Social Security: It’s Time to Do Something About YOUR Money

Social Security is projected to run at a deficit in 2011 and beyond, with the coffers running dry by 2037. After all, there were an awful lot of babies born in the 1940s and ’50s, and they’re just beginning to reachretirement age. Starting this year, there will be more money paid out to these retirees than paid in by workers.

In the Land of Balanced Budgets, there are only two solutions: Cut benefits or raise taxes. Neither is very popular, which is probably why politicians don’t like addressing the Social Security thing.

Let’s do some retirement math. Let’s say you’re 30 years old and making a decent annual salary of $50,000. Right off the top, you have to put $3,100 into a forced retirement plan called Social Security. Your boss has to put another $3,100 into that account for you instead of giving it directly to you. Instead of having $6,200 in your hands to invest however you see fit, the government is now in charge of it.

Assume that you had instead invested that $6,200 in the marketplace with an 8% rate of return. When you are getting ready to retire at age 65, that $6,200 will have grown into $91,669.13, without any other additions (that’s the magic of compound interest). Assuming you added to your retirement account each year, as well as paid off your mortgage and all other loans, you should be financially fine in retirement.

Now let’s give the government that $6,200. How much will it be worth after 35 years? Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Read the rest at The Stir

Will the 112th Congress Bring Fiscal Responsibility to America?

There are a lot of new congressmen in Washington, and many of them were voted in on a campaign promise of fiscal responsibility. The accumulatednational debt is rapidly approaching the debt ceiling, and unless federal spending is curbed, we’re going to spend ourselves into poverty.

The message is simple: Spend within your means. The application is much more difficult, since no one wants to see his or her piece of the pie shrink. Combine that with any given politician’s number one priority (not getting fired by being voted out at the next election), and we have a recipe for economic disaster.

On one side of the equation, we have constituents that like their entitlements. “The government isspending too much!” they cry, while at the same time opposing cuts to Social Security, one of the biggest money hogs in existence, and other programs like MedicareMedicaid, and the Pigford reparations.

Read more at The Stir

All Profeshenal an’ Schtuff

Look at me taking notes on appropriations from Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam. This IL (Republican!) Representative sits on the House Ways and Means Committee (those tax-writing people) and is vice-chair of AmericaSpeakingOut.com. Congressman Roskam was very gracious in inviting us MomThink.org bloggers into his office and answering our questions about the national deficit and debt.

I tried to look smart by writing down stuff he said so that I could share it with you.

Too bad I left my notepad* at the hotel this morning. D’oh!

Taking Notes in Congressman Roskam's Office

Photo by Ms. Blissdom herself Allison Worthington

*Update: My uber fabulous fellow blogger and roommate Molly Teichman picked up my notebook and is sending it to me. She’s my hero today.

New Nonpartisan Website Educates Moms About National Debt

I’ve been in Washington, D.C. this week with a group of ‘mom’ bloggers to promote a super cool new project called MomThink.org. The whole political spectrum was represented, from the ultra conservative (yours truly) to the deep blue Momocrats, but we all had two things in common: Motherhood and a concern for the national debt.

MomThink.org is a nonpartisan campaign with the goal of “educating mothers about important issues that will impact their children today and in the future.” The number-one issue on everyone’s mind right now (politicians and moms alike) is the national deficit and debt, and how to overcome it.

Out of control spending is one of the few topics that both political parties seem to be able to agree on these days. We can’t agree on how to balance the budget, but there’s no denying that it needs balancing. The beauty of MomThink.org is that it isn’t about the hows of balancing trillions of dollars as much as it is about bringing facts and information to moms so that they can develop their own informed opinions.

Read more at The Stir

This Is No Time to Increase the Debt Ceiling: Cut Spending Instead

The new congress has been installed, the Constitution has been read, and now it’s time to get to work. Let’s talk about money, honey, and specifically where it’s going to come from to fund all the spending that our government likes to do.

Funny thing about governments: They don’t make money. People make money by trading goods or services for a paycheck. (This is what is commonly referred to as a job. I know it’s hard to remember in thiseconomy.) The government takes some of that money from you and me in the form of taxes, and gives it to someone else for whatever reason.

Giving away money is super fun. Look! They like us, they really like us! Who doesn’t love to play Santa Claus, offering free health care to all? The government is not Santa, and there are no magical elves working in the ER. Every dollar the government gives away (to Social Security,educationObamacarewelfare queenscrack monkeys) has to come from somewhere.

Read the rest at The Stir