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Obama to propose cuts to SSI and Medicare.

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    That's it. The Democrats led by President Obama are hell bent on losing to the Republicans in 2014 and 2016. You don't turn out your base by pissing them off at every opportunity. There's no reason to cut Social Security or Medicare, and every reason to expand those programs. Obama's political arithmetic is as bad as his understanding of sectoral account identities. Government deficit=non government surplus, the size of which is determined by non-government savings desires!

    Mr. President, the funds to pay our taxes and buy government securities come from government spending. The federal government issues the currency, taxes drive its acceptance by nongovernment agents, the Federal Reserve is Congress' designated scorekeeper, interest rates on government debt are a policy variable (and one hell of a subsidy in support of 1% incomes); and so long as government debt is denominated in the currency the government issues, exchange rates float, and the government tax offices continue to accept US currency as payment for US tax liabilities, there's never a solvency problem! THE REAL LIMITS ARE ON THE REAL SIDE OF THE ECONOMY, NOT THE GOVERNMENT'S FINANCIAL BOOKKEEPING SIDE! What do you not get about being the ISSUER of the currency? Why do you think your Treasury Secretary signs every dollar bill in our pockets? "US government" is written all over the damn things!

  • Independent
    New Hampshire
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    I guess the time has come to ask for something. I have always been a believer in self-reliance and only when sick. With the President ready to agree with major cuts to Social Security and Medicare the future no longer looks dim. Attempting to get my residential design business off the ground has taken a large portion of the savings I had. Reduction in the cost of living increases would have made things difficult any reduction in benefits will remove my ability to survive. It seems appropriate to have Medicare provide pills which would work as sleeping pills but you would not wake up in the morning. If enough seniors would take such pills it would reduce the amount paid out in Social Security and eliminates a segment of Medicare which has the highest expenses.
    Living for years with hips and knees in pain all the time with the only option being the extremely expensive process of replacing them and the therapy required after.
    Medicine has advanced to the level which allows us to control diseases which just a few years ago resulted in death. These advances are providing us with a great number of seniors which are sick. The only way to reduce the expense is to reduce the number of recipients.
    I’m sure that most politicians have at least thought of this solution and are afraid of bringing it into the open. The choice has been made making War our priority and concern for people the least important issue facing us. Quality of life is important for many of us.
  • Independent
    Dover, TN
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    I'm no Doctor but it's not hard to see that the practice of prescribing unneeded medications to reap gains from big Pharmaceutical Companies has to be driving up the cost of caring for our old. Probably an impossible task to know which meds are actually needed, just a thought.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Why do the media insist on calling Social Security a entitlement when it is something earned and paid for and pay taxes on, an entitlement is something given to someone who hasn't earned it.
  • Liberal
    Durham, NH
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    Because they are!
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Boone Wrote: I'm no Doctor but it's not hard to see that the practice of prescribing unneeded medications to reap gains from big Pharmaceutical Companies has to be driving up the cost of caring for our old. Probably an impossible task to know which meds are actually needed, just a thought.
    Indeed, I'm not a doctor either; but being at doctors for a while they prescribe prescription left and right; while often these are not needed or effective at all. If I go the CVS I have to stand in line and is as busy as at Mc Donalds. So something is wrong here; I guess the doctors here are kind of "lazy" to investigate the real cause and effect of the patient; it is more like" Can I shove this patient out in 5 minutes" so again as with guns or any other issue in this country it boils down to money, not the patient or the governments health. Money is the root of all evil here !!!
  • Other Party
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    It's not just here: Money is the root of all evil everywhere! Why do you think several of the eurozone countries are broke? Some of them are more broke than we are! Why? Pure Greed.

    Yes as corrupt and money hungry as America is, it's even worse in other parts of the world. Anyone receive an email from a Nigerian prince lately? If only I could come up with a few hundred dollars to send him...
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
    It's politics. Obama is setting up the Pubs and they are falling for it. His budget gives them what they want, harm to civilians, but only if they harm their masters the wealthy. The Pubs best move would be to say OK and let Obama deal with a pissed off Democratic base. But they goofed and said NO! to taxing the wealthy but not a word about screwing over the workers. Why the Republicans didn't catch that it was a joke I don't know.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    I would like to agree with you, but why the full-court press of select Senate Republicans?

    He's trying to get this deal done. He thinks it will end the constant budget battles.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    I prefer Earned Benefit over Entitlements. Social Security is the People's Pension.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    The point in my post was that the entire premise of SSI/Medicare cuts is based on affordability and deficit reduction. THESE ARE FAULTY PREMISES.
  • Other Party
    citrus hgts, CA
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    In the early 1990's my employer caused injuries that were work related and many self-insured employers started doing the same. What is in conjunction is that many of these injured had union contractual language was that after two years, they were eligible for social security and than medicare. The injured workers did not get total permanent wage benefits from their self-insured employers but instead a mere pittance of their SS & Medicare that they paid into via their earnings. This was a concerted plan by employer, unions, congress and SS & Medicare to foist injured workers to supplement insurance costs for totally injured workers to SS & Medicare. We are receiving a mere pittance of our own SS & Medicare benefits to cover the insurance costs that were caused by employers. Now, this is the best kept secret of not only an inhumanity to what employers were and are allowed to do their employees with unsafe and unhealthy (intentional) work environment but shift their costs to employee funded programs. Social Security and medicare standards to receive benefits are more stringent but none the less , a criteria to pay for these serious injuries where the employer did not but should have by law and lawmakers in congress with employers, unions created the financial depletion of Social Security an Medicare and now want to hide their criminal theft of the employee funded by lowering the ability for the disabled now seniors to collect what is owed to them. AND these are not entitlements. We we worked for them. We were forced unto them through no fault of our own but through the weaseling of congress. We are not the problem. We are the victims being victimized over and over again by a corrupt congress, the real criminals.
  • Democrat
    pell lake, WI
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    wow, how anger the working poor feel. I can say I represent 22year olds to 88year olds.
    Obama has been after this for a long time. a few hours after his latest budget announcement on msnbc a rep. was on. I quote "we can not balance our budget on backs of the old"
    who else has said that to get elected. ?
    that's right he handing them the next election.
    ed Shultz says, it's all many workers have left. how right he is. we were a middle class union tradesmen household.
    we gone in and out of forcloser. we did all we could to get my gifted son through law school. my other 2 children helped. he was the only chance of getting out. we are having our car repo. we lost our retirement, during long lay offs, to keep us alive.
    I heard on cnn once, that middle class people use to use credit cards to stay in middle class. then they used their homes.
    my husband had to travel from Wisconsin to north Dakota, for work, living out of his car for work. he is 57years old.
    my mother lives on ss. she lives in poverty now. on msnbc they just reported hospitals and doctors are turning away cancer patients on Medicare!
    so I guess we will have to die even quicker.
    Obama is the master at keeping the conversation away from the economy. like gun control and immigration.
    well he better get rid of guns because people are going to be using them to feed and shelter there children.
    immigration.... we are looking where we can move to a different country, so we can survive.
    we are already becoming a third world.
    in Obama budget he creating high tech, preschools. what a joke. the kids are to hunger to learn let alone go to them.
    in the jobs report they say labor is slowest in 34 years. HELLO WE BEEN SCREAMING ABOUT THAT FOR YEARS.
    give me one time Obama supported the unions.
    9 bucks a hour minim wage, wow that's still poverty.
    they say the job number in retail are down.
    in a rich suburb at a sports authority. people who were full time were fired. they hire part time workers, they have to sell, cashier, clean dressing rooms, and help customer's. then work 1 hour after close to clean. after 6 years there putting up with this my sister didn't get a raise again. yet she needs this 2nd job. do you believe sports authority needs more money.
    one worker at Wal-Mart said corporations and banks are the enemy. he a vet.
    Washington should all just get out!
    they wouldn't let him take out his 401 without a letter from a lawyer. he can't get his benefits. which has gotten worse under Obama.
    it is also reported he going to give up some social services. maybe he thinks like rep. we can go to our church's. only problem is I thought in America we had freedom of religion. at least that's why my grandma came here.
    for 6/7 years he been promising tax increases at 250. Obama care now being delayed another year?
    look every economist know you have to spend to get us going.
    he not going to do it!
    everyone says there is nothing he can do? really?
    here a few, he can make congress come to work. I don't care if they sit and stare at each other.
    he could come out against harry Reid not changing the filibuster rule.
    he could go on prime time every night to tell the American people why we are starving. the rep. do not care.
    that's just for starters. he won't get anything done on guns. money.
    in Wisconsin protest over walker. many signs said take away my guns but hands off my unions.
    nothing ever will get better until we have fair paying jobs, then all else will come.
    taxes from workers is a way to help our debt!!!!
    Obama as much as it pains me to admit, seems to be, as the saying goes. hope is the worst of all evils for it prolongs the torments of man.
    just once I like to see him come out strong. come out and admit how bad it is.
    he giving up some of his pay. really! do you think he even feels it. when my mom doesn't have enough to pay for her medicine.
    does he know how it feels? does he know how it feels, for her kids not have the ability to help?
    if he does know, what does that say? if he does know, what does that say?
    anyone get prosecuted under Obama. hell! bush killed my sons friends and took our money. so he could get wealthy???????
    hey how about the chick he got now in there to monitor banks. no banks got in trouble. she leaving to work for one of them
    I suggest we are not so stupid. how insulting.
    this is not my world war two father America.
  • Independent
    New Hampshire
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    I'm starting to get tired of this but here we go again:
    Social Security is not a Budget program. It is not paid with income tax we have the Social Security Fund which finances it. The only connection it has with Congress is that they use it like a debit card. If the Fund has cash on hand it is removed and placed in a General Fund which allows them to spend it as they want. It would not surprise me if this year it will be paying for the F-35. The Fund is so separate that the Government is required to pay it back. There are several way that Social Security can come to an end. What I was told there is only one way to end it and the Government not have to pay it back. Over the past few years I forgot the details but will try to get the process. If the Tea Party can kill SS under those conditions the National Debt will be reduced by 30%.
    Congress, not just Republicans or Democrats are willing to use the SS Funds which by now they probably consider FREE INCOME. The only reason I can see that it is being an issue for reduction is that more will be available to transfer into the General Fund.

    A few comments I had made with respect to the Meds out of India: The Med in its Generic Form will be available for about $200/Mon as opposed to $2600/Month for the name brand. In order for the generic to be sold in this country a few things must happen: The FDA must approve it and Doctors must prescribe it. My experience is that if the Companies provide a combination of Pressure and kick-backs.
    Look at the math:
    $200./month = $2400./year $2600./month = $31,200./year the difference is: $28,800./year
    If only 10 people take that Name Brand Med the company takes in an extra $288,000./year
    at 100 people taking it it jumps to $2,880,000. As the drug would not be on the market for less than a thousand we are talking about $28,800,000. With the worldwide market and India wanting to make a generic the number has to be quite large for it to be worth making, I’ll try to find the article so I can see if it makes it into the USA.

    "India's Supreme Court today rejected drugmaker Novartis AG's attempt to patent a new version of a cancer drug in a landmark decision that health activists say ensures poor patients around the world will get continued access to cheap versions of lifesaving medicines."
    the article ends with:
    'Abusive' patent practice will end, activist says

    Leena Menghaney of Doctors Without Borders said India would continue to grant patents on new medicines.

    "This doesn't mean that no patents will be granted. Patents will continue to be granted by India, but definitely the abusive practice of getting many patents on one drug will be stopped," Menghaney said.
    The judgment would ensure that the prices of lifesaving drugs would come down as many more companies would produce generic versions.
    "We've seen this happening with HIV medicines, where the cost of HIV treatment has come down from $10,000 to $150 per year. Cancer treatment costs have come down by 97 per cent in the case of many cancer drugs," Menghaney said.
    "This decision is incredibly important. The Supreme Court decision will save a lot of lives in the coming decades," she said.

    This particular drug is Glivec.

    One reason that Medicare may be high is the use of Name Brand Meds plus markyp. Lets see if an asprin cost $0.50 in a hospital what would be the price of Glivec with a markup added.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    Okay, here's the truth: federal taxes, whether they be income, corporate, or payroll taxes do not pay for the federal government's spending. The federal government ISSUES the currency. They can't tax before they spend it. So something very different is going on for the currency ISSUER than for currency USERS. Federal taxes drive the acceptance of the currency, as it is required to pay our US tax liabilities with. And the tax level regulates USER spending for inflation control purposes, i.e. taxes regulate demand.

    FDR said himself that the payroll tax does not make "economic sense." They are there to give SSI recipients a "moral, political, and [statutory] legal" claim to SSI benefits. This ostensibly protects the Social Security program from politicians who would cut benefits with voters trained to think that they had paid for the program and deserve those benefits. FDR called this a "useful fiction."

    The payroll tax is a highly regressive, punishing tax. And removing the income cap on payroll taxes would only moderately reduce the regressivity given the tax code treatment of other forms of income.

    The real cost of Social Security is the real resources consumed by people with their Social Security dollars.

    Now, if they just collected all the payroll tax revenue and put it on the sidelines, that would be a demand leakage, as that amount of output would not get sold unless the USERS or the ISSUER deficit spent by that amount.

    There are an infinite number of ways we can complicate federal budgeting, but the simple fact is that government spends by marking up accounts in the banking system, and it taxes by marking down accounts in the banking system. Government spending is like printing money and taxing is like unprinting money. The difference is what the USERS of the currency choose to save. If nobody saved the currency, then that spending would bounce around in the economy until it had all been taxed away. Government deficit=non government surplus. It's an account identity. The government's debt is a national equity, not a national burden. No government debt=no banks=no loans=no deposits=no economy.

    There is absolutely no reason to cut Social Security or Medicare for affordability or deficit reduction reasons. There may be other reasons. But right now, the deficit is too small given the intense desire of the USERS to save, the large sustained output gap in our economy, and employment levels not seen since before women entered the workforce! And affordability or solvency is never a question for the ISSUER of the currency.

    I say cut the payroll tax and add to SSI benefits!