February 8, 2011

"There is no electronic-based cause for unintended acceleration in Toyotas," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood tells us now.

Surprised?

Now, let's try to remember how much trouble the Obama administration caused Toyota. Here's an article from last March:
Ever since the Transportation Department stepped up pressure on Toyota over its recalls several months ago, two delicate questions have hung over regulators: Is the Obama administration trying to help the Detroit carmakers it bailed out last year by attacking Toyota? And, will those attacks lead to new trade tensions with Japan?...

“It’s doubly convenient for the Obama administration to hammer Toyota excessively,” [Weekly Asahi magazine] said. “By picking on Toyota, Mr. Obama wants to reverse his falling popularity.”
And from last February:
Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota, was billed as the main attraction at a House hearing Wednesday into the company’s recalls of millions of cars — recalls for which he profusely apologized and took personal responsibility....

He was criticized by a representative on the committee for failing to show adequate remorse for those who had been killed in accidents involving acceleration problems.

“I extend my condolences from the deepest part of my heart,” Mr. Toyoda said.

171 comments:

Scott M said...

Ruh-roh, rhaggy?

David said...

Answering the question . . . .

No, not surprising at all. It was bullshit technically and bullshit politically.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

The damage has been done and now the government will dissolve away from the issue.

Health care will be different though.

edutcher said...

Trying to make Government Motors (and that was the real object) look good is probably going to take a lot of this.

Scott M said...

At the time, it seemed to me that the administration was looking for it's first ass to kick. It dovetailed nicely with their protectionism, so they damned the torpedoes, so to speak.

shoutingthomas said...

From what I've read, the majority of these incidents involved the elderly.

It is suspected that elderly drivers confused the accelerator with the brake pedal.

Dark Eden said...

"Smart diplomacy" ?

AJ Lynch said...

Libruls feel a compulsion to assign blame to someone when unfortunate accidents happen. I know LaHood is a Republican but his name should be LaDoosh.

chickelit said...

Politics aside, the duel between the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius is also a contest between a lithium-ion powered drive train (Volt) and a nickel-metal hydride one (Prius). I think the lithium technology is superior and for this reason I hope the Volt prevails. I also hope that government meddling in the car business is held to scrutiny by the Meadhouse media.

shoutingthomas said...

Obama to call for $53B for high-speed rail!

Choo-Choos for everybody!

Issob Morocco said...

Ray LaHood, man of the Illinois Combine.

Mary Beth said...

Not surprised at all. This is what the evidence has indicated from early on.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

I know I'm not the first person to draw parallels to the Audi 'sudden acceleration' scam from the '80's, but geez, does no one ever do research any more? A mechanical/electronic failure would follow a predicatable pattern. Anything else is almost always human error.

SteveR said...

"No electronic-based cause? Uh nevermind"

Original Mike said...

Surprised? Nope.

The Drill SGT said...

Operator Failure

all the engineers knew this was going to be the answer, just like the Audi stuff a generation ago.

the differences?

- we had a government trying hard this time to pre-judge the investigation to assure a political outcome

- today's cars have so many black boxes that the Toyoda engineers could prove without a doubt the relative application of brakes and gas, car speed, etc.

Jack said...

when the main investigator revealed his findings - the acceleration never happened once in a manual transmission car - he was politely saying that it was an operator related error, i.e. missing the brake pedal.

now if we can get the current administration to admit their "operator related errors" we would all be better off.

Coketown said...

I thought it had to do with the accelerator getting stuck on the floormats. Wait, that was a differently safety issue. Toyota has been plagued with massive, global recalls for the last few years. Maybe this is less a government conspiracy and more a case of a car company letting quality control go to hell because their sales were doing good.

Hoosier Daddy said...

all the engineers knew this was going to be the answer, just like the Audi stuff a generation ago.

Wasn't there a similar issue with Ford (I can't recall) back in the late 70s or 80s where after millions in expenses it turned out there were just a whole bunch of folks who didn't know how to drive?

Richard said...

Have you seen the new add for Chrysler popping up online: Photo of a bald eagle with the Chrysler logo, captioned "A Car You Don't Have to Own to Be Proud Of."

A more honest ad would read "A Car You Don't Have to Own to Have Paid For."

PaulV said...

Faux News (CBS) was behind the Audi acceleration fraud. Will DOJ investigate this anti-trust fraud?
Will congressmen apologized? Not likely.

madawaskan said...

Choo-Choos for everybody!

The Obama Administration:

Bend Over and Take the Bullet Train

Scott M said...

Maybe this is less a government conspiracy and more a case of a car company letting quality control go to hell because their sales were doing good.

Not to be a grammer-nanny, but if that were written correctly, it would have ended in a cool rhyme, correct?

Scott M said...

Faux News (CBS) was behind the Audi acceleration fraud. Will DOJ investigate this anti-trust fraud?
Will congressmen apologized? Not likely.


Will CEO Toyoda bill the Federal government for his travel, food, lodgings, and every second spent going to, sitting in, and going from that hearing?

chickelit said...

Not to be a grammer-nanny, but if that were written correctly, it would have ended in a cool rhyme, correct?

No, I think Coketown may have been making a moral argument.

Coketown said...

@Scott: That's exactly why I changed it from 'well' to 'good,' assuming nobody would correct it.

And not to be a spelling-nanny, but it's grammar, not grammer.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

There is no evidence, but...

Despite its findings, LaHood said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was considering new regulations to improve safety. They include requiring brake override systems on all vehicles, standardizing keyless ignition systems and requiring event data recorders, or vehicle black boxes, on all new vehicles.

If it ain't broke, keep "fixing" it until it breaks. Then blame the manufacturer, and fine them fifty million dollars.

This was always motivated by three things. Two were protectionism and cronyism, as described above.

The third is that the self-declared party of science is heavily influenced by a bunch of scientific illiterates, who don't understand technology and yet believe that technology can basically do any bad thing they ascribe to it.

This study itself sounds like it was done thoroughly and meticulously, and it represents sound engineering.

But the motivation behind this "study" was of a piece with other technophobic hysteria such as cell-phone induced tumors, nuclear power fears, and vaccine-induced autism.

Where's Crack Emcee when we need him?

Scott M said...

D'OH!

Hoisted by my own whatsits.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm sure the bureaucrats will now extend condolences from the deepest parts of their hearts to Mr. Toyoda.

It will be done very thoroughly because it is easier for the bureaucrats to reach these deepest parts, their hearts not being so fathomless as those of common men.

AllenS said...

Lessons Learned

When testifying before Congress, never apologize. Tell them to fuck off.

MadisonMan said...

Because the people in the press have a poor understanding of coincidence and statistical probability.

As we say around here, User Error!

chickelit said...

BTW, who is headmouse at meadhouse?

Scott M said...

When testifying before Congress, never apologize. Tell them to fuck off.

Ah, the Tony Stark method. Very effective. I was frankly surprised by both this scene and the inclusion of a non-ironic Bill O'Reilly.

Revenant said...

I don't think anyone who read P.J. O'Rourke's "Parliament of Whores" is surprised by this.

madAsHell said...

If I recall correctly, the Ford mis-adventure involved tires. They selected the wrong tire (too small) for the Ford Explorer. The tires would overheat, and fail catastrophically at freeway speeds. I think Firestone bore some of the liability.

....then there was the gas tank on the Ford Pinto.

Coketown said...

Petard! Hoisted by your own petard.

A danger when one acts petarded.

But yeah, rhyming those words would have been far too whimsical for the petty, irritable nuance I was aiming for.

Big Mike said...

A mechanical engineer told me quite some time ago that the brakes in a Toyota can overcome an accelerator that is full on.

Still, if there had been black boxes, as LaHood is demanding, then at least Toyota could use them to prove that it was operator error.

Not that it would have made any difference to the sort of technological illiterates that make up our journalist and political classes.

Scott M said...

But yeah, rhyming those words would have been far too whimsical for the petty, irritable nuance I was aiming for.

Well, hell. The only reason I noticed it at all is due to the fact that we're working on that very lesson with the 6-year-old. That and "cuz".

garage mahal said...

Ah HA! This is proof of ......well just discuss.

Comrade X said...

A mechanical engineer told me quite some time ago that the brakes in a Toyota can overcome an accelerator that is full on.

exactly Mike. To believe the government you had to believe the accelerator and braking systems failed simultaneously and then fixed themselves after the accidents.

John said...

I am not surprised. I called bullshit on this back at the time it occurred. I don't remember if I called it here (maybe) but certainly in some engineering and manufacturing fora I participate in.

So, to parapharase Mike Deaver, "Where does Toyota go to get there reputation back?"

I think it was shameful for Toyota to take responsibility for a non-existent problem.

So maybe they deserve some lost of reputation.

In any event, my next car will likely be a Toyota (Or a Nissan or Mitsubishi)

John Henry

chickelit said...

@garage:

Who's the imposter masquerading as garaji mahal?

aronamos said...

The point of the US government wasn't saving any lives, the point was saving UAW jobs. All the "sudden acceleration" news started coming out in late 2009 and the first months of 2010 -- at the same time the government was bailing out GM and Chrysler and Toyota was closing a white elephant plant it got stuck with in California when GM went bankrupt.

madawaskan said...

He who controls the trains controls the herd.

But first, you gotta get 'em to ride it.

There's a long fascination with trains for the Left.

WTF?

Nothing shut down London and Paris like when the unions shut down the trains....

And think of the behavior modification-the Left will get to indulge in.

You will be "encouraged" to take the train.

edutcher said...

John said...

I am not surprised. I called bullshit on this back at the time it occurred. I don't remember if I called it here (maybe) but certainly in some engineering and manufacturing fora I participate in.

So, to parapharase Mike Deaver, "Where does Toyota go to get there reputation back?"


That was Ray Donovan, but your point is still good.

Lincolntf said...

The moment that the Obama Administration nationalized (de facto) General Motors, they began a campaign to discredit their chief competitor. Pretty fucking simple to read the timeline.

When a company has the power to tax, ban or recall it's competitor's products, then that's what they will do. The fact that President Obama is a proud product of Chicago corruption and strong-arm politics makes me think that Toyota got rolled.

chickelit said...

madawaskan said...

You will be "encouraged" to take the train.

They get off when we get on...

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

They're way ahead of you, Big Mike:

A preliminary part of the study, released last August, failed to find any electronic flaws based on a review of event data recorders, or vehicle black boxes.

A black box is no defense against witch hunters.

Matt said...

Yeah and if the government didn't do anything you all would be yelling about how Obama doesn't look out for consumers or Americans etc, etc. Same old story.

Sarah Palin sure would via her ineffectual twitter 'shadow government'.

Lem said...

Lets remember these are the same geniuses selling us global warming.

madawaskan said...

They get off when we get on...

chickenlittle!

Oh my stars and stripes.

Anyways....

I can already hear the Rahm Emanuel styel advertisement theme song-

Come On Ride the Train-Just F'in Ride It

madawaskan said...

styel=style

Gawd the dyslexic makes me html!

Widmerpool said...

Next up: a cellphone or texting ban, based on similarly flimsy evidence.

madawaskan said...

You know who could invest in fighting this train commotion-

The American Automobile Industry.

Oh wait.....

E.M. Davis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E.M. Davis said...

Choo Choos for everybody!

AJ Lynch said...

The next time Lahood holds a ribbon cutting ceremony somewhere in front of a big crowd of reporters when he repaves a road or some such other monumental achievement, I'd like to see one bold reporter ask the attendees to hold up a hand if they are on the govt payroll. The the reporter can count the hands. Because I am very curious to know how many govt workers it takes to cut a ribbon.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

No big surprise here.

The government was in the process of screwing the GM bond holders, forcing the taxpayer purchase of a private company that should have gone bankrupt, giving the UAW a big wet sloppy kiss. They needed to prop up the shitty GM products by tearing down a company that was/is profitable and produced decent dependable vehicles.

It was all about distraction and scapegoating and ......SQUIRREL!!!

E.M. Davis said...

This should help the job market in 2014.

Freeman Hunt said...

Yeah and if the government didn't do anything you all would be yelling about how Obama doesn't look out for consumers or Americans etc, etc. Same old story.

You don't spend a lot of time around any libertarian-ish conservatives, do you?

Drew said...

Yeah and if the government didn't do anything you all would be yelling about how Obama doesn't look out for consumers or Americans etc, etc. Same old story.

No we would not. (Or I would not.) Because I am a grown-up and learned how to look out for myself.

Coketown said...

@Scott: Who/whom is far more important to teach a six year old than good/well. Good/well just shows one is not an idiot; who/whom is proof positive that you're in the presence of a sophisticate! Look out, Harvard!

Oh, and someone related, I have an anecdote: A year or so ago my (I think) 5 year old cousin was bragging to me that he "could spell good." And I says to him, "You mean you can spell well." And he goes, "No, good. G-o-o-d. I don't know how to spell well." Oh, so now I'm the idiot. I was hoisted, indeed.

The Drill SGT said...

Because the people in the press have a poor understanding of coincidence and statistical probability.

they also do not understand that correlation is not the same as causation.

Coketown said...

They also do not understand that people over the age of 60 should have their licenses revoked and substituted for a bus pass.

Sorry, professor.

FormerTucsonan said...

Just for shits and giggles; the TSA's orginal data is here.

Once you discount the elderly and inexperienced drivers, it tends to read mostly like this:

Date: April 9, 2007

Victim: Ray Ann Gloyna

Location: Callahan County, Texas

Model: 2001 Toyota Avalon

Details: Dennis Gloyna has agonized over his wife Ray Ann's fatal accident, wondering how the normally
cautious and attentive driver could have sped through a stop sign on a busy highway into the path of an 18-wheeler.


Only after dozens of instances of sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles gained notoriety
late last year did the Abilene businessman find a plausible, if still painful, explanation for the horrific crash
that killed his 58-year-old wife, dragging her demolished car along the road for 900 feet.

"Why no skid marks?" the anguished widower wrote in a complaint filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration in November. "There is no other explanation in my mind as to how Ray Ann could have missed the
stop sign. The car was out of control and it killed her."


Ray Ann Gloyna had been driving alone, en route to Mexia, Texas, to visit her ailing mother when the accident
occurred at 8:30 p.m. A special unit of the Abilene Fire Department had to be dispatched to extract her body from
the wreckage, her husband told the government in a plea to review her case.

The 2001 Avalon is not included in the recent Toyota recalls.


The country is in the best of hands, folks!

Fred4Pres said...

I love my Tundra.

Scott M said...

Oh, so now I'm the idiot. I was hoisted, indeed.

That's epic hoistage, to be sure. I'm positive I will fall for something very similar. I've got years left in the parenting outback.

1jpb said...

"The government was in the process of screwing the GM bond holders, forcing the taxpayer purchase of a private company that should have gone bankrupt"

The gov didn't pay the bond holders (of a bankrupt company, whose paper was trading for almost nothing, which was it's true value) a hundred cents on the dollar, instead they paid what the market had been saying the bonds were worth, and the bond holders agreed to the price.

Should the gov have paid a hundred cents on the dollar as was done w/ AIG, where counter parties (e.g. Goldman) got all their (actually, our tax dollars) money back?

Folks can argue that GM should have been allowed to fail. But, please don't shed a tear for the bond holders. They got what they were owed. The real tragedy would have been to overpay them, a la the AIG model.

P.S.
At least BHO put a lot of strings (e.g. not overpaying bond holders, and scrapping union contracts) on his cash infusion. And, we're likely to get all or most of the BHO money back. W just handed them cash.




"They also do not understand that people over the age of 60 should have their licenses revoked and substituted for a bus pass."

Don't forget the train passes. Maybe this is why we'll need more trains. So near-geriatrics can get around w/o cars.

Revenant said...

if the government didn't do anything you all would be yelling about how Obama doesn't look out for consumers

There are some folks here whose commitment to small government and free markets amounts to "it should be socially conservative Republicans issuing the commands and spending all the money", sure.

But there are quite a few of us who genuinely do wish the government would do a lot LESS.

Scott M said...

There are some folks here whose commitment to small government and free markets amounts to "it should be socially conservative Republicans issuing the commands and spending all the money", sure.

One or two, maybe, but we take turns running them out to the woodshed after hours.

Revenant said...

Should the gov have paid a hundred cents on the dollar as was done w/ AIG, where counter parties (e.g. Goldman) got all their (actually, our tax dollars) money back?

The government should have done what is normally done in bankruptcy proceedings: sold off the assets and used the money to pay creditors based on priority of claims.

What it actually did was to assume control of the company and pay bondholders whatever it felt like.

Triangle Man said...

The problem arise somewhere between the accelerator pedal and the seat.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

1jpb said...

The gov didn't pay the bond holders (of a bankrupt company, whose paper was trading for almost nothing, which was it's true value)

No, not a bankrupt company. Bankrupt numerically, maybe, but not legally. The President's goal was to legalistically sidestep the bankruptcy process. Why? Because in bankruptcy court, those union contracts that were a big part of the financial trouble could be broken and reformulated to something sustainable. Staying out of bankruptcy court was solely for the benefit of the President's UAW allies.

a hundred cents on the dollar, instead they paid what the market had been saying the bonds were worth, and the bond holders agreed to the price.

"Agreed". That's an amusing term. An awful lot of bond holders screamed bloody murder at the process.

madawaskan said...

1jpb

I think if you asked the "near geriatrics" if they wanted their money back-as in the social security that was promised them by the government-

or

shiny new bullet trains-they would pick-

social security.

But then-Liberals aren't really about choices.

btw-some Liberal youngster was talking up the bullet train to Orlando as a chance for the oldsters to take their grand children to Disney World.

Ya-I think they'd rather have the first promise government made them-kept.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The gov didn't pay the bond holders (of a bankrupt company, whose paper was trading for almost nothing, which was it's true value) a hundred cents on the dollar, instead they paid what the market had been saying the bonds were worth, and the bond holders agreed to the price.

Not true on all accounts.

The government inserted itself into a bankruptcy and decided itself how much the bond holders would get instead of doing the LEGAL thing which is what Revenant has said.

"sold off the assets and used the money to pay creditors based on priority of claims.

What it actually did was to assume control of the company and pay bondholders whatever it felt like."


Gangster government in action.

Had GM been allowed to go bankrupt and reorgainize, they would have been able to emerge as a much more comptetive company by being able to shed some of the extortionate and burdensome Union costs. The Unions have cause the bankruptcy of GM and now because Obama is in bed with the Union leadership, we the taxpayers are now on the hook.

GM should have gone BK.

Coketown said...

Any word on whether California is going to reimburse Toyota for that $16.4 million fine it slapped them with over this issue?

My guess is no, considering California is bankrupt and their own analysis would find Toyota's cars are not only haunted by poltergeists that caused the acceleration but also cause cancer...and childhood obesity.

chuckR said...

If I recall correctly, the Ford mis-adventure involved tires. They selected the wrong tire (too small) for the Ford Explorer. The tires would overheat, and fail catastrophically at freeway speeds. I think Firestone bore some of the liability.

Not what I heard. In the Nasser era at Ford, they played hardball with suppliers, always looking for price reductions year on year. The contract for Ford Explorer tires was for a few million per year. Firestone cheapened them some - omitting belt retainers that would reduce the incidence of/prevent blowouts, and allegedly loosening QA as well. Then the users had their input - towing heavy loads at high speed in high ambient temperatures with balding under-inflated tires and freaking out when the blowout happened. One of the car mags tested Explorer stability by explosively blowing out a tire - but then they knew they were doing it. Plenty of blame to go around. Question - when is the last time you checked tire inflation and general condition? Yeah, me too. That's why I buy speed rated tires - they are tested and have provably better heat resistance than unrated tires. Now all I need is cars that could go as fast as the tires....

former law student said...

As I have learned time and again over the years, inability to duplicate a field failure mode in the lab does not mean there is no problem. Ray LaHood overstated the engineers' conclusion.

And if dumb and/or elderly drivers are mistaking the accelerator for the brake, does this not point to a flawed Toyota design? We read no reports of sudden Honda acceleration or sudden Nissan acceleration.

Lem said...

The problem arise somewhere between the accelerator pedal and the seat.

Add a mild case of mass hysteria and we are cooking ;)

dont tread 2012 said...

Not surprised by this.

Likely cause of the trouble - a loose nut between the steering wheel and the seat.

former law student said...

Regarding tire inflation. One of I'd say every ten SUVs I see on the road have one or both rear tires visibly underinflated, i.e. bulging sidewall. This is just asking for trouble.

Michael said...

Several years ago I was speeding down the HOV lane in my 1988 Toyota Landcruiser when I lost acceleration. Completely. An angel must have steered me through four lanes of Interstate traffic to the shoulder because I am not sure how I was not creamed in the process. The accelerator linked to the engine by a cable. The cable had worn out. I replaced the cable. I did not sue Toyota because in my world things wear out and occasionally need replacing.

Oh, and if the accelerator was sticking on the floor mat I would remove or change the floor mat.

I am over 60.

1jpb said...

rev,

I noted that I don't have a problem (though I disagree) w/ folks who argue that GM should have been liquidated, and allowed to fail. That's a legitimate POV.

martin,

I was sloppy to imply they had gone through bankruptcy, of course they didn't.

All of the bond holders did agree. And, most of the crying came from the professional conservatives who were helping a few holdouts as they tried to over charge American taxpayers (as was done w/ AIG) for the nearly worthless paper they held.

madawaskan,

I was making fun of the bullet trains. The oldies will get their (long ago spent; to fill-in for tax cuts for the rich) money and their gov healthcare (Medicare), even if it drives our country over the fiscal cliff.

So, settle down.

DBQ,

You can believe that, some how, that the liquidation of GM to pay off creditors would have resulted in a lean mean GM machine. But, that is absurd. GM had no savings or credit lines to cover operating costs. They could not borrow any more. And, as soon as they went belly up almost everyone would completely stop buying their cars. So, their already large red ink numbers would have gone through the roof. GM would end.

It's a question of math, i.e. huge operating expenses w/o income or savings or credit is a dead end.

dont tread 2012 said...

@fls

"As I have learned time and again over the years, inability to duplicate a field failure mode in the lab does not mean there is no problem. "

Doesn't mean there is, either.

And just because it hasn't been proven that a person deliberately or otherwise caused the problem, doesn't mean they haven't.

Original Mike said...

"A mechanical engineer told me quite some time ago that the brakes in a Toyota can overcome an accelerator that is full on."

I saw this demonstrated. Apply full accelerator and then slam on the brakes. The car comes to a stop.

But facts don't matter seem to matter.

former law student said...

a loose nut between the steering wheel and the seat

Like California Highway Patrol officer Mark Saylor, a 45 year old man with almost 20 years on the force, and an impeccable record?

Fatal California Crash Highlights Toyota’s Sudden Unintended Acceleration Problem
SANTEE, CALIFORNIA—A horrific sudden unintended acceleration crash that killed four – including a California Highway Patrol officer who was at the wheel of the 2009 Lexus when it plunged over an embankment and burst into flames – may raise the profile of SUA incidents as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration weighs granting a defect petition to re-investigate the problem in Lexus vehicles.

On August 28, Mark Saylor and his wife Cleofe, both 45, their 13-year-old daughter, Mahala, and 38-year-old brother-in-law, Chris Lastrella, were killed after reporting to a 911 operator that they could not stop their Lexus ES 350, as it careened down Route 125. The tape of the brief call, released to the public last week, features the voice of Lastrella, telling the operator that the vehicle had no brakes. The call ended with occupants calling on each other to pray.


My mental image of conservatives includes respect for law enforcement officers.

Scott M said...

My mental image of conservatives includes respect for law enforcement officers.

What does that say about your mental image liberals and their respect for law enforcement officers. Surely you made the distinction because there is one to be made, correct?

Michael said...

Oh, one more thing. On my Toyota I have a thing that shifts the gears. Should there be a sudden mysterious acceleration of my vehicle I would use the gear shifter to put the transmission in neutral.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

All of the bond holders did agree.

NO they did not agree. You can say it all you want, but it is NOT true. I would say lie, except you are probably just deluded and not actually telling lies.

I have several clients (ex clients since I am now retired) who are still extremely pissed off about their individual bond holdings being scammed by Obama and about their mutual funds that also owned the GM bonds going down in value because the bonds were basically stolen from them instead of going through proper BK procedures..

dont tread 2012 said...

@fls

"
My mental image of conservatives includes respect for law enforcement officers."

Are you serious?

The account is about an alleged brake failure of a Lexus that caused the death of 4 people.

What kind of sick parallel are you trying to draw?

Michael K said...

The Audi story was equally bogus. The story was too good to check.

Michael said...

1jpb "Should the gov have paid a hundred cents on the dollar as was done w/ AIG, where counter parties (e.g. Goldman) got all their (actually, our tax dollars) money back?"

Goldman would have gotten the 2.5 Billion from an insurer if the 2.5 billion had not come from AIG on the CDS. Goldman got no money on the CDS from the govt.but rather from AIG to whom the govt. had given money. Had AIG not gotten the money from the govt. GS would have gotten it from the insurer.

garage mahal said...

Even Ayn Rand needed a little help from the gummint in her later years, receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits. Mugged by reality, if you will.

Michael said...

The bond holders in the GM situation were screwed by the govt. who repudiated the contracts that the bondholders had with the borrower. In a nation of laws the bondholders would have come way ahead of the UAW.

Maguro said...

fls - A few things about the Saylor case:

- It was a loaner car and Saylor wasn't familiar with the vehicle.

- The San Diego Sherrif's Dept investigation determined that the cause of the accident was that the dealer installed the wrong size floor mats.

- Even though the families settled with Toyota, they're still pursuing a lawsuit against the dealership that installed the mats.

Michael said...

Garage Mahal: But you failed to mention the main things. She also drove on the roads and was protected by the police. Rand was no idiot, she got what she had paid for. And what is so ironic about that?

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

And garage mahal wins the prize for the most completely irrelevant comment made in an attempt to -- SQUIRREL!

madawaskan said...

garage-

Some questions for ya-

Who pays into Social Security?

Where does the money for Social Security come from?

[Something mugged Ayn Rand all right-but it happened earlier than you think.]

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Even Ayn Rand needed a little help from the gummint in her later years, receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits. Mugged by reality, if you will

Which she paid for through years of taxes and years of involuntary payroll deductions and through paying a monthly premium for Medicare Insurance Part B (Part A is included without premiums because you have already PAID INTO THE PROGRAM)

madawaskan said...

garage is a squirrel who thinks everyone else's nuts should be his for free.

And if you bury your nuts and let the government watch 'em they multiply.

David said...

Fred4Pres said...
I love my Tundra.

It's a green and gold Frozen Tundra.

Comrade X said...

Even Ayn Rand needed a little help from the gummint in her later years, receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits. Mugged by reality, if you will.

Ah HA! This is proof of ......well just discuss.

dont tread 2012 said...

@gm

"Even Ayn Rand needed a little help from the gummint in her later years, receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits. Mugged by reality, if you will."

You're right, we all look forward to the day when the benevolent 'gummint' gives back some of the money 'mugged' from us during our productive years.

Original Mike said...

"Which she paid for through years of taxes and years of involuntary payroll deductions and through paying a monthly premium for Medicare Insurance Part B (Part A is included without premiums because you have already PAID INTO THE PROGRAM)"

No. The gubmit provided for her because it has a big heart. The gubmit cares for all its children.

Maguro said...

[Something mugged Ayn Rand all right-but it happened earlier than you think.]

Good one. But I doubt that garage will get the reference.

Matt Gurwell said...

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Revenant said...

And if dumb and/or elderly drivers are mistaking the accelerator for the brake, does this not point to a flawed Toyota design?

No, it does not. It points to us (a) allowing people who are not competent to drive behind the wheel and (b) not holding them financially and legally accountable for their user errors.

There is no such thing as an idiot-proof product.

1jpb said...

Michael,

What laws did the gov break re GM?

And, your Goldman info is not complete:

Goldman also argued that the $14 billion of CDS protection that it purchased from AIG was part of Goldman’s “matched book,” meaning that Goldman sold $14 billion in offsetting protection to its own clients; it provided information to the FCIC indicating that the $14 billion received from Maiden Lane III was entirely paid to its clients. Without the federal assistance, Goldman would have had to find the $14 billion some other way.

Goldman also produced documents to the FCIC that showed it received $3.4 billion from AIG related to credit default swaps on CDOs that were not part of Maiden Lane III. Of that $3.4 billion, $1.9 billion was received after, and thus made possible by, the federal bailout of AIG. And most—$2.9 billion—of the total was for proprietary trades (that is, trades made solely for Goldman’s benefit rather than on behalf of a client) largely relating to Goldman’s Abacus CDOs. Thus, unlike the $14 billion received from AIG on trades in which Goldman owed the money to its own counterparties, this $2.9 billion was retained by Goldman.


DBQ,

Yes it was the so called major institutions that agreed to the deal. Sorry for my sloppiness. The little guys weren't involved. But, it's still insane for them to not understand that they were not entitled to any more compensation, because they made a piss poor investment, regardless of the government rescue package.

These bondholders bought paper in a company that was a train wreck destined for liquidation. That's life in a free market economy.

P.S.
I hope you weren't advising clients to load up on GM bonds a few years before they went bust. Presumably, you could see the writing on the wall, so you'd advise your clients to avoid GM.

P.P.S.
Don't worry about your government health care. Feel free to milk that tit for all you can. Just pass the bill onto younger folks, such as those at GM, GM suppliers, and businesses frequented by GM folks, they're still contributing (as employed folks) to pay your bills. Your contributions were used to fill in the holes left from tax cuts for the rich, so now you're a weight on the future of America. Just say thanks, once in a while.

Revenant said...

Ayn Rand needed a little help from the gummint in her later years, receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits

Ayn Rand did not "need" Social Security and Medicare benefits. Ayn Rand *collected* Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Her explanation for this, which I agree with, is that once the government has stolen your money from you you're entirely within your rights to grab back as much of it as you possibly can.

But not a penny more -- then you become a thief yourself.

traditionalguy said...

Faking up a need to regulate the opposition to death to win a fascist controls over economic activities IS OBAMA. He has stopped cold every form of energy extraction by regulations denying permits to the businesses on a faked up "Dirty Energy" charge. He wants fascist control over energy companies and all other industries. The sneaky robberies done being by Obama all of the time with no media attention are the death knell for independent business. No one can afford the bribes the Obama Guys want paid to them except the Obama anointed Government favored entities.

PaulV said...

Peanut butter & jelly,
Why were unsecured creditors (UAW) favored in bankruptcy over secured creditors contrary to law? Was it a payback to UAW for election support by the corrupt administration?

Revenant said...

These bondholders bought paper in a company that was a train wreck destined for liquidation. That's life in a free market economy.

If the liquidation of a company in which you hold paper is "life in a free market economy", doesn't the fact that GM was saved from liquidation by government intervention prove that we haven't got a free market economy?

Pogo said...

Here in MN, where we had a former wrestler as Governor and have a comedian as Senator, a judge relaesed a man who had been in prison after a "sudden-acceleration" of his Toyota Camry led him to crash into two vehicles, killing a man, his 10-year-old son, and a 6-year-old girl.

"He told investigators that he pumped the brakes as he exited Interstate 94 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and approached an intersection, said his new lawyer, Brent Schafer.

But Ramsey County prosecutors asserted at trial that Lee had his foot on the gas as he approached cars waiting at a red light. The car was moving at 70 to 90 mph when it struck the other vehicles.
"

Thanks, Barry!
Strong work, LaHood!

garage mahal said...

Who pays into Social Security?

Where does the money for Social Security come from?


Wow. So people pay into the system, and collect the benefits at retirement? Rand called Social Security a "ponzi scheme" [some things never change], yet she went to the gummint tit when she needed lung surgery for her two pack per day cigarette habit -- by the way she called the scientific consensus that they were cancerous a "hoax". Paul Ryan put himself through college on his dad's Social Security......yes, the same system he wants to gut. If you can't find the blazing hypocrisy in all this, you just might be a libertarian too!

PaulV said...

Was Ryan's father forced to pay those SS taxes which he could have used for life insurance. Do you agreed that SS is a ponzi scheme?
Where is the money I paid into Gore's lock box?

Revenant said...

What laws did the gov break re GM?

Congress passed a law giving them permission to do it.

The problem is that the rules were changed, by the government, after the bondholders had purchased those bonds. GM sold them the bonds under one set of conditions. Then GM's new owner -- the federal government -- unilaterally re-wrote the agreement, giving the bondholders lower priority.

It is legal because it is the government doing it. If anyone else pulled that stunt they'd be in federal prison for fraud.

Original Mike said...

"yes, the same system he wants to gut."

Oh, for Christ's sake. Why do you talk like this? You really think it's persuasive?

1jpb said...

Rev,

"If the liquidation of a company in which you hold paper is "life in a free market economy", doesn't the fact that GM was saved from liquidation by government intervention prove that we haven't got a free market economy?"

That is a good argument.

The crying about how the bondholders (who made stupid investment decisions) were victims of the government is an idiotic exercise.

They were the victims of their poor investment choices.

It would be intellectually honest for them to say "I was an idiot, and I was going to lose almost everything from my GM investment if they had been liquidated, but, on principle, I'd like to see all the folks at GM (and the related businesses) go down the tubes w/ me, hence I oppose the gov intervention which didn't really changer where I ended up, but it did prevent many others from also failing because of their own participation in a failing enterprise."

And, re your other comment: There are a lot of things that only the gov can do. That's life.

Revenant said...

If you can't find the blazing hypocrisy in all this, you just might be a libertarian too!

Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another.

E.g., if you said "it is wrong to force people to pay taxes for Social Security and Medicare", it would be hypocritical to... force people to pay those taxes.

Paul Ryan put himself through college on his dad's Social Security......yes, the same system he wants to gut.

If "gut" is another word for "save from insolvency" then, yes, I suppose it is true that Paul Ryan wants to "gut" Social Security.

Really, garage. The program is bankrupt. It owes tens of trillions and has $0 banked to pay for it. It is a darned shame that you, I, and everyone else have been lied to for years about our Social Security benefits, but wise up and face reality.

AJ Lynch said...

To judge the equity of the social security system, ask yourself how it should treat a 25 year-old who will work another 40 years.

In 40 years, should that 25 year-old be wondering the same thing as today's 55-year old person? "Will I get my money or will the govt be bankrupt?"

That is the only fair way to figure out how to fix it! Make it solvent and reasonable & secure for today's 25 year old kids.

Revenant said...

That is a good argument.

The crying about how the bondholders (who made stupid investment decisions) were victims of the government is an idiotic exercise.

The two arguments are the same. In a free market the bondholders would have been repaid at market value. Instead they were repaid an amount dictated by the Obama administration after more politically connected stakeholders had gotten paid off.

You are welcome to claim that the bondholders got more money this way than they would have otherwise. You just can't support that argument with evidence. The one thing we know for a fact is that the bondholders were repaid via government fiat rather than via the system under which they had purchased the bonds. Either they were paid less than the market would have, in which case Obama screwed them, or they were paid MORE than they would have, in which case we taxpayers got screwed. Either way, Obama screwed quite a few Americans in order to buy votes.

Original Mike said...

I'm not aware of all of the proposals floating around, but if we go by the Bowles/Simpson commission I believe "gut" = raise retirement age by one year in several decades.

Revenant said...

it did prevent many others from also failing because of their own participation in a failing enterprise.

You left off "... by taking money from people who work in useful industries, producing good products that people actually want".

Think about that. If you inefficiently produce poor products, you get handouts. If you efficiently produce good products, you get taxed. Failure is rewarded; success is punished.

Not only is that not how a free market works -- it isn't even an intelligent way to run a *socialist* state. It is economic insanity, pure and simple.

AJ Lynch said...

Orig Mike:
Raising the age is a tourniquet with an expiration date IMO.

I don't think you can continue to lump millions of people's money in a big phony kumbaya fake trust fund.It has to be put into individual accts of some type so it can't be misappropriated aka stolen by elected gasbags.

Jay said...

The administration's response to this "crisis" was just yet another example of Obama's superior temperament.

garage mahal said...

Really, garage. The program is bankrupt. It owes tens of trillions and has $0 banked to pay for it.

Reagan passed legislation to help himself to the surplus, [setting a precedent for every President since], in part to disguise the amount of spending the old retrobate was running up.

Honestly, do you think these people that want to privatize SS would be expending all this energy all these years trying to privatize SS if it were bankrupt? Wall Street want to skim their share as administrators, arrogating the rest for themsleves.

Jay said...

So people pay into the system, and collect the benefits at retirement? Rand called Social Security a "ponzi scheme"

I like how you pretend that people don't collect more than they pay in.

That's cute.

John said...

FLS said:

"We read no reports of sudden Honda acceleration..."

Key word there is "read".

Sudden acceleration is actually a less common problem than in the past when there was carburetor linkage to get worn and bind.

There are actually a fair number of similar reports for most brands. You could go look it up.

Toyota is the only one you read about because it was the only one the media told you about. I don't know the reasons. Laziness, ignorance, being fed false info, collusion with govt, something else. I don't know.

Doesn't matter. They ONLY reported on Toyota. So you ONLY read about Toyota and were under the (false) impression that the problem was limited to Toyota.

Come now, fess up, you didn't go look at reports for past years by make and model, did you?

So whose fault is it that you only READ about Toyota? The media's for not telling you or yours for not being curious to wonder if they were telling you the straight scoop? I would say you are both to blame.

John Henry

Jay said...

Reagan passed legislation to help himself to the surplus,

Reagan can not, and did not, "pass legislation" you abject imbecile.

That would have been the house of representative controlled by the Democratic party.

Jay said...

Honestly, do you think these people that want to privatize SS would be expending all this energy all these years trying to privatize SS if it were bankrupt?

so are you seriously suggesting social security is not running a deficit?

1jpb said...

"Either way, Obama screwed quite a few Americans in order to buy votes."

He also saved GM, and helped GM suppliers and businesses that count on the workers associated w/ GM. Not to mention saving local and federal governments from budget implications associated w/ more unemployed folks, and a corresponding number of fewer taxpayers. And, these saved jobs would also allow more families to keep their homes, which is good for the values of their neighbors' homes. These saved jobs may also make it possible for families to keep kids in college, which is good for those kids future earning potential, which is good for the economy and gov revenue.

So, just as you're listing the costs to the tax payers, you need to acknowledge that there were some benefits. Not to mention that the BHO money is likely to be mostly repaid. Hence, there wouldn't be a cost. [BTW, I do realize that not accounting for the W money is a clear slight of hand, so the advantages I've listed above will come at a price.]

Now, of course, in a really free market you'd let GM go to hell, and you'd stand by and watch the devastation because in the end everything will eventually be optimally sorted out by the market. But, that's an imaginary world, where there should be zero weeks of unemployment benefits.

Our society has concluded that we're better off if we shelter ourselves from a completely free market. So, the debate is about the form, limits, costs, and advantages of the shelter. Arguing that there shouldn't be any shelter is unserious.

Jay said...

Our society has concluded that we're better off if we shelter ourselves from a completely free market

When was this "decision" made again?

I'd love to know, because I don't recall the conversation...

Jay said...

Not to mention saving local and federal governments from budget implications associated w/ more unemployed folks, and a corresponding number of fewer taxpayers. And, these saved jobs would also allow more families to keep their homes, which is good for the values of their neighbors' homes.

Using this "logic" no company should ever fail.

What about all those kids in college who's parents worked at Enron?

BAIL OUT ENRON NOW!

Anthony said...

Forget about the Administration (for the moment) and let's look at the media:
-- They got the Toyota acceleration wrong
-- They got the Audi acceleration wrong
-- They got the "exploding Chevy pickups" wrong
-- They got the "exploding Pintos" wrong
-- They got the "unsafe at any speed" Chevrolet Corvair wrong

Why anyone with at least two functioning brain cells believes anything the media says anymore is beyond me.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

1jpb said...

He also saved GM

More likely, he prolonged the inevitable. Reorganization under bankruptcy would've saved GM.

Not to mention that the BHO money is likely to be mostly repaid.

More likely, it will be papered over with accounting tricks. They're doing that already.


Now, of course, in a really free market you'd let GM go to hell, and you'd stand by and watch the devastation because in the end everything will eventually be optimally sorted out by the market. But, that's an imaginary world, where there should be zero weeks of unemployment benefits.

No, that's the world the way it actually works if we want the maximum benefit for everyone. Sustaining an unsustainable status quo just makes the fall worse when it finally happens.

1jpb said...

Jay,

Are you opposed to all unemployment insurance?

Unemployment insurance is a shelter from the free market.

Speaking of Enron, in a truly free market Enron should be allowed to strategically adjust power generation so that they can increase their profitability. And, antitrust laws should not exist.

Anthony,

I do think that they were right about SUVs rolling over. Though I don't know if it was the SUVs fault or the tires. Was that ever resolved?

Maguro said...

He also saved GM...

Temporarily. Have any of the underlying problems that caused GM to go bust actually been addressed?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Now, of course, in a really free market you'd let GM go to hell, and you'd stand by and watch the devastation because in the end everything will eventually be optimally sorted out by the market. But, that's an imaginary world,

No, that is actually the real world. In a real free market, companies fail. Companies go out of business. OR companies learn to compete and suceed without the government picking winners and losers. THAT is a free market. If your business sucks....you deserve to go out of business and make way for someone who can do it better.

The imaginary world is where Obama takes a bankrupt company and instead of letting it reorgainze and come out of its hole a stronger, leaner company he steals money from taxpayers and puts it into the pockets of the Union thugs who cause the financial problem in the first place.

Nothing was fixed. Nothing was changed. Business as usual, except for the stock holders and bond holders who had the rules of the game changed in the middle of the program.

But .....hey.....the Unions get to keep running the company into the ground on our tax dollars and continue to get bailed out over and over again because it is now Government Motors.

Fantasy land. LA LA LA....

1jpb said...

Martin,

Are you opposed to farm, oil exploration, and pharma subsidies or industry specific tax breaks? Those are anti-free market.

How about the mortgage deduction, and the child deductions? Charitable deductions? These are circumstances where the gov uses it's power to intrude on and manipulate free market decisions.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

1jpb said...

Unemployment insurance is a shelter from the free market.

Actually, I thought it was, ya know, insurance. And insurance is a free-market mechanism for mitigating risks.

That's what it is in the ideal sense. As currently practiced, it's all too often welfare by another name.

1jpb said...

"Temporarily. Have any of the underlying problems that caused GM to go bust actually been addressed?"

Debt wiped out, and union contracts torn up.

Those changes can't hurt.

Martin,

It's insurance that you're forced to buy.

1jpb said...

Also,

In a free market, how could the gov force you to pay part of your income into Social Security or Medicare?

That's not a free market.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Are you opposed to all unemployment insurance?

Unemployment insurance is a shelter from the free market.


Unemployment insurance is paid for by employer premiums and was meant to be a temporary stop gap for those who are between jobs....not a permanent subsidy for not working for as long as you can string it out.

It is INSURANCE and is not a shelter from the free market any more than disability insurance gives you shelter or makes you invulnerability from breaking a leg.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

1jpb said...

Are you opposed to farm, oil exploration, and pharma subsidies or industry specific tax breaks? Those are anti-free market.

How about the mortgage deduction, and the child deductions? Charitable deductions? These are circumstances where the gov uses it's power to intrude on and manipulate free market decisions.


Yes. I'm opposed to all of the above. They're all ways for the government to attempt to control free people and free markets.

You left out: green energy subsidies, research subsidies, and arts subsidies. I'm opposed to those, too. While I think there are some education subsidies that do a lot of good, most of those are boondoggles too. Scrap 'em.

No one in government is smart enough to guide the decisions government thinks they have to guide. No one. The ones who think they are smart enough are the really dangerous ones.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Are you opposed to farm, oil exploration, and pharma subsidies or industry specific tax breaks? Those are anti-free market.

Yes.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

1jpb said...

In a free market, how could the gov force you to pay part of your income into Social Security or Medicare?

That's not a free market.


Why, keep it up, and you might find yourself a libertarian!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In a free market, how could the gov force you to pay part of your income into Social Security or Medicare?

That's not a free market.


Well.....DUH

What do you think we have been bitching about?

However, since the Government has forced me to pay into these things, stole my money over the years, I plan to collect as much back as I possibly can when the time comes for me to be eligible.

pst314 said...

"And if dumb and/or elderly drivers are mistaking the accelerator for the brake, does this not point to a flawed Toyota design?"

Spoken like a true ambulance-chasing shyster.

pst314 said...

"My mental image of conservatives includes respect for law enforcement officers."

The false indignation of a dishonest debater.

1jpb said...

Well, everybody agrees that we don't have a totally free market.

So, why are y'all so worked up over GM? The bluster is not proportional to the size of the dough involved when compared to the many other ways the gov directs (or misdirects) resources based on non-free market policies.

In addition to the relatively small cost of the GM deal, this is a one time shot. Whereas the gov is packed w/ never ending non-free market activities. Not to mention that this one time bailout occurred during an extremely tumultuous financial meltdown, which further highlights that it's not a systemically important event.

And, this bailout did have a bit of a stitch in time flavor when you look at the associated fall out (as I noted above) that was diverted.

Why fuss so much about a relatively financially tiny and temporally unique event that helped a lot of Americans during a once in a generation financial disaster? Right?

Jeremy said...

ONLY the teabagging morons here would side with the Japnese, and take the time to further denigrate their own president.

What a bunch of assholes...especially the Queen.

Revenant said...

Reagan passed legislation to help himself to the surplus

Even if that was an accurate statement, who cares? Even if it was true that Social Security was fine until a particularly nefarious Republican ruined it, the fact is... it is ruined. It owes money it can't pay. What's your solution to that? Either taxes go up by trillions of dollars, or benefits go down by trillions of dollars, or some compromise in between. Pick something.

Honestly, do you think these people that want to privatize SS would be expending all this energy all these years trying to privatize SS if it were bankrupt?

That sentence actually made sense to you while you were writing it? Eesh.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

1jpb said...

So, why are y'all so worked up over GM? The bluster is not proportional to the size of the dough involved when compared to the many other ways the gov directs (or misdirects) resources based on non-free market policies.

It is possible to be "worked up" over all of the above, ya know.

And, this bailout did have a bit of a stitch in time flavor when you look at the associated fall out (as I noted above) that was diverted.

That's an assertion, not a fact. I assert that the cure was worse than the disease, and it only prolonged the disease.

Meanwhile, you can take pride in the fact that you've been a much more effective Squirrel-caller than garage. You've almost managed to change a thread about the government's thuggish behavior toward Toyota into a thread about the government's thuggish behavior toward GM shareholders and taxpayers. Almost. But the underlying element of thuggish government behavior remains.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So, why are y'all so worked up over GM

Gee I don't know. Maybe something about the rule of law and not paying off people for votes with special deals. Perhaps the idea that all people are equal under the law?

Jay said...

So, why are y'all so worked up over GM? The bluster is not proportional to the size of the dough involved when compared to the many other ways the gov directs (or misdirects) resources based on non-free market policies.


I agree, the government should not be funding "high speed rail" or GM bailouts.

garage mahal said...

Even if it was true that Social Security was fine until a particularly nefarious Republican ruined it, the fact is... it is ruined. It owes money it can't pay. What's your solution to that?

It's not ruined. There isn't even anything wrong with it. It will pay 100% benefits until 2037, and 80% of benefits for another 50 yrs if the government did nothing. You never answered why big banks would want to own a completely bankrupt program full of trillions of IOUs.

Jay said...

ONLY the teabagging morons here would side with the Japnese, and take the time to further denigrate their own president.

Alternatively,
only a silly, ignorant leftist would swallow hole a media narrative echoed by a silly, ignorant President that denigrates the work of Americans who built cars Toyota cars in Mississippi, Georgetown, Ky., and Princeton, Ind.

Then again, I'm willing to bet you didn't know that Toyota has assembly plants in the US.

Jay said...

It's not ruined. There isn't even anything wrong with it.

Hysterical.

And there you have it.

How convenient, huh?

By the way, the Social Security trustees don't agree with you
Social Security expenditures are expected to exceed tax receipts this year for the first time since 1983.
After 2014 deficits are expected to grow rapidly as the baby boom generation's retirement causes the number of beneficiaries to grow substantially more rapidly than the number of covered workers.

Jay said...

It will pay 100% benefits until 2037

All the while bemoaning "tax cuts for the rich" that are "paid for by borrowing from China"

Yes, you're too dumb to see the correlation.

John said...

This whole debate about SS and when it will go broke or even if it can go broke is silly.

It comes from most people believing the big lie that it is insurance. That we pay into it and get back what we paid in.

SS is actually 2 things. First it is a tax. Just like an income, excise or any other tax. It just goes into the general fund.

Second, it is welfare, no different from Food Stamps or AFDC. It comes out of the general fund and the amount paid is by whim of Congress. It has nothing to do with how much anyone paid in.

SS can no more go broke than the military, Food Stamps or any other govt program can. Or, it can go broke in the same way they can, when the whole federal shooting match collapses and *Everything* goes broke.

You have no right to a nickle of SS payout. Congress could decide tomorrow to cancel the whole payout program and, at the same time, double the SS tax rate.

Legally and constitutionally. They probably could not get away with it politically.

I first heard that SS was going broke and that I would never get any benefits in 1967. In the Navy, in basic training in a class on military pay, benefits and compensation.

You could also look at the discussion of how SS came to be. FDR wanted to have an insurance program. (Sort of like Obamacare) Justice Harlan Stone, at a dinner, told Sec Labor Perkins, in a whisper, that if they did that he would have to rule it unconstitutional. He thought it was a good idea but unconstitutional.
He told her that 1) The govt has unlimited power to tax and to make SS a tax. 2) the govt has unlimited power to give folks money.

Thus SS is the way it is.

John Henry

John said...

Here is the story from the SS Admin itself:

At the time, Harlan F. Stone was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (later to be elevated to Chief Justice), and he and his wife often held tea parties on Wednesday afternoons . Although she was not by nature fond of such affairs, Frances Perkins dutifully arrived at 5:45 p.m. one Wednesday afternoon for tea with the Stones and their guests.

At one point in the afternoon Secretary Perkins found herself seated next to Justice Stone, and in their small talk he inquired as to how her work was going. The Secretary freely admitted they were stuck on the Administration's new Social Security bill, and were uncertain on what basis the new program should be founded. Upon hearing this, the Justice looked around to see if anyone was listening, leaned over to her, and putting his hand up to his mouth, whispered, "The taxing power of the Federal Government, my dear; the taxing power is sufficient for everything you want and need." The Secretary excitedly returned to her staff and announced she had made up her mind, they would base the new program on the government's power to tax. (She never told them how she had finally come to this insight.)


http://www.ssa.gov/history/tea.htm

Ever get the feeling that the SSA id laughing at us suckers?

John Henry

DADvocate said...

The most corrupt administration, evah.

Sofa King said...

It will pay 100% benefits until 2037, and 80% of benefits for another 50 yrs if the government did nothing.

BZZZZT! Wrong! The government HAS to, at the very least, buy the bonds back from the SSA. They don't necessarily have to do this, you know.

Revenant said...

He also saved GM, and helped GM suppliers and businesses [and blah blah blah]

By screwing millions of Americans out of tens of billions of dollars.

Seriously, now, take a moment to actually think about what you're saying. According to you, *lending* money to GM was moronic, because the company was a big pile of shit. But simply giving them tens of billions of other Americans' dollars? That's good and admirable. I'm sorry, but you're insane.

Obama didn't save any jobs. He just created a couple of hundred thousand new welfare queens in Detroit.

Revenant said...

It's not ruined. There isn't even anything wrong with it. It will pay 100% benefits until 2037

With what? It has no money. None. Zero dollars and zero cents. Social Security payments started exceeding payroll tax receipts this year.

This year -- not 36 years from now, but *this* year -- the government has to do one of three things to cover Social Security:

(1): Raise taxes
(2): Cut benefits.
(3): Borrow money -- i.e., raise taxes on future Americans.

Pick one, two, or three of the above. Picking none of them is, quite literally, not an option.

Ryan's picking option 2. Obama is picking option 3. What's your choice?

You never answered why big banks would want to own a completely bankrupt program full of trillions of IOUs.

Nobody is proposing that the existing Social Security obligations be privatized. They can't be, since -- like I pointed out, and like you just admitted -- they consist of trillions of dollars of unfunded obligations.

Privatization is about what to do with current receipts. Invest them instead of giving them to the government to spend -- simple and foolproof.

Mick said...

shoutingthomas said...

"From what I've read, the majority of these incidents involved the elderly.

It is suspected that elderly drivers confused the accelerator with the brake pedal."


This problem was caused by the hold down hooks on the floor mats either coming loose, or not being installed correctly, allowing the mat to slide forward and trap the gas pedal.
The Government (Obama's henchmen) was not able to reproduce the sudden acceleration problem EVEN ONCE.
Toyota Camry demographics are definitely older (avg. age over 40)
and most complaints came from older drivers.
Other carmakers receive the same complaints, and VW has a higher rate of complaint than Toyota. Why were they not investigated?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124276771

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0226/Report-Rogue-car-acceleration-is-not-just-a-Toyota-problem

http://www.thecarconnection.com/marty-blog/1043440_toyota-sudden-acceleration-is-it-all-older-drivers-fault

Original Mike said...

"It's not ruined. There isn't even anything wrong with it. It will pay 100% benefits until 2037, and 80% of benefits for another 50 yrs if the government did nothing."

Sigh. {shakes head sadly}

E.M. Davis said...


Are you opposed to farm, oil exploration, and pharma subsidies or industry specific tax breaks? Those are anti-free market.

How about the mortgage deduction, and the child deductions? Charitable deductions? These are circumstances where the gov uses it's power to intrude on and manipulate free market decisions.


Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Got any more?

Original Mike said...

"Are you opposed to farm, oil exploration, and pharma subsidies or industry specific tax breaks? Those are anti-free market.

How about the mortgage deduction, and the child deductions? Charitable deductions? These are circumstances where the gov uses it's power to intrude on and manipulate free market decisions."


I'm a low tax rate, no subsidies and deductions guy, myself.

former law student said...

This problem was caused by the hold down hooks on the floor mats either coming loose, or not being installed correctly, allowing the mat to slide forward and trap the gas pedal.


And this is not a design defect? Hello! It is foreseeable that car owners will buy floor mats, and it is foreseeable that car owners will install them incorrectly.

How about designing accelerator pedals that aren't so freakin' sensitive to floor mat variations?

Revenant said...

And this is not a design defect? Hello!

Left unexplained is why old peoples' floor mats become detached more often than young peoples' floor mats do.

Hm.