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Mon Apr 27, 2015, 09:59 AM

The Real Entitlements, and the Numbers...Welfare Entitlement of the Rich

Monday, April 27, 2015, Common Dreams

Entitlements are Bankrupting America. But the Rich Keep Taking Them.
, Paul Buchheit

Because of irresponsible reporting by conservative sources, many Americans have been led to believe that social programs are bankrupting our nation. The mainstream media fawningly concurs, with statements like this from USA Today: "The massive deficits...[and] chronic underfunding...are largely the result of Washington's habit of committing too much money to benefit programs." States are now beginning to attack imagined safety net abuses, such as the use of food stamp funds to pay for fortune tellers and pleasure cruises.

But hungry people rarely waste their modest benefits, and most are eager to work to support their households. Almost three-quarters of those enrolled in food stamps and other social programs are members of working families. And according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only 1 cent of every SNAP dollar is used fraudulently.

The real threat is the array of entitlements demanded by the very rich. As they get richer, they're gradually bankrupting the greater part of America, the middle and lower classes. The following annual numbers may help to put our country's expenses and benefits in perspective.

The Safety Net: $370 Billion

The 2014 safety net (non-medical) included the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), WIC (Women, Infants, Children), Child Nutrition, Earned Income Tax Credit, Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Education & Training, and Housing. These few programs, collectively termed "welfare" by those fortunate enough to survive without them, amount to a lot less than the $1 trillion per year publicized by the conservative press.

Social Security: $863 Billion

The threat of "entitlement," in the case of Social Security, is more properly defined as an "earned benefit." Social Security is the major source of income for most of the elderly, who have paid for it. As of 2010, according to the Urban Institute, the average two-earner couple making average wages throughout their lifetimes receive less in Social Security benefits than they paid in.

Tax Avoidance: $2,200 Billion

That's $2.2 trillion in tax expenditures, tax underpayments, tax havens, and corporate nonpayment. It is estimated that two-thirds of tax breaks accrue to the top quintile of taxpayers.

Investment Gains: $5,000 Billion

That's $5 trillion dollars a year, the annual amount gained in U.S. wealth from the end of 2008 to the middle of 2014. In the six years since the recession, for every $1 of safety net costs, $10 in new wealth went to the richest 10%.

Investment income welfare for the well-to-do appears in the form of capital gains tax breaks, which mean zero taxes on deferred investment gains, and zero taxes for most of the investment gains passed along to descendants.

Most Extreme: 14 Billionaires vs. 46 Million Hungry Americans


America's 14 richest individuals made more from their investments last year than the $80 billion provided for people in need of food.

Clearly, conservative sources don't tell us the full story. They dwell on the cost of the safety net, emphasizing its accumulating total over several years, while stubbornly ignoring the real problem.

The super-rich feel they deserve all the tax breaks and the accumulation of wealth from our nation's many years of productivity.


That's the true threat of entitlement.
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/04/27/entitlements-are-bankrupting-america-rich-keep-taking-them

------------

We will never hear our candidates speak about the real cost of our politicians serving up America's worth to their campaign donors, every tax break, every deregulation, every revolving door, a gift to the elite, and the media....well...they aren't going to report on stories that don't serve the corporate interests...the status quo is enabled, and poverty and inequality grow.



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Reply The Real Entitlements, and the Numbers...Welfare Entitlement of the Rich (Original post)
mother earth Apr 2015 OP
daleanime Apr 2015 #1
underpants Apr 2015 #2
mother earth Apr 2015 #3
n2doc Apr 2015 #4
mother earth Apr 2015 #5
underpants Apr 2015 #8
JDPriestly Apr 2015 #33
NYC_SKP Apr 2015 #6
Fantastic Anarchist Apr 2015 #17
mother earth Apr 2015 #19
okaawhatever Apr 2015 #37
NYC_SKP Apr 2015 #38
okaawhatever Apr 2015 #39
NYC_SKP Apr 2015 #41
Cryptoad Apr 2015 #7
Dragonfli Apr 2015 #11
ieoeja Apr 2015 #12
Dragonfli Apr 2015 #14
ctsnowman Apr 2015 #16
SheilaT Apr 2015 #9
Enthusiast Apr 2015 #10
raouldukelives Apr 2015 #13
Dont call me Shirley Apr 2015 #26
LeftOfWest Apr 2015 #35
aspirant Apr 2015 #15
mother earth Apr 2015 #18
NYC_SKP Apr 2015 #20
mother earth Apr 2015 #21
NYC_SKP Apr 2015 #22
LeftOfWest Apr 2015 #36
polichick Apr 2015 #23
ronnie624 Apr 2015 #34
polichick Apr 2015 #43
WillyT Apr 2015 #24
LineReply ,
blkmusclmachine Apr 2015 #25
ms liberty Apr 2015 #27
mother earth Apr 2015 #31
cantbeserious Apr 2015 #28
okaawhatever Apr 2015 #40
smirkymonkey Apr 2015 #29
mntleo2 Apr 2015 #30
Thespian2 Apr 2015 #32
cynzke Apr 2015 #42
mother earth Apr 2015 #44

Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:05 AM

1. K&Major R.....

Tempted to set up multiple puppets just to recommend this.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:13 AM

2. I'd disagree on one point

I don't know where or how the usually reliable Urban Institute figured Soc. Sec benefits but generally a person gets back everything they ever paid into the program in 5 - 7 years.

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Response to underpants (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:18 AM

3. I suspect it is the retirement age & just how many years one has beyond it, since it seems to be

extending upward more and more. Maybe you have a better source?

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Response to underpants (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:25 AM

4. Not exactly true

For an average-wage-earning, two-income couple turning 65 in 2010, the pay-in, pay-out ratio for Social Security by itself will actually be slightly negative —- the couple will have paid $600,000 in lifetime Social Security taxes and will receive only $579,000 in lifetime Social Security benefits. (Remember, the couple didn’t literally pay out $600,000; that’s the current value of what they paid out over the years, plus an additional 2 percent they may have gotten had it been invested.)


source

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/feb/01/medicare-and-social-security-what-you-paid-what-yo/


It used to be that people got paid back much more than they paid in. Not anymore. Medicare however still does pay out more than it pays in.

From the same article:

If a similar couple had retired in 1980, they would have gotten back almost three times what they put in. And if they had retired in 1960, they would have gotten back more than eight times what they paid in. The bigger discrepancies common decades ago can be traced in part to the fact that some of these individuals’ working lives came before Social Security taxes were collected beginning in 1937.

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Response to n2doc (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:30 AM

5. TY, n2doc. nt

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Response to n2doc (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 11:12 AM

8. Okay I see that I was wrong

But I will say that the calculations that I have seen before accounted for it in actual money paid out by the person not the current value assuming investment.

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Response to n2doc (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:04 PM

33. In addition, Social Security taxes were increased in the 1980s in order

to cover the costs of benefits for Baby Boomers. Reagan. Remember?

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:31 AM

6. Recommended. And if we want change lets NOT elect someone worth $135,000,000.

 

In this era, anyone worth that much has a built in conflict of interest.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 12:42 PM

17. This can't be stressed enough!!! n/t

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 01:26 PM

19. Absolute. nt

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #6)

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 02:17 AM

37. To show the profound ignorance of your position: FDR would not qualify for President nt

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #37)

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 02:21 AM

38. "Profound Ignorance"??? FDR didn't sell influence to get his fortune, it was inherited.

 

I guess you didn't know that.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #38)

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 02:27 AM

39. YOUR words: anyone worth that much has a built in conflict of interest. You don't mention how they

got it. In your rush to insult anything and everything Hillary Clinton you accidently caught liberal hero FDR. You didn't mention how they acquired their wealth. You hate everyone who has money. Sad that you don't recognize that the Clintons EARNED theirs.

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #39)

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 02:34 AM

41. LOL, you said "earned their income" LOL that's really funny.

 

I'm trying now to think of the name of the girl who "earned" $600,000/year as a correspondent for NBC.

I think it was George Bush's daughter.

"Earned", that's real funny!

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:38 AM

7. I alsways thought that when you were entitled

to something ,,,, you had earned a right to have that something.

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Response to Cryptoad (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 11:39 AM

11. That is actualy true, regarding the meaning of entitlements as opposed to assistance or charity

is as you describe: benefits one has earned.

Unfortunately the right wing meme machine has worked for many years to make it synonymous with

"entitled" :
believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
"his pompous, entitled attitude"


which would better describe the attitude of wealthy individuals that feel entitled to the unearned benefits they receive from all of us via tax dodges and giveaways to them.

This was a carefully planned projection that allows them politically to cast a negative light on earned benefits that are received by those that earn them.

They have confused the public enough with this conflation that I feel it is best to refer to entitlements as earned benefits simply so that people that don't know the actual meaning are not confused by a very nasty yet successful false meme.


The article is poorly titled, yet the article itself is pretty good in my opinion.
It just goes to show how successful rich fucks are at confusing our language to the point that such mistakes are often made

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 11:55 AM

12. I always remind people ...

 


If they passed a budget along the lines of, "entitlement payments for fiscal year 2016 shall be the equivalent of what they were, or would have been, for fiscal year 2015 lowered by 10%," then social security and medicare payments would decrease 10% while welfare and SNAP would not be cut a single penny. The word "entitlement" has a legal meaning. And it isn't what they think it is.

They elect extreme rightist politicians thinking the politician is promising to cut welfare when s/he is actually promising to cut social security.


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Response to ieoeja (Reply #12)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 12:13 PM

14. I find myself having to do the same thing far more often then I would like

It is an unfortunate truth that so few know the legal meaning of entitlement spending outside of policy wonks and I would assume anyone with a poli-sci degree thus allowing the public to so often be led astray by the meme that has deliberately misled the public as to what entitlement spending actually is.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 12:27 PM

16. Exactly!

"Entitlements" as it's being used today has a Frank Luntz smell to it.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 11:21 AM

9. One thing a lot of people don't quite understand

 

about Social Security is that it's a Pay As You Go system. What workers pay in goes more or less immediately out to those collecting. The trust fund is simply the excess collected over what's being paid out. It's not any worker's particular contribution held in trust for that person. Quite unlike a 401k or a Roth IRA or even personal savings and investments.

It is the collective promise we've made to the older segment of our population, that we won't let them be completely destitute in old age. And that collective promise is exactly why it needs to be properly funded, and I'm only repeating what we here all know about raising the cap.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 11:32 AM

10. Kicked and recommended a whole bunch!

Way to go, mother earth!

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 12:10 PM

13. If only it were just our nations productivity. It is the planets.

Instead of third world sweatshops, instead of feeding off the weak, instead of raping the planet for resources, instead of war & suffering, instead of ignoring, attacking & obfuscating reality in order to continue unabated in one last mad grab before we kill it all.

If money can be made from the facts, it will be used. If it is a threat to money, it will be banished. Sometimes all that money can even be used to create their own facts.

Corporations own it all. From our education to our health care to our democracy to our natural world. They call the shots.
The next generation or two will be the last to be born into a relatively stable world. A world still recognizable to us of forests, jungles, wildlife and wildflowers. After that, all bets are off.

Nobody cares. We alone hold the power to change it and the idea of not joining with the corporations in the battle against reality is the one that is met with derision, scorn or ignorance.

It will continue until it cannot. To anyone out there pondering a life of less waste, of trying to defend what is left, just give up.
Nobody cares. Form as strong as a bond as you can with the multinational corporations eating us all alive. Everyone else is, no matter what they say. If you are lucky enough, you & yours just may get eaten last.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #13)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 07:57 PM

26. Excellent post, raoul....That should be an OP!

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Response to Dont call me Shirley (Reply #26)

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 01:44 AM

35. This!!!

 

yes to post as an OP!

IMPORTANT!

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 12:21 PM

15. K&R

thanks Mother Earth

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Response to aspirant (Reply #15)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 01:25 PM

18. Tx to all of you...

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Response to mother earth (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 01:31 PM

20. In case you missed this, your post inspired me!

 

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #20)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 01:37 PM

21. TY, NYC_SKP, it takes a village.

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Response to mother earth (Reply #21)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 01:40 PM

22. Oh No You Dint!

 

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #22)

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 01:45 AM

36. kick.

 

did!

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 02:27 PM

23. The people who have spun the story for so long are pure evil. k&r

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Response to polichick (Reply #23)

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 01:09 AM

34. Perhaps all people are corruptible.

That, I think, is why we need to look at the political power system and reform it, so that it is not corruptible.

First, before anything else can happen, all political campaigns need to be publicly funded, in order to eliminate any potentiality for the development of a system of quid pro quo. Only then, IMO, is there a possibility of reform to our social and economic orders.

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Response to ronnie624 (Reply #34)

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 07:22 AM

43. To get the money out, the current corrupt crop of officials...

would need to vote for it, shoving themselves away from the trough.

Ain't happening when only the progressive caucus would consider doing that.

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 05:32 PM

24. HUGE K & R !!! - THANK YOU !!!

 


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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 06:59 PM

25. ,

 

,

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 08:00 PM

27. K&R if Bernie runs you will hear a candidate talk about these issues...n/t

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Response to ms liberty (Reply #27)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 09:12 PM

31. Looking forward to it. We need Bernie!

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 08:31 PM

28. I'm Ready For Oligarchy - Are You? - Vote HRC - What Better Way To Enrich The 1% Even More

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #28)

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 02:30 AM

40. LOL. People are so afraid of her ability to beat their imaginary candidate they just lash out

every chance they get. Hey who is your candidate of choice?

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 08:39 PM

29. +1000

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 09:05 PM

30. Also Boomers is the generation who ...

...not only paid their parent's SS, they also paid into their own ~ thanks to Reagonomic's "let me piss on your leg and it will trickle down" economics.

Just sayin' ...

Cat in Seattle

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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 09:14 PM

32. Will politicians solve America's economic problems?

Hmmm....NO.


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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 07:22 AM

42. Oh Look.....Over There!

Despicable, lowly poor people. PLEASE, hate them so you won't mind that we cut their aid to make up for all our tax breaks, loopholes and OUR entitlements. Maybe if we distract you, you won't notice us picking you pocket. This is the agenda the wealthy and right wing are pushing so rigorously through the GOP at ALL levels of government. All the hatred spewed against anyone who receives assistance, other than the wealthy themselves. There has been a systematic effort to DEMONETIZE to poor, which includes low income people who need assistance to survive.

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Response to cynzke (Reply #42)

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 10:53 AM

44. IMO, this hatred of the poor is why many (who deem themselves as "upper class") GOP'ers are in that

party at all. I've heard countless times from people who should know better, their simplistic reasoning for being a GOP'er is they believe everyone should have to work just like they do. They think that by being a republican they are better than those who are deemed as solely looking for handouts. The GOP has framed the issue well, never exposing the real culprits of this coordinated looting of taxpayer money, so they can continue to serve that revolving door of big monied interests. They point out the little people (and there will always be some) that fraudulently get assistance & sure they should be weeded out, but the big frauds are in our faces all the time, aided and abetted by those in gov't that hide who the real thieves are, they serve them, that elite l%, the too big to fail and too big to jail.

When people vote against their pocketbooks time and time again, there is a spewed reasoning, it seems some are forever doomed to see only a slice of reality, never realizing who EXACTLY it is that is looting the big money, the real perps of welfare and all the real so called "entitlement" money and mentality. They actually enable this predatory capitalism, that's gutting our country, and all of us.

The corruption is too big now, it's so big it is becoming obvious that we simply have been taken over. It is official, the oligarchy is ruling. Business as usual isn't going to work, it's time to call it out and stop assisting in our own demise.

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