THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #33 ~ March 9, 1999 

           USA Today has come out with a new 
       survey: Apparently three out of four people 
          make up 75 percent of the population. 
           ~~ ~~ ~~ 
Sharing Your Ideas, Your Opinions, and Your 
Responses With Richland Alumni Worldwide! 
MailTo:THE_SANDBOX@hotmail.com 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
Correspondents: 
Patty de la Bretonne (65), Dick Epler (52), 
Lloyd Swain (66), Anthony H. Tellier (57), 
Glenda (Jane Rollison) Hightower (52), 
Dick Epler) (52), Mike Franco (70), 
John M. Allen (66), Steve Carson (58), 
James M. Vache (64), Jim Russell (58), 
Mary Collins Burbage (63), 
Mina Jo Gerry Payson (68), 
Jeannie Walsh Williamson (63) 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
For all you folks who wondered what happened to 
 Bomber Baby Boomer Trivia #26, Here it is, now 
 appearing in THE SANDBOX for the first time ever: 
 "Liar, liar, _ _ _" (3 words)  And it's not a Jim Carrey 
 movie! 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
From:  Patty de la Bretonne (65) BrassEar@aol.com 
Subject: The Boys Are Fighting! 

The boys are fighting, the boys are fighting!!!!  Get 
 over it you two! (You know who you are) Trivia; the 
 American way, Joe Namath (old something or other?), 
 'Cause I eat my spinach, Mary Martin(the best!), 
 PLASTICS!, Richard Nixon. 

Thank you. 
Patty 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
From: Dick Epler (52)  depler@pdx.oneworld.com 
Subj:  Myths of Social Security and the Budget Surplus 

Myth #1: Social Security can be "saved," by somehow 
 dedicating a portion of the "surplus" (up to 100%) to 
 this end. 

Myth #2: There actually is a surplus. 

Myth #3: Your payroll contributions to Social Security 
 (and Medicare) actually belong to you. 

Myth #4: It's possible to "save" Social Security in its 
 present form. 

Myth #5: The Government knows how to spend your 
 money better than you do. 

I'm hoping to make this relatively brief, given the 
 sophistication of the Bomber Alumni ... three things: 

First, Social Security is organized as a pyramid, or 
 Ponzi, scheme, illegal anywhere in the world. It's 
 dependent on an ever increasing influx of productive 
 payees to fund non-productive retirees. Currently, the 
 ratio is about three to one; by 2030 it will have fallen 
 to two to one (in 1950 it was 17 to one). It's a matter 
 of demographics. Without either a dramatic increase in 
 the birth rate, or a decrease in the number of retirees, 
 the system MUST fail eventually. 

Since pyramid schemes are illegal, the P.C. term for 
 this is a "pay as you go" system (since 1939). In 1997, 
 the system received about $409 billion in FICA 
 contributions.  It paid out approximately 90% of that 
 to existing retirees. The difference, $39 billion, was 
 added to the existing Trust Fund balance of about 
 $600 billion. By law, this was immediately made 
 available to the Treasury for use in balancing the 
 budget. Second, know that the law requires that all 
 Trust Fund monies be "invested" in special 
 non-marketable Treasury Bonds. While this sounds 
 like an "investment" it really isn't! Bonds that aren't 
 marketable can only be redeemed by the issuer, and 
 you have no real control over whether you'll ever get 
 your money back.  It's exactly as if I took your 
 hard-earned money in exchange for giving you an IOU, 
 which only I can redeem. You can't sell my IOU to 
 anyone else to get money. Later, after I've spent all 
 your money, and it turns out that I can't easily get any 
 more, you may never get paid. That's a fair analogy. 
 Now this is very important. There is NO "money" in 
 the Trust Fund  The Government has essentially 
 spent it ALL.  The Trust Fund is comprised of paper, 
 essentially worthless, that can only be redeemed by 
 increasing taxes, or by selling real (marketable) bonds 
 on the open market (which, of course, increases the 
 Federal debt). Both are getting to be major problems. 
 This practice, of converting an unfunded liability into 
 an asset for use in balancing a budget, is illegal for any 
 business entity in the world. 
This last year, for the first time, the Trust Fund, at 
 about $800 billion, was finally sufficient to allow 
 Clinton to say we have a "surplus," under current 
 Government accounting rules. We will probably 
 continue to have such "surpluses" until sometime 
 between 2013 and 2024 (lots of assumptions here), at 
 which time a portion of the Trust Fund bonds will have 
 to be redeemed to meet obligations. Again, that will be 
 a big problem. To continue to pay retirees, it will be 
 necessary to dramatically increase the national debt by 
 selling offsetting (marketable) bonds, while 
 immediately raising taxes by as much as 30%. Of 
 course, that's on top of all other taxes, which, 
 considering all Federal, State and Local taxes, are 
 currently around 47%. 

Again, the fictional "Trust" Fund is no more than an 
 accounting device for the convenience of our 
 Government. However, if the Trust Fund were 
 separate from the Federal Government, and any 
 surpluses were invested in marketable assets, the 
 yearly Federal deficits, and the amount of Treasury 
 debt required to be sold to the public, would have been 
 much larger.  IT WOULD THEN BE OBVIOUS 
 THAT THERE IS NO EXISTING SURPLUS AND 
 NO HOPE OF A SURPLUS IN THE FUTURE! 

Indeed, the total non-funded long-term liability of the 
 Social Security system is roughly $5.5 TRILLION, 
 which is greater than the recognized national debt 
 itself. So this is the first problem that has to be fixed, 
 but it's not a complete solution. 

And third, understand that NO ONE has a specific 
 Social Security account that "belongs" to him/her. This 
 is not to say that one can't get "numbers" to support 
 the "insurance" illusion. However, the fact is that 
 whatever numbers you get today can be revised 
 downward by subsequent law to lower your benefits 
 by the time you're due to receive Social Security. The 
 first time this was done was in the early 1980s when 
 future benefits were re-indexed for lower payouts  it 
 has not been the last. Again, the problem is that the 
 Trust Fund is NOT set up to provide future benefits. 
 As currently structured, future benefits can ONLY 
 come from levies on future workers (or, if not 
 sufficient, other taxpayers, and/or from borrowing). 

Because of this simple fact, it is NOT possible to 
 "dedicate budget surpluses" to "saving" social security. 
 From an accounting standpoint, the ONLY thing that 
 can happen is to reduce the national debt. But the fact 
 remains that taxpayers of any particular year, say, 
 2015, will still have to provide ALL the revenue to pay 
 that year's retirees! 

In truth, Social Security is no more than an "income 
 transfer" program (from producers to non-producers) 
 that operates on a year-by-year basis. What confuses 
 most people is that the program has appropriated the 
 language of finance to support the illusion of a 
 long-term personal retirement program. But you can't 
 have "insurance" without underwriting, or genuine 
 reserves.  There can be no "trust" fund that isn't 
 explicitly tied to future benefits for individuals. The 
 elaborate system for recording individual contributions 
 is a simple artifact to camouflage the details of the 
 underlying pyramid scheme. Your contributions are 
 NOT assigned to a personal account in your name; 
 they're merely recorded for the subsequent purpose of 
 calculating a benefit ... a calculation whose 
 "breakpoints" change from year to year to correspond 
 to the Government's concept of "fairness." The 
 Government wants to ensure no one ever gets more 
 than their "fair share." It's set up so that poor people 
 win more than rich people ... but the breakpoints 
 between the two are continually changing. Again, your 
 FICA contributions are NOT yours to control. 

These misconceptions are the chief obstacles to 
 constructing an honest income transfer program that 
 addresses the real issues: 1) how to take care of the 
 elderly who fall through the cracks of our capitalist 
 system; 2) what level of support should be provided; 
 and 3) what is the best way of financing the transfer 
 payments. Of course, the Government also needs to 
 allow individuals to provide for their own retirement 
 (not currently possible for individuals - that's only 
 possible for proprietors of business organizations who 
 can take advantage of Keoghs or defined-benefit 
 plans). 

To conclude, it appears that Clinton's call for 
 dedicating the "surplus" to Social Security is just a 
 ploy to prevent Republicans from reducing taxes (a 
 consequence that could conceivably lead to more 
 Republican seats in Congress). Moreover, Clinton's 
 spending plans should be a dead give-away that he has 
 no intention of not spending every penny he can get his 
 hands on! 

There are only three choices for the surplus money: 
 Use it to fund an honest accounting system (really fix 
 Social Security -- very painful); give it back to the 
 taxpayers; or let Clinton use it to buy votes. It's your 
 choice ... a decision necessarily dependent on whom 
 you trust. 

Dick Epler - Mt. Vernon, Oregon 
depler@pdx.oneworld.com 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
From: Lloyd Swain (66) 
ReplyTo: Lswain6680@aol.com 
Subject: Trivia 

Answer to Trivia #16 is:  The American Way.. I used 
 to  come home every day from school and watch 
 George  Reeves as Superman uphold truth and 
 justice... How  could anyone forget the intro..? 

 Lloyd 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
From: Anthony H. Tellier (57) 
Tony_Tellier@compuserve.com 

>1.  What do you think about the policy of "social" 
 promotion in school?  Does it serve the student? 
 Does it serve society?< 

What IS "social promotion"? 

[Are there any teaching professional, school board 
 members, or anyone else out there who would  like to 
 answer Tony's query, "What Is Social Promotion?," 
 along with any pros and cons you see? I believe it has 
 something to do with advancing students who are 
 actually failing the subject matter so they don't fall 
 behind "socially," something unheard of  when I went 
 to school.  If I were not acting as a more or less 
 neutral moderator here, I would say that idea and 
 practice is totally counterproductive and against the 
 best interests of students, schools, teachers, and our 
 entire society. -ap] 

About Gun Makers: 
Gun makers should not be sued any more than 
 manufacturers of other items that can be dangerous. 
 Sue the user ... not the builder.  UNLESS the item 
 is defective and that results in injury, death, destruction 

Year 2000?  Whoopin it up ... maybe on the beach in 
 San Felipe, Baja CA, MX.  And not getting wrapped 
 around the axle about the (artificial) changing of the 
 year.  The number of the year is a construct of man, 
 anyway.  No like the frequency of red light of the 
 atomic weight of Argon ... 

About Dams:  Sure, tear the suckers down and enjoy 
 the flushing of the rivers and no flood control, etc. etc. 
 I have just seen an article about this in Outside 
 magazine but it was too much fluff.  Who wants this? 
 Why? Salmon runs? What about irrigation ... or rather 
 the loss of same?  Do they want to reduce 
 Hoover/Boulder Dam to rubble?  Grand Coulee? 
 Aswan? HOW? 

Tony Yuma `57 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
From:  Glenda (Jane Rollison) Hightower (52) 
RepyTo: grh@titan.com 
Subject: Save The Dams 

Anyone who lives in the western United States should 
 read "Cadillac Desert" by Mark Reisner. Anyone who 
 lives near the Columbia River should be aware that 
 Southern California wants your river. 

As a Bomber who now lives in San Diego, California, a 
 desert made green with imported water, I am fully 
 aware of the benefits of dams on the rivers of 
 Washington. The beautiful Yakima Valley farmlands, 
 the vineyards of the Columbia Basin, Richland itself 
 would not exist. But you must remember to cherish 
 and protect your water supply. It is a regional treasure. 

A decision made now to restore the river to 
 free-flowing status and save the salmon harvest would 
 also hamper plans to move the water of the Columbia 
 River south. A decision to keep the present dams and 
 build more would help justify a major project to use 
 the Columbia River to develop agricultural and 
 metropolitan areas in California. This problem will 
 never go away; it will be waiting for our 
 great-grandchildren. 

It's always a pleasure to read the Sandbox. The entries 
 are certainly a cut above the letters to the editor in my 
 local newspaper. Are Bombers just smarter or what? 

       Glenda (Jane Rollison) Hightower 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
Subj: Ray Well's (54) challenge re Executive Orders 
From:   depler@pdx.oneworld.com (Dick Epler) (52) 

Ray, you asked if I might reconsider my position on 
 EOs [Executive Orders] after reading the text of EO 
 13107 (Implementation of Human Rights Treaties). To 
 reiterate: my position was that EOs are necessary to 
 allow Presidents' (and State Governors') to initiate 
 required action in advance of Congressional 
 deliberative action (which can take years, if ever, to 
 accomplish).  I believe that was the original purpose of 
 EOs, however, over the years the use of EOs, like 
 most things, have  become highly politicized, beginning 
 with the Kennedy Administration. 

Generally, non-activist Republican Administrations 
 have been comparatively true to the original intent. 
 The Reagan Administration, for example, only wrote a 
 hand full of EOs (less than 10, I believe), mostly 
 dealing with the requirements of FEMA (Federal 
 Emergency Management Agency) and the EPA 
 (Environmental Protection Agency). 

Activist Democratic Administrations, on the other 
 hand, tend to write EOs for all kinds of things. 
 Kennedy wrote 214.  Clinton has written 277 EOs 
 (through 1998). Several of Clinton's EOs canceled or 
 drastically modified Reagan's EOs as he sought to 
 change the direction of Government dramatically.  I 
 should mention that many of Kennedy's EOs were also 
 revoked by Nixon and Reagan. 

So that's an important point.  While EOs can survive a 
 Presidency, those that deal specifically with the 
 "purpose and direction" of Government often don't 
 survive beyond a significant change in power. 

EO 13107, which you referred to, Ray, is titled: 
 Implementation of Human Rights Treaties. It 
 essentially sets up an "Interagency Working Group" to 
 coordinate the response of the U.S. to HR complaints, 
 filed by the rest of the world, to various International 
 agencies (including the U.N.).  I'm afraid that I couldn't 
 find any specific references to the charge that this EO 
 would require the "actions of all Government within 
 the United States to come under the review and veto 
 of the U.N." 

Having said that, however, I admit to being a neophyte 
 in this area, and it's quite possible that, in the overall 
 scheme of things, this EO might provide some 
 justification for a shift of power from the U.S. to the 
 U.N.  As the House Impeachment Manager's kept 
 warning us, it's important not to "compartmentalize" 
 Clinton's actions.  It's really important to look at the 
 big picture by connecting the dots. Clinton has proved 
 himself to be the master of deceit by orchestrating events 
 beyond the point of no return to achieve a "done deal" 
 that couldn't have otherwise been justified by a honest 
 presentation. 

Presumably the next step is the appropriation of money, 
 by Congress, for the enforcement of EO 13107.  This 
 can't happen with a Republican congress, but if Clinton 
 can get a very loyal, highly partisan (don't vote your 
 conscious), Democratic congress elected, along with 
 Gore as President, then EO 13107, and all it implies, 
 has a chance of becoming a reality. 

My answer, then, is that we're dealing with the wrong 
 question/problem.  EOs aren't the problem; corrupt 
 government is the problem.  While I continue to 
 believe EOs are a necessary requirement for good 
 government, they are not beyond misuse by a corrupt 
 Administration ... indeed, nothing is ... 

 Dick Epler - Mt. Vernon, Oregon 
    depler@pdx.oneworld.com 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
Marc Franco (66) mfranco@uswest.net 
Subject: Clinton Haters 

Ray Wells made a well- thought out commentary that 
 he has never really known an actual "Clinton hater" as 
 opposed to the vast majority of people who may or 
 may not like the President and what he has done. 
 However, with all respect to your commentary, Ray, 
 which I would normally agree with, there actually ARE 
 Clinton haters out there. One of them, John Allen, 
 writes frequently in this forum and has frequently said 
 that he HATES Clinton- not dislike, not disapprove, 
 not- will vote against him- but HATES. Having read 
 his and other peoples commentaries in this forum, 
 there is probably little doubt that there is real hate out 
 there, such as most of the rest of us would feel for 
 serial rapists and those racists from Jasper, Texas. 

Speaking of Clinton, though- what is to be made of the 
 latest allegation that he actually raped a woman? One 
 can no longer shrug off these various accusations, 
 because there are so many of them, but why would 
 she wait 20 years to come forward? She does have an 
 official police document- or some such thing- that no 
 rape occurred. Which is the true version- the one that 
 she claimed for twenty years, or the one that she 
 comes forward with now. 

                            Marc 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
From: Mike Franco (70) Bmbr70@aol.com 
Subject: Doesn't Anyone Care About Tax Cheats? 

"...another day, another lesson learned.."... "honorable 
 man"...."extremist witch hunt"..... is this more pinko, 
 bleeding hearts defending Clinton ???   noooooooo, 
 it appears Newt is as pure as the driven snow !!!! 
 paleeeeeeeez....This is a great example of the question 
 I keep asking....doesn't anyone out there care about tax 
 cheats......I am sure Newt is as "honorable" as John 
 claims he is.....but how about all of us, is cheating on 
 our taxes ok ??? do you mind picking up the tab on all 
 the deadbeat taxpayers out there ? Is it ok, even good 
 policy that wage earners pay taxes at a higher rate than 
 stock or land investors ? (and wage earners contribute 
 no less to our economy than buyers/sellers of land & 
 stocks) Any opinions out there ????  Oh yeah, I saw 
 Jesse (Ventura, not Jackson !) on C- Span.....Libs and 
 Repubs should listen ! 
                         Mike 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
From: Anthony H. Tellier (57) Tony_Tellier@compuserve.com 

 Subj: Answers to Bomber Boomer Baby Trivia 

 #14. "War, uh-huh, huh, yeah, what is it good for? ..." (2 words)< 

 Ansr:  absolutely nuthin 

 #17. Who came from the 
 University of Alabama to become one of the greatest 
 QB's in NFL history and appeared in a TV commercial 
 wearing women's pantyhose?  (But do you know his 
 nickname!)< 

Ansr: Broadway Joe Namath 

 Bomber Baby Boomer Trivia #13. "I wonder, wonder, 
 wonder, wonder who ..." (6 words)< 

Ansr: who wrote the book of love 

 #16. Superman, disguised as Clark Kent, mild 
 mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, 
 fights a never ending battle for truth, justice, and ..." 
 (3 words) 

Ansr: The American Way 

#21. In 1962, a dejected  politician, having lost a race 
 for governor, announced  his retirement and chastised 
 the press saying, "Just  think, you don't have ... to kick 
 around any more." (2  words)  And he lied!< 

Ansr: R. M. Nixon 

Bomber Baby Boomer Trivia #20. In "The Graduate," 
 Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) was advised 
 about his future and told to consider one thing.  What? 

Ansr: Plastics 

#15. Where have all the flowers gone? 

Ansr: gone to graveyards ... everyone 

 #19. Who played Peter Pan before all these other 
 imitators?< 

Mary Martin 

 #18. "I'm Popeye the sailor man! I'm Popeye the sailor 
 man! I'm strong to the finish ..." (5 words) "I yam what 
 I yam." 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
Subj: BB Trivia Quiz Answers 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, & 28 
From:   beaubar@effectnet.com (John M. Allen) (66) 
Reply-to:miles2go@cheerful.com 

Al, Here are my offerings for the questions in Issue 
 #32.  I think Question #26 got lost in an administrative 
 error.   By the way,  what IS the answer to #2? 

22.  Big John.   (I hardly deserve credit for this one." 

23.  On Blueberry Hill 

24.  .......wherever you are." 

25.  "Good night, David." 

27.  "You're on Candid Camera." 

28.  "Who was that man (I'd like to shake his hand), 
 that made my baby fall in love with me?" 

---JMA 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
From: James M. Vache (64) 
ReplyTo:  jvache@lawschool.gonzaga.edu 
Subj: Regarding Prepositions As No Place To End A 
Sentence At' 

Hello, all. 

Mr. Allen, (Class of '66), in instructing Mr. 
 Franco on good communication) writes : "Finally, 
 NEVER end a sentence with a preposition! I  realize 
 that in general,  following rules is more of a 
 Conservative than a liberal 'thing'..." 

This very topic came up at our dinner table last night. 
 My sophomore just learned about not ending sentences 
 with a preposition. I am glad to know that some rules 
 about composition are still being taught in some 
 schools, but as a "not-conservative", I could not resist 
 quoting Winston Churchill, that old reprobate, who 
 once said, in responding to an awkwardly written 
 sentence, awkward because the writer was trying to 
 avoid ending with a preposition: "This is the sort of 
 English up with which I will not put." Churchill, was, 
 of course, a dyed in the wool liberal, I suppose. 

Now, if Mr. Allen is prepared to take on the use of 
 CAPITAL letters as a means of emphasis, or if he  is 
 going  to instruct us all on the proper use of the 
 apostrophe, I at least, will be all eyes. 

Regards, Jim Vache, ('64). 
Professor of Law 
Gonzaga University School of Law 
POB 3528 Spokane, WA 99220-3528 
jvache@lawschool.gonzaga.edu 
509.323.3727 
FAX: 509.323.5840 
www.law.gonzaga.edu 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
From: Jim Russell (58) stjohns9@email.msn.com 
Subject: Jim answers the very Question that only 
 the Answer to Bomber Baby Boomer Trivia #13 is 
 able  to ask: 

Who Wrote the Book of Love? 
The ultimate answer:   Vatsysayana - (Kama Sutra) 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
From: Mary Collins Burbage (63) 
SLBURBAGE@aol.com 

Trivia #13 - who wrote the book of love 
Trivia #16 - the American way 
Trivia #17 - "Broadway Joe" Nameth 
Trivia #18 - because I eat my spinach 
Trivia #19 - Mary Martin 
Trivia #20 - Plastics 
Trivia #21 - Richard Nixon 

How did I do? 

[You done good!] 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
From: Steve Carson (58) 
SteveNitro@aol.com 

I believe the Clinton Spinmasters created the "Clinton 
 Hater" term and introduced it to define their 
 position as if little Billy is being unfairly treated. 

In the long run, this episode is now for history to judge. 
 The lesson we, as an electorate, can take away is..... 
 character counts.   At least that is my prayer. 

Steve Carson (58) 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
From: Mina Jo Gerry Payson (68)  payson4@owt.com 
Subj:  Answers to Bomber Baby Boomer Trivia: 

22.  Big John,. Big, bad John. 
23.  On Blueberry Hill, along with Richey Cunningham. 
24.  wherever you are. 
25.  Good night, David. 
What happened to 26? 
27.  you're on Candid Camera. 
28.  Who put the ram in the ram-a-lam-a-ding dong? 
 Who put the bomp in the bomp-da-bomp-da- 
 bomp?  Who put the dit in the dit-di-dit-di-dit?  Who 
 was that man?  I'd like to shake his hand. He made 
 my baby fall in love with me. 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
Subj: Trivia 
From: Jeannie Walsh Williamson (63) 
bwilliamson@ci.simi-valley.ca.us 
Blue Berry Hill    Big John!!! 
          ~~ ~~ ~~ 
That's it for this issue of the Sandbox Folks, Running 
out of cyberspace--- so... See You  Next Time!  We'll 
plan on continuing with the Y2K info, other continuing 
items,  and more great stuff from you, then! 

 --Al Parker, Thought Catcher. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
                  -33-