SS, Medicare and Medicade

With the War on terror, and the current status of the economy dominating politics these days, I was wondering if anyone had any info on either parties plan for these issues.

I get a weekly e-letter from investors insight. Todays issue described the magnitude of the problem and how both sides are willing to address it any time soon.

Basically in 10 years when 77 million baby boomers hit retirement, the estimated payout could be in the 45 trillion range. Thats Social Security, Medicare and medicade combined.

At that time our generation will have to decide either to pay for it or destroy the plan destroying a huge portion of our populations support system.

One way to fix the problem could be a 12% federal sales tax imposed right now for the next 10 years. The only problem with this is that most economic specialists predict that this would send our country into a deep and long recession. Obviously neither candidate will do that.

My generation Has to be aware of this. It is being pushed to the back burner by both sides on purpose.

Any Thoughts?

Yes, it is going to be a huge problem.But where does the $45 trillion figure come from and what time period does it cover?

I say to hell with anybody that didn’t plan for retirement and let their teeth rot out.

The 45 trillion is the estimated payout or promise to pay once the 77 million boomers hit the system. Once The Go on, it is much harder to take it away, almost impossible, so that is why 45 trillion is a real number. I think it might even be low. With advances in medicine and such people might just live an extra 10 years. Of course they might work an extra bit too which would be good.

People saving for their own retirement has been discussed many times. It is usually the first response to the question from conservatives. The problem is some people will fail to save enough and unless you are willing for americans, and a lot of them to start starving to death and getting knocked off by the flu when a simple antibiotic would have saved them then we need to have a more comprehensive plan.

Maybe anyone that has X amount of retirement savings is automatically out of SS. Therefore only giving it to those who need it.

I’ve always looked at SS tax and medicare tax the same way I looked at income and sales tax. That money is gone and is never coming back. You have to plan on never seeing it again, and then if you do, it’s a bonus.

Then what the fuhk have I been paying social security for? IMO to get it you’ve got to give it.

Good idea, but it wouldnt work. Not everyone has the luxury to being able to put away some savings but penalizing someone for doing so just wont fly, especially when some of the same “retirement” people put in more SS then “those who need it”.

I dont have the answer, I just know that one’s not it. :slight_smile:

Any chance of posting the letter?

Was it similar to this article?

One of the problems with SS is that everyone wants it now. The origin plan for the system was that only those who need SS were to recieve it.

I agree with the previous poster in that I pay about 5% of my income and my employer chips the same amount but that money is gone. I doubt I will ever see it.

I started an IRA when is was 17 and damn near fully maxed out my contribution to it every year for the last 7 years. I wish that I could add that extra 5% of my income to a plan that I controlled and that I could manage and I could could be guaranteed to received. The retirement system needs to be privatized.

That would be the one.

Someone might want to forward this to their congressman…oh yeah, its that good.

Following BeDZ discussion, it might be beneficial to have the ability to ‘opt out’ of SS. Maybe have the option of how much SS to take out ($X) on your W2, then when you are eligible for SS you are entitiled to $3X (generic number which is greater than inflation over your working career as incentive) in SS returns to you. If you, however, decide to not put any moolah into SS and solely into retirement then obviously you dont get any and have to sustain on your retirement. There would have to be a buffer created from federal income tax to cover some people at times but then it also become a medicaid/care issue.

Ok, maybe hold off on sending it to your congressman until we can make some revisions. :slight_smile:

We, meaning, citizens of the United States of America, do not have an inherent right to collect our FICA tax payments; worded differently, I
have no legal claim to the money Uncle Sam takes out of MY paycheck.

This startling news broke in the case of Fleming v. Nestor. Bulgarian immigrant Ephram Nestor, who had been deported from the U.S. for being a Communist, sued after Congress canceled the Social Security payments of deportees. He claimed ownership over his FICA tax payments made between 1936 and 1955. But the Supreme Court ruled they werent his at all.

This decision reflected the precedent in Helvering v. Davis. In 1937, it ruled that Social Security taxes are
to be paid into the Treasury like any other internal revenue generally, and are not earmarked in any way.

I found this out only a short while ago doing some research thanks to a Macro. class I am currently taking. I must say, however respectfully, Fuck! If this is the case, I will never see SS payments (I am 21 years old).

Is there hope? There may be…

SAFE (Seniors Against Federal Extravagance) has recently
endorsed a plan proposed by the Cato Institute. The plan proposes a worker to use their half of payroll tax (6.2%
of income) to fund individually owned, privately invested accounts. The plan is linked here. This is an option that I really do believe in; I think if contributors have some control over their (government) retirement plan, hopefully some of the problems with these programs will need to be changed. Potential of insolvency is one thing; pissed off citizens is an altogther different issue.

Cato Institute plan @


I am wondering about this “to hell with anybody do didn’t plan for their retirement” comment. If there’s a system in place that you’re actively paying into over your entire career, then that is part of your overall “plan”. You’re not being irresponsible; we can’t all be expected to have redundant systems in place for every contingency. Especially people who don’t earn a lot to begin with. We have to make certain assumptions when we make any life decision.

Let’s say your plan is to work hard and be responsible and invest your money in the stock market for 40 years so that you’ll be wealthy upon retirement, but then when that time comes it turns out that the CEOs of all the companies you invested in were crooks and all those stocks go South and you wind up with less than you put in. Is it fair if someone then says, “To hell with anybody who didn’t use their money to buy gold!” ?

Anyone of my generation (I am 29) who plans to retire on SS and medicare is being actively delusional.

For SS to survive in anything resembling its current form, the retirement age will have to be pushed way back to reflect the increases to lifespan since the benefit age was set.

Basically, SS is a fixed-benefit pension plan. Private companies stopped using these long ago – they are too expensive. Now companies do fixed-contribution plans --this is basically what Bush has proposed to transistion SS to – very slowly – via having the individual accounts – akin to 401(k)s.

Well it turns out that the White House was lying about the 400 billion dollar price tag for the Prescription Drug plan they just passed. They underestimated by 143 billion dollars, in order to get it through Congress.

A few Republican Senators said they would not pass anything that cost more than 400 billion. So the White House cooked the figures to get the bill passed.

A staffer wanted to notify Congress that the real figure was 543 billion, but the head of the agency (forget the name) threatened to fire him if he did. That information is out there, if you look.

One Republican congressman did not want to vote for the bill. He was offered a bribe for his vote, and threatened if he would not cooperate. There is an FBI investigation into this.

The vote was delayed beyond the usual 15 minutes, to a 2.5 hour delay, while Republicans tried to coerce enough votes.

Now it turns out that they lied about the price tag.

My question for Republicans is “How low will you go?” When will you decide that your party has crossed the line, and that you can no longer support your party no matter what, even when it is at the expense of the good of America? When will you say ‘enough is enough’?

How can the GOP call themselves ‘fiscal conservatives’ when the current bunch have been the biggest spenders in American history?

Please don’t tell me the Iraq invasion is the reason for runaway spending… THE WAR COSTS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN OUR BUDGET. The pricetag for the war is a “supplement” to the regular budget and is not calculated in the spending estimates, incase you didn’t know that…


I just wanted to commend you on your excellent use of citations. Very good work. I would also like to add that your mother was convicted of prostitution in 1972 after sucking dick for heroin in Las Vegas. That information is out there if you care to look for it.

I am gonna have to go with doogie on this lumpy, (mostly ccos I have too much other stuff to do to bother looking up those claims). Next time you want to say things like that, give us a few links as footnotes so we can all take a peek and then agree how evil the GOP is :slight_smile:

It is usually very difficult for me to get angry. But after reading this thread, and putting some thought into a post of my own, I must admit that I am quite enraged. Vegita, doogie, Thumper all had meaningful things to add to the thread. Overall, there was good discussion about a relevant topic. Then some fuckbag has to inject a steaming pile of shit and go on a rant that has essentially now stopped a exchange of intelligent (and divergent) ideas. I thought about taking the high road on this, but it’s not often I get fuming fucking mad. I might as well make use of it and have a better night’s sleep. There are really only three things I really hate. The first is stupid people. The second is period blood. The third is people who put a cockblock like damn in a freeflowing river of ideas. Lumpy, once again, has placed partisanship above logic, and like his compatriots, chose vitriol over discourse. Lumpy, fuck you. I would really like to shit in your GROW!, but because the price is so nice, that wouldn’t be harsh enough. To the rest of you: Since I have sunk to his level, you do not need to. Let the discussion resume.


You can’t refute anything I said, can you? Ever read a newspaper?

Boy, it’s good to know that Texas schoolchildren are under the guidance of intelligent people like you.

Ever hear of Google? Ask some of your 4th graders to explain how it works to you.

Fri, Mar. 12, 2004

Medicare expert alleges firing threat over drug benefit cost
By TONY PUGH Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON: The government’s top expert on Medicare costs was warned that he would be fired if he revealed administration cost estimates that could have torpedoed the prescription-drug plan, he has alleged.

When the House passed the benefit by five votes last November, the White House was embracing an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office that it would cost $395 billion in the first 10 years. But for months, the administration’s own analysts in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had concluded repeatedly that the drug benefit could cost upward of $100 billion more than that.

Withholding the higher cost projections was important because the White House was facing a revolt from 13 conservative House Republicans who had vowed to vote against the Medicare drug bill if it cost more than $400 billion.

Five months before the November House vote, the government’s chief Medicare actuary had estimated that a similar plan the Senate was considering would cost $551 billion over 10 years. Two months after Congress approved the new benefit, White House Budget Director Joshua Bolten disclosed that he expected it to cost $534 billion.

Richard S. Foster, the chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which produced the $551 billion estimate, told colleagues last June that he would be fired if he revealed numbers relating to the higher estimate to lawmakers.

This whole episode, which has now gone on for three weeks, has been pretty nightmarish, Foster wrote in an e-mail to some of his colleagues on June 26, just before the first congressional vote on the drug bill. I’m perhaps no longer in grave danger of being fired, but there remains a strong likelihood that I will have to resign in protest of the withholding of important technical information from key policy-makers for political reasons.

Foster didn’t quit, but congressional staffers and lawmakers who worked on the bill said he no longer was permitted to answer important questions about the bill’s cost.

Cybele Bjorklund, the Democratic staff director for the House Ways and Means health subcommittee, which worked on the drug benefit, said that Thomas A. Scully then the director of the Medicare office told her he ordered Foster to withhold information and that Foster would be fired for insubordination if he disobeyed.

Health and Human Services Department officials turned down repeated requests by Knight Ridder Newspapers to interview Foster.

In an interview with Knight Ridder, Scully, a former health industry lobbyist deeply involved in the administration’s campaign to pass the drug benefit, denied Bjorklund’s assertion that he had threatened to fire Foster.

At a Ways and Means Committee hearing last month, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson all but repudiated Scully’s tactics.


The information you presented did have validity to the origional topic. The way you presented the information was not to further the discussion of what to do about the situation. Your post was clearly an attempt to lay blame for the situation. This does nothing to fix the problem it only causes a separation amongst people who would work together to fix it.

While it is true that the white house underestimated the figures, it is not the first or the last time that it has happened and both parties are prone to spend more than they say they will. In fact I would be willing to bet that not one modern president has ever had a spending year under what was budgeted. That is unfortunately what our culture has deemed acceptable. We vote for the person who promises the most and then we forget what they promised or don’t care.

I would love to see you post in the future, I would however love to see if you could find any info of a democrat who has worsened the situation. This would be the best way to “point out” who is not helping the problem.