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Author Topic: Social Security/Medicare etc  (Read 1864 times)

ChristyACB

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Social Security/Medicare etc
« on: November 16, 2003, 11:53:38 am »

Hello All,
 

    I've been following this org for quite a long time, though I'm not a member due to the inability to move of my own accord (military). I do have a question that I see partially addressed within other topics but would like opinions on from everyone on it's own.

    With regard to Social Security:  While the system has been corrupted by losing it's own money fund and now being part of the general fund, therefore not being handled for a return on the initial inpay, it has become rather inculcated into our society. Problems have arisen that make it harder to live without were it to be shut off now. Examples of that are: Companies justify decreasing or eliminating pensions based on SS availability. Mobility of jobs. Careers are interrupted so that companies won't keep an employee long enough to qualify for a pension. Mobile and seperated families (so that they can secure jobs) keep family levels apart and therefore not capable of caring for other generations. Well, the list goes on.

   I've heard other solutions for the SS conundrum from complete elimination in favor of voluntary charities to opt-in strategies. It is a social program in trouble, no matter which way it goes. What are everyone's else view.  And, what is your view on the money you've already put in that system (returned or lost)?

   My personal feeling is that it may be difficult, and possibly life ending, for many who are either collecting it now or will be collecting it within 10 years of any elimination of the program. This is by virtue of their good faith efforts to organize the entirety of the retirement based on the existence of that program. Even for people like me, whose pension is based on the existence of Medicare and Social Security and therefore, turns off when I'm at Medicare age, this can be frightening. (Yes, the military promise of lifetime health care actually ends when you qualify for medicare).

   Because of that, a good number of Amercians, who lived in some ignorance but operated in good faith with the system, will suffer.

    An interesting suggestion I saw somewhere was the opt-in strategy. Essentially, you do as you do now, giving a certain amount from your pay and it is calculated much the same in terms of return, however the fund is separate and run with the aim of a return on the investment. In essence, 10 years of work won't get you a free retirement, but 40 would. Sliding scale of return  based on amount input. Anyone not wanting this program can simply not opt-in.

   What does everyone else think?

   And how does one solve the health care issue? Are we going to get to where old people simply don't get health care anymore because they aren't considered to be worth the expense? Because, quite frankly, families can't afford to care for their own kids medical care without insurance, so they certainly wouldn't be able to afford the elderly. And getting insurance for an elderly person is next to impossible (not Medigap policies, I mean real full coverage medical insurance).

   I know this is federal stuff, but important due to the amount of our budget that goes to these programs. Thanks for feedback.

Christy
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underwater

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Re:Social Security/Medicare etc
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2003, 01:00:51 pm »

   With regard to Social Security:  While the system has been corrupted by losing it's own money fund and now being part of the general fund, therefore not being handled for a return on the initial inpay, it has become rather inculcated into our society. Problems have arisen that make it harder to live without were it to be shut off now. Examples of that are: Companies justify decreasing or eliminating pensions based on SS availability. Mobility of jobs. Careers are interrupted so that companies won't keep an employee long enough to qualify for a pension. Mobile and seperated families (so that they can secure jobs) keep family levels apart and therefore not capable of caring for other generations. Well, the list goes on.

There is no need for a pension or Social Security. Americans have a savings rate of less than 4%. That's ridiculously low. In the words of Gary North:

SPEND LESS OR EARN MORE (AFTER TAXES)

  I've heard other solutions for the SS conundrum from complete elimination in favor of voluntary charities to opt-in strategies. It is a social program in trouble, no matter which way it goes. What are everyone's else view.  And, what is your view on the money you've already put in that system (returned or lost)?

I think that "my" money is lost. Actually, once I handed my money over it was no longer "my" money since you do not have a property right to any SS proceeds:

Flemming v. Nestor

Ephram Nestor was a Bulgarian immigrant who came to the United States in 1918. He paid Social Security taxes from 1936 until he retired in 1955. In 1956 Nestor was deported for being a member of the Communist Party in the 1930s. His Social Security checks were stopped in accordance with a 1954 law that stated that deportees would lose their Social Security benefits. Nestor sued the federal government, claiming that he had a right to collect Social Security benefits because he had paid his Social Security taxes.

The Supreme Court disagreed, saying, "To engraft upon the Social Security system a concept of accrued property rights would deprive it of the flexibility and boldness in adjustment to ever changing conditions which it demands."

The Court's decision was not surprising. In an earlier case, Helverigh v. Davis (1937), the Court had ruled that Social Security was not an insurance program: "The proceeds of both the employee and employer taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like any other internal revenue generally, and are not earmarked in any way."


  Because of that, a good number of Amercians, who lived in some ignorance but operated in good faith with the system, will suffer.

Well, that's why they shouldn't trust big government.

   An interesting suggestion I saw somewhere was the opt-in strategy. Essentially, you do as you do now, giving a certain amount from your pay and it is calculated much the same in terms of return, however the fund is separate and run with the aim of a return on the investment. In essence, 10 years of work won't get you a free retirement, but 40 would. Sliding scale of return  based on amount input. Anyone not wanting this program can simply not opt-in.

   What does everyone else think?

Actually, I would be willing to pay SS for the rest of my life AND forgo my "benefits" if the government promised to shutdown the SS system after I die. It is a horrible system designed to corrupt the human spirit.

  And how does one solve the health care issue? Are we going to get to where old people simply don't get health care anymore because they aren't considered to be worth the expense? Because, quite frankly, families can't afford to care for their own kids medical care without insurance, so they certainly wouldn't be able to afford the elderly. And getting insurance for an elderly person is next to impossible (not Medigap policies, I mean real full coverage medical insurance).

Once again, the government is involved in about 45% of medical expenditures. That means the more we socialize medicine the more the prices go out of control. This makes sense since "medical insurance" is abused to the point of absurdity. An insurance policy is to cover catastrophic events, not normal maintenance fees. Would you use automobile insurance to pay for a tune-up? No! So, why do you depend on medical insurance for a routine visit to the doctor? If people do not have to worry about costs then they will use as many resources as possible. Furthermore, the fact that the supply of medical doctors is constrained by government regulations and the AMA leads us to a crazy situation in which there are very few resources (doctors) and lots of people that do not care about costs (medically insured patients). This is a recipe for disaster.

I would suggest that people only pay cash for medical services. Negotiate with your doctor. I am sure he will give a discount for cash payment since it is cheaper for him to process such a payment. Also, buy whole (not term) life insurance for your kids. A whole life policy can be used as a type of catastrophic medical insurance since the policy can be sold if a child develops a disease that might be terminal. You can then use that cash to buy them the best treatment possible. If they do not develop a disease then they have a nice nest egg for retirement.

Finally, always remember:
  • You know how to protect your family better than a bureaucrat.
  • Cash is better than government promises.
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LeopardPM

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Re:Social Security/Medicare etc
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2003, 12:52:23 am »

Abolish Social security.  Do this by allowing Tax-Free Retirement Savings Accounts with no restrictions as to maximum yearly amount contributed for people who want to 'opt out' of the current system and all newcomers (haven't paid soc sec yet).  A convienent little checkbox on your W-4 form which states "I do not want to be a part of social security, please put my soc sec taxes into the Retirement Savings acount below".  Yes, this will have the effect of 'quickening' the coming catastrophe of the failure of soc sec, BUT, it will STOP this shell game before it crosses another generational line - lets not pass it on to our grandchildren... please!

same with medicare/medicaid et al

How did we ever allow ourselves to be so dupped by the government?  amazes me everytime I think of it...

michael
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nothing to say...
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