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Forum Post: Socialism: Crushing the dreams of today's youth across the earth

Posted 2 years ago on April 3, 2012, 9:43 p.m. EST by aflockofdoofi2 (-66)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

There are 2 socialist programs in America, Medicare and Social Security. Everyday 1000-1500 new people are accepted into these programs. The average retiree in SS will get about $2000/month benefit. Medicare, as I proved before, costs $11000/yr. So for math purposes, each retiree costs about $35000 a year. Because of the massive demographic size of the boomers, More people are retiring than entering the work force. For all intents its about a one to one ratio. What that means in math terms is that todays one single worker has to shoulder the entire senior benefits of one retiree. Aiming this at someone like TrevorMnenomic, he has to earn $35000 a year before he gets one penny of his own salary. On top of that, since public employees retire well before private, he has to fund part ofthe public employees retirement. The math is incontrovertible. Without a sharp curtailment of these 2 entitlements, these 2 programs will crush the futures of todays 23 year old.

Sadly this same scenario is being replayed across all the developed world.

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52 Comments


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[-] 5 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

The police, roads, and public schools are destroying today's youth?

Oh no, I'm not mocking your choice of words. Please go on with your insight into the problems of today's crushing socialist agenda.

Better idea: HR 2990, the NEED Act. End the power of the banks and restore primacy to the monetary system.

And why the fuck is this aimed at me? Please don't obsess.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (18062) 2 years ago

Well said. Maybe 'acrockofdooffus' should reflect upon the future implications of :

How come people who say things like "Universal Healthcare Is Unaffordable" NEVER seem to have any questions, critique or notion of The Massive US Military Empire and its Gargantuan Expenditures ?!!!

Do such expenses have an impact on domestic taxation and expenditure possibilities d'you think ?!!

If the government of The U$A was truly 'democratic', then its size wouldn't be the problem but as a pissant apology of a demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy prevales, whereby there only exists merely a "Government OF The 99% BY a 1% FOR a 0.01%" ... then in the very least, complaining if not actually demonstrating, protesting and 'Occupying' becomes a moral imperative for all people of conscience.

veritas vos liberabit ...

[-] 4 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

You should at least learn what you're talking about before posting. Social Security and Medicare are both insurance programs; working people's premiums are paid by themselves and by their employers under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).

More or less, since you did not bother to do the most rudimentary research, people collecting Social Security and Medicare are only collecting benefits for the premiums they have already paid.

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[-] -3 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

You arent serious, are you?Both are pay as you go. There is no pool of money. I csnt believe you dont know this.

[-] 3 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Your parents failed in educating you; home schooling doesn't always work.

Both Social Security and Medicare are federal insurance programs. Employees and employers share the costs of the premiums. The mismanagement of the funds by politicians in no way indicates a failure of the programs, but the willingness of corrupt politicians to use other people's money.

I refer you to a definition of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fica.asp#axzz1r5Tp9Tyl

If you have difficulty reading through the entire three paragraphs, blame your parents for not properly educating you, probabably as they resisted the "godless, commie" schools.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

Go to the tax foundation website or others and see what percentage of the roughly $2.2 trillion in total tax revenue raised is for payroll taxes, which include S.S. and Medicare. I'll save you the trouble. It's 40%,or $880 billion. Now look at the amount spent on the same programs, plus a few other safety net programs like unemployment insurance, etc. I'll save you the trouble. It's about $1.6 TRILLION. You can raise something on the order of $100 billion additional funds by drastically raising the cap on SS contributions to around $500,000. The top 1% average about $960,000 in AGI, but then the next 4% only average $209,000 in AGI, then the next 5% average $130,000. All are already paying up to the $106k max, so do the math. The delta isn't sitting somewhere in a vault. It is just the "full faith and credit of the U.S. government", which in other words, means us. I would agree with raising the cap, which is essentially a tax increase for the 1% because they wouldn't be getting increased benefits as a result of it, it would be pure subsidization of others. The only way to truly balance the budget is to take every last nickel of income from the 1% (who currently pay avg. of 24% of AGI, which in aggregate is $1.326 trillion, so take the other 76%) and cut defense spending by $300 billion extra dollars. There you have it, problem solved.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Your figures are incorrect; in 2010 total expenditures for Social Security were $713 billion, while total revenue was $664 billion. Medicare took in a total of $486 billion and spent $523 billion.

Of note, only $17 billion of theMedicare trust fund's income came from interest, a poor return of slightly over 3.5%. With so much money in income for both programs, you would expect the trustees to have found more lucrative interest rates. I could get a 30-year $1 million home mortgage for about the same interest rate.

Feel free to check my sources: http://www.economics21.org/commentary/primer-social-security-and-medicare-trustees-reports-part-ii-quantitative-findings

http://www.amortization-calc.com/#loan-1000000-30-2-4-2012-2

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

I may have been looking at a different chart and interpreted it wrong. However, the basic overall fact is that we have a deficit of approximately $1.3-$1.4 trillion. The top 1% are the rich folks. Actually it is more like the top 1/2 of the top 1% because to break into the top 1% in 2009, AGI had to be about $384,000, wealthy, yes, rich? No. You'd have to take the other 76% of the income of the 1%, (which at 100% tax even liberals would agree is a little high) to get an additional trillion dollars. You start increasing taxes below that line and you're starting to dip into the middle class. You can cut some from defense, but you just can't sustain the spending. Everyone would like to keep all the goodies and never have to pay for it (or at least have someone else pay for it), but it can't work that way. I personally think they should just let the Bush tax cuts expire, which would go a long way to raising revenue. No one was crying about tax rates back in 2000, I know I wasn't. As far as interest income, seems like 3.5% is actually pretty good considering the no-risk placement of it. What can you get in interest in your savings account at the bank or in CD's?

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Actually, the deficit for the two FICA programs amounts to about $121 billion. Total federal deficit is approximately $1.3 trillion.

It's important, I believe, to keep in mind that Social Security and Medicare are chiefly funded by premiums collected from employers and employees. Some of the shortfall has to do with awarding benefits to people that have never paid into the fund, such as the Cuban-Haitian Boat People, who qualify for SSI, Medicaid (in some instances Medicare), etc.

I certainly agree that the overall deficit cannot be eliminated simply by increasing taxes on the 1%. Expenditures must be cut as well, though I don't believe the places to look are the federal insurance programs, for which hundreds of millions of Americans have already paid premiums. Instead, lets start with straight tax-funded items like defense, which accounts for 14% of the federal budget.

Finally, if Americans really want more social programs and a broader safety net, they must accept the fact that general taxes must increase, as in Sweden for example, which combines higher tax rates with an across-the-board value-added tax (VAT).

Finally, corporate taxes need to be revamped to collect a reasonable, honest percentage of the revenues earned by companies doing business in the United States. For too long these corporations have been getting a free ride on the basis that they create jobs. So, where are the jobs?

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

I agree, Titus. I was just trying to look at the big picture because it's all just money. You can rob Peter to pay Paul, which we've been doing, but in the end you have to step back and just look at the total spending and the total revenues, and have a big picture discussion about it. I don't disagree about defense and I have no idea what would constitute a reasonable cut and still be able to prevent things like 9-11. Working smarter and sharing information saves money, getting rid of old fighter plane programs etc, but you do need boots on the ground, lots of them. Of course, no one can tell me that we couldn't cut many departments like Commerce, Education, Interior, etc. down and still accomplish whatever it is that they do. I dealt personally in real estate 15 years ago with the General Services Administration (same agency who's head resigned the other day) on a single lease. The GSA contracted the lease for the Small Business Administration and I did the lease with the GSA rep, but the SBA was the actual occupant. I had to give the GSA rep a long list of costs we would charge for various items like duplex outlets, carpet, lights, etc. for a fixed price during the term of the lease (10 years). At the end of every year, the lady at the SBA would call me and order something like some new cabinetry for the breakroom, some shelves, or something similar. Since the space had been built from scratch, I'd ask her why she needed these things, and she just told me she needed to "use her budget" or else it would get cut the next year. That is why Repubs hate more and bigger government, because this happens in every department and billions and billions are just pissed down the drain. It wasn't her money, so she didn't care. Finally, corporate taxes need to be lowered and loopholes eliminated, subsidies reduced or eliminated. Bottom line is, companies employ most Americans, that is millions of them. They add jobs where it is economically prudent to do so. They have a lot of obligations to shareholders, to make sure their R&D is funded, to contribute local property taxes to many jurisdictions where they own property and have plants and equipment. to pay sales taxes, to sponsor all manner of local charities, little leagues, cultural entities like the arts or music, etc. They don't make decisions based on how much revenue they can bring in to the U.S., they make them on how they can make the most money, sell the most products and services, which will by and large require more plants, distribution centers, and more employees. I don't honestly see Americans at this juncture wanting more social programs and an even broader safety net. It's pretty damn big now. I could be wrong in the future, but I can tell you I think the only way to do it is to have a broad-based tax increase where every single American, including the middle class and even the relatively poor contribute something. As long as we have a free society, you just can't force the rich to pay enough to get us there. A good chunk of that $1.326 trillion would simply vanish, you'd have a lot of liberals saying "good riddance", and the country would be poorer.

[-] -2 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

Just because they say it doesnt make it so.

You are naive.

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

wrong.. there was a few billion dollars surplus in ss back in the seventies that would have easily covered the baby boomers... but ... the politicians took that surplus and used it to enrich themselves and thier corporate cronies. the government was suppose to pay back that loan that they stole from the money that citizens had contributed... but they did not.. have not and will never.. now people think they are paying for the ss of the retired when in fact... they are paying a bail out to the government for the billions they stole from the ss program 40 years ago. and never plan to pay back.. makes it kinda hard to believe a citizen should be obligated to payback loans when the government sets that kinda example huh

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Javol, Herr Aflockodoofi!

[-] 3 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker was about $1,230 at the beginning of 2012. This amount changes monthly based upon the total amount of all benefits paid and the total number of people receiving benefits.

http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/13/~/average-monthly-social-security-benefit-for-a-retired-worker

$1,230 x 12 months = $14,760, and administrative costs (for 2010) is 0.9%:

http://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/admin.html

The percentage of people over 65 in the US is about 12-13% of the population, whereas nearly half our population is working. So we can assume about a 46/13 distribution (and although many people over 65 work, they still pay FICA taxes). So in reality 3.6 people support each retiree (it doesn't matter, mathematically, if a retiree is also a worker), making the tab per worker about $4,100 (with disability and dependent survivor benefits adding another, approximately, $1,000 per worker to the overall cost of social security).

Employees and employers each pay 6.2% of wages in FICA taxes (totaling 12.4% of wages). Average wages in the US is about $41,674 (okay, you can do the rest of the math, hint: 41,674 x 0.124) :)

If you'd like to include Medicare in this formulation, you should include the "opportunity cost" in your math (that is, what would it cost us to provide medical coverage to retirees using another vehicle, and if the public doesn't provide this, is it feasible to think all or at least the vast majority of people will be able to fund [and are likely to purchase] their own medical coverage when they retire, and if it's likely that a huge segment of our most venerable people will wind up with no medical coverage, are you prepared to accept the consequences)?

BTW, the total Medicare tax is 1.45% of all wages.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

In ultra-conservative fantasy land, we would all be working for $1/hour and living in cages, just like in China:

http://www.fotoevidence.com/injust/176

All hail capitalism!

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[-] 2 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

It hasnt killed us yet

spending cuts are going to happen that's why the smart people don't plan for SS I've been saving 25% of what I've earned for retirement since i was 16. It sucks losing that money now but maybe it will pay off.

We need to fix these. the programs are expensive and will/can bankrupt us if we do not fix them. I wish people can say they don't want to be on them. Because i know plenty of people who don't want to be on them but still get money in the mail. A new way of looking at them will help. The market will bounce in 3-5 years along with the standard of living worldwide.

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

the future.? you mean your ss? i mean really.. at 23 you have 50 freaking years to make money before you can retire. if you are scared.. make a lot of money. read my other post.. it is not the program that doesnt work,, it is the congress that doesnt work. you want to fix it? make the government repay what they stole out of the ss program 40 years ago with interest and penalties.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Hey everyone. Aflockofdoofi2 is doing a great job of derailing Occupy's debate on how to bring about economic and political justice. We will accomplish nothing if we continue. He may be losing points here, but we are the ones who are really losing.

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 2 years ago

It's called the baby boom. It would help to let in more immigrant groups, especially those who have relatively high fertility.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

You left out the other socialist program, education. The medicare recipients pay out about $1716 a year in payments but receive benefits of of about $11,232 per person per year on average or $936 a month based on 2010 statistics. The $9516 shortfall is paid by the government. This was confirmed with another poster on a different post. My initial numbers from a previous post were a little high.

Where do you get the $2,000 per month and $35,000 figure?

http://www.hhs.gov/asfr/ob/docbudget/2010budgetinbriefl.html

[-] -3 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

I posted those stats.

$2000/ month is about the aversge SS monthly benefit. Times 12 months is $24000, plus the $11232= rougjly $36000.

[-] 5 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Your numbers are off. $936 per month benefit. You seem to be adding the incorrect monthly benefit x 12 with the correct yearly benefit. They don't receive both a yearly and monthly benefit.

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[-] 0 points by rbe (687) 2 years ago

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[-] -2 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

Young people should be lning up behind Paul Ryan.

[-] 4 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

I like how republicans talk about class warfare, while they're promoting inter-generational warfare. I think for a young person to get behind this plan, they would probably need to lack the good fortune of having living grandparents, or be poorly informed, or just lack empathy. Some of us reject a world where sociopaths get to make the rules.

[-] -1 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

Francis, with all due respect, what does empathy have to do with it? Wanting to pay our bills and live within our means is actually much more empathetic for our children and their children than the course you want to go on. There can always be justifications for new benefits and programs and babysitters, more regulators and monitors(hell, just look at the list of federal government departments and what they do). They all cost money and waste money needlessly (the little SBA conference scam a couple of days ago as an example). They all require more and more tax dollars, expected to be paid by fewer and fewer people, or rather borrowed. One thing I have never heard from people on this site or others like it is a willingness to be the first to contribute to this leviathan state. They expect to be the recipients, not the payers, and have the audacity to use words like empathy as a justification for enslaving others to their utopian world vision. There are compromises to be made, but the problem is that with liberals, there is never a finish line, never an end to the list of real or perceived grievances. If you think that's un-empathetic, tough.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

How much do we spend on imprisoning people for victimless crimes, or for that matter, how much less would we spend imprisoning people at all, if we had a caring society? Caring does not = babysitting, it simply requires operating from an initial premise that there's no law of nature dictating that the world must be as it is at the moment, a better world is conceivable, and there should be some level of consensus as to approximately what that better world can look like.

Not very complicated. Can we agree that racism is wrong? Can we agree that imprisoning people is (generally speaking) a bad thing. It may be a necessary thing in some cases (e.g. a lesser of two evils), but a lesser evil is still an evil. Can we agree that releasing bombs on other people is a bad thing. Again, there may be circumstances where our survival requires it, but it's another "lesser of two evils" dichotomy ... and once we agree on the simple stuff (poverty is bad, starvation is bad, prison is bad, killing people is bad, racism is bad, etc.), then we at least have a common basis for discussion.

Most people would at least say that they agree with these basic statements, but they obviously disagree on how our society should try to solve these problems, or even whether society has any role in trying to solve these problems. Here's where, in my view, conservative ideology becomes problematic from the perspective of the real human condition. Conservatives seem to operate under the philosophical assumption that individuals are isolated islands, and that their intrinsic nature is somehow separated from society as a whole. Under this philosophical premise, it becomes easier to justify "blaming the victim" (and indeed, rejecting the entire idea that individual shortcomings represents a failure of our entire society).

Accepting the fact that our society isn't as good as it can be, doesn't require a complete rejection of utilitarian necessity, and it doesn't require holding a rigid or dogmatic view. For instance, I think it's very clear that in many cases, individual shortcomings can be explained by societal failure, however, I acknowledge that this probably isn't true in every case.

[-] -3 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

I absolutely knew these would be the responses. Libturds will deny simple mathematics. This isnt a policy discussion, this is arithmetic. This is inevitable. This is a locomotive out of control heading right at todays youth, and libturds are worried bout seating arrangements in the dining car.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

You mean, like the mathematics (along with links to credible sources) I provided above? I mean, even if I granted your claim that Medicare costs $11,000 per retiree, or per person to fund (a ridiculous number btw), your "simple math" (as you call it) is still wrong. Anyway, considering the Medicare tax is 1.45%, and Medicare is not operating at a deficit, your numerical claims are just absurd.

Even assuming a doubling of the retiree population, it implies the Medicare payroll tax will have to go from 1.45% to 2.9% (although most projections I've seen estimate that the total payroll tax increase would only need to be 0.5%, for a total per worker Medicare tax of 1.95%).

[-] -1 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

Your math is stuck on today. Today isnt the issue and i never framed it that way. Its tomorrow that we concern ourselves, as the retirement of boomers accelerates and their demands increase.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

The actuarial projections are straightforward, and they say that a 0.9% increase in the FICA tax, and a 0.5% increase in the Medicare tax, would be enough to support baby boomers entering the retirement system, at current spending levels (assuming the current formulation of cost of living increases remains unchanged).

Okay, we can change the cost of living (or inflation) formulation to better reflect real inflation, and this would save some money, and reduce (somewhat) the need for tax increases. Maybe (not an idea I'm necessarily opposed to) we could structure a different type of pension system. I completely oppose the idea of having no public pension system at all, and I oppose the idea of allowing the casino that is Wall Street to manage our core retirement system. However, there may be a third way that isn't discussed very often.

Why not invest FICA taxes in near zero risk fixed income instruments (like municipal bonds, annuities, etc.), transforming our social security administration into a hybrid mutual fund. This would solve the problem, although workers would still have to contribute money for disability retirement insurance and dependent survivor benefits, but at least we get ownership in a principal balance that we can pass through our estate, we can take advantage of compound interest, it addresses the worker to retiree ratio issue, and if we restrict investments to fixed income securities, we don't get involved in government picking winners and losers in the marketplace.

You might say that in most cases an equity mutual fund would achieve better performance, but the risk of financial collapse (like the 2008 financial crisis) is simply too high to justify this approach.

[-] -1 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

There is no investment pool of money.Your idea of investing in municipal bonds is at least sensible and open to discussion. And my OP would never have occured if tomorrows retiree had such an investment pool. That isnt how it is. The money collected today gets paid out tomorrow. Peter pays Paul.

And I agree about an equity fund, its a bad risk. But public pension funds artificially use those sorts of possible returns in their calculations when they should be using, as you pointed out, virtually risk free fixed incomes.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Okay, but endorsing the idea of managing our social security program better (by investing its assets in near zero risk instruments, and setting up an "individual account" structure, which grants beneficiaries a property interest in their accounts), doesn't require hyperbolic rhetoric. When social security was first put in place, today's worker to retiree ratio was unimaginable. So we were operating from a set of assumptions that turned out to be incorrect (as such far reaching projections usually do). Nevertheless, social security has transformed our senior population from our poorest and most venerable, to a group that gets to enjoy a retirement with at least some money coming in each month (and medical coverage). This is an awesome accomplishment, but it doesn't mean that we can't do better (and make adjustments in light of new circumstances and information). Of course we shouldn't freak out about this issue either. Most of the doom and gloom predictions out there are gross exaggerations, calculated for political effect. Transforming social security will take a lot of time (it just can't be done overnight). We're talking about something like a two decade transition period.

[-] 2 points by shooz (17863) 2 years ago

You have a dirty, dirty mind doofi.

I mean that 2.

[+] -4 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

So are my numbers wrong?

[-] 4 points by shooz (17863) 2 years ago

Not wrong, just miss interpreted and over simplified.

I think the same percentages should be paid by those that make more than Trevor.

If Trevor has to work 8 mos., or more, out of the year to pay his taxes, State and Federal, and fund a nominal cost of living and working?

So then should everyone else, including the head of J. P. Morgan.

Sounds fair to me.

How about you?

[-] -1 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

Then the JP Morgan guy would be entitled to a massive benefit.

[-] 2 points by shooz (17863) 2 years ago

He would already have the priceless benefit of living in the most stable country in the World, as would Trevor. Plus the J. P. guy would still be rich.

Easy Peasy. No problems.

Thanks for the solution....................:)

[-] -1 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

So you want a flat tax. OK.

[-] 2 points by shooz (17863) 2 years ago

That's correct. A flat tax based on earnings for months worked to pay all taxes, and nominal standard of living and working.

It would no longer be only about the money.

Thanks for the cure man!!!!!

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (34902) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Your shitting me right?

Just like your unemployment ins, you are only going to see a max amount that does not reflect what you had been earning. No JP would not be seeing a massive benefit. If he needed it SS would see that he got by if he could get into subsidized housing.

[-] -1 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

You dont understand the SS charter. Thats ok. Not everyone is as erudite as me.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (34902) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

People count your blessings.

[-] -1 points by aflockofdoofi2 (-66) 2 years ago

Huh?

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (34902) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

You are talking fairness to doofi and using comparisons?

That is just cruel.

It is all confused now.

[-] 4 points by shooz (17863) 2 years ago

I gave him the perfect cure.......:)

A new and fair way to tax. Time is our most important element.

To think, I have doofi to thank for the solution........:)

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (34902) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Finding that silver lining are we?

(:-])

[-] 2 points by shooz (17863) 2 years ago

We'll see. this is doofi we're talkin' 'bout.

This makes me miss those States right guys. I have the cure for them too.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (34902) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Good deal. Don't tell me I want to be surprised because you know they will be back. They may be dumb but they do seem determined.

[-] 2 points by shooz (17863) 2 years ago

I actually like this months worked to pay taxes idea.

Equal time to pay taxes.

[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (34902) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

No. Your digging a hole and your numbers reflect that. (-27)

Though I am surprised that you are not a lot deeper by now.

Friendly troll support?

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (34902) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

What to beat him with a stick?

They don't need to sneak-up on him.