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YardleyLabs
10-13-2010, 11:00 AM
One of the difficulties in arguments about the desires of the American public is that the majority of the American public supports contradictory positions. As an example, a large majority of the public believes that the government is trying to do too much, that it is over reaching. 59% say the Federal government has too much power.This is shown below:

http://sas-origin.onstreammedia.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/5hyxmewp6kyzm3nt6nygig.gif
58% say the government tries to do too much to solve problems:

http://sas-origin.onstreammedia.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/vrb89giqt0ssaiugm6y3zq.gif

However, when it comes to specific issues, the majority want the government to do more in many major areas of debate. The only area in which a majority would like to see the government do less is in supporting businesses that are in trouble. This is shown below:

http://sas-origin.onstreammedia.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/htl3n8lcd0--d_6m7twgiw.gif

This dichotomy is one of the reasons that it is hard to define what "mandate" comes when one party or another is given a majority in Congress or elected to the White House.

david gibson
10-13-2010, 11:34 AM
this stems from the fact the govt. tends to f#*k everything up when it does get involved. we think there is too much govt. because it has screwed up education, social security, etc etc, but when a new problem comes along people want a quick fix before they realize it will just be F'd up and cost them oodles of tax money.

if govt could get something right for once perhaps there wouldnt be such cynicism.

if pigs had wings regards

luvmylabs23139
10-13-2010, 12:22 PM
YOu miss one Jeff. The majority want the gov't to do less when it comes to income differences.
More 34% Less 44%
In other words the majority are sick of this socialist redistribution of wealth!

Franco
10-13-2010, 12:22 PM
The government's solution to a problem is often worse than the problem.

Take the Health Care overhaul or thier inability to protect US citizens that live on our southern boarder/immigration. They have completely screwed it up.

Government needs to sticck to;

Protecting its citizens and Constitution
Maintaining a well-equipped and ready Armed Forces
Maintaining the infastructor for commerce

Government is never the REAL solution. They spend 10x's what they need to on a problem and they try and solve all problems with throwing money at it.

Reducing the size of the Fed government will go a long way in reducing our debt and making them more accountable.

YardleyLabs
10-13-2010, 12:35 PM
YOu miss one Jeff. The majority want the gov't to do less when it comes to income differences.
More 34% Less 44%
In other words the majority are sick of this socialist redistribution of wealth!
Actually, it says that 56% want the government to do more or are happy with what the government is doing now with respect to income redistribution, while 44% want the government to do less. 33% (a chart that I did not post) believe the government should do nothing with respect to income redistribution, while the balance believes that the government should have some role in income redistribution.


The government's solution to a problem is often worse than the problem.

Take the Health Care overhaul or thier inability to protect US citizens that live on our southern boarder/immigration. They have completely screwed it up.

Government needs to sticck to;

Protecting its citizens and Constitution
Maintaining a well-equipped and ready Armed Forces
Maintaining the infastructor for commerce

Government is never the REAL solution. They spend 10x's what they need to on a problem and they try and solve all problems with throwing money at it.

Reducing the size of the Fed government will go a long way in reducing our debt and making them more accountable.
I understand, but do not share, your opinion on the role of government. In most cases, I would side with the majority in this particular poll. I do believe that the government needs to reduce spending dramatically from current levels. However, a huge portion of that cut will need to be in defense which will force a redefinition of America's military role in the world. Currently, about 40% of all Federal tax revenues go to defense.It's hard to see how anything can be done that involves increasing that number.

Cody Covey
10-13-2010, 01:12 PM
Thats because unfortunately most don't take the same views as Franco (and I) about the government. They want less government as long as it doesn't affect any programs or problems they are currently receiving or having. I feel that the government usually makes a problem worse instead of helping the situation. If you take out the ridiculous interpretation of the general welfare clause to over ride the complete rest of the founding documents and just stick to spending what the enumerated powers allows then we would be in a much better place.

Blackstone
10-13-2010, 01:13 PM
I think it speaks to just how fickle the American public really is. Most are against gov. programs except for the program(s) that benefit them. Most are against gov. intervention unless it benefits them. Look how many people supported the invasion of Iraq. Bush told everyone it would not be a quick operation. Yet, the majority of the American public bought into it. Now, some of the same people that supported it wholeheartedly, are railing against it because of the number of Americans killed, and because it has taken so long to resolve. I recently listened to an interview with an author that wrote a book about the demographics of the Tea Party membership. According to the author, about 20% are over age 65, receive Social Security, and receive some form of Medicaid and/or Medicare related benefits. Yet, they say they are against gov. programs because they are just a form of socialism.

Cody Covey
10-13-2010, 01:18 PM
I think it speaks to just how fickle the American public really is. Most are against gov. programs except for the program(s) that benefit them. Most are against gov. intervention unless it benefits them. Look how many people supported the invasion of Iraq. Bush told everyone it would not be a quick operation. Yet, the majority of the American public bought into it. Now, some of the same people that supported it wholeheartedly, are railing against it because of the number of Americans killed, and because it has taken so long to resolve. I recently listened to an interview with an author that wrote a book about the demographics of the Tea Party membership. According to the author, about 20% are over age 65, receive Social Security, and receive some form of Medicaid and/or Medicare related benefits. Yet, they say they are against gov. programs because they are just a form of socialism.

Its not like you can get out of paying for social security or medicaid/medicare so you would be stupid not to use it. That doesn't mean that the programs should be continued. If the Social Security was so popular and such a great program why is it not voluntary. Let people opt in if they want and if not they get no money later. Of course democrats would never let this happen because it would collapse immediately i would imagine.

Juli H
10-13-2010, 01:21 PM
This cracks me up.

THere is a family here in Tok, who are on just about every known federal and state assistance program known to mankind. They have like 6 kids with a 7th on the way...And yet they support one of the most conservative candidates to represent our state at the federal level - Joe Miller...
LOL...

dnf777
10-13-2010, 01:28 PM
This cracks me up.

THere is a family here in Tok, who are on just about every known federal and state assistance program known to mankind. They have like 6 kids with a 7th on the way...And yet they support one of the most conservative candidates to represent our state at the federal level - Joe Miller...
LOL...

In my area, the same seems to hold true also. The people who benefit the most from gov't cheese, are the most vocal about "smaller goob'mint" and getting rid of the very entitlement programs they use daily. (meth clinics, public transportation, medical assist/medicaide, foodstamps, etc...)

Blackstone
10-13-2010, 01:53 PM
Its not like you can get out of paying for social security or medicaid/medicare so you would be stupid not to use it. That doesn't mean that the programs should be continued. If the Social Security was so popular and such a great program why is it not voluntary. Let people opt in if they want and if not they get no money later. Of course democrats would never let this happen because it would collapse immediately i would imagine.

Itís called hypocrisy. How can you be against something, yet see nothing wrong with benefiting from it? If you are truly opposed to the programs, it wouldnít be stupid not to take the money & benefits, it would be a matter of principle. Of course, there just donít seem to be that many principled people these days.

Social Security is pretty popular with, and a great program for, most of those that receive the benefits. However, itís just like any other tax. No one wants to pay it. I pay taxes now that I wouldnít if they werenít mandatory. I pay school taxes, but I donít have any kids. School taxes arenít popular with me. That tax money doesnít benefit me directly. Why canít I, and others like me, opt out? I promise I wonít try to go to public school later.

Buzz
10-13-2010, 02:03 PM
In my area, the same seems to hold true also. The people who benefit the most from gov't cheese, are the most vocal about "smaller goob'mint" and getting rid of the very entitlement programs they use daily. (meth clinics, public transportation, medical assist/medicaide, foodstamps, etc...)

I've been saying for awhile that I hope ALL the kooks win this November. Give voters the change the deserve...

menmon
10-13-2010, 02:13 PM
I think it speaks to just how fickle the American public really is. Most are against gov. programs except for the program(s) that benefit them. Most are against gov. intervention unless it benefits them. Look how many people supported the invasion of Iraq. Bush told everyone it would not be a quick operation. Yet, the majority of the American public bought into it. Now, some of the same people that supported it wholeheartedly, are railing against it because of the number of Americans killed, and because it has taken so long to resolve. I recently listened to an interview with an author that wrote a book about the demographics of the Tea Party membership. According to the author, about 20% are over age 65, receive Social Security, and receive some form of Medicaid and/or Medicare related benefits. Yet, they say they are against gov. programs because they are just a form of socialism.

Just for the record Bush did not tell them that is was going to take time and American lives. Now it is the publics fault for believing that a few months and bombs would fix their problems.

menmon
10-13-2010, 02:18 PM
This cracks me up.

THere is a family here in Tok, who are on just about every known federal and state assistance program known to mankind. They have like 6 kids with a 7th on the way...And yet they support one of the most conservative candidates to represent our state at the federal level - Joe Miller...
LOL...

It's because the Glen Becks of the world have sold them that the republicans have their back when that is sooooo not true.

Franco
10-13-2010, 02:39 PM
I think it speaks to just how fickle the American public really is. Most are against gov. programs except for the program(s) that benefit them. Most are against gov. intervention unless it benefits them. Look how many people supported the invasion of Iraq. Bush told everyone it would not be a quick operation. Yet, the majority of the American public bought into it. Now, some of the same people that supported it wholeheartedly, are railing against it because of the number of Americans killed, and because it has taken so long to resolve. I recently listened to an interview with an author that wrote a book about the demographics of the Tea Party membership. According to the author, about 20% are over age 65, receive Social Security, and receive some form of Medicaid and/or Medicare related benefits. Yet, they say they are against gov. programs because they are just a form of socialism.

Most Americans including myself and members of Congress supported the invasion because we were sold on WMD's.

At no time were we told we would be rebuilding their country and trying to bring a Democracy to Iraq. That all came after Bush and Cheney looked at one another and asked, "what do we do now"?

Even Bush thought the job was done with the Mission Accomplished speech. After that is when it all went to hell with thier grand experiment of bring Democarcy to a country that really doesn't want it. Ditto for A'stan. The mission should be to bring Bin Laudin to justice, if the A'stan folks want a Democarcy, let them earn it!

In regards to SS;
I've been forced to pay into it and I surely expect to get some of my money back. The reality is the entire concept of the SS program was big government overstepping thier duties! Had they (big gooberment) stuck to what they should have been doing we wouldn't have SS and the problems today with all the SS entitlements and cost.

Blackstone
10-13-2010, 03:04 PM
Just for the record Bush did not tell them that is was going to take time and American lives. Now it is the publics fault for believing that a few months and bombs would fix their problems.

I was in error. The original rhetoric from some within the Bush administration did suggest it would be a short lived conflict:

Feb. 7, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy: "It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."

March 16, Vice President Cheney, on NBC's Meet the Press: "I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . (in) weeks rather than months."

It was my mistake that Bush commented on the length of the war prior to the beginning of the war. The comments I was thinking of came within days after the war started:

March 20, President Bush, in an Oval Office speech to the nation: "A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict."

March 27, Bush, at a news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, when asked how long the war would take: "However long it takes. That's the answer to your question and that's what you've got to know. It isn't a matter of timetable, it's a matter of victory."

I agree with you. The American public should not have been so eager to delude themselves into believing it would be a quickly resolved war. That further proves my point that the American public, in general, is fickle.

Blackstone
10-13-2010, 03:31 PM
Most Americans including myself and members of Congress supported the invasion because we were sold on WMD's.

At no time were we told we would be rebuilding their country and trying to bring a Democracy to Iraq. That all came after Bush and Cheney looked at one another and asked, "what do we do now"?

Even Bush thought the job was done with the Mission Accomplished speech. After that is when it all went to hell with thier grand experiment of bring Democarcy to a country that really doesn't want it. Ditto for A'stan. The mission should be to bring Bin Laudin to justice, if the A'stan folks want a Democarcy, let them earn it!

I was not one that supported the invasion. I would have been if the administration had provided definitive proof that WMDs existed, but they didnít. I am in agreement with you. Once they didnít find any WMDs, they didnít know how to justify the invasion. They began to spin the story on the reason we were really there. It went from the search WMDs to Operation Iraqi Freedom to The War on Terror. People seemed to get onboard with the latter, so it stuck.


In regards to SS;
I've been forced to pay into it and I surely expect to get some of my money back. The reality is the entire concept of the SS program was big government overstepping thier duties! Had they (big gooberment) stuck to what they should have been doing we wouldn't have SS and the problems today with all the SS entitlements and cost.

I cannot say I agree with how the SS program has been run, but I think the program has helped a lot of people, old & young, that would otherwise have fallen through the cracks in our society. The same it true for Medicaid & Medicare.

Cody Covey
10-13-2010, 04:25 PM
Itís called hypocrisy. How can you be against something, yet see nothing wrong with benefiting from it? If you are truly opposed to the programs, it wouldnít be stupid not to take the money & benefits, it would be a matter of principle. Of course, there just donít seem to be that many principled people these days.

Social Security is pretty popular with, and a great program for, most of those that receive the benefits. However, itís just like any other tax. No one wants to pay it. I pay taxes now that I wouldnít if they werenít mandatory. I pay school taxes, but I donít have any kids. School taxes arenít popular with me. That tax money doesnít benefit me directly. Why canít I, and others like me, opt out? I promise I wonít try to go to public school later.
It's not hypocrisy to be FORCED into a program where you again are FORCED to pay for "retirement" then not use that retirement money.

Blackstone
10-13-2010, 04:44 PM
It's not hypocrisy to be FORCED into a program where you again are FORCED to pay for "retirement" then not use that retirement money.

But, you have a choice not to use it if you don't want to. I understand why you feel you should take it. However, if I were that opposed to it, I wouldn't use it. But, that's just me.

Hew
10-13-2010, 04:59 PM
But, you have a choice not to use it if you don't want to. I understand why you feel you should take it. However, if I were that opposed to it, I wouldn't use it. But, that's just me.
You mind if I hoist the BS flag on that? Using your logic you're either a tax fugitive or are you are a hypocrite who has paid taxes to fund a war he doesn't support.

charly_t
10-13-2010, 05:25 PM
In regards to SS;
I've been forced to pay into it and I surely expect to get some of my money back. The reality is the entire concept of the SS program was big government overstepping thier duties! Had they (big gooberment) stuck to what they should have been doing we wouldn't have SS and the problems today with all the SS entitlements and cost.

I agree with this 100%.

And medicare forced changes in our health care system that have caused many problems ( some of it with more charges ). I did not want medicare
in the first place. We had our own insurance through the company my husband worked for. Of course the company jumped on the band wagon because they thought it was going to save them money where we retirees were concerned.

Blackstone
10-13-2010, 05:39 PM
You mind if I hoist the BS flag on that? Using your logic you're either a tax fugitive or are you are a hypocrite who has paid taxes to fund a war he doesn't support.

No Hew, youíre not using my logic. I see where you were trying to go with that, but your analogy doesnít quite work.

If I openly opposed to the war, then found a way to profit or benefit from it, that would make me a hypocrite. In your example, Iím actually taking in the shorts twice. I opposed going into Iraq, then Iím required to pay taxes, a portion of which funds the war. Itís a lose Ė lose situation.

Also, you have the legal right not to apply for SS benefits, if you donít want to. No one is going to force you take them, and no one is going to penalize you if you donít. However, you donít have the legal right not to pay your taxes. Therein lies the difference.

Oh, you can lower the BS flag now.

Hew
10-13-2010, 07:02 PM
No Hew, youíre not using my logic. I see where you were trying to go with that, but your analogy doesnít quite work.

If I openly opposed to the war, then found a way to profit or benefit from it, that would make me a hypocrite. In your example, Iím actually taking in the shorts twice. I opposed going into Iraq, then Iím required to pay taxes, a portion of which funds the war. Itís a lose Ė lose situation.

Also, you have the legal right not to apply for SS benefits, if you donít want to. No one is going to force you take them, and no one is going to penalize you if you donít. However, you donít have the legal right not to pay your taxes. Therein lies the difference.

Oh, you can lower the BS flag now.
In both cases the govt. is compelling you to spend your money on something you don't personally agree with. You spent it on the war. He spent it on SS. Plain and simple. Cut and dried. Perfectly apt analogy. So which are you; hypocrite or tax scofflaw?

depittydawg
10-13-2010, 09:01 PM
this stems from the fact the govt. tends to f#*k everything up when it does get involved. we think there is too much govt. because it has screwed up education, social security, etc etc, but when a new problem comes along people want a quick fix before they realize it will just be F'd up and cost them oodles of tax money.

if govt could get something right for once perhaps there wouldnt be such cynicism.

if pigs had wings regards

Hmmm. Don't know about your neck of the woods, but Public education is doing pretty good out here in Oregon. I've got two boys, both in college on their way to good careers and public education played a big role in that. Of course I like to think our home had a lot to do with it as well. Lots of kids don't do well in public education but it is not because the opportunity wasn't there. It is because they failed to take advantage of it. A second example of something the government has done well are our public police and fire departments. They are functioning quite well. A third example I would submit is Social Security. To my knowledge the Government has never missed a payment or defaulted on a SS account in what, 75 years? How many private pensions can make that claim. A forth example could be VA Medical. Every veteren I"ve talked to says they love their VA medical benefits. And another would be Medicare. I don't believe I've ever heard anyone say they want to forgo their medicare coverage for Private Insurance.
Granted, government screws up a lot. But they do get it right a lot too.

Gerry Clinchy
10-13-2010, 11:20 PM
I recently listened to an interview with an author that wrote a book about the demographics of the Tea Party membership. According to the author, about 20% are over age 65, receive Social Security, and receive some form of Medicaid and/or Medicare related benefits. Yet, they say they are against gov. programs because they are just a form of socialism.

Medicaid may be govt-paid, but SS and Medicare are programs into which the beneficiaries paid out of their pre-tax income.

Remember, you do not get to deduct what you pay into SS and Medicare from your gross income. So, you are taxed on those amounts ... but yet compelled by law to pay those amounts.

And, when you sign up for Medicare at age 65 it's really not "free" ... you must also pay a certain amount each month for "Part B". Since Part A & B only pay minimal coverage, you still really need supplemental coverage & prescription drug coverage. The total can vary by what kind of coverage you choose, but moderate coverage ends up being about $300 - $400/month.

Realistically, most people, if compelled to live on SS only would be quite a bit below the standard of living they were used to before retirement.

SS would be in much better shape if the coffers hadn't been raided for the general budget. It would also be in better shape if additional benefits hadn't been added when the finances looked pretty rosy.

Blackstone
10-13-2010, 11:44 PM
In both cases the govt. is compelling you to spend your money on something you don't personally agree with. You spent it on the war. He spent it on SS. Plain and simple. Cut and dried. Perfectly apt analogy. So which are you; hypocrite or tax scofflaw?

I am neither. Where is the hypocrisy in being forced to pay for something you donít support? It may be ironic, but it is not hypocritical.

Apparently you misunderstood what I was saying. My point was that it is hypocritical to be adamantly against something, yet willingly accept the benefits it provides.

On one hand, he is opposed SS, but is willing to accept SS benefits. On the other hand I opposed going to Iraq, but I am not accepting any benefit or profiting in any way from the Iraq war. So, how is that an apt analogy? Yes, we are both forced to pay for something we didnít support, but one makes the CHOICE to reap the benefit of the program he was against (which is what makes it hypocritical), and the other reaps no benefits. You canít just pick the part of the 2 scenarios that are similar, leave out the dissimilar parts, then say they are analogous. Cut and dried, plain and simple, the 2 are not analogous.

Hew
10-14-2010, 01:54 AM
You canít just pick the part of the 2 scenarios that are similar, leave out the dissimilar parts, then say they are analogous.
And you can't pick out the minor dissimilarities that aren't particularly germane to the point as your proof that something isn't analogous. There are a million things that separate an African Elephant from an Asian Elephant, but in the end, they're both elephants. There are a million things that separate SS and war funding, but in the end, they're both examples of the government compelling people to pay for something they don't agree with.

PS....since you wouldn't choose between hypocrite and scofflaw, I picked for you. ;-)

dnf777
10-14-2010, 04:58 AM
And you can't pick out the minor dissimilarities that aren't particularly germane to the point as your proof that something isn't analogous. There are a million things that separate an African Elephant from an Asian Elephant, but in the end, they're both elephants. There are a million things that separate SS and war funding, but in the end, they're both examples of the government compelling people to pay for something they don't agree with.

PS....since you wouldn't choose between hypocrite and scofflaw, I picked for you. ;-)


Another little difference between war funding and SS, is that SS saves lives and gives people a means to stay off the street, and doesn't result in the devastation and destruction of lives and infrastructure. Not germane to this discussion, I realize, but thought it was worth tossing into the mix. ;)

Hew
10-14-2010, 05:01 AM
Another little difference between war funding and SS, is that SS saves lives and gives people a means to stay off the street, and doesn't result in the devastation and destruction of lives and infrastructure. Not germane to this discussion, I realize, but thought it was worth tossing into the mix. ;)
Good point, because everyone knows that nothing beneficial has ever come from military conflict...well, except for the ending of slavery, facism, nazism, communist expansionism, yada, yada, yada.

dnf777
10-14-2010, 07:50 AM
Good point, because everyone knows that nothing beneficial has ever come from military conflict...well, except for the ending of slavery, facism, nazism, communist expansionism, yada, yada, yada.

And what of those benefits did WE, as US citizens, derive from the multi-trillion war in Iraq? I was not aware that Iraq was using Americans as slaves, or invading our country in hopes of an ovethrow, or in any other way posing a threat to us??

On the other hand, there are millions of Americans who have a roof over their head and warm food on their plate because of SS. To me, the benefits of SS are a little more clear than the Iraq war. :rolleyes:

david gibson
10-14-2010, 08:28 AM
.....there are millions of Americans who have a roof over their head and warm food on their plate because of money pain into SS by hard working americans that may never see a benefit of their own contribution because of all the fraud and entitlement laziness that has been allowed to happen. To me, the benefits of SS are just as muddy as the Iraq war.

there. fixed it up for ya for accuracy's sake - no thanks necessary....:rolleyes:

Goose
10-14-2010, 09:04 AM
Another little difference between war funding and SS, is that SS saves lives and gives people a means to stay off the street, and doesn't result in the devastation and destruction of lives and infrastructure. Not germane to this discussion, I realize, but thought it was worth tossing into the mix. ;)

You're such a simpleton.

Why don't you hold a seminar and invite the 30-something and 40-something generations and explain to them how social security will save their lives and give them a means to stay off the street and won't result in the devastation and destruction of their lives when its time to collect. You could invite Bernard Madoff as a guest speaker...he's an expert on how social security works.

Social security is nothing more than generational sodomy. It's as bankrupt as Harrisburg, PA.

We live in Cuba now.

dnf777
10-14-2010, 10:00 AM
You're such a simpleton.

Why don't you hold a seminar and invite the 30-something and 40-something generations and explain to them how social security will save their lives and give them a means to stay off the street and won't result in the devastation and destruction of their lives when its time to collect. You could invite Bernard Madoff as a guest speaker...he's an expert on how social security works.

Social security is nothing more than generational sodomy. It's as bankrupt as Harrisburg, PA.

We live in Cuba now.


Simpleton? Is that any way to have a civil discussion?

FYI, I AM in the 40 something generation, and have paid SS since I started working at 18, and I know full well the money goes to current SS recipients, not into a mason jar until I retire. And you call ME a simpleton?

Probably none of us were around in the days when SS was conceived, to see the reasons WHY it was conceived. If you had been, or read history, you may have a different attitude, but I doubt it.

Please, for the sake of the forum, lets try to keep the discussion civil, can we?

Blackstone
10-14-2010, 12:42 PM
And you can't pick out the minor dissimilarities that aren't particularly germane to the point as your proof that something isn't analogous. There are a million things that separate an African Elephant from an Asian Elephant, but in the end, they're both elephants. There are a million things that separate SS and war funding, but in the end, they're both examples of the government compelling people to pay for something they don't agree with.

PS....since you wouldn't choose between hypocrite and scofflaw, I picked for you. ;-)

Minor dissimilarities? The entire point of my statement is what makes the two so dissimilar. Go back and read my original statement where I cited what I saw as the hypocrisy of the situation, ďHow can you be against something, yet see nothing wrong with benefiting from it?Ē That was my statement, and that was my logic. No where in that statement is there mention of the Gov. compelling us to pay taxes for something we didnít support. In fact, it wasnít until the following paragraph, when I addressed his statement about the ďpopularity of SSĒ that paying taxes was even mentioned, and it was not in connection with my statement on hypocrisy. The fact that we were both compelled to pay for something we didnít support has nothing to do with my original statement. However, you continue to attempt to link the 2 together in an effort to prove your point. However, by doing so, you have completely change the premise and intent of my original statement, thereby rendering the entire attempt at an analogy meaningless. Perhaps you have been listening to those political spin doctors too long that are so good at skewing someone elseís statement. However, if thatís how your logic works, flawed though it may be, itís okay with me.

You can draw whatever conclusion you like about me, and assign what ever label you like. That will be fine. I am not going to continue to debate this. When I was a kid, my father warned me about the folly of arguing with a sign board. I guess this is one of those occasions, so I am going to take his advice.

Cody Covey
10-14-2010, 01:26 PM
Simpleton? Is that any way to have a civil discussion?

FYI, I AM in the 40 something generation, and have paid SS since I started working at 18, and I know full well the money goes to current SS recipients, not into a mason jar until I retire. And you call ME a simpleton?

Probably none of us were around in the days when SS was conceived, to see the reasons WHY it was conceived. If you had been, or read history, you may have a different attitude, but I doubt it.

Please, for the sake of the forum, lets try to keep the discussion civil, can we?And you really think that social security is going to save your life? It's hardly even a "living wage". I would much rather cut my losses and opt out and be able to invest the money that was previously taken out of my paycheck into something that will gain money and very little probability of going bankrupt when the generation before me takes all the money. In the 30's you may have had an argument but in todays world it is just another entitlement program that leaves the ignorant of today thinking that it will "save their lives" and they don't have to save for retirement.

dnf777
10-14-2010, 07:54 PM
And you really think that social security is going to save your life? It's hardly even a "living wage". I would much rather cut my losses and opt out and be able to invest the money that was previously taken out of my paycheck into something that will gain money and very little probability of going bankrupt when the generation before me takes all the money.

I don't think SS will save my life. I'm saving for myself. One would have to be a fool to buy toys with all their disposable income, and depend on SS or pension funds for their retirement living! But then again, there's lots of fools out there. We're surrounded by them. We're paying off their toxic mortgages and credit debts as we type.

Where would you invest your money? Lehman Brothers? Enron? What happens when the market falls by half?

Franco
10-14-2010, 08:14 PM
Where would you invest your money? Lehman Brothers? Enron? What happens when the market falls by half?



Why would I give any of them my hard earned money so they can gamble with it?

Make real money and not paper and buy undervalued real estate.

ducknwork
10-15-2010, 06:45 AM
Where would you invest your money? Lehman Brothers? Enron? What happens when the market falls by half?

What happens when the govt has no money to give me after paying in for 45-50 years of my life with MY money? I'd be lessed ticked off if I lost half my money than if the govt lost all of my money...

YardleyLabs
10-15-2010, 07:41 AM
What happens when the govt has no money to give me after paying in for 45-50 years of my life with MY money? I'd be lessed ticked off if I lost half my money than if the govt lost all of my money...
While it is true that when SS was created that current contributions were used to fund current benefits, over time that changed. With the reforms implemented i 1986, SS taxes went up dramatically (more than doubled) and SS was brought into a better financial balance than almost any private pension plans.

From a practical perspective, that meant that SS began throwing off huge cash surpluses. These were invested in US Government securities. However, a side effect of the huge SS surplus was that this offset deficits being incurred in the operating budget. I think that politically this was one of the reasons that Reagan was able to push through major tax cuts, and claim credits for cutting taxes, when total tax payments for the lower half of the income scale actually doubled. Another effect of this was that conservative groups (and others to a lesser extent) stopped counting social security contributions as "taxes". The justification given was that this was a savings program and contributors would get their money back. I suspect the real reason was because when you begin counting social security taxes, it becomes apparent that our "progressive" tax system is a lot less progressive than it seems.

For now, the actuarial integrity of social security is a little out of whack. It can be brought back into balance with relatively small changes in the combination of benefits and contribution rates. Obviously, if nothing is done, we will grow closer and closer to crisis. If something is done now, the changes made need not be dramatic. The magnitude of change needed is about 10% of annual costs. This can be addressed through any combination of benefit reductions (most likely a small upward adjustment in retirement age) or tax rate increases (most likely a small increase in the maximum income level taxed).

However, "fixing" social security is not the real problem. Fixing Medicare and fixing our general budget deficit are the real problems. Medicare, like social security, was a relatively minor problem in 2000. Actuarial assumptions needed to be adjusted to reflect longer life expectancies and disproportionately higher inflation in health care costs. However, this manageable problem became unmanageable the day the Medicare prescription program was adopted with no linked increase in rates.

In 2000, our operating deficit was also a manageable problem. Debt and operating deficits had declined dramatically following the combination of tax increases adopted in Clinton's first term and a significant reduction in the growth of government spending relative to what had happened during the 80's.

Unfortunately, that hard fought balance was destroyed in 2001 and 2003 with the adoption of tax cuts that have reduced Federal revenues by about 20% while, during the same period, government spending began to increase at more than twice the rate of growth seen during the 90's. It does not take a lot of smarts to understand that this is a recipe for disaster, and disaster is exactly what happened.

The threat to SS is not the structure of social security. The threat is that America has become a bad credit risk. The deficit gap today is almost 40% of all Federal government spending, and that assumes that the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire for those with incomes over $250k. If those cuts are extended, the deficit gap increases to more than half of all Federal government spending.

Our options are simple. Either we begin reducing that deficit with a combination of spending cuts and tax increases larger than anyone from either party is prepared to consider, or we accept that we will be facing some mix of bankruptcy (for which there is no legal framework) and wealth busting inflation.

Some of the attacks on social security benefits are actually a way of trying to implement a "negotiated" debt reduction. If benefits are reduced sharply, while contribution rates are not, the system will once again be throwing off hundreds of billions per year in surplus. This delays the time when social security will need to begin cashing in its Federal notes to cover beneficiary payments.

luvmylabs23139
10-15-2010, 08:33 AM
I can't remember the math details but there are many points in SS where those that pay more get less vs those who pay less get more based on ROI. At some point there are people who get a much higher ROI (lower income) than those who pay more (lower ROI)
Those numbers change based on SS caps and SS benefits. They are also directly effected by other income.

Buzz
10-15-2010, 10:17 AM
Make real money and not paper and buy undervalued real estate.

What seems undervalued today may seem overvalued tomorrow.

The unwinding of the mortgage mess is likely to bring on another financial sector meltdown. It seems that trusts may have sold claims against mortgages that they cannot prove that they actually own, which is fraud. Let the law suits begin. Stay tuned...

YardleyLabs
10-15-2010, 10:51 AM
I can't remember the math details but there are many points in SS where those that pay more get less vs those who pay less get more based on ROI. At some point there are people who get a much higher ROI (lower income) than those who pay more (lower ROI)
Those numbers change based on SS caps and SS benefits. They are also directly effected by other income.
It would be an interesting calculation to see since it would also have to consider the number of years for which benefits are received. Obviously, the big losers in social security are those that die in their 60's, while the big winners are those who live to be 80 or more. Maybe that should be considered in setting tax rates. For example, low income black men has a life expectancy of 66.9 years, representing less than 5 years of SS eligibility. By contrast, affluent white women have a life expectancy of 81.3 years, or more than 19 years of eligibility. Obviously, the white women should be paying four times more than black men for the same levels of monthly benefits. Don't you agree?:rolleyes::rolleyes: (See http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/us/23health.html for life expectancy data)

Buzz
10-15-2010, 11:04 AM
I can't remember the math details but there are many points in SS where those that pay more get less vs those who pay less get more based on ROI. At some point there are people who get a much higher ROI (lower income) than those who pay more (lower ROI)
Those numbers change based on SS caps and SS benefits. They are also directly effected by other income.

I took a quick look at how it's calculated. They use average monthly income for the 15 years that you earned the most. I did a quick estimate of what the maximum monthly earnings one could have had over the last 15 years and it comes to about $6364. Like taxes, they bracket the income for the calculation

They multiply the first $744 by 90%.
The next $3739 by 32%.
The last $1951 by 15%.

So the max monthly benefit you could receive if you earned the max or more over the last 15 years is:

744 x .9 = 669
3739 x .32 = 1196
1951 x .15 = 292

Total = 669 + 1196 + 292 = $2157/month

So yes, your ROI does go down. I would love to see a ROI calculation, especially one that takes into account that your employer pays half your contribution for you.

ducknwork
10-15-2010, 11:04 AM
It would be an interesting calculation to see since it would also have to consider the number of years for which benefits are received. Obviously, the big losers in social security are those that die in their 60's, while the big winners are those who live to be 80 or more. Maybe that should be considered in setting tax rates. For example, low income black men has a life expectancy of 66.9 years, representing less than 5 years of SS eligibility. By contrast, affluent white women have a life expectancy of 81.3 years, or more than 19 years of eligibility. Obviously, the white women should be paying four times more than black men for the same levels of monthly benefits. Don't you agree?:rolleyes::rolleyes: (See http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/us/23health.html for life expectancy data)

That gambling almost sounds like that evil-gasp-health insurance! How are the lefties (esp. deppity) okay with social security, given the fact that everyone doesn't receive the same amount, no matter how much they pay in?

Buzz
10-15-2010, 11:06 AM
That gambling almost sounds like that evil-gasp-health insurance! How are the lefties (esp. deppity) okay with social security, given the fact that everyone doesn't receive the same amount, no matter how much they pay in?


That's how insurance works.

ducknwork
10-15-2010, 11:09 AM
That's how insurance works.

I know that...deppity is soooo against health insurance but loves SS, which runs on the same principles as insurance that he despises...Go figure.


Glad to know you are talking to me again though!:D

dnf777
10-15-2010, 11:27 AM
Obviously, the white women should be paying four times more than black men for the same levels of monthly benefits. Don't you agree?:rolleyes::rolleyes: (See http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/us/23health.html for life expectancy data)

They may be right about you.....the master of spin~!;)

There are many hidden truths out there, some we don't want to see, so we just don't look!

One of the few things I remember from college days, was a book called "How to Lie With Statistics" from a sociology class. Talk about spin! Everything from word nuances, to the visual presentation of graphs and charts, you can just about argue ANYTHING.
Made me always question everything I hear and see.

YardleyLabs
10-15-2010, 06:12 PM
They may be right about you.....the master of spin~!;)

There are many hidden truths out there, some we don't want to see, so we just don't look!

One of the few things I remember from college days, was a book called "How to Lie With Statistics" from a sociology class. Talk about spin! Everything from word nuances, to the visual presentation of graphs and charts, you can just about argue ANYTHING.
Made me always question everything I hear and see.
Well, what sounds like spin sometimes carries with it a truth that, as you suggest, we don't care to consider or simply didn't think to consider. There is no doubt that minimum social security payment levels are a little more generous for those at lower income levels than for those at higher income levels. However, it is also true that the only valid measure of ROI is based on lifetime benefits rather than monthly ones. Given that benefits do not kick in until age 62 or older, relatively small differences in life expectancy can have a significant impact on benefits received. There is also clearly a relationship between affluence and life expectancy. I don't know if anyone has actually analyzed lifetime ROI for SS benefits, but i suspect it has looked pretty good up until now. The book I had in gradate school statistics was called The Abuse of Statistics. The theory is the same.

Under the category of unrealistic expectations, the following Gallup poll follows along the same pattern as the one at the beginning of this thread:

http://sas-origin.onstreammedia.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/b_8bap5tgkswxtqu3u1oxa.gif


Basically, this says that there is overwhelming agreement that Social Security and Medicare are bankrupting the country. However, there is also wide majority opposition to either raising taxes to fix the problem or cutting benefits. We will not reach any solution until political leaders are willing to exercise leadership instead of looking for sound bite opportunities for political advantage.

luvmylabs23139
10-15-2010, 07:38 PM
I took a quick look at how it's calculated. They use average monthly income for the 15 years that you earned the most. I did a quick estimate of what the maximum monthly earnings one could have had over the last 15 years and it comes to about $6364. Like taxes, they bracket the income for the calculation

They multiply the first $744 by 90%.
The next $3739 by 32%.
The last $1951 by 15%.

So the max monthly benefit you could receive if you earned the max or more over the last 15 years is:

744 x .9 = 669
3739 x .32 = 1196
1951 x .15 = 292

Total = 669 + 1196 + 292 = $2157/month

So yes, your ROI does go down. I would love to see a ROI calculation, especially one that takes into account that your employer pays half your contribution for you.
We actually did the whole thing in finance class back in college. That's where I remember the ROI stuff from. That was a long time ago though!

YardleyLabs
10-15-2010, 07:41 PM
We actually did the whole thing in finance class back in college. That's where I remember the ROI stuff from. That was a long time ago though!
But, once again, you are looking at ROI per month, not ROI per person. We know absolutely that they are not the same.

luvmylabs23139
10-15-2010, 07:47 PM
But, once again, you are looking at ROI per month, not ROI per person. We know absolutely that they are not the same.


Yes, but when we did the project we were comparing SS to various other ways of investing the same amount of money. SS lost big time.

Now the important question for you.

How are mommy and puppy doing?:D

depittydawg
10-15-2010, 07:47 PM
I know that...deppity is soooo against health insurance but loves SS, which runs on the same principles as insurance that he despises...Go figure.


Glad to know you are talking to me again though!:D

The problem with Health insurance is that you can pay into it for most of a lifetime, and become disqualified to receive any benefits when you need them. Social Security is a guaranteed benefit that has never missed a payment. Your trying to compare them is not valid.

depittydawg
10-15-2010, 07:50 PM
Social security is nothing more than generational sodomy. It's as bankrupt as Harrisburg, PA.

We live in Cuba now.

Well that's an new analogy... Can't say it makes much sense, but it sounds cute.

YardleyLabs
10-15-2010, 07:57 PM
Yes, but when we did the project we were comparing SS to various other ways of investing the same amount of money. SS lost big time.

Now the important question for you.

How are mommy and puppy doing?:D
Both mom and pup are doing beautifully. The pup weighed in at 26-27 ounces this morning - 3 1/2 days. That is almost twice the size of average pups at that age (assuming 9-10 pup litters, and about 5 ounces heavier than the biggest pup I have ever had at a similar age. However, she is still skinny and a wiry, squirming mass of muscle. When the vet removed her dew claws yesterday, they needed a third person to help hold. I'm going to have to have a special leather suit and mask made up for her, because she certainly acts like a dominatrix in the making.:D