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Senior Advisor

Re: So what's the solution

A few little facts. Social security has a 2.5 trillion dollar trust fund which has been borrowed to fund reckless government spending. Medicare fund also has  surplus. 2011 is the first year that medicare benefits exceed the funds income including accrued interest.

 

 

The medicare trust fund will be exhausted by 2019 if we make no adjustment. At that time benefits will be satisfied only by payroll taxes as the trust fund will be gone.

The point is that both will require adjustment sooner or later. At the present time neither one is responsible for adding one dollar to the annual deficit.

Thus it seems logical that what needs to be closely examined are those things have have not been self sustaining until now. Those things which are causing us to borrow from those two trust funds. Not the two programs that have had a surplus up to now.

I wonder if they cut benefits for seniors whether the FICA taxes will reflect that in tax cuts. They surely wouldn't expect seniors to pay for their other reckless spending?

SS and medicare are in the republicans gun sights but not because they have added greatly to the deficits. Because they haven't. I think they just want to breeaki the programs because they are a democrat plan that is popular with the elderly. The only way they can break it is to present a case that it is unsustainable. Both only need an adjustment in the revenue stream and that can make them solvent for decades.

BTW.. when you get older you will appreciate that we have them. When I was a teenager I didn't think I would ever get a benefit.

 

 

 

 

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: So what's the solution kraft t

You are right on so many points but the baby boomers which I am one of. Are living longer and there is so many of us, how can we sustain all this stuff without drastic measures.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs Good points Jim kraft t

Little start--hope your major wasn't economics--if so how would you sustain a family on $6 or even yourself unless one was gettingsubsidized rent from Mom and Dad--good job for not having college debt however you done it

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs Good points Jim kraft t

Major is agronomy with a minor in Business. Not sure where the 6$ came from as i said i was makeing 8.65 at the moment. Nothing subsidized from my parents except for health insurance. Everything else i have paid for. I have had the help of scholarships, alot of my schooling was payed for by scholarships. But that's really not the point. The point is that there are jobs out there. Now if your makeing 50k a year for say 5 or 10 years you should have a decent amount of savings built up even you have a family. But most people dont they blow it all on fancy new cars and big houses and little toys. If people were more prepared for things like this, they could work an 8.65 job to help pay for bills for a least a few months heck maybe even years if they had to untill they could find a better job. It would certainly make me feel better that i was working for my money, rather then just sitting round letting other peoples tax payer dollars take care of me.

A 50K job is a little under 1000 dollars a week, thats around 4000 dollars a month comeing in. even if you took just 50 dollars out a week, that would add up to around 13,500 dollars after just 5 years, 27,000 in 10 years, i think i could make a go of it for a few years working that lower paying job. Sure i might have to give up the 500 channels i have or the 50" big screen and the brand new pickup i drive. But you could do it.

In 2009 americans spent 5.34% of there income on food away from home, thats almost as much as what they spent for food prepared at home 7.4%. You could cut cost right there. Still only 12% of the budget was spent on the one thing we HAVE to have. Im sure there is room for adjustment in most families budgets.

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Advisor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs Good points Jim kraft t

I wonder what percentage of the at-home share is spent on food that is convenience prepared and packaged.  So much of the stuff i see in other peopel's carts is ready made meals, just needing to be nuked to eat.  The consumer pays for that, too.  If dietary intake was reverted to raw ingredients, I bet it would not take 7% to feed the family. 

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs Good points Jim kraft t

Good point Kay, I try to stay away from that stuff as much as possible. I buy all my meat from my parents, and buy eggs and milk from the K-State farm, cheaper and much better quality. Even as a college student i cook or prepare alot of my own meals. Sometimes that just means a sandwich. But if you go the cafeteria at the union, 5 dollars minimum. But yet its packed everyday. Wonder how many of those kids are having there parents pay. Talk about just throwing money down the drain. Food is probley close to 50% of my expenses, Rest would be rent and utilities. 5% maybe for "entertainment" 

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Advisor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs Good points Jim kraft t

Food service in the union must be subsidized somewhat...the average fast food combo is pushing nine bucks now from what people tell me.  If i get stuck in town and need to eat, I will pick up a salad with a grilled chicken breast, and that with a drink is eight or more.  In the city, I try to find a Panera Bread shop, since their food is at least fresh, and the breads are delicious. 

I've gotten so I'd almost rather just stop for a protein smoothie at Starbucks.  I know it is overpriced, but at $4 plus tax, it is a reasonable alternative for nutrition, and at least I do not have to smell grease frying there.  Once you stop eating fried foods, that smell is nauseating. 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs Good points Jim kraft t

Money for food is $$$ down the drain----if these people don't go out to eat once in a while it wouldn't be good for the ag industry or for someone looking for a job in that field---My opinion being all of the overpriced electronics available to the cosumer and the $$$ spent on these items --and $8.65 is OK for part time going to college ---probably need 60+ hours a week at this rate in the real world---on the other hand we are the only country that has an" obeice" --under employed country with prisons full and" 2 wars" being put on US credit card

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Senior Advisor

Re: So what's the solution kraft t

We  sustain them both by increasing revenues. Health care has to be paid for under any scenario. Our fica taxes for medicare/medicaids are in the 2.5% area. Simply raise it to 3% or 3.5 %and that wil;l extend benefits out for decades.

 

Social security rates are high enough but extending the taxable limits would hurt no one. Certainly it would be better than the injury caused by pushing back the retirment age or cutting benefits. Means testing is not a viable option because people have paid in for nearly 50 years and then government tells them they are not eligible.

 

But first we have to want to preserve those programs. There are powerful forces against them and they have always been against them. They would like to spitcan them and that is their only objective.

 

BTW if we should magically bring out budget close to balance, what would you bet that some folks would be chirping around for tax cuts? I suspect they will do that long before the debt is satisfied.

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Senior Advisor

Re: So what's the solution

I think cold turkey is the best. Just eliminate all fsa payments. Honor the contracts that have been signed such as CRP but let them all expire as they mature. Maybe it will hurt the starter farmers but maybe not.

 

 

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