9
   

End of social security in 2016

 
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sat 18 Jun, 2016 12:49 am
@Blickers,
Blickers wrote:
It was a Turkish version of the F-16 that shot down that plane over Turkey. Granted the F-16 is older, but it's still good and Russia has just introduced its first stealth aircraft, just in the last couple of years. We had stealth aircraft up in the air in the 70s and we've gone through several generations of stealth aircraft. Russia is just getting around to making one now.

Russia and China have air superiority fighters that have no stealth, but can easily outmaneuver an F-15 or F-16.

The plane that was shot down over Turkey was a lumbering ground attack jet, not a nimble air-superiority fighter.


Incidentally, due to existing defense budget shortfalls (thanks Liberals), we can no longer afford to train F-16 pilots to take on other aircraft, and F-16 pilots are now only supposed to do so if the opposing plane is Vietnam War era or older:
http://warisboring.com/american-f-16s-arent-supposed-to-dogfight-mig-29s-and-su-27s-7e974b11d217

And all our F-16s and F-15s are nearing the end of their service lives and will soon be retired.

But, even if we had a bunch of brand new F-16s, and we had pilots trained to use them against enemy planes, they would not fare very well at all against modern fighters with much greater maneuverability.


Blickers wrote:
We have air superiority over the Russians.

Only in the few isolated locations where we have F-22s in the air.


Blickers wrote:
I'm not for big military cutbacks, but the image of the military being deprived of the best weapons is false.

The last time our ground forces had to deal with regular attacks by an enemy air force was WWII. Not having air superiority is going to lead to quite a bit of unpleasantness once enemy planes start picking off our ground forces.

I recall there was an effort from the Army to get better SAMs to defend against enemy air power. The Liberals also cut that program, saying there was no need for it given our dominant Air Force. That'll be nice enough for the few people who have coverage from F-22s. It'll be small comfort for people anywhere else though.

Given that we don't even have enough F-22s to defend US soil, if we end up in a big war it will be an interesting question whether we deploy any F-22s overseas at all, or whether we will keep them all here in case the enemy attacks US soil.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Jun, 2016 10:21 pm
Robert Reich
4 hrs ·
As if you didn’t already have too much to worry about, Social Security’s funds are running low. That’s because people are living longer than ever, and thereby drawing more Social Security; boomers are retiring at a rate of around 10,000 per day, and essentially will be doing so through 2030; and Social Security's investment holdings aren't earning much interest thanks to the Federal Reserve, which has kept interest rates low.
How to fix Social Security? You’ll be hearing lots from Republicans and conservative Democrats about raising the age of eligibility (a bad idea that hurts the poor – because the poor don’t live nearly as long as the rich), or reducing benefits overall (also regressive), or raising the Social Security tax (also regressive).
The best idea is to raise the payroll tax cap on earnings.
This year, income up to $118,500 is subject to the Social Security payroll tax. The average household earning around $51,000 this year will pay Social Security payroll taxes on every single dollar. But a multi-millionaire pays only on the first $118,500 of income. Only around 10% of the population is earning in excess of $118,500 annually, so raising the cap would only affect a small percentage of the population.
I say eliminate the cap altogether, and use the extra funds not only to save Social Security but expand it.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Jun, 2016 10:23 pm
President Obama Believes This Is the Best Social Security Fix -- Is He Right?
http://www.fool.com/retirement/2016/06/19/president-obama-believes-this-is-the-best-social-s.aspx
President Obama has a solution to fix and expand Social Security
While speaking in Elkhart, Ind., two weeks prior, Obama called for expansion of the Social Security program to protect current and future retirees. In the words of the President,

"It's time we finally made Social Security more generous and increased its benefits so that today's retirees and future generations get the dignified retirement that they've earned."

Obama Point
IMAGE SOURCE: WHITE HOUSE ON FLICKR.

What did President Obama propose as the solution to fix Social Security's current woes and make this vision a reality? None other than the most popular solution (by far) as voted by readers in a 2014 poll from The Washington Post -- raising the payroll tax cap on earnings.

As it stands in 2016, income up to $118,500 is subject to the Social Security payroll tax of 12.4%. Normally you and your employer split this tax down the middle, 6.2% each, but self-employed persons face the full brunt of this 12.4% tax. For the average household earning around $51,000 annually, every single dollar earned is subject to the payroll tax. However, for a multi-millionaire, only the first $118,500 of income is subject to the payroll tax. The payroll tax earnings cap moves higher by the nominal rate of inflation each year.

Getting Paid Dividends Getty
The allure of raising the payroll tax cap is that only around 10% of the population is earning in excess of $118,500 annually, meaning it would only affect a small percentage of the population -- a population that President Obama believes can afford to pay more. It's unclear what shape a payroll tax earnings cap increase might look like. Some legislators have suggested removing the cap completely and exposing all income to the payroll tax, while others have offered a conciliatory increase where an exclusionary gap would exist between the current year earnings cap and some arbitrary higher figure, say $250,000. Thus, earned income between $1 and $118,500, as well as $250,000+, would be liable for the payroll tax.

Would Obama's Social Security solution fix and expand the program?
Of course the big question is "would it work?" Based on research conducted by the Center for Retirement Research (CRR), the answer would be a resounding "No."

According to the CRR, many of the most popular solutions to fix Social Security simply don't cover the full breadth of the income shortfall. Raising the payroll tax earnings cap would take care of about 30% of the financial shortfall of the program, and very likely could extend the date by which its excess cash reserves are exhausted. However, simply taxing high-income individuals doesn't assuage Social Security's long-term problems.

Other popular solutions, such as raising the retirement age, changing how cost-of-living adjustments are calculated, or privatizing Social Security and allowing for investment in higher return assets such as the stock market, all fail to close the expected cash shortfall caused by longer life expectancies and baby boomers retiring. In fact, based on CRR's data, you could combine all four of these most popular options and you still wouldn't completely close the projected budget shortfall.

Accountant Pixabay
IMAGE SOURCE: PIXABAY.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Obama didn't suggest maintaining benefits, but expanding them for current retirees and future generations of retirees. The above figures take into account simply maintaining the status quo. Expanding benefits is an entirely different beast, and implementing any combination of the aforementioned solutions would likely put legislators miles away from an actual fix.

My best guess is that a solution to fix Social Security is probably going to include a payroll tax hike across the board, regardless of income, as well as potential means-testing that reduces benefits on well-to-do persons. The 2015 Board of Trustees report estimated that a 2.68% tax increase, or presumably a 1.34% increase for employer and employee, would take care of the upcoming deficit woes. The Trustees suggest that the longer Congress waits to enact these tax increases, the higher the increases would need to be to cover the projected cash shortfall.

Regardless of the type of solution, we can say with some degree of certainty, utilizing CRR's data, that simply having wealthier individuals pay more isn't going to cover the projected deficit. This probably means more discussions to come on how to best fix Social Security, and all the more reason for you to ensure that you have alternate sources of income available (401(k), IRAs, or pension) when you retire.

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 19 Jun, 2016 10:50 pm
@edgarblythe,
I'm all for raising taxes on the rich a bit in order to better fund social spending.

I don't tend to agree when people portray the rich as being evil or bad. But simply taxing them more because they are the ones who can afford to bear the burden sounds good to me.
0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Jun, 2016 11:02 pm
@oralloy,
Quote Oralloy:
Quote:
Russia and China have air superiority fighters that have no stealth, but can easily outmaneuver an F-15 or F-16.


Great maneuverability but no stealth? That's like a foreign army bragging it's soldiers are highly trained and physically superior to ours-only thing is, they have bows and arrows instead of guns.

The stealth capability gives a plane a huge advantage over its non-stealth adversary. The non-stealth plane gets shot out of the sky before it even knows what hit it. Russia has just started making stealth aircraft-we've retired our first generation already.

We have air superiority over Russia.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2016 04:00 am
@Blickers,
Blickers wrote:
oralloy wrote:
Russia and China have air superiority fighters that have no stealth, but can easily outmaneuver an F-15 or F-16.

Great maneuverability but no stealth? That's like a foreign army bragging it's soldiers are highly trained and physically superior to ours-only thing is, they have bows and arrows instead of guns.

The stealth capability gives a plane a huge advantage over its non-stealth adversary. The non-stealth plane gets shot out of the sky before it even knows what hit it. Russia has just started making stealth aircraft-we've retired our first generation already.

Those F-15s and F-16s that you were suggesting as adequate for dealing with Russian fighters are just as lacking in stealth as Russian planes are.

F-15s and F-16s going up against highly maneuverable Russian fighters will not be a case of American stealth picking off hapless Russian planes. It will be a case of hapless American planes being picked off by Russian fighters that can fly rings around them.


Blickers wrote:
We have air superiority over Russia.

Any place we have F-22 fighters in the air, sure.

Thanks to budget cuts by Liberals, we don't even have enough F-22 fighters to provide air coverage over the entire US, much less in all the hotspots that we would need to cover if we got into a large war.

Think of the F-22 as the air equivalent of Germany's tiger tank during WWII. It was an amazing tank anywhere it showed up. But most battles never had a tiger tank anywhere near them. The tank that won the war was the Soviet T-34 -- a much less capable tank, but one that actually showed up to all the critical battles.

It didn't have to be that way. We were trying to build an adequate number of F-22s. But the Liberals didn't let us. And now our air superiority will be limited to isolated areas of the globe if we get into a large war anytime soon.

Unless the idea of loading up our new stealth bombers with air-to-air missiles pans out. But that is still an if. And even if that does work, it will be imperative to prevent the Liberals from getting anywhere near these bombers, or they will cut that system just like they cut every other vital defense system.
Blickers
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2016 09:00 pm
@oralloy,
The Buzz
America's F-15 Eagle vs. Russia's Su-35 Fighter: Who Wins?
Dave Majumdar

September 10, 2015
The Boeing F-15C Eagle has been in service with the U.S. Air Force for nearly 40 years and will likely serve for decades to come. Over the years, the mighty F-15 has been upgraded to keep pace with evolving threats, but does the venerable Eagle still have what it takes to dominate the skies?
http://nationalinterest.org/files/styles/main_image_on_posts/public/main_images/Su-35_in_flight._%283826731912%29.jpg?itok=_M_m1p0C
The answer is yes—absolutely. The Eagle may be old, but it’s still one of the best air superiority fighters flying. The only operational aircraft that is definitively superior to the F-15 in most respects is the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor—other machines have the edge in certain aspects, but the F-15C is still competitive overall despite what the business development departments at various rival contractors might say.

Perhaps the most advanced threat the F-15 is likely to encounter is the Russian-built Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E. While there are more advanced threats in development, those aircraft are likely to be too expensive to ever become commonplace. The Su-35 isn’t the most common potential threat out there, but there is a good chance it will proliferate. Indonesia has reportedly decided to purchase the Su-35, and we know that the Chinese have had discussions about a potential purchase.

The Su-35 is a genuinely dangerous war machine, and in many metrics, it matches or even exceeds the capabilities of the latest upgrades for the F-15. In terms of pure kinematic performance, the Su-35 is slightly slower than the F-15C in terms of max speed but it can out accelerate the Eagle with its powerful twin Saturn Izdeliye 117S engines, which put out 31,900lbs of thrust each. Further, when the jet is relatively lightly loaded, it can maintain supersonic speeds without the use of its afterburners.

While excellent acceleration at high altitude to supersonic speeds is a huge advantage, the F-15C is no slouch—and it wouldn’t be a decisive edge for the Russian jet. However, where the Su-35 does have an insurmountable edge is at low speeds. The Flanker-E has three-dimensional thrust vectoring and is unbelievably maneuverable at low speeds. However, given the advent of helmet mounted cuing systems and high off-boresight missiles like the AIM-9X and Russian R-73, more often than not, close in visual encounters tend to be “mutual kill” situations as many pilots can attest. A lot of it is going to come down to pilot skill and, frankly, luck.

At longer ranges, the F-15C and the F-15E still have the advantage over the Su-35 with their active electronically scanned array radars. The Raytheon APG-63 (v) 3 and APG-82 (v)1 on the two Eagle variants are still considerably superior to the Su-35S’ Tikhomirov IRBIS-E phased array radar. The Su-35 does hold a fleeting advantage for now for passive sensors since it has a built-in infrared search and track system (IRST), but the F-15 fleet will receive a very capable IRST in the near future—nullifying the Flanker’s edge.

One area the Flanker-E probably holds the edge is with its electronic warfare suite. The Su-35S boasts a potent digital radio frequency memory jamming suite that can wreck havoc with the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. While American missiles are likely to eventually make it through, it will take many more missiles to achieve a kill than planners were counting on. The Su-35, meanwhile, carries a huge arsenal of air-to-air missiles versus the F-15 fleet’s obsolete defensive electronics. The U.S. Air Force is keenly aware of the problem, which is why it places such emphasis of on the $7.6 billion Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System upgrade.

The real dilemma is that the Su-35 and the current day F-15 Eagle are comparable—and that’s what is worrisome for the U.S. Air Force. The service is used to fighting adversaries where it has a huge technological advantage—against the Su-35 that deficit does not exist and the Flanker-E even has some advantages over the Eagle. Overall, if all things were equal, even a fully upgraded F-15C with the latest AESA upgrades would have its hands full versus the Su-35. But that would mean the United States would be fighting a war against Russia or some other great power—like China. That’s not likely to happen.

More likely to happen is that a F-15 would run into a Su-35 operated by some Third World despot. The pilots are not likely to have the training, tactics or experience to fight against an American aviator with a realistic chance of winning. Further, Russian jets are not exactly known for their reliability, combine that with poorly trained maintenance crews and lack of spare parts, some random Third World power is not likely to be able generate a fully operational jet much of the time. Furthermore, other than Russia and China, a potential adversary is not likely to have an AWACS or full ground controlled intercept capabilities—which further hampers the enemy.

Bottom line: unless the F-15 is fighting World War III, the Air Force is probably going to be ok keeping the Eagle in service for another two decades. It might not be the one-sided turkey-shoot the Air Force has gotten used to, but the United States isn’t in danger of losing air superiority.

Dave Majumdar is the new Defense Editor for The National Interest. You can follow him You on Twitter: @DaveMajumdar.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/americas-f-15-eagle-vs-russias-su-35-fighter-who-wins-13815


cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2016 10:02 pm
@Blickers,
You need to think about the geography, and not so much about the airplane. Russia is surrounded by allies, and we have bases in most countries around the world.
There are also missiles in those countries. It is impossible for Russia to protect itself from the US military and our allies.
It would be MAD for Russia to attack.
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2016 10:50 pm
@cicerone imposter,
That is true as well. It would not be Russia vs US, it would be Russia vs NATO. And China is NOT coming to Russia's aid.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2016 10:57 pm
@Blickers,
I'm guessing a little nibble in the Baltic States, a nibble in Poland, maybe something to influence the Scandinavian state. Nothing quite worth going to war over, especially if they're not all in NATO. If Russia can have what she wants without more than a diplomatic bleating, she will be happy as clam.
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2016 11:02 pm
@roger,
We're giving missiles to Poland. No NATO member has ever been invaded by Russia. If Russia does invade, or back up an army that is revolting, (which seems to be the way they do things,) the US would have to treat it as an attack on its land.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2016 11:42 pm
@Blickers,
Quote:
The real dilemma is that the Su-35 and the current day F-15 Eagle are comparable—and that’s what is worrisome for the U.S. Air Force. The service is used to fighting adversaries where it has a huge technological advantage—against the Su-35 that deficit does not exist and the Flanker-E even has some advantages over the Eagle. Overall, if all things were equal, even a fully upgraded F-15C with the latest AESA upgrades would have its hands full versus the Su-35. But that would mean the United States would be fighting a war against Russia or some other great power—like China. That’s not likely to happen.

Thanks for this article. I found its points convincing, and might use it to support some of my own posts in the future.

But there are still problems. "Even parity between forces" is far from "American dominance of the skies". If we had built enough F-22s to go around, we would have been much better off than matching F-15s against fighters that are an even match for them.

And under current budget shortfalls, the US Air Force cannot afford to keep operating F-15s and F-16s, and is about to scrap all of them (the A-10s as well). We can't use F-15s to shore up gaps in our F-22 coverage if we no longer have any F-15s.

And war between the US and China is more likely than the author thinks. Neither country wants that war, but I don't think the leaders of either country are going to be wise enough to find a way to avoid it.


(Way off topic from the budget assault against our military, but the danger of escalation to nuclear war between the US and China is something that we should all be worrying about.)
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2016 11:46 pm
@Blickers,
Blickers wrote:
We're giving missiles to Poland. No NATO member has ever been invaded by Russia. If Russia does invade, or back up an army that is revolting, (which seems to be the way they do things,) the US would have to treat it as an attack on its land.

There are only two ways to prevent Putin from invading the Baltic NATO countries. Fortunately both are easy.

One is we could give enough arms to Ukraine so that they can keep Russia busy with the fighting there for the rest of Putin's life.

The other is we could station NATO forces in the Baltic states.


Avoiding a shooting war with China is going to be the real trick.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2016 09:45 am
@oralloy,
Quote:
If we had a large war right now, we would have to choose which parts of the world we would provide air cover for, and which places we would just let enemy aircraft operate unchallenged.

Sure, because there are so many air forces bigger than the US that they could just deploy planes all over the world where we couldn't because US and it's allies are so desperate for planes and air defenses. Drunk
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2016 10:47 am
@oralloy,
Quote Blickers:
Quote:
We have air superiority over Russia.

Quote Oralloy:
Quote:
Any place we have F-22 fighters in the air, sure.

The F-15 might not be superior to the Russian SU-35, but it does some things better and can give it a fight on a fairly even level. Same thing can be said for the F-16.

Russia is going to have 98 Su-35s. We now have over 400 F-15s and 1,200 F-16s. So we have a huge superiority in numbers, but not in technology for our aircraft.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2016 12:53 pm
On the issue of economics and SS:

We have reached the point where it is in fact viable to keep printing money to pay for SS without it cratering the economy. I'm not comfortable with that but it's true and SS will not disappear for that reason and others.

In the macro economic view, the problem is that we are also printing money to pay all the rich folks who bought the bonds that back up that printed money. That tends to increase the rich/poor divide and does create a problem if the shear numbers in the debt starts scaring people.

We would be better off just admitting that we are going to print money for SS and not count it as debt or sell bonds to cover it.
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2016 01:04 pm
@Leadfoot,
You folks keep saying "printing money", but if we really were just printing money with nothing to back it up, the dollar would not be reigning supreme as the world's strongest major currency.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2016 01:47 pm
@Blickers,
Who's this 'you folks', white man. I don't like it either, it's not the best solution (but it woul be better than what we are doing).

The reason the US is doing OK is that we lead in technology and its application. Technology is what keeps this house of cards standing.
The economy is in a race between tech and ignorant politicians. Tech is ahead right now but it's a close race.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2016 02:58 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:
Sure, because there are so many air forces bigger than the US that they could just deploy planes all over the world where we couldn't because US and it's allies are so desperate for planes and air defenses. Drunk

When you're at war you don't get to choose where the enemy strikes you.

If the Liberals had not crippled our military so much, we would have been able to have an adequate defense anywhere they could strike.

What's more important, having fighters in the US in case we are attacked here, or having fighters in a theater of battle to provide cover for our ground forces?

Too bad we have to choose.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2016 03:00 pm
@Blickers,
Blickers wrote:
Russia is going to have 98 Su-35s. We now have over 400 F-15s and 1,200 F-16s. So we have a huge superiority in numbers, but not in technology for our aircraft.

Except we are about to have zero F-15s and zero F-16s, because the Liberals cut the defense budget so severely that the Air Force cannot afford to keep any of them.

How many of China's J-10s and J-11s have been upgraded to be the equal of the F-15?
0 Replies
 
 

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