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I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

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  • Issachar
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    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    Note video/edit in post #43 ..

    Issachar

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  • Issachar
    replied
    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    Digging up this thread again just because the problem of broke and underfunded pensions have not only NOT been fixed, but have gotten worse.

    This new item is related to John H.'s post #2 that I'll quote from, here:

    Originally posted by John H.
    Bordering Illinois (St. Louis) we keep up on Illinois news, plus, we have a brother-in-law who just retired from State government there. He used to tell his wife not to worry about his pension because it is covered by law but he has started to worry.


    New to this thread:

    SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (Reuters) - The Illinois legislature ended its spring session without final action on two major proposals to reform its deeply underfunded pension system - leaving the state's weak credit rating at risk of sinking lower.

    The state capitol's two most powerful politicians - House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, both Democrats - were unable to find a compromise to address the state's $100 billion unfunded pension liability.

    With Illinois' credit rating the lowest among U.S. states, lawmakers vowed to continue working toward some resolution. But no path toward compromise and no timetable emerged as first the House and then the Senate gaveled their spring sessions to close.

    Moody's Investors Service midday Friday reiterated a warning that Illinois' A2 credit rating could be cut if pension reform stays elusive.
    more

    Issachar

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    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    Originally posted by Issachar View Post
    It's too late now, but there never should have been state pension funds .. or any level pension funds. What should have happened (there's that 20/20 hindsight thing kickin' in) is people work .. and get all of their pay. Each saves for that car repair, roof replacement ... and retirement. That way, the government .. city, state or federal .. couldn't have had at it.

    It all seemed like a good thing at the time. I guess. Most promoting it, weren't lying, I suspect. They were just unable to look ahead and do the math. They did some .. but it was based on certain presuppositions .. e.g. what gains per year there would be. But there are those at the top of things that knew full well. They are the nwo order crowd. They are first and foremost, in the education system .. second, but close tie .. in the economic system. There is a lot of info here, especially concerning the infiltration of the education system. I don't think anyone can research the history of education and not know why things are going the way they are going.

    Issachar
    I agree with you, but unfortunately like you said it's too late. The unions have negotiated so much for their members, and now it's just a big heavy burden on the states. Like I said, the shoe is going to drop soon and it's a very heavy shoe.

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  • Issachar
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    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    Originally posted by cornerstone33
    Shame on them who misused our tax money, to their own gain, ...
    It's too late now, but there never should have been state pension funds .. or any level pension funds. What should have happened (there's that 20/20 hindsight thing kickin' in) is people work .. and get all of their pay. Each saves for that car repair, roof replacement ... and retirement. That way, the government .. city, state or federal .. couldn't have had at it.

    It all seemed like a good thing at the time. I guess. Most promoting it, weren't lying, I suspect. They were just unable to look ahead and do the math. They did some .. but it was based on certain presuppositions .. e.g. what gains per year there would be. But there are those at the top of things that knew full well. They are the nwo order crowd. They are first and foremost, in the education system .. second, but close tie .. in the economic system. There is a lot of info here, (see post #2) especially concerning the infiltration of the education system. I don't think anyone can research the history of education and not know why things are going the way they are going.

    Issachar
    Last edited by Issachar; 09-01-2012, 05:20 PM.

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    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    Originally posted by Issachar View Post
    Oh my, I hope everyone will spare 38 minutes for this:

    David Jeremiah speaking on this subject this video is NOT very old at all (less than 2 years) and he makes reference to "the national debt being 12 trillion .. and probably a little higher." It is 16 trillion now.:



    Having just resurrected this thread today .. I'd like to point back to the video in post #1. Even if you saw it before, it's worth a watch again.

    My going back to this thread is because of an article from last Monday (08/27) on pensions. It comes about 1.5 years after the 12 months spoken of in the post #1 video.

    source/more

    In my meandering about here today, I found a post with no replies (I'm about to fix that), that PlumBob put up .. I hadn't seen it before. I especially like it because of his "spiritual pension" insights.

    Issachar, has this crazy hunch that one way or another, our way in life (this world) has to be paid for ...
    I'm not near retirement, but sure wish I was because, I feel the shoe is about to drop. I also know about the pensions that the states don't have enough, and some states can hardly keep up with the pension payroll. It's all going to come crashing down soon, it's a real sad situation. Shame on them who misused our tax money, to their own gain, and is causing many not to have a roof over their head and food on the table. A day's wage for a loaf of bread, looks like it's coming soon. Very sad situation.

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  • Issachar
    replied
    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    Originally posted by Jim C. Meador
    I've been reading a book by Dr. David Jeremiah: "The Coming Economic Armageddon" that I recommend.
    Oh my, I hope everyone will spare 38 minutes for this:

    David Jeremiah speaking on this subject this video is NOT very old at all (less than 2 years) and he makes reference to "the national debt being 12 trillion .. and probably a little higher." It is 16 trillion now.:

    Edit 6/1/2013 to replace non-functioning video with these 1 of 2 and 2 of 2:





    Having just resurrected this thread today .. I'd like to point back to the video in post #1. Even if you saw it before, it's worth a watch again.

    My going back to this thread is because of an article from last Monday (08/27) on pensions. It comes about 1.5 years after the 12 months spoken of in the post #1 video.

    We have been saying for a long time that anyone in the western world who's 10-15 years away from collecting their first pension payments, shouldn't expect to get much, if anything, when the time comes. This is because, obviously, the economy has deteriorated as much as it has. It's also because, in essence, pensions plans are the ultimate Ponzi schemes.

    What doesn't help are the central bank and government policies that are in fashion today that are based on pushing interest rates about as low as they can get.

    The reactions to all this are interesting in their range of variation. Last week I picked up an article (more on that later) that made me refer back to a series of bookmarks I had made over the past month or so. Here are a few quotes that, when put together, paint the picture pretty accurately; you add up the details and numbers and you get an idea of what's going on. Not necessarily for the faint of heart. First, Michael Aneiro for Barron's:


    Top Pension Fund Sends a Warning

    The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the nation's biggest public pension fund at $233 billion, reported a mere 1% return on its investments in its fiscal year ended June 30. Earlier this year, in an attempted acknowledgment of today's realities, Calpers had lowered its discount rate–an actuarial figure determining the amount that must be invested now to meet future payout needs—for the first time in a decade, to 7.5% from 7.75%. That represents combined assumptions of a 2.75% rate of inflation and a 4.75% rate of return.

    Needless to say, a 1% annual return didn't come close to hitting any of those figures and doesn't engender confidence in the assumptions of institutional or individual investors alike. Calpers was quick to note that its 20-year investment return is still 7.7% and that the past year was challenging for everyone. But Calpers is a bellwether, and other systems are expected to report similarly disappointing returns, necessitating higher annual contributions in the years ahead to meet funding needs.

    Later in the week, S&P Dow Jones Indices said that the underfunding of S&P 500 companies' defined-benefit pensions had reached a record $354.7 billion at the end of 2011, more than $100 billion above 2010's deficit. The organization reported that funding levels at the end of 2011 ran around 75%, on average, and that future contributions will constitute a "material expense" for many companies.

    Fitch Ratings later released its own study of 230 U.S. companies with defined-benefit pension plans and found that median funding had dropped to 74.4% in 2011 from 78.5% in 2010, and that corporate pension assets grew just 2.9% in 2011 amid sluggish returns and a 6% decline in contributions.
    source/more

    In my meandering about here today, I found a post with no replies (I'm about to fix that), that PlumBob put up .. I hadn't seen it before. I especially like it because of his "spiritual pension" insights.

    Issachar, has this crazy hunch that one way or another, our way in life (this world) has to be paid for ...
    Last edited by Issachar; 06-01-2013, 12:26 PM.

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  • Issachar
    replied
    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    An example of when cities cannot pay pensions.

    How many Americans assume that when they retire, the money they paid into a pension fund will be there? Half? Most? A few?

    I do know that most Americans believe that if they placed money into a bank savings account, that it is there for them to withdraw whenever they choose to. But as we know, it is not. Perhaps 2-5 percent of it is there. So if someone withdraws 100% of their money, they may be getting all of what is left of the deposits of another dozen or more people that are not withdrawing their money. Hence, the so called "bank run" scenerio when people get concerned about their savings and choose to withdraw all of it at once. Of course they cannot do that that because the government has a strict watch over it all and would stop it. Sure, it's your money, but too bad .. they will try to preserve the existing system as best they can.



    When the money is not there, it is not there. Protests, as in Greece .. and I think in some areas of the U.S. within a year or two .. don't generate revenue. But, that is what the folks "of the world" will do. A smarter thing to do is for all those that think pension funds running dry is wrong, is to look at them now, before they're dry. Find out where the money is draining to. Protest that. It may prevent the bigger, more dangerous protest that will occur when it does run dry. But alas, still, most people will go about their everyday life "assuming" the government and corporate people that are making decisions about your money, are making wise decisions. Somehow, "it will just be there."



    Circumstances throughout the years have left me with no insurance and no pension. Consequently, I do what I can to stay healthy and the strength I should be for my size. That simply entails eating reasonable and exercising a lot. I don't mean exercising just for the sake of exercising .. few have time in their day for that .. but park farther from the store and walk. Don't use a grocery cart unless you really have to. When you don't have to carry your purchase, it's too easy to throw in this candy bar, that half gallon ice cream .. you know, the new 1.5 qt. half gallons? and 11oz. 1lb cans of coffee (Thank you corporate America for helping the government hide the degree of inflating/devaluing the dollar they're doing to the economy.) .. plus, there is exercise in carrying what you do purchase. Put your leaf blower in a garage sale and use a rake. Same with the snow blower. Stretch a lot. Just make more exercise a part of life, then you won't have to spend so much time (you won't) "just exercising."

    Always learn something new. Have no clue how to safely install a light switch? Learn it. Zero clue how to fix a leaky pipe? Learn it. No idea how to even start to do a brake job on a car? Fix a small engine (e.g. weed cutter, lawnmower, etc.)? Learn these things. The more you do .. at least, try to do, the more able you are if things get really weird in our lifetimes. The best pension fund is your ability. Always look for opportunities to increase ability.

    Just my (.02 adjusted for real inflation since I was born in 1952) $40 worth.

    Issachar

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  • Issachar
    replied
    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    Economists: State, local pension funds understate shortfall by $1.5 trillion or more


    By Peter Whoriskey
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, March 3, 2011; 8:08 PM

    The pension funds for state and local workers in the United States are understating the amount they will owe workers by $1.5 trillion or more, according to some economists who have studied the issue, meaning that the benefits are much costlier than many governments and taxpayers thought.

    Doubts about government pension accounting have been voiced by analysts for years, but with shortfalls in state and local pension plans exacerbated by the recession, the push to refigure pension fund shortfalls has gained political momentum.

    The trillion-dollar gap arises from the government method of accounting, which several experts say significantly underestimates the cost of future pension payments.

    "It's been a perfect storm," said Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. When the pension liabilities are correctly tallied, "you get a very, very large number."
    more

    Issachar

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  • Issachar
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    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    A Wall St. Journal article this morning is quite revealing concerning retirement and pensions.

    The 401(k) generation is beginning to retire, and it isn't a pretty sight.

    The retirement savings plans that many baby boomers thought would see them through old age are falling short in many cases.
    source

    A couple times in the article it mentions some folks having gotten out of stocks a few years ago when the "crisis" started and missed the "rebound."

    Two things: 1.) The crisis started nearly one hundred years ago and has started to be more apparent to a broader range of folk in the past few years and 2.) there is no "rebound" in the DOW. It would have to go to, or just above, 17,000 to be equivalent to 11 years ago, due to inflation.

    How much unrest and how widespread will it be, when more and more folks enter into what they thought would be retirement, starting this year with the "boomers" (coming to age 65)? It's interesting how this (so called) "new" crisis started in 2008, the same year that "boomers" started to hit 62 and started collecting partial SS.

    Excerpt from April 2010 article:
    According to U.S. government birth records, officially recorded since 1910, there are around 78 million Baby Boomers alive today. Many of these 78 million Americans have paid large amounts into government entitlement programs, most often through payroll deductions. Until now, these 78 million Baby Boomers have been funding the entitlement system for the current retirees.

    But in 2008, the story began to change as the first wave of 3.2 million Boomers turned 62. That year, each of them became eligible under the current government standards to apply for early retirement benefits and to receive a monthly Social Security check for the rest of their lives. Instead of paying into the system, they began taking from the system. Later, in 2011, as this first wave begins turning 65, these citizens will become eligible for subsidized health care benefits under the Medicare system. Finally, in 2012, those of the 3.2 million early Boomers who opted not to take early retirement benefits will reach age 66 and will qualify for their full share of Social Security benefits. It is highly likely that a large majority of retiring Boomers will take the early retirement option due to the perceived weakness in the Social Security system. And this first wave is just the beginning.

    Over the course of the next two decades, the remainder of the 78 million Baby Boomers – or 10,000 people every single day – will retire and become financial and medical dependents of current U.S. taxpayers. They will all retire, and will all demand their fair share of the entitlement pie which includes an assortment of benefits, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

    These three entitlement programs currently make up more than 40 percent of the federal government's annual budget. And this percentage is expected to increase dramatically as Baby Boomers begin taking from the system instead of giving into it.

    So what does all of this mean to you as a taxpaying citizen of the United States of America? Well, I wish I had better news. The harsh truth is your nation is bankrupt. America has mortgaged its future and has sought to delay paying the bill for as long as possible. Unfortunately, a combination of poor monetary and fiscal policies, coupled with an entitlement-crazed generation, has led our nation to the precipice of disaster. And the fruit of this noxious combination will be tasted in just a few short years.

    If all this sounds like it is going to cost the U.S. government a lot of money, you would be wrong.
    The enormous bill created by this entitlement crisis is going to fall squarely upon U.S. taxpayers.
    Hard-working, taxpaying citizens are going to foot the bill for the retirement and medical benefits for the largest group of senior citizens in American history.
    (the whole article is short but is a good read)

    Then there is this thread from October 2008.

    Issachar .. praying for many ...

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  • Issachar
    replied
    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    So are you thinking that even though postal workers are gov't workers, that they pay into SS? I'm just not sure how all that works ... there are so many pension funds and related. If someone pays into a fund, they should get a return from it. If they pay into both, then they should get something from both. One problem with these funds though is that if a person lives 20ish + years after retiring, they'll pull more from the fund than they paid into it. They are supposedly invested so that they grow and can handle that. But sadly, too often, "invested" means giving it to the gov't to use and supposedly get it back when needed, with interest. Gov't is not an investment though. In 2008, the first of the "baby boomers" started their 62 year old retirements and three years later .. hmm; we're there already, aren't we? .. they turn 65 and throughout this year and many to come, the number of draw downs on pension funds will dramatically increase. If they're already struggling, what in the next few years will they be doing? I believe that Christians need to be more in the Word, more in prayer and more in fellowship .. "fellowship" being something much deeper than socializing. Nothing wrong in itself with socializing, but socializing is something we put on our calendars whereas fellowship is a way of life. There are some days ahead that will be very different from what we're used to. But in them, Christ is with us.

    Issachar

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    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    They might get both.
    I don't because I'm in gov't, I only get my retirement, I don't contribute to SS. I do contribute to Medicare.

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  • Issachar
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    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    Postal Service had $329 million loss in first quarter
    By Ed O'Keefe

    The U.S. Postal Service delivered more bad news Wednesday, announcing it lost hundreds of millions of dollars during its first quarter because of costly health-care payments for its future retirees.

    The mail agency lost $329 million in the first quarter of its fiscal year -- Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 -- up from $297 million during the same period the year before. Without including health-care payments for future retirees and adjustments to its workers compensation liabilities, USPS would have earned $226 million in the first quarter, it said.

    The Postal Service warned again that it is likely to run out of money and default on some financial obligations at the end of its fiscal year in September when it surpasses its legal borrowing limit with the U.S. Treasury.

    Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said he's seeking changes to postal laws "to enable a more flexible and sustainable business model. We are eager to work with Congress and the administration to resolve these issues prior to the end of the fiscal year."

    Lawmakers have yet to consider three postal reform bills that would address the mail agency's financial condition.

    Total mail volume increased last quarter by 1.5 percent to 707 million pieces delivered. But related revenues dropped 3.3 percent, or $520 million, as mailers opted for less expensive advertising mail instead of the costlier First Class option.

    Package volume also increased to 422 million pieces, up 2.4 percent from a year ago. Revenues from packages climbed 1.7 percent to $42 million. Donahoe, who took over in December, is hoping to increase package delivery sales to compete with United Parcel Service and FedEx.
    source

    Postal Job Compensation and BenefitsAccording to the APWU (American Postal Workers Union), an average postal worker's salary (Level 5/Step O) is $52,747. This salary has increased from an average of only $8,442 in 1969.

    Some representative salary ranges for the most popular positions are listed below:

    Mail Carriers SalaryIn May 2006, the median annual salary of Postal Service mail carriers was $44,350. Earnings ranged from $40,290 to $48,400 for the middle 50 percent. The top 10 percent of Postal Service mail carriers earned more than $50,830.

    Sorters/Processors SalaryIn 2006, the median annual salary of Postal Service mail processors was $43,900. Earnings ranged from $40,350 to $47,440 for the middle 50 percent. The top 10 percent of mail sorters and processors earned more than $49,570.

    Clerks SalaryIn 2006 the median annual salary of Postal Service clerks was $44,800. Earnings ranged from $41,720 to $47,890 for the middle 50 percent. The top 10 percent earned more than $49,750.

    BenfitsThe benefits of Postal Service workers are similar to those enjoyed by Federal Government workers. Employees of the postal service are often members of various unions, such as: The American Postal Workers Union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association.

    Health InsuranceThe Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program provides the health insurance for postal service workers. The program provides both excellent coverage and flexibility. More importantly, most of the cost is paid by the Postal Service. Both traditional insurance coverage and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) plans are available.

    RetirementPostal Service employees are covered under the federal retirement program. The retirement plan provides a defined benefit annuity at normal retirement age as well as disability coverage. In addition, some postal employees may contribute to a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which is similar to 401(k) retirement savings plans. Employees contributions to TSP are tax-deferred. After a waiting period, employees may also receive matching contributions up to 5 percent of pay.

    Social Security and MedicarePostal employees are covered under Social Security and Medicare.

    Life InsuranceThe postal services fully pays for basic life insurance coverage through the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program. Additionally, employees are given the option to purchase additional coverage through payroll deduction.

    Flexible Spending AccountsAfter one year of service, employees may participate in the postal services' Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) Program. Contributions to FSA are made pre-tax (which makes them a great tax savings benefit) and can be used to cover most out-of-pocket health care and day care expenses.

    Vacations, Holidays, Sick DaysFull-time employees earn 13 days of vacation per year, increasing to 20 days after 3 years of service, and to 26 days per year after 15 years of service. In addition, postal service workers receive 10 holidays off each year. Finally, full- time employees are allowed to use up to 13 days of sick leave per year due to illness or accident.
    source

    Am I misunderstanding the "Retirement Benefits" and "SS Benefits?" Do they somehow get both? That doesn't seem right, but it seems that is what it is saying above.

    And then the "Vacations, Holidays, Sick Days" thing is ... well, rather absurd if you ask me. With 15 or more years service, one can get up to 49 paid days off, per year. If they work 40 hours per week and the median annual salary is $44,350, that is $21.32/hr. 8 X 49 = 392 hours per year. 392 X $21.32 = $8, 357.44 per 15+ year worker. Times how many workers? What about managers/supervisors, etc.? Now when they can't pay pensions, insurances and salaries, they borrow from the U.S. Treasury .. us, taxpayers.

    I'm not picking on postal workers .. I'm just using that as yet another current example of why the economy is not able to sustain itself ... not to mention all the other reasons I've mentioned over the years.

    Individuals and a people, cannot violate God's principles. You reap what you sow.

    2 Corinthians 9:
    6
    But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

    One report on the radio this morning was how the postal service needed to consider making some cuts/modifications and how much protest there was from the rank and file. That same scene is repeated in many sectors; public and private. That same scene will grow in intensity as the people begin to have the reality of economic law, hit them. A nation cannot indefinitely live off of the earnings of children not even born yet .. much less, fewer and fewer of them being born.

    Issachar

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  • Issachar
    replied
    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    A man has $300 saved towards his rent; $700 due in three weeks. Another man, without asking, says, "Hey, I need that right now and since your rent isn't due for 3 weeks, I'll just take it. Don't worry though .. I'll pay it back on time for your rent due date." A look into the borrowers financial history shows that he is MASSIVELY in debt and is even borrowing to pay just the interest due on that debt. What's more .. his rate of indebtedness is increasing constantly; almost exponentially. So now the rent is due and the first man isn't paid back. He goes to the borrower to say he needs his money back .. now. The rent is due. Of course, the borrower dosn't have it. So the borrower, borrows more from elsewhere .. that is, from anyone that has some sort of a savings towards their rent and utilities, etc. At some point, everyone will catch on and not loan this borrower anymore money. Besides borrowing everywhere he can, this less-than-moral borrower has been printing some of his own money, devaluing the existing money that others have saved.

    This is a story of the U.S. government, Social Security and other funds ... and us.

    The above story was inspired by this article as well as too many hours working in the frigid cold ... like 14 hours yesterday alone. brrr ... snow last night and lots more tonight and tomorrow. Stay active, stay warm ..

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    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    Issachar
    I came across this and its long but for someone like me explains the coming finacial crisses very well.
    http://www.stansberryresearch.com/pr...VD/PPSIM172/PR
    J

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  • Issachar
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    Re: I Do Not Believe This Is Sensationalism - States Are Broke

    Another AP article ..

    We know from many sources that SS is going to be around $45 billion short this year and I've read anywhere between 500-1000 billion dollars over the next decade. This article mentions about 600 billion.

    My wife and I assume there will be no SS available ... or very little. So if there is some, it'll just be a plus. Our six children are planning as though it won't be at all. It's a big ponzi scheme.

    Issachar

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