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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 56800  
Subject: Deleted Message Date: 2/14/2007 10:05 AM
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The message you're trying to access has been removed from the boards. The most likely reason for this is that the message violated our Fool's Rules about appropriate content. Either that or it was swallowed up by intergalactic space beasts from the planet Xeenu.

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Author: mickaelangelo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1881 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 10:48 AM
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Does anyone really want to end the National Institutes of Health at $28 billion? Or how about the $41 billion we spend to support federal courts, prosecutors and police (the FBI, DEA, Border Patrol)?

Yes; these programs as wasteful and useless as any of the others listed.

An interesting article, if you find reports of the earth's roundness interesting.

Lumping Social Security ($544 billion) in with the other programs and implying that it is significantly more expensive than Defense ($520 billion) is misleading. Particularly when you factor in the fact that the SS coffers are empty (after all we need to get the war money from somewhere) and the Defense budget is a real, albeit unnecessary expense.

How seriously can you take an article that dismisses the idea of doing away with something because it would save "only $1.3 billion?"

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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1882 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 10:56 AM
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{{How seriously can you take an article that dismisses the idea of doing away with something because it would save "only $1.3 billion?"}}


It is kind of like those discussions about saving for retirement regarding which is more important, cutting out daily lattes or purchasing a smaller, cheaper house and purchasing used vehicles. Some would say that the lattes are so insignificant as to be almost meaningless. I think a reasonable argument can be made about $1.3 billion in a $3 trillion budget.


c

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Author: alan81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1901 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 1:33 PM
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Interesting choice of language...
so are you pining for 1956, when the highest marginal tax bracket was 91%?
At any rate, we currently spend about 1.4% of our GNP on feeding, and housing the disadvantaged in our society. You can call it anything you want, but it is taking care of those who either don't want to or can't support themselves. I agree that to the extent it is a "don't want to", we need to figure out how to make them "want to", and if it is a "can't" we should try to find some ways so they "can".
However, if you compare the 1.4% we are spending on this to the 15% we are spending on health care, it seems to me healthcare is certainly the bigger issue.
--Alan

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Author: NMTech74 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1906 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 2:07 PM
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"It might help if Americans called welfare programs -- current benefits for select populations, paid for by current taxes -- by their proper name, rather than by the soothing (and misleading) labels of "entitlements" and "social insurance." That way, we might ask ourselves who deserves welfare and why.

There is nothing misleading about these terms.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_insurance#Social_insurance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_%28financial_aid%29

As Rush Limbaugh says, words have meanings.




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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1908 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 2:23 PM
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<<"It might help if Americans called welfare programs -- current benefits for select populations, paid for by current taxes -- by their proper name, rather than by the soothing (and misleading) labels of "entitlements" and "social insurance." That way, we might ask ourselves who deserves welfare and why.

There is nothing misleading about these terms.
>>


Of course there is.


Social Security, Medicare and many other such programs are income transfer programs, and the benefits people receive usually have little to do with the taxes they pay. That's why there has been a history of huge and frequent taxe increases to pay for the unfunded benefits people are receiving.

Needless to say, there are a LOT more tax increases that will be required to keep Medicare and Social Security from failing, if that's possible to do at all.


So I think the honest thing to do is to call these welfare programs, just as was suggested. It's far more accurate and descriptive than calling them insurance programs, which they are not. No insurance company would be permitted to run Ponzi schemes like Social Security and Medicare.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1909 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 2:29 PM
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No insurance company would be permitted to run Ponzi schemes like Social Security and Medicare.



Seattle Pioneer




Couple of questions:

1. Are you old enough for SS and Medicare?
2. Will you take them when you are?

AM

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Author: NMTech74 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1913 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 2:49 PM
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<<"It might help if Americans called welfare programs -- current benefits for select populations, paid for by current taxes -- by their proper name, rather than by the soothing (and misleading) labels of "entitlements" and "social insurance." That way, we might ask ourselves who deserves welfare and why.

There is nothing misleading about these terms.
>>


Of course there is.


Only if you don't understand much about these programs.

The programs differ in how they are funded, who funds them, the amount of distributions, the eligibility for distributions, and the length of time that distributions are paid out.

Needless to say, there are a LOT more tax increases that will be required to keep Medicare and Social Security from failing, if that's possible to do at all.

Social Security is not failing. If nothing changes, Medicare will have funding problems in a decade or so, largely because of the relative high rate of increase in medical expenses.

So I think the honest thing to do is to call these welfare programs, just as was suggested.

Only if you have minted a new definition of "honest."

No insurance company would be permitted to run Ponzi schemes like Social Security and Medicare.

Oh dear, not that old chestnut again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme

If you'd like to read a whole book about the topic, try:

http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=61-9780226035468-0





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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1917 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 3:13 PM
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<<
Couple of questions:

1. Are you old enough for SS and Medicare?
2. Will you take them when you are?

AM
>>


I am 57, and if the government is foolish enough to pay subsidies to millionaires, I'm willing to take what they will give me.



I also favor means testing Social Security and Medicare to reduce the burden on young people who are working and paying taxes.


Why pay benefits to people who don't need them?



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1919 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 3:19 PM
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<<Needless to say, there are a LOT more tax increases that will be required to keep Medicare and Social Security from failing, if that's possible to do at all.

Social Security is not failing. If nothing changes, Medicare will have funding problems in a decade or so, largely because of the relative high rate of increase in medical expenses.
>>


Medicare and Social Security both have eye popping unfunded liabilities.

The "pay as you go" funding method that Democrats have supported is going to fail as spiraling payout for both programs squeeze the Federal budget.


No doubt we will means test both programs even more than we have done in the recent past. After all, why pay benefits to people who don't need them? This will further expose these programs as welfare programs rather than as "insurance" programs.

So as you make plans for early retirement, prudent people with assets and incomes will avoid banking on bankrupt programs that will reduce the benefits they pay and charge them a lot more for what they might receive.



Seattle Pioneer



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1920 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 3:24 PM
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So I think the honest thing to do is to call these welfare programs, just as was suggested. It's far more accurate and descriptive than calling them insurance programs, which they are not. No insurance company would be permitted to run Ponzi schemes like Social Security and Medicare.

If I pay into SS, then get back from it, how is that welfare?

6

PS This is hypothetical since I'll never get back from it

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1922 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 3:30 PM
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AM: "1. Are you old enough for SS and Medicare?
2. Will you take them when you are?

For me, I will take early SS next year when I turn 62, and will sign up for Medicare at 65.

If you want, you can defer SS, but the system is designed actuarially to pay you the same whether you start early or start late....so many $$ paid by the time you kick the bucket. Of course, you will live either longer or shorter than the 'average' but the gov't plays the statistical game of 'big numbers' since tens of millions are in the poool.

Actually, you don't have a choice...you won't be able to find any medical insurance in this country unless you have signed up for Medicare. All the policies are 'supplemental' to Medicare.

Yes, I paid in to SS for 31 years, and the money will be a nice bunch of 'spending money' when it starts.

Why not?

Heck, when my mom died, she got socked 55% on part of her 'estate' (nearly all of it 'real estate' which she couldn't spend, and which went up like a rocket in the last 2 years of her life). She paid back more money (or should I say the estate did) that she collected in 28 years of collecting SS).......... that was when the max estate tax kicked in at $550,000 I think..... somewhere around there...

Oh, and the estate money got divided up a bunch of ways, so it really didn't amount to much for those that got it...Uncle Sam got the biggest share.

So I'll take the cash and spend it....

I'll go by the rules...the IRS gets a good chunk of my cash every year anyway..........and will get more and more....by the time I reach 70, the taxes on my IRA withdrawal will likely be more than the SS I collect each year.....

They give with one hand, and take away with the other...

Might as well take what they give, rather than you giving and giving and giving each year....

Even worse feeling is paying taxes on investments that I made with after tax money, and having to pay taxes on the increase in the amount solely due to inflation. Another 'gotcha' grab by the gov't. Buy a stock in 1970 and keep it, and sell it today...pay tax on the entire gain, not the 'inflation adjusted gain'. Heck, gas was 29c/gallon. My rent on a two bedroom duplex was $150/month. Electric bill was $10/month or so.....Cars cost $4000 or $4500. Inflation up a few hundred percent, but you pay tax on the inflation amount as well as any 'real' gains.

Why should I not take SS?

t.








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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1923 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 3:33 PM
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<<So I think the honest thing to do is to call these welfare programs, just as was suggested. It's far more accurate and descriptive than calling them insurance programs, which they are not. No insurance company would be permitted to run Ponzi schemes like Social Security and Medicare.

If I pay into SS, then get back from it, how is that welfare?

6

PS This is hypothetical since I'll never get back from it >>



Thank you for making my point, Sofa King.


With insurance, you have a contract that obligates you to pay premiums in exchange for particular benefits.


With Social Security and Medicare, you pay taxes whether you like it or not. Any benefits are at the option of the Congress, which can increase them or cut them as they choose, and increase the taxes you pay whenever they choose.


Benefits paid have little relationship to taxes paid.


And as I've suggested and you acknowledge with your comment, it's quite likely that further means testing beyond that already in place will continue to cut any payments early retirees might imagine they will receive.


Prudent early retirees wont plan on receiving benefits from these welfare plans. Why pay benefits to people who don't need them?




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1925 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 3:44 PM
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Benefits paid have little relationship to taxes paid.

Is that true? When I get my SS statement every now and then, it looks like my benefits schedule have a direct relationship to my income, which has a direct relationship to my taxes paid. Would you say that more correctly the relationship is indirect but substantial?

And as I've suggested and you acknowledge with your comment, it's quite likely that further means testing beyond that already in place will continue to cut any payments early retirees might imagine they will receive.

Just early retirees? What about "on-time" retirees? What about my parents, who paid in their entire lives and now receive back? Are they getting welfare or not?

Prudent early retirees wont plan on receiving benefits from these welfare plans. Why pay benefits to people who don't need them?

Because it's not a "benefit", despite the label. I mean, it's not supposed to be. It's supposed to be something that I am owed by virtue of having put it there in the first place. Is that not correct?

6

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1927 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 4:00 PM
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<<Benefits paid have little relationship to taxes paid.

Is that true? When I get my SS statement every now and then, it looks like my benefits schedule have a direct relationship to my income, which has a direct relationship to my taxes paid. Would you say that more correctly the relationship is indirect but substantial?
>>


Historically, people receiving Social Security benefits have received far more in benefits than they paid in as taxes as additional bells and whistles were added by the Congress. Adding the drug benefit is only the latest example of that phenomena.

Lots of people whop paid 1% of their earnings in Social Security taxes wound up getting $1,000/month in benefits plus a generous Medicare benefit before they died ----my father being one of them. He received vastly more in benefits than he paid in, which is why Social Security taxes have been raised many times.


<<And as I've suggested and you acknowledge with your comment, it's quite likely that further means testing beyond that already in place will continue to cut any payments early retirees might imagine they will receive.

Just early retirees? What about "on-time" retirees? What about my parents, who paid in their entire lives and now receive back? Are they getting welfare or not?
>>


While Congress has historically given unpaid for benefit increases, they can do the reverse as well. Making Social Security benefits taxable cut benefits. Increasing the retirement age to 67 cuts benefits to those applying for benefits. More to come in the way of means testing and benefit cuts, is my prediction.


<<Prudent early retirees wont plan on receiving benefits from these welfare plans. Why pay benefits to people who don't need them?

Because it's not a "benefit", despite the label. I mean, it's not supposed to be. It's supposed to be something that I am owed by virtue of having put it there in the first place. Is that not correct?

6
>>


If you had a contract, you would be entitled to the benefit you paid for.


Social Security benefits can be increased or cut whenever the Congress chooses. Because the stupefying unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare would otherwise crowd out Federal spending, I think it's a safe bet that benefits will be cut ---and who better to cut than retirees who have other assets and income and don't need them?


My prediction is that those with negligible assets/income will continue to get payments, while those who have significant assets and incomes will find themselves means tested out of benefits to a significant extent.



Seattle Pioneer









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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1930 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 4:18 PM
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My prediction is that those with negligible assets/income will continue to get payments, while those who have significant assets and incomes will find themselves means tested out of benefits to a significant extent.

If they do begin reducing payments for the wealthy, how can they continue to ask for the same contributions?

6

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1931 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 4:23 PM
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Seattle Pioneer: Medicare and Social Security both have eye popping unfunded liabilities.

The "pay as you go" funding method that Democrats have supported is going to fail as spiraling payout for both programs squeeze the Federal budget.

Medicare and Social Security both have eye-popping surpluses at the moment.

The Republican Congres has looted the till in both programs to pay for their tax cuts for the wealthy and for their war.

cliff

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1932 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 4:31 PM
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Medicare and Social Security both have eye-popping surpluses at the moment.

The Republican Congres has looted the till in both programs to pay for their tax cuts for the wealthy and for their war.


So...did they used to have mind-blowing surpluses and are now down to just eye-popping?

6

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1933 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 4:37 PM
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<<If they do begin reducing payments for the wealthy, how can they continue to ask for the same contributions?

6
>>


You pass a law. People do it or go to jail.



Ask the people who are paying Medicare taxes on millions of dollars of income but who are eligible for conventional benefits, which they will likely never use anyway. Congress will charge them extra for the benefits they don't receive.


What a deal!



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1934 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 4:39 PM
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So...did they used to have mind-blowing surpluses and are now down to just eye-popping?

6

If you read carefully, I just camped on to SP's words.

cliff

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1935 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 4:43 PM
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<<Seattle Pioneer: Medicare and Social Security both have eye popping unfunded liabilities.

The "pay as you go" funding method that Democrats have supported is going to fail as spiraling payout for both programs squeeze the Federal budget.

Medicare and Social Security both have eye-popping surpluses at the moment.

The Republican Congress has looted the till in both programs to pay for their tax cuts for the wealthy and for their war.

cliff
>>


Surpluses, yes. Not eye popping to my way of thinking.


But those surpluses are going to disappear in another 12 years as the boomer generation starts sucking up payments. The reduction in that surplus will be the beginning of the financial crisis ---you don't have to wait until the paper bond surplus is gone.


And Medicare is in a far more desperate situation than Social Security. Medicare faces not only huge new numbers of people receiving benefits but huge annual increases in costs. The Federal government has already cut reimbursement rates to health care providers to the bone. They already tax every dollar of earned income most everyone earns, even if it's millions of dollars.

Say hello to means testing benefits and charging people more who have other income and assets. After all, why pay benefits to people who don't need them?


Seattle Pioneer

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1936 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 4:48 PM
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You pass a law. People do it or go to jail.

At that point I can see calling it welfare, but not now. Do you disagree?

Ask the people who are paying Medicare taxes on millions of dollars of income but who are eligible for conventional benefits, which they will likely never use anyway. Congress will charge them extra for the benefits they don't receive.

But they could receive the benefits if they needed to. "Not likely to use" is where you lose me...

6

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1937 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 4:49 PM
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If you read carefully, I just camped on to SP's words.

Lawdy Cliff, you know I skim the scrolly posts.

6



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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1938 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 4:55 PM
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<<Ask the people who are paying Medicare taxes on millions of dollars of income but who are eligible for conventional benefits, which they will likely never use anyway. Congress will charge them extra for the benefits they don't receive.

But they could receive the benefits if they needed to. "Not likely to use" is where you lose me...

6
>>


I'd suppose that a lot of very high income people get health care benefits as retirees that don't involve Medicare. For other very high net worth individuals, I don't imagine they would bother with Medicare anyway.


Think Bill Gates.



<<You pass a law. People do it or go to jail.

At that point I can see calling it welfare, but not now. Do you disagree?
>>


As I've suggested earlier, actual benefits received have had little to do with taxes paid. That's why Social Security taxes have gone up hugely in the past sixty years. The people receiving the new drug benefit have mostly paid $0.00 for a valuable benefit.

That's welfare in my book.


Personally, I think there's an argument for paying a small benefit to the impoverished elderly, but not to those with significant income and assets. Why pay benefits to people who don't need them?



Seattle Pioneer



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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1939 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 4:58 PM
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"Think Bill Gates. "

I suspect Bill Gates has paid more in income tax in one month than most folks pay in their entire life.

Who gives a dang if he collects $100,000 in SS if he should take it when he has likely contributed $100,000,000 in taxes to the gov't over his lifetime????

wealth envy...


t.

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1940 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 5:15 PM
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As I've suggested earlier, actual benefits received have had little to do with taxes paid. That's why Social Security taxes have gone up hugely in the past sixty years. The people receiving the new drug benefit have mostly paid $0.00 for a valuable benefit.

That's welfare in my book.


Okay, true dat.


Personally, I think there's an argument for paying a small benefit to the impoverished elderly, but not to those with significant income and assets. Why pay benefits to people who don't need them? /i>

Because otherwise it's welfare?

6

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1941 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 5:16 PM
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<<
Couple of questions:

1. Are you old enough for SS and Medicare?
2. Will you take them when you are?

AM
>>


I am 57, and if the government is foolish enough to pay subsidies to millionaires, I'm willing to take what they will give me.






That's what I thought.
You bad-mouth the system, but you will snort at the trough just the same. If you had any real convictions about your stance on SS and Medicare you would turn them down and refuse to be a part of them.

AM

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Author: reallyalldone Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1942 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 5:30 PM
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I'd suppose that a lot of very high income people get health care benefits as retirees that don't involve Medicare. For other very high net worth individuals, I don't imagine they would bother with Medicare anyway.

I'm not sure that is true. Maybe people who are over 65 can respond. My understanding from watching my inlaws and others is that once you are mnedicare-eligible, that becomes primary and anything else you are covered by becomes the medigap coverage. The gap insurance is important to have because there are deductibles under medicare, particularly for a hospital or rehab/skilled nursing stay. There is also a monthly premium for medicare. Beginning this year, there is a means test but the means are pretty high.

The people receiving the new drug benefit have mostly paid $0.00 for a valuable benefit.

That was not the experience I had with choices for my mother. There was a monthly premium and no way was it covering everything.

rad




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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1943 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 5:40 PM
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<<The people receiving the new drug benefit have mostly paid $0.00 for a valuable benefit.

That was not the experience I had with choices for my mother. There was a monthly premium and no way was it covering everything.

rad
>>


I see I wasn't quite clear.


Most of those eligible for the Medicare Part D drug benefit paid $0.00 for this valuable benefit.


But it's an example of a means tested benefit. Those with significant income have to pay a monthly premium in order to qualify for the benefits, that's true. But the benefits they get access to are, on a statistical basis, worth much more than the premium they pay, which is why people opt in instead of staying out.

And the poor with little income pay nothing and pay little in the way of co payments and such ----a means tested benefit.


My prediction is that Social Security and Medicare will follow the Medicare drug benefit in that direction, with higher income people paying more for benefits and the those with negligible income paying less. There are plenty of ways to means tests Social Security, such as making the benefits subject to income taxes, a method already in use that could be expanded.


Politicians are ever creative in giving and taking away. There was a time when they could afford to give ever more benefits to retirees who hadn't paid for them. They did.

There is coming a time when politicians will need to take away such benefits. They will find creative ways to do that, too.

The bottom line, in my opinion, is that early retirees with income and assets should expect to have those benefits sharply reduced or to pay sharply more for them.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1944 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 5:43 PM
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<<I am 57, and if the government is foolish enough to pay subsidies to millionaires, I'm willing to take what they will give me.






That's what I thought.
You bad-mouth the system, but you will snort at the trough just the same. If you had any real convictions about your stance on SS and Medicare you would turn them down and refuse to be a part of them.

AM

>>


I have been quite honest. If government is foolish enough to pay such benefits to a millionaire, I'll take them. I reserve the right to continue to oppose such a foolish system.


You haven't answered MY question: why pay benefits to people who don't need them?



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1945 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 5:47 PM
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I have been quite honest. If government is foolish enough to pay such benefits to a millionaire, I'll take them. I reserve the right to continue to oppose such a foolish system.


You haven't answered MY question: why pay benefits to people who don't need them?



Seattle Pioneer




They aren't benefits if people have been paying for them all their working lives. They are obligations.

And you are being disingenuous. On the one hand you dislike both organizations and all they stand for, yet you will gladly take the money. That makes you a towering hypocrite. Sorry, but the shoe fits and you should put it on.

AM

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1946 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 5:58 PM
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<<They aren't benefits if people have been paying for them all their working lives. They are obligations.

>>


People have been paying taxes whether they liked it or not. They haven't been paying for any set schedule of benefits ----the Congress is free to increase or cut benefits at any time. You accrue no right to be paid benefits because you paid taxes.

The Supreme Court made exactly that point fifty years ago when it found that people accrued no right to be paid a Social Security benefit.


Congressw has increased the normal retirement age from 65 to 67, which results in cuts in Social Security benefits for every person filing for benefits. Social Security benefits aren't "obligations."

You are kidding yourself.


Try again. Why pay benefits to people who don't need them?


<<And you are being disingenuous. On the one hand you dislike both organizations and all they stand for, yet you will gladly take the money. That makes you a towering hypocrite. Sorry, but the shoe fits and you should put it on.

AM
>>


Well, I'll allow you that it makes me a practical person.

And I continue to support my bright idea of what Social Security and Medicare should be: a way to pay a small benefit to the impoverished elderly.

We can afford to do that. We are not going to be able to afford to pay substantial benefits to a lot of well off baby boomers who don't need them.

Why subsidize the cruise ship industry?



Seattle Pioneer








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Author: reallyalldone Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1947 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 6:06 PM
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Most of those eligible for the Medicare Part D drug benefit paid $0.00 for this valuable benefit.

Do you have a cite ?

Her income last year was $1770 per month after medicare premiums but before drug and medigap premiums. This was a combination of ss and survivor's benefits from my father's pension. Drug plan with donut hole was $27.26/ month.

rad





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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1948 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 6:07 PM
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Try again. Why pay benefits to people who don't need them?

It's not a fair question. Because we DO feel that we are owed back some portion of what we put in, based on the history of Social Security and a collective understanding. Even though it's not guaranteed and not a set amount. This is perception but it invalidates your question given the current setup.

Ask...why pay benefits to ME even if I don't need them? Because I put my monies in, and I want my monies out, just like you. If nobody had told me I would get my monies out eventually, I would consider SS welfare. But I've been told I'll get it back.

At the point when I am told that I won't get it back, then I will ask your question.

6

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1949 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 6:12 PM
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<<http://www.medicare.gov/medicarereform/help.asp>>


This details the additional subsidies that can reduce or eliminate monthly premiums for Medicare Part D.

In addition, low income people can receive 95% of all their drug costs paid by the plan, with no donut holes.



Medicare Part D, a means tested entitlement. Not a bad model for what Social Security and Medicare all should be.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1953 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 6:22 PM
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<<Try again. Why pay benefits to people who don't need them?

It's not a fair question. Because we DO feel that we are owed back some portion of what we put in, based on the history of Social Security and a collective understanding. Even though it's not guaranteed and not a set amount. This is perception but it invalidates your question given the current setup.

Ask...why pay benefits to ME even if I don't need them? Because I put my monies in, and I want my monies out, just like you. If nobody had told me I would get my monies out eventually, I would consider SS welfare. But I've been told I'll get it back.

At the point when I am told that I won't get it back, then I will ask your question.

6

>>


You've been allowing politicians to pull the wool over your eyes.

The Supreme Court made it very clear a half century ago that no one had any accrued right to a benefit from Social Security. Since then, anyone paying attention knew they had a politicians promise to rely upon as a guarantee of benefits.


Even people who weren't paying attention to that should have noticed when the normal retirement age was increased from 65 to 67, eliminating benefits for people for two years who are caught by that elimination of Social Security benefits. For someone getting $1,000/month, that's $24,000 eliminated in benefits, right off the top.

Didn't you notice?


Frankly, I was about a Sophomore in college when I paid attention to these facts and especially the fact of the impact the huge 'boomer generation was going to have on Social Security and Medicare ---that was about 1970 or so. Since then I've seen thousands of newspaper and magazine articles detailing the fact that it was going to be necessary to means test those programs or increase taxes on working people by huge margins.

If you didn't know that, you haven't been paying attention.


My bias is to protect Gen X, Y and Z from those huge tax increases by means testing benefits. Why gouge working people when a better solution is to reduce payments to people who don't need them anyway.



Seattle Pioneer



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Author: joseph714 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1955 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 6:33 PM
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My prediction is that those with negligible assets/income will continue to get payments, while those who have significant assets and incomes will find themselves means tested out of benefits to a significant extent.



Seattle Pioneer

-------------

I'm going to agree with this for down the road. I though will hold the current administration for "bringing it on" sooner than it would have had to if at all.

& also hands off NIH funding please.


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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1956 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 6:43 PM
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Even people who weren't paying attention to that should have noticed when the normal retirement age was increased from 65 to 67, eliminating benefits for people for two years who are caught by that elimination of Social Security benefits. For someone getting $1,000/month, that's $24,000 eliminated in benefits, right off the top.

Didn't you notice?


I told you before, I am almost certain that I will not receive Social Security. I'm only 36 and I don't see how it can survive long enough to pay me any benefits in 30+ years. For now, if it pays my parents' way, it's saving me money anyway. I know VERY few people my age who think that they'll collect SS benefits when they retire.

I'm saying, your question is still disingenuous...you have a way of asking leading questions in order to get people to say something you need them to say in order to make some point you're going after. People see this as a ploy and are therefore reluctant to answer.

My bias is to protect Gen X, Y and Z from those huge tax increases by means testing benefits. Why gouge working people when a better solution is to reduce payments to people who don't need them anyway.

Do you really think that, 1) Social Security is worth saving as an institution and 2) that reduciing or eliminating benefits for the wealthy is the way to save it?

6


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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1957 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 6:47 PM
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AM:"That's what I thought.
You bad-mouth the system, but you will snort at the trough just the same. If you had any real convictions about your stance on SS and Medicare you would turn them down and refuse to be a part of them."

Can we assume, that you, AM, will make sure you don't retire until you have enough to NOT require SS and Medicare/Medicade?

I'm sure if you think SP shouldn't collect, shouldn't we expect everyone in your 'ideal model' to have saved enough during their working career to fund their own retirement (in addition to whatever pension benefits they may have negotiated with their employer?)

Why should we be urging folks to 'spend and spend' and never 'save and save' for retirement? If folks expect an 'entitlement' at retirement, many (most) won't save but a few dimes.

Why is it the 'libs' always want to penalize those who were responsible and planned ahead, and reward those who weren't?

That excepts just a few , who through circumstances not their own doing, to have a 'floor' that provides 'bare minimum' living in retirement. (community housing, community food, participation in providing for the community with whatever service they can provide from caregiving to raising veggies to running errands, etc)......

For everyone else, we just phase out government handouts over time. In 50 years, everyone had better be prepared to fund their own retirement.

Any buck you send to Washington gets 80% of it squandered away....before anyone sees two dimes in benefit.....that's not a good deal...

Save your own bucks....

If your neighbor wants to snort their money, give it to the gambling halls, or have an alcoholic buzz all their life, too bad.........that's his/her problem....not mine...



t.




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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1958 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 6:51 PM
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My bias is to protect Gen X, Y and Z from those huge tax increases by means testing benefits. Why gouge working people when a better solution is to reduce payments to people who don't need them anyway.

Just as a side note. Our politicians (of all stripes) have been gouging workers with SS for a very long time. They've been pulling in far more money than needed to run the system BUT people like me will NEVER see that excess money. In fact, we'll end up having to pay even more into the system to support the Baby Boomers. In the end, before we even account for inflation, we will never get more dollars out of the system than we put in.

I would have done far better taking this money and sticking it under the mattress (a very bad long term investment choice).

Also check your next SS statement. It says right on the pamphlet that the benefits they list are according to the current SS law. That this law can be changed at any time and that this was NOT a guarantee of your benefits.

SS is honestly a scam perpetrated by the government to milk the populace for more money without having the fight the battle of getting more taxes approved. As a means of placating the populace they also pay out benefits.

Jim

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Author: joseph714 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1959 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 6:52 PM
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you have a way of asking leading questions in order to get people to say something you need them to say in order to make some point you're going after. People see this as a ploy and are therefore reluctant to answer.
-----------

6's statement is so true. I also have noticed this often on boards other than here as well. It causes me to less engage in true dialogue since it feels manipulative.

The thing for me is that I truly do appreciate your personal views even if I find I can't embrace them.

It is how I seem to learn best, dialogue without a trap set.

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1960 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 6:53 PM
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That's what I thought.
You bad-mouth the system, but you will snort at the trough just the same. If you had any real convictions about your stance on SS and Medicare you would turn them down and refuse to be a part of them.


I don't want to wedge myself too tightly in this debate, but there is a difference between having an opinion and being stupid. SP could burn his SS checks and it wouldn't change anything about the system.

If you strip away the bombast, all SP is really saying is that his solution for SS is to means test the benefits. That's just a logical extension of what we're doing right now anyway.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1961 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 6:54 PM
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" Why subsidize the cruise ship industry? "

In some respects, that's a silly statement.

If a boomer spends $2000 on a cruise, he/she likely is now employing 100 or more workers on that cruise ship, plus thousands in the hosptiality/travel services industry, plus thousands of the cruise ship employees......all paying loads of income taxes both corporate and personal....to the US Gov't......

The gov't gets the majority of it back in taxes......plus over 1 million are exmployed in the travel industry....... plus tens of millions in the travel industry country wide - from museum attendants, to car rental companies, hotels..

You give a buck to Washington, they squander 80$ of every dollar on 'admnisistrative fees' (salaries of high price gov't execs, their managers, their managers, auditors, acounting offices, budgeting offices, Congress people and the tens of thousands of staffers, etc)....

You spend a buck in the country, and more than half of it comes back in taxes.......plus what doesn't get spent by employees and companies who provided services on other services and goods and employemnt, resulting in even more taxes being paid.....

t



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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1962 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 6:57 PM
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<<My bias is to protect Gen X, Y and Z from those huge tax increases by means testing benefits. Why gouge working people when a better solution is to reduce payments to people who don't need them anyway.

Do you really think that, 1) Social Security is worth saving as an institution and 2) that reduciing or eliminating benefits for the wealthy is the way to save it?

6
>>


I'd be glad to do away with Social Security altogether, but that's not going to happen.


I have no particular objection to paying a small benefit to the impoverished elderly. Neither am I a big supporter of that kind of plan.


The demise of the 'boomer generation is going to cause a lot of problems for Social Security and Medicare. My priority is to save Gen X, Y and Z from being hit with huge tax increases to keep paying benefits.

The best way to avoid that, in my view, is to means test the programs. We can afford to pay benefits to the really impoverished, but not to those who have other income and assets and don't need them.


Why subsidize the cruise ship vacations of the middle class?


And I might add that I am taking aim directly at the benefits I would otherwise collect. Why pay benefits to millionaires who don't need them?


If Gen X, Y and Z want to sacrifice and pay much higher taxes to pay me benefits I don't need, I will take them. But I think it would be foolish to do so.



Seattle Pioneer




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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1965 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 7:00 PM
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My bias is to protect Gen X, Y and Z from those huge tax increases by means testing benefits. Why gouge working people when a better solution is to reduce payments to people who don't need them anyway.



Seattle Pioneer




Or, they could just refuse to pay you anything since you obviously think the system is all wrong anyway -- and you don't need the money.

AM

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1966 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 7:01 PM
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The demise of the 'boomer generation is going to cause a lot of problems for Social Security and Medicare. My priority is to save Gen X, Y and Z from being hit with huge tax increases to keep paying benefits.

The best way to avoid that, in my view, is to means test the programs. We can afford to pay benefits to the really impoverished, but not to those who have other income and assets and don't need them.


On behalf of Gen X, thanks. I can't speak for the younger set. Will the next generation be AA?

SS is a massive elephant. I am not sure I can conceive of the political will it would take to eliminate or restructure it.

6

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1967 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 7:02 PM
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SS is honestly a scam perpetrated by the government to milk the populace for more money without having the fight the battle of getting more taxes approved. As a means of placating the populace they also pay out benefits.

Jim




I guess you will be refusing your benefits, too?

AM

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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1968 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 7:03 PM
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Or, they could just refuse to pay you anything since you obviously think the system is all wrong anyway -- and you don't need the money.

Umm, this is called "means testing" and it's what SP advocates...

Jim

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1969 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 7:05 PM
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I don't want to wedge myself too tightly in this debate, but there is a difference between having an opinion and being stupid. SP could burn his SS checks and it wouldn't change anything about the system.

If you strip away the bombast, all SP is really saying is that his solution for SS is to means test the benefits. That's just a logical extension of what we're doing right now anyway.




Well, I think there is more to it than that.
I don't like WalMart for many different reasons -- and so I do NOT take advantage of their low low prices. I don't shop there. This is because I try to live up to what I believe.

If SP thinks Social Security is such a scam then he should not participate in it at all.

AM

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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1970 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 7:07 PM
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I guess you will be refusing your benefits, too?

I'm planning to not need SS in my retirement. But if the law states that I'm still eligible, then I will take it.

For my kid's sake I hope they change the law.

On the flip side to that. I've paid in as much as it's possible to pay into that system for many years. I'm getting royally screwed now and it's only going to get worse as the baby boomers retire.

I personally feel that we should have implemented some sort of personally directed investment option in SS as this offered the possibility of improving the payout without increasing our taxes. Unfortunately this means the politicians couldn't dip into the SS revenue stream and was therefore never going to happen.

Jim

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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1971 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 7:17 PM
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Well, I think there is more to it than that.

I agree.

I don't like WalMart for many different reasons -- and so I do NOT take advantage of their low low prices. I don't shop there. This is because I try to live up to what I believe.

If SP thinks Social Security is such a scam then he should not participate in it at all.

This is not a valid example. You don't have the option of "not shopping
" with the government (he should not participate in it at all).

The government forces you to "buy goodies" (pay into) in their SS security store (system). Your choice is to walk out of the store with the goodies for which you already over paid -OR- leave with out those goodies.

So do you ever go into Walmart, purchase your groceries and then walk out with out them - because you don't like Walmart?

I expect not.

If I receive SS benefits I will probably use them to help defray the costs of the program to my own children. So far this seems to be the best means of opting out that I can do on my own.

I will vote for any candidate that offers a viable means of limiting, eliminating, or fixing SS. So far this has been very few in number.

Jim

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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1972 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 7:19 PM
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Fixed italics...

Well, I think there is more to it than that.

I agree.

I don't like WalMart for many different reasons -- and so I do NOT take advantage of their low low prices. I don't shop there. This is because I try to live up to what I believe.

If SP thinks Social Security is such a scam then he should not participate in it at all.


This is not a valid example. The government doesn't offer you the option of "not shopping" with the government.

The government forces you to "buy goodies" (pay into) in their SS security store (system). Your choice is to walk out of the store with the goodies for which you already over paid -OR- leave without those goodies.

So do you ever go into Walmart, purchase your groceries, and then walk out with out them - because you don't like Walmart?

I expect not.

If I receive SS benefits I will probably use them to help defray the costs of the program to my own children. So far this seems to be the best means of opting out that I can do on my own.

I will vote for any candidate that offers a viable means of limiting, eliminating, or fixing SS. So far this has been very few in number.

Jim

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1973 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 7:42 PM
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Well, I think there is more to it than that.
I don't like WalMart for many different reasons -- and so I do NOT take advantage of their low low prices. I don't shop there. This is because I try to live up to what I believe.

If SP thinks Social Security is such a scam then he should not participate in it at all.


SP has most likely participated in SS all his working life. Participation is pretty much mandatory.

Look at it this way, I think car insurance is a rip off. But if I'm in an accident I'll still file a claim. But it won't change my opinion that it is a rip off.


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Author: alaskack Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1974 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 8:05 PM
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I told you before, I am almost certain that I will not receive Social Security. I'm only 36 and I don't see how it can survive long enough to pay me any benefits in 30+ years.

Actually, it's likely to survive and you'll get some type of benefit. However, I wouldn't make any plans on the amount until you're way closer to retirement.

http://tinyurl.com/3y7jzo

While the above Fool article is a couple of years old, the myths still hold today. See Myth 4: The system is "bankrupt." Even when the surplus is gone, there still will be money coming in, but it will be less than the outflow. So there will still be the potential to pay some type of benefit.

Myth 3: That 2042 date means something. While no one knows for certain when the surplus will be gone, it's still off in the future. If it's gone in 2022, that will be very bad. If it's gone in 2062, that will be better. The only problem the trust faces is if the government goes bankrupt, but then we'll have many other serious problems to worry about.

Do you really think that, 1) Social Security is worth saving as an institution ...

It really is a moot point whether it's worth saving since it unlikely to go away. As I see it, the legislature is unlikely to do anything about it other than talk because the problem is beyond the next vote and any solutions are likely to cost votes. I think we might see some serious talk in the 2020s and maybe some action in the 30s, depending on the next prediction when the surplus runs out. If they wait long enough, the problem will self-correct as we baby boomers die off.

Calvin

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1975 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 8:47 PM
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AM: "I don't like WalMart for many different reasons -- and so I do NOT take advantage of their low low prices. I don't shop there. This is because I try to live up to what I believe."

It doesn't matter....just 'symbolic gesture'

Every other store has to compete with Walmart for customers. Target. Penny's. The GAP. You name it, and unless it is Neiman Marcus or equivalent (Nordstroms comes to mind), you will see the same goods at similar prices.

Those other stores have to be competitive, because you won't be silly enough to pay 50% more to 'make a statement'.

Likely, Target and Pennys and K-Mart (if they are still around) and the other department stores all get their merchandise from the same suupliers.

You want 'Fruit of the Loom'? Hanes? Same thing everywhere. You want name brand shoes? Same price pretty much everywhere.

You want Kelloggs cereal or Post? or 2$ milk or whole milk or eggs? Same thing. Krogers (after their silly discount card) or Albertsons (with their silly discount card) or Tom Thumb (with their silly discount card and coupons) and all the other stores are neck and neck on prices and discounts and 'sales' and coupons......

So shop where you will, BUT you are getting the benefit of low prices at Walmart...the other stores have to match them, which means you get low prices wherever you shop. Unless you shop at Whole Foods, in which case you pay nearly double..and 50% more for the same branded items.....but that is 'snob appeal'...... but WF does have some things I can't buy at Walmart like Kamut or good pancake mixes (buckwheat flour) and a few other things. (better cereal selection of oddbeat stuff).

So rant all you want about "the evil Walmart", but next time you go shopping and see 'low prices' just think 'that is because of the ultra copmetitive Walmart......darn it! YOu really wanted to pay more, but the store doesn't want to gouge you on prices....


t.





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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1976 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 8:48 PM
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<<SP has most likely participated in SS all his working life. Participation is pretty much mandatory.
>>



According to my annual Social Security report, the earliest reported wages I had was $590 in 1962, when I was twelve years of age.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: mickaelangelo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1977 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 8:51 PM
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As Rush Limbaugh says, words have meanings.

Who?

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1978 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/14/2007 8:56 PM
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"Look at it this way, I think car insurance is a rip off. But if I'm in an accident I'll still file a claim. But it won't change my opinion that it is a rip off. "

YOu could move to TX...pay into the 'uninsured motorist pool' each year...not be insured otherwise..... but if you get in an accident, you can still be sued for a bazillion bucks, and you are on your own to get your car fixed, and likely will be sued by the other party for damages to other car.......

You can carry as little insurance as the state allows otherwise....hardly any...like $20,000 liability..... but you'll still get sued if expenses more than that....

It's a matter of risk...

Some think 'life insurance' is a scam. You don't have to sign up for it....many singles have ZERO need for it, and nobody has a need for 'whole life'...that is a scam.... but you buy it for 'risk protection' on your family.

Same for home owners insurance. If you own your own home, you don't need insurance. You'd be stupid on most homes not to have it, since most can't afford either the liability of someone slipping on your sidewalk and suing for a bazillion bucks, or a tornado or fire wiping you out..... but if you are Bill GAtes, you might self insure....or have $10,000 deductible..... If you live in a $10,000 prarie sod house, or in a modern cave, or an old trailer, maybe you don't have insurance. That is your choice if there is no loan or mortgage.

All insurance is a gamble. the isurance company is taking a bet that, over a large number of customers, after all claims are paid, there will be money left over from premiums to make a profit. You are happy to give them most of the risk for a small payment each year.

Most people with life insurance, car insurance, or home insurance don't file claims to collect all their premiums back. It is the ones with disasters, million dollar injuries in car accidents, a total wipeout due to house fire, etc, that take the majority of the claims money.

t.






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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1982 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 12:56 AM
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The people receiving the new drug benefit have mostly paid $0.00 for a valuable benefit.

That was not the experience I had with choices for my mother. There was a monthly premium and no way was it covering everything.

I believe there is a token amount paid by the medicare recipient for the drug benefit. I pay something (Is it $98 a month?) for part 2 Medicare, and I believe that includes drugs. I am fortunant enough that I don't use any perscription drugs, so I am helping pay for someone else's drugs, but I don't mind. I think jp may have more relevant experience wrt drugs.

Getting a cataract operation in a few weeks, for which my part will be the $10 co-pay. I have HealthNet's HMO. I pay my $98 a month and apparently Medicare pays the HMO something as well. It costs the gummit (and me) the same whether I am sick or well.

cliff

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1983 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 1:06 AM
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I believe there is a token amount paid by the medicare recipient for the drug benefit. I pay something (Is it $98 a month?) for part 2 Medicare, and I believe that includes drugs. I am fortunant enough that I don't use any perscription drugs, so I am helping pay for someone else's drugs, but I don't mind. I think jp may have more relevant experience wrt drugs.


part B ($93/mo) doesn't cover meds. ..... covers YOURS because you don't take any

some Part-Cs (medigap /medi-supplement) cover meds .... older plans. ones available to newbies don't.

Part-D covers meds. Costs me something like $24/mo. My estimate is i'll spend 50% more on meds under -D this year vs. Blue-Shield last year ..... a teensy more than $00.000



=

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1985 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 1:14 AM
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If you strip away the bombast, all SP is really saying is that his solution for SS is to means test the benefits. That's just a logical extension of what we're doing right now anyway.

Folks have been saying to means test for SS. How does one do that? Income? Which income? These folks are not employed (mostly) so there is no salary income, and it would be taxed if it were there. Some get interest or dividend income, which is taxed. Ditto capital gains.

I'm not clear on how "means testing" would work in practice. If they attempt to base it on assets, billions (or trillions) of dollars of assets would be hiddem, no?

Doesn't seem very practical. If based on salary income, then it's taxing the people who can least afford it.

cliff
... I do note that my former BIL is still working into his late 70's, and he is a very wealthy man. Not Bill Gates wealthy, but able to buy and sell me. Oh, yes. He collects SS.

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1986 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 1:22 AM
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Folks have been saying to means test for SS. How does one do that? Income? Which income? These folks are not employed (mostly) so there is no salary income, and it would be taxed if it were there. Some get interest or dividend income, which is taxed. Ditto capital gains.

SS is means tested right now. 50% of your SS benefits are taxed if your income exceeds $25,000 (IIRC).

Doesn't seem very practical. If based on salary income, then it's taxing the people who can least afford it.

Practical and the tax code have never gone hand in hand.





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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1987 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 3:45 AM
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<<Folks have been saying to means test for SS. How does one do that? Income? Which income? These folks are not employed (mostly) so there is no salary income, and it would be taxed if it were there. Some get interest or dividend income, which is taxed. Ditto capital gains.

I'm not clear on how "means testing" would work in practice. If they attempt to base it on assets, billions (or trillions) of dollars of assets would be hiddem, no?

Doesn't seem very practical. If based on salary income, then it's taxing the people who can least afford it.

>>


That's a good question.

Medicare partd D (the new drug plan) is a means tested entitlement program that is a part of Medicare. People with low incomes and assets can be exempted from paying monthly premiums, co-pays and other expenses, getting drugs vitually for free.

You have to apply for these benefits like any other welfare plan and prove that you meet the income and asset requirements.

I expect that Social Security and Medicare will increasingly follow this kind of model. After all, why pay benefits to people that don't need them?


http://www.performrx.com/performrx_pdp/eligibility/



<<Low Income Subsidies
People with limited incomes and resources may receive full prescription drug coverage at little or no cost. Eligibility depends on income (money received from retirement benefits and other reported income) and in some cases, assets. Depending on level of need, premiums, co-pays and deductibles may be reduced or eliminated and the coverage gap may be eliminated. If you qualify for extra help with your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan costs, your premium and drug costs will be lower. When you join PerformRx PDP, Medicare will tell us how much extra help you are getting. Then, we will let you know the amount you will pay.

Beneficiaries interested in qualifying for extra help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan costs should call:

1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY/TDD users should call 1-877-486-2048 (24 hours a day/ 7 days a week),
Your State Medicaid Office, or
The Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY/TDD users should call, 1-800-325-0778.
>>

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Author: MrCheeryO Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1988 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 5:03 AM
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Nope, it is universally offered, completely different from means testing for further subsidies.

If Medicare Part D is means tested, so is every universal single payer health care plan in the world. They all offer premium subsidies for low income. As does Medicare. No different.

For example, in British Columbia Canada the health care monthly premium for a family of three or more is $108 a month, but there are further premium subsidies for low income families.

In the US, all the radical socialist "conservatives" and libertarians" opposed to mandated minimum wage increases are costing taxpayers money, even if they don't know that. "Theft" from taxpayers is no different than "theft" from employers. In fact worse, one would think if one is a so-called conservative or libertarian.

Of course these days the biggest redistributors of income and wealth are 1. "libertarians" and 2. "conservatives". From taxpayers to employers, from the next generation to this generation. Few bigger redistributors of wealth than so-called conservative retirees. Wouldn't be so bad if they weren't such hypocrites about it.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1993 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 9:37 AM
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"Doesn't seem very practical. If based on salary income, then it's taxing the people who can least afford it."

Heck, if folks are making 'over $25,000' in other income (pensions, IRA withdrawals, 401K withdrawals, TSP payouts, annuities), and get $600-2000 a month from SS, then only half of that SS is taxed, and likely at a very low rate after standard deduction. (or actual deduction if more).

Least afford it?


Half the retirees in Florida live on less than $25,000 a year. So I guess if half can live on $25,000, then those making 'more than $25,000' plus getting SS on top of that (maybe with a gross income anywhere from $33,000 to $1,000,000 a year) shouldn't be as bad off as the 'other half'.

Pah -leezzz......the 'bleeding heart' doesn't have a leg or valve or chamber to stand on......

Those who can least afford it (the half making under $25,000) and likely living on SS, pay ZERO federal taxes on it. And pay likely zero taxes on any other inomce up to another $15,000 or $20,000......or esentially a handful of tens or twenties at best.

Taxing 'half' the SS for those who earn 'over $25,000' from other income is hardly going to 'dent' the lifestyle of those in the top half of retirees in FL. And other places.......It is taxed likely at a super low rate, unless they are raking in $100,000 pension from NYC for being a garbage collector for 25 years there.....(or other 'city worker' with strong union that is bankrupting the cities from exceesive pensions loaded up with 'overtime' in the last year for calcuation of benefits - more than they ever made in a normal year)....

t.






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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1996 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 10:41 AM
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{{You bad-mouth the system, but you will snort at the trough just the same. If you had any real convictions about your stance on SS and Medicare you would turn them down and refuse to be a part of them.}}

No. If SP had any real conviction, he would do everything in his power to end the programs. From what SP has said, that is exactly what he is doing.


c

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Author: MDGluon Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1997 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 10:54 AM
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6

PS This is hypothetical since I'll never get back from it


Planning on dying young?

Suspect you will get something back.
Unless some folkers get thier way and privatize it...then suspect you are correct.

md


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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1999 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 11:02 AM
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md: "Unless some folkers get thier way and privatize it...then suspect you are correct."

And why should that be? The Gov't doesn't really invest your money in anything. It writes IOUs. Or buys its own Treasury notes (at least on paper).

When it comes time to pay out in 30 years, there won't be any 'surplus' left at it will come out of current revenues (taxes).

On the other hand, if you invest yourself, domestically and overseas, you don't have to worry about the 'collapse of the dollar' or the bankruptcy of the US treasury. Or you can be diversified across the globe. You have a lot better chance.

Or if you want, just buy treasury notes in your 'private account'.

Several trillion in held in 401K and IRA. Those are basically gov't programs. YOu expect that folks aren't going to get their IRA and 401K money back? None of it? event hat in Treasury Bills of super conservative investors?

hmmmmm?????

The liberal bent is to 'let the gov't do it all'. THey can do it all...very inefficiently. Send them a buck..they waste 80 cents of it on 'admministration'. You get 20c back in actual benefit or services. And that is a very collective 'you'. YOu might get nothing back. The guy who saved nothing might get most of it.....

The Tradegy of the Commons is that no one really cares about the long term survival..it is all about 'how many sheep can I graze today' and if I add one more, I am 'richer' and no one will notice just 'one more'. Of course, with everyone adding 'just one more' it collapses quickly.

Politicians are more than willing to 'up benefits' or 'extend them to others' for political gain.

That is the same as Tragedy of the Commons...'someone else' will pay....not me...


t.





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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2001 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 11:20 AM
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{{They aren't benefits if people have been paying for them all their working lives. They are obligations.}}


They are not obligations in any sense of the word. If Congress ended the program tomorrow, no one would be denied anything they are owed.


c

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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2002 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 11:22 AM
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{{This is perception but it invalidates your question given the current setup.}}


And my perception is that my taxes are too high. Does that mean I can pay less in taces?


c

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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2003 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 11:26 AM
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{{Umm, this is called "means testing" and it's what SP advocates...}}


Acknowledging that fact would violate the rules of this board. Anything a conservative says must be called wrong.


c

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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2004 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 11:30 AM
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{{I'm not clear on how "means testing" would work in practice. If they attempt to base it on assets, billions (or trillions) of dollars of assets would be hiddem, no?}}


I would means test SS based on lifetime earning.


c

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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2006 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 11:32 AM
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The liberal bent is to 'let the gov't do it all'.

Depends on the liberal, I guess. I'm not a fan of government, in principle. Just where it seems the practical route or the least expensive.

THey can do it all...very inefficiently. Send them a buck..they waste 80 cents of it on 'admministration'.

Not always. Medicare, for example, has an administrative overhead of about 3%. That's rather less than anything comparable from the oh-so-efficient private health care industry.

The Tradegy of the Commons is that no one really cares about the long term survival

Actually, the primary reasoning behind having government do certain projects is exactly that, the Tragedy of the Commons. The parable of sheep grazing on the common pasture depends on individuals who are maximizing their personal wealth by overgrazing a shared resource. To combat that, all the shepherds have to realize that such overgrazing isn't anyone's best interest over the long term. To enforce that, the usual mechanism is create a government to regulate usage of the common pasture. The Tragedy of the Commons is a classic thought experiment demonstrating why relying on market forces to correct problems can lead to disaster.

The difficult thing is that government too is made up of individuals who tend to follow myopic short-term goals that hurt everyone in the long run. It's a mediocre solution, but it's the best we've been able to manage so far.

Social Security is a thorny issue, mainly because it's about the people who don't save enough for retirement, one way or another. Yes, it's true that the wealthiest are the biggest recipients of SS, since it's based on lifetime earnings, but ultimately it's about the people on the low end of the scale, or we wouldn't have it.

I'm certainly someone who saved more than enough by myself, but I'm aware that most people don't have the mental tools to do that. For that reason, talking about how the it would be better to do it yourself is rather pointless.

- Gus

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Author: FordLove Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2007 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 12:06 PM
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I'm not a fan of government, in principle. Just where it seems the practical route or the least expensive

I'll second that. What I don't understand is how some folks who don't trust the goverment at all are so willing to trust corperate America.

I'm certainly someone who saved more than enough by myself, but I'm aware that most people don't have the mental tools to do that. For that reason, talking about how the it would be better to do it yourself is rather pointless.


I'm someone who is trying. I'm doing well for now, but who knows what the future will bring. I don't hold others to the standard to which I hold myself.

With regard to SS, it isn't going anywhere for the time being. Old folks vote and the boomers are coming up on retirement. So we will have the boomers, who on average are undercapitalized, voting on keeping SS. Proposing getting rid of SS will be a great way to not get elected.

I'm not counting on it, I'm doing everything to make sure I'm good without it. Personal responsibilty and all that. However, as I said I don't hold others to the standards I hold myself. I don't think I would want to be 'personaly responsible' for those who hadn't saved not having enough to eat. I can't do anything to make others save, except by example and answering questions. Telling them to save just comes off as a lecture and gets tuned out.

Although I thought one of the purposes of this board was for liberal minded folks to encourage each other on their plans to retire early. I guess it is just a place for conservatives to tell us how bad SS is.

Ford

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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2008 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 12:20 PM
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{{'ll second that. What I don't understand is how some folks who don't trust the goverment at all are so willing to trust corperate America.}}


That is a very easy question to answer. The goal of corporations is to make money. That makes their motives easy to understand. The goal of government, particularly the goal of politicians is not easy to cipher. Some simply want power to control others. I would much rather trust corporations when I know their motivations than trust government when I do not know their motivation.


c

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2009 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 12:28 PM
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<<With regard to SS, it isn't going anywhere for the time being. Old folks vote and the boomers are coming up on retirement. So we will have the boomers, who on average are undercapitalized, voting on keeping SS. Proposing getting rid of SS will be a great way to not get elected.
>>


I think you underestimate the possibilities for political change.


There are going to be repeated efforts to bail out Social Security and Medicare in the decades ahead. Each time there will be efforts to raise taxes and other efforts to cut benefits.

At some point, substantial numbers of Gen X, Y and Z are likely to get tired of paying ever higher taxes when they mostly don't expect that these programs will be around to pay off for them.

If Gen X, Y and Z engages in their own political revolt against higher taxes, politicians are going to find it very difficult to keep raising them. That leaves open the possibilities of a variety of compromises, and in my opinion the most likely one to be selected will be to means test Social Security and Medicare.

It will be perfectly possible to Mao Mao the 'boomers by asking them one simple question: "Why pay benefits to people who don't need them?" A question I notice hasn't gotten what I consider to be a persuasive answer yet, because there really isn't one, in my opinion.

The real reason we pay benefits to the well off middle class is to gain their political support and compliance with a huge welfare program. If it doesn't pay off for the middle class, support for that program will erode significantly. That's my view, anyway.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2010 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 12:28 PM
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I guess it is just a place for conservatives to tell us how bad SS is.

I do actually understand that, because if I look on SS purely as a tool for my own retirement, I'm sure I could do better investing my SS taxes myself. So, sure, if you have that narrow a view of Social Security, it's bad. As I see it, though, Social Security isn't really for me. It's for people like my brother-in-law, who can't seem to save money on his own under any circumstances, despite having a decent income.

It's my personal opinion that, empathy issues aside, taking care of the elderly who would otherwise be living in poverty has a net positive effect on our economy. I think having any segment of a nation's population in significant poverty has more far-reaching effects than the typical simplistic analysis sees. Economies are ecologies, and relationships are complex.

- Gus

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2012 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 12:41 PM
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c: "I would means test SS based on lifetime earning. "

So it means if you worked in Manhattan or Los Angeles and earned a big salary, but had to spend a big salary due to cost of living, and accumulated zero assets, you'd get no SS...

but the folks in, let's say, ARK, who made 1/3rd of what the CA guy earned in his life, but invested, let us say in Dell stock at 25c a share, bought 10,000 shares, and now is worth on paper 5 million, is going to collect SS? (or pick a stock that pays no dividends but has gone up a gazillion percent - no income per year)......

Hmmmmm......Houston, we got a problem.....

The guy who earned 'just a bit' hits the jackpot. the folks in CA or NY who earned a lot but had to spend a lot due to cost of living get ZIP.

SOunds like 'wealth envy' at work in exactly the wrong way...

Or how about the guy who made minimum wage, and when he is 55, receives a 2 million buck inheritance. So he gets to collect SS, but the guy who has paid 2 million in income tax (and saved none) doesn't?

You're beginning to sound like SP....save for your own retirement!...

t.




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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2014 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 12:51 PM
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"
Not always. Medicare, for example, has an administrative overhead of about 3%. That's rather less than anything comparable from the oh-so-efficient private health care industry."

That is after the money has been collected.......and the mechanism to collect all that money (plus all the accounting fees and charges and overhead at all the companies to calculate, collect, forward all that loot to the treasurey), plus the tens of thousands of fed employees involved in determining all the accounts, all the collections, all the crediting to accounts, all the gov't money spend on 'educating' the pulbic, all come out of that...indirectly...

You just don't see it added to the Medicare budget as an 'expense'. It is overhead of the gov't.

You really think that for 3% you can run the entire collection mechanism of the country?

That is their claim for merely processing the claims after the money has been 'collected'.....( or in most cases, borrwowed from future tax payers who will get stuck with paying it back).......

"The difficult thing is that government too is made up of individuals who tend to follow myopic short-term goals that hurt everyone in the long run. It's a mediocre solution, but it's the best we've been able to manage so far."

Yep, and it will lead to a medicare care crisis before long. WIthout people having a significant requirement to SHARE medical expenses, expenses for all the testing and procedures, they will demand essentially free tests, testing for every possible combination of possibilities immediately up front, regardless of the expense, a demand for tons of prescritption meds (simply because everyone else is on tranquilers, anti-depressants, A.D., or whatever else is the fad of the month)...... When it is 'free' it is abused......

That is where the Tragedy of the Commons come in....it is 'free' to graze and no one worries about it, until it isn't there....everyone wants more of the resource......

"
I'm certainly someone who saved more than enough by myself, but I'm aware that most people don't have the mental tools to do that. "

They don't seem to have any problem borrowing record amounts, consuming record amounts, getting credit cards and using them......

Dumb or ignorant is not a good excuse for lack of personal responsibility.

Even Bernake said today on the tube that American's savings rate are one reason the trade deficit is so bad.....we are trained consumers, and the rest of the world saves.

Now why did the rest of the world, with no more intelligence, figure out saving money was good, and Americans can't?

t.







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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2015 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 12:54 PM
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Ford: "
Although I thought one of the purposes of this board was for liberal minded folks to encourage each other on their plans to retire early. I guess it is just a place for conservatives to tell us how bad SS is."

Oh, so you are saying 'liberal minded folks' have funded their retirements on their own without depending upon SS, while 'conservative minded ' folks overall are saving less, and not going to take SS when they qualify for it?

Somehow I think you have a hard sell.

Or are you saying 'there is no problem'??? Despite what Bernake said today. And has said, and Greenspan has said, and even the Dems have said.


t.

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2017 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 1:06 PM
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As I see it, though, Social Security isn't really for me. It's for people like my brother-in-law, who can't seem to save money on his own under any circumstances, despite having a decent income.

can't save; won't save; save but invest unwisely ( "Wisely" <g> ); save but hit a disaster (too many eggs in Enron Basket); save but get conned.


SS is an intergenerational tax for the benefit of all of the above .... i pay your parents; you promise to pay me; my children pay you .... ( pretty much no one alive today voted for the thing )

Worked wonderfully when the Boomer generation (huge) was paying Greatest Generation.[*]

there seems to be some dispute as to whether /when it no longer works. In principle, big generations pay a surplus that can carry a later smaller generation.


I think having any segment of a nation's population in significant poverty has more far-reaching effects than the typical simplistic analysis sees. Economies are ecologies, and relationships are complex.

yup. SS may be one of those "horrible system, but all the others are worse"


-j
[*] my dentist once said ."if our parents are the Greatest Generation, we are surely the Luckiest Generation" ....

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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2018 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 1:14 PM
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You really think that for 3% you can run the entire collection mechanism of the country?

Rather than arbitrarily making up claims based on your personal beliefs, perhaps you should make your case based on facts and hard numbers. For example, if you believe Medicare's expenses are far higher than stated, who is funding the education programs you mention? How much did they actually cost? And if you want to tack on costs for collections, how much extra overhead is directly attributable to Medicare? You can't attribute all the overhead of the tax offices, since not all the taxes go to Medicare.

When it is 'free' it is abused......

You seem to have a rather naive view of how Medicare works. You don't get everything you ask for just because it's covered, any more than you do with an HMO.

They don't seem to have any problem borrowing record amounts, consuming record amounts, getting credit cards and using them.....

My father didn't do any of that stuff, and he relies on Social Security to make ends meet. Rather than painting the elderly poor - or even middle class, like my father - with a broad brush, you should get to know them before forming an opinion on the subject.

Dumb or ignorant is not a good excuse for lack of personal responsibility.

Look, I know you want to punish people for not planning ahead for retirement. But we know from experience that your punishment plan doesn't actually work. It's not a deterrent. People still end up dying in poverty if they don't have a government safety net.

The people who don't save for retirement aren't all irresponsible. Sometimes they just didn't make much more than subsistence their entire lives. Further, the people who do manage to save, like myself, end up being better off than those that didn't. I have far more than any retiree depending on Social Security. Living off SS isn't great, and I don't understand your need to make the people who are currently just scraping by starve.

Now why did the rest of the world, with no more intelligence, figure out saving money was good, and Americans can't?

Are you saying that no other country in the world has a government pension system, since everyone else manages to save enough? Because that's the only way I can figure your statement is relevant to whether we should have the Social Security system.

If so, which foreign country would you have us emulate?

- Gus

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Author: tjscott0 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2019 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 1:15 PM
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Although I thought one of the purposes of this board was for liberal minded folks to encourage each other on their plans to retire early. I guess it is just a place for conservatives to tell us how bad SS is.

Knowing the shakey foundation of SS should encourage one to save more & reach Financial Independence for early retirement.

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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2020 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 1:16 PM
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Oh, so you are saying 'liberal minded folks' have funded their retirements on their own without depending upon SS, while 'conservative minded ' folks overall are saving less, and not going to take SS when they qualify for it?

Try as I might, I couldn't twist Ford's words to say that. In the future, you should respond to what people say, not what the voices in your head say.

- Gus


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Author: FordLove Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2021 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 1:16 PM
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Although I thought one of the purposes of this board was for liberal minded folks to encourage each other on their plans to retire early. I guess it is just a place for conservatives to tell us how bad SS is."

Oh, so you are saying 'liberal minded folks' have funded their retirements on their own without depending upon SS, while 'conservative minded ' folks overall are saving less, and not going to take SS when they qualify for it?

Somehow I think you have a hard sell.


Wow
I mean Wow
Where the heck did you get that?

No what I was saying is that I was looking into how I can save for retirement without being badgered about SS or having people telling me how I think, or I wrote.

I didn't say squat about how a conservative would try and prepare for early retirement. I can't see it being much different than how a liberal would do it, to tell the truth.

While I am all for personal responsiblity, I can only be responsible for those words I actually wrote.

Ford

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2023 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 1:30 PM
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Although I thought one of the purposes of this board was for liberal minded folks to encourage each other on their plans to retire early. I guess it is just a place for conservatives to tell us how bad SS is.

Knowing the shakey foundation of SS should encourage one to save more & reach Financial Independence for early retirement.






As far as I can tell, this dog's been beat.

AM

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2024 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 1:43 PM
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Knowing the shakey foundation of SS should encourage one to save more & reach Financial Independence for early retirement.


As far as I can tell, this dog's been beat.


but phrased that way ... kind of interesting.

is SS shaky because it's shaky of itself, or because "conservatives" are trying to bring it down?


iirc , the 'liberal' estimate of when SS breaks is about the same as the 'liberal' estimate of "everyone killed by global warming" .... interesting that one side is playing "Chicken little" with one looming disaster; and the other side the other one.


=
....... follow the money?

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2027 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 3:20 PM
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GS: <ii" For example, if you believe Medicare's expenses are far higher than stated, who is funding the education programs you mention? "

You missed the entire response. "Medicare" expenses may be 3%, but if the gov't spends 8 billion collecting the money that gets paid out for MEdicare, that 8 billion was 'expenses' in the overhead category.

Your response is a silly as saying my son gets $3/week allowance and there is no overhead. Duh! If you paid 35% tax on your income, the after tax money is down by 35%. Then you spend 3 bucks, and tell me there is no overhead to process than 3 bucks? To get that 3 bucks you had a 35% expense rate on the 'collection' of the money.

The money for medicare has to be 'collected' in the first place. Tax collectors. Tax administrators....tax laws and lawyers etc etc...tax courts....bean counters. More bean counters....

The government is very good at telling you how efficient it is. That after writing 10,000 pages of tax code, and having millions of employees as 'overhead' to be sure you pay your taxes...... that overhead comes out of your pocket. You can decide it is only 3%, once they have collected it, TO SPEND IT, but it takes lots of money to collect it! Likely, several tens of million get wasted each year by the hot air of Congressmen taking up time blabbling about it and doing nothing.....just heating the buildings, providing light, writing it all down and publishing it in the Federal Register for thousands of pages each year..... oh, that isn't part of the 3%, but YOU are paying for it....

GS: You seem to have a rather naive view of how Medicare works. You don't get everything you ask for just because it's covered, any more than you do with an HMO.

Wrong..you go to the doc...he prescribes whatever he wants..no limit on how many tests, how expensive the tests, how expensive the medicine....up to 'experimental procedures' which aren't covered (like heart lung transplants) without major justification.... want a bypass operation? fine....even though it might not be the best solution, or you should try drug therapy first, lose 100 lbs, etc.....

You don't like that doc? go to another. All covered by Medicare.

Maybe you should read up on it. Not the least bit like HMOs, unless you sign up for one! ......


GS: The people who don't save for retirement aren't all irresponsible. Sometimes they just didn't make much more than subsistence their entire lives. Further, the people who do manage to save, like myself, end up being better off than those that didn't. I have far more than any retiree depending on Social Security. Living off SS isn't great, and I don't understand your need to make the people who are currently just scraping by starve.

There are degrees of this. Many in Calif claim they are 'just scraping by' on $150,000 incomes.......can't save....... up to their necks in debt.....credit cards.....house payments......car payments...duh!......

The lower inocme people will be covered by the 'safety net'....

Savings is not a priority.....for most Americans...until it is 'too late' to really get much of a nest egg...what is important to most is 'consuming' conspicuously.

GS:
Are you saying that no other country in the world has a government pension system, since everyone else manages to save enough? Because that's the only way I can figure your statement is relevant to whether we should have the Social Security system.


In this country, you work 40 quarters, and you qualify for SS. In Austria, you work 40 years to qualify for a gov't pension, and that is the only kind there is...you retire at 65 now..no early retirement. No fat cat work for the city 25 years and get $100,000 pension at age 50.....or similar.

Most other countries you work at least 35-40 years before you can retire....and you don't retire before age 65..and that is going up...in Austria it will be up to 69 for the 45 year olds and younger....

Same across EU....no 10 years to qualify for benefits....you work till 65 oro 67..then you retire.....

We have millions on disability..had a problem...got disability...problem fixed...still on disability....or god part of their disability was caused by obesity (of their own doing).....tired of playing the sap for those willing to scam the system. Many view it is 'early retirement'. Oh, they can't do 'roofing' any more...great, let them do other work.....

Oh, and those other countries take about 10% of your pay for the pension system.....YOUR PAY, not from the employer.....plus they have tax rates up to 70%..... think Sweden where the average person pays over 50% of salary in taxes.....to support the system....and no, the paychecks aren't 'high' to compensate for it...their lifestyles are 'lower' to compensate for it....




t.









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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2028 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 3:24 PM
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=
....... follow the money?




I think that applies whenever a Republican is in the picture.

AM

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2031 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 3:30 PM
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....... follow the money?




I think that applies whenever a Republican is in the picture.


whenever a politician is in the picture.


Reps may be worse ....


=

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Author: tenworlds Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2033 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 3:33 PM
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Oh, so you are saying 'liberal minded folks' have funded their retirements on their own without depending upon SS, while 'conservative minded ' folks overall are saving less, and not going to take SS when they qualify for it?
Somehow I think you have a hard sell.

-----

Although I only see echoes of trolls like this, I'm finding it difficult to NOT respond to the rank arrogance and small-mindedness of this kind of thinking. Twisting words into ridiculous strawmen to rationalize such a mean-spirited outlook calls out for a slap of reality...

but I promised.




Rich
-gritting teeth, backing away

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2043 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 5:50 PM
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<<No what I was saying is that I was looking into how I can save for retirement without being badgered about SS or having people telling me how I think, or I wrote.
>>


I would recommend hitting the "Ignore" button when you encounter a thread that discusses things you prefer not to think about.


Too many people don't want to think about the problems of Social Security and Medicare, but suppose they will be available just the way they think they will.


I can hardly think of a more appropriate topic to discuss on this board, but using the ignore thread feature will save you from hearing about such discussions. Another thing you can do if you wish is not to add your own posts to such threads, but that would probably be too hard I suppose.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: joseph714 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2045 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 6:01 PM
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6

PS This is hypothetical since I'll never get back from it


Planning on dying young?

Suspect you will get something back.
Unless some folkers get thier way and privatize it...then suspect you are correct.

md
-----------

6 is out of town for the coming weekend. I'll take a presumptive gesture here since I have read her posts that do indeed state she feels she won't be wanting to edge toward octo-g areas.



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Author: joseph714 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2047 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 6:19 PM
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Acknowledging that fact would violate the rules of this board. Anything a conservative says must be called wrong.


c

--------------

You haven't read a single word that I posted. Or didn't hear them perhaps.

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2059 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 8:06 PM
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Joseph714: You haven't read a single word that I posted. Or didn't hear them perhaps.

juseph, there are a couple or three posters here who aren't here to discuss retirement. They are here to disrupt and to tweak the evil Librul's noses. The mere mention of the word "liberal" drives them into a frothing-at-the-mouth fenzy. They are the kind of people who never miss one of Rush Limburger's broadcasts. They are better ignored, as you can't engage them in rational discussion. They miss no opportunity to distort anything you may say into some anti-liberal diatribe.

Just my 2¢.

cliff

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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2065 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 8:41 PM
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You missed the entire response. "Medicare" expenses may be 3%, but if the gov't spends 8 billion collecting the money that gets paid out for MEdicare, that 8 billion was 'expenses' in the overhead category.

Is that what it costs? Or are you just making up figures?

If you paid 35% tax on your income, the after tax money is down by 35%. Then you spend 3 bucks, and tell me there is no overhead to process than 3 bucks? To get that 3 bucks you had a 35% expense rate on the 'collection' of the money.

Try as I might, I couldn't make your tortured analogy fit anything that made sense. Are you seriously suggesting that the entire income tax should be counted as an expense for Medicare? Maybe you should try restating it.

There are degrees of this. Many in Calif claim they are 'just scraping by' on $150,000 incomes

I'm not seeing how this is in any way relevant. Social Security doesn't pay out $150K a year to anyone.

The lower inocme people will be covered by the 'safety net'...

Wait, I thought you hated Social Security? Now you're saying you're in favor of it? Or what?

In Austria, you work 40 years to qualify for a gov't pension, and that is the only kind there is...you retire at 65 now..no early retirement.

What? Since when does Social Security pay for early retirement? It's certainly not paying for mine. So your position is that Social Security doesn't have a long enough qualifying period, then?

No fat cat work for the city 25 years and get $100,000 pension at age 50

Social Security doesn't do that either. Where are you getting this stuff from?

We have millions on disability..had a problem...got disability...problem fixed...still on disability

I see. So you have paranoid conspiracy theories about disability. I'm sure we do have fraud, but not to the degree you seem to imagine. In any case, it's not exactly written into law that way, so you're complaining about crime, not the law.

Oh, and those other countries take about 10% of your pay for the pension system.....YOUR PAY, not from the employer

Your original position was that Americans were idiots who couldn't save, and your counterexample is another country that also had a forced savings plan? I'm not following how this invalidates the case for Social Security.

I thought I asked for some other country that did not have a pension plan, where everyone was so efficient at saving for retirement that it wasn't needed, that you wanted to emulate.

- Gus

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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2075 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 9:42 PM
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Maybe you should read up on it.

I decided to do so before replying. And you know what? You're wrong. From the Medicare FAQ, answer 133:

Benefits available to Medicare beneficiaries are called “covered” services. First, your doctor must decide that a particular service or procedure is necessary to treat your condition.

This is not "get everything for free because you ask for it."

Requests for Medicare coverage are evaluated according to proscribed procedures. The first action is a determination that the law allows it to be covered. After that we look carefully at the scientific evidence to support coverage of the item or service for all Medicare beneficiaries when their doctor decides the service is needed.

That's a little different from "just go to docs until one of them agrees to prescribe the treatment or test." It's pretty much in line with what I expected to find, given my experiences talking to doctors who actually have to work with the system.

Here's my problem with the arguments you seem to be presenting. They don't seem to be based on evidence or facts, but on your preconceived notions. You present wild scenarios that don't have anything to do with the most common cases. Before you argue about something, I think you need a better handle on what you're arguing against.

For example, have you ever actually spoken to anyone who actually had medical coverage that was covered by Medicare? What did they actually do? Did they actually perform any of the abuses you're so concerned about, or did they just talk to their doctor and do whatever it was the doctor thought was needed?

I'm just saying that most people don't approach medicine the way you seem to think they do.

- Gus

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2078 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 10:34 PM
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GS: "For example, have you ever actually spoken to anyone who actually had medical coverage that was covered by Medicare? What did they actually do? Did they actually perform any of the abuses you're so concerned about, or did they just talk to their doctor and do whatever it was the doctor thought was needed?"

YEs..my mother was 82 when she died, and was a widow for about 10 years..and spent half the year here.

Broke her hip at age 80.....had operation...did OK.....broke second hip at 82......didn't do so well......

She had about 4 prescriptions for years and years......and had doctors in FL (spent 3 months there), in TX (spent 6 months a year here) and spent 3 months a year in NY (and had dentist and doc up there). She was pretty good about just getting what she needed.

My dad died at age 73. Had heart problems, likely had a heart attack at age 56 (back in the mid 60s) retired at age 60 on company pension after 44 years service.....and was on half a dozen medicines....that had side effects, created other problems...... never could seem to get it right.....wound up dying from heart bypass surgery (the 5%) that aren't 'successful'.

My parents spent winter down in mobile home park in FL (Briny Breezes)...lots of older retired folks there....visited, and my mom tol me all the horror stories of folks being lonesome and visiting docs just to 'talk to someone'.

You forgot to mention...that if you don't like what your doc recommends, you can go to another, and Medicare usually doesn't disagree with 'medical opinion' on prescribed medicines, or usually on 'diagnostic tests'. Some seniors do shop around..figure they have to have 'something'.

It is all too common to over medicate....docs giving something to the patient..whether the medicine might actually do something...'Let's try this'......and even if it does nothing, most folks will think it is doing something positive......

Same for folks ..stressed out....need sleeping pills...need diet pills....sore throat from smoking too much....need pills for this, for 'stess' , for anxiety....... kids on half dozen prescriptions by age 10.....every kid has to have something it seems so moms have something to talk about..........

Both my parents were on medicare for 7 and 17 years.......and I took care of most of my moms records for tax purposes...for 10 years, and took her to doc appts for 10 years while she was in TX....had high blood pressure, high cholesterol....arthritis bad..... but did very well most of the time.....until the second broken hip......at age 82...that was all she wrote....body wore out, mind sharp as a tack...


t.






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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2079 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/15/2007 10:54 PM
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my mom tol me all the horror stories of folks being lonesome and visiting docs just to 'talk to someone'.

Maybe we should change the rules to avoid that, if it's costing too much. What do you suggest? Keep in mind that we don't want to filter out elders with actual medical complaints.

Both my parents were on medicare for 7 and 17 years.......and I took care of most of my moms records for tax purposes...for 10 years, and took her to doc appts for 10 years while she was in TX....had high blood pressure, high cholesterol....arthritis bad..... but did very well most of the time.....until the second broken hip......at age 82...that was all she wrote....body wore out, mind sharp as a tack...

OK, just to be clear here, what part of the experience of your parents with Medicare did you not like? How did they abuse the system in a way you wish they couldn't have?

- Gus


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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2082 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/16/2007 12:02 AM
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I'll second that. What I don't understand is how some folks who don't trust the goverment at all are so willing to trust corperate America.

Who said *anything* about trusting corporate America?!?

If we got to privatize part of SS, I would only trust myself. I wouldn't let either the government or a private company invest that money on my behalf.

Even for people that didn't trust themselves, they could put their money into US or corporate savings bonds and get a higher yield than the money going into SS now. A NO investing in corporate bonds isn't "trusting" US corporations. Our bankruptcy laws protect bond holder's rights a lot better than our Congress protects SS recipients "rights".

Jim

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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2083 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/16/2007 12:07 AM
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As I see it, though, Social Security isn't really for me. It's for people like my brother-in-law, who can't seem to save money on his own under any circumstances, despite having a decent income.

I don't think SS should be for EITHER of you. You won't need it, he SHOULDN'T need it. Out in the natural world, your brother would pay a penalty for his short sightedness, stupidity, lack of will power. That penalty would be death.

We both know that your brother's problem comes down to self control. He could easily save enough money, he chooses (through action or inaction) not too. I don't think it's society's role to help out people who refuse to take care of themselves.

If we want a safety net, that's fine. But it should be for people who through no fault of their own require a safety net. IMO that does not include your brother.

Jim

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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2084 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/16/2007 12:16 AM
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....... follow the money?

----------------------------


I think that applies whenever a Republican is in the picture.


You should do this REGARDLESS of which party affiliation your favored politicians belong to.

If you think Democrats are any better than Republican's you're going to have a very rude surprise at some point.

Honestly your opponents are frequently NOT people that belong to different political organizations than you. Your enemy (on any particular issue) may very well be the "government".

I submit that SS is one such issue and I highly suggest you DO follow the money. Also look at how much is paid in versus how much benefit comes out. Also look at how much money this could turn into if invested (conservatively) in the equity markets for long terms.

Jim

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2085 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/16/2007 12:37 AM
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Could we talk about something else now?

AM

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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2087 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/16/2007 9:09 AM
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Out in the natural world, your brother would pay a penalty for his short sightedness, stupidity, lack of will power. That penalty would be death.

Brother-in-law. Not brother.

You've made it clear that you think it's a moral imperative that certain people should die of starvation when they get too old to work. Very well, we don't agree.

I think we're done here.

- Gus


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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2088 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/16/2007 9:38 AM
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You've made it clear that you think it's a moral imperative that certain people should die of starvation when they get too old to work.

What a poor strawman. Do you always rationalize away other people's opinion like that or did you make an exception for me?

My only point in that post was that people that refuse to save for themselves should NOT be subsidized by taking money from those that did.

I scrimp and save now so that I'll have a comfortable retirement. It's blatantly unfair to take my money away and give to people like your BIL who could have saved but chose to blow his money instead on frivolities.

Do you know the story of the ant & the grasshopper (original - not the Disney version)?

Jim

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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2090 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/16/2007 9:59 AM
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What a poor strawman. Do you always rationalize away other people's opinion like that or did you make an exception for me?

No, that's what I honestly thought you believed. Why else talk about how the penalty in the "natural world" would be death? You seem so earnest about it, it seemed like a moral imperative that they should die. I took your tough talk as being what you actually believed. My mistake.

My only point in that post was that people that refuse to save for themselves should NOT be subsidized by taking money from those that did.

These people who don't save for themselves are currently paying Social Security taxes. I would assume that even you believe they should receive some benefit for having paid those taxes, no?

Of course, some of them will die early, and some will die late, so how much they receive will vary. Sort of like insurance premiums and claims. But let's assume for the moment that the collective taxes of the people who don't save has been exhausted, and there is no more money for the people who don't save.

Now what? What do you propose? If they are old and fragile and unemployable for whatever reason, what third alternative do you propose to starvation or subsidies from the virtuous such as yourself?

Keep in mind what it was like in this country for the elderly before Social Security when answering.

- Gus

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2091 of 56800
Subject: Re: Future government spending on retirement Date: 2/16/2007 10:04 AM
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Gus: "OK, just to be clear here, what part of the experience of your parents with Medicare did you not like? How did they abuse the system in a way you wish they couldn't have?"

My mom and dad were born in the 1916/17 ear...lived through the depression....frugal....were wise..

However, many of their friends (whom I knew) did over do the Medicare system.....

When my mother broke her hip the first time, all sorts of 'medical appliances' showed up at the door....all part of a package provided by a 'medical care provider' authorized by Medicare.....some of the things she used....some were useless...but Medicare was billed for all, and there was no way to 'return' that for which we had no use. (evrything from high seat toilets with supports to reachers to things to put on your shoes too this and that...... Walkers..... ).....

HOwever, many of her other neighbors down in FL told horror stories...one doc couldn't cure them of 'arthritis' so they visited specialist after specialist trying to find the 'magic bullet'..... or had another problem....and half the time, some of them were so zonked out from Medication (likely over medicated) they weren't sure whether they were coming or going....but docs were more than happy to 'prescribe some pills' hoping it would give them relief....in some cases, likely too many intereactions.....

I think too many docs are all too eager to prescribe the latest drug company releaste, regardless of the cost, because 'it might help' without going through less expensive options first....the $2 and $3/pill type