Skip to comments.I Earned These Entitlements
Posted on 08/29/2011 7:22:55 AM PDT by Poundstone
I earned these 'entitlements'
I believe that most citizens do not understand what a federal entitlement program is. There are earned entitlements versus a special government entitlement that is given to an individual who needs assistance that is mandated by law.
What is a government entitlement? Note below that some are free and some are not! Why the government is lumping these programs together is beyond me: Only Congress would think this was a proper thing to do. How can a program like military retirement be linked with food stamps? The programs I am associated with should never be diminished by the federal government because they are either paid for by me and my wife or I have earned them. Most citizens believe all the federal entitlements are giveaway social programs and that is not true.
(Excerpt) Read more at redding.com ...
Name ONE “ entitlement “ that is not a mandatory tax!
The test is, “if you don’t pay your “entitlement” tax then you go to jail. “
She paid in to the system. She was entitled to every penny.
A government union negotiates a fully legal pension plan for its employees. The pension plan is so generous that it will totally bankrupt the whole state. Who cares??? They paid in. They're entitled!
At some point, people have to look at the math. These things do not work in the real world. In terms of rhetoric, sure, you can "justify" them. But the math will win the argument in the end. Ponzi schemes inevitably fail. People pay in a small amount, and expect to receive a large amount. Life doesn't work that way.
agreed.... I am sick and tired of people calling me greedy for wanting nothing more than what I paid into socialist security...to date I have paid over 350,000.00 DOLLARS into the system...that is not rubles, or pesos...that is 350K of U.S. dollars....if some greedy ass, get reelected at all costs politican spent it, that is not my problem...I am not greedy, it’s the damn politicans that are...lets put the blame where it belongs...
my problem is with pensions for people that have not put themselves at risk for the country or community
89% of public employees get lifetime pensions... many that far exceed any social security payout
teachers? why the hell does a teacher get a pension? why??
did they get paid far below average salary? no. was their life at risk? no. then what??
city, state and federal employees, excluding firefighters, cops and military... administrators and bureaucrats. why do these people have pensions? they did a job. the job had high stability. compensated... many richly. why should these people get a lifetime payment plan?
congress people... why do they get lifetime pensions? for what??
and no one is talking about cutting such waste
One comment on this article:
“Yes Mr. Cleckner, you paid for yours. However, Social Security (under SSI), Medicare and Medicaid (MediCal in California) have been so ‘prostituted’ and ‘bastardized’ from their intent that they no longer resemble their original purpose.
Moreover, when Liberals are threatened with cuts, they drag our soldiers, firemen and policemen and widows as the targets. Sorry, but you are just a pawn in a very ugly game.”
End ALL federal pensions for ALL civilian federal employees. ALL! The military should keep theirs but that system needs to be overhauled as well.
The author, and you, make a very good point.
Pensions and social security truly are “entitlements” in the original sense of the word. Beneficiaries are entitled to those payments because they worked for them.
Welfare, etc. should not be called an entitlement. Not only is it a misuse of the word, it sends the wrong message to everyone involved.
Welfare is more like a charity than an entitlement. We need a description along those lines.
I don't know whether there is a contractual obligation to pay for military or civil service retirements. I wouldn't be surprised to see that there is no such contract with military retirees, or that it is pretty loose with a lot of "or such benefits as determined by Congress" exceptions in it.
This, in a nutshell, is why we are completely, totally screwed as a country. The majority of people approaching retirement age--including a lot of conservatives--think they've earned Social Security. Someone owes it to them since they paid in all their lives. To them its not a transfer payment program. And in one sense they are right. But when you ask who owes it to them, the answer is "the government," as if the government is some person with a big bank account who can dole this money out without taking it from someone else. They don't want to face the fact that the people who owe it to them are dead. Their parents and grandparents got a windfall and by demanding their full Social Security and Medicare payments, they are completely screwing their kids and grandkids. Their kids and grandkids do not owe them Social Security. They did not set up this Ponzi scheme. And yet somehow today's seniors think its OK saddling their grandkids with a mountain of debt to pay for unsustainable entitlements. And if you even mention this to some of them, they go ballistic and are ready to fight. Once again, its why we aren't going to be able to solve our debt problem.
Have Seniors Really Paid for Their Medicare Benefits? Cont.
By Andrew Biggs
August 19, 2009, 3:25 pm
Patrick Appel at the Daily Dish picks up on yesterdays post showing that most seniors will receive significantly more in Medicare benefits than they ever paid in Medicare taxes, undercutting the claimcoming from Republicans, believe it or notthat President Obamas proposed Medicare cuts are unfair to seniors, who have paid for their benefits. (E.D. Kain also weighs in.)
Appel raises the good point that the figures I presented yesterday are only for someone who actually survives to retirement age. Senior citizens can get slightly more out of Medicare than they put in while not bankrupting the country because many workers will not live long enough to collect payments. Thats true. But how big an effect does it have?
To check, I effectively repeated my prior calculations, but on a mortality-adjusted basis. That is, I start with a person who is 21 years old. I then construct a stream of taxes through age 64 and Medicare benefits from age 65 through 100. Each dollar figure is then multiplied by the probability of being alive at that age. Taxes at age 22, for instance, are multiplied by 0.999, since theres a near certainty that a 21-year-old will live to age 22, but benefits at age 95 are multiplied by only 0.08, since theres only around an 8 percent chance that a 21-year-old will survive to age 95. These mortality-adjusted taxes and benefits are then converted to present values to account for interest.
Whats the result? The typical 21-year-old as of 1965 would have paid around $62,290 in Medicare taxes (versus $64,470 on a non-mortality adjusted basis) while receiving around $140,346 in benefits (versus $173,886 on a non-mortality adjusted basis). So Appels point clearly has merit.
That said, the broader point still stands: in my original calculations, a new retiree in 2009 would have paid Medicare taxes equal to around 37 percent of his expected benefits. Adjusted for the chance of dying before retirement, that share rises to only 44 percent. So even with reasonable adjustments for mortality, the typical retiree today has paid for less than half the Medicare benefits he can expect to receive over his lifetime. Importantly, rising life expectancies will tend to increase benefits more than taxes, making todays deal better over time.
Idiot. They get pensions because there is a contract that agrees to pay pensions. It’s astounding to me that anyone here is ready to ignore contracts. That goes against not only honor and law, but a lot of conservative principles that helped make this country great. Once we can ignore contracts, order ceases to exist.
Ah, yet another “conservative” who wants to ignore contracts. Free Republic is becoming increasingly un-conservative.
Let’s put the politicians where they belong ... at the looped end of a rope maybe? What did they do with thieves in the Old West? And that’s what said politicians have shown themselves to be!
I agree with most of your statement. The only problem I have is with the politicians. The American people put them in office but did not control them. We are at fault to some degree. Now it’s time to fix it. Don’t let them collect full pensions for just serving one term. Don’t let them put all the taxes we pay into a general fund so we can’t track the money. We need to re-do how the politicians operate. They work for us and need to be controlled.
“Ponzi schemes inevitably fail.”
To date, SS has largely been self-financing: that is, the “average” person is paid roughly the same amount they paid into the system. One can quibble about whether they might have done even better (given that retirement savings ought to be earning some sort of rate of return) http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillmatthews/2011/07/29/youve-been-robbed-the-real-scandal-behind-the-pew-centers-wealth-gap/, but at least there’s ROUGHLY some correspondence.
Medicare is completely different. The “average” person gets about $3 in benefits for every $1 they pay into the system. Thus, anyone who thinks they are “entitled” to Medicare benefits doesn’t understand the extent to which in actuality they are being subsidized by others (read: younger workers who generally are in a worse financial position than the elderly they are subsidizing!).
We could entirely solve the SS problem and still go bankrupt due to Medicare and Medicaid entitlements.
The first Social Security recipient paid in about $24 (total) and received about $24,000 in total payouts.
I’ll aways remember the guy in his 70s from the Mariel Boatlift Carter let in from Cuba...
Castro opened the prisons and mental asylums and allowed thousands of them to come on boats..
This one guy boasted to the TV camera that he hadnt worked one day in his life in the US but he was already signed up to get SS
But the "federal government" produces nothing, and therefore has no money of its' own.
The money you are claiming is a fraction of the earnings of your fellow citizens. How much of it they fork over in a given tax period is contingent on many things, including how many claimants there are.
The "federal government" has more claims than it has payors - therefore, whatever you think you are "entitled" to, chances are you are not going to get 100c on the dollar.
There is no such thing as an “earned” entitlement - the Supreme Court has spoken definitively on the matter that SS is just another tax and entitles the payer to nothing at all.
I paid a life time of work for my entitlements Soc Sec and Medicare through mandatory payments.
Whose problem is it then? Mine? My kids? I don't think so.
If somebody (in this case, the greedy ass politician) owes you money and doesn't have it, it most certainly IS your problem.
You're greedy. You know - or should know - damn well that that money isn't there, and it can only be given to you by taking it from the next generation which is guaranteed to get nothing of value at all in exchange for what you wish to take from them.
It was your responsibility to keep tabs on that money and hold the politicians who spent it (much of that at a time when the people you expect to pay for it were too young to get a vote in the matter, if they were even born yet). You failed that responsibility. It is not the next generation's job to make up for your failures.
There are few evils more pernicious than intergenerational debt.
Or as they put it in Goodfellas, " F You, Pay Me!"
Do you realize that, by law, 75% of the costs of Medicare Parts B and D come from the General Fund? The premiums for those programs cover only 25% of the costs.
Excellent observations. Social Security and Medicare, as well as public pensions/medical benefits, are the very definition of “entitlement,” because the beneficiaries believe that, in strict justice, they have earned or prepaid for what they are now claiming.
This is a concept that could be discussed at the level of philosophy, if one had plenty of wine and snacks, smoking only in the pergola, please. However, at the level of reality, the taxpayers to support the systems as they stand do not exist. So what are you going to do? (That’s a rhetorical, rather than personal, “you.”)
Can we all at least agree to drop Medicare Part D - the prescription drug plan. This was passed without a funding mechanism (ie completely debt financed), so nobody has “earned” that entitlement.
Don’t be stupid. This kind of reform can be entered into gradually and by attrition. Whoever is employed today could keep whatever amount they’re presently vested. All incoming parasites can open a friggin’ IRA.
How many years have you paid into the system? Have you always paid at the top of the wage cap? Are you including both your and your employer's contribution?
And I love the comments about how some politicial wasted the money and that is not the seniors' fault. Seniors were not on some other planet over the past 30 or 40 years. They voted for these politicians. They received the benefit of deficit spending--low taxes and middle class entitlements. Now they want to say its not their fault.
The final point is this notion that Social Security and Medicare were "promised" to Seniors. B.S. If seniors want what they were "promised", we can go back to the baseline spending for Medicare for when it was first enacted. If we do that, we will spend about $120 billion on Medicare for the next 10 years. I'm OK with that if seniors are. Same with Social Security. If we want to go back to spending the baseline projections from 1967 or even 1983, fine. But your check is going to be cut by about two-thirds.
People that don’t pay a dime into the system collect for life.
It’s not an “entitlement” it’s welfare, pure and simple. The language has changed, the facts remain the same.
A good case could be made that a contract which demands the forceable expropriation of the property of others is null. This is what we’re talking about with government employee pension (salaries, other benefits).
A private company can form a contract with its employees guaranteeing this or that compensation; yet, if the company does not have sufficient income to meet the agreed payments, the employees do not have the legal option of taking the money from non-customers by force. The employees have recourse only against the employer, for whatever they can get.
contracts agreed to by elected types for unions types in exchange for voting the elected types in.
how convenient ... and corrupt
menawhile, i’m supposed to pay for them. that’s cute.
Does these figures include the monthly premiums paid by seniors for medicare each month (@ $100.00)?
Do the calculations of the amount paid in include the amount paid by the employer that never shows up on paycheck stubs? This is part of the cost of employing someone, and but for the payment into SS and Medicare, this money would have been paid to the employee as salary.
Back when my Daughter was about 4 or 5 years old (she turned 16 this year) was at a Q&A with a Politiclown that was running for the Rep Party nomination for my House District.
He was going on about how important Social Security would be to our children. I started asking questions about the SS program and it was quickly evident this clown had no knowledge of how it all worked. He was incredulous that I thought Social Security was a joke. He said he would go to Washington to protect my daughter's SS.
I had to the dollar of what I and my wife had paid into SS plus being an employer a ball park figure of how much I had matched in employee contributions.
I told him that if he could instead guarantee me that my daughter would never have her money taken from her by force to fund the "Ponzi Scheme" known as Social Security he could have every dollar I and my wife paid in plus all future mandatory payments we would have to pay in and we would call it even.
He just sputtered and told me I was being unreasonable. Yet many in the audience applauded and many of them were elderly Social Security recipients.
Gee...sounds like your afraid someone’s gonna pull you off the government (taxpayer1) tit! Tough!
It's even more simple than that.
Any "contract" which pretends to oblige a future legislature to raise a specific amount of revenue is void on its face.
The Supreme Court of the United States disagrees with you. See Flemming v Nestor.
They don't "owe" you a damned thing and you know it.
Thank you. My contracts-law classes were long ago, and I hesitated to overreach for fear of being totally dead wrong ;-).
One might put government/union contracts under the heading “for an immoral purpose,” like a murder-for-hire contract, and therefore not legally a contract at all.
people that paid into social security are due some amount back that is more then a pittance.
i’ve paid in over $250k. if i get anything, it’ll probably be less then $20k/yr. i would have to live to about 77 to get 1 for 1 out. odds of that are pretty low. and that’s not getting into the interest on a 45 year investment.
the problem is the government stole the contributions, thanks to LBJ, and gave it to their political allies
meanwhile, the same politicians and government types get massive pension payouts every year
The government was supposed to have a "big bank account" called a trust fund, with the money the citizens paid in. That corrupt politicians raided the trust fund and took all of the money is not the fault of those who paid it in the first place. These people were only expecting a return on the money they thought they had invested into SS, they were not relying on the government "taking it from someone else".
I'm getting a little sick of hard working, tax paying, citizens being blamed for government corruption.
Wrong! NONE of them are 'free'.
“My wife and I paid into Social Security all of our lives.”
I have done the same, however I am smart enough to realize that my payments were not an investment for my retirement, instead it was a payment to those that were receiving SSIP payments over those years. There is no “protected investment” that I am paying into. Instead, it is a payment to the generation of folks that are currently drawing payments.....
SSIP is not an “earned” entitlement as this author defines them. That said, his point about VA benefits and military retirement are spot on. Those are EARNED federal benefits, not entitlements.
people are not on board with ‘contracts’ agreed to by corrupt politicians in exchange for votes.
we’re the ones expected to pay for these contracts. excuse me? why would i ever do that??
You’re calling me a parasite? I worked since I was 15 (really, since I was eleven, babysitting off the books back then), and didn’t retire until I was into my sixties. That’s a parasite? I think the true definition of a parasite is someone who comes along and wants to re-write contracts (not speaking of social security here, that’s another issue) and take the retirement money to use for something else. No doubt something important, like another shopping trip for Michelle Obama.
Medicare Solvency: How to Get There
By Paul Winfree
August 9, 2011
Medicare Financing: The Basics
The traditional Medicare program is made up of three parts: (1) hospital insurance (Part A) for hospital inpatient procedures; (2) supplemental medical insurance (Part B) for doctors visits and outpatient procedures; and (3) prescription drug coverage (Part D). Medicare beneficiaries also have the option of buying subsidized private insurance (Part C) to replace the services covered by Parts A and B.
The expenses incurred by Part A beneficiaries are paid by a 2.9 percent tax on wages and salaries of people currently working. For those who have worked and paid payroll taxes for at least 10 years (or had a spouse who did so) there are no premiums for Part A. Many seniors view the taxes paid during their working life as pre-funding their hospital insurance. In reality, many seniors collect much more in Medicare benefits than they pay in Medicare taxes. A two-income coupleboth earning average wages throughout their lifetimescan expect to collect 3.2 times as much in Medicare benefits as they paid in taxes.
Unlike Part A, Parts B and D are funded primarily through premiums paid by beneficiaries, and from the general revenues of the Treasury (income taxes, etc.). For instance, just over 25 percent of Part Bs expenditures are covered by premiums. The remainder is almost entirely funded by transfers from the general revenues (that is, government debt or income tax revenue).
Each part of Medicare operates with a trust fund, though it is entirely an accounting exercise rather than an actual account accumulating income to pay to beneficiaries at a future date. In the past, Part A has brought in more revenue from the Medicare tax than has been paid out in benefits in a given year. This trend has reversed, though, as Medicare spending per beneficiary has increased and the population has aged. In fact, Part A benefits paid out have exceeded and will continue to exceed income for the foreseeable future. As Medicare outlays exceed income, Part A draws down on the balance of the trust fund to cover the difference. By 2024, Part A is projected to be permanently in deficit.....
Read more at:
yes. 25+ years. capped each year, except 3 between 21 and 24. i am self employed.
i'm expected to receive barely anything.
yet i'm also expected to pay government/public pensions that didn't benefit me or mine in the least.
the CA life guard receiving $210k/yr really drives me batsh*t.
“Once we can ignore contracts, order ceases to exist.” - is true, but once the gooberment which contracted to pay that pension goes bankrupt, under contract law, the pension liability is either gone or negotiable.
I understand your frustration. And let me be clear--I'm not saying seniors are greedy or asking for welfare. Social Security is not welfare and no one should suggest it is. But Social Security has turned out to be just like any other tax you paid. You paid in a lot of money in tax and there is no asset there to pay you back. Typical Welfare State government. A Ponzi scheme. The reality is that there is no money.
So the question is what do we do? Everyone has to "pay" for this mess. Seniors who are about to retire have less of an ability to pay than people in their prime earning years so the answer isn't to simply cut Social Security. However, its not fair to say the entire burden should fall on young people who are in trouble anyway because of the mountain of debt we middle aged and older people have built up. So we have to patch something together--raise the retirement age, means test, cut spending for future generations. That is the answer.