Deserving elderly vs. not-so-deserving kids

For generations, the elderly poor were consigned to misery, spent after a lifetime of backbreaking labor yet with little security to show for it. Their plight led Franklin Roosevelt to institute Social Security (over the objections of conservatives, who denounced it as “socialism”) and Lyndon Johnson to press for Medicare (over the objections of conservatives, who denounced it as “socialism”).

Those government programs worked so well that they virtually wiped out entrenched poverty among the elderly, who get guaranteed pensions and medical care. But our culture retains an outdated view of  senior citizens as vulnerable and needy, so they command an outsized share of public compassion and political attention.

Contrast that with the well-being of children and young adults. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, health care spending (from all sources) for the 65 and older population was about $14, 797 per person in 2004, while the spending per child was about $2,650. (Though health care spending has increased since then, the proportions have remained about the same.) The declining health of the elderly certainly accounts for most of the difference, but a culture that doesn’t accept broad responsibility for its children accounts for some of it, as well.

How did we become an upside-down culture that spends lavishly on our seniors but is so stingy with our young? Is it simply a matter of voting power, which the older folks wield so effectively?

“The elderly are not only a powerful but also a growing segment of the population,” said Isabel Sawhill, Co-Director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution. ” Families with children under 18 are not.”

The status of children’s health care has improved since the administration of George W. Bush, who twice vetoed an increase in spending for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, while pushing through a budget-busting prescription drug program for the elderly. President Obama and a Democratic Congress backed more money for SCHIP, a low-cost health insurance program for the children of the working class.

With the increased funds for SCHIP, the number of uninsured children has declined. But 7.3 million are still uninsured, according to the latest report from the Census Bureau. Young adults, too, are among those most likely to go without health insurance. Some simply bet on their invincibility, but others just can’t afford the premiums.

What accounts for our odd generational schism, which treats the elderly as deserving but gives children short shrift? Indeed, many opponents of health care reform seem to believe that universal coverage would bestow lavish benefits on a group of lazy and undeserving folk who ought to just get a job. Never mind that many jobs don’t offer health care, and most employers won’t hire three-year-olds.

“A lot of advocates for children are also advocates for the poor, and Americans, as we know, are less willing to support low-income families than people in other Western countries. Americans believe that everybody in this country has the opportunity to get ahead, and if they don’t get ahead, it’s probably something they’ve done,” Sawhill said.

That view is naive, at best; callous and cruel, at worst. It disdains the hard work of many working class parents, who despite putting in grueling hours on the job, cannot afford health insurance for themselves or their kids. It also conveniently overlooks the underlying finances of Medicare, which is a form of welfare. The average Medicare recipient receives far more in benefits than he and his employers paid in.

Worst yet, a stingy and disdainful attitude toward children works against our collective long-term interests. I’m too close to geezerhood to begrudge senior citizens their Medicare, but I understand the economics well enough to know that the system depends on healthy young workers for support. So we’d all be better off if the youngest Americans had access to the medical care they need.

157 comments Add your comment

funnything

September 25th, 2009
6:08 pm

Deacon

September 25th, 2009
6:37 pm

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

A big portion of the Southern Bible Belt think those words are a bunch of liberal socialist nonsense.

maxi johnston

September 25th, 2009
7:19 pm

Enter your comments here

yawn, yawn, ajc, once was a great paper that i rd. daily until liberals like tucker took over!

i don’t buy the paper anymore and now after reading her columns i remember why! to bad i don’t

have a puppy to train

godless heathen

September 25th, 2009
7:45 pm

Just require the little tykes to buy insurance. If they don’t, throw them in jail.

Reality

September 25th, 2009
7:53 pm

Tell you what Cynthia — take the $7-11K wasted on each child’s education per year in Fulton and DeKalb counties and put it into a health/medical care account for them. Based on GA academic excellence in the public schools the money is best spent on their health/medical care….

Question

September 25th, 2009
8:00 pm

Don’t worry about the little tykes and their medical/health care Cynthia. All they need to do is keep singing —

He said that all must lend a hand to make this country strong again. Mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack Hussein Obama. He said we must be fair today, equal work means equal pay. Mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack Hussein Obama. He said we all must take a stand, to make sure everyone gets a chance. Mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack Hussein Obama. He said red, yellow, black or white, all are equal in his sight. Mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack Hussein Obama. Yes! Mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack Hussein Obama.

Proud American

September 25th, 2009
8:23 pm

Resident Idiot Cynthia speaks again, I wish she would go ahead and admit she’s secretly in love with Obama and the two would run off togather never to be heard from again.

Joan

September 25th, 2009
8:35 pm

The reason that there are so many children in need of healthcare in this country is because there is an ever increasing number of entitlement parents willing to keep popping these little tykes out, for the increases in welfare each of them represent. So, the more they breed, the more they need. If the parents of these welfare children acted responsibly, then there wouldn’t be nearly as many of them. i have sympathy for those who cannot help themselves, but even God helps those who help themselves. And frankly, the taxpayer is sick to death of the increase in size of the sponges in our nation.

Georgia loses

September 25th, 2009
8:41 pm

funnything says “yawn” maxi johnston says “yawn yawn” then goes on to say he/she thought the paper was once a great paper but no longer buys it, then adds insult to injury saying “I have a puppy to train”. Reality thinks $7-11K is wasted on childrens education in specific counties. Finally Question mocks school children extolling the president. Still wonder why the south is the only region that still votes republican. You all (ya’ll)continue to live in a bubble,not understanding that the rest of the country and indeed the rest of the world outside your sphere is watching and reading, shaking their collective heads at your intransigence and wondering how you continue to be so shallow and narrowminded. Of course, the posters mentioned above wont care, they’ll just contine to spew their bile, watch fox fake news,worship at the altar of the bloviating talk show hosts and tell the rest of us that since their favorite faux leads in ratings its proof positive that they are factual all the while forgetting that the bush/cheney congress gave fox broadcast access to the easily led in rural communities. I could go on and on, but why bother. Guaranteed that I will get some inane vitriolic comments from some I named as well as others stuck in their antiquated beliefs. Go figure.

Question

September 25th, 2009
9:12 pm

Georgia loses 8:41.

My apologies, I forgot the second “extolling the president” –

Hello, Mr. President we honor you today!
For all your great accomplishments, we all doth say “hooray!”

Hooray, Mr. President! You’re number one!
The first black American to lead this great nation!

Hooray, Mr. President we honor your great plans
To make this country’s economy number one again!

Hooray Mr. President, we’re really proud of you!
And we stand for all Americans under the great Red, White, and Blue!

So continue —- Mr. President we know you’ll do the trick
So here’s a hearty hip-hooray —-

Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!

godless heathen

September 25th, 2009
9:12 pm

_Georgia loses_ provides us with a fine demonstration of what we are getting for our public school dollars.

JLM

September 25th, 2009
9:15 pm

Great article! I share your feelings about our youth of today. They are a valuable commodity that can not be overlook.

Elisabeth

September 25th, 2009
9:23 pm

Thank you, Cynthia. As a middle-aged working women who is uninsured due to a pre-existing condition, I am deeply wounded by the vitriol from elderly Medicare recipients. My tax dollars ensure they have health care, yet I am not permitted to purchase health care for myself. My tax dollars help take care of the elderly, but they could care less about me.

It’s wrong.

Gregg

September 25th, 2009
9:27 pm

@ maxi johnston Maybe you don’t buy the paper but why are you on the internet reading the editorials. It is asinine to commit you don’t buy the paper but you read it online.
It is amazing how you want less government and the moment something happens you run to the feds. Tell me who is going to pick up the tab? Why because flood insurance is OPTIONAL. I’ll tell you who the taxpayers. But you are not worried about that because you and you kind are in need. Hypocrites the whole damn lot of you.

Gordon

September 25th, 2009
9:27 pm

Deacon @6:37,

Read that passage again. It says “you”, not “the government”. Individuals are called to serve others, not a government to forcibly take from one to give to another. Stop cherry-picking verses from the bible to support your personal ideology.

Georgia loses

September 25th, 2009
9:27 pm

Godless heathen, I’m confused, are you agreeing with me or calling me dumb? Your previous post seems to indicate we are on the same page, your later post seems convoluted. Question, you prove my point, I’m not saying the president is infallable, just that you and your ilk will nitpick everything. Just where in my post did I refer to race, YOU CERTAINILY DID! Your post is just plain sarcastically stupid. BTW, I am now signing off, so if you respond I wont answer your diatribe today.

Rant

September 25th, 2009
9:29 pm

- Georgia loses – regarding the Obama songs, I believe these kids were also provided a little red book of quotations from Chairman Barack.

Gregg

September 25th, 2009
9:34 pm

@ Gordon Who do you think the Government is. This is the government of the people. Meaning you and me. They are not seperate of us. Why are you not up in arms about the money going to the flood vicitms here in Georgia?

Question

September 25th, 2009
9:34 pm

Georgia loses 9:27 — now I’m confused. All I did was provide the second school children song to complete the picture. Funny how you just happened to bring race into the discussion — a bit touchy or playing the typical lib race card??

Go right ahead and take your ball and go home!!

Elder Speaker

September 25th, 2009
9:37 pm

Cynthia,

The best part of participating in your blogs is the knowledge that no matter what is said in response, you will NEVER read or respond to us.

I participate in SS because I have to, not because I want to. My 401-k is gone, so now I need government support. I’m upset with both parties for ignoring what was happening economically. I will forever believe that powerful individuals of each party was continually being warned of impending disaster, but special interests kept action from being taken. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd particularly are my enemies!

When I turned 65, my government took over my health care and took me away from my private insuror. Now my health insurance is identical to my private insurance, but costs me more.

How can you praise SS and Medicare since both of them have been underfunded for years? How do you praise Obama’s VCHIP program and condemn the Bush administration? The Bush administration supported funding CHIP at the existing levels. The current CHIP program funds children whose parents could (should in my opinion) pay for their health insurance. It does no more for the poor than the previous program.

The Ghost Of John Q. Public

September 25th, 2009
9:43 pm

Once, my father told me something about Social Security – I’ve neither the time nor resources to do the research, but I wish someone would.

He told me that FDR and the brain trust planned Social Security to be all “smoke and mirrors” a gimmick, from the start. They never envisioned it to be a safety net for the elderly, only to win elections for awhile.

The proof? At the time the age to draw Social Security was set at 65, the average longevity of Americans was significantly lower – so the math would work because most Americans would not live to ever draw any benefits. The problem? Our life expectency has risen, but the age to draw (generally) has not kept track.

Interesting.

TnGelding

September 25th, 2009
9:52 pm

It’s simple, seniors vote, and in large numbers. We’ve been retired about 7 years and have more money than we’ve ever had in our lives, yet we didn’t pay a cent in income tax last year. I planned it that way, but actually feel a little guilty with the government running huge deficits. We could easily pay 10-20% of our GROSS income.

We simply must stop being so selfish and make sure our congressmen know that we’re doing quite well, thank you, and it’s time to invest in the chldren. For some reason they think we’re struggling, but I would guess that only applies to about 25% of us.

By making SS a true social program, basing the benefit on need rather than what you paid into the system, it would completely wipe our poverty among the elderly and stimulate the economy. Now, we’re sending the largest checks to the wealthiest who are just saving it for their heirs. And why are Joe Biden and John McCain drawing benefits along with their huge government salaries and benefits? Wonder how many of our other elected officials are also double or triple dipping? And at some level 100% of the benefit has to be taxed at 100%. Do you think Barbara Bush, H. Ross Perot or Warren Bufffett would miss it? I hope some of these nice folks have shown enough class not to have applied, but their accountants probably insisted.

I was against the prescription drug benefit so much that I refused to sign up for it, even tho it would save us at least $100 a month. It makes no sense to buy drugs, that often aren’t really needed, for someone that spends their time on casino junkets and island cruises.

And what sense does it make for small business people (many working from dawn to dusk} and minimum wage workers to be paying for our health care when they can’t afford heath insurance for themselves? A simple solution would be to expand Medicare to include everyone that doesn’t qualify for Medicaid and let the insurance companies compete for the much needed Medigap coverage. Deductibles and co-pays would probably have to be increased modestly.

And what’s with all this fraud, waste and abuse? Have we no shame?

Robert

September 25th, 2009
10:16 pm

“the administration of George W. Bush, who twice vetoed an increase in spending for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program,”

Bush vetoed the amount of increase. The program was slated for a 4% increase and the program only needed a 2%.

I wish the President would veto about 90% of the funding bills and let the States deal with the issues.

Allen

September 25th, 2009
10:19 pm

To think that “if Americans don’t get ahead, it’s probably something they’ve done” is “callous and cruel” is what’s wrong with liberal thinking. People need to step up for once and take responsibility for their own actions. I could have been a medical doctor if I had CHOSEN to study more in college. I could be in a higher position in my current job if I CHOSE to be more driven during my first 10 years of working. Hey I’ve got good friends who are very liberal and don’t have great jobs (who does) and some don’t have insurance either and they are always bitching about it. Let me just say that from about 9th grade on these guys were always worried about social scene, never studied, goofed off once they tried college, bounced around job after job, always partying, etc. Basically they spent the last 20 years having a blast while I was being a book “geek” in high school and college, and giving 110% at work the past 10 years. And now they want me to pay for them? Just a snapshot of what most young adults are thinking. And ask most of them if they could have done things differently and they’d give you a definite yes. Now give all kids under 18 insurance…I’m cool with that.

Robert

September 25th, 2009
10:19 pm

“By making SS a true social program, basing the benefit on need rather than what you paid into the system, it would completely wipe our poverty among the elderly and stimulate the economy.”

So, let one person make the money, steal it from them, and give it to someone else? Nice plan bozo.

Just adopt the Galvaston Tx model, as defined on Neal Boortz web site and solve the SS problem once and for all. Check it out and get back to me.

TnGelding

September 25th, 2009
10:19 pm

The Ghost Of John Q. Public

September 25th, 2009
9:43 pm

Newt says that as well, but we had a sizeable number of old folks, even then, and the ones that did live to 65 lived for a good number of years more.

(I provided a link here, forgetting this site won’t allow it.)

h t t p : / / w w w . i n f o p l e a s e . c o m / i p a / A 0 0 0 5 1 4 0 . h t m l (Take out the spaces.)

Most, if not all, of the increases in SS taxes were signed by Republican presidents, but the coup de gras was the automatic COLA signed by Nixon. Then the “principled” Reagan sold out to the Democrats in Congress so they would increase spending on defense and signed a hare-brained bill to raise taxes that is in the process of creating a $3 trillion “tust fund.” He had proposed reducing benefits, but I haven’t been able to find the specifics. That’s also when they brought Congress and others into the system, when in reality they should have been phasing it out.

I’ve been drawing benefits for over 5 years, my wife 4. It, combined with pension averaging, allowed us to retire early, but if we had been able to work on until 65 we would have been better off without the SS because of how the defined benefit pensions are calculated.

The last good time to reform it was 1996, when the first of the boomers hit 50, but it’s too late now. I submitted a rough (very rough) draft to the Clinton administration but, of course, got no reply. 1983 would have been an exellent time.

fitzgerald

September 25th, 2009
10:26 pm

I am a very lucky individual. In 1981, the city I worked for was able to opt out of social security. Because of this, I had the great fortune of being able to participate in a retirement program that has provided me a retirement much greater than I would have ever received from social security. Prior to my employment with this particular city, I did pay social security long enough to accumulate the 40 quarters that allows me to be eligible for social security benefits. Because I have was involved in a private retirement system, my social security checks that I now receive are far less than if I was receiving only social security checks. Because I am now 65, my medicare and medicare advantage plan premiums are greater than what I was paying with the city for which I was working. At some point in the not distant future, the cows will come home and we all will be faced with the challenge of how to pay for medicare, health care, and every other government program for which we have no money. When people can no longer be taxed enough to cover all of the government programs, this country will go down in flames. And my hats off to Gelding for a sensible solution.

TnGelding

September 25th, 2009
10:33 pm

Robert

September 25th, 2009
10:19 pm

Galveston only worked because it didn’t have to continue paying benefits to 40 million people already drawing them.

I don’t appreciate being called Bozo. At least mine was original and not something I heard Boortz say or read on his Web site, although I had heard him say it myself, many times, when we were working and listening in the car.

Young people today that are able to work for 40 years shouldn’t need SS with their defined contribution plans unless the stock markets completely collapse. They also have other saving instruments that weren’t available to us in our younger years.

Nobody is stealing from anyone. Our tax code is progressive and most of the very wealthy would probably think mine was a good idea. Bill Gates’ father even went before Congress and testified against abolishing the estate tax (which is akin to stealing), which I’m for, because it will produce revenue for all eternity if left with the heirs.

TnGelding

September 25th, 2009
10:39 pm

fitzgerald

September 25th, 2009
10:26 pm

Thanks, benefits simply have to be reduced modestly over time.

Chris Salzmann

September 25th, 2009
11:08 pm

Robert September 25th, 2009 10:19 pm SAID: “By making SS a true social program, basing the benefit on need rather than what you paid into the system, it would completely wipe our poverty among the elderly and stimulate the economy.” So, let one person make the money, steal it from them, and give it to someone else? Nice plan bozo.
CHRIS SAYS: Yes, the government is “stealing” money to pay for national defense, fire and police, transportation, to name just a few. We have a progressive taxation system and that’s how it works in the civilized world. I also like how conservatives call the Estate Tax a “Death Tax” but fail to mention it only kicks in after $2-3 million so the vast majority of Americans are not affected by it. Both Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are also against abolishing the Estate Tax. Also, social security taxes are due on only the first (approx) $100K of income. After that, it remains a constant amount so one pays a smaller and smaller percentage of their increasing income on funding social security. This cut-off needs to be eliminated and would pretty much eliminate any future shortfalls in this program.

Robert September 25th, 2009 10:19 pm SAID:Just adopt the Galvaston Tx model, as defined on Neal Boortz web site and solve the SS problem once and for all. Check it out and get back to me.
CHRIS SAYS: If Americans in general redirected all of their payroll taxes into new private plans, there would be no tax revenue left to pay the $500 billion in annual benefits promised to Social Security’s 45 million current beneficiaries. Those benefits consequently would have to be funded by income taxes or an entirely new tax, such as a Value Added Tax. Even if the new private plans appeared to provide a better deal than traditional Social Security (which is not case with the Galveston plan), that apparent free lunch would evaporate once the cost of the additional taxes needed to support current beneficiaries was factored into the equation. Niel Boortz is living in LALA land and doesn’t know what he’s talking about (which is most of the time). Maybe it would help if you did some research on what your idol Boortz says than just parrot his views here.

Buzz

September 25th, 2009
11:11 pm

Tn Gelding- if you really feel that guilty about all the money you have in retirement (though you shouldn’t if you earned it!), I have three kids under 6 who you can subsidize!

Dr. Craig Spinks /Augusta

September 26th, 2009
2:14 am

Ours: A democracy, a republic or a special interests-dominated bureaucracy with strong gerontocratic overtones?

TnGelding

September 26th, 2009
4:06 am

Buzz

September 25th, 2009
11:11 pm

I feel guilty about not paying any income tax. We don’t have that much money, just more than we’ve ever had. Although I did miss a chance to make a couple of million in my wife’s 401(k) over the last few months. We live within our means and always have. Give the kids a big hug from us. Their future isn’t as bleak as some would have you believe.

john shecter

September 26th, 2009
5:32 am

bebe kids running loose in the projects!!!!!!!!!haha!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gerald West

September 26th, 2009
6:35 am

My God, what a stupid, selfish, uncaring lot of people! Many are more concerned about denying opportunities and benefits to others than to looking after the interests of their country, themselves, and their children.

Looks like the US Congress accurately reflects the attitudes of the American people: a bickering, sanctimonious lot of ignorant hypocrites.

ck hall

September 26th, 2009
7:03 am

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!

Michael H. Smith

September 26th, 2009
7:07 am

Cynthia, lay off the Kool Aid, circumlocution is not one of your stronger points. :roll:

Gordon

September 26th, 2009
7:46 am

Gregg @9:34,

The government is certainly NOT the people. The people have to balance their expenses with their income or face the consequences, the government doesn’t (at least in the short run). I was pointing out that the bible calls us as individuals to help the poor, which is a lot harder calling than just asking the government to take resources from some people by force and give them to others. It’s always easier to be generous with other people’s money.

As to the government helping people during natural disasters, that seems to me to be a valid role of government, as long as it is limited to helping them through the initial circumstances, and helping them get back on their feet with low interest loans.

Deacon

September 26th, 2009
8:08 am

Gordon September 25th, 2009 9:27 pm
Deacon @6:37

Sounds like you are trying to rationalize your way out of a personal intellectual tight spot. I am sure you will be able to do so. Most
people do. And that is my point.

I am not calling for the government to do anything. I am calling on you to do a lot.

catlady

September 26th, 2009
8:10 am

Undeserved of help=deserved poverty. Deserve help=undeserved of their bad luck. And the person holding the purse strings decides what makes you in either group.

Allen

September 26th, 2009
8:17 am

Gregg, the true hypocricy is a majority of you democracts think we as an American should fund the health care of the poor and/or uninsured, yet most expect and want someone else to make those payments (those making more than them). I get tired of hearing that “you have no compassion” argument from liberals who personally would be screaming bloody murder if they had to fork over a bigger % of their paycheck than they already do in the form of extra taxes. The government would gladly accept your donation if you felt like sending extra to help the uninsured.

Jake

September 26th, 2009
8:30 am

Tucker is again flaunting her Marxist ideas. She bragged on Social Security. Well, it was never more or less than a Ponzi scheme to help FDR push his idea of Socialism. While Tucker brags on SS, she won’t admit that it will shortly go broke. SS was a means by which the 40 year reign of the Democrats in Congress could take those huge SS taxes and use them for their vote buying social schemes most of which ONLY promoted dependency on government. Social Security was left holding an EMPTY bank account. SS will go broke because taxes will need to explode to pay those SS bonds back when SS finally reaches the point of taking out more than is paid in. PONZI scheme deluxe, thanks to democrat socialism. You think this is bad, wait until this government health care system arrives. Another democrat PONZI scheme. I paid Social Security taxes for more than 50 years, If I had bought a second piece of land back then the SS taxes I did pay would have paid the land payments. NOW that farm would be paying land rent more than equal to the Social Security I currently draw. PLUS, I would STILL have the farm to sell or I could give the farm to my children at my death. When I die with SS my heirs have NOTHING for the money TAKEN from me for SS in taxes. MORAL, it is better to pay attention to life and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF and let the government protect us from foreign enemies and ONLY that task.

Michael H. Smith

September 26th, 2009
8:30 am

As to the government helping people during natural disasters, that seems to me to be a valid role of government, as long as it is limited to helping them through the initial circumstances, and helping them get back on their feet with low interest loans.

And that Gordon is pure POPULISM 100 that should not be confused with SOCIALISM which makes public assistance continuous through the means of government wealth confiscation and redistribution.

As Teddy Roosevelt said, “I think there is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head”.

I think these so-called progressives -liberals – spelled with a lower case “p” need to understand that quote from the original author of the new deal-square deal policy that has been so far removed today from its’ original intent and purpose.

Gordon

September 26th, 2009
8:35 am

Deacon @8:08,

I have the checkbook and the calendar to prove that I do more than my share. And I am willing to pay higher taxes for the government to help in those situations where individual help is not practical. But we have reached and passed a point where government helps the problem but rather creates dependency. People have come to expect government to do more than it is capable of doing. Government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are unsustainable. They are bankrupt. What are you going to tell people who depend on these programs when the money runs out? And what are you going to tell your grandchildren when they inherit debt where there was once prosperity?

Chia Hair Plugs

September 26th, 2009
8:36 am

Did Pravda buy the AJC?

Gordon

September 26th, 2009
8:43 am

Michael H. Smith @8:30,

We probably agree on much more than we disagree on, but I am just not on board with a pure libertarian philosophy. It works well in a theoretical discussion on the role of government, but in real life circumstances things aren’t so cut and dried. I don’t think it is unreasonable for the government to provide assistance for those things such as natural disasters that are beyond the control of anyone. I do recognize this can lead to a slippery slope, which we long ago went over, but on a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being pure libertarian and 10 being socialist, I’m about a 2 or 3. And I agree with you that yesterday’s liberals are to the right of today’s conservatives.

dgroy

September 26th, 2009
8:43 am

America was the “Land of Opportunity” and still is for many; however, JFK’s and LBJ’s “Great Society” program took away the incentive for many, many people to even try to succeed…..it was much easier to draw “Government Benefits” paid for with taxes levied upon those that wanted more in life than the “Welfare State”. It’s pretty sad when someone who lives in a public housing project brags that “I’ve lived here for 46 years and I’m sooo happy :) Cynthia, take off your blinders and shake yourself back to reality girl. Who do you think gave you the opportunity to live so well?…..WOW, Seniors? You, Cynthia are one of the reasons that the AJC will be going belly up, with these kind of liberal, left wing columns. Think of all the people you’ll be putting out of work……aren’t you proud?

Gordon

September 26th, 2009
8:55 am

From TnGelding @10:33:

“Young people today that are able to work for 40 years shouldn’t need SS with their defined contribution plans unless the stock markets completely collapse. They also have other saving instruments that weren’t available to us in our younger years.”

This attitude is what should be feared. They are perfectly comfortable with “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.” Someone who pays into Social Security for 40 years not only money they have earned, but have paid taxes on, can have it taken away from them simply because someone else thinks they don’t need it. This has never worked in history, and never will. Punishing success and rewarding failure brings more failure and less success, and is exactly what will cause the stock market to collapse. This person simply doesn’t understand that it is freedom, not government, that made this the greatest country in history. The poor in this country are better off than the average European because of freedom.

Michael H. Smith

September 26th, 2009
9:00 am

Gordon @ 8:35 am

And why are the entitlements bankrupt? First because it was fundamentally set-up as a ponzi scheme with the thought that new inductees would always be a sufficient number to pay out the benefits. Problem is like all ponzi schemes sooner or later there are not enough new inductees to pay out all of those benefits to drawing members. Et al Bernie Madoff

Secondly, the benefits have increased beyond the original promise or the means of revenue producing investments capable of providing a sufficient yield to pay for the additional benefits.

It is time for real fiscal reforms that are manageable within our means which are built on solid financial grounds and not gimmicks, accounting trickery or ponzi schemes.

Donovan

September 26th, 2009
9:00 am

Yawn is right! Comrade Tucker is so wrong that she doesn’t even know it. Now our little AJC commie is trying a new tack on the socialized medicine scam by denegrating the elderly and trying to inject the “poor children” chapter of the DNC play book. What an absolute pathetic employee of the AJC. I found a job years ago that provided health care coverage for my family. It was not the ideal job, but nevertheless it covered the necessities of the family’s needs. Those “poor working stiffs” that Comrade Tucker anquishes over are the same families that Lenin alluded to in his communist recruitment. Please…enough with the DNC socialist drivel.