We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, March 24. 2012
Mark Levin made a good point on the radio recently. While pointing out that government takes 25% of all income in the US - and still cannot come close to paying their bills, he said what I felt was important: We're all at fault.
Well, maybe not individually, but all at fault as a voting mass because, since FDR, we have been demanding and taking more and more goodies from the government - ie from eachother. The candy bowl was emptied, so we started borrowing candy from China.
China is making money from those loans, from our labor. But as our commenter Bob said here this morning:
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Every time I hear about grandparents in poverty, I wonder what happened to the family. It used to be that Grandma lived with her extended family, and contributed in so many ways, by her presence, by helping with the kids, and cooking or whatever. It was natural.
Now I know of a grandmother in my town who lives by herself in Section 8 housing. Her grandchildren go to her house after school for daycare, and I have to wonder why the state is paying for her to have a private residence.
LP: Every time I hear about grandparents in poverty, I wonder what happened to the family. It used to be that Grandma lived with her extended family, and contributed in so many ways, by her presence, by helping with the kids, and cooking or whatever. It was natural.
That's right. For all the talk of nuclear families, the most common traditional family structure was the extended family. Industrialization, capped by the Great Depression, changed that long-standing institution. For instance, people who had been farmers were forced by low prices and the Dust Bowl to migrate to the cities. Their parents, unwilling or unable, to make the move were left behind, often in a dire situation.
Social Security has several benefits, including making the family more economically mobile. It means that children can move to where the work is without worrying about their parents, and this has enhanced specialization so important in the post-industrial world.
It has to be one of the greatest sales jobs in history, culminating in ObamaCare, that is the government convincing people that is was cheaper to hire someone else to pay your bills for you.
"If you cut benefits, you will reduce your own grandparents to poverty"
Oh? Is that really true? According to CNN Money (just one typical article, this one from November 2011), grandpa and grandma are a lot better off than their kids and their grandkids:
"Households headed by adults ages 35 and younger had a median net worth of $3,662 in 2009. That marks a 68% decline in wealth, compared to that same age group 25 years earlier.
"Over the same time frame, households headed by adults ages 65 years and older, have seen just the opposite. Their wealth rose 42%, to a median of $170,494."
Seems to me that we old folks have done mighty well for ourselves (I'm certainly not complaining) and that our kids are the ones who are struggling and on the brink of poverty. Do I hear the world's smallest violin playing because of grandpa and grandma's predicament if they can't grab even more benefits from the public purse at the expense of the younger generations?
Bad meme. Grandparents are fine. The politicians are the ones in need.
Since the Supreme Court approves of compulsory membership in social security, how could it oppose compulsory medical care — or compulsory anything, for that matter.
Does anyone in government even care about the U.S. Constitution any more?
Has America been irretrievably lost?
If the Dems had structured the "individual mandate" requirement of Obamacare in the same way the Social Security program imposes the FICA tax on individuals, grounds for challenging Obamacare would have been virtually nonexistent. However, the Dems didn't, and so they left the door open for a court challenge. They were too clever by half. Now they should suffer the consequences of a SCOTUS reversal. And by the way, there's nothing in the law that forces you to take SS benefits or even requires the government to pay you or anyone else any benefits (Congress can stop paying SS benefits any time it chooses), but you are still legally required to pay the taxes.
The Barrister: Ask first, what can your country do for you?
Keep in mind that the U.S. federal government was running cash surpluses just a decade or so ago. Then, due to a peculiarity of their electoral process, they took a different turn. But it's not like it isn't possible for the U.S. to meet its obligations, if they choose to.
All of my grandparents are long dead, but none died in poverty or on the dole. Those that hadn't sufficient savings were supported by their family. My own parents weren't wealthy, but sent monthly checks to my grandmother's household anyway, to be added to those contributed by her other children. By the time my parents reached the ends of their lives, their lifelong habits of practicing thrift and abhoring debt had resulted in their having enough savings to last them through death.
But I agree with the original post that most Americans demand Social Security and Medicare regardless of whether they decry socialism. Voting patterns are going to have to change in order to get us out of this mess. We'll have to admit to ourselves that what we paid into SS and MC is gone and can't be got back. If we're going to want hip replacements at 80, we'll have to save up for them the way we save up for a car. (And we'll have to save up for cars, too.)
For those who haven't heard of it yet, you simply MUST search 'galveston plan' and/or 'galveston opt out' --in order to answer that question of what your country could --could --do for you.
The "candy bowl" is not empty because of programs like Head Start, public education, Social Security, environmental protection, etc, that improve the lives of millions of people, as is implied by "...we have been demanding and taking more and more goodies from the government."
The "candy bowl" is empty primarily because of a humongous "defense" budget, unprecedented in the history of the world, fueled by the greed of "defense" contractors and those who would profit from the spoils of war and the resources of countries we have invaded. Before the United States began its latest two wars, we had an unprecedented budgetary SURPLUS, despite having social programs to help meet the needs of citizens.
Also, it is not "defense" when we are the ones invading other countries and starting the wars, as has been the case with the vast majority of military actions/wars begun or entered into by the United States.
The debt ("empty candy bowl") is overwhelming due to the wars, and also due to reducing income (cutting taxes) at the same time.