In at least one respect, Social Security is even worse than a traditional Ponzi scheme:



From today’s Wall Street Journal:

I’m going out on a limb, to predict that this is the only time this century that New Jersey will be favorably compared to Provence.

However, before the pollution, government corruption, and organized crime, large areas of New Jersey probably would have been nice places to live.

Perhaps fortunately, California is so busy imitating Greece, that it doesn’t have time to copy New Jersey.  But I’m sure that we can get there.

The link at the bottom of this post leads to a fascinating simulation “game” in which you are invited to pick ways to reduce the federal debt to 60% of GDP.  It’s not all that easy: my first try only got me halfway there.

The debt of the United States is rising to unprecedented – and unsustainable – levels. According to the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform, under reasonable assumptions, the public debt of the U.S. is projected to grow to 85% of GDP by 2018, 100% by 2022, and 200% in 2038. No country can support debt at these levels without huge costs to its standard of living at a minimum and most likely a severe crisis.

via Budget Simulator | Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

During an interview on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” on Sunday, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman revealed that the tax code is so complex that  he uses a tax preparer for his own tax returns:

I’ve used one for years. I find it convenient. I find the tax code complex so I use a preparer.

As Bill Clinton liked to say, “I feel your pain.”

Link: TaxProf Blog: IRS Commissioner Does Not Do His Own Taxes Because of Complexity of Code.