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Taking another shot at the Gimme Generation

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It looks like Congress may again tread into the dangerous waters of means testing for Medicare.

According to a piece in the Washington Post this morning, House and Senate negotiators have “agreed in principle” that wealthy old farts should have to pay higher prices for Medicare-funded doctor visits and other healthcare.

What a concept.

Of course, the Gimme Generation will throw their all-powerful political muscle behind any efforts to actually require some of them to pay more for medical care, and the notion will more than likely die.

In a country where the tax structure is heavily progressive, nobody would ever see anything wrong with the wealthy paying more than the poor for tax-supported programs, but God help us if we ask the wealthy old people to pay more for Medicare or – dare I say – give up their Social Security benefits.

Washington Post story

Cap’n Ken’s Homespun Wisdom – 100% guaranteed to offend

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  • debbie

    I don’t think that anybody should have to give up their Social Security benefits but I don’t think that that the person working for $9 an hour should have to work to buy prescriptions for Bill Gates, or Ted Kennedy either.

  • http://eastatlanta.blogspot.com Cap’n Ken

    If a $9/hour worker shouldn’t pay for Ted Kennedy’s prescription drugs, why should he pay for Kennedy’s retirement (i.e. Social Security)?

    Seems logical to me that the lifetime benefit for somebody on Social Security should be capped at the amount that person put into the system if that person is of sufficient resources to take care of their own retirement.

    Actually, it seems logical to me that everybody should just take care of their own damn retirement and not have the government take 15% of our pay to act like they are going to take care of it for us.

  • http://mcfrank.blogspot.com Chris Arabia

    Social security is probably the most regressive tax possible. Wealthier people have the extra $ to fund real retirement, while poorer people have to put all their retirement $ into a crappy system.

  • http://eastatlanta.blogspot.com Cap’n Ken

    If the government would call it a “tax” (which it is), I think I would not be quite as pissed about SS as I am.

    But they try to act like this is a retirement plan. It is not. It’s a wealth redistribution scheme. And whether or not you believe money should be forcibly taken from the income earners and given to the poor when they get old (bet you can figure where I come down on that issue), that’s what SS is.

    I could sure do a hell of a lot better for myself if I got to keep and invest that 15%.

  • http://eastatlanta.blogspot.com Cap’n Ken

    And the system is hardly “regressive”, since the poor people are the only ones who make any kind of decent return on their “investment”.

    It’s not very nice for the government to act like SS will fund a poor person’s retirement, however.

  • http://mcfrank.blogspot.com Chris Arabia

    it is regressive because it lowers the available return on retirement money in proportion to how much $ you DON’T have to put in a real plan.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    I must agree with the Cap’n on this topic. You don’t mess with the ‘gray panthers.’ The organized elderly are one of the strongest lobbying blocs in the country. I don’t believe any plan to take away ‘rights’ they have will succeed.

    However, I am not in favor of the Darwinian concept of scrapping Social Security, period. Reforming it — yes. Eliminating it — no.

  • debbie

    “Actually, it seems logical to me that everybody should just take care of their own damn retirement and not have the government take 15% of our pay to act like they are going to take care of it for us.”

    I’m not counting on SS, I’m at the end of the baby boomers and I don’t think it will be around by the time I retire.
    At least I don’t have any faith that it will still be viable by then.

    If people took their retirement seriously from day one and invested early on then they would be in a decent position by the time they retire. In stead nobody thinks ahead that far and waits until they turn 40 before they start to think about how much they will have at retirement. By then you can’t accumulate enough to live comfortably in 20 years, not to mention you have set the tone for the “lifestyle level” you are living by then, the amount of debt that you are locked into.

    I know my kids “aren’t” listening to me but I constantly tell them that retirement planning starts with their first job and needs to continue through out their working career. If you invest 2% of your bring home pay from every pay check for investment by the time you retire in 44 years you should be able to live without too much of a lifestyle change. (But you know what kids are like, they don’t think they will ever grow old! :~))

  • kara

    Chris,

    Nobody’s talking about flying the Stars and Bars here. Their mascot is about as offensive as KFC’s (or Foghorn Leghorn for that matter). Should they be abolished? This is a matter of political correctness run amuck, and people finding offense where there is none.

    Eric, when you propose destroying the last vestiges of the Confederacy, how far are you willing to go to do that? Destroy Confederate cemeteries? Another burning of Atlanta perhaps? The demolition of old plantation homes? Erasing the remnants doesn’t erase the facts. Slavery, no matter how regrettable, did exist. Destroying the remnants won’t change the past, it only makes it easier to forget. And those who forget the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them.

  • kara

    sorry – typed this in the wrong window…

    Ignore that.