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Author Topic: Let's get real  (Read 1085 times)
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actikid
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« on: Mar 24, 2012, 07:07PM »

We have had all sorts of lively debates about people stand in today's political landscape, liberals versus conservatives, Republicans versus Democrats, Fundamentalist evangelicals versus people making a life in this world, etc.

But for me, those are all secondary issues.  They are symptoms of the big problem and not the real core issue.  When you put it into "how do those people affect me" terms, it really is pretty simple.

I am moving into a bit of an early retirement phase.  I did something similar 10 years ago and ended up doing a very demanding job for another 9 years.  I suppose that could happen again, but I'm not planning on that.  We have worked hard to set aside an amount of savings that should allow a reasonable lifestyle.  I say SHOULD, and therein lies the big political issue.

I need two things from our system:

1) I need politicians that will honor the Social Security and Medicare programs I have paid into for 40 years.  Those systems are INSURANCE PROGRAMS, and I am entitled to my benefits under those programs.  Both programs are highly solvent, and only need minor adjustments to ensure they will be stable for another 75 years.

2) I need politicians that will not ruin our economy.  I am invested in the normal markets, and need to have a fair return over the next several decades.  A modestly successful economy will get the job done. 

So here it is, plain and simple. 

A) Republicans want to dismantle Medicare and Social Security.  They have wanted to do that since the outset, and the last two years, Rep. Ryan has put forward budgets that will, in fact, strip most of the benefits I have earned.  It is not necessary.  This is just more of their normal efforts to socialize the risks, privatize the profits.  Republicans cannot stand to see a big pile of money sitting on the public books when that money could be funneled into the pockets of the uber-wealthy.  The Ryan plan, if it were to be successful, would cost every retiree $6000 or more a year in extra expenses, purchasing coverage from private insurance companies.  That is not the deal that I paid into for 40 years.

B) I have to cover about 7 years of health insurance before I can get to Medicare.  I have the means to do that.  But this is only a viable plan when insurance companies cannot arbitrarily terminate my policy.  When I was in an employer group policy, there was no risk because they have to manage the plan as a pool.  But until the "Obama Cares" legislation passed, insurance companies were free to gouge any individual, and then to terminate their policy if you got an expensive illness.  That would wipe out a lifetime of savings.  Before the "Obama Cares" legislation passed, 40% of the bankruptcies in the US were directly related to the costs of a major illness.  Republicans want to kill that legislation.  If they are successful, then that puts me in the position for the next 6 years that if my wife or I gets sick with an expensive illness, we can be wiped out financially.  That is not right.  Shame on every Republican that is trying to roll back that legislation, which is to say every Republican.

C) I need the economy to be stable because I need to get an annual yield of about 3% above inflation in order to maintain a modest lifestyle.  That is a reasonable expectation.  The simple truth is that whenever Republicans get control of the White House, they wreck the economy.  This pattern has been going on for 90 years.  It is not a coincidence.  They favor policies that concentrate the wealth in the hands of the few, but the few park that money offshore and don't invest in our economy.  You need a strong middle class to keep the economy healthy, and this is fundamentally the opposite of what Republicans believe.

Here are the 90-year employment results:


And here is an article that shows how investments have fared under Republican and Democratic Presidents.  Please note this analysis is not adjusted for inflation.  Investing during Republican Presidencies yields 4.9% on average, barely keeping up with long-term inflation, and that doesn't count Hoover's disaster. Investing with Democratic Presidents in office has yielded 8.9% -- well above inflation.  Plain and simple, if the markets perform at the "Republican level", I'll have to greatly scale back my lifestyle.  If the markets perform at the "Democratic level", I can maintain a comfortable, not extravagant lifestyle.

So let's get real.  Unless you are a billionaire, you are going to face most of the issues I am describing above.  It is manifestly against any non-billionaire's interest to vote to put any Republicans in charge of anything that is even remotely connected with money.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 24, 2012, 08:21PM »

You and I are in similar conditions.

Except that my wife and I both have chronic conditions and no insurance company wants to take us.

I had COBRA for 18 months and it ran out mid last year.  Since then I have been paying medical expenses out of pocket.  I'm paying a lot less than the COBRA premiums for our periodic doctor visits and medications.  I am trying to "bank" the amount of money I am not paying in premiums as a hedge against a modest catastrophic health situation. 

I understand I will be eligible for a "pool" policy next month.  We are going to see how that works.  I'm eligible for Medicare next year and my wife in 2016.  I hope we get there.

I had originally planned on working until I couldn't.  Given I'm in a "brain" occupation I thought I could continue until I was well past nominal retirement age.  The "prune the gray" attitude of all companies added to the lousy economy that generates very few jobs has scotched that plan.

I'm not a wild-eyed Liberal.  I'm not looking for Socialism.  If the economy was such that I could easily get a job to have health insurance I wouldn't be too upset.  But with the large number of folks like me out of work and unable to find new jobs, we need to make some provision for those of us who contributed to the great run-up of the 1970s and 1980s.

But the only options for folks like me is to be greeters at Wal-Mart, and that doesn't pay enough to cover the rent (and their health insurance is simply a way to extract money from the employees without bothering to give benefits).

I know we have two regular posters who have no sympathy for either of us.  One has a small business and manages to get enough work and the other has a medical practice that he can eventually turn over to fund his retirement.  I'll bet the other arch conservatives here are too young to have met the "prune the gray and eliminate those with chronic illness" attitude that strikes at age 50.  Wonder how they will feel when it hits them too.
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actikid
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 24, 2012, 08:32PM »

I'll bet the other arch conservatives here are too young to have met the "prune the gray and eliminate those with chronic illness" attitude that strikes at age 50.  Wonder how they will feel when it hits them too.
If we lose the battles now, it will be even worse for the next generation.  It is sad that so many people are blind to what is happening and so quick to stake out political positions that are completely against their own future wellbeing.

I am very fortunate.  I have had a very fortunate life.  In this particular case, the timing of my withdrawal from the full-time workforce greatly benefited from the "Obama Cares" legislation.  The problem you face is that you had the gap in your COBRA coverage before the "Obama Cares" provisions took effect.  The next break in the "Obama Cares" law for you comes with the high risk pools and the exchanges that are supposed to start appearing in 2013 and 2014.  That isn't a great solution, but it is better than nothing, and the Republicans are trying to eliminate those items by repealing "Obama Cares" in its entirety.

In my case, the timing was such that I don't have that gap.  My wife and I are both reasonably healthy now and I expect I can purchase a policy long before COBRA ends for me.  And then theoretically they could not cancel me as long as I make all my payments on time.  But if I were to get a bad diagnosis next week (before I can get my own non-COBRA policy in force), that whole strategy falls apart and we could be bankrupted, with medical expenses quickly wiping out 40 years of savings.

We are the only advanced nation that operates this way.  Why is it so hard for so many people to see this?
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 25, 2012, 08:49AM »

Except that my wife and I both have chronic conditions and no insurance company wants to take us.

I had COBRA for 18 months and it ran out mid last year.  Since then I have been paying medical expenses out of pocket.  I'm paying a lot less than the COBRA premiums for our periodic doctor visits and medications.  I am trying to "bank" the amount of money I am not paying in premiums as a hedge against a modest catastrophic health situation.

Mr. Guttman, I hope that you and your wife's medical conditions improve. It sounds like you are doing the responsible and intelligent thing. Eat healthy and stay positive and you will make it. I am a huge believer that a positive mental attitude can go a long way in helping our physical health.

If we lose the battles now, it will be even worse for the next generation.  It is sad that so many people are blind to what is happening and so quick to stake out political positions that are completely against their own future wellbeing.

How do you define political positions that are against people's own well being? Is it using the power of the Federal Government to confiscate the wealth and treasure of other citizens to pay for a service you feel entitled too? My well being would benefit greatly if I did not have to worry about paying my mortgage or student loans. But creating a coalition of politicians to use (abuse) the power of law to take from others to pay my financial responsibilities is morally and ethically wrong in my world view.

I am completely for supporting and creating a program that helps people who truly need medical care, or fall into "gaps" like Mr. Guttman. Sensible and responsible legislation could be drafted for that cause, but Obama care is a one size fits all wrecking ball of devastation. The law should have focused on the gaps and the working poor who make too much for Medicaid but make to little to have a private policy. I think that would have created an environment that would actually be supporting by a majority of people unlike Obamacare.

As for my situation, I am now uninsured because of Obamacare. I am fortunate to not have have chronic medical conditions and I am in good health. However when Obamacare was passed two years ago, my personal policy which I had held for 9 or 10 tens became way to expensive. My premiums tripled in short order and I canceled the policy. When I asked the company why my premiums almost tripled they told me that since they were unsure what the future costs would be with Obamacare, they were going to charge more now in anticipation of its implementation and lose of profit for them.

As a free market proponent I do not blame Aetna at all for what they did. I blame Pres. Obama personally. He told us that premiums would diminish and the costs would go down. For me they went up so I dropped what I had.

1) I need politicians that will honor the Social Security and Medicare programs I have paid into for 40 years.  Those systems are INSURANCE PROGRAMS, and I am entitled to my benefits under those programs.

Where has any Republican, including Rep. Ryan stated he wants to cut those like yourself who have paid into the system in good faith? Every plan I read and hear from the Republicans has always included a tier system where those already on or near those programs would remain unaffected for the rest of their life. The tiers would reduce payments incrementally the farther you were from retirement starting 10 years out and reduce them the farther you are. Do not believe the boogie-man liberal lie that they want to push Granny off the cliff. As a very conservative person, I want to see you get all that you deserve and have paid in good faith to get. However for me and my generation, I do not want to be part of that system and I want a way out and not be straddled with the debt.

Both programs are highly solvent, and only need minor adjustments to ensure they will be stable for another 75 years.

I am not sure where you get your information, but I get mine from the Social Security Administration itself. They are broke and need MAJOR adjustments. You really should do your research and not trust the liberal talking points. Saying a lie over and over will not make it come true.

http://www.ssa.gov/oact/TRSUM/index.html

Quote
Conclusion

Projected long-run program costs for both Medicare and Social Security are not sustainable under currently scheduled financing, and will require legislative corrections if disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers are to be avoided.

The financial challenges facing Social Security and Medicare should be addressed soon. If action is taken sooner rather than later, more options and more time will be available to phase in changes so that those affected can adequately prepare.


A) Republicans want to dismantle Medicare and Social Security.  They have wanted to do that since the outset, and the last two years, Rep. Ryan has put forward budgets that will, in fact, strip most of the benefits I have earned.  It is not necessary.  This is just more of their normal efforts to socialize the risks, privatize the profits.  Republicans cannot stand to see a big pile of money sitting on the public books when that money could be funneled into the pockets of the uber-wealthy.  The Ryan plan, if it were to be successful, would cost every retiree $6000 or more a year in extra expenses, purchasing coverage from private insurance companies.  That is not the deal that I paid into for 40 years.

Once again I ask, can you show me documentation or direct quotes where Republican politicians have written or said that they want to prevent people like yourself who are close to retirement from receiving benefits? I want a real citation, not hearsay from a liberal commentator or opinion piece designed to drum up fear.

2) I need politicians that will not ruin our economy.  I am invested in the normal markets, and need to have a fair return over the next several decades.  A modestly successful economy will get the job done. 

______________________________________

C) I need the economy to be stable because I need to get an annual yield of about 3% above inflation in order to maintain a modest lifestyle.  That is a reasonable expectation.  The simple truth is that whenever Republicans get control of the White House, they wreck the economy.  This pattern has been going on for 90 years.  It is not a coincidence.  They favor policies that concentrate the wealth in the hands of the few, but the few park that money offshore and don't invest in our economy.  You need a strong middle class to keep the economy healthy, and this is fundamentally the opposite of what Republicans believe.

What are you talking about? Where do Republicans say that they want to get rid of the middle class? You are doing nothing here but projecting. When G.W. Bush was in office, the stock market hit its all time high and unemployment was at or below 5% which is considered statistically zero for 7 and 1/2 years of his administration.

As for a sustainable economy, what do you propose about the debt? From George Washington to Bill Clinton we racked up 5 trillion in debt. Along came G.W. Bush and carelessly added 5 more tillion on the nations debt in 8 years. Then the human wrecking ball that is Obama added 5 trillion in ONLY 3 years and is still adding it at 3 times the rate of Bush. Does this not worry you that Obama will destroy the nation and drown it in debt just to make legislative legacy monuments to himself?

Who do you think is going to pay this back? How are we ever going to have economic stability when Democrats are spending 1 trillion more a year than we have? Sure, we can can do that for a couple of years, but what happens when we are 30 trillion or 50 trillion in debt? Who will lend to us? How will we be taxed enough to pay for it? I would say the Democrats spend like drunken sailors, but that is offensive to drunken sailors.


Here are the 90-year employment results:


And here is an article that shows how investments have fared under Republican and Democratic Presidents.  Please note this analysis is not adjusted for inflation.  Investing during Republican Presidencies yields 4.9% on average, barely keeping up with long-term inflation, and that doesn't count Hoover's disaster. Investing with Democratic Presidents in office has yielded 8.9% -- well above inflation.  Plain and simple, if the markets perform at the "Republican level", I'll have to greatly scale back my lifestyle.  If the markets perform at the "Democratic level", I can maintain a comfortable, not extravagant lifestyle.

My Roth IRA did great under Bush and has lost money with Obama. I actively follow the market and invest in stocks (both long and short positions), bonds, ETFs and mutual funds. I am just treading water with Obama since there is so much uncertainty due to his policies and regulations. I am just now getting back to wear I was in 2009 when he took office. How is that hope and change working out for you? It ruined me and put me years behind on my investments.

I should also mention that you are academical dishonest. You posted a chart and then an article. I checked the article and could not find that graph. So I looked up the URL and it comes from a different source! The article is a New York Times piece and the graph comes from a Ken Ashford Blog. You post the information however as though those the article and the chart come from the same source and they do not. The accuracy, sources and methodology can not be explained or how the values were derived for the chart. So it is invalid in relation to your citation and for all I know made up.

I can make a chart showing I am the greatest trombonist in the world and post it. It does not make it true or accurate. Once again, I respect your positions and would like to engage you in a dialog, but you can not be saying things like "Republicans want to dismantle Social Security" without citations. You can say "I think Republicans want to dismantle Social Security", but do not masquerade opinions as facts.
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SensitiveJohn
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:00AM »

During the Clinton presidency, the DJIA went up more than 300%.  During the evil Dubya Bush presidency, the DJIA went down by 10%.  During the Obama presidency, the DJIA has gone up by 44%.

Anyway, gambling on the stock market is hardly a wise way for a compassionate society to provide economic security and retirement benefits for its workers.  And only looking at stock prices is a short-sighted way of judging the health of the nation's financial wellbeing.  There is much more involved.  For instance, the failure of Obama to institute real financial change has kept our economy weak and unemployment high, but the stock market is up right now, but we still have a lot of underlying problems such as unsustainable housing debt, unsustainable student loan debt, unsustainable credit card debt, unsustainable government debt, and an unsustainable fall in wages.  Eventually the well will run dry.
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:09AM »

Most of what you have typed is just standard vague talking points, so I am not going to respond to that.  I will be happy to respond to the specifics or items of fact in your post.
As for my situation, I am now uninsured because of Obamacare. I am fortunate to not have have chronic medical conditions and I am in good health. However when Obamacare was passed two years ago, my personal policy which I had held for 9 or 10 tens became way to expensive. My premiums tripled in short order and I canceled the policy. When I asked the company why my premiums almost tripled they told me that since they were unsure what the future costs would be with Obamacare, they were going to charge more now in anticipation of its implementation and lose of profit for them.
Your issue is with the private insurance companies not with Obama or the Affordable Care Act.  There is no doubt that the private industry has always engaged in price gouging and other predatory tactics.  The "Obama Cares" legislation actually reigns that in.  What you saw, undoubtedly was an insurance company rushing to get in another round of price gouging before the legislation kicked in.

Arguing that we should not try to stop this -- that we should just leave these sharks alone to do whatever they want -- is truly outrageous.

As a matter of fact, the rate in increase of health care costs has REDUCED in the past year, for the first time in over a decade.
Where has any Republican, including Rep. Ryan stated he wants to cut those like yourself who have paid into the system in good faith?
The Ryan budget for the last 2 years has specified that medicare be ended and replaced with 100% private insurance -- you know, those people that tripled your rates because they could get away with it.  The Ryan plan would give retirees a voucher initially worth $8000, and subject to reduction in future budgets.  According to the CBO, while the cost of providing this insurance under the current single payer system is about $8000, private insurance companies would charge $14,000 or more for that same coverage.   In other words, CURRENT retirees would have a shortfall of $6000 per year the first year, with the likelihood that people like Ryan would keep reducing the vouchers until the support is completely gone.

This is exactly what Ryan has proposed -- and all but 4 Republicans voted for in the House.  You need to study that rather than relying on the GOP talking points.
I am not sure where you get your information, but I get mine from the Social Security Administration itself. They are broke ...
No, that is not true.  If you believe that, then you don't understand the principles behind the funding process.  From the beginning the fund was set up to pay current recipients with the contributions of the next generation.  The fund collects a positive cash flow during the periods of increasing population in order to have reserves for when that wave of the population reaches their benefit years.  This is exactly how the system is working, and the fund holds TBills sufficient to cover all the requirements at least through 2025.  With a small adjustment, this fund will be viable for 75 years. 

There is simply no problem with either the Social Security or Medicare funds.  They are working exactly as designed.  The problem, if there is one, is that the TBills represent funds that have been spent for other purposes and will need to be repaid, just like any other TBill.
As for a sustainable economy, what do you propose about the debt? From George Washington to Bill Clinton we racked up 5 trillion in debt. Along came G.W. Bush and carelessly added 5 more tillion on the nations debt in 8 years. Then the human wrecking ball that is Obama added 5 trillion in ONLY 3 years and is still adding it at 3 times the rate of Bush. Does this not worry you that Obama will destroy the nation and drown it in debt just to make legislative legacy monuments to himself?
Look, that is just political bullcrap.  There wasn't a single Republican that showed the slightest bit of concern for these deficits when George W. Bush put us on the current course with 2 unfunded wars, an unfunded drug benefit and the collapse of our banking system together with a vast transfer of wealth to the "too big to fail" banksters (9 trillion dollars).

While the deficit is a concern, it is not the biggest concern.  Our monetary system depends on a growing population.  The modern notion of capitalism is not sustainable in an era where essential resources (water, energy, etc) make it impossible for the population to continue to expand.  That has nothing to do with Obama.

In the immediate term, the priority is to grow the economy and turn safety net recipients into taxpayers.  That is happening.  The facts are that Bush ran a larger deficit than we currently have.  Bush used bogus accounting, keeping the costs of the wars off budget.  Obama fixed that.  That immediately took the deficit from the fake numbers under Bush of about $600B to the true accounting of about $1.5T.  And from that point the improving economy has been bringing down the deficit steadily -- now about $1.1T.  That is higher than I'd like to see because there is a  possibility of long-term inflation.  But as long as we are around 8% unemployment, that is a check on inflation.  As we move towards the 6% unemployment rate, inflation will be more of a concern, so we need to keep gradually reducing the deficit (about $100B a year reduction) as the economy improves.

If you are not aware of the bogus accounting, and don't care about having facts in your arguments, we cannot have a discussion.
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« Reply #6 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:13AM »

Social Security is one of the few government programs still running in the black.  Those that claim otherwise are usually misinformed or are deliberately spreading misinformation because they have ideological bent against Social Security.
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« Reply #7 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:18AM »

Ryan is one of the nation's greatest enemies.  If his plan is ever enacted it will end Medicare as we know it.  And it will facilitate elimination the middle class.  Seniors will become bankrupt to pay for their health costs.  They will no longer be able to help pay for their grandkids college.  They won't pass on real estate to their kids.  Their wealth and real estate will instead pass into the hands of the top 1% that own the health insurance and financial industries.
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« Reply #8 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:19AM »


 "Obama Cares"


I love that phrase!! What a great comeback to all the haters!!
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« Reply #9 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:19AM »

Social Security is one of the few government programs still running in the black.  Those that claim otherwise are usually misinformed or are deliberately spreading misinformation because they have ideological bent against Social Security.
The funny thing is that I have yet to meet the first one of these right-wingers who refuses to accept the Social Security and Medicare checks.

Keep your filthy guvmint hands off my Medicare.
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« Reply #10 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:23AM »

Remember that the stimulus was only 1 trillion of the 5 trillion.  The rest of Obama's debt increase is mostly due to his failure to end the Bush wars and his compromises extending the Bush tax cuts.  That and the reduced income of the working class, due to an unsound economy that Obama inherited, has reduced the ability of the government to raise revenue.  As far as I know, all Republicans, with the rare exception of Ron Paul, were not in favor of pulling out of the wars.  And all Republicans were in favor of extending the tax cuts.  This talk of cutting Medicare, and no talk of cutting back on a uselessly over-sized cold-war Navy and Airforce is farcical.
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« Reply #11 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:27AM »

Yeah 'actikid'!

Thanks for spelling things out like they are!

The truth always hurts some people.

Keep up the good work!
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« Reply #12 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:35AM »

Social Security is one of the few government programs still running in the black.  Those that claim otherwise are usually misinformed or are deliberately spreading misinformation because they have ideological bent against Social Security.

Misinformation? At least I can cite sources proving you are 100% wrong. I am sorry, but facts hurt.

Some of these even go back as far as 2010.

http://www.factcheck.org/2011/02/democrats-deny-social-securitys-red-ink/

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/5/social-security-red-first-time-ever/

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/05/news/economy/social_security_trustees_report/index.htm

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/08/05/social-security-in-the-red-but-health-care-overhaul-may-boost-m/

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-02-07-social-security-red-retirements_N.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/business/economy/25social.html



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« Reply #13 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:36AM »

Keep your filthy guvmint hands off my Medicare.

I remember that their primary argument against the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was that it would (falsely) weaken Medicare.  Now they are trying to cripple Medicare to the point of uselessness, at which point, they will undoubtedly call for its demise.
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« Reply #14 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:38AM »

Yeah 'actikid'!

Thanks for spelling things out like they are!

The truth always hurts some people.

Keep up the good work!


Yeah, I can cite actual sources from the Social Security Administration's Trustee's that were appointed by Obama and you all say it is Republican propaganda. That is fascinating.

Where can Mr. Actikid show me in the Ryan plan what he claims? The Ryan plan is online. Can he quote it? Tell us what page it is on? No, because it is not there. His hatred of Republicans blinds to the facts. Sorry, it is just how it is.
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« Reply #15 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:40AM »

The funny thing is that I have yet to meet the first one of these right-wingers who refuses to accept the Social Security and Medicare checks.

Keep your filthy guvmint hands off my Medicare.

You are forced to by federal law to sign up for Medicare when you are eligible. If you are a law abiding citizen and turn 65, you have to whether you want it or not. There is no choice.

And as long as I am forced to pay for people who did not plan for their retirement I will be happy to take the money confiscated from me back when I can. I owe the United States nothing and I owe my fellow citizens nothing. I would be happy to take it to do what little I can my to bankrupt the system. In the process show liberals why they are wrong. It is a win/win for me. I plan for my retirement and know SSI will not be there for me.
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« Reply #16 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:44AM »

You are forced to by federal law to sign up for Medicare when you are eligible. If you are a law abiding citizen and turn 65, you have to whether you want it or not. There is no choice.
No.  You are not required to file for Social Security.  And you are welcome to return any Medicare or Social Security checks to the IRS.  Are you committing to do that?

And here is an article that provides the facts related to the Ryan budget plan.

Here is the CBO analysis of Ryan's plan from last year.

You probably won't find  a section in the budget entitled "How I plan to end Medicare forever".  Instead, look for references to "premium support".

Here are the hey provisions in this year's Ryan budget:

Key components of the Wyden-Ryan plan

  • Premium support/voucher. The government would provide a voucher for a fixed dollar amount to each Medicare enrollee to help pay their premiums for private insurance or traditional Medicare. (Tr: We start with an $8000 voucher and then fight every year to cut that number.)
  • Choice of plans. Beginning in 2022, seniors could choose between traditional Medicare and an approved private insurance plan that offers comprehensive coverage at least equal to the benefits provided by Medicare.
  • Premium amount. The federal government would pay an amount based on the cost of the plan with the second-lowest cost determined through competitive bidding, whether it is a private health plan or traditional Medicare. Enrollees would have to pay for any charges above the government contribution. If they select a plan with a premium below the federal subsidy, they would receive a rebate. A new limit on out-of-pocket spending would protect seniors from catastrophic health care costs. (tr: the CBO has determined that the average senior would pay $6000 out of pocket.)
  • Consumer protections. The proposal states that the Wyden-Ryan plan would include the "toughest consumer protections" in American government, which would help ensure that seniors are able to enroll in the plan that best meets their needs. (tr: but we aren't going to say what those protections are.)
  • Medicare growth. The growth of Medicare would be capped, for the first time, at the growth of the economy plus one percent, a slower rate of increase than Medicare has historically experienced. To stay under the limit, it is expected that Congress would cut payments to providers and suppliers responsible for the overspending and/or further increase Medicare premiums for high-income beneficiaries. (tr: there would be no capping on the private insurance providers.  The game plan is to kill Medicare by making it so bad that doctors and hospitals would no longer accept people ensured by Medicare.)

No matter how cleverly this little weasel tries to get with the wording, it ends up being the same thing.  He is simply trying to kill Medicare, period.
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SensitiveJohn
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« Reply #17 on: Mar 25, 2012, 10:47AM »

Misinformation? At least I can cite sources proving you are 100% wrong. I am sorry, but facts hurt.
Thanks for pointing that out.  I'm inclined to believe your claim based on a link you provided.  My facts weren't up to date, and I apologize.  I was recalling arguments from a couple years ago and pre-recession predictions that indicated that we still had several years to go of SS solvency.  This just goes to show how serious the Dubya recession set back America.

However, 37 billion is a small drop in a 1.267 trillion dollar deficit bucket, and in this case, the facts don't hurt that bad.  If the Dubya recession hadn't increased unemployment and reduced workers' incomes, SS would still be in the black.

The Iraq war and the Afghan war collected no money, so they were 100% in the red.  Perhaps they should tax the Afghans and the Iraqis to pay for wars that have no benefit to the United States.

All we have to do is eliminate the unfair Social Security cap, and SS would be back in the black instantly.  Or if employment returned and workers' income growth returned to normal, SS would also be in the black, but I suspect that the large multinational corporations and their lapdogs in Congress will make sure that 3% unemployment rates are a thing of the past.
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TillerTrom

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« Reply #18 on: Mar 25, 2012, 11:14AM »

John,
I appreaciate your intellectual honesty. I also want you to know I think you make very valid points, especially on the ill concieved wars and the way they have been waged and conducted. I will admit I supported them in 2002, but have since been upset with much of the aftermath. I do not blame our troops, but the military brass and Bush and Obama administration officials.
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...you are a trombonist.  :)  In short, you are a sucker.  You are being used.
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« Reply #19 on: Mar 25, 2012, 11:18AM »

John,
I appreaciate your intellectual honesty. I also want you to know I think you make very valid points, especially on the ill concieved wars and the way they have been waged and conducted. I will admit I supported them in 2002, but have since been upset with much of the aftermath. I do not blame our troops, but the military brass and Bush and Obama administration officials.
And do you also accept the fact that Bush never put that in any budget and those costs were never shown as part of the deficit at any time during Bush's administration?

Whenever Bush was challenged on his unscrupulous accounting, he would launch into a "Why do you hate America?  Didn't you hear about 911? Why are you on Osama's side?" argument.

Under Obama the accounting is much more honest.  You may not like seeing those numbers so high -- and I don't either -- but it is a heck of a lot better than having them hidden.
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Where was Blackwater on the morning of September 11, 2001?
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