Charlie, Every great society is defined by how well they take care of the elderly, indigent and less fortunate. Government was invented for said purpose. This year the Arab spring is proving once again the "golden rule" only goes so far. I'm not proposing a welfare state, I am proposing that people who run our government own up to their responsibility. As you suggest our government spends far and away more than it would take to fix some of our problems. All we are doing today is transferring wealth from our tax payers to the mega rich under the guise of war in the middle east. They feel entitled. They have spent good money creating these wars, they deserved to get paid. In the process a taxpayer or two pays the ultimate price. Others may get mangled in the process. You and I have been blessed beyond what many have. I am able bodied, have gainfull employment, and am on target to join you in a secure retirement some day. (could be 4-8 years. I'll do it on about 1/3 of what you have). Most days each week I spend some time with people that have less than I have. Many come asking for a handout. Some are messed up, some are victims of bad luck, some could do better if they tried, some aren't worth the spit to clear your throat. I try to help all people that I can (within the rules of some programs) and not let my personal prejudices enter into the decision. I will say from my experience that people with major medical problems and expense are challenged to live life as we all desire. Not all are capable of continuing to work. Most would like to pay their medical bills just for a start. With today's interest rates some of the elderly widows are paying a heavy price. Too bad Ben will never see it for himself (good riddance). Investing in junk bonds is not an answer for the widows. I do admire their fortitude. Most days we aren't too great of a society. Guess I'd choose "butter". They can have their "guns". So what does this have to do with a bond board? Welfare spending and wars drive interest rates upwards to the detriment of bond investors like myself. Seldom do people agree on the proper way to spend the tax payers money. We do have the best government that the rich can buy. Defined contributions have replaced defined benefits but most people don't have a clue what to do with it. For most people it's not necessarily going to get any better just because the pensions have gone out of style.
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