>>What We need to do about Social Security and Medicare second time around.Sec
A well informed frequent reader and commenter has commented on my post about my views of what we as a people need to do about social Security and Medicare. Her comments I think deserve to be heard here rather than as merely a comment. she feels I am sure the way most felt when they read my post but just didn’t take time to comment or just put it down to Brenda being out of her mind. So here goes: the original post, Snappy’s comment and my answer. BB
This year Social Security pay outs will exceed what is taken in. And, there is nothing but debt in the treasury. Our nation is on the brink of bankruptcy. Our debt is 84% of of Gross National Product. That means that if we could take all the money that changes hands in the form of profits (wages are profits) this year and pay off out national debt it would take 84% of it. Think of it as your pay check or your yearly wages if you want. Your bills for everything but food, clothing and shelter (that diamond ring you got your wife, that expensive vacation, those iPod and cell phones and cars for everyone in the family of driving age–all this stuff) takes $84 dollars out of every $100 you earn just to pay off your debt for this things. That leaves you $16 out of every $100 for food, shelter and clothing. This is where our government is right now. The debt for the government is in the form of Treasury Nots (promised to pay or IOU’s) our government has sold to other countries and other entities, even Americans themselves. This debt the government has incurred is now 84% of what the entire nation can make in profits for a year and the debt is growing by the minutes our government continues to buy those diamond rings!
(From BB: Heritage Foundation has reported their study indicated with the passage of the Health Cared Reform Bill within 10 years the national debt will amount to 90% of our Gross Domestic Product. That means the value of everything made or produced in our country if sold would be needed to pay for our debt leaving just 10% to run the rest of the country. Also you might want to read this: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 1998 to 2008 public employee compensation grew by 28.6%, compared with 19.3% for private workers. BB)
This is what has to be done and there is no other alternative. We elderly have to bite the bullet the same as our young workers and their families for what our government leaders have led us into. But remember, We the People voted these people in office and now it is time to pay our bills and take our lumps for investing with not our dollars but with our trust in the Ponzi Schemes of Social Security and Medicare.
The solution is simple. Social Security and Medicare are Ponzi Schemes. Or more precisely, Welfare for the elderly. The government has sold the American people a bust just as did Madoff and the people who swallowed the lies unfortunately are going to have to take the loss. The fact is anyone who paid into Social Security has received back every cent put in after only two years of retirement. At that point it becomes welfare—taking money from one and giving it to another.
The Congress is going to have to pick a number and anyone having an income above that number will not receive Social Security. Period! Cut off!
Cut out Medicare. Insists that all people have to purchase their own health insurance. (I sincerely hope for a rational health care reform package based on the Republicans model) Now since health insurance for the elderly is expensive and the government intervention in the health care industry by foisting Medicare on people has made the cost escalate beyond the stratosphere then the government will have to help elderly people purchase their own insurance by putting those who cannot afford it on a sliding scale of support based on their income and costs of the insurance they will have to purchase, and this based on their individual needs. Many in this group will have preexisting conditions. Those on the lowest level of income must be put in an expanded Medicaid. This is a sad adjustment but has to be until it is worked out of existence by the death of the current and some future retirees. With reform the younger workers will have their own insurance as they age and retire. (I would have had my own if government intervention had not priced me out of the market. I hate and resent the fact that my government has forced me to take Medicare because I can not afford the insurance they helped to create! )
This will be a hardship on the elderly and retired for now and into the future, but we have to accept that the burden of carrying us the elderly is a great burden on the young workers today and into the future. We with our voting the wrong people into office who promised us the moon and we blindly followed just like those who invested their dollars with Madoff must accept responsibility for our actions. The young workers didn’t do this to us. No one is going to like this or get the bigger piece of cake. In fact, we are all young and old going to be reduced to crumbs now for the sake of the future of our nation and our children. We created this problem and now we are the ones who must pay our bills and not pass them on to our grandchildren! Older Americans are proud people in the main and they believe in paying their bills. Once they understand what has been done to them and to the future children they will tighten their belts. BB
Snappy: Sadly, I disagree with the way you want to correct the situation of Social Security. Many seniors will not be able to survive if they do not get the Social Security they expected to be there when they retired and there are many reason why.
1) Many always lived on a very meager income and looked at Social Security as a sort of savings for when they retired. If they didn’t make much money, like minimum wage workers they might only get $400-600 per month. If they live alone they may have to live in shelters or in subsidized housing (Government would still be paying for them) because that amount of money is not enough to live on.
2) Many have been wiped out; hence all the bankruptcies. Now they surely don’t have any money to live on unless they are still working.
3) Then how about those who actually saved their money, but were wiped out by Corporate crooks, like Ken Lay, of Enron fame, or the crooks at Tyco, and World Com. There were millionaire retirees who lost their whole stock portfolio and had to sell their homes, and many 70yr. old and 80 yr. old Seniors, who actually planned for their retirements, but had to actually go out and find jobs just to survive. What happened to the white collar low-lifes that caused all this thru their crooked trading schemes, hey, most still have money hidden away in some Swiss bank account, or family members are holding the cash for them. They went to Club Med, prison, where they had quite a comfy life, compared to those in hard core prisons and these guys are usually out in a couple of years. Not much of a punishment for men who completely wiped out the savings of the Americans who invested in their companies.
4) Then there are the people who have had enormous medical bills due to some unexpected disease or accident..
There are too many people, seniors who need that Social Security to exist, we’re not talking about a luxury life-style here. Some can get by, but if there should be an emergency expense and they don’t have someone, maybe a relative to bail them out they are screwed.
Nope I think all Congress and House of Representatives, must give up their life-time salaries once they retire. I think that immediately they should all be put on Social Security like the rest of us. Did America forget that these creeps work for us? We pay their salaries and they make more than we do. Something is wrong with this scenario, especially since this Congress under the mighty hand of Nancy Pelosi think that they know more about what is good for us than we do. Their spouses if they did not work, should not get this $250, 000 bonus that I understand they get when their partners retire from Congress. No work, NO MONEY, no Social Security either.
As I see it, these Congressmen retire with Millions of dollars. I want all them to open up their stock portfolios and have them checked out for insider trading. I want to know how many bought stock in companies just before they voted on some bill in Congress that would effect the company they bought stock in. Believe me, after the way I have seen that they spend our money, I have no doubt that 90% of them would be eligible for prison
due to insider trading.
Okay, let me say here that I know that all of them are not crooks. I’m sure that some of the newly elected Congress people have not had a chance to be corrupted yet.
All Health Insurance in any package or bill should be the same as that which these crooks in Congress have. It seems to me one of Obama’s campaign promises was that we would have the same Health Insurance as Federal employees, which also included Congress.
Americans seem to have always been too trusting. We trusted Congress to be upfront and honest, they have not been. We trusted what they said when they were vying for our votes, and when we voted them into office they acquired short-term memory loss. While in office many appear to work on deals for their own bank account and not the country’s.
This is the time for Americans to wake up and acknowledge what these elected officials have done to the country, literally.
This is the time to say, NO MORE! And this is the time to let them know that they have used up all their chances. Let’s make this year, 2010 the year that we clean house, that’s the House of Representatives and the Senate. Let’s let these evil-doers know that we mean business. By the way, I just had a thought, it seems to me over the years Congress borrowed money from Medicare. Maybe they need to pay it back before spending money on their Pork Barrel projects. If this money were paid back we may not have a problem with Medicare, at least not until we have time to fix the damage that Congress did.
Brenda: Snappy, Honey you misunderstood me. I don’t want these people you outline to be dropped from getting the funds they need to live. I merely want us to admit that Social Security was, and is, a Ponzi Scheme and that it is after a couple years Senior Welfare. Then I want all those who have an independent income over a certain amount , say $40,000 the average pay for working Americans, to be cut from the Social Security rolls. They don’t need nor deserve younger people paying for their extra little goodies. As a full time RVer traveling on my husbands military retirement and our traveling craft show (my hand crafted items) I saw far too many retirees with two homes and a fancy RV to take them from one to the other. I do not begrudge these people this life style or benefits they earned while working in the way of pensions. In most cases they paid a great deal into these pension plans. I do begrudge them the extra Social Security which they probably get the most available having been higher income people while working. But they too have gotten back every cent they put in after two years! These people have no right to be on the government dole and the backs of young workers simply because they are older.
Seniors who need their Social Security should continue to get it but under another department. Perhaps they can even get food stamps to also help them because for many Social Security isn’t enough to live but they “make too much” to get any other help. As a retiree I can tell you that the cost of living does not go down that much after you retire. Help should be provided for ALL people who need help. But NEVER for people who simply do not need it.
You too would get hot under your collar to hear retired people living on the backs of young workers complaining that they can’t live on their Social Security and have to spend their savings! These people after two years are on welfare and have savings?!?
As for Congressmen. I totally agree with you. These people have been in office for years and have become millionaires. The pensions and benefits should all be cut retroactively. Not one Congressman should get the outrageously extravagant pensions they get! They should get pensions based on their years served and in line with those of us who didn’t work for the government. Those below a certain personal income should be treated like the rest of us and put on food stamps if needed. No Cadillac health care either!
As for the funds paid into social Security and Medicare it is truth that congress used the money and gave back Treasury Notes (IOU’s) and spent the money on other things. It was by doing this that the country was able to provide all these entitlement programs and welfare programs and foreign aid and everything else and keep the national debt (borrowing from other countries and entities) down. But if you look at the figures closely you will see that even if this money had been kept safe and used for only Social Security and Medicare the country would not have enough in either fund to keep paying out for much longer. And, the national debt would be a whole lot higher because of all the spending of money that simply wasn’t there. Americans and America’s government have been are a drunken sailors holiday for almost 70 years now and the bank is busted.
A fix? Honey there is no fix. We are flat on our arses and that is all there is to it. The only “fix” is to go back to depression like conditions by stopping all unnecessary spending on all government levels: local, state and federal. Governments should spend only on defense, keeping up the roads, keeping up the utilities and collecting the taxes to do these things. Welfare should be what it was meant to be: families taking care of each other and personal charity. health care should be what it was meant to be: a personal and family obligation. Believe me if governments stopped paying the bills for these things the medical and drug companies would not go out of business. They would simply cut their prices back to where they should have been. the only reason medical costs went up so much was because government guaranteed payment. Look at the other businesses that government didn’t get into and you will see the costs actually went down in relation to incomes. My Dad was making 25 cents an hour when he and Mom bought a 4 room shack for $700. Do the math. the same goes for automobiles, computers and anything else you can name that government hasn’t put their fingers in. But medical costs and education have gone sky high after Uncle got in the business. The same is about to happen to housing now that the government owns Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and owning a home is considered an entitlement!
Anyhow there simply is no fix except to stop living high on the hog as we all have and pay our bills. Or, we could just continue as we are and pass the tab onto our grandchildren so they will have to live like slaves and beggars. Sincerely, BB
Snappy: I don’t know if you have listened to Yuri Bezmnov explain how America would be subverted. He was a Communist involved in the plans to subvert America who defected to the United States. These videos were made in 1983 when he tells us exactly how it was planned and how it was happening just as planned.. One of the main things was getting all Americans on the government dole. You will find his videos listed on the right hand column. Just page down to them and click.