Tell Me, Tell Me…

…How to be… A millionaire! Give us the ABC’s on that, Mr. David “Martin Fry” Frum:

Republicans took a beating on the Social Security issue in 2005. But the issue is not going away. And Barack Obama’s solution — taxing more income for Social Security — is neither workable nor popular. Personal accounts offer hope for personal wealth to a generation that is increasingly anxious about its economic future. With a relatively small subsidy — $300 per year for workers earning less than $40,000 — a revived Republican personal account plan could guarantee that every American worker would retire a millionaire, even if they never earn more in their lives than minimum wage.

Yeah, baby! Voodoo economics is back! Also, if we completely dismantle Medicare, every American gets 10 free heart transplants. Woo-hoo!

H/t: Roy.


Comments: 56


With a relatively small subsidy — $300 per year for workers earning less than $40,000 — a revived Republican personal account plan could guarantee that every American worker would retire a millionaire, even if they never earn more in their lives than minimum wage.

To recap…

Diplomacy with various Middle Eastern countries = Unworkable solution
Every American Worker Somehow Gets A Million Dollar$!!!!!!!! = Workable solution


So…. he’s calling for catastrophic inflation?

A German politician, circa 1925

Dudes, just print more money. It’ll be fine.


Okay, unpopular I’ll buy. Paying more in taxes is typically unpopular, unless you’re very progressive in your outlook, and even then it can sting. But we’re talking about more taxes for people who earn more than 90K a year. Not exactly a huge segment of the population.

As for unworkable? That’s juts ridiculous. It wouldn’t take a second to just remove entirely the cap on social security taxation. Sure, some software would have to be revised to allow for that, but if it’s reasonably written software, that’s a minor thing.


Yeah, what he said.


What he’s not telling you? By the time you retire, a quarter pounder will run you $25,000.


I have access to the secret GOP Save Social Security Plan. I will share it with you put keep it secret, please.

1) Privatize Social Security
2) ???
3) Profit!

I also understand this plan has the Megan McArdle faux-libertarian seal of approval.


Personal accounts offer hope for personal wealth to a generation that is increasingly anxious about its economic future.

And then what? People have those accounts, but are still anxious that they’ll have enough money in those accounts. So instead of putting them in regular savings accounts in banks / S&Ls where they can do some good for everyday people (c.f. Life, It’s a Wonderful), they’ll demand ever more profitable investment vehicles for them — which Wall Street will be only too happy to provide.

Nu? There will be yet more bubbles blown up by all this cash pouring into the market and then more disastrous bubble collapses. Meanwhile Joe and Jane Entrepreneur can’t get a loan for the life of them to expand their business and Jack and Jill Homebuyer find the only loans available to them involve weird ARMs.

We used to have a system like this. And then it folded completely in 1929. A “New Deal” was made — and it gave us such things as the 1950s the GOP is always going on about. And then it was gutted. And look at what’s happening now.

So what does Frum propose? Ya know, just as he’s starting to sound reasonable, he always does show his true colors, don’t he?


So how does $300/year ensure a million+ in retirement? Working from 18 to 70, you would need an annual return of 30% on that sucker. Good luck.


whoops, 12%

I guess that’s not completely unrealistic. But in 50 years a million won’t buy nearly what it does now.


Leave it to Frum to bring up personal accounts during a Wall Street meltdown.


Frum should grow out a stache, wax the hell out of it, and take this act from town to rube-filled town on a wagon. Frum’s Miracle Social Security Tonic increases vitality and makes everyone a millionaire!


I love this guy. He’s being so disingenuous, I don’t know whether to laugh at him or pity him.


So, Frum’s plan to deal with the unfunded deficit is to spend more unfunded money? What a genius.


12% is still fairly unrealistic for any kind of investment scheme that doesn’t include direct investment in stocks. And any kind of scheme that DOES include direct investment in stocks is too risky to be using for what is supposed to be a retirement safety net.


Trust the Market
Everything’s Great!


Leave it to Frum to bring up personal accounts during a Wall Street meltdown.



I fully encourage the GOP to place this plan at the top of their 2008 platform, followed closely by “teh Surge is working!!!!”, and “yo, kids without health insurance – suck it!!”


Yeah? Where the hell is my flying car, though?


Because if there’s a winning strategy to get the old fart vote, it’s take away their only source of income left.

C’mon, McCain, set it up, see how well Crist can disenfranchise the old vote for you when it’s your only goddamn hope in Florida.


Related to the previous Gawd-related post — David Frum is further irrefutable proof that there is no God. If there were a benevolent celestial presence governing the universe, surely this transplanted Canadian retard would long ago have spontaneously combusted.
He’s like the Canadian Kristol, wrong for a living.


What about my pony? I want my pony too damnit!!!!


> revived Republican personal account plan could guarantee that every American worker would retire a millionaire

Actually, as long as it’s guaranteed, I’d be fine with that. I mean, when he says “guaranteed,” he means, if my private account doesn’t have a millionaire dollars in it by the time I retire, the government will simply give me the money to make up the shortfall, right? Because that is, literally, the dictionary definition of “guarantee,” in this context.

So assuming that that must be exactly what he means, then sure. Fine. I’d go for it, 100%. I’d have to be kind of an idiot not to.


“A million dollars in it.” Sorry, sloppy editing there.


Bob, you beat me to it. Where is the brave courageous policy maker or politician who will finally come out with a proper million dollars PLUS A PONY platform? Damn Washington insiders.


Every man a king!
Every man a king!
For you can be a millionaire.
If there’s something belonging to others
There’s enough for all people to share (hmm, gotta change that lyric)
If it’s sunny June,
Or December, too,
And in the wintertime or spring.
There’ll be peace without end,
Every neighbor a friend,
And every man a king!
— – –

These fucktards just don’t get it, do they?

Social security is insurance, a plan to provide some semblance of a floor so that people aren’t impoverished because of age or infirmity. It’s never been promoted as a way to wealth.

Stupid fucktards.


Maybe thats the point for Frum. Perhaps his point of view is that saving money is only to create wealth and acquire more, as opposed to a means of subsistence.


Uh … that %12 somebody cited would have to be maintained constantly for like, more than 50 bloody years. With zero interruptions. As recent events have amply illustrated, the global economy is as solid as a rock – if by “solid as a rock” you mean “totally fucking insane” … blecch.

$300 per month makes you retire a millionaire?
Yeah – in Cuckoo Dingdong Wacky Upsidedown World, maybe.
In Real World Land?
Not so much.

Canada sincerely apologizes for Frum.
But we don’t want him back.


In this case it’s true: if everyone’s a millionaire, then nobody is a millionaire.

At least, being a millionaire wouldn’t mean what he thinks it would mean.

And oh by the way, did Mr. Frum-up-his-ass think about what would happen to the precious markets when the pipples started taking out their millions to, y’know, live on?


Back in Precalculus (11th grade, long time ago), I used a TI35 calculator. Your basic Texas Instruments model, powered by a watch battery.

What the hell is Frum using? An abacus? Deep Blue? A 1979 Ford Pinto gas tank?


$300 a month, no. But $300 per year? Totally possible!

Oh, and Frum’s notion that raising the income cap is neither “neither workable nor popular” is laughable. It’s already been raised several times in the past, and even a lot of the people affected don’t mind.


“Perhaps his point of view is…”

Trying to speculate on Frum’s POV is a losing proposition.


I bet none of that $300/year will be taken up by commissions/account management fees/loads/dropped it off a truck in Iraq/unicorn ate it. The guy doesn’t operate in the zone called reality.


Leave it to Frum to bring up personal accounts during a Wall Street meltdown.

Yup. My “personal account,” otherwise known as a 401(k), has been losing money for months on end. I finally moved it all out of mutuals into money markets, which is the 21st-century equivalent of stuffing it in your mattress. I plan to keep it there through 2009, which is probably the minimum period for the upcoming Bush Recession.

And this is what’s supposed to be our primary retirement vehicle. No thanks. The government does little enough for ordinary workers as it is; I would like to have at least a little money to count on that’s not subject to Wall Street’s tender mercies.


Oh no! Invocation of the Lightfoot! But still so good….

Oh BTW, I didn’t go back to being myself, grow politically, denounce bigotry and all of that, it’s all because I have health issues. Bigotry is still the right way to go!” Damn my Trigeminal Neuralgia!

That was for Lawnguylander, that BTW.



Wanna be a millionaire in today’s world? Buy a world-class color copier and hire a counterfeiter.

Shorter David Frum: Our browner and blacker young people are gullible fools.


And I’ll be a billionaire from all the management fees.

It’s a win-whocares!

Can we dismantle the fed yet?


Lex, I don’t think this is the thread you think it is.


Didn’t we just have another financial crash? After all the so-called smart money was so sure we’d have increasing real estate values all the time forever?

I swear.

Why don’t they just put together a pilot program for one state, for 5 years, that is separate from and in addition to Social Security, and see how that works out?

Oh, right. That’s logical, responsible and not fed by a deep-set pathological hatred for the basic compassion for strangers that Social Security stands for.


a revived Republican personal account plan could guarantee that every American worker would retire a millionaire, even if they never earn more in their lives than minimum wage.

Let’s see that again in slow motion. You can see the exact point —

could guarantee

— at which dumbass bursts into flame.

Conditional certainty. Nice. Save it for the trailerpark, you zip.


Great, $300 dollars, I’ll just put it in my account at the local Savings and Loan. Right next to Zu Zu’s peddles. Happy Days are here again!


One–true. But it’s fun to sing along to the title.


For Boston-Area Sadlynosians who want to try for millionaire status the old-fashioned way, ignore the following:

My esteemed employer, SuperMegaHuge-HealthcareCorp, is having an Patient Accounting Employment open house on Wednesday, April 16th, 4:30 – 6:30 pm. Don’t let the word ‘accounting’ scare you. If you have basic math and spreadsheets skills, that’s all you need.

Boring work, but stable and steady during massive recession. Salaries are eh, but benefits are excellent. And although we have been known to screw a patient or two, generally the institutions are doing good work –world-class teaching hospitals, etc.

Go here for details on the job fair. Note the “high school degree” requirement. If you have some college, you’ll be way ahead of the game! Go here for details on all positions available at SuperMegaHuge-HealthcareCorp.

If you wish, email me at doodle-bean at hotmail dot com by Sunday and I could help tailor your resume to the peculiarities of this place. Full-disclosure: I would get a small referral bonus if I submit your resume.

Dealing with me is totally not necessary. Just if you want me to help you out a bit and if you want to help me out a bit. (Sorry if this is considered spam; just trying to help out any Sadlynosians who need steady work and health insurance).

Good luck!


Oh wait, you’re totally right…..I just had that stuck in my head after seeing it. Ooops.



You mean it really is all in your head?!?!?!?


Just ran this $300/yr through an investment calculator, at the actual average long-term return of the equity markets, 7%, for 45 years. Completely discounting the effects of inflation, the ending amount is $91.7K.

If a nominal inflation rate of 2.1% is factored into both the annual investment and the dollar return, the end total amounts to $120K, but the money is actually worth $47K in today’s dollars.

That also ignores all fees for money management.

Welcome to the Republicans’ new definition of blue-collar millionaire.

Disgusting Liberal

Snot on the keyboard,
Spit sprayed on the screen,
In one more second
I’ll laugh up my spleen.


Drivin’ that train highly insane
Megan baby you better watch your speed…

(apologies to J. Garcia and any other DFH who loved that song) even if you weren’t a deadhead… which sort of summarizes MM, but in a different way


Right next to Zu Zu’s peddles.
“What? I’m on it!”
Not peddles! Petals!


I’m not so sure she doesn’t live down to Garcia’s original lyric from that verse, Jo Fish.


Hey, Doodlebean – fellow partner (heh heh) in crime here, though I come at ’em from the other side of the bed.

I also understand you’re in charge of finally putting together SadlyNoFest/Boston.



Aren’t the David Frums of the world the ones who’re always telling us that economics is a zero-sum game, that if we give lil’ crippled Johnny on the corner food stamps we’ve got the money to do that by mugging middle-class white Libertarians for “taxes”?

So where the fuck would this million dollars for everyone COME from, anyway? Investing in the stock market? Playing craps? Selling pet rocks on Ebay?


I don’t get why he thinks this will work. Like he said, it didn’t work in 2005, when people were more or less OK with the economy, why would it sell now, with the housing bubble burst, and people’s 401Ks going down the shitter. It’s like that old Dilbert strip:

Dilbert: When can this no longer be called ‘optimism’?
PHB: When it succeeds?


What about my pony? I want my pony too damnit!!!!

Not just a pony, but a sparkle pony, god damn it, ordinary ponies are for socalists and similar un-american types,


“Thank you. Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich.”

Ford stared in disbelief at the crowd who were murmuring appreciatively at this and greedily fingering the wads of leaves with which their track suits were stuffed.

“But we have also,” continued the Management Consultant, “run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying one ship’s peanut.”

Murmurs of alarm came from the crowd. The Management Consultant waved them down.

“So in order to obviate this problem,” he continued, “and effectively revaluate the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and … er, burn down all the forests. I think you’ll all agree that’s a sensible move under the circumstances.”


Sadly tell me why David Frum is supposedly qualified to speak on economics? He seems to have no training or experience in the field, except his own delusions.


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