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Portrait of a principled Republican
NY Post ^ | December 8, 2010 | George F. Will

Posted on 12/09/2010 3:20:36 AM PST by Scanian

On a midweek afternoon in February 2009, a month into the Obama presi dency, Republican Rep. Mike Pence arrived at Columbus in his east-central Indiana district for a town hall meeting, the sort of event that usually attracted a few dozen constituents. Surprised to see the hallway outside the room crowded with people, "their arms folded and brows furrowed," Pence shouted down the hall to an aide, asking him to get a janitor to open the room.

The aide shouted back that the room was open -- and overflowing. Congress had just passed the stimulus (Pence voted no), and Hoosiers were stimulated to anger. Soon the Tea Party would be simmering.

Five months earlier, on a Friday, TARP had been proposed. The original three-page legislation sought $700 billion instantly, no time for questions; Pence's staff figured the cost would be about a billion dollars a word. On Saturday, Pence announced his opposition, but thought the bill would pass the House 434-1. On Monday, however, other members started approaching him, almost furtively, "like a secret society." A week later, the House rejected TARP, 205-228.

Four days later, the House passed TARP's second, 451-page, pork-swollen iteration, 263-171. That weekend, Pence, who voted no, was at a Scout jamboree at the Henry County Fairgrounds. A man approached to thank Pence for opposing TARP. The man said that although he had lost his job the day before, "I can get another job but I can't get another country."

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Indiana
KEYWORDS: pence; stimulus; tarp; teaparty

1 posted on 12/09/2010 3:20:45 AM PST by Scanian
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To: Scanian

Means test all entitlements.


2 posted on 12/09/2010 3:37:42 AM PST by November 2010
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To: November 2010
Drug test entitl-ees (sp).
3 posted on 12/09/2010 4:05:02 AM PST by Aevery_Freeman (Fear God and Government - especially when one tries to become the other!)
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To: Scanian
"You would not be able to print enough money in a thousand years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family continues to collapse."

It wasn't an external enemy that made war on the American family.

4 posted on 12/09/2010 4:05:54 AM PST by Jacquerie (Our Constitution is timeless because human nature is static.)
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To: November 2010
"Means test all entitlements"

Including social security?? I don't think so, bubba. I paid into that all my life. I shouldn't get benefits just because I worked my ass off and saved my money as well??

5 posted on 12/09/2010 4:07:23 AM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: Wonder Warthog
Rahr Rahr! (Gabby, Blazing Saddles)
6 posted on 12/09/2010 4:08:49 AM PST by Aevery_Freeman (Fear God and Government - especially when one tries to become the other!)
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To: Wonder Warthog

Pence didn’t say to means test SS. He wanted to means test the prescription drug entitlement that was going to pass whether he liked it or not.


7 posted on 12/09/2010 4:18:04 AM PST by dforest
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To: Wonder Warthog

Means test including social security. There is no fund. There never was. You’ve known that all your life as has every other baby boomer voter. You didn’t do anything about it. Kept nominating McCains and Bushs and the like. Now, we the Ponzi scheme ends one way or another. You can pretend we can keep all these obligations. But you’ll lose anyway unless you are very old.


8 posted on 12/09/2010 4:24:14 AM PST by November 2010
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To: Wonder Warthog

You paid into nothing. You were taxed, along with every other worker, along with every employer, to send money to the permanently unemployed. (retired, disabled, dependents, etc) The only corrolation between what you paid and what you may receive is that you will probably receive less than 10% of the fair market value of your taxes if you live long enough.
When you die your heirs get nothing. If you die before payments start your heirs get nothing. If this were a policy there would be a payout.
This is an illegal ponzi scheme run by the Federal government. If any organization in the private sector played with money in this manner they would be fined and imprisoned.
You have paid into nothing and you have nothing, guaranteed, coming. Do not act like this is some kind of retirement program. It is not.


9 posted on 12/09/2010 4:25:18 AM PST by Louis Foxwell (The American Revolution is just as unpopular with statists today as it was at our founding.)
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To: Scanian

I pray this man is our next president!


10 posted on 12/09/2010 4:36:09 AM PST by Shery (in APO Land)
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To: Scanian

If he can resist trying to reward illegal aliens with taxpayer funded benefits or any kind of amnesty, I’m all for Mike Pence.


11 posted on 12/09/2010 4:46:33 AM PST by Spiff
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To: Wonder Warthog; November 2010
Tell you what. Just return the payments my employers and I made to social security at 6% compounded interest and you can keep my monthly check. I would never run out of money and my kids would have something to inherit.
12 posted on 12/09/2010 4:58:19 AM PST by Cracker Jack (If it weren't for the democrats, republicans would be the worst thing in Washington.)
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To: Cracker Jack

It’s a ponzi scheme. If you are younger you’ll never see your money. And all the current seniors want their turn at the payout end of the ponzi scheme, country and young people be damned.


13 posted on 12/09/2010 5:06:22 AM PST by November 2010
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To: Cracker Jack

Unfortunately, there is no money to give you the refund. The govt. could print it, but if that was done for everybody the value of the money you got wouldn’t buy a dozen eggs. You, I, and everybody else paid into a Ponzi scheme and we will lose our money.

By the way, compound interest is also a scam which can only work in an expanding economy. A wise man recently said “The plan was unlimited growth. The problem is it ain’t possible.”

Plant some turnips and hope for the best.


14 posted on 12/09/2010 5:07:18 AM PST by tickmeister (tickmeister)
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To: Wonder Warthog
The reason we're in this mess is because everybody says, "Well, I'm different. I'm actually entitled to my government check."

It's a new day, and I think a lot of people are going to lose things -- whether that is fair or not. We don't have much choice, and sacrifice will come to us all.

As a Conservative, I feel that I am in a much stronger position to say "Defund the Dept of Education" if I am not also saying, "Don't touch my stuff! It's mine!"

15 posted on 12/09/2010 5:09:24 AM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: Scanian

Pence is a good man. If he runs and gets the nomination I’d vote for him in a heartbeat.


16 posted on 12/09/2010 5:10:59 AM PST by Artemis Webb (What, if not a bagel and a cup of coffee, confirms the existence of a just and loving God?)
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To: Spiff

I haven’t seen the breakdown but I’m quite sure he was against the Dream Act.


17 posted on 12/09/2010 5:20:02 AM PST by Scanian
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To: tickmeister
Unfortunately, there is no money to give you the refund. The govt. could print it, but if that was done for everybody the value of the money you got wouldn’t buy a dozen eggs. You, I, and everybody else paid into a Ponzi scheme and we will lose our money.

Yes, I agree with you. My buyout example was offered to make the point that we have spent enough to provide for our own individual futures, but the government has cheated us.

Bush's social security reform that would have allowed younger workers to invest a portion of their FICA tax in their own (government-managed)account was a step in the right direction. But of course, democrats (the party of the l-i-i-i-tle people) had to kill anything that would make us peasants more independent.

18 posted on 12/09/2010 5:26:47 AM PST by Cracker Jack (If it weren't for the democrats, republicans would be the worst thing in Washington.)
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To: November 2010
Means test all entitlements.

Phase out all entitlements. There is no such thing as an entitlement.

19 posted on 12/09/2010 5:31:33 AM PST by SamuraiScot
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To: Amos the Prophet
I think it was the Johnson adm. and congress that decided to dump all SS money into the general fund to pay for his failed war on poverty....Sorry but those that paid into SS all their working lives and didn't have that money to invest took the government at their word. They put thousands into the plan, its not their fault that the government spent it on other things, don't bitch at them (or me) the government picked your pocket, bitch at them and don't pay any of those FICA taxes and find out where your spend some time....

Young folks should be spitting mad, but until the laws change, people should quit bellyaching at the seniors, they are not taxing you. Send your outrage to Washington and the IRS.

PS Hubby died at 51 and never collected anything, those that bitch all the time about the seniors must smile a lot when one dies, cause they aren't on SS anymore...

20 posted on 12/09/2010 5:48:22 AM PST by goat granny
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To: November 2010
Means test all entitlements.

I get it!

I pay social security taxes for 45 years, or so, and save additional money (denying myself immediate gratification) to provide for my retirement, and you want to take the SS benefit away as a reward for my frugality, self-control and advance planning, and give it to some mooch who spent all his money on toys.

Thanks, but I will pass.

21 posted on 12/09/2010 5:57:51 AM PST by CharacterCounts (November 4, 2008 - the day America drank the Kool-Aid)
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To: Scanian

A couple of years ago he lost a lot of support on FR for his support of some kind of compromise on amnesty, if my memory serves. I really like his fiscal and social views and hope that his views on illegal aliens have matured.


22 posted on 12/09/2010 5:57:53 AM PST by Spiff
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To: SamuraiScot

I still like the idea of the Chilean system with personally directed mandated retirement accounts. I do think they should be able to be borrowed from and repaid for housing, medical and education expenses (life has a pattern and there are periods that money flows out instead of into savings).


23 posted on 12/09/2010 6:32:26 AM PST by November 2010
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To: CharacterCounts

The older seniors can think they are going to get their benefits and be right. But younger seniors, with the path our country is on, will have their benefits inflated away or a straight out collapse of the system like in Greece. 40% of every dollar the government spends is debt. That’s like a family making $50,000 a year taking on $20,000 a year in debt. It doesn’t work. Young people at a certain point will go into an underground economy or go on the dole themselves.

There is no trust fund. You’ve known it all your life or should have.


24 posted on 12/09/2010 6:38:03 AM PST by November 2010
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To: November 2010
There is no trust fund. You’ve known it all your life or should have.P> know that. I didn't send them my money voluntarily, they took it by!So stop your asinine attempts to blame the victim. If it is a Ponzi scheme that isn't my fault - its fraud and you want to enable the fraud by further stealing from the taxpayer.

Second, you didn't even to begin to answer my question -so I will have to assume that you have no valid response. I don't need or want some inane lecturing. Only a liberal mooch would advocate means testing of Social Security.

25 posted on 12/09/2010 6:57:29 AM PST by CharacterCounts (November 4, 2008 - the day America drank the Kool-Aid)
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To: CharacterCounts

Only a liberal mooch would advocate means testing of Social Security.
___________________________________________________________

Since you are personally involved, those that disagree with you are liberals and mooches! I’ve paid into SS my whole life as well. For regular folks who don’t have income above the cap, our “contribution” when the employers payments are included is what 15.3%? It’s high. And it’s just a tax, like the sales tax and income tax we pay since there is no trust fund with assets. You act like you are paying the tax and I’m not. I’m telling you that our governments debt is going to crash the whole system. Do you care? And why should poor people be taxed to pay benefits to rich people? Poor and rich all pay taxes. They’ve labeled the benefit an “entitlement” and you’ve believed them apparently.


26 posted on 12/09/2010 7:10:40 AM PST by November 2010
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To: November 2010
There would be no more sure, instantaneous way of bringing about the collapse of the American economy than means testing Social Security.
27 posted on 12/09/2010 7:22:31 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Mr. Lucky

There would be no more sure, instantaneous way of bringing about the collapse of the American economy than means testing Social Security.
___________________________________________________________

The effect on demand depends on where the means test is set and how it is measured. It would not impact the spending of the wealthy at all. If they have 1 million a year income, SS isn’t impacting their lives at all.

Also, you are implicitely using a Keynsian analysis: aggregate demand goes down and that is the problem. The Austrian economist will say that when the economy is in recession there has been a misallocation of resources and government needs to downsize and reduce taxes so that private enterprise can reallocate resources more efficiently.


28 posted on 12/09/2010 7:53:45 AM PST by November 2010
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To: November 2010

Your explanation does nothing to overcome the fact that, at the margin, means testing Social Security would provide an economic bounty to stop producing new wealth and to squander accumulated wealth.


29 posted on 12/09/2010 7:56:49 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Mr. Lucky

No one is going to squander real wealth to get $1200 a month in SS security or whatever the payout is.


30 posted on 12/09/2010 7:59:33 AM PST by November 2010
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To: November 2010
Since you are personally involved, those that disagree with you are liberals and mooches!

You are on the wrong form. Go to DU where people of like mind will play with you.

Its not a government benefit. You choose to ignore that it is our money to begin with.

You want to eliminate SS, fine. But, means test it so only mooches can collect - That's Obama's position.

31 posted on 12/09/2010 8:01:58 AM PST by CharacterCounts (November 4, 2008 - the day America drank the Kool-Aid)
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To: CharacterCounts

You want to eliminate SS, fine. But, means test it so only mooches can collect - That’s Obama’s position.
___________________________________________________________

I see your point. The thing is that we have to unwind a ponzi scheme, and the trick is that we can’t have seniors that truly need the money to survive die or be homeless(and they have trusted government promises and political propaganda all these years). America will not allow seniors who have relied upon SS to be unable to pay for heat and food. A step towards unwinding SS is means testing it, so that our budget is stronger and the “entitlement” farce is ended and we can deal with the problem. Another step would be to let young people opt out. Another would be to simply eliminate the seperate SS tax. It’s general revenues anyway, with IOU’s in the “trust fund.”


32 posted on 12/09/2010 8:14:24 AM PST by November 2010
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To: CharacterCounts

By the way, Obama has not proposed means testing social security. You are making things up.


33 posted on 12/09/2010 8:15:32 AM PST by November 2010
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To: November 2010
Sure they will.

Let's say you're a 62 year old skilled tradesman who otherwise intends to work until age 65 and has a life expectancy of 20 years. Using the $1,200 per month figure, you would have to expect to clear after taxes (remember Social Security income isn't taxable to those folks who would pass the "means" test) over $80,000 per year for the next three years to equal the Social Security entitlement your would be losing.

...or, you could spend the next three years dissipating your life savings and qualify for the free money the rest of your life.

34 posted on 12/09/2010 8:20:30 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Mr. Lucky

I’m not following your numbers but I understand your concern. You are not factoring in the indefiniteness of lifespan, the desire to leave assets to heirs, the insecurity of a government payout (it is vulnerable to politics and not something you own), pride, obligations (many in their 60’s and 70’s are supporting children, grandchildren). I don’t think it’s as big a problem as you do. Not a stopper to a necessary reform of the system.


35 posted on 12/09/2010 8:26:09 AM PST by November 2010
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To: November 2010
I don't have to have an actual statement from Obama to know what his position is. He has provided myriad indicators regarding his socialist redistribute the wealth goals. An intelligent person can deduce a persons position based on past actions and statements.

Fixing Social Security in the short term isn't all that difficult. First, adjust the retirement age up slowly to reflect the actual anticipated life span of the person collecting benefits. At one time 62 was old age. For most people that is no longer the case and they collect benefits for a much longer period than they did even 25 years ago. Adjusting the retirement age upwards would remove the entitlement portion of old age benefits

Second, one of the primary problems with social security is that the number of people collecting disability payments (often without contributing much at all to the program) has exploded in the past 25 years. This needs a hard look as it has introduced a welfare aspect into a program which was originally intended to provide a base retirement income to those who paid into it.

Once these are done the current system would once again be solvent. Then we can take steps to privatize it for young people.

Finally, This government is just going to have to take the bullet and remove Social Security from the general budget and put it back into a trust fund status.

36 posted on 12/09/2010 8:51:47 AM PST by CharacterCounts (November 4, 2008 - the day America drank the Kool-Aid)
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To: CharacterCounts

I’m for what you set out above with the exception of the last sentence. Setting up a true trust fund is a problem. Government would become a pension manager with massive control over securities markets . . . and would inevitably make massive mistakes. An option to opt completely out of the system is needed. Individuals would need to make the investment decisions, not government, for the pension as well. It’s too big for government to handle.

I’m also for means testing payments. Taxing the poor to give to the rich is wrong.


37 posted on 12/09/2010 8:56:03 AM PST by November 2010
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To: November 2010
I’m also for means testing payments

Don't take half measure then,means test bank accounts and 401(k) plans, also. After all, it just not right that a wealthy person should have a lot of money in the bank while the poor cannot afford a 52 inch television.

38 posted on 12/09/2010 9:19:59 AM PST by CharacterCounts (November 4, 2008 - the day America drank the Kool-Aid)
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To: CharacterCounts

You seem to be mistaking a tax funded redistribution to you for property. Congress decides how much is paid to you and when. You can’t leave the payout to your children. It’s not your property. Social Security is taxpayer funded welfare with nice words around it. Previous generations got a massive rate of return on the taxes they paid for it. Future generations go negative massively to pay for our generations welfare. It’s a ponzi scheme that would be illegal if done by a private citizen and it would have collapsed long ago because new suckers couldn’t be found.


39 posted on 12/09/2010 9:38:55 AM PST by November 2010
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To: November 2010
"Means test including social security. There is no fund. There never was."

Actually, there "was" a fund. LBJ stole it and rolled it into the "Great Society".

40 posted on 12/09/2010 9:49:18 AM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: Wonder Warthog

Actually, there “was” a fund. LBJ stole it and rolled it into the “Great Society”.
_________________________________________________________

My understanding is that LBJ made an accounting change and put SS on budget rather than off budget. Place on a spreadsheet is all that changed.


41 posted on 12/09/2010 9:53:48 AM PST by November 2010
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To: November 2010
"My understanding is that LBJ made an accounting change and put SS on budget rather than off budget. Place on a spreadsheet is all that changed."

Moving from "off budget" (meaning it can't be used for another purpose), to "on budget" (which means it can be used for anything) is equivalent to "LBJ stole it".

42 posted on 12/09/2010 10:51:24 AM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: November 2010
"My understanding is that LBJ made an accounting change and put SS on budget rather than off budget. Place on a spreadsheet is all that changed."

Moving from "off budget" (meaning it can't be used for another purpose), to "on budget" (which means it can be used for anything) is equivalent to "LBJ stole it".

43 posted on 12/09/2010 10:51:43 AM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: Wonder Warthog

In real economic terms though the US government essentially burned the money collected for Social Security when it was a trust fund(the money no longer circulated and took the form of a line item “asset” on the budget) while the US government ran a larger deficit and issued more bonds for the rest of its spending than if it used the taxes collected for social security. It’s an accounting game. I guess when the dollar actually represented a value in gold it did matter though . . . so you may be right. In modern, fiat currency terms, it’s just accounting entries though.


44 posted on 12/09/2010 11:00:59 AM PST by November 2010
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To: Wonder Warthog

In real economic terms though the US government essentially burned the money collected for Social Security when it was a trust fund(the money no longer circulated and took the form of a line item “asset” on the budget) while the US government ran a larger deficit and issued more bonds for the rest of its spending than if it used the taxes collected for social security to pay for other things. It’s an accounting game. I guess when the dollar actually represented a value in gold it did matter though . . . so you may be right. In modern, fiat currency terms, it’s just accounting entries though.


45 posted on 12/09/2010 11:01:34 AM PST by November 2010
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To: Wonder Warthog

They spent your money now you want them to steal money from me to pay you?


46 posted on 12/09/2010 2:38:06 PM PST by Gipper08 (www.travishankins.com...a real CONSERVATIVE)
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