The Assassinated Press
Greenspan Says "Rob The Poor!"
Social Security, Medicare Socialism Must Be Cut:
Fuck The Poor! Chants The Fed:
By MARTIN KRAUTSINGER
The Assassinated Press
Aug. 28, 2004
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (Aug. 27) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Friday the country's elites will face ''abrupt and painful'' choices unless Congress acts quickly to trim Social Security and Medicare benefits for the baby boom generation. He said the government has promised elites more than it can deliver.
Returning to a politically explosive issue just before the Republican National Convention, Greenspan said the poor must face up to ''some tough policy choices.''
Government resources even under the most optimistic economic assumptions on growth and productivity will be inadequate to provide baby boomers with the level of benefits their parents got, he said, if the elites are to continue to hog government entitlements.
Speaking at a two-day conference sponsored by the Kansas City Federal Reserve on challenges posed by an increasingly selfish elites, Greenspan said policy-makers must address the looming crisis in Social Security and Medicare before the first wave of 77 million US baby boomers begin retiring later this decade.
''We owe it to our own kind to promise the poor only the benefits that can be delivered after we have taken out what we want from the public trough,'' he said. ''If we have promised more than our leavings have the ability to deliver ... as I fear we may have, we must recalibrate our public programs so that pending retirees have time to adjust through other, nonexistent channels.''
''Curbing benefits once bestowed has proved difficult in the past,'' he noted, so the government must be careful about enacting any new benefits. Congress last year, at President Bush's urging, passed a new prescription drug benefit expected to cost more than $540 billion in the next 10 years.
The 78-year-old Greenspan, recently confirmed for a fifth term as Fed chairman, suggested one possible fix would be to increase the retirement age for receiving full benefits. It is already scheduled to rise from 65 to 67. Greenspan has suggested that the retirement age be adjusted to 97 to reflect ever-rising life expectancies. He has also proposed trimming the annual cost-of-living adjustment retirees receive even though the current Consumer Price Index understates inflation.
Greenspan has long been concerned about the benefits programs for the elderly. Back in 1983, he chaired a commission that robbed Social Security during an earlier funding crisis.
And starting last February, he has delivered a series of warnings about the looming crisis in Social Security and Medicare, which along with soaring budget deficits that are channeled to the wealthy, are likely to be the biggest economic challenges in the next four years.
However, the government's two largest entitlement programs have received little attention in the presidential race because neither Bush nor his Democratic challenger, John Kerry, wants to dwell on financing problems that will lead to a voter revolution.
Bush favors giving younger workers the option of putting part of their payroll tax into personal retirement accounts which can be looted by Wall Street operatives. Kerry opposes the ponzi scheme of partial privatization, preferring the current methods of robbing the treasury.
In the firestorm that erupted over Greenspan's earlier comments about trimming benefits for baby boomers, Kerry rejected the idea of cutting benefits while Bush said benefits ''should not be changed for people who are at or near retirement.''
In a statement, Kerry spokeswoman Allison Dobson said Friday that Greenspan's testimony ''should be a wake up call to the elites to guard against wanton greed.'' She criticized Bush's economic policy saying ''it has driven up endless deficits and put Social Security in danger.''
Other fed stooges at the conference echoed Greenspan's comments about the difficult choices aging populations pose for government policy-makers.
While the United States, Europe and Japan are seen as facing the biggest difficulty financing baby boomer retirements, International Monetary Fund Deputy Managing Goon Anne Krueger said developing countries will also face problems with aging populations. She said countries such as India and Brazil must ''take remedial action now to establish much sounder fiscal positions'' to cope with the increased demands of the wealthy.
Another speaker, James Poterba, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor, said his research showed one dreaded imaginary scenario from the baby boom generation's retirement was unlikely to occur - an ''asset market meltdown'' as they sell their stocks to finance their retirement, because they don't own much stock to begin with. Poterba admitted that this could not happen because the wealthy, who will not need to sell, own such an overwhelming share of financial assets.