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Old 01-04-2013, 01:44 AM  
patteeu patteeu is offline
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Curbing Entitlement Growth: the longer we wait to act, the more severe the costs.

It's more imminently important to the real lives of Americans than climate change.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:53 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
It's more imminently important to the real lives of Americans than climate change.
curbing entitlement growth...

how do we do that exactly?

what's your position on increasing the maximum income subject to payroll taxes?

iirc, medicare/medicaid aren't allowed to bargain for medication prices, if correct changing that would save billions over 10 years...

i'm in favor of both of these proposals fwiw...
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go bowe View Post
curbing entitlement growth...

how do we do that exactly?

what's your position on increasing the maximum income subject to payroll taxes?

iirc, medicare/medicaid aren't allowed to bargain for medication prices, if correct changing that would save billions over 10 years...

i'm in favor of both of these proposals fwiw...
I'm against trying to tax our way out of a problem that has very little to do with a shortage of revenue.

As far as SS is concerned, we should decide whether we want it to be (a) a working class forced retirement savings program or (b) a pure form of welfare.

(a) If it's the former, I'm against increasing the cap on income subject to taxation. Instead, we should solve the problem by either cutting benefits (over a long transition period) or increasing the tax rate payed on the dollars that are already taxed.

(b) If we want it to be pure welfare, I'd be OK with just doing away with payroll taxes (fund the program through general taxation that covers all forms and levels of income). But we should dramatically reduce or eliminate the benefits for people in the middle class.

With respect to medicare, the problem is not a revenue problem. It's a benefit problem created by the spiraling cost of medical services and the rapid pace of benefit inflation. Ultra rich people couldn't get the level of care 20 or 30 years ago that medicare beneficiaries get today.

I don't know whether Medicare is allowed to bargain for a volume discount on drugs or not, but I'm against it because all it will do is shift costs to people who are privately insured just like what happens in the medical services area. That's not a solution, it's a cost shift scheme (essentially a clandestine tax forcing privately insured people to subsidize the medicare program).

IMO, the answer has to be some form of rationing for medicare patients. I'd prefer covering only a basic level of care (e.g. heart bypass surgery but not heart transplant surgery) using technology that has been around long enough for the price to come down as opposed to brand new, costly innovations. Beyond that, if the patient can pay for their own high tech, cutting edge treatment, great. If not, too bad. In other words, price rationing.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I'm against trying to tax our way out of a problem that has very little to do with a shortage of revenue.

As far as SS is concerned, we should decide whether we want it to be (a) a working class forced retirement savings program or (b) a pure form of welfare.

(a) If it's the former, I'm against increasing the cap on income subject to taxation. Instead, we should solve the problem by either cutting benefits (over a long transition period) or increasing the tax rate payed on the dollars that are already taxed.

(b) If we want it to be pure welfare, I'd be OK with just doing away with payroll taxes (fund the program through general taxation that covers all forms and levels of income). But we should dramatically reduce or eliminate the benefits for people in the middle class.

With respect to medicare, the problem is not a revenue problem. It's a benefit problem created by the spiraling cost of medical services and the rapid pace of benefit inflation. Ultra rich people couldn't get the level of care 20 or 30 years ago that medicare beneficiaries get today.

I don't know whether Medicare is allowed to bargain for a volume discount on drugs or not, but I'm against it because all it will do is shift costs to people who are privately insured just like what happens in the medical services area. That's not a solution, it's a cost shift scheme (essentially a clandestine tax forcing privately insured people to subsidize the medicare program).

IMO, the answer has to be some form of rationing for medicare patients. I'd prefer covering only a basic level of care (e.g. heart bypass surgery but not heart transplant surgery) using technology that has been around long enough for the price to come down as opposed to brand new, costly innovations. Beyond that, if the patient can pay for their own high tech, cutting edge treatment, great. If not, too bad. In other words, price rationing.
Excellent post. I agree with almost all of it. If only either political party did.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I'm against trying to tax our way out of a problem that has very little to do with a shortage of revenue.

As far as SS is concerned, we should decide whether we want it to be (a) a working class forced retirement savings program or (b) a pure form of welfare.

(a) If it's the former, I'm against increasing the cap on income subject to taxation. Instead, we should solve the problem by either cutting benefits (over a long transition period) or increasing the tax rate payed on the dollars that are already taxed.

(b) If we want it to be pure welfare, I'd be OK with just doing away with payroll taxes (fund the program through general taxation that covers all forms and levels of income). But we should dramatically reduce or eliminate the benefits for people in the middle class.

With respect to medicare, the problem is not a revenue problem. It's a benefit problem created by the spiraling cost of medical services and the rapid pace of benefit inflation. Ultra rich people couldn't get the level of care 20 or 30 years ago that medicare beneficiaries get today.

I don't know whether Medicare is allowed to bargain for a volume discount on drugs or not, but I'm against it because all it will do is shift costs to people who are privately insured just like what happens in the medical services area. That's not a solution, it's a cost shift scheme (essentially a clandestine tax forcing privately insured people to subsidize the medicare program).

IMO, the answer has to be some form of rationing for medicare patients. I'd prefer covering only a basic level of care (e.g. heart bypass surgery but not heart transplant surgery) using technology that has been around long enough for the price to come down as opposed to brand new, costly innovations. Beyond that, if the patient can pay for their own high tech, cutting edge treatment, great. If not, too bad. In other words, price rationing.
Social security is not welfare. Its a program we paid money into and expect that money back. Medicare is the same. I guess your checking account is an entitlement too.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:07 PM   #6
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Social security is not welfare. Its a program we paid money into and expect that money back. Medicare is the same. I guess your checking account is an entitlement too.
Not exactly. SS resembles welfare in the sense that the benefit calculation isn't proportional to contributions/taxes, but instead provides a larger benefit (as a percentage of income level) for lower income people than it does for higher income people (even after you account for the taxation cap).

In some ways it resembles a savings program (the larger your tax contributions the larger your benefit). In some ways it resembles a welfare program (disproportionate benefits for low income earners). And in some ways it resembles an annuity program (benefits continue until death and can't be passed on to heirs, although there is a limited survivor benefit for spouses).
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:08 PM   #7
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we need to kill the GREED before anything else. That's the REAL factor behind our collapse.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Not exactly. SS resembles welfare in the sense that the benefit calculation isn't proportional to contributions/taxes, but instead provides a larger benefit (as a percentage of income level) for lower income people than it does for higher income people (even after you account for the taxation cap).

In some ways it resembles a savings program (the larger your tax contributions the larger your benefit). In some ways it resembles a welfare program (disproportionate benefits for low income earners). And in some ways it resembles an annuity program (benefits continue until death and can't be passed on to heirs, although there is a limited survivor benefit for spouses).
Not true at all. Lower income earners earn their benefits based upon the average of 30 years of wages earned. If you earned less in your working life, you earn less in SS. If they were worried about benefits for high income earners there wouldn't be a cap.
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Originally posted by Logical
When the boobs are a bouncin, the Chiefs will be trouncin
What the Raiders fan has said is true, our customs are different. What Al Davis has said is unimportant, and we do not hear his words.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:59 PM   #9
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we need to kill the GREED before anything else. That's the REAL factor behind our collapse.
Also, we should make it so people no longer have to pee or poop. Since we're targeting basic human nature, think of all the dollars we save on plumbing infrastructure if we eliminate basic human waste.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:37 PM   #10
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Not true at all. Lower income earners earn their benefits based upon the average of 30 years of wages earned. If you earned less in your working life, you earn less in SS. If they were worried about benefits for high income earners there wouldn't be a cap.
What you're saying here is mostly true, except for the profoundly untrue first sentence. Unfortunately, it isn't the whole truth. My post provides the information you left out (most likely because you don't understand what you're talking about rather than because you're trying to deceive).
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
What you're saying here is mostly true, except for the profoundly untrue first sentence. Unfortunately, it isn't the whole truth. My post provides the information you left out (most likely because you don't understand what you're talking about rather than because you're trying to deceive).
As usual you bring no facts and then call into debate the knowledge of the person who dares to oppose you. The fact you left out that payments are based on wages earned and that contributions are capped throws out your whole argument. Of course a low income earner is going to have a higher percentage because the contributions are a percentage of their entire wages while those over $110k do not. I doubt you want to talk about raising those caps to make the system solvent.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:38 PM   #12
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Social security is not welfare. Its a program we paid money into and expect that money back. Medicare is the same. I guess your checking account is an entitlement too.
Uhm who put SS money into the general fund which was later ripped off?
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:33 PM   #13
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As usual you bring no facts and then call into debate the knowledge of the person who dares to oppose you. The fact you left out that payments are based on wages earned and that contributions are capped throws out your whole argument. Of course a low income earner is going to have a higher percentage because the contributions are a percentage of their entire wages while those over $110k do not. I doubt you want to talk about raising those caps to make the system solvent.


Everything I said was correct. I didn't leave anything out. The benefit calculation is based on wages, but it's not proportional to wages. It's skewed toward giving a proportionally larger benefit to the poor.

I specifically pointed out that this is true even when you take into account the tax cap. That means that, all else being equal, the benefit for a person who makes $70,000 every year will be a smaller percentage of his wage than a person who makes $30,000 even though neither of them ever benefitted from the tax cap.

It's time to stop proving that you don't know what you're talking about.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:15 PM   #14
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We would not be in debt if we didn't want to be. The same officials keep getting reelected and keep doing the same thing. They spend to much time trying to get reelected and not conducting business. They don't want to offend anyone for fear of losing a vote. What we need is a flat tax rate. Everyone will pay the same percentage on everything. No need for the IRS now. If the budget is not balanced every year, then no one is eligible for reelection. A maximum of 3 terms for anyone. We hold all primaries on the same day. All elections will be held every four years. A national holiday will be used for voting. If you vote, you get a certificate to give to your work and then you get paid. This takes care of voter apathy. Presidential candidates can announce no more than 2 months in advance of the primaries. This will eliminate the YEARS of campaigning. Senators and congressmen, 1 month. They have a job to do. If you miss more than 5% of your votes your fired. No admendments to bills. Time to stop the pork barreling. We don't need imigration reform, just enforce the laws we have. If you are here illegally, then you need to leave or join our military and serve for 4 years. Build the wall along the border and stop worring about offending Mexico
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:20 PM   #15
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It's more imminently important to the real lives of Americans than climate change.
I can't wait to watch families & kids starve to death. It really needs to start happening now.
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