And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Posts Tagged ‘Medicare

Yesterday I* posted on just where each of your tax dollars go.  The largest outlays were for our Senior Citizens in the form of Medicare and Social Security.    And yes dear reader I went into my usual rant about the reason for Social Security and is oldsters living much longer than we should and therefore getting  years and years more than we put into the Social Security program thru our payroll deductions while we were working.  In fact, we each get back every cent we put into our account within two and one half years after retirement!!  After that People we are on WELFARE and living off the backs of the young!!   Social security needs to be means tested and should go only to those who need it to live a decent life.  That does not mean paying for Grandma and Grandpa to spend lovely warm winters in Florida in their fancy RV’s.   And yes, I spent eleven years as a full time RVer so I know well what I am talking about.  I also lived for 19 years in Florida before retirement and know how populations in some towns in Florida go from 7000 in the summer to 70,000  in the winter.  People who can afford to own RVs do not need Social Security.  They should not be living on the backs of the young or getting money that is becoming a national debt that their great grandchildren will have to pay back.

Of course next on the Greedy Geezer list are those who are well able to buy their own health insurance but who take Medicare.   At the grand old age of 24 in 1965 i was so much against this Medicare scam that President Johnson and the Congress (both Democrats and Republicans)  were in on with the insurance companies.    At that time only an estimated 40% of seniors needed some help paying for their health insurance.  And instead of putting these people on Medicaid or some type of stipend to help them purchase their own health insurance the ENTIRE elderly population 65 and over no matter their income was put on Medicare.  It was a disaster in the making just as Obamacare is going to be the devastation of our country as we know it.   ALL the estimates of costs of the Medicare program in 1965 were 2000%  (that is two THOUSAND percent) under the actual costs of Medicare in 2010.  Again we Seniors are being kept healthy and alive on the backs of our current working young and by putting our great grandchildren in debt for life.  Our great grandchildren in effect will have no life because they will be slaves to paying for the lives we are living now.

How can Americans bear to live with what we are allowing to happen?  I grieve for my country and for my great grandchildren yet to be born.

Anyhow, no more ranting from me.  The following article from Cato Institute  explains better than I can why we must stop the madness of our entitlement programs and put them on a course that will  help those who truly need help but take those who can do for themselves  off the programs.  It really grates me when wealthy Americans are using Medicare.

Be sure to go to the referred sites for additional information.  Sincerely, Brenda Bowers (BB)

APRIL 16, 2013 8:40AM

Entitlement Spending Is America’s Biggest Fiscal Challenge, but Discretionary Spending Is Still Far too High

If America descends into Greek-style fiscal chaos, there’s no doubt that entitlement programs will be the main factor. Social SecurityMedicareMedicaid, and Disability are all fiscal train wrecks today, and the long-run outlook for these programs is frightful.

Just look at these numbers from the Bank for International Settlements and OECD to see how our fiscal future is bleaker than many of Europe’s welfare states.

Simply stated, if we don’t implement the right kind of entitlement reform, our children and grandchildren at some point will curse our memory.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t worry about other parts of the budget, including the so-called discretionary programs that also have been getting bigger and bigger budgets over time.

That’s why I want to add some additional analysis to Veronique de Rugy’s recent piece inNational Review Online, which might lead some to mistakenly conclude that these programs are “shrinking” and being subject to a “Big Squeeze.”

…there is another number to look at in that budget. It’s the shrinking share of the budget consumed by discretionary spending (spending on things like defense and infrastructure) to make space for mandatory spending and interest. This is the Big Squeeze. …in FY 2014 mandatory spending plus interest will eat up 67 percent of the budget, leaving discretionary spending with 33 percent of the budget (down from 36 percent in FY 2012). Now by FY 2023, mandatory and interest spending will consume 77 percent of the total budget. Discretionary spending will be left with 23 percent of the budget.

She’s right that discretionary spending is becoming a smaller share of the budget, but it’s important to realize that this is solely because entitlement outlays are growing faster than discretionary spending.

Here’s some data from the Historical Tables of the Budget, showing what is happening to spending for both defense discretionary and domestic discretionary. And these are inflation-adjusted numbers, so the we’re looking at genuine increases in spending.

Discretionary Spending FY62-14

As you can see, defense outlays have climbed by about $100 billion over the past 50 years, while outlays for domestic discretionary programs have more than tripled.

If that’s a “Big Squeeze,” I’m hoping that my household budget experiences a similar degree of “shrinking”!

Veronique obviously understands these numbers, of course, and is simply making the point that politicians presumably should have an incentive to restrain entitlement programs so they have more leeway to also buy votes with discretionary spending.

But I’d hate to think that an uninformed reader would jump to the wrong conclusion and decide we need more discretionary spending.

Particularly since the federal government shouldn’t be spending even one penny for many of the programs and department that are part of the domestic discretionary category. Should there be a federal Department of Transportation? A federal Department of Housing and Urban Development? A federal Department of Agriculture?

No, NO, and Hell NO. I could continue, but you get the idea.

The burden of federal government spending in the United States is far too high and it should be reduced. That includes discretionary spending and entitlement spending.

P.S. For those who don’t have the misfortune of following the federal budget, “entitlements” are programs that are “permanently appropriated,” which simply means that spending automatically changes in response to factors such as eligibility rules, demographic shifts, inflation, and program expansions. Sometimes these programs (such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc) are referred to as “mandatory spending.”

The other big part of the budget is “discretionary spending” or “appropriations.” These are programs funded by annual spending bills from the Appropriations Committees, often divided into the two big categories of “defense discretionary” and “nondefense discretionary.”

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As many of you know I am, and have always been, against the government welfare for the elderly programs.  I am NOT, repeat NOT, against helping those who need help.  I am against forcing those who do not need it the government welfare programs.  At age 24 with an insurance covered by her children grandmother I very much opposed Medicare.  60%, that is 6 out of 10 elderly people at that time DID NOT need government welfare, but the insurance companies insisted that in order to take on those who did need this help with their medical bills the government must FORCE all elderly to participate.  This is why at age 71 I am on Medicare instead of the WORK EARNED TriCare medical insurance that I was most pleased with.  I will grant you that Medicare has paid for every thing I have needed it for.  And I still resent it because if the government had not gotten into competition with me on health insurance then the escalation of medical costs would have remained fairly even with inflation, and even gone down in costs as technology increased and medical practice and health car as other things that the government did not get into remained reasonably priced as have hundreds of other commodities and services that the government did not get their bumbling fingers into.  I hate every medical bill I cause and do at times refuse treatment  because it is the young workers who are footing the bills!  Bills by the way that only inflated by triple digits every year since Medicare went into effect!  EVERYTHING, yes EVERYTHING, the government gets into goes sky high in price and is POORLY RUN.  There is not one government program that is not poorly administered and wasteful and extremely high priced.  Even the very best of them, the military, is poorly administered and wasteful.  The military by the way is one of  the very few  government programs the Constitution demands that the federal government does undertake for it’s citizens!  Everything else our government, both city,state and federal,  just usurped from us the People.  Or, worse yet, we demanded that they take from our shoulders!

So my rant today is about Federal Government Welfare Programs for the elderly and the sad fact that an individual can not get  out of one of them even if they want to.  Read on for another great folly and how the Supreme Court helped in this folly. BB

JANUARY 25, 2013 2:22PM

Supreme Court Snubs Citizens Whose Social Security Will Be Confiscated If They Refuse Government Health Care

Some of the U.S. Supreme Court’s most significant decisions are those declining to hear a case. Two weeks ago, the Court made such a momentous non-ruling in refusing to hear a lawsuit, Hall v. Sebelius, challenging government policies that deny otherwise eligible retirees their Social Security benefits if they choose not to enroll in Medicare. (I previously wrote about the case, and Cato filed a brief supporting the retirees’ petition for Supreme Court review.)

Despite having paid thousands of dollars each in Social Security and Medicare taxes during their working lives—for which they never sought reimbursement—the five plaintiffs were told by officials at the Social Security Administration and Department of Health and Human Services that they had to forfeit all of their Social Security benefits if they wished to withdraw from (or not enroll in) Medicare. This determination resulted from internal policies that were put in place during the Clinton administration and strengthened by the Bush administration. The plaintiffs sought a judicial ruling that would prohibit SSA and HHS from enforcing these policies, which they believed conflicted with the Social Security and Medicare statutes. A sharply divided U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit eventually upheld them. By its decision not to hear the case, the Supreme Court let that controversial ruling stand.

At this point, one might ask why someone would want to give up Medicare. The answer is that some people would prefer to keep their existing (private) health insurance, but that for various regulatory and economic reasons insurance companies are wary of insuring people already covered by Medicare. Talk about the prototypical case of government programs crowding out the private sector!  (THINK OBAMACARE!! How long do you think it will be before everyone is on the government  so-called Public Option? BB)

In any event, the troubling reality of the Supreme Court’s non-ruling is twofold: First, the government now has full authority to force citizens to participate in a financially troubled program (Medicare) that was originally intended to be—and operated for almost three decades as—a wholly voluntary program. If they refuse, SSA and HHS can deny them their Social Security benefits. If they seek to withdraw from Medicare, SSA and HHS can not only deny them future benefits, but force them to repay all benefits received from both programs. Second, the Supreme Court’s unwillingness to address the issue raised here allows federal agencies to bypass Congress with impunity when drafting and implementing their own rules.  (The President is doing this almost weekly with his Presidential Decrees and appointments.  Recently, the US District Court in Washington DC  did rule against the Presidential appointments of three extremely liberal and union representatives he appointed to the National Labor Relations Board when Congress was still in session.  Democrat Harry Reid set up this scheme whereby the Senate was considered in session if someone came in and called the senate to order regardless of how many people were in attendance or even if the Senators were in town.  He did this to block the Senate Republicans from an action they wanted to take.  Now this action of Democrat Harry Reid and the President’s Man in the Senate has played right into the hands of Conservatives!  Sometimes there is Pay Back!   At any rate, the US Court of Appeals in DC ruled that the Senate was indeed in session even tho the Senators were out of town and therefore the Presidents appoints were illegal and void.  This of course makes all of their ruling against the People and Business and for the union thugs illegal and void.  (I have copy the Cato Institute report on this at the bottom of this post)

The Supreme Court however by refusing to hear this case does open up the case for the department, and President to continue to by pass Congress and make their own laws!  Think long and hard about this People.  BB)

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Kent Masterson Brown, had this to say in a press release following the Supreme Court’s order:

Not only have the Courts allowed these agencies to grant themselves permission to seize a retiree’s Social Security benefits should they opt out of Medicare, but they have allowed those agencies to turn voluntary programs into compulsory ones, giving Seniors no choice whatsoever but to accept the ever more limited health care offered by Medicare. The plaintiffs cannot pay for their own health care—and save the Government and taxpayers money—without forfeiting all of their Social Security benefits.  There is nothing in the Social Security statutes that says a retired individual who chooses not to apply for Medicare coverage will be stripped of his or her Social Security benefits.

Martha de Forest, executive director of a group that supported the lawsuit, the Fund for Personal Liberty, also had a response:

Why would the government tie two programs together when they have different payment mechanisms and different start dates? It is about control, nothing more.  That is why the government forces retirees to participate in Medicare as a condition of receiving Social Security Retirement benefits.

At base, it’s axiomatic that administrative agencies have no powers not granted to them by Congress and that regulations must be anchored in their operative statute. The rules challenged here failed this standard. Combined with the fiscal irresponsibility of forcing citizens to accept costly benefits during hard economic times, the SSA and HHS rules are an arbitrary power grab. Agency overreach imperils the separation of powers and therefore liberty.

Now that the Supreme Court has failed to counter this unauthorized expansion of federal power, it’s time for Congress to do so by legislation—as Quin Hillyer suggests in his commentary on the case. Richard Epstein has further thoughts on how Hall v. Sebelius illustrates the untrammeled growth of the administrative state.

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JANUARY 25, 2013 3:38PM

DC Circuit Overturns President Obama’s Power Grab

Today, in an important decision with far-reaching implications, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unconstitutional President Obama’s appointment of three members to the National Labor Relations Board.

Slightly over a year ago, on January 4, 2012, President Obama appointed four people to high-level offices without the constitutionally required “advice and consent” of the Senate. Three of those appointees were placed on the NLRB, and the other was Richard Cordray, chosen to direct the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the “consumer watchdog” agency created by Dodd-Frank.

The appointments were one of the most significant power grabs by a president in recent memory. The Constitution requires that certain “officers of the United States,” a category which indisputably includes NLRB board members and the director of the CFPB, be appointed by the president with the “advice and consent of the Senate.” Like many constitutional provisions, this is a “checks and balances” requirement that helps ensure the president does not unilaterally control the executive branch for his own purposes.

As a precaution against crucial offices staying vacant while the Senate is not in session, the Framers included a clause that allows the president to temporarily circumvent the “advice and consent” requirement in order “to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.” At the time of the framing, as well as for many decades afterward, senators would usually spend six to nine months out of Washington. In those absences, it was left to the president to keep the government going, and the Recess Appointment Clause gives the president the power to make temporary appointments during those long periods when the Senate was simply unavailable.

Unfortunately, like so many constitutional provisions, the last 80 years have seen a gradual, bipartisan effort to whittle away the Recess Appointment Clause’s function and to concentrate more power in the president. Initially, presidents began redefining what a “recess” is by asserting the power to appoint officers during “intrasession recesses”—that is, breaks within a formal session (e.g., holiday breaks)—rather than just during intersession recesses. After this precedent had been established by President Warren Harding, successive presidents began appointing officials during shorter and shorter intrasession recesses. President Clinton made a controversial appointment during a 10-day intrasession recess, and President George W. Bush followed suit.

In 2007, after Bush’s controversial appointments, the Senate, led by Harry Reid, began holding “pro forma” sessions in order to block future appointments. Usually held every three days during intrasession recesses, pro forma sessions are often less than a minute long and held in a largely empty Senate chamber. Yet the sessions satisfy the constitutional definition of being “in session” and are often used by the Senate and House to satisfy the constitutional requirement that either chamber cannot adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other.

Whereas previous presidents only had the gall to assert the power to determine what a recess was, President Obama’s innovation in executive power grabs was to assert the power to determine whether or not a pro forma session is actually a session for the purposes of the Recess Appointment Clause. According to the Office of Legal Council, the president has the “discretion to conclude that the Senate is unavailable to perform its advise-and-consent function and to exercise his power to make recess Appointments.”

The OLC’s argument “will not do,” wrote Chief Judge David Sentelle in a stirring and chiding opinion rooted in constitutional originalism. He continued:

An interpretation of “the Recess” that permits the President to decide when the Senate is in recess would demolish the checks and balances inherent in the advice-and-consent requirement, giving the President free rein to appoint his desired nominees at any time he pleases, whether that time be a weekend, lunch, or even when the Senate is in session and he is merely displeased with its inaction. This cannot be the law.

As for whether or not the Senate’s intentions for holding pro forma sessions permit the president to determine whether the Senate is actually in session, Judge Sentelle writes:

The Senate’s desires do not determine the Constitution’s meaning. The Constitution’s separation of powers features, of which the Appointments Clause is one, do not simply protect one branch from another. These structural provisions serve to protect the people, for it is ultimately the people’s rights that suffer when one branch encroaches on another. As Madison explained in Federalist No. 51, the division of power between the branches forms part of the “security [that] arises to the rights of the people.”

After appointing Cordray and the NLRB board members, President Obama said he “refused to take no for an answer,” and that he would “not stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people they were elected to serve.” The President’s attorneys made a similar argument, claiming that the Senate was standing in the way of his duties as president. Sentelle’s response:

It bears emphasis that “[c]onvenience and efficiency are not the primary objectives—or the hallmarks—of democratic government.” … The power of a written constitution lies in its words. It is those words that were adopted by the people. When those words speak clearly, it is not up to us to depart from their meaning in favor of our own concept of efficiency, convenience, or facilitation of the functions of government.

The decision is an important step to reining in a long line of presidential abuses. If the court had upheld the appointments, Obama unquestionably would not have been the last to use this power. Moreover, the reasoning of the decision should directly apply to Richard Cordray of the constitutionally problematic CFPB. His days are numbered if the Supreme Court either upholds the decision or does not take the case.

In case you missed these during the year I am posting Heritage top 10 2012 research papers here in one place.  They are all as relevant now as when they were published; in fact some even more so.  The United States is well on its way to total destruction as a free nation.  Our one chance at salvation was to elect Mitt Romney for President and we didn’t.  Obama won by a slim margin, but he  and the Democrats take that as a mandate to do as they please and because they still control the Senate and Harry Reid is at the helm there is nothing in the federal government to stop them.   The only forces now fighting Obama and Obamanation are the states and some very brave companies and individuals  who are trying thru the courts to hold off or hold back the onslaught of our demise.    I think you need to know what all of these reports say in order to perhaps  minimize the  personal damage the federal government will do to individuals in the coming years.  Sincerely and Happy New Year my Friends, BB

Top 10 Heritage Research Papers of 2012

Todd Thurman

December 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

federal spending 2008 – 2012As the year comes to a close, we reflect on 2012 by offering highlights of the top 10 most-read research papers by Heritage scholars.

1) The 2012 Index of Dependence on Government
By William Beach and Patrick Tyrrell
February 8, 2012
The great and calamitous fiscal trends of our time—dependence on government by an increasing portion of the American population, and soaring debt that threatens the financial integrity of the economy—worsened yet again in 2010 and 2011.

2) Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Increase Coming in 2013
By Curtis Dubay
April 4, 2012
If President Obama and Congress fail to act this year, an enormous, unprecedented tax increase will fall on American taxpayers starting on January 1, 2013.

3) High Gas Prices: Obama’s Half-Truths vs. Reality
By Nicolas Loris
February 23, 2012
Higher gas prices drive up production costs for goods reliant on transportation, and more money spent at the pump means less money spent at restaurants and movie theaters.

4) Federal Spending by the Numbers
By Alison Acosta Fraser
October 16, 2012
The federal government has closed out its fourth straight year of trillion-dollar-plus deficits, and the imperative to rein in spending has never been greater.

5) Red Tape Rising: Obama-Era Regulation at the Three-Year Mark
By James L. Gattuso and Diane Katz
March 13, 2012
During the first three years of the Obama Administration, 106 new major federal regulations added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans.

6) The Ryan Budget: Confronting the Nation’s Spending Crisis
By Alison Acosta Fraser and Patrick Louis Knudsen
March 21, 2012
In the few months since Washington’s dramatic debt ceiling confrontation, America’s fiscal situation has only worsened. Federal spending is set to soar past previous record-shattering levels, endangering the economic future of the nation.

7) Auto Bailout or UAW Bailout? Taxpayer Losses Came from Subsidizing Union Compensation
By James Sherk and Todd Zywicki
June 13, 2012
The U.S. government will lose about $23 billion on the 2008-2009 bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. President Obama emphatically defends his decision to subsidize the automakers, arguing it was necessary to prevent massive job losses.

8) Government Employees Work Less than Private-Sector Employees
By Jason Richwine, Ph.D.
September 11, 2012
The stereotype of the under-worked government employee is frequently invoked in criticisms of public-sector employment. But does the average public employee really work less than the average private employee?

9) Tax Policy Center’s Skewed Analysis of Governor Romney’s Tax Plan
By Curtis Dubay
September 23, 2012
Their conclusion is the result of a series of carefully made choices. These choices, not the underlying nature of the Romney plan, cause them to arrive at their selected result. This finding is harming the debate on tax reform.

10) Welfare Reform’s Work Requirements Cannot be Waived
By Andrew M. Grossman
August 8, 2012
Under the guise of providing states greater “flexibility” in operating their welfare programs, the Obama Administration now claims the authority to weaken or waive the work requirements that are at the heart of welfare reform.

Government Cash Handouts Now Top Tax Revenues – FoxBusiness.com.

Americans are now a people on the dole! and this will be the death of us.  BB

Government Cash Handouts Now Top Tax Revenues

By Elizabeth MacDonald

Published April 20, 2011

| FOXBusiness

U.S. households are now getting more in cash handouts from the government than they are paying in taxes for the first time since the Great Depression.

Households received $2.3 trillion in some kind of government support in 2010. That includes expanded unemployment benefits, as well as payments for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and stimulus spending, among other things.

But that’s more than the $2.2 trillion households paid in taxes, an amount that has slumped largely due to the recession, according to an analysis by the Fiscal Times.

Also, an estimated 59% of the 308.7 million Americans in this country get at least one federal benefit, according to the Census Bureau, based on 2009 data. An estimated 46.5 million get Social Security; 42.6 million get Medicare; 42.4 million get Medicaid; 36.1 million get food stamps; 12.4 million get housing subsidies; and 3.2 million get Veterans’ benefits.

And the handouts from the government have been growing. Government cash handouts account for a whopping 79% of household growth since 2007, even as household tax payments–for things like the income and payroll tax, among other taxes–have fallen by $312 billion.

That is a tough feeding trough to take away from voters.

For instance, Hennessey asks, if indeed more households have the government to thank for their wealth, does that mean those households are more inclined to re-elect politicians who are pushing for more government handouts?

………………………………..

President Obama had asked for the debt commission to “address the long-term quandary of a government that continually and extravagantly spends more than it takes in,” only to initially set aside  the commission’s recommendations. (What he should have done was to accept ENTIRELY the Debt Commission’s suggestions and pushed for it.  It would have brought the jobs and economy back full force while putting our country on a path to recovery and prosperity and given him the place in history he seems to want.  Of course it would also have been totally against his personal goal of destroying America. 
Since Obama did not use the Debt Commission program the House Republicans should have run with it!  The damned fools had the Republican sweep of the government in 2012 all laid out for them even if Harry Reid wouldn’t allow it thru the Senate.  Instead the Old Dog Republicans in the House are fumbling around with half measures that will do much less than is necessary and making themselves look inept to the public.  Perot was ahead of his time and could win in a landslide in 2012! BB)

And earlier this year the White House first introduced a budget that would have added $6.7 trillion more in deficit spending over the next 10 years, yanking the national debt higher to more than 75% of gross domestic product, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That, until GOP Rep. Paul Ryan offered his $4.4 trillion in spending cuts over ten years, causing the President to offer $4 trillion in cuts over 12 years.

The Fiscal Times reports that “the only other time government income support exceeded taxes paid was from 1931 to 1936.” The Times notes that “government transfers of income to households started to overtake personal taxes at the start of 2008, and the gap has been widening.”

The difference between what households received and what they paid in taxes is about $125 billion, equal to a little more than “three times the amount Republicans and Democrats agreed to cut from government spending through Sept. 30,” the Fiscal Times said. Typically, the gap between government transfers and taxes runs the other way, the Times reports.

“In normal times the household sector gives about eight percentage points more of its income in taxes than it receives in direct transfers,” the Times quotes J.P. Morgan economist Michael Feroli as saying, adding that a return to normalcy, or this eight-percentage-point spread, is equal to about $1.2 trillion in income.

So the question is: What government policies will bring the U.S. labor market back to robust health, enough to drive economic growth, consumer spending — and higher tax revenues?

When will the U.S. government pull back from its intervention into the U.S. economy, so the economy can try to stand on its own?  (Will this happen in time to save our nation?  I don’t know because it is mighty hard to take away once given, but it  is  almost impossible to explain to the elderly who make up the bulk of voters that their Social security and Medicare will not be taken from them.  I am one of the elderly and it amazes me how extremely stupid  this group of people are!  No matter how many times they are told that only those UNDER AGE 55 will see changes to their Medicare and Social Security this group of already on the dole senior citizens continue to mob town halls and yell, “Don’t touch my Social Security and Medicare!”  So between the stupid Senior citizens who are the voters and the gutless Congressmen who only want to be re-elected  I don’t have much hope.  Sincerely BB)

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/04/20/government-cash-handouts-exceed-tax-revenues/#ixzz1M9mrw3la

To Boldly Go Where No Party Has Gone Before… | The Weekly Standard.

By laying out the GOP case for entitlement reform this year, Republicans in Congress would show themselves to be the “adult” party. They’d force 2012 GOP candidates to be serious. They might even find bipartisan support for changes sooner rather than later. They’d also prove to the voters that they know why they were sent to Washington. What would it mean, after all, if the Tea Partying GOP House shied away from attempting to address federal spending in all its particulars—discretionary and nondiscretionary?

Why, it would mean failure.

The Republicans only control the House and they have a formidable  liberal wall in speaker Harry Reid Democrat in the Senate but they can put press and get things done  if there is a will to do so.  Just reducing or even doing away with all the “discretionary spending” will only be a drop in the bucket.  Our country needs to cut our entitlement spending!   This Congress has a chance now with the people by in large  behind them.

Many still can not understand that they did not pay into Social Security what they are getting out of it and demand “their” money back.   Most however are slowly coming to the truth and facts of the matter and know that Social security is really a government welfare program now.  And it is broken and broke.  The money is gone.  Yes it is true that the past Congress’s have stolen the money and squandered it on other programs.  And it is equally true that nothing can be done about this raiding of the Social Security pot.  And even if it were possible to put this money back it would only carry the current retirees until 2017 or there abouts depending on who is telling the tale. Something has to be done about the system now if  the young men and women  now employed and paying for us old geezers are going to get a bit for themselves.  The Debt Commissions has an excellent plan to save the system if Congress would but give it a hearing.

 

Medicare and Medicaid are so far in the red that only draconian changes can save the system.  I believe those who can afford their own medical insurance no matter how old there are should buy their own and get off of Medicare.  I also think that the taxes taken out of our paychecks for Medicare and Medicaid should be taken out of all income no matter how high it is.  Right now there is a ridiculously low cap, IMO.

 

Anyhow, the title is very apt: To Boldly Go where No Party Has Gone Before….       Please God help our Congress to have the courage top save our nation.  BB

Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of Excessive Government Spending4:19

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Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The C…145 viewsCFPEcon101

I wanted my readers to listen to this video because it is telling Americans the TRUTH.   A truth that I  personally don’t think we Americans have the guts to accept and take action on solving.  If we do not then what we saw happening on the streets of Greece this past week will be on the streets of America soon.    Only in Greece it was the unionized government workers  which in Greece is approximately 60% of the population, whereas in the United States it will be a generational battle unfortunately pitting grandparents against their grand children and as yet unborn great grand children.

Greece is bankrupt, flat out busted and in order to remain a viable nation the European nations will have to come together and bail Greece out.  The other nations have agreed to this but only if Greece takes measures to greatly reduce their debt which like ours the problem is not the deficits or borrowing, but the promises.  Promises made to the government workers for  long paid vacations (10 weeks),  large salaries, and large pensions and health retirement benefits at age 53.  The workers are rioting to hold the government to it’s promises.

Our government has also made promises.  Promises that like Greece the government can not possibly keep. Not if America is going to survive, and quite frankly not even if America does not survive because the money simply is not there and unlike Greece we are too large for any country or group of countries to bail out even if they were willing.    America is not to large to fail, we are to large to succeed on the path we are now traveling.

The two currently most disastrous unfunded liabilities are Medicare and Social Security.  Promises made that can not be kept under any circumstances.  I asked a poster to my blog the other day some questions and today Dear Reader I ask them of you;

Jordan, I don’t know your age but are you willing to tighten your belt to the point of what we will consider poverty? Are you willing to give up Social Security? You do know that the amount you paid into SS is returned to you within two years of retirement and after that you are really and truly living on the backs of your children with Elderly Welfare?

Are you willing to give up Medicare and cut back on all the doctor visits unless you are sick? In the past 10 years I have visited a doctor approximately 30 times. Half those visits have been for nothing more than “check ups” and an opportunity for the doctor to write me another prescription. I started eliminated those pills I was taking one at a time to see if there was a difference in how I felt. I went from 12 pills daily to seven. Then I cut out  the three and four times a day pills to once a day. Guess what? my blood tests given by the doctor have been much better!   In fact he doesn’t believe how much better.  I didn’t mention to him what I did.

Are you willing to give up your cell phone? You know we managed to live very well and raise our families without instant communication. I often wonder what so many people have to say to each other that can not wait until a face to face encounter!!

Are you willing to give up eating out? Are you willing to wear your clothes until they show wear and empty your closet of ten pairs of pants and twenty shirts when three pair of pants and 10 shirts will see you thru any occasion?

Are you willing to have no more than three pairs of shoes and to go to the shoe repair shop for new heels and soles? Fix the appliance rather than throw it out and get a new one?   Why must you and your family have a minimum of two cars?  Do you children really need dance lessons and riding lessons and all those organized sports?   Do your children (and you too) really need every new electronic gadgets  that comes out?  Will one computer per household and one TV per household be enough?  And I could go on and on with this. This is how my grandparents lived all their lives and my parents lived most of their lives until they caught what I call “affluenza” ( affluence gone wild) I have always lived with affluenza and except for a brief time early in my marriage when the babies were coming I never really had to watch my spending.

Are you willing to admit that social equality is a punk dream? That some people will always have more and do more than other folks because some folks are smarter and/or work harder?   Are you willing to accept the old fashioned moral obligation  of taking care of your own parents as they took care of you, and your children will be expected to take care of you?

Are you able to accept that there will always be rich and poor?  And instead of damning the rich man  you just might be glad to have a few around because Jordan I personally have never had a poor man give me a job!

Are you willing to live in a house that fits your family size and not a show place with pretty unused rooms?  My last three homes had to have a formal living room and dining room which were only used for holidays.  What a waste!

All of the above and much much more is what we Americans are going to have to do in order to bring our country back to liberty and freedom for all.

But heed my warning please:  this is coming to your life.  All of this austerity is coming to your life whether you voluntarily give it up and roll up your sleeves  and get to work or whether you go on a rampage and demand what simply is not there.  With the first  you take responsibility and accept changes to your life styles perhaps you can leave a better world to your children.  Or if you choose to whine and cry and riot and demand then evil will have won and will take over your government and take all this from you anyhow.  BB

While you are listening to this video you might take a look at some of the others.  Some good stuff here.  BB

Paul D. Comi Sr.

I am a 78 year old veteran of the Korean War. Upon my discharge in 1952, I came to California from my home in Massachusetts to attend college. My first job at Douglas Aircraft was for $1.25 an hour and even with the lower cost of things in those years, it was very difficult.
Starting college I got $110.00 a month from the GI bill, from which we were expected to pay our rent, education fees and other necessities of life. Fortunately, living in Manhattan Beach, all I needed was a couple pairs of denims, sweatshirt and “go aheads”, a Japanese inspired footwear that was very popular in the Beach area.
Every paycheck that I earned showed deductions for social security, by which we were promised it would be held in an inviolate trust by the congress. Of course, immediately, the congress began to take out the money and put IOU’s in its place.
I got a scholarship to USC and also got married and we soon had one child. My wife is an air force veteran who worked for an Orthodontist, so we were able to get by and even save money for the future of the education of our children.
Upon graduation, I worked as an actor for 41 years and while friends and many others that we knew, went on vacations and spent with little concern for their future and the future of their children, we were very focused on saving and investing what we could afford, while at the same time, paid into our social security and eventually, Medicare when it was made a law.
With this new Health Plan, that is purported to be so wonderful, but not good enough for Congress, the President and government workers to participate in, we find that not only have all of the congressmen and women who voted on our behalf for the bill, despite the majority of us being opposed to it, none of them have ever read the bill, nor can they understand it and are unable to explain it.

Now, we find out that this bill will affect and take money from Medicare, in which we have paid dutifully for years, but also will impact Social Security, which is already destined to be bankrupt in the near future. We also learn that one of the ways that this bill will be funded, is by taking away from my plan and giving the benefits to those who either avoided in some fashion contributing to it, or as in the case of illegals, didn’t contribute at all, but still have added an impossible burden on our hospitals and are one of the major reasons for the increasing costs of health care in the country today.

This all started with FDR and then with LBJ’s “Great Society” where the progressives and the democrats to gather the power from the unions, the illegals and indolent members of society that simply squandered their earnings.

Now of course, there are unfortunate people who need our support and compassion, but there is no attempt by the inefficient government system to weed the malingerers and the cheaters out. They don’t want to lose their vote, so they have created organizations like ACORN that have gotten millions of dollars of stimulus money and put pressure on banks to put up mortgage money for people who could never afford to pay the payments. That is where we find ourselves today.
I fear that we are laying the foundation for a time when both the dumber ones of us who believe that the government can produce money, when all it can do is tax us for it, will wake up and find the cupboard bare.
It will be at the same time that those of us who have been dependable and loyal supporters and have paid and invested in our future and the future of our children will also rise up in protest, not unlike some of the destructive protests that we have witnessed by the far left in response to what they perceive is not to their liking.
Wake up America, Wake up before you allow the greatest, most benificent nation that has struggled endlessly to improve and overcome whatever human failings it may have from time to time.


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