine with the Social Security pension.

 

Yeap, I know savings/investing is hard to impossible for many, but as said Social Security was never meant to a person's only source of income in retirement.

 

It's true that during the 50's the theory of retirement funding was the three legs of the stool:  SS, private savings, and private pensions.  But that hasn't been true for decades since the corporations decided they could escape pension liabilities by switching from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans, which put the investment risk squarely upon workers who lacked the expertise to manage it.  

 

Then, beginning about 1980 the purchasing power of the lower half of the workforce went into permanent decline, pushing many families out of the middle class and making saving impossible.  

 

So, the old three-legs system has failed and a better solution needs to be found.  In the short term just increasing SS payouts funded by removing the cap on covered earnings would begin to address the problem.  

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2 minutes ago, frantick said:

USA Debt: $27,000,000,000,000

My Debt: $0

 

Looks like mama taught me well.

 

 

You might need to compare net assets before putting Mama on a pedestal....

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