Tag Archives: Social Security

Stop Playing Politics With America’s Economic Future; Re-Frame the Medicare Discussion Now; Whisper Welfare Reform

Warning: The following likely will offend more than a few.

It’s time for Congress and all the pundits to stop playing political games with America’s economic well-being, future and security. It’s time for Conservatives to stop looking the other way or retreating as Obama Democrats falsely frame the important discussion about Medicare,  illustrated by outlandish,  patently false TV ads of poor ol’ grandma being dumped off a cliff.

Time for Conservatives to re-frame the Medicare discussion now, based on facts:

  1. It was Obama’s Democrats who decimated Medicare by taking $500 BILLION (A HALF TRILLION) DOLLARS from the Medicare Trust last year  in order to juggle the numbers to fund Obamacare. The Obama Democrats thus  drove Medicare to the brink of bankruptcy. The Obama Democrats are the ones who plotted to deprive senior citizens–who’ve paid into the Medicare system via payroll taxes throughout their working lives, and  who continue to pay into Medicare via taxes on their Social Security benefits–in order to pass Obamacare, an insurance-industry-driven/government-run health rationing program, which the overwhelming majority of Americans do not want, and that ultimately will have a disastrous impact on the healthcare of seniors and women in particular.
  2. The only members of Congress preparing, presenting and advocating any reasonable proposals for reforming and saving Medicare from the Obama Democrats’ Obamacare ripoff of Medicare and the complete bankruptcy of the Medicare program being forecast by year 2025 are Conservative Republicans such as Paul Ryan. If nothing is done to reform and thus save Medicare, the program will go bankrupt, and will  no longer be able to benefit seniors, no matter how long they’ve paid into it. So far, the Obama White House has been completely AWOL on the subject, having neither prepared, presented nor advocated any plan to offset its decimation of Medicare funds. In fact, in terms of the nation’s  increasingly calamitous economic situation overall, the Obama WH has  come up with nada, zilch, zip, not even a Federal budget, which the Obama WH has now failed/refused to do by three separate statutory deadlines (in violation of Federal law).
  3. Despite efforts of some pols and pundits to spin the recently held NY-26 special election outcome as a backlash against the Conservative effort to reform/save Medicare, it can only logically be viewed as the combined result of:
  • a weak, Republican-in-name-only (RINO) candidate running a lackluster campaign
  • a fake Tea Party candidate (who had run several times before as a Democrat) siphoning off about 9 percent of the Republican vote
  • the Obama Democrat candidate’s  patently false, ridiculous TV ad with grandma doing a full gainer off a cliff influencing perhaps some knee-jerk, single-issue,  ill-informed voters

Even given all that, NY-26 was a squeaker, with the Obama Democrat eking out a paltry four-percentage-point win.  By any stretch of logic, a four percentage point margin cannot be construed as a mandate or definitive statement about anything, including Medicare.

But, IMO, there’s a crucial missing element in the discussion of how to bring America’s economic well-being, security and future back from the brink by reforming and reining in “entitlement programs.”  [It’s important to note that  Social Security and Medicare–which the government often appears to believe are the only “entitlement programs” it needs to focus on reforming/cutting– are not technically  “entitlement programs,” because they are programs that working Americans have funded via payroll taxes and taxes on Social Security benefits  for more than a half century.] The missing element in the discussion of America’s economic well-being, security and future has to do with these questions: When will any of the so-called Congressional representatives of “we, the people” be brave enough to openly discuss the fact that it is Welfare –not Medicare and not Social Security–that is the fastest-growing and most onerously burdensome of the “entitlement  programs” threatening to stampede our nation’s entire economy over a cliff? When will our government be brave enough to openly discuss the fact that it is Welfare that is the most gluttonous monster in the room, which everyone sees but are afraid to admit must be placed on a strict abuse- and budget-cutting diet?

Welfare’s sheer size cries out for some Congressional budget-cutting tough love. Obama apparently spent an estimated $880 BILLION DOLLARS in fiscal year 2010 on 70 different Welfare Programs under 14 different Federal Programs—the largest increase in welfare benefit spending in U.S. history. In fiscal 2010 alone, this cost each U.S. household of  everyday, working, taxpaying American citizens an estimated $638 per month. Imagine what the average  working American household could do with an extra $638 a month in these tough times. At this rate, Welfare spending will grow to about $1 TRILLION DOLLARS for fiscal year 2014, and to more than $10 TRILLION DOLLARS over ten years. An estimated one out of seven total Federal and State dollars now go to fund Welfare Programs, such as cash payments (AFDC/TANF), food stamps, housing, Medicaid, social services, subsidized and free child care, etc.

Let me say emphatically,  anyone who can provide bona fide proof of real need should have access to the full benefits of  government “social safety net” “entitlement” programs such as Welfare until they can get back on their feet and regain their independence if/when possible by utilizing programs such as Welfare as the temporary economic support systems they were intended to be when they were initiated.  On the other hand, we must strenuously object to the rampant abuse of such programs by large numbers of multi-generation, entitlement-dependent families who view/abuse Welfare programs as an ongoing way of life and refuse to take any meaningful, productive, serious steps toward regaining economic independence. Moreover,  we must strenuously object to similar abuse of Welfare programs  by large numbers of non-citizens from around the world now living in our country who also view/abuse such programs as a way of life rather than as a temporary support system toward ultimate economic independence. Perhaps most importantly,  we must strenuously object to the fact that such rampant abuse is a huge contributor to America’s current dire economic circumstances. We must let our government know that we find it unconscionable that it, so far, refuses to mention during budget discussions–even in whispers –the need to investigate and curtail such abuse. For our government to continue to ignore such abuse amounts to coddling and perpetuating the vast economic, human tragedy caused by the burgeoning growth of  government-entitlement dependence,  helplessness and hopelessness. (And yes, the government also needs to rein in and cut ALL programs rife with abuse and waste, not just “entitlement programs.”)

Such widespread, entrenched abuse of social safety net programs such as Welfare as a way of life rather than as a temporary support system makes it virtually impossible for Americans who really do at times find themselves in dire straits to obtain much-needed help from these programs. While Social Security Disability, thankfully, provides help to many who are truly disabled, it too, is rife with abuse. And again, despite the fact that the program is funded by payroll taxes, such widespread willful abuse  deprives many who are  in fact disabled from receiving desperately needed and deserved benefits from a system into which they too have paid.

Those American seniors receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits have paid into these systems throughout their working lives through payroll taxes, and continue to pay into Medicare via taxes on their Social Security income. The taxes those seniors have paid throughout their working lives also have funded other government social safety net programs such as Welfare. People abusing the Welfare system do not, and likely never have, paid into any U.S. government social safety net program. People abusing any government social safety net programs deprive many who truly do need such help from getting it.

Someday soon, Congress must bravely, methodically, systematically, thoroughly and vociferously investigate and put a stop to  widespread abuse of programs such as Welfare, and cut spending down to levels to cover only those who can continuously demonstrate bona fide proof of real need . If ever Congress begins to whisper that it’s prepared to do that, then perhaps large numbers of reasonable Americans will be prepared to listen carefully to reasonable proposals to reform Medicare and Social Security, programs which–were it not for Congress and the Obama WH using them as  “piggy banks” to fund other far-less-worthwhile programs such as Obamacare–might possibly have remained solvent. But, let’s not forget, it isn’t Conservatives and their responsible, sensible budgetary reform and  program-saving proposals that threaten to push poor ol’ grandma and the rest of us over the economic cliff. Rather, it’s the Obama Democrats–whose continued re-elections depend upon government-entitlement-dependent voters– recklessly pushing spending upwards of catastrophic levels in order to keep feeding the gluttonous Welfare monster.

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