Yes: Federal leaders in denial as they head toward fiscal cliff; No: The people we help today will be productive taxpayers tomorrow
One of the biggest issues concerning entitlements is health care. (ss is fairly
easy to fix)I don't think Obamacare is a good answer, but 1/2
of our politicians seem to have no desire to address health care at all.It also didn't help that we passed the largest entitlement
expansion in decades - Medicare part D. That happened just 7 years ago.
No.Defense spending and unfunded wars are.
Look at the latest census. Are those who have paid into Social Security and
Medicare increasing or decreasing? Are those who are in the work-force
increasing or decreasing? How many workers are there for every SS recipient?
FDR started a Ponzi scheme to increase revenues to the treasury. He
didn't care about "old folks". He didn't care about
"promises". All he cared about was funding those who supported him.Jump ahead a few decades, when Congress voted to mixed SS funds with the
general fund. What did Congress care about the "promises" made to the
citizens? What did Congress care about taking the lion's share of all
potential savings? Now Obama is doing it all over again.
He's not satisfied with 15% of our income for SS. He wants to add another
18% to 25% of our income to ObamaCare. How much does he care about your health
or my health? Ask you doctor. Ask the person who Obama expects to treat you.
Ask him if he will practice medicine when Obama dictates salaries and required
services. Government owes the citizens of this nation trillions of
dollars in promised benefits. Where is that money?
I am never quite sure how anyone can address the cost of the country's
safety net without first addressing the cost of being SuperPower on Call to the
world. Back following WWII (and, more specifically, Breton Woods), flush times
made it easy to become the world's leader and, by choice not mandate,
SuperPower on Call. We've been in one war and intervention after another
ever since, have expanded our international presence to more than 700 military
installations on land and at sea, have watched a backlog of infrastructure needs
explode, and, since 9/11 especially, have grown a $17 trillion national debt.
"Entitlements" need attention in any budget-cutting exercise, true, but
they have not driven us to the brink of the fiscal cliff. Being SuperPower on
Call has. Provably.
How likely is it that a guy from the Chamber of Commerce will say that it's
OK for businesses and their bosses to pay more on behalf of someone else? It
just won't happen, at least not on THIS planet.
RWSmith6:Good thoughts. I think we need to rethink our military
strategies and spending. The answer is somewhere between these two editorials.
We probably need to do some shifting in entitlement spending, especially social
security, but cutting other places and restructuring our military will reap
Social Security, medicare, and medicaid along with other "mandatory"
spending are the biggest part of the budget. Military spending is not growing
out of control and is already shrinking. The problem is that we are spending
beyond our tax capacity. Government could confiscate all the wealth in the
country and not have enough. It is time to take our medicine and reign in
spending, or default. It is impossible for any country to tax itself rich.
"There will be two great parties in this country. One will be called the
Republican, and the other the Democrat party. These two parties will go to
war...The United States will spend her strength and means warring in foreign
lands..."Statement attributed to Joseph Smith, 1844, from
"Life Story of Mosiah Lyman Hancock" page 29.
Whether the unfunded expenditures and promises are in the form of bloated
defense budgets (as declared by one side) or absurdly structured
"entitlements" (as declared by the other), the bottom line remains the
same. We are, and have been for decades, spending more than we can afford. The
only reason we've been able to do it for so long is that we have been
leveraging "the good faith and credit" of our country to borrow money
that we are getting farther and farther from being able to pay back. Which,
naturally, makes it tougher to continue to borrow and, eventually, do everything
we'd actually like to do.In other words, we are getting closer
and closer to being just like Detroit.
Our defense budget must be mentioned if we are to talk about what we are
spending our money on.
"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other
people's money to spend."We have run out of our own money.
We are very nearly out of borrowed money from China. We are now buying our own
bonds by printing more money to pay for them. We are essentially bankrupt, even
worse than Detroit or Greece.This WILL end. Badly, very badly.
Probably violently, when the "takers" find their endless supply of
"free stuff" is reduced or eliminated, and/or when the "makers"
refuse to surrender the last small percentage of their earnings they were once
allowed to keep.But, Congress will not address spending, or
entitlements, or even foolish military adventures in lands not critical to our
Are entitlements driving us to bankruptcy? No not at the federal level at
least.The problem at the federal level was lack of proper regulation
for Wall Street, along with the fact that we keep getting our self in wars
that we don't shouldn't be involved In and then staying too long. This
seems to be the habit of our nation the last several decades.The
fact that all our productivity gains as a nation for the last many years has
been going towards the top one percent is not helping either.Don't fix this problem by attacking entitlements that people have paid
into all their lives instead Attack the root causes.
Anybody who espouses any view contrary to the above view just expressed (Just
the tip of the iceberg) either doesn't understand Constitutional
government, or Economics, or, more than likely, both! The Socialist dream is a
nightmare in disguise.
Are entitlements pushing U.S. toward bankruptcy?’ NO.
Re: "'Entitlements'" need attention in any budget-cutting
exercise, true, but they have not driven us to the brink of the fiscal
cliff."Let's see -- Defense spending [including unbudgeted
terrorism defense]? Less than $650B .Entitlement spending?
About five times that, at something near $4T [also 2010].So, is it
entitlements, or defense spending -- which has declined steadily, as a
percentage of GDP, since 1986 -- that is driving us to the brink?Yep, it's clearly entitlement spending.And it's only
We would be way better off if we put all health care under the blanket of a
single payer system, which we can fortunately still do, and moreso if we
hadn't bought Iraq, which we're stuck with.
I wouldn't believe Bruce Josten or his figures if his tongue cam notarized.
Social Security and Medicare are not, nor were they ever "entitlements."
They are earned benefits, the bulk of which funds have been plundered under the
name of borrowing by congresses over the years, and now they don't want to
repay and would have us believe they are like other non-earned benefits. I paid
my SS and Med taxes separate from income taxes, for all my working life, and now
I would feel defrauded by a government that used those SS taxes for anything
else. As for Medicare, I live abroad now and so those funds are wasted since I
cannot use them outside the USA and jurisdiction. All Americans need to get
wise to the vicious propaganda coming from those who would rob us of what we
deserve in the name of greed.
The problem here is as much with you and me as it is with our politicians in
Washington.Politicians want to get reelected (more than anything).
How do Democrats get reelected when they get elected on the promise to give the
people "more free stuff"? Republicans get elected on the promise to
cut spending, taxes and debt. But when they get in office... they realise just
like the Democrats... that they can't STAY in office if they cut
anybody's free stuff!Politicians are smart. They know we will
throw them out of office IF they cut our free stuff. So they litterally
can't do it? Even if they get brave and try it... we throw them out the
next chance we get and elect people that promise us more free stuff!The problem isn't the politicians. We have TRAINED the politicians to
not decrease speding. Every time they do... we throw them out and elect people
who will promise more free stuff (without a way to pay for it).We
need to train our leaders the other way. But that would be too Tea Party.
‘Are entitlements pushing U.S. toward bankruptcy?’======== NO.Military Contracts, WallStreet and
Banking bailouts, and Corporate Welfare is.But go ahead
Republicans....Keep trampling and blaming the sick, the needy and the
elderly and the immigrants.That's exactly what destroyed the
Nephites, the Romans, the Greeks, and the Nazis.
LDS Liberal,You can keep up your constant bleeting that "it's all
the Republican's fault"... but Barack Obama voted FOR the WallStreet
and Banking bailouts, and he has continued to grant military contracts
throughout his 6 years in office and probably will for the rest of his second
term. And has corporate welfare gone away under the Obama Administration? I
don't think so!So you can play the usual talking-point game...
or you can get down to reality. In reality Democrats and the Obama
administration are no different on the 3 points you listed than the Bush
Administration.Both granted military contracts.Both bailed out
WallStreet.Both gave welfare to buinesses (ie auto industry) or hundreds
of examples of corporate welfareNobody's blaiming the sick,
needy or elderly for our fiscal situation. They are blaming the unsustainable
programs. A safety-net is needed. But they should be a safety-net (for
unexpected situations) Not something we plan on all our life (but may not be
there) like Social Security.The elderly should rely on their family
first and the government last. Not the other way around. Same goes for the
sick and the poor.
Yes.Political irony...One of the biggest recipient
groups of entitlements are the same people who comprise the base of the
Republican Party. Republicans will cut the throats of low
information voters who mindlessly vote for them?Posture... yes.Actually do something...Never.
2 bitsCottonwood Heights, UT======= So long as
Corporations like GE who make $BillionS annually pays little to no taxes, yet receives Billions in Government hand-outs -- So long as the 1%
who own 80% of everything write off vacation homes, personal jets, and put their
money in Foreign Banks and are not paying 80% of all taxes -- WE
have a problem, so please stop blaming the poor, sick, elderly for it.
I agree with the first columnist and mainly because the second columnist dodged
the issue. When asked if entitlements are causing bankruptcy he talked about
helping the poor. It would have been better to discuss entitlements for
politically powerful retirees. But he talked on a different issue. Is it
because he knew that he had no good arguments to justify taxing the working poor
to fund entitlements to wealthy retirees?Increase the retirement age.
Means test for social security and Medicare (subsidized health insurance for
retirees, not health insurance for poor people).
Anybody who can't see that entitlement programs are pushing us towards
bankruptcy needs to look at the "US Total Spending Pie Chart".In 2013 Defense is 13% of the spending. It's not the big budget-bustin
boogy-man the left makes it out to be."General Government"
was 3% of the 2013 spending. Shouldn't the "Government budget" be
pretty much 100% spent on government? Not entitlements?The rest
was Health Care (19%), Pensions (18%), Education (15%), Welfare (9%), Other
(9%). Interest (5%), Transportation (4%), Protection (4%). So
explain this to me... the Constitution says the primary responsibility of the
Federal Government is to protect me... and they spend less than 4% of what they
collect in taxes on protecting me... And a combined 65% on entitlement programs?
How does that make sense?Democrats keep saying without government
we wouldn't have transportation. But only measly 4% of the budget is
actually spent on Transportation. While 65% is spent to insure they keep
getting re-elected every year by promising everybody $$$ and free stuff!No wonder Democrats are afraid to cut the budget. Promising the free
stuff and $$ to the right constituent groups is what keeps getting them
LDS Liberal,You use GE as an example (the irony is I assume you were
trying to get at Republicans?). But who tapped the CEO of GE (Jeffrey Immelt)
to join his cabinet? You guessed it... Barack Obama.True that GE
makes $BillionS annually pays little to no taxes, yet receives Billions in
Government hand-outs... GE not only pays no taxes and takes billions in
government contracts and subsidies... but I work with them every day and know
for a fact they are well known for outsourcing millions of US Jobs to other
counrties, but even worse... Importing foriegn workers to do the few jobs left
in America). I have direct experence with this. I work with GE people
(mostly foreigners) every day. But the big irony is the CEO of GE
running America's jobs program for Democrat administration today, and you
blaming it on Republicans. GE can do anything they want... they control the
White House!More irony for you.... who picked the top executive at
JPMorgan Chase as his chief of staff? You guessed it... Barack Obama.Democrats are no better than Republicans in this regard.
Yes, 2bits, we all know that big money has a huge influence on politics.
That's why so many people were so upset about the Citizens United ruling.
People mostly from the left, those on the right defended it. I would
take private money right out of federal politics and have federal races funded
by public money, then we might have politicians that stop bowing down to big
corporations. Also, I would pass stringent laws dealing with
lobbyists, and ban ex office holders from becoming lobbyists or sitting on
corporate boards. You want to get corporate influence out of
politics? That's the type of steps it will take. You with me? If not
you're just whistling.
I would like to take issue with one thing that the author claims.He claims
"We are the richest country in the world."I do not believe that is
true.Depending on the survey at times we do not even fall in the top ten
countries in the world.It is misconeptions like this that cause many of
our problems.Because of feelings like "We are the richest country in
the world" we think we can fund many things like fighting preemptive wars on
borrowed money and giving money away in the form of foreign aid by borrowing
it.If we wish to be the worlds policeman perhaps we need to raise
taxes to do so and not depend on other generations to pay off our debt if that
@2 bitsCottonwood Heights, UTDemocrats are no better than
Republicans in this regard.4:50 p.m. July 29, 2013====== I stand for what's right vs. what's wrong.I am an
unaffiliated voter who votes for the person, and never the Party.However, I do spend most of my time and comments bashing Utah Mormon
Republicans for sheepishly, blindly and ignorantly voting for the letter
Let's get real here. It's not the entitlements that are pushing the
country toward bandruptcy, it is the debt being run up to pay for those
entitlements. That is how any person, family, business, city, state, or federal
government goes bandrupt. Namely spending more than you bring in. 17 trillion
debt. Sooner or later............We need a President that
understands how the private sector works to create jobs and therefore creates
more tax payers. Not a President that falsely believes that the government is
the source of all wealth. In other words, we needed Romney. Who has forgotten
more about business, wealth, taxes, money, employment, job creation, ect. than
the entire Obama administration will ever know.
@m.g. scottclearfield, UTLet's get real here. It's not the
entitlements that are pushing the country toward bandruptcy, it is the debt
being run up to pay for those entitlements. =========Agreed.Let's get real here.How do you and the other
conservatives suggest paying for the still un-funded Bush Wars in the Middle
East -- 12 years and $3 Trillion now and counting?...