Former senator Alan Simpson thinks so. I happen not to agree. My mother existed on a small savings account and could not have survived without social security (which she paid into her entire working life.)
Homer Simpson? How about: They paid their dues? How about: You want us to treat you that way when you need the help of others? People like that are only interested in those who control them. Too many conflicting purposes lead to non-government, or government by denial.
In war, new soldiers are taught to dehumanize the enemy in their minds so performing their military duties can be done with less after-effect on their psyches. Alan Simpson is trying to do the same thing: make his "enemies"--in this case the senior generation--seem like villains. Really? Perhaps he will soon renounce his senatorial pension because he wants to spend his senior years in a flophouse.
It makes you wonder what kind of parallel universe these people live in.
It makes perfect sense to me. It's like when Americans watch movies about foreign dictatorial regimes and wonder in amazement, "How could anyone let that happen?" Well, It's happening in the US too. It's just that one often can't gauge the size of the tornado properly when they are right in the middle of it. US citizens pay taxes, Congress gives benefits to themselves; and calls its taxpayers lazy and gives them nothing. How would you define that if we didn't already take it for granted as a part of our system? A form of feudalism possibly?
Whole segments of society have been de-humanized for YEARS. And you know which. And yes, it's poor people!
But I remember reading an article in Time or Newsweek many years ago titled "Greedy Geezers".
It was shown that all the money a person put into SS is used up within 4 years of retiring. And it makes sense if you think about it...when my grandpa started putting $$ in, they were probably taking 20 dollars a week!! Which turned into 800 a week by the time he retired. Inflation, COLI's, etc.
So, you end up, like around here, with a lot of very wealthy people, basically collecting welfare if they live longer than 4 years after retiring.
And then there is a statistic that 90% (?) of all tax payer dollars spent on healthcare, is spent on the last months of life.
Needless surgery...like hip replacement at 90 yrs?
I read a story about Florida seniors who make a job out of going to specialists, different ones every day...all paid for by tax-payers.
There is a lot of common sense changes that could be made. Like, how about means-testing? Give people what they put in, but seriously, if a guy or gal is a multi-millionaire...do they really need to keep collecting after they have used up their input?
Stop with the needless stuff! When my dad had cancer, they kept doing the same test doctor after doctor...and charging each time. Couldn't they have shared?
Things like that. There is a lot of waste that can be cut, like in every agency.
But then the political correctness comes in, and the demonizing of people suggesting changes. "Death Panels", "they want to kill your gramma", etc.
No body hates seniors, we all have parents, but come on!
Common sense has left the room.
I think a means or needs test would be a great start. I know of many financially secure people collecting SS benefits that don't need them. One 70-something year old man who paid into SS for a whopping 6 months as a young man and will benefit from the "broken" system until the day he dies--even though he does not need the money!
Yes, common sense has left the building, as every one of your posts repeatedly demonstrates beyond all doubt....
Enter the biggest contradiction in modern electoral politics.
Older voters tend to support conservatism and vote GOP. Alan Simpson is a Republican. SS and Medicare are products of liberal democratic administrations and Congresses and were opposed by the GOP in Congress. It's historical fact. IMO, SS and Medicare are STILL opposed by 'true' conservatives. Almost all the attacks (labeled reform) on Social Security and Medicare come from GOP representatives. I'm talking about 'reforms' that would reduce funding to those programs and/or reduce benefits for seniors. EVRRY GOP proposal to reform SS and Medicare (except the needs test)either cuts funding or reduces benefits. EVERY ONE!
Medicare and SS amount to over 40% of the federal budget. If the GOP is going to reduce taxes for the ultra-wealthy, those programs are the prime targets. If/when seniors realize that the democrats want to PRESERVE those programs, even though seniors do not represent their voting 'base' seniors will change their voting habits. Right now, they are lining up to vote for the party out to fleece them.
We have a different social security setup here in Australia.
Do not quote me on this, but I think the average pension for seniors is around $400 - $500AUD a fortnight.
From time to time the current affairs shows roll out stories about how pensioners are doing hard... can not afford to buy groceries after paying rent/council rates/utilities/medication ($5.40 per script on a pension or unemployment).
Yet in every one of those stories, the pensioner being interviewed always has a packet of cigarettes on the counter, and a lottery ticket stuck on the fridge.
At the moment I am on unemployment, as despite my medical condition, I can not apply for a disability pension before I see the specialist in March. That said, I do have an exemption from seeking work pending that appointment.
On unemployment, I get $470AUD a fortnight. I know how hard it is for the pensioners in this country, and doubt that it is any better in the States.
The pension is to survive on.... not live. But it is sad as our penisioners didn't all have access to superannuation....
You situation bites! I would recommend getting a med cert for exemption, until the specialist report for the Treating Doctors Report.
I also saw your post on the best and worsts of your life and I tried looking it up but it was medical jargon I didn't understand...
Now you know how I felt getting the diagnosis
I may have to get on to Centrelink about your suggestion.
I hope its clearer for you now.... I notice you haven't written about... I can imagine it would be really tough... I hope you are still working on new peices, I have been reading and I really like it.
Yeah you should. It helps... particularly given how you would have felt about the diagnosis alone.
Here is an example of why political correctness rules America:
Some time during Mitt Romney's rule as governor here in Massachusetts, there was a front-page story in the paper about a new piece of equipment that the hospital bought...
They used it for surgery on a 78 year old man...at the cost of hundreds of thousands of tax-payer dollars (I'm guessing). The man said he was looking forward to "getting back on the golf-course."
At the same time, Romney cut state funding for dental and optical for children who were on masshealth.
The dichotomy was really brought home to me then.....
We spend hundreds of thousands of tax-payer dollars on one man, who has already had the chance to live a pretty full life.
Yet, little children who are just starting out in life--we can't spend on them to make sure they are healthy and prepared to meet their life yet to come.
Cause seniors vote!
And cause those kids mothers should have just kept their legs closed.
Saw an interview Brian Lamb did on C-Span when he was in the UK.
He asked a member of Parliament, "Why don't you have these fights about certain issues like we do in the US?"
She said, "Because we don't have a religious right. We Brits regard things like abortion and gay rights as matters of conscience."
"We also don't have this right to bear arms. We have very strict gun-controls. Our murder rate in one year for the whole country is less than one month in NYC."
Something to think about. We say we are free? We are ruled by money and morality....FALSE morality at that! IMO
Not entirely they just popularized the notice that americans are opportunistic.
Two major situations are involved here. One: about forty years ago the government began to "borrow" money from Social Security, and has yet to pay it back which completely depleted the bank balance in that account. Two: There are many more seniors now then there have ever been before.
I agree with the appraisal that those that have sufficient income in their senior years should not need to collect from Social Security, but the reality is that they too paid into SS when they earned income. But if you have resources, that should be considered when determining how much you can collect. Those without either primary or secondary resources can collect their full allotment, those with alternatives collect less.
I also completely agree with the medical adjustments that are so necessary. The 79 yo man who wants to play golf should pay for the priviledge. The children need the medical care more, and it should be available to them. I have several doctors myself and if any of them want to do a test, I go back and look to see if any of the others have done the same test within a six month period before I have another test done. That is taking on my responsibility for my own health. I am frugal and to some extent I want my doctors to be frugal as well.
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