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Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:53 AM

Why won't the GOP just come right out and say they want to cut SS, Medicare Medicaid?

You know that is what the GOP plan is. But They never come right out and say it.

Why do you think that is?

They want Obama to say it, but they won't say it themselves.

Why is that?

Any ideas?

Don

36 replies, 1595 views

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Reply Why won't the GOP just come right out and say they want to cut SS, Medicare Medicaid? (Original post)
NNN0LHI Feb 2013 OP
demwing Feb 2013 #1
Berlum Feb 2013 #2
MyshkinCommaPrince Feb 2013 #31
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #3
TransitJohn Feb 2013 #4
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #5
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #6
eridani Feb 2013 #7
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #11
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #16
eridani Feb 2013 #8
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #12
eridani Feb 2013 #14
eridani Feb 2013 #15
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #17
eridani Feb 2013 #19
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #20
eridani Feb 2013 #22
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #24
JustAnotherGen Feb 2013 #27
eridani Feb 2013 #35
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #30
newfie11 Feb 2013 #9
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #13
newfie11 Feb 2013 #32
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #33
CTyankee Feb 2013 #18
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #23
CTyankee Feb 2013 #26
reteachinwi Feb 2013 #29
av8r1998 Feb 2013 #34
baldguy Feb 2013 #10
CTyankee Feb 2013 #21
spanone Feb 2013 #25
TheKentuckian Feb 2013 #28
newfie11 Feb 2013 #36

Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:00 AM

1. Pretty simple really...

they want the benefit without the responsibility. They want your retirement, and they want you to blame the Democrats.

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Response to demwing (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:10 AM

2. You got it. Republicans do not do responsibility.

It is not one of their peculiar "family values."

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Response to demwing (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 05:04 PM

31. Agreed.

They keep trying to back our side into a position where we have to do the hard things that they want, but we don't, to fix the messes they've set up. The ShrubCo years look like one long, ugly example of that. Then they point to us, call us the enemy, and argue that government never works. Enough to make a person a bit snarly.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:19 AM

3. SS and Medicare are tough

 

My big thing on SS is means testing. We want those who can afford to to pay their fair share, yet empirically, I know someone (very close to me) who earns > 250K per year working 4 days a week. He has a 7 figure bank account, NOT including a 401(k) for himself and a 403(b) for his wife. Starting in may, he will be collecting 3000 per month, and then his wife will be entitled to 1500, and not effect her own benefits.
These people clearly do not NEED the 4500 per month at this time. Don't cut Medicare or SS for people who NEED it , but the people I mentioned above don't need it. They should have to spend down their assets first.

We should not be cutting SS for people who need it.

But again, this is part of why Washington is gridlocked ... nobody wants to make tough decisions.
To answer the question of "Why Is That" it's because the AARP and Seniors are a powerful group. Nobody can win by pissing them off, so they want the "Other Side" to do it. FWIW, I think Obama is best positioned right now to make the case, and if he could get a couple of Repubs on board it could be successful, but the GOP is determined to make Obama fail no matter what. Kind of sad really.

My whole Philosophy is "Get it done, guys"

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Response to av8r1998 (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:32 AM

4. "Get it done, guys"

Are you really advocating that the President take the lead on cutting the social safety net?

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Response to TransitJohn (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:43 AM

5. no

 

But the repubs will get nowhere without his buy in. If you have either repubs or dems take the lead every proposal will fail, and be flawed.
The only solution is for Obama to work with McConnell. Boehner has sn impossible caucus in the house, so he cannot get anything done.
Obama and McConnell need to share noth the credit and the blame, and come up with something most people can accept.

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Response to TransitJohn (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:49 AM

6. also

 

Giving 4500 a month to a millionaire isnt the social safety net... its fiscal irresponsibility.

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Response to av8r1998 (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:57 AM

7. For fuck's sake at least try to get the numbers right

Current yearly cap is $33,000, and fewer than 1% get that much. If they have any other income at all, their SocSec is 100% taxable. It isn't fiscal irresponsibility if we eliminate the FICA cap, making millionaires pay on 100% of their income. But if that is the case, there is no way in hell we can say that they get nothing when they retire.

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Response to eridani (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:29 AM

11. LOL

 

I was just going to post, eliminate the cap, except on small business and cut the rate to 2.45%.
The cap makes SS regressive.
You could remove the cap, cut the rate, help the 92% of americans that earn under the limit, and still get A LOT more revenue into the system.
Keep the cap at 7k on the employer side, mostly because small - midsized business would be hurt by extending the rate into perpetuity.

The limit is 33k per person.
So in my example above he will miss out on 1 month (12*3 = 36), but his wife will still get 18K.

As for it being taxable, only half of it is. (Remember - 1/2 of it was already taxed. FICA is after tax money)
In my example above, at roughly 20% effective tax rate, they would give back 5100.

But you know what? I still think lowering the rate and limiting the cap is the way to go.

Basically I am saying fund it the same way as medicare.
(Don't know if 2.45% is the right number, btw - I picked it because it is the medicare rate, which is 100% taxable, and is about at the same level of revenue as SS)

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Response to TransitJohn (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:40 AM

16. Just to be clear

 

I am NOT advocating cutting SS.
I am advocating tweeking the formula so that those who can afford to pay more, unlike now.
In an ideal world, funding would be the same, the lower end of the income scale gets more.

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Response to av8r1998 (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:10 AM

8. It doesn't matter whether they need it or not--they PAID INTO IT

And due to the way initial benefits are set, they get far less back from what they put in than people at the lowest income levels, who stand to get back more than they put in. This is fine, and the initial benefits calculation could be skewed even more in favor of low income people. BTW, that $4000/month will be fully taxable, and taxes on SocSec income applied to the top 20% of recipients is itself a sizeable source of income for the trust fund. The real injustice is that he only has to pay FICA on the first $113K of his income--scrap the cap (pay on everything, including investment income) and SocSec is solvent forever.

Now, how do you justify telling someone who would then be putting in ~$18K a year in taxes (matched by his employer, or paid by himself if self-employed), that he is not entitled to any payout? Change the idea that if you pay in you get a payout, and what you have is welfare. Just see how long SocSec will last if it becomes a welfare program.

Besides which, there simply aren't enough people at his level getting top payout of ~$33K/year (fewer than 1% of recipients) to make the slightest bit of difference in total payouts even if all of it was eliminated. The cuts that the 1% want will affect those in the middle and at the bottom, period.

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Response to eridani (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:32 AM

12. Exactly

 

I agree - (2 posts came up while I was writing mine - LOL)
The 4K per month is only 50% taxable. Look at a 1040. You back out half of it. Taxes were already paid on the 50% Employee Share.
If you are Self-Employed, you get what amounts to a deduction for the employer half

Sorry - New to this forum still.

They should be able to collect it WHEN they need it.
If they are earning 250K per year working, they shouldn't be able to collect yet.
If they have 401(K) assets they shouldn't be able to collect either.
When they NEED it they should get it, and not before.

Of course, they should get every dime they're entitled to, and I am not saying they shouldn't.

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Response to av8r1998 (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:38 AM

14. You can't collect if you are working if you are making that much

Your benefits get cut by the amount you earn over $15K/year. So if he's still working, he isn't getting anything.

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Response to eridani (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:40 AM

15. And if he's still working, he's still paying FICA on the first $113K n/t

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Response to eridani (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:42 AM

17. Yes

 

But I don't think he should be.
Or his benefit should increase.

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Response to av8r1998 (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:50 AM

19. That's not how it works. You work, and you pay FICA on income up to $113K

I'm betting he's only filing for SocSec to get Medicare, which you have to do. Any amount earned over $15K/year gets cut from his benefits--though it gets put back partially when he stops working entirely. But being on Medicare is probably worth the trouble even with the higher income surcharge.

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Response to eridani (Reply #19)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:58 AM

20. No, he isn't

 

His wife carries medical, which is better than Medicare.
She works for a school
He became semi-retired, and works 4 days a week.

I understand that's "Not How It Works"
How it works needs to change, because how it works is not sensible.

So let me get this straight...
I contribute to a plan that gives about a .5% ROI.
I continue working past retirement age, and I collect nearly 50K, and pay back about 15 in total, but all the while my benefits are going up because
my wife is retirement age, but is still contributing and not collecting on her own behalf.

At the very least you have to admit this is a convoluted way of doing things.

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Response to av8r1998 (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:01 AM

22. I don't get it. You first complained that he shouldn't be getting the yearly limit payout

Then I pointed out that he won't, because he still pays FICA on earmings, and his payout is cut by every dollar he earns over $15K. So he isn't collecting money he doesn't need, and now you have a problem with that?

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Response to eridani (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:04 AM

24. Back at you soon...

 

Work getting in the way.

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Response to eridani (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:23 AM

27. eridani

I have a different take - hope I'm supporting you on this . . .


If you start playing "this person who makes LESS get this and that person gets THAT" - it starts to turn into a TANF/SNAP type of program.

To me - the beauty of SS is that EVERYONE pays in - and EVERYONE 'gets' and because of this it can never have that snotty Reagan quip about 'Welfare Queens' taking something from someone else.


Now - I am a high earner - I have NO PROBLEM paying in more - and I really truly believe that this MUST happen. It simply must. Turning 40 next week - and my mom is a Boomer. We are on the verge of a huge implosion called Aging Baby Boomers and I'll be damned if a SINGLE one of them is going to go hungry, cold, or without medical care. It's bullshit. So the end of the SS tax holiday was a good thing - but we need to do more.


Now - I got my first big paycheck at 8 years old for a few Kodak advertising campaigns. Basically - I've been paying in for 32 years. Whether I 'need' it or not - I've paid in. I want it there when I'm older. Who knows - maybe I'll use it each year to support progressive/liberal PACS? But I paid in - I want it back. If it means I have to pay more to shore it up - so be it.


And having a mom who turned sixty five in November, but only makes $40K a year (stepped down from a Regional position to slow down a bit) - I'd like to know how the newbie intends to address her. My dad died in August 2011 - based on her family history she'll live to be into her 90's. Perhaps the newbie thinks the million dollars or so my parents saved all of those years should be run through for ALL of her basic needs and medical and then he/she will put her on the cat food commission in 15 years? Nope - don't think so.


The boomers had the rug pulled out from under them circa 1980. The rules changed. They just found this out about 5 years ago. I'll be damned if I throw any single one of them under the bus. They are ALL counting on that money in some way, shape, or form or another. My mom intends to use it for supplemental medical (Medicare does a shit job on prescriptions and such).

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:24 PM

35. Agreed 100%. Boomers had FICA doubled in 1983 to prepay our own retirement plus

--pay for our parents's retirement. After the trust fund is depleted--as it was intended to be--the system goes back to pay as you go. But only for awhile. The Millenials are another demographic lump that will have to prepay at least partially, and with the crappy jobs our new economy is specializing in, the FICA cap will have to go in order for them to be able to retire.

You pay in, you get a payout, period. Eliminating the cap will necessitate eliminating the payout cap and replacing it with a trendline that goes up very slowly--but payees still get payout, period.

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Response to eridani (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:32 AM

30. My thoughts..

 

Are far more complicated than what is in this thread so far.
If I could get everything I wanted it would go this way.

1) Everyone who paid into the system should get EXACTLY what they are entitled to if they stopped working TODAY with no additional contribution. I don't like it, but when you say theyre entitled they are. I am 42 and have another nearly 30 years to get my house in order. Someone in their 60's doesn't have that luxury.

2) Get rid of the limit, and lower the rate, to the extent revenue is the same as before. Maybe carve out an exception for businesses, because paying payroll taxes on high salary employees may be a hardship, depending on the industry,

3) Once you hit 62 you are eligible to collect BUT
You may opt to continue to pay into it or not.
If you don't your benefit stays as it would be if you retired. If you pay into it it goes up.
If you earn less than the max payout from wage income, you may collect what you are entitled to.
If you earn between the max payout and what the limit would be (so today, 113,000) it gets phased out. So at 33K of wages, you are still eligible for your full benefit. At 113,000 your benefit gets deferred.

4) It is a deferral, not "We are not giving it to you". The mere fact of deferring will help maintain solvency, and if done properly would continue to grow benefits when they are needed.

Look - is this idea perfect? Far from it but it accomplishes the following things:
Shifts the tax burden from the poor to the wealthy.
Conserves cash in the trust fund for future payouts.
Does not reduce benefits to those who need it.
Preserves what retirees were promised.

I think it's a win-win

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Response to av8r1998 (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:17 AM

9. If these folks paid into SS they should be allowed to use it

Yes they don't need it but it is not right to force people to pay into SS and then refuse them when it's their Time to use it.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:35 AM

13. "Their time to use it"

 

That's what I want to re-define.... when is it "Time"
If they are earning 250 K at a job, I don't think it is their time yet.

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Response to av8r1998 (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:02 PM

32. I made nowhere near this but I Am on SS

My thought is it would be unfair to discriminate against them because of what they make. I personally feel the cap should be raised and still everyone should be allowed to use it regardless of income. Just my opinion which isn't worth much.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:23 PM

33. You can't have it both ways

 

Either you're entitled to get out of it what you put into it, or you get it no matter what.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:45 AM

18. I agree BUT at the same time we need to get even more progressive with our tax

policies so that the taxes increase on the wealthy, while holding firm on maintaining Social Security. Means testing SS and Medicare will result in lack of general support for these programs. Conservatives have long known this and figured out that making them poverty programs is the surest and the only way to undermine public support for them...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:02 AM

23. You're right but....

 

I don't understand how making people pay more on income tax is "Good", but having them wait to collect benefits, and making them pay more in FICA is "Bad".

I get what you are saying about perception, but really, something needs to be done.

On its face, the way the system is run isn't a good deal.
If I had 6.2% of my income since the day I started working with an employer match back, I could CERTAINLY do better than retiring on 33K per year.

Call me an optimist but there has to be a better way.

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Response to av8r1998 (Reply #23)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:14 AM

26. Making people wait longer to collect benefits is already somewhat in place now...

ifyou retire at 62 you get less than if you retire at 65 and you will get more if you wait until age 70. In reality, according to Ezra Klein, most people take their SS at 62 and I'm sure they have good reason to, whether they are laid off due to health issues or the economic climate or because they are worn down by all their years of labor. And if you lose your job in your early 60s you still face the problem of Age Discrimination, which is real. We all know that companies have a way of "weeding out" their older employees. Getting another job in your early 60s is tough enough in good economies, practically impossible in bad economies...

I have heard your hypothetical MANY times over the years. The problem with it is that it's fine as long as we are in an economic boom, but unless safeguards are in place to prevent the inevitable "bust" it's hard to see it paying off in reality. It also assumes a certain stasis in your job situation for a long time. People move or suffer illnesses or injuries. Or sometimes jobs and skill sets just become obsolete. And aging is still aging.

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Response to av8r1998 (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:53 AM

29. 1983 and 1993 changes to SS

 

introduced taxation on benefits that amounts to means testing. So higher income retires are "means tested" through the tax code.

Modified for a taxpayer with combined income exceeding a secondary threshold amount ($34,000 for an individual, $44,000 for a married couple filing a joint return, and zero for a married person filing separately), so that the amount of benefits subject to income tax is increased to the sum of (1) the smaller of (a) $4,500 for an individual, $6,000 for a married couple filing a joint return, or zero for a married person filing separately, or (b) 50% of the benefit, plus (2) 85% of the excess of the taxpayer's combined income over the secondary threshold. However, no more than 85% of the benefit amount is subject to income tax. The additional income tax revenues resulting from the increase in the taxable percentage from 50% to 85% are transferred to the HI Trust Fund. Effective for taxable years beginning after 1993.
http://www.ssa.gov/history/taxationofbenefits.html

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Response to reteachinwi (Reply #29)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:25 PM

34. I graduated from college with a degree in accounting 20 years ago

 

And the above STILL is a convoluted mess...

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:22 AM

10. "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, ..."

"... and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid." - - President Dwight D. Eisenhower, l952


Unfortunately, the GOP has found that if they re-brand it with positive-sounding words they can sell it. Like putting chocolate sprinkles on dogshit.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:58 AM

21. I double dog DARE Joe Scarborough to look straight into the camera and say to

viewers "I want to cut YOUR Social Security and Medicare benefits and here's how I am going to do it!"

That'll be the day...

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:11 AM

25. they KNOW that people are very fond of ss & medicare. they are political cockroaches.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:40 AM

28. Because they want Democrats to do the lifting, take the blame, and they want to benefit

from the blowback.

At minimum, the waters would be very murky since you couldn't really blame the TeaPubliKlans because no way can they pass such things and the President is a Democrat.

The bigger and more pressing question is why Democrats don't come out and say "Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare and it will be bobsledding in Hell before we allow it"?

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:56 AM

36. And it is looking like that might happen

Chained CPI is still being thrown out there.

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