Greatest Generation and Greediest Generations (Ben)

Alan Simpson(R-Balls of Steel) has been speaking bluntly about the Debt Commission.

But Simpson said that while every interest group that testified before his committee agreed that the mounting federal debt is a national tragedy, they would then talk about why government funding to their area of interest shouldn't be touched.

"We had the greatest generation -- I think this is the greediest generation," he said.

We are going to be hearing a lot of this when the Commission releases it's final plan. Special interest groups who want the debt cut, but howl when it is there program that is getting cut. The coming cuts are going to be painful and none of us are going to be spared, but we don't really have anymore options. The medicine always tastes terrible.

Lazy Exit Questions: Are there areas in government that you think shouldn't be cut at all? Are any of you collecting SS or will be soon and think you shouldn't have to take a hit, but the younger generations should?

Posted by: Open Blogger at 02:20 PM



Comments

1 Dude. Nothing's going to get cut. We're just going to keep pretending until we've fallen into the Neo-neolithic Age.

Posted by: Truman North at November 27, 2010 02:24 PM (HLGCA)

2 I'm 41 and self-employed. I would gladly give up my SS when I retireif I couldopt out of the system entirely right now. I've never actually thought it would be there anyway and have planned accordingly.

Posted by: Ms Choksondik at November 27, 2010 02:25 PM (3jZ02)

3 It's easy for Simpleson to call other seniors "greedy" when he's got his congressional pension, congressional healthcare (zero co-pay, zero deductible, etc.), and other congressional perks that congress has continually voted themselves. For some reason, his whine doesn't mean as much as if it had come from a real citizen, not an 'elite' who has no idea what life is really like.

Posted by: RoadRunner at November 27, 2010 02:25 PM (KOt+X)

4 I'm in the Army and I think Sec. Gates could figure out a way to cut 10% of the budget if congress allows him to, whether it be in airframes, carrier groups, or pay and benefits. Keep in mind: I support this and I'd be directly affected.

Posted by: da kine at November 27, 2010 02:26 PM (yxTbk)

5 I'm in the Army and I think Sec. Gates could figure out a way to cut 10% of the budget if congress allows him toNot in Virginia he can't.

Posted by: Majority Leader Eric Cantor at November 27, 2010 02:28 PM (uCjoj)

6 Alan Simpson, a brand of greed you can believe in.

Posted by: Journolist at November 27, 2010 02:28 PM (LwLqV)

7 "Are there areas in government that you think shouldn't be cut at all?"
Nope. The only debate is how much to cut per area.
You can just give me every penny back I've had stolen from mepaid intoSS and not steal collect another cent.
Shoot, I'll take it backwithout interest.
Aw hell, just keep it and just stop stealing collecting it from me from here on out.

Posted by: Burn the Witch at November 27, 2010 02:30 PM (fLHQe)

8 The truth is most of us don't even know but a small sample of the panoply of programs the federal budget pays for, so the question is somewhat unfair.

Ideas: needs-testing Social Security, and gradually raising the age over a generation so that the payments-start age is that which corresponds to life expectancy when the program was launch--maybe 75 or 80?

Kill farm subsidies quickly.

I can't name more than ten federal programs off the top of my head; may I haz menu, please?

Posted by: ParisParamus at November 27, 2010 02:31 PM (gMzAL)

9 [...] are there areas in government that you think shouldn't be cut at all?

The military. Only the military. We might have to freeze them for, say, 5 years, though. Cut everything else back to 2000 levels. Make the Bush tax cuts permanent. Eliminate the Capital Gains tax, and inheritance tax, and lower the corporate tax to 1% below the Canadian and Irish taxes, whichever is lower.

Do that and wait a year to see the results. Then cut more from individual departments and programs, in a targeted fashion.

Posted by: Josef K. at November 27, 2010 02:34 PM (7+pP9)

10 This is fucking rich, old federally employed asshole calls other people greedy.

Fuck you Simpleton, unlike yourself and a few tens of thousands like you, we actually worked for a living, and didn't receive a check signed by the federal government.

Posted by: Unclefacts, Confuse A Cat, Ltd. at November 27, 2010 02:34 PM (eCAn3)

11 One of the things the debt commision is looking at is the Military retirement system... they want to change it so you don't get anything until age 60.
Its interesting that they are NOT talking about the Government employee retirment system, where you CAN get retired after 30 years, and collect.
So its possible that a 30 year military retiree who entered the Service at age 18... would NOT be able to collect his retirment for the 12 years between 48 and 60... while a Government Employee who Piloted a F'n DESK... would.
Just wrong IMO.

Posted by: Romeo13 at November 27, 2010 02:36 PM (AdK6a)

12 I agree with those who say Congressional benefits ought to be cut first. Especially for retired Congress people. Will never happen, of course, but there you go.

I'm currently on unemployment, and it would be painful but I'd support some cuts there. Of course I'd rather have a job but none are forthcoming.

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at November 27, 2010 02:37 PM (bvfVF)

13 "their program"

Posted by: Mr Grammer & Spelling at November 27, 2010 02:38 PM (kMBIN)

14 Here's a start, no one who is a federal employee of any kind should be paid one thin dime more than the lowest paid serviceman or woman.

Posted by: Unclefacts, Confuse A Cat, Ltd. at November 27, 2010 02:38 PM (eCAn3)

15 33% Across the board Paycut for any NON MILITARY Government emplyee making over 75K a year (first 75K to be exempt).

Posted by: Romeo13 at November 27, 2010 02:39 PM (AdK6a)

16 #17, but that would make the system less solvent (more bankrupt), not more.

Posted by: ParisParamus at November 27, 2010 02:45 PM (gMzAL)

17 I currently receive SS benefits, but they don't figure significantly into my (our) retirement funding. We provided for our retirement on our own. Personally, I'd like a refund of the tax extorted from me over the years,never mind my employer(s) portion. Way too much has been made of SS as a be-all for retirement, instead of a supplement. That needs to be addressed.

Don't really know what to do with the ones who don't have a retirement,because they DONT have enough to save, only enough to exist on. Maybe that could be the justification for SS, the numbers sure would be less.

I agree with Josef, leave the military alone--the price isn't that great for the benefit. As for the rest, freeze spending at 2005 levels, and see where that takes us.

Posted by: irongrampa at November 27, 2010 02:45 PM (ud5dN)

18 "I'm old. Gimme gimme gimme!"

- Grandpa Simpson

Posted by: Mystery Meat at November 27, 2010 02:46 PM (9AJat)

19 I'm 53 and all the federal gov't has done for me (outside of defense, which I fully support), has been to give me a pain in the ass. Stories of waste and incompentence are legion, yet nothing gets done.
If the whole damn thing was cut 50%, I'd celebrate.

Posted by: HoundOfDoom at November 27, 2010 02:47 PM (CFrIf)

20 Cut Everything. Just reciently in N.C. the Dirrector of the Agriculture responded to the governer's request to plan and prepair forcutsby 10% by saying he refused to do such a thing. Business have been forced to cut by even more. Bring in a consultant and start cutting. My father in law told me last week he fully expected his doctor to cut him, or he would need to start payingin cash, due to medicare cuts.Let nothing stand look and cut as needed, I am sure that it will hurt me in some way either imediately or down the road, but do it anyway,I will get by.

Posted by: Picric at November 27, 2010 02:48 PM (t95Y0)

21 And the REAL way to take care of this debt?
Roll back spending to 2008 levels... and then get the EPA and such out of the way so we can actually USE our resources.
We COULD grow our way out of this, but only by Cap'ing spending, then creating the conditions for growth...

Posted by: Romeo13 at November 27, 2010 02:48 PM (AdK6a)

22 It's easy to name programs to cut. The problem is that almost everyone names a program that doesn't affect them directly. For example, I am all in favor of cutting out farm subsidies altogether. It won't happen, though, because even the small population farm states have 2 Senators.


15
Here's a start, no one who is a federal employee of any kind should be
paid one thin dime more than the lowest paid serviceman or woman.

This is an unserious approach, but I guess it was meant tongue-in-cheek. How many people want to fly on a plane with ATCs who are paid that little in control? How many want to go to trial with a Federal judge who is paid that little? Do you really think that an MD at the CDC can be paid like that?

The real hard nut of the problem is to first figure out what government should be doing and then pay to get quality people to do it.

Posted by: pep at November 27, 2010 02:48 PM (PSzeI)

23 Cutting Civil Service pay rates may be emotionally satisfying, but it will not get us out of the hole we're in.

I think we need to just cut everyone - I'd rather not cut the military, but I could accept some cuts if it was necessary to get the rest of the cuts through. In my ideal world, we cut every department back to 2000 funding levels for next year. For every year after that, cut the funding back one more year: i.e., 2012 level is 1999, 2013 level is 1998, etc. This sends a clear signal to the Chinese and Japanese (our largest bondholders) that we are serious.

Starting in 2012 we cut or eliminate whole programs. In 2017 - after the elections - we eliminate whole departments (energy, education, etc.)

By 2020 we should be operating with a budget smaller than we had in 1975. Combine that with making the Bush tax cuts permanent, ending the capital gains and inheritance taxes and keeping the corporate tax rate below that of Canada and Ireland, and you'll see the economy come back big time.

Posted by: Josef K. at November 27, 2010 02:48 PM (7+pP9)

24 Well I am OLD but I have already come out publicly in favor of this whole proposal in my piddly-ass blog...so there. Don't call me greedy, asswipe.

Posted by: jeannie at November 27, 2010 02:49 PM (lYqM/)

25 The "Greatest Generation" is a pile of horseshit fostered by that asshole Tom Brokaw. Sets my fucking teeth on edge every time I see it.

Posted by: SurferDoc at November 27, 2010 02:50 PM (o3bYL)

26 Truman normally I would agree with you, but I am still amazed that a debt panel created by democrats would even talk about SS or medicare reform. The fact that it is openly being talked about is a big step forward.

The reason I asked the exit question is because I wass kinda dismayed that the teaparty declared SS and medicare off limitS when they are the largest expenditure. I get the feeling that people say they want cuts, but not to there benefits. I see a lot of people who are older always say,"well I paid into the system so I deserve it.". Well I'm 26, I am going to pay into it for the rest of my life knowing the benefits won't be there for me. Even the SS aministration says its only 40 percent funded for my generation.

Posted by: ben at November 27, 2010 02:50 PM (9Qxlb)

27 so we got some asshole politician saying I'm greedy? what has this butthole ever given up for this country? his paycheck, his pension, his inflated sense of self-importance, anything?

it'd be well worth going to jail just to be able to kick his ass down a couple flights of stairs.

greedy? no, I'm PISSED OFF. at politicians and their knob gobbling media boyfriends.

Ace, what'd it take to get some press passes for the morons? I do not think modern politicians have any idea what 'in your face' means, but I do believe we could show them.

Posted by: cali grump at November 27, 2010 02:50 PM (hL0k8)

28 Really pisses me off to hear the loons say SS taxes should be UNCAPPED and Medicare taxes RAISED and tell me that I wont' get EITHER because they need to "means" test it. Screw you.

Posted by: Pissed off at November 27, 2010 02:50 PM (tWO8i)

29 All govt pensions (local, state, federal) should be eliminated immediately, including for those who are currently getting them - that includes especially Alan Simpson himself.
Anybody who is on a public pension right should be dumped into the social security system.
The money saved from not paying all those govt leeches our hard-earned money for their fat pensions would float social security for the near term. Long term, we're all toast.
Oh, and the current number of govt employees at every level should be cut in half. And what we pay the half that's left should be half of what they are making - only exceptions are those in uniform (military, police, fire).

Posted by: Boots at November 27, 2010 02:51 PM (neKzn)

30 What say we just go back to the constitutional mandates for our federal gov. We need to eliminate the dept of education, health and wellfare, and ALL the redundancies that come with it. The money we give to the arts, hud, every Department that belongs to the states that has been taken over by the feds. The only thing that needs to be kept and raised is DEFENSE. We need to EXPAND the number of air wings, the number of naval craft, and the man power of the Army. Its the only constitutional mandate the gov. has. The rest needs to be sent back to the states where they belong.

Posted by: jainphx at November 27, 2010 02:52 PM (ew5pX)

31 Are any of you collecting SS or will be soon and think you shouldn't have to take a hit, but the younger generations should?
I've always planned as if it's not going to be there by the time I'm eligible. My only dog in the fight now is to get this country out of it's downward spiral towards economic ruin. SS won't mean squat to anybody if we don't.

Posted by: Soap MacTavish at November 27, 2010 02:52 PM (vbh31)

32 I don't mind the concept of cutting military spending, however I don't see a justification when there are so many other areas of waste and abuse, and the entitlement spending is the real killer of our financial future. I'm much more open to a massive reorganization of current military spending. This would include cuts to some boondoggle programs (*cough*F-53*cough*)

Regarding military retirement, it's a fucking insult. You don't do 20-30 years in the military and come out without any problems. Most of the guys I know who retired had fucked up backs, shoulders, knees, you name it. They can't jump straight into a lot of physical jobs, and that pension check often gives them enough cushion to cover going back to school, or taking a lower paying job that they can do. Meanwhile, my cousin's husband can retire from the police force in 20 years with 100% of his paycheck as his pension, plus perks. I would be fine with offering military retirees with 20 years of time the option to delay receiving their pension checks until 65, and allowing them to get 70% instead of 50%.

Regarding Social Security, current recipients and those 55+ should get no cuts. 45-55 should receive at 75%, 35-45 should receive at 50%, and under 35 should not expect to receive any pension. 35-55 can opt to delay receiving social security until they are 72, and will receive a 25% bump in their monthly check.

Posted by: Alex at November 27, 2010 02:53 PM (yY28H)

33 Lazy Exit Questions: Are there areas in government that you think shouldn't be cut at all?

--Yeah, pay for our armed forces in combat.

Posted by: logprof at November 27, 2010 02:53 PM (BP6Z1)

34 I'm in my second year of Medicare, and have been taking SS payout since I was 64. I chose an Advantage package at zero premium ($0) per month, and my max out of pocket cost, what I can expect to pay myself that the coverage does not, rises from about $6,800 to about $8,800 in 2012.

We had, my wife and I, employer-group coverage, but with high deductibles, until I took early retirement over ten years ago. Were able to continue under COBRA until I turned 65 and went on Medicare, but my wife, a couple years younger, had to buy individual coverage and will do so for one more year. Cost is over $1,400 monthly. She enters Medicare in 12 months.

The Advantage plans are in the crosshairs, and I expect to see my costs rise dramatically soon, after 2011. If they kill it completely for me, I will buy one of the Medigap policies, probably the least expensive one, and if today's costs are a guide, can expect to pay about $200 monthly. My wife will do same.

So, we are already seeing trimming. Are we willing to endure more? Yes. How much more? We don't know.

Prior to my aging into Medicare and SS monthly income, we had about $1500 monthly in health care costs, including premiums for coverage, and our own out of pocket. We were well covered for catastrophic illness or emergency care. We had no SS income.

We were OK. Would we forego all now? Hey, maybe, if it brought back the kind of economic growth we had before.


Posted by: Sent-From-My-Commodore 64 at November 27, 2010 02:55 PM (4sQwu)

35 Posted by: jainphx at November 27, 2010 02:52 PM (ew5pX)
Add in the transfer of all Non Military and Non used Federal Land to STATE ownership? Especialy out West? So they can manage their OWN Resources???
Intersting question.... could a STATE use Emminent Domain, to seize unused Land from the Federal Government?

Posted by: Romeo13 at November 27, 2010 02:56 PM (AdK6a)

36 Every stinking Department should be cut or eliminated before we cut one penny from defense. Defense is the main reason for the federal government, that and boarder security, say how they doing on that?

Posted by: jainphx at November 27, 2010 02:57 PM (ew5pX)

37 can't find an email for Alan K. Simpson but here's his phone number: 307-527-7891. his law office is at 1135 14th Street P.O. Box 490
Cody, Wyoming 82414

in case you want to send him a Christmas greeting. my dog just took a dump in the yard, and i might mail that to him. just to show him how generous i really am.

Posted by: cali grump at November 27, 2010 02:58 PM (hL0k8)

38 Congressional pensions/health benefits should be eliminated immediately since they are the ones who caused the problem.

Next, implement Paul Ryan's plan.

Posted by: Uncle Jed at November 27, 2010 02:58 PM (AOt54)

39 Regarding Social Security, current recipients and
those 55+ should get no cuts. 45-55 should receive at 75%, 35-45 should
receive at 50%, and under 35 should not expect to receive any pension.
35-55 can opt to delay receiving social security until they are 72, and
will receive a 25% bump in their monthly check.


Posted by: Alex at November 27, 2010 02:53 PM (yY28H)
THIS^
We need to tinker with the age you can receive benefits, and the amount of benefits, by age. Once this is accepted, we will have turned a corner.
One other thing. We have to eliminate the SS tax. If we cut off SS for under 35s, there's no way they are going to pay the tax. We'd then, set up a system where anyone who hires or employs an over 35 worker will pay a penalty (the SS tax) for doing so. Employers would have to know the age of their employees, so they could pay SS tax, or not.
Does anyone doubt that companies would be shedding over 35 workers left and right? It is tough enough to get a job at 40 or 50 - this would make it even harder.Whatever we do, we better think through the consequences very carefully.

Posted by: Josef K. at November 27, 2010 03:03 PM (7+pP9)

40 I have had the pleasure of drinking with Sen. Simpson. He is a very tall man. I am a tall man, and he has another 4 inches on me.

Posted by: navybrat at November 27, 2010 03:03 PM (Q+uIe)

41 Hands off my Congressional Recess! You can cut everything else. I'm sorry if that makes me seem selfish.

Posted by: t-bird at November 27, 2010 03:04 PM (Pm93V)

42
in b4 FUBAR tells y'all to go eff yourselfs

Posted by: Soothsayer with Cranberry Sauce at November 27, 2010 03:05 PM (uFokq)

43 For the record, Simpson said the stupidest thing he ever did was the immigration reform bill he co-authored that Reagan signed back in the '80s. Simpson - Mazzoli I think it was.

Posted by: navybrat at November 27, 2010 03:06 PM (Q+uIe)

44 Even for parts of the government that we can't afford to have service levels cut there have to be DRAMATIC salary and benefit cuts for those working there.

We are paying far too much for the real service levels we are getting.

Posted by: 18-1 at November 27, 2010 03:06 PM (bgcml)

45
It's not that I'm against cutting Defense - it's that I'm against cutting it just for the sake of saying "see! we cut defense!". If we can get the job done by spending 500 bill* instead of 550 bill - fine. But don't cut def by 5% because every other part of the budget is going to be cut 5%.

*or whatever this years def budget is.

Defense is an area where saving $50 billion this year can cost us many trillions (and lives!) 10 years later.

We sure saved a lot of money on the Defense budget in the 1920s and the first half of the 1930s didn't we?

(many other examples omitted - you get the point)

As far as cutting other parts of the budget (mandatory or discretionary). Other than debt service, it's ALL ON THE TABLE.

Posted by: Comrade Arthur at November 27, 2010 03:06 PM (MX3bq)

46 Posted by: Josef K. at November 27, 2010 03:03 PM (7+pP9)

Instituting a new tax policy is assumed. I think that most younger workers, knowing that they weren't going to be receiving SS, would demand a greater employer contribution to retirement plans, so I'm not as worried about 35+ workers getting the shaft. But yes, most of the cost would be shifted to the governments main books.

Posted by: Alex at November 27, 2010 03:08 PM (yY28H)

47
I got the impression Simpson was saying the younger generation of leeches on all these entitlements are the greedy ones, not the old bags.

Posted by: Soothsayer with Cranberry Sauce at November 27, 2010 03:08 PM (uFokq)

48 I think the military budget should not be cut.

SS, Medicare and Medicaid should be.


Posted by: astonerii at November 27, 2010 03:08 PM (cRQbJ)

49 I'm turning 26 in a couple weeks and have pretty much accepted the fact that I am boned. Sure hope the previous generations enjoyed their ponzi scheme.
That said, most of my generation is pretty worthless as well.

Posted by: Grayson at November 27, 2010 03:08 PM (B+sJU)

50 Let me opt out of social security. Stop taxing the SHIT out of my successful investments(punishing me for succeeding).

Stop subsidizing my losses through bailouts and tax write offs(rewarding me for fucking up).

Stop trying to use taxation and subsidy and price controls to direct my activities towards whatever stupid fad you've been conned into thinking is "settled science" this week.

Stop running things that don't need you to run them or even be involved wit them.

Stop running the health care system. Stop trying to vastly expand the part of the health system that you run. Stop trying to sign me up for a badly disguised privately run global taxing initiative, created by dishonest authoritarian whack jobs, who insist that computer models, that can't predict current events from past data, and a corrupted peer review process, somehow PROVE beyond any possible doubt, that CO2 is a massive immediate threat to human life, that justifies almost ANY and EVERY political initiative.

Stop trying to govern at a national level where and when any and all stuff like land use and maintenance, water pumping, and energy production occurs and using small local arthropods or unsupported theories about where owls will and will not roost to do so.

Stop using the food market to produce energy.
Stop trying to mandate the pace of technology development and adoption.

Stop ignoring nuclear power as a solution to clean energy.

DEAL with your own fucking border. Learn to tell over the line basket case neighbors like Mexico "Fuck you! Either solve you own problems or throw away your sovereignty and ask for emergency restructuring help, and GET YOUR DAMNED HAND OFF OF MY TITS because THEY ARE NOT YOUR TITS and WAKE UP because in case you haven't worked it out, I CAN PUNCH WAY THE HELL GODDAMN HARDER than YOU CAN. "

That ought to lower spending very quickly.

Posted by: cackfinger at November 27, 2010 03:09 PM (TUBcJ)

51 privatize social security and let me make my own retirement decisions. Why the hell should the government use my tax dollars to pay a pension to old people so that when I retire Social Security won't be there. I thank those retirees for their service to the nation but i'm sorry it pisses me off that we can't privatize SS because Democrats yell the sky is falling and evil republicans want to take away mom and pops free money and it pisses me off that old people believe them.

fuck them all.

Posted by: hueydiamondpooty at November 27, 2010 03:10 PM (qI72i)

52 Anyone know a site where I can get information on the federal budget for last year, by department? I'd like to try to assess what our budget would have been had we only funded constitutionally-mandated responsibilities.

Posted by: Josef K. at November 27, 2010 03:10 PM (7+pP9)

53 We sure saved a lot of money on the Defense budget in the 1920s and the first half of the 1930s didn't we?
Posted by: Comrade Arthur at November 27, 2010 03:06 PM (MX3bq)
One of my favorite questions to ask those who wish to cut defense RD...
"Do you really think the Japenese would have attacked Pearl Harbor, if we had already deployed the F-86 Saber Jet in 1938?"
Because that is about what we did when we cancelled the F-22.
Deterence is not cheap, but it does cost much less than the War it deters...

Posted by: Romeo13 at November 27, 2010 03:10 PM (AdK6a)

54 WE began this downward spiral under the "magnificent" stewardship of that great communist FDR. We have been looking out of this deep hole ever since, and only made deeper by Johnson and his great society garbage. The ponzi scheme that is social security was never meant to be a pension. not many people of the great unwashed lived to 65, and then our great government took all that money that was in the fund, and applied it to the general fund, out and out thievery and we "allowed" them to do it. I'm currently on SS, and no way can I live on what I receive, so at 68 I'm still having to work if I at all want a comfortable living, you see I saw all this prior, but refused to believe it, until I saw it with my own eyes like so many many Americans. It was all there, all the proof one needed, but the MSM wrote such rosy assessments and made people think that red was blue. Now with the alternate media the proof that has been there all along gets out in the open. My one prayer is that it's not too late.

Posted by: jainphx at November 27, 2010 03:12 PM (ew5pX)

55 All govt pensions (local, state, federal) should be eliminated immediately

Oh God yes!

Have the government incorporate their pensions into SS....if it is good enough for everyone else...

Posted by: 18-1 at November 27, 2010 03:14 PM (bgcml)

56 Have the government incorporate their pensions into SS....if it is good enough for everyone else...

Make the military pension system the standard. 50% at 20 years, 75% at 30 years, and 100% at 40 years of service. Go with the average salary over the final four years, and cap the yearly income to say $60k, plus adjustments for inflation, and readjust the baseline every ten years. This cuts off the high end earners, while not screwing the low end earners, and you can throw in my plan above to allow people to delay receiving their pension in exchange for a bump in the amount they receive.

Posted by: Alex at November 27, 2010 03:20 PM (yY28H)

57 Why would you ask the X department if the X department should be cut?

Set them against each other.

Posted by: AmishDude at November 27, 2010 03:23 PM (BvBKY)

58 You can fix SS by letting Death do its thing.

1) If you were born on or after a certain date you get no SS.

2) If you were born on the same date in 1, you still pay SS taxes, but for only a limited time, say 20 years.

3) If you were born before the date set in 1, you get the normal SS deal.

You end up with one generation paying for the retirement of another, just as it is now, but then it stops. SS simply dies.

Yeah, the young folks get screwed, but they are screwed already and at least they can see an end coming.

Posted by: eman at November 27, 2010 03:23 PM (kn74g)

59 I'm 38, but I think that the government should cut everything else before medicare and Social Security. I have been paying for that crap for 20 years and I won't get what I payed in, but I sure as hell don't want to take another haircut.

Everything else is special interest. I'm a geologist living in the Pac Northwest, but heck even the USGS,seismic hazard work,is more of a "special interest" than the two programs every citizen gets a cut in.

Posted by: Roy at November 27, 2010 03:27 PM (EuD1c)

60 I hate it when 50-year-old Boomer cretins say "we paid in to the social security system"

NO YOU DIDN'T!

You paid in a hell of a lot less than you expect to take out!

Posted by: Daryl Herbert at November 27, 2010 03:27 PM (44N9a)

61 I've suggested, in the past, and still suggest, that we admit that SS is bankrupt. So, here's my idea: admit that no one under fifty (that's me) is ever going to see a dime. We still have to support the people who are already dependent upon SS (I'm not taking granny's retirement, I have some sense), and people over 50 probably will end up needing it, considering what happened to retirement funds over the past few years.

But that's it. If you're under 50, though some money will still be taken from your payroll (it should be reduced sharply), you will not be getting SS.

I have no idea what to say about MediCare, mostly because I haven't looked at it the way I've looked at Social Security. But admitting the bankrupt nature of Social Security and winding it up would probably be a huge savings.

Again, I emphasize that I am under 50, and I am more than willing to take the hit.

Posted by: Dianna at November 27, 2010 03:28 PM (mKMj1)

62 The politicians sure did construct one hell of a trap.

All to keep them in power.

Posted by: eman at November 27, 2010 03:28 PM (kn74g)

63
The distinguished gentle-virus eman makes a sensible proposal.

It's sorta like attrition, which is a wonderful way of downsizing without really hurting anyone.

Posted by: Soothsayer with Cranberry Sauce at November 27, 2010 03:29 PM (uFokq)

64 The youth aren't being screwed, they are being forewarned, unlike the seniors of the world. Most seniors were fooled and are now being charged with selfishness, how quaint.

Posted by: jainphx at November 27, 2010 03:29 PM (ew5pX)

65 I am fifteen years from Social Security eligibility and would gladly see the retirement age extended five more years, then indexed for life expectancy.

I am also a physician and would gladly see Medicare abolished, even though it would cost me plenty in the short to medium term.

Really, little else is needed to balance the budget. I would still support savage cuts to the Federal bureaucracy, but for purposes of maximizing liberty, rather than economy.

Posted by: John Skookum at November 27, 2010 03:41 PM (4Gvu1)

66 What most fail to see is the distain for seniors that the Feds show. Just by age alone we are more expensive to the Fed largess. Who is it that needs more health care? The young? No thats why there are death panels, thats why according to Obama, seniors need to "take the pill" The crime of making a generation dependent on the thieves in Washington, who neither have to live by or otherwise be dependent to the same plans they concoct for the rest of us. The ex Governor of Colorado (can't remember his name) said that seniors have a duty to die, so that the rest may prosper. I just wish that all would just Think of the crime that has been committed by Washington.

Posted by: jainphx at November 27, 2010 03:41 PM (ew5pX)

67 52
Let me opt out of social security. Stop taxing the SHIT out of my successful investments(punishing me for succeeding).



Stop subsidizing my losses through bailouts and tax write offs(rewarding me for fucking up).



Stop trying to use taxation and subsidy and price controls to direct my
activities towards whatever stupid fad you've been conned into thinking
is "settled science" this week.



Stop running things that don't need you to run them or even be involved wit them.



Stop running the health care system. Stop trying to vastly expand the
part of the health system that you run. Stop trying to sign me up for a
badly disguised privately run global taxing initiative, created by
dishonest authoritarian whack jobs, who insist that computer models,
that can't predict current events from past data, and a corrupted peer
review process, somehow PROVE beyond any possible doubt, that CO2 is a
massive immediate threat to human life, that justifies almost ANY and
EVERY political initiative.



Stop trying to govern at a national level where and when any and all
stuff like land use and maintenance, water pumping, and energy
production occurs and using small local arthropods or unsupported
theories about where owls will and will not roost to do so.



Stop using the food market to produce energy.

Stop trying to mandate the pace of technology development and adoption.



Stop ignoring nuclear power as a solution to clean energy.



DEAL with your own fucking border. Learn to tell over the line basket
case neighbors like Mexico "Fuck you! Either solve you own problems or
throw away your sovereignty and ask for emergency restructuring help,
and GET YOUR DAMNED HAND OFF OF MY TITS because THEY ARE NOT YOUR TITS
and WAKE UP because in case you haven't worked it out, I CAN PUNCH WAY
THE HELL GODDAMN HARDER than YOU CAN. "



That ought to lower spending very quickly.

OMG You literally write ever goddamn thing i was thinking including I CAN PUNCH HARDER THAN YOU CAN. except maybe DONT MAKE MY MAN TEACH YOU HOW TO DO IT RIGHT.

I am laughing so hard i nearly spit coffee on my keyboard.
failing this plan, Im with Ryan. And im handicapped and likely to take some discomfort here and there but it sure beats the US collapsing.

Posted by: Gushka at November 27, 2010 03:46 PM (93zw2)

68 What gets my cackles up ishow each department expands their charter into areas that have nothing to do with the intent of their department, or are expanded by Congress into areas not within their charter. That includes the DoD. So much money is doled out by special appropriations that it bloats that department's budget and, in addition, creates a distraction from that department's primary mission. I had to deal with that kind of crap in the military myself.
If I were President I would have every personin every section, every section in every office, every office in every agency, every agency in everybureau, every bureau in every service, and everyservice in every department justify their existance according to the Constitution, according to statute, according to regulation and according to usefulness. If they cannot justify all four requirements for existance they would be submitted to Congress fordeactivation (just like military units are)and defunding.

Posted by: Minuteman at November 27, 2010 03:48 PM (502+o)

69 >> #17, but that would make the system less solvent (more bankrupt), not more.

Right. Because all Ponzi schemes rely on recruiting a fresh crop of suckers.

Posted by: Andy at November 27, 2010 03:49 PM (Gcnuc)

70 If you are receiving SS benefits you paid nothing for them.

Instead, you paid for the folks who were collecting SS when you were working.

SS is deferred welfare.

Your money was stolen and you are living off stolen money.

Stolen because it was taken from you and others with lies.

Posted by: eman at November 27, 2010 03:53 PM (kn74g)

71 Minuteman has the right idea, the next president must ask ALL for their resignation letters, and then a vetting process be used to justify their positions.

Posted by: jainphx at November 27, 2010 03:55 PM (ew5pX)

72 Daniel Henninger (WSJ) recently stated the obvious, but so what: we need to figure out how to get the economy off life support pronto. He went further, and suggested that were it not for ObamaoCare and/or the financial regulation laws recently passed, that might have already happened.

So, step one, on day one, to do everything possible to defund ObamaoCare. I'm not even sure how that can be done, but it needs to be done. There can't be any doubt in anyone's mind that ObamaoCare will be a footnote, inoperative, rump piece of legislation.

Posted by: ParisParamus at November 27, 2010 03:56 PM (gMzAL)

73 The younger generations have already taken a hit by paying far higher FICA rates than their parents or grandparents

Posted by: av at November 27, 2010 03:57 PM (uCXFC)

74 Are there areas in government that you think shouldn't be cut at all?


The areas where the government is actually doing its constitutional duties efficiently and in a cost effective manner.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at November 27, 2010 03:59 PM (61b7k)

75 I've accepted the fact that I won't be seeing SocSec since I was 30. Back then I advocated letting people buy their way out. The system needs to turn itselfback over, because, like a turtle , it is upside-down.Now would be a good time to say: alright, you guys on SocSec now and the next 5 yearswon't see any changes, the next 5 after that years we will see you guys paid only 80% but the good news is that you are able to invest 20% of what you would have put into SocSec into a vehicle of your choosing, will that money and all earnings from it being tax free, the next 5 years will only receive 60% but they will invest 40% of what would have gone into SocSec with the same tax stipulation, and this would continue until people retire with 0% SocSec and their money that wouldhave gone into SocSec is 100% invested and tax free.

Posted by: Minuteman at November 27, 2010 04:05 PM (502+o)

76 The areas where the government is actually doing its constitutional duties efficiently and in a cost effective manner.

In other words cut it all. Cut spending, cut taxes, then cut spending again.

Posted by: John Galt at November 27, 2010 04:06 PM (NLWij)

77 "But don't cut def by 5% because every other part of the budget is going to be cut 5%.
"

No, the military should lead the way in cuts. To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, the prospect of being hanged focuses a
man's mind wonderfully. As the military knows, you don't get real
results unless you push hard for them. If the Defense Dept can't
identify a mere 5% slice of their combined
budget to cut without compromising national security, then, frankly,
they're just not trying.

I'm a strong believer in
defense, but this
isn't 1938, and we haven't been starving the military for the last
couple decades. The substantial wide-ranging spending decreases we need will
never happen until the armed forces budget is also on the table. Call it politics if you want, but it's the cold reality.




Posted by: GalosGann at November 27, 2010 04:10 PM (evvN+)

78 The entire methodology should focus on getting bureaucrats to act like bureaucrats.

Example plan: "The X Department is going to have a 10% cut in payroll for non-field-agents in every year we project or have a budget shortfall. You can personally receive your non-cut pay this year if you personally fire a non-field agent."

Posted by: Al at November 27, 2010 04:10 PM (MzQOZ)

79 Bush tried a sensible SS reform plan in 2005 and the Dems and Rinos squashed it.

SS is heroin for politicians. They ain't going to give it up easy.

Posted by: eman at November 27, 2010 04:13 PM (kn74g)

80 I'm one of those dirty rotten senior citizens that everyone likes to curse. Thing is, I'll be 71 in a couple of weeks and I'm still working and paying SS. And I've been paying into the SS for 56 years, at or near the maximum for most of the last 25 years.

I'd still be up for benefit cuts except for one small thing: There will be no "shared sacrifice". The flaming bastards in Washington will keep getting fatter while the senior citizens starve or are condemned to death by the "death panels". "Too old to pay taxes to your betters in Washington? Then just die, scum."

When the a$$holes in Washington give up some of their pie, I'll give up some of mine. But they will never be willing to do that until there is absolutely no other option except their deaths.

Until then, F- them.

Posted by: GaryS at November 27, 2010 04:34 PM (WFVmk)

81 >>The military. Only the military. We might have to freeze them for, say, 5 years, though. Cut everything else back to 2000 levels.

Spoken like someone who has no clue how much inexcusable fucking waste there is in DoD. I see it every day and I'm stunned and speechless.

Posted by: railwriter at November 27, 2010 04:36 PM (WovsE)

82 I'm one of those dirty rotten senior citizens that everyone likes to curse. Thing is, I'll be 71 in a couple of weeks and I'm still working and paying SS. And I've been paying into the SS for 56 years, at or near the maximum for most of the last 25 years.I'd still be up for benefit cuts except for one small thing: There will be no "shared sacrifice". The flaming bastards in Washington will keep getting fatter while the senior citizens starve or are condemned to death by the "death panels". "Too old to pay taxes to your betters in Washington? Then just die, scum."When the a$$holes in Washington give up some of their pie, I'll give up some of mine. But they will never be willing to do that until there is absolutely no other option except their deaths. Until then, F- them.
I'm not cursing you, please don't take it that way. However, I am making the point that every keeps yelling "make cuts" but when it comes to their program, well, it's too important.
I agree with Ace's theory that we cut EVERYTHING else first, and then and only then, make some reforms to social security.
It needs to be an all of the above proposition.
I don't fault you for taking social security, you did pay into it your whole life and you didn't have an option. However, you do have to keep in mind that people my age will pay into it our entire lives as well, but we're probably not going to get anything back.

Posted by: Ben at November 27, 2010 04:53 PM (DKV43)

83 I just think we need to really change the mentality that Social Security is a retirement plan. It's isn't. It was never meant that way. It was meant to suppliment your retirement. You should be able to retire comfortably without Social Security. Too many people retire with no savings and then become wholly dependent on social security. That is a problem. Even FDR didn't intend for it to become what it is now. The age set for collection was above the life expectancy back then.

Posted by: Ben at November 27, 2010 04:57 PM (DKV43)

84 Spoken like someone who has no clue how much inexcusable fucking waste there is in DoD. I see it every day and I'm stunned and speechless.
Posted by: railwriter at November 27, 2010 04:36 PM (WovsE)

Of course there's waste in the DoD. There's waste in every part of government.

Thing is, there always WILL be waste. It's the nature of the beast. You can't base defense cuts on expected savings from all that ever-elusive "fraud & abuse." You'll NEVER get rid of it.

Posted by: CoolCzech at November 27, 2010 05:06 PM (tJjm/)

85 Cut everything. Cut every department's budget by 10%.

Raise the SS collection age by 1 month per year until it matches new life expectancies. Then index it.

Start offering younger workers the option to opt out of part of their payments and invest in private retirement accounts instead.

But first, before we spread the misery ... everyone employed by the federal government takes a haircut.

They've had it best, so they lead the way in the "shared sacrifice."

No more guaranteed pensions. Fuck that. I lost mine in 2007. Do a 401k like the rest of us.

Congress takes a 25% pay cut and loses their lifetime health care bennies and fat pensions.

Everyone starts living under the same rules.

And government unions get outlawed. You're here to serve us, bitches. If you don't like the idea of public service then GTFO and make it on your own in the private sector.

Posted by: Warden at November 27, 2010 05:18 PM (V6HDd)

86 I used to pay the max each year into Social Security. I witnessed the cap increase each year.

That was before Hope Change came to America. Thanks to Barry Hussein Soetoro Obamadinijad I no longer have the maximum amount stolen from me each year.

I guess there's a silver lining in everything if you look hard enough.

Posted by: TexBob at November 27, 2010 05:22 PM (7cXE7)

87 Kill farm subsidies quickly.That's got my vote. I'm not the smartest person around and I don't have much idea how the whole thing works, but I do know that the large majority of the farmers I know have teenagers who drive better cars than I do. Poor farmers, my butt.

Posted by: katya, the designated driver at November 27, 2010 05:22 PM (HI9xm)

88 are there areas in government that you think shouldn't be cut at all?The military.
Ditto.

Posted by: katya, the designated driver at November 27, 2010 05:24 PM (HI9xm)

89
I agree with Truman North (comment 1). This medicine is only taken voluntarily when it is taken at gun point.

Place scare quotes around either or both "voluntarily" or "gun point".

Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie at November 27, 2010 05:31 PM (NKiqb)

90 Actually, federal employees hired after the 1980's all get a 401K sort of retirement deal. They're vaunted heath benefits amount to a standard Blue Cross/Blue Shield sort of deal, and the monthly premiums are over $200 a month. Yeah, I guess some do make over a $100K, but they've been there for decades before they rose up the pay tables - and they also have things like law degrees and CPA's. You can't really compare an "average federal employee" with an "average employee" in the economy as a whole because the government hires professionals.

I'm not saying the government ain't too big - I say we need to ditch BOTH DoE's - but going after federal employee compensation is barking up the wrong tree, for the most part. You get what you pay for.

Posted by: CoolCzech at November 27, 2010 05:37 PM (tJjm/)

91 We need to ditch HUD and the Department of Agriculture as well.

Neither one is actually performing a truly federal function.

Posted by: Michael at November 27, 2010 05:46 PM (JtKsy)

92 77 The system needs to turn itself back over, because, like a turtle , it is upside-down.
--------
Carousel! RENEW! RENEW!

Posted by: Anachronda 6 at November 27, 2010 05:46 PM (6fER6)

93 Actually, federal employees hired after the 1980's all get a 401K sort of retirement deal.
Bingo. After 1984, you're in FERS not CSRS.

Posted by: Chris in VA at November 27, 2010 05:52 PM (uCjoj)

94 No aid to the UN and any hostile country or "terror-tory" that have a gimme hand out with a knife in the other.Slash State, EPA, and get rid of every last czar,no pensions either.Cong-critters can co pay for their bennies like all lesser mortals, and while I'm ranting cut half the bloated fed payroll and watch how no one notices.

Means test for SS recipients. It has to be done.

Posted by: vagabond trader at November 27, 2010 06:11 PM (0Ygm5)

95 @58. Have the government incorporate their pensions into SS....if it is good enough for everyone else...Make
the military pension system the standard. 50% at 20 years, 75% at 30
years, and 100% at 40 years of service....

Posted by: Alex at November 27, 2010 03:20 PM (yY28H)

Sounds good to me. As a federal agent, my pension after 25 years will be @34%, 39% after 30 years, but I must have done something wrong, because I keep reading about the unbelievable government pensions.

Posted by: elliot at November 27, 2010 06:13 PM (AtROK)

96 >>a 401K sort of retirement deal

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Comparable to a 401k, not to be confused with FERS, which is your top three earning years averaged; you get the percentage of years of service of that averaged figure.

>>I guess some do make over a $100K

Yep. More than you think. Because we're an endangered species on this blog, I'll put out my stuff. I'm north of that figure, and I'll be with DoD two years in March after nearly a decade in "Beltway Bandit" consulting. I know a lot of twentysomethings with BA degrees (and a TS clearance--so we've got that going for us) who are making that much. Cleared translators with no degree in targeted languages can make upwards of $80k. At 43, I got wise late. It's the industry; defense contracting and security is lucrative. I used to think I was getting the financial better of my fed colleagues whose contract I was working, and the word on the street was "consulting pays; feds don't make money." I used to think that. I miss the private sector when it comes to admin issues, but other than that, I'm pretty pleased with the folks I work with--intelligent, committed, hardworking types.

Oh, and I don't have an advanced degree. In fact, I've got a BA in English. And Dad told me studying James Joyce would put me in the poorhouse...

...and I vote Republican, and have since Poppy Bush in '88.

fin.

Posted by: railwriter at November 27, 2010 06:21 PM (WovsE)

97 it's the voters from the 1930's-1960's who most fundamentally ruined this country by voting the way they did.

those are the people who want to be stealing my money to pay for their medicare and social security.

they created/went along with the ponzi scheme and now they are upset that the next generation might not want to keep paying into it.

this site has some exceptional people who recognize what's going on, but in the main, the senator is right. to be more specific though is it's not really the old timers that are the greedest generation, it's the boomers.

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Posted by: xixi at November 27, 2010 06:47 PM (TrVxe)

99 I think the government retirement of Simpson and all the other so called experts on the panel should be canceled. If these jokers believe in hell then they are going there. Sycophants at best. Typical sons of the devil.

Posted by: Huggy at November 27, 2010 07:00 PM (Cc08U)

100 Dude: Alan Simpson was in the US Senate for what 20 years or so while it, the House and whoever was president looted the social security fund.
1- why did they even ask this old crotchety bastard to be on this sham commission? Because he had an R after his name that is why.
2- He and many other long serving Congress critters should be defendants in front of afederal grand jury probing him like a TSA agent to find out why he thought stealing soc sec funds and using for welfare, Dept of Educa, Energy etc was OK.
3- I am 58 years old and have paid in over $350K in last 35 years. I want them to grant freedom to everyone under 45 to put half of their money in a private account.
4- Yes fixing the theivery will take a tax increase. BUT they must fix this PONZI scheme so it does not happen again in 30 years. And yes soc sec is a PONZI scheme when they take my money and give it to some retiree.
Everyone needs to wake up. Make this and medicare solvent even if they have to scrapmost of the other federal handout departments like educ, energy, welfare, school lunches, commerce dept, HUD, foreignaid, etc.

I

Posted by: AJ Lynch at November 27, 2010 07:06 PM (0laTV)

101 Hey, call me crazy but I don't think any body's Social Security should be cut nor should the retirement age be increased until the congress makes arrangements to replace all the SS contributions that they took and spent on other programs. I realize the "Trust Fund" was never a real set aside fund but it seems totally unjust to make people overpay for years and then when the outgo starts to exceed the income to start cutting benefits. Also if it becomes necessary to cut anyway, the Social Security cuts should follow and mirror cuts in retirement benefits for congress and government employees who both have their own program.

Posted by: arnonerik at November 27, 2010 08:38 PM (mmI0p)

102 Bobby Jindal has the optimum idea. Make congress a part time operation, cut all pay by half, cut all congressional staffs by three quarters, all unconstitutional departments ELIMINATED. no elected person CAN have any contact with lobbiest. All elected officials MUST live on the same rules they proclaim for us. Term limits 3 terms house, and two 4 year terms for senators, who are picked by the individual states as the constitution calls for. The whole voting procedure must be completely revamped. I.D. at the polls no early ballots or votes by mail. So much has been taken from us that needs to be restored. We sat and watched it happen, now we must have the guts to change all this illegal shit back to constitutional mandates.

Posted by: jainphx at November 27, 2010 08:42 PM (ew5pX)

103 Alan Simpson opinions are like assholes. He is one.

Posted by: kansas at November 27, 2010 09:17 PM (2/XJV)

104 Social Security is OWED 3 TRILLION DOLLARS from the overspending of politicians over the past 30 years. So NO you can't cut my retirement. I've paid ALL my life and since I HAD to "contribute" to the FORCED retirement system with it's LOW payout, too Fing bad. Cut welfare, cut overseas military, cut whatever. But you OWE this money to me.

Posted by: Fiftycal at November 27, 2010 11:27 PM (Deems)

105 Bobby's idea is a good one. It removes the temptation to "do something" whenever a crisis happens.

Posted by: sexypig at November 27, 2010 11:54 PM (1o1/F)

106 The government should be forced to cut 15% MINIMUM from every department and every budget with the expectation that no services will be reduced. That is exactly what we did at my company over the last two years. This is how private sector companies are more efficient; they have to be. They cannot merely borrow the money from China to cover the excesses and inefficiencies.

Posted by: Steve In Tulsa at November 28, 2010 09:20 AM (f7ylG)

107 How Orwellian, these thieving politicians now are calling seniors greedy!!! GIVE BACK THE MONEY YOU STOLE YOU THIEF!

Al Simpson's remarks are merely the 2nd salvo at seniors, the theft of Medicare Funds under the guise of insuring the uninsured (illegal aliens) was the first!

Posted by: dscott at November 28, 2010 10:30 AM (gaD9p)

108 "I'm not saying the government ain't too big - I say we need to ditch BOTH DoE's - but going after federal employee compensation is barking up the wrong tree, for the most part. You get what you pay for."
Coolczech,
I'm a gov't employee making close to 100K, but I work my ass off for it. I work with a couple of other people who do the same. The biggest problem, and the way to cut gov't spending on employee salaries, is that there are a significant number of useless morons that are protected by the unions that drag the rest of us down. You could pay me twice my current salary, and still save a LOT of money by getting rid of the asswipes that don't do anything or are incompetent. In fact, my job would become a whole lot easier and I could get more done if it wasn't for them.
What's that old rule? 20% of the people do 80% of the work? Well, when it comes to government employees, I think we should pay the 20% a little bit more, but get rid of the 80% that aren't earning their pay.

Posted by: Former Lurker at November 28, 2010 01:39 PM (ZOl9N)

109 i'll take a ss cut but only as soon as the dialysis patients cut their treatments in half. why is ss paying for dialysis any fucking way

Posted by: pd at November 28, 2010 08:05 PM (ZR8/4)

110 111 what the fuck do you do. cut your damn job completely

Posted by: pd at November 28, 2010 08:07 PM (ZR8/4)

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" ... howl when it is their program ..."

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