Author Topic: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)  (Read 3715 times)

Offline joeinwv

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2012, 10:11:46 PM »
...  Isn't that sad that after 2.5 yrs of it passing few really know what the impact will be?
Including Nancy Pelosi. Jokes aside, no one knows the real impact a fully implemented Obamacare will have. I talk to Dr's every day - they don't know how it will affect practice, just that it ain't good.

Offline Adam B.

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2012, 09:12:15 AM »
I can tell you the impact it has had on ME already and a lot of people I know.

The company I work for basically stripped us of all our health care benefits last week. They are moving us onto some high deductible plan.

The "cliff notes" version of the story goes — you pay $3,000 a year in premiums to the insurance cartel. They in turn do not pay ONE SINGLE PENNY of your medical expenses. Not one cent of doctor's visits, not one penny of your medications, not a single penny of your hospital visits UNTIL you reach $5,000 in medical expenses. THEN — the policy covers SOME THINGS at 80%.

SO — you have to spend $8,000 in a year before ANY MEDICAL INSURANCE KICKS IN.

THEN in the event say I need a million dollar operation because I stubbed my toe or what have you, then I only owe $200,000 +/- to the hospital.

I am literally going to go without insurance for me and the family because... WHY BOTHER?

Obama helped everyone who can't afford health insurance by telling us he will levy FINES against us for not being able to afford it, and simultaneously creating a climate where employers are going to give you the bare minimum coverage they are legally required to by law — or reduce their full time employees to working 29 hours a week to avoid having to give you any insurance whatsoever.

SOUNDS AWESOME for the INSURANCE RACKETEERS who get to collect thousands and thousands of dollars in premiums without having to PAY OUT A SINGLE PENNY. EVEN BETTER that they were able to lobby the government into REQUIRING EVERYONE TO PURCHASE THEIR F-ING GARBAGE.

Now anyone who tells me socialized medicine is worse can just shut up. I am not saying that socialized medicine is GREAT, but what is the lesser of 2 evils? People left to die because they can't afford to see a doctor or get health care, or a system where you have to wait in a long line and get sub-par care becasue the government is corrupt and moves slow as molasses?

The whole concept of "the commons" — ie the things that EVERY MEMBER OF SOCIETY USES and therefore should collectively OWN are being handed over to private racketeers who will rape the public for profit and provide equally shoddy results for the buck.

How OUTRAGED would the public be if the government decided to hand over bridges and roads to private contracters to operate and charge us for? How many of you would love to pay a different "troll" every time you needed to cross a pothole covered bridge to get somewhere vs. a gasoline tax???

How many of you would be outraged if you were required to pay tuition to some private school and get the same crappy education you get at the public schools now? People would not stand for it.

What is so different about health care? Everyone among us uses the roads whether they drive a car or not. Everyone among us uses the schools whether they are students right now or not. EVERYONE AMONG US gets SICK once in awhile.

I am no communist, but don't argue with me that we have the "best healthcare system in the world" because we flat out DON'T. When foreigners are afraid to come to our country because they will end up bankrupt if they get hurt or sick, and have to buy temporary "health insurance" just to visit — when an AMERICAN can go to THEIR country and get FREE HEALTH CARE if THEY GET SICK...

For example, my mother was in the Caribbean and got infected with that flesh eating bacteria on her leg. She was rushed to the hospital down there and was in a hospital for over a MONTH before she could be flown back to the United States.

It cost her $100

Her subsequent treatments in the United States have been over FIVE MILLION DOLLARS. Since she still had "REAL" health insurance at the time, it cost her nothing. However, if she were on the "NEW" health insurance plans being rolled out to most employees of corporate America in the coming months / years, she would owe a MILLION DOLLARS.

GEE... Anyone care to figure out the math on that one???

This whole country is a pile of trash and it is about to get bulldozed into a permanent landfill any day now.
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Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2012, 09:35:41 AM »
They didn't strip you of your health care benifits because of the "fiscal cliff", they did it because of the implementation of socialized medicine.  We DO have the best healthcare in the world, and we DID have the best healthcare system in the world.  People from other countries were flocking to the US for medical care because it is the best.  They have healthcare systems like the one we are getting, and that is why there weren't getting the treatment they needed.  Now we are going down the same path.

I have great healthcare since I work for a pharmaceutical company, but once the affordable healthcare act passed they started doing what every smart business was doing and work the system.  The best way to handle healthcare now is to play within the rules and get as many people off your plan as possible.  My healthcare essentially doubled since my DW's plan kicked me off since I was eligible at my own work.

These are two completely different topics, and we do have absolutely the best healthcare in the world.  I don't even see how that is a discussion.

The free market healthcare system we had, while flawed and in need of reform, is infinitely better than socialized medicine. 
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Offline Adam B.

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2012, 10:46:46 AM »
I think "Best Healthcare system in the world" is a subjective topic with no clear answer, because there are many healthcare professionals who would argue there are other countries more advanced than we are.

Yes, there are TONS of people from Canada who flock to OUR country to get the care they can't get up there. There are TONS of people (many who I know since I grew up close to the border) who FLOCK to CANADA to get treatments they can't get HERE as well. How about all of the people who flock to MEXICO to get prescription drugs at an affordable price because they are outrageously overpriced here?

I happen to know a lot of doctors and people in the health care field because of where I live and the sports I play (seems that doctors like to live a healthy active lifestyle for some odd reason, and every sports team I play on are stacked with 50% doctors LOL)...

As far as Health Insurance and this MANDATE goes — DOCTORS LOSE and PATIENTS LOSE — and most of the money in the system is filtered into the pockets of the PARASITE CLASS of banksters and financial racketeers, just like every other aspect of our society they can get their hands on — to charge us for the "service" of robbing us blind, while providing absolutely NO PRODUCTIVE CONTRIBUTION TO OUR SOCIETY whatsoever.

Once the people learn to cut these people out of our society we will be much better off.

Anyone who doesn't believe the United States is not ALREADY a communist society should read Karl Marx's ten planks of the communist manifesto.

To steer this back on topic — the parasite class sucking all of the wealth from society while providing absolutely no productive contribution in return are the ones driving this bus off of the "financial cliff."

After having worked in and having clients in the banking cartels — every time I see a bank advertising their "FINANCIAL PRODUCTS" it just makes me want to GAG on my own VOMIT.

That is like a rapist saying he was just letting a woman sample his "products" in "marketing speak."
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Offline osubuckeye4

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2012, 10:53:48 AM »
  Isn't that sad that after 2.5 yrs of it passing few really know what the impact will be?

So true...

I'm pretty tuned into politics, but I have no idea what kind of impact Obamacare is going to have. (both in the short and long term)

The policy is so long (2,400 pages!), there are so many provisions, so many penalities, so many what if's, that it's nearly impossible to know how it is going to actually play out.

Good luck to anyone who tries to read the entire policy and understand it cover to cover.


I'm actually an auditor in the education (university) industry. My job is to read Title IV rules and regulations (FSA handbook and other documentation from the government located on IFAP and other sites) and attempt to intrepret it and figure out ways that my company can maximize revenue and enrollments while continuing to ensure compliance.

The FSA handbook (basically the rules and regulations from the government) is about 950 pages in a given year. It's a mess, and it only impacts a specific segment of the American population (students attending college).


Obamacare is 2,400 pages and rather than impacing a specific segment of the population, literally EVERY person in the country is impacted by it.


Good luck to anyone who is trying to figure out how this Obamacare is going to play out.

I don't know enough to tell you exactly how this will play out, but, I know that this is going to be a complete mess.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2012, 11:12:17 AM »
To steer this back on topic

This.

This "fiscal cliff" thing is obviously related to every large government program in existence, including healthcare, but let's try to keep this thread on the central issue.  Please put Obamacare, etc in new or existing topics in one of our two politics boards: Patriotism and the New Revolution, or Day to Day Political News.

Offline RationalHusker

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Re: What is this "Fiscal Cliff" all about?
« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2012, 12:02:43 PM »
I hate when people use that term. It's like it was the governments money to begin with so they have to "fund" it to give us back our own money.

I, too, hate it when politicians say tax cuts = spending.  It's not true.  Tax cuts are gov't income reduction - not spending.  I'm ignoring the argument that low rates actually increase revenue - I'm just defining terms. 

Having said that, the problem with the Bush tax cuts were that they weren't accompanied by equivalent (or any) real spending cuts.  In fact, spending increased.  Tax cuts and higher spending may be worse in the long run than tax hikes.  But both are bad.

Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2012, 12:29:26 PM »
Just FYI for everyone- withholding for payroll taxes was reduced from 6.2% to 4.2%. If this cut expires everyone's paycheck will go down by 2%.

Offline Adam B.

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2012, 01:41:40 PM »
Quote
The policy is so long (2,400 pages!)

And how many of them READ ANY of the pages before they voted on it (or any other bill they ever sign into law anymore. I highly doubt the current crop would bother reading a one page bill before voting on it either).

The whole "fiscal cliff" (I am so sick of these marketing terms for everything, but at least the dingbats who make these terms up avoided the "gate" at the end of the word and didn't call it "fiscal-gate" "moneygate" "broken-gate" or "cliff-gate") and came up with something slightly more original this time.

ANYWAY — the whole "fiscal cliff" fiasco of the month is just another example of what happens when lawmakers don't read the laws they vote for, the people don't give a crap about anything other than who is offering them the most free garbage — (where do I sign up for my "Obama Phone" anyway), and let banksters get away with charging us to make money out of thin air and then "lend" it to us.

I'll leave it there — since I am mostly preaching to the choir.

What would things have been like back in the early days of the republic if George Washington had to decide whether to veto or sign a 4,000 page bill into law? How many horse and buggies would it have taken just to bring a copy of the bill to each senator's office? They could have solved any unemployment issues at least by hiring half of the existing population as scribes to make copies of the bills for each government representative though... There is always a positive side to the every negative I suppose.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 01:55:20 PM by Adam B. »
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Offline osubuckeye4

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2012, 01:51:53 PM »
This.

This "fiscal cliff" thing is obviously related to every large government program in existence, including healthcare, but let's try to keep this thread on the central issue.  Please put Obamacare, etc in new or existing topics in one of our two politics boards: Patriotism and the New Revolution, or Day to Day Political News.

Whoops, I thought for a second I was in a thead on Obamacare (the direction everything had took).


In regards to the fiscal cliff, it is amazing how many people have absolutely no idea how many entitlements/breaks they are going to either not recieve, or will recieve at a greatly reduced rate.

My wife and I are expecting our first child next Wednesday. Her sister-in-law just delivered their first child last Friday. I was talking to my wifes brother and he was so jazzed about the fact that his wife delievered in this tax year because he will get his $1,000 child tax credit every year. I explained to him that starting in 2013 it would probably be $500 unless someone in the government stepped up and reinstated the old rate. He had absoutely no idea that the child tax credit being reduced was part of the fiscal cliff and got mad at me.

Offline jason389

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #40 on: November 22, 2012, 05:55:45 PM »
Yes, when you add all the taxes we pay together it is a heavy burden.  The last time I figured our actual amounts versus gross income it was about 45%+.  I don't know how anyone can rightfully say that any person ought to pay half their income to the govt for any reason.

My bleeding heart liberal sister is about to get a wake up call.  Her husband is facing early forced retirement (not economy related, just the company and local situation) in March.  She said their income will be much less and they should be OK but health insurance cost is their biggest concern.  She said they plan to just get a cheaper catastrophic policy and pay out of pocket for routine care.  I said I don't think the new HealthCare act will allow that, that is the point to force everyone into buying the same level of insurance. "Oh no, that can't be right!"

Although my sister surely voted for Obama and every democrat possible, she as yet has no clue what effect the ObaamaCare law will have on her life let alone others.  Isn't that sad that after 2.5 yrs of it passing few really know what the impact will be?

There are a whole lot of these people that are in the same boat. They vote liberal and/or democrat because they want everyone to just exist peacefully and everyone to have free food, healthcare, etc and just can't seem to grasp that this is a fallen world and that will never happen. They don't know what the consequences of their actions and their votes will be. But we will all find out.....soon enough. Makes me sick. Half of this country are morons. The US as we knew it is coming to a rapid end.



Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #41 on: November 24, 2012, 02:12:20 AM »
Here we are about two weeks from the Congressional Christmas (can't call it that but that is the only reason there is one) Break and I am not hearing anything at all about solving this.  Somehow the "tax cut for the rich" will be impacting nearly every one (at least those who pay taxes). 

I do think they will come up with some smoke and mirror "compromise" that retains federal jobs.  An across the board spending cut is not palatable in general to any of the politicians, and adding federal workers to the unemployment rolls is absolutely not going to happen under Obama.  So to save federal jobs they will come up with something that panders to the Repubs and the Dems special lobbyists and it will actually cost MORE than we are planning to spend now!!

I predict they will retain some of the tax cuts (without crediting Bush of course) and ADD MORE SPENDING.  The fiscal cliff will become the fiscal abyss. THis is what they are good at doing and they will continue.  No sign whatsoever of changing behavior.

BTW, I am reading 299 Days Book Three and the collapse in that feels more realistic than the marshmallow news and the economy suspended by a string reality I read about every day in the news.  Every day it truly amazes me that we can have so destroyed our economy and been so betrayed by our politicians and yet no one wants to talk about that and everyone seems to pretend it is all going to be OK.  The laws of physics and mathematics are in suspended animation, but only for a while.
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Offline SusanG

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #42 on: November 28, 2012, 07:49:03 AM »
Here's a good article about the fiscal cliff, including a table of expected tax increases by income bracket.  The return to the old rates includes a smaller child tax credit, and the return of the marriage penalty, along with higher marginal rates and a shift in the tax brackets.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49805876/

My prediction:  letting the current tax rates expire is a win-win for Obama.  Everyone's taxes go up, a LOT, starting with their first paycheck of 2013.  Much wailing and gnashing of teeth ensues, and Obama submits a "compromise", which consists of the tax increase on the top two percent, plus a return to the Bush rates, sort of.  They will leave the marriage penalty in place, since it's implemented not with the tax rates, but rather with the size of the standard deduction, which will revert to the 90s amount.  They may also apply the Bush era rates to the old brackets, which were lower, so that you'll get put in a higher bracket at a lower income.  This is all a win-win for Obama because 1) he gets to blame the Republicans for going off the cliff in the first place, and 2) he'll be able to honk and tweet about having given everyone a tax cut for the next four years, while actually getting more revenue off of everyone.  He'll get away with this because so few voters are able or willing to do the math and understand what really happened.  They'll be puzzled because their post-cut paychecks won't be quite as large as they were the same time in the previous year, but the difference for the people in the bottom 80%  won't be enough to cause them to complain.

As an aside, I remember once in the 90s when I tried to describe the marriage penalty to a liberal friend, and her eyes quickly glazed over when the explanation involved basic math (add two incomes together and they are taxed at a higher marginal rate than each income individually).  There was a bill to fix this in the mid-90s, but Clinton vetoed it as a "tax break for the wealthy" ... when in reality the wealthy have no marriage penalty since they are already in the highest tax bracket.  Sometimes I think that you CAN fool all of the people all of the time, when it comes to doing math.  :(

Offline nelson96

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2013, 03:21:20 PM »
The “Fiscal Cliff” put in a much better perspective .....

Lesson # 1:

* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Using the same lesson, now lets remove 7 zeroes and pretend it's a family budget.

* Annual family income: $217,000
* Money the family spent: $382,000
* New debt on the credit card: $165,000
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $1,427,100
* Total budget cuts so far: $385


Got It ???
OK?  Let's try again.



Lesson # 2:

Here's another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:
Let's say, you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood and
your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.  What do you think you should do... raise the ceilings,
or remove the shit?
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Offline fred.greek

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2013, 06:59:03 PM »
The next time you encounter a federal civil service employee, walk up to them, and say “Thank you”.

As of 31 DEC 2012, in essence, it is the (former) funds in federal civil service employee pension and TSP (401k equivalent) that is being spent by your politicians.
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Offline chad

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2013, 07:13:58 PM »
Nelson... +1

The best breakdown of the s&@t the gov has put us in..

Is it o.k. If I cut and past that on my Facebook?

Offline nelson96

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2013, 07:24:52 PM »
Is it o.k. If I cut and past that on my Facebook?

The more people who see it the better.  It was emailed to me and I cut & pasted it to TSP. 
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Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2013, 11:06:56 PM »
OK, what has it been, over ten years? that I have heard the Dems demonize the "Bush Tax Cuts" as cuts for the wealthy and leaving out the middle class.  Now that they have expired, all of a sudden Obama is saying the lack of action by Congress will cause EVERYBODY'S taxes to increase, especially the middle class.

Are we really that stupid?  Don't answer that, please!
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Offline Cedar

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2013, 10:31:04 AM »
On Friday.. with the Cliff looming, the DOW went up 100-some points. Hours away and no deal stuck and minutes ticking by, I went to after hours pre-market before the DOW opened and it was +258 when we were about to fall over the cliff.

Greece MIGHT sneeze, some aboriginal in Africa looses some bushtucker and the DOW falls -300 points.
Gotta love it.

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Offline endurance

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2013, 11:01:24 AM »
There's just too damn many sacred cows for congress now days.  Nobody wants to appear weak on defense, so we continue to have an enormous standing army, something our founding fathers warned us against (see James Madison).

While some argue that defense is "only" 5% of GDP, the U.S. accounted for 46.5 percent of global military spending in 2009.  The price of being the one global super power is unsustainable.  We don't need a large standing army now any more than we needed one in 1946.  That's why we have the guard and reserves.  Our power in the past was always to be able to put the entire nation into the fight when it was a war worth fighting.  We've lost that focus and we've paid dearly on the homefront.

Then there's medicare and medicaid.  There was a system that worked before, it was called community need-based hospitals that would turn no one away.  Sure, they were expensive, but compared to the federal solution of medicare and medicaid, they were cheap.

Let's be realistic, anyone under the age of 50 doesn't really expect to receive social security anyway, so let's phase it out.  When the programs were implemented a very small percentage of the population was living to 65 and beyond (average live expectancy in 1900 was 46 in the US).  Now the average life expectancy is 78.  We've created generations who expect to have a retirement plan when they reach 65, but that's a promise that can't be kept any longer.  Phase the retirement age up one or two months a year starting in 2014 until it's 72.5, then phase it out.  Sure, there will be some resentment for those of us who are in our 40s and never see a dime of out money back, but given the choice of that or seeing my mom on the street begging for money, I think I can live with it.

As for the rest of the federal budget, well, all those other parts, like the department of education, homeland security, department of transportation, the EPA... all of it adds up to 4.5% of GDP, or about $660 billion.  Factor in a reasonable smaller military and you just might have something sustainable.... but it'll never happen.  They've gotta wreck this train to try to save those sacred cows of theirs.
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Offline chrisdfw

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #50 on: January 02, 2013, 11:43:42 AM »

Let's be realistic, anyone under the age of 50 doesn't really expect to receive social security anyway, so let's phase it out.  When the programs were implemented a very small percentage of the population was living to 65 and beyond (average live expectancy in 1900 was 46 in the US).  Now the average life expectancy is 78.  We've created generations who expect to have a retirement plan when they reach 65, but that's a promise that can't be kept any longer.  Phase the retirement age up one or two months a year starting in 2014 until it's 72.5, then phase it out.  Sure, there will be some resentment for those of us who are in our 40s and never see a dime of out money back, but given the choice of that or seeing my mom on the street begging for money, I think I can live with it.


The only issue I have with this, is that it won't do shit to fix our current problem. Social security taxes are sufficient to cover social security benefits with only minor changes. Raise the retirement age is one good fix, the life expectancy dictates we do so. Changing the increase in benefits, especially for those with larger benefits. We can fix this very easily with cuts of 25% or so, and leave the system intact, or fix it. Either way, social security is a pinhole leak in the budget, medicare and medicaid along with defense are the gaping holes in the budget. We spend too much on disease care, and too much on people who are dying, and too little on prevention and healthy lifestyles.

Social security can be preserved, or done away with, or whatever, it won't make a difference budget wise over the long term, it simply isn't the problem. I'm still ok with changing or abolishing it, but don't have any illusion it will make a difference.

Offline endurance

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #51 on: January 02, 2013, 02:21:29 PM »
The only issue I have with this, is that it won't do shit to fix our current problem. Social security taxes are sufficient to cover social security benefits with only minor changes. Raise the retirement age is one good fix, the life expectancy dictates we do so. Changing the increase in benefits, especially for those with larger benefits. We can fix this very easily with cuts of 25% or so, and leave the system intact, or fix it. Either way, social security is a pinhole leak in the budget, medicare and medicaid along with defense are the gaping holes in the budget. We spend too much on disease care, and too much on people who are dying, and too little on prevention and healthy lifestyles.

Social security can be preserved, or done away with, or whatever, it won't make a difference budget wise over the long term, it simply isn't the problem. I'm still ok with changing or abolishing it, but don't have any illusion it will make a difference.
I agree and disagree.  On the one hand, all that money that we stashed away so the baby boomer bubble wouldn't sink Social Security was stashed away in the form of government bonds.  In other words, we still owe it from one hand to pay the other hand.  The money is already spent, it's just that now we need to pay it back.

Where I really agree with you is on the end of life care.  My wife works in an ICU and comes home every week with horror stories of hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to extend one individual's life by a few weeks.  I'm not talking about people who are going to get better and be productive members of society again; I'm talking about people who have already bought themselves 18 extra months of time from a Whipple Procedure after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, but now their wife can't let them go despite it truly being hopeless in the opinion of every medical professional in the facility.  In the end the bill for his last 38 days of treatment alone was $1.2 million dollars and he didn't share one more waking moment with his wife, he was sedated and on a ventilator that entire time.

As a society we cannot afford such wasteful expenditures.  We have to live lives that are worth living so that when it's time to die we don't insist on spending our children's future on a few more weeks of life.  While I'm all for spending $100k on a cancer patient to get the very best treatment money can buy, when it's clear that all hope is lost, it's time to pull the plug.  It's sad that congress got all scary and threatening with the term "Death Panels" during the healthcare debate, because somebody needs to grab the reigns; this horse is running wild.
"There are things that you don't question when your home always smells like baking bread."  From The Hunger Games

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Offline chrisdfw

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Re: The Fiscal Cliff (Merged Topics)
« Reply #52 on: January 02, 2013, 08:34:16 PM »
I agree and disagree.  On the one hand, all that money that we stashed away so the baby boomer bubble wouldn't sink Social Security was stashed away in the form of government bonds.  In other words, we still owe it from one hand to pay the other hand.  The money is already spent, it's just that now we need to pay it back.

Even totally discounting the bonds, and pretending they don't exist, social security is an easy fix. The cash coming in is just about enough to cover the money going out, on a cash in-cash out basis. Small changes, like reduction in benefits for high earners, indexing retirement age to life expectency, changing the inflation index formula, can get us to where it balances, without the government bonds.

The end of life care is a much bigger problem. If we treated dogs the way we treat dying people we would call it inhumane. we euthanize animals because its the compassionate thing to do. We don't have to euthanize people (I'm not necessarily against it), but we can stop mortgaging out future to keep vegetables (or close to it, or worse) alive. We spend so much of our resources because we can't let go. Its not right to deny education and medical care to the young to pay for care for the old who can't be saved. Sorry people, but nobody gets out of this life alive... deal with it. One of my pet peeves, they put my grandfather on a ventilator and dialysis against his wishes, and it was hard to see, and he still died, or was already dead.