In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR

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What the Heck, Huck?

Gov. Mike Huckabee has seized the no-changes-to-entitlements mantle from among the Republican wannabes and he’s set to run on it, aligning himself with people like Elizabeth Warren. Politically, this is not such a dumb idea. There are a lot of seniors, including conservatives, who are understandably worried about their potential lack of gold to fund their Golden Years and fear changes to Medicare and Social

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Another Sunday Show Prep Lie?

Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner appears to be alleging that the White House asked him to lie during an appearance on the Sunday talk shows, telling him to say that Social Security doesn’t contribute to the deficit, when it does. From Geithner’s new book out today, “Stress Test Reflections in Financial Crises:” I remember during one Roosevelt Room prep session before I appeared on the Sunday

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Obama Debt: Over 8 Percent of $1 Quadrillion

The longterm U.S. debt under President Obama’s latest spending plan is far worse than his budget suggests, reaching a total of about $84 trillion – that is, 8.4 percent of a quadrillion dollars, or $0.084 quadrillion. Yes, it’s time to start using the quadrillion number, because with trillions getting added to the debt at an accelerating pace, the numbers are starting to become meaningless again

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Social Security Official: Program Now Imperiled

One of the Trustees of the Social Security program is warning that the nation’s retirement system is on the cusp of becoming impossible to rescue because of a failure of leadership during the past few years to fix what ails it. Social Security Trustee Charles Blahous, in an article published today in the economics journal e21, implicitly lays a portion of the blame directly at the

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Perry is Right, Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme

It just is. Rick Perry is correct. And it’s not because Congress is filled with nincompoops or the government is irresponsible, although both of these things are true. It’s because the program was actually designed as a Ponzi Scheme. Many Social Security recipients are under the misimpression that they worked all their life, contributed their money to their Social Security savings, and now have a

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Public Supports Entitlement Overhaul, but Not Cuts

Updated 4:09 pm With Social Security and Medicare reform apparently in the debt ceiling talks mix, the Pew Research Center has just released a poll showing that the public indeed supports major changes to the programs – but not cuts in benefits. This is approximately like saying you want to lose weight, but on the Kentucky Fried Chicken diet designed by Col. Sanders. According to

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Bush Aide: Social Security Accounts May be Finished

Chuck Blahous, the former Social Security adviser to George W. Bush, told me in an interview that Bush’s signature initiative to establish personal investment accounts with Social Security taxes may no longer be possible. Opposition to the accounts, as you may remember, became the rallying cry for Democrats as they scuttled Bush’s 2005 attempt to reform Social Security. But many Republicans, including Blahous, think the

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Obama’s Inconsistent Messages

One of the oddest things about the current White House message machine is how inconsistent it is. Lines of attack and strategies for promoting the president are begun, only to be suddenly abandoned and dropped on the scrap heap. Remember Boehner the Boogeyman? Just a couple of weeks ago, Obama was framing Boehner as the world’s greatest jackass since Herbert Hoover. The press took the

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