US spends too much on elderly, too little on kids

“We are eating our seed corn.”

Marian Wright Edelman, Children’s Defense Fund, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama started the adult conversation over debt and taxes last week — if only barely. In a forthright and feisty speech, Obama defended the traditional social safety net while also acknowledging the need to curb the growth of spending, especially on health care.

But he riled many Republicans by re-introducing an inconvenient truth: Taxes must be raised. The nation simply cannot pay its debts and sustain worthwhile federal programs without more revenue.

While that’s a generally accepted bit of grade-school math in much of the political realm, it has become heresy in the GOP, which has taken up residence in a parallel universe of fairy godmothers, unicorns and Easter bunnies.  In that universe, lowering taxes for the rich magically creates jobs, fills government coffers and spreads prosperity for all.

That’s bunk, of course. George H.W. Bush famously called it “voodoo economics.” Still, that notion — proved wrong as recently as the presidency of George W. Bush — has gained a certain power through frequent repetition.

So it fell to Obama to remind Americans of the Clinton years — when taxes were higher, the budget was balanced, the deficit falling and prosperity widespread. The balanced federal budget was squandered by Obama’s predecessor, who slashed taxes, spent recklessly and presided over a period of tepid economic growth.

Obama will need to repeat the facts that link higher taxes with increased prosperity time and again. And even he didn’t go far enough; the president ought propose raising taxes on the merely affluent, not just the rich.

Moreover, Obama has only started to nibble at health care spending in Medicare, a voracious federal program. He ought to be frank with the nation’s elderly: they are draining an exorbitant amount of the national treasury, taking up resources that ought to be going to the young.

Somehow, we’ve managed to create an upside-down social safety net that maroons far too many children while swaddling the elderly in a cocoon. How can the nation “Win the Future” if we spend 2.5 times as much on its old as the young? (If you count federal spending alone, the ratio is more like 7 to 1.)

I don’t mean to sound cavalier about the needs of the elderly, who tend to be sicker and have higher medical expenses. Obama was right to pledge to protect Medicare against the predations of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-), who wants to end it.

But an adult conversation — a truly adult conversation — would engage seniors and help them to understand the consequences of our current spending curve. In nations that suffer famine, we hear wrenching stories of starving parents who give the last scraps of food to their children. We’ve taken a starve-the-kids, feed-the-old approach, instead.

While too many children are stuck in bad schools and poor housing, while community clinics that deliver vaccinations and asthma medicine beg for money, while young adults skip college because they can’t afford it, the elderly were given a budget-busting prescription drug plan during the Bush administration. That makes little sense.

If resources are limited (and they are), the nation needs to make choices – some more painful than others. My brother, Kevin, a Boston physician who treats kidney disease, talks about the Medicare program that pays for dialysis for anyone with failing kidneys — including the terminally ill. Started in the 1970s to help adults still in the workforce, its fastest-growing population is now over 65, he said.  And it costs tens of billions a year.

“It may not be the best use of resources for the frail and infirm elderly, and it also forces many elderly patients to spend their last days in the hospital, rather than at home,” a more comfortable setting, Kevin told me.

Yet, many patients, even octogenarians who don’t expect to recover, find it difficult to turn down the treatment. “And physicians resist having a conversation with patients that recommends they forego dialysis because it’s an uncomfortable conversation to have. It’s easier just to recommend the treatment,” he said.

But those are exactly the adult conversations we ought to be having.

218 comments Add your comment

Arch Dawg

April 15th, 2011
10:53 am

Your and Idiot (sic)

You fail to realize that all those greedy old people are the one’s who paid their taxes for their entire lives to be able to have those benefits. Now you want to simply take it away. I’m sure it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that older generations are made up of less minorities than the younger generations.

Billy Ray Valentine

April 15th, 2011
10:54 am

Too much on the elderly?

How CT never grows old….

how about an article about spending too much on those who do not contribute their fair share to society?

CT thinks it’s time to put “The Greatest Generation” out to pasture.

t0otiE

April 15th, 2011
10:55 am

HaY!!!!

AlL yAlLs nEeD 2 sTO0p yApPiN aNd gEt bAk 2 w0rK!! H0w eLsE I gUnNa gEt mAh M0neIe!?!?!

Cynthia Tucker in 2008

April 15th, 2011
10:57 am

“We gonna have us a Bar-b-q, on Pennsylvania Avenue”

“stop spending money on all them old folks, give me and my kids more money. I can’t even gert my kids the new X-Box games. Old folks don’t even know what an X-box is”

kayaker 71

April 15th, 2011
10:57 am

willie,

I think you really believe the tripe that you continually post on threads like this. I do have the satisfaction that at some point in life, if you are fortunate, you will also be old. Then we will see how you like some government hack determining how long you will live. The old and the rich might be the enemy to you now, but at least you have the guarantee that in future years, you will attain one of them. I think I know which one it will be.

Cathy

April 15th, 2011
10:59 am

Wow Cynthia….why don’t we just take a page from Hitlers book? Just exterminate the elderly if they get sick. A persons life is NOT WORTHLESS just because they get old. Thinking like this really scares me!

Jack

April 15th, 2011
11:01 am

What we have here in this piece is a brilliant plan; so simple it should have been thought of long before now: starve-the-old and feed-the-kids. Simple and brilliant at the same time.

na

April 15th, 2011
11:01 am

It seems to be that CT always agrees with Obama on anything. I listened to him, all the way through his speech, I have always said he is a good talker, he just does not understand what he is talking about or how to take charge and fix anything. It seems to be in the socilalist movement that is taking place now it is all about stealing money from the people who earn it at gun point. It is never about looking at how the money is spent. No one can say the US government has ever spent money wisely but no one wants to do the dirty work and cut out the waste, cut out the hand outs that should not be, because if we did we could help the ones who need and deserve help and bypass the ones who have no intention of working as long as they can get free money. As Obama says he does not need the money, and Warren Buffet does not need the money, then if they are so eager to help they can donate their money and just note that neither of them or Bill Gates or any of the wealthiest people in this country are jumping at the chance to donate money to the US government as they know it would be wasted. When they do give they set up their own organizations to take care of things in a more finacially responsible fashion. The government has never handled money properly so why set up more things for them to waste our money.
We need to take our government back. We need to return to the home of the free and the land of the brave.

Truth

April 15th, 2011
11:02 am

Good Ariticle Cynthia! too bad it took you so long to get to the meat of the thing. The elderly lobby has become one of the most powerful, self serving groups in the US with no regard for the future. Problem is, they VOTE and it takes marbles to stand up to them.

zeke

April 15th, 2011
11:03 am

How convenient that you left wing nuts forget that A REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED CONGRESS FORCED CLINTON TO HAVE LOWER DEFICIT AND BALANCE IN THE BUDGET! W. had no choice after September 11, 2001, but to spend as required to defeat terrorists intent on destroying the USA and indeed killing all Americans! The tax reductions actually kept us on a pretty even economic footing until 2006 and the democrat scourge in Congress! What is killing us is all the idealist create utopia programs and spending, not letting those who work keep more of their money! Programs like wic, adc, medicaid, food stamps, and others that are in effect no more than a redistribution of money from hard working people to those who in many many case refuse to work and live off other who pay taxes. If I, who has never earned $ 100 thousand per year decide to assist someone needing help financially, medically or otherwise, that is my choice to do, IT IS NOT THE CHOICE, OR CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY OF GOVERNMENT TO FORCE ME TO FUND ANY AND ALL PROGRAMS AS THEY SEE FIT! IT IS CRIMINAL! IT IS NOT CONSTITUTIONAL!

John Laszlo

April 15th, 2011
11:04 am

Why cannot we give serious consideration to the important issues that Ms. Tucker raises? Character attacks do not help us solve the fact that our country is bleeding to death in red ink. We have a system in which seniors can arrange to get a motorized wheelchair for any number of complaints when most of the time the really healthy choice would be getting up and down by themselves or with assistance from a family member or friend. We charge insurance or Medicare for all too expensive and worthless dietary supplements and proprietary medications which often are less effective than aspirin or placebo. Cutbacks in some of these programs are not only possible but desirable. We also need to address our failing schools-sometimes the problem is hunger, sometimes failed family care, sometimes weak schools. But the real issue is that our children are the future of this country and we older people (I am 80 and a doctor) need to put the brakes on our entitlement programs-we have had our chance.

wakes

April 15th, 2011
11:04 am

You have to love the Neo-Comms. They are the only people in the world that can percisely explain their love and desires for death panels without calling them such, and with a straight face scorn you and call you a “racist, homophobic bigot” for dare mentioning they are suggesting such a thing.

na

April 15th, 2011
11:05 am

Soylent Green
Just eat the old folks and get them out of the way.
they produced before but can not anymore.
I bet some of those old folks could outwork and out think the younger folks but they are not allowed to work as there are no jobs for them, Also a part of the brilliant Obama plan

BDUDLEY

April 15th, 2011
11:07 am

For 44 years I have paid the SS max. Fortunately, I can live without SS. I just want to know what happened with the money. I thought it was supposed to always be there.

RGB

April 15th, 2011
11:07 am

We focus too much of our attention on frivolous topics and should take Our President’s example of what really matters in this challenging time. So forget health care, jobs/the economy, and national security.

**Obama Disappointed With Lack of ‘Cool’ Phone in Oval Office**

“The Oval Office, I always thought I was going to have really cool phones and stuff,” he said during a small fundraising event at a Chicago restaurant. “I’m like, c’mon guys, I’m the president of the United States. Where’s the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up? It doesn’t happen.”

Billy Ray Valentine

April 15th, 2011
11:09 am

John Laszlo,

You might not want to admit that you’re 80 years old, CT might be knocking on your door with a silver hammer in order to eliminate another one of those pesky old people.

After all, if we save money by getting rid of old people who paid dues to society (ww2, korea, vietnam) we can hand out more money to people who have done nothing for society except stand in line to collect a free check from the government.

Reggie Hartwell

April 15th, 2011
11:11 am

Cynthia, I have read your column since I was in college. I am now 43 years old and for the first time, I am left speechless by your article. I don’t even know where to start. The government has spent hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars on education for our young and the war on poverty since the 1960’s. Public education has improved little, if any and we still have plenty of poor people. But I guess your solution would be to just spend MORE money. I have just one question for you, who will decide the “cut off” age when a person stops getting medical care? Is it 55, 60, 70 years old? Will you decide whose life is worth saving and whose isn’t. If the governmet wasn’t so inefficient and wasteful in almost everything it does, there would be plenty of money to go around for both the elderly and the young. The “adult” conversation that needs to be had needs to center around getting the government the hell out of the way, and let the free market play more of a role in health care. Aren’t you getting “up there” in age yourself? Let’s hope your ideas don’t get implemented before YOU get sick and are told, “sorry Cynthia” you’re too old, why don’t you just go home and die.”

Sin-thia Trucker

April 15th, 2011
11:11 am

U noe how it iz. We gotz to have r kool phones.

sport

April 15th, 2011
11:12 am

Do you know what the govt. should do with the elderly or th e kids? NOTHING. B/c whatever plan they devise it will not work out as expected and cost more than expected, if the govt. did nothing, at the end of the day, we’d all be better off.

I still don’t understand the trust that some of you put in your politicians. Everything that comes out of their mouths is basically copy for their re-election campaign. They do not want to solve our countries problems, they want to get re-elected. So as you blindly follow your favorite politician allbeit on the right or left, all you are doing in ensuring their re-election. What’s in it for you?

Eric

April 15th, 2011
11:12 am

So here is my take on this. Instead of supporting more and more children of parents who can’t support them themselves, spend money on birth control. Why is it the governments fault that an irresponsible parent can’t afford their child? Shouldn’t there be some sort of personal responsibility for a persons action in giving birth to a child? I understand it’s not the child’s fault, but why is it my fault? It’s my taxes that go to support this child.

The flip side is that the elderly, for the most part, have paid into this system their entire lives, and are now cashing in on those payments. Granted, Medicare is not fully funded by current contributions and we need to address that. But the elderly have paid for this entitlement program. It needs some tweeks to get it back on the right track, but ending it would be in affect taking away the investment the elderly have made through years of hard work.

In a perfect world we could support both the elderly and the children, but let’s face it, nobody wants increased taxes right now. So we have to make a reasonable choice based on the facts. And the fact is, no child has paid for the programs they will take part in. Additionally the parents of these children are typically on the lower end of the pay scale, so you know their tax dollars are not the ones supporting these entitlement programs. For the most part these irresponsible parents are getting tax breaks and credits that actually make them money. Many are getting more money back from the government at tax time than they paid into the system the entire year. So we are in affect rewarding irresponsible behavior.

I say spend the money on the people that contributed their entire life, they have more of a right to these funds. Let people be personally responsible for their own children, and send out the message that if you can’t support your child adequately, don’t have one…or five.

But I will say as a “republicrat,” my own little party that believes in walking right down the middle, I believe the only way we are going to make inroads to our budget deficit is by major spending cuts across the board coupled with tax increases. Anybody who looks at the numbers realizes spending cuts or additional taxes by themselves is never going to solve the problem. We need our politicians to be honest with us and be adult enough to step across the party lines and meet in the middle. Would that be popular…hell no…but it’s the ONLY thing that will get us out of this mess we are in.

Billy Ray Valentine

April 15th, 2011
11:13 am

Reggie says it best, fianlly an idea I can agree with….

“sorry Cynthia” you’re too old, why don’t you just go home and die.”

Kamchak's Gerbil

April 15th, 2011
11:13 am

Gm – are you retarded?

danny

April 15th, 2011
11:15 am

Funny how George Bush is still Tucker’s favorite whipping boy!

Scott

April 15th, 2011
11:18 am

In fairness, CT and Odumba are not advocating killing old people. They just want everyone to stop wasting money on them and to put them out in the back yard so they can die in peace.

HUGE difference.

Not Blind

April 15th, 2011
11:20 am

We spend too much on illegal aliens, too much on foreign aid, too much on corporate wellfare, too much on foolish entitlements.

Belfish Sastards

April 15th, 2011
11:20 am

In my family, we take care of our own elderly – grandparents died in their own bedroom in the ’90’s – visiting nurse came for awhile when we needed help. We also take care of our own children – read to them, teach them, feed them, etc. We don’t need no stinkin’ government to help with this – families need to buckle down and do this themselves. If you have a bluetooth in your ear, a 50″ TV on the wall, a GPS on your dashboard, and a receipt in your pocket from the $100 meal you had last night, and you are complaining that the government isn’t helping you and your family enough, you need to re-think your life, bud.

Some People are stupid

April 15th, 2011
11:21 am

Contractor-

You seem to have this notion that everyone on assistance is doing it on purpose. How many people do you think are refusing to look for a job. Seriously, the unemployment max in GA is 355 with the additonal funds, to get that you had to make at least 40k in the prior 12 months. SO you believe someone who was making 40k or more is fine making 18k. So out of the millions of people who lost there job, you believe the majority of them are sitting at home doing nothing. So the fact that there is a 5 to 1 job applicant ratio means nothing.Come on man. You truly can’t believe that.
And you’re right, just because someone has a bunch of kids, they shouldn’t get unlimited support, and they don’t welfare has a work requirement and a 5 year window(Welfare Reform Act), but on the inverse, what do you want the kids to do, starve..
Illegals receive free medical care the same way Americans can receive free medical care, ti;s called being poor. As far as taxes, they may not pay all the taxes but they do pay some. They pay sales tax everytime they purchase a good,if the rent, they indirectly pay property taxes. They don’t pay income tax and they don’t pay SSI or Medicare, but then they aren’t entitled to any of those so they receive no benefit.

And the man has said” I want to go back to the Clinton Tax Rates”. So yes, we are talking about 3%.

Obama and his administration want to stick it to the rich and more fortunate in order to cover for the society that doesn’t live within their means..

HUH??? By spending in education and high speed rails…how does that even relate to people and their means. Even if he said he wanted to raise taxes to increase welfare…they aren’t living above their means…they have no means.

There are no hidden fees in the Obamacare bill. Everything was laid out. What fees are hidden. In fact, how do you hide fees in a bill anyway.

BeeJay

April 15th, 2011
11:21 am

Title should be “US spends too much” period. On anything. On anybody. US spends money it doesn’t have. And doesn’t care. US is in outrageous debt to China and racks up more every day.

Raising taxes is the Democratic answer to everything. It is NOT the correct answer. Only ignorance, stupidity, or determination not to admit somebody besides Democrats might be right keep people like Ms Tucker from either (1) admitting the truth or (2) learning the facts.

National economics is a LOT more than “grade-school math.” Liberals need to grow up past grade school and understand complicated and realistic economics. They need to understand capitalism unless, of course, they are not interested in capitalism (hmmm….).

If I thought that receiving more money would help our idiotic government pay our debts, my thinking would go further, but they are NOT interested in paying our debts. They are interested only in spending more money. THEY NEED TO STOP SPENDING MONEY. Our largest expenditures are entitlements – welfare in all its various forms. Entitlements are NOT policed as they should be and are WAY out of hand.

I’m sick to death of this woman fawning all over Obama. It’s bad enough that HE thinks he’s god.

P.S. His speech is not “adult” nor is it informative other than to tell us he has all the answers, as usual. LOL. No details.

Not Blind

April 15th, 2011
11:22 am

I better add that providing for the needy elderly and disabled are NOT foolish entitlements. The entitlements for healthy poor are foolish but are so entrenched that I can’t see any way to reform them.

David

April 15th, 2011
11:25 am

First of all, claiming to be the “adult” in the conversation is a sure sign you’re losing an argument. Shame on you for trying to legitimation the honest attempts by conservatives to actually restrict the size of government. You may disagree, but it’s a legitimate, reasoned, and *ahem* adult position, worthy of honest debate.

As far as taxes go, if Reaganomics is voodoo economics then please find me a witch doctor asap. Adults know that the real voodoo is in the assumption that increasing tax *rates* increases tax *revenues*. It’s not child-like math, it’s sophisticated economics and psychology. It’s been proven time and again. Remember that awful tax-cutter Ronald Reagan? Tax revenues *doubled* from the time he was inaugurated until he left office. Yet the top tax rate was more than halved. How can this be?

Adults — *real* adults, as a certain columnist would assert — know that the key figure is tax revenues as a percent of GDP. And that has remained very stable despite the best efforts of progressives to increase the government’s share of the pie.

Conservatives, on the other hand, aren’t interested in getting bigger slices, because that’s a zero sum game that inevitably breeds resentment and mistrust between citizens. Conservatives want to make bigger pies. If the economy grows 20%, then government revenues will increase accordingly. That’s why lower tax rates work. They provide the real seed corn — capital — that allows businesses to invest, expand, hire, etc. that in turn grows the economy. Bigger economy = bigger revenues.

Lastly, I’ll note the false base assumption: that it’s the federal government’s job to spend on the elderly and children. I’ve yet to see the argument for why it makes sense for me to send money to Washington to pay a bureaucrat to find and support someone in my own community who needs help. It’s economically inefficient, it breaks down the social compact between the classes, and undermines our values of independence and liberty.

kayaker 71

April 15th, 2011
11:26 am

CT,

The leading cause of death in black males between the ages of 18 and 35 is violent homicide, usually perpetrated by someone of their own race. There is a 70% out of wedlock birth rate in the black community with no father in the home. More abortions are performed on black woman than any other segment of our society, yet they represent the lowest percentage of the population as a group. We spend billions each year trying to bring make this segment of our society productive, responsible citizens. Who is destroying the children, CT? It certainly isn’t some evil white person with a grudge against blacks. We don’t need to do a thing. All we need to do is to stand by and watch them destroy themselves…… at taxpayer expense. And you think that this is going to be cured by killing off a bunch of old people so all of that money can be spent to continue making the same mistakes that we have made since the mid 60s? Reminds one of a circular firing squad.

Billy Ray Valentine

April 15th, 2011
11:27 am

CT, (not that she’s actually going to respond)

What other programs would you suggest we cut spending?

What programs would you like to see us increase spending for?

fascist gopher

April 15th, 2011
11:28 am

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a TIME TO DIE; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Hurry up old-farts, we gotta balance the budget.

Independent

April 15th, 2011
11:37 am

I don’t think that we spend TOO MUCH on the elderly. Remember, Social Security and Medicare are insurance programs into which the elderly have been paying all their lives. We do need to increase taxes – start by increasing Medicare taxes to make Medicare self-sufficient ( it is horribly in the red now). Also, while I think the rich need to pay more taxes (it was a dumb idea to give the tax breaks in the past when we had deficit spending), I also think we should establish a minimum income tax of 5% that all people should pay. This should be deducted from your paycheck and not subject to any refund. Also, do away with the refundable part of the EITC – that is nothing more than a welfare handout in disguise. More kids = higher EITC. Spread the pain arount to everyone and that makes it more fair. Forget the voodoo economics; there should be no tax decreases until the debt is paid off.

Then you need to get serious about spending cuts – again, spread the pain around and make it fair.

catlady

April 15th, 2011
11:39 am

Kids have someone who should be taking care of them–their parents. While the elderly should have someone taking care of them, many do not (their kids are busy taking care of the grandchildren) and are, perhaps, more in need of someone to help them. Of course, the elderly presumably have worked and have some assets.

I think there is too little expected and required of the families of folks who need help. I don’t think abandoning granny to the nursing home to have taxpayers foot the bill is the correct answer.

Sometimes maybe the safety net is strung a little too tightly and too far from the ground.

(Of course, I don’t think widows/widowers should be allowed to draw off their deceased mate’s SS, either. In this day and age, all folks should earn their own way onto SS)

Billy Ray Valentine

April 15th, 2011
11:39 am

Facist gopher….I thought that was a Byrds song from Forrest Gump?

I was wrong again!

AngryRedMarsWoman

April 15th, 2011
11:39 am

“It may be easy to toss out there when you’re not in the group that will suffer from such actions.”

And that is what it all boils down to. Cut – but not programs I use. Tax – but not my money. As the members of the political class sit on their gilded thrones and laugh watching us tear one another apart while they steal all they can and hand out meager scraps to appease the masses – exactly as they have planned.

Independent

April 15th, 2011
11:42 am

Eric @ 11:12 am

You are very correct.

catlady

April 15th, 2011
11:43 am

Anyone ever calculated how long it takes to “draw” the amount you have put in to SS or Medicare (assuming typical health)? I think the short length of time would surprise you!

buck@gon

April 15th, 2011
11:45 am

BehindEnemyLines 8:52 am
I thought death panels were just a scare tactic used by that horrid GOP?

TREMENDOUS OBSERVATION!!!! Well done.

Unfortunately, Americans are behind enemy lines when reading the ajc, and they are in foreign ground too, it would seem. Most Americans work far harder than the very civil but absent C. Tucker.

Billy Ray Valentine

April 15th, 2011
11:46 am

AngryRedMarsWoman – “Tax – but not my money”

So would you be ok with EVERYONE paying a 20% flat income tax?

That way everyone is taxed at an equal rate for the money they earn.

Buster Collins

April 15th, 2011
11:47 am

Your comments are stupefying Ms. Tucker. First, you talk about the President engaging in an “adult conversation?” Really? Did you here his comments at his private gathering last night in Chicago? Go listen. Clearly he’s demonstrated, like he did in 2008 when he talked about rural folks “clinging” to their guns and religion, that’s he’s an arrogant SOB.

And it’s been amateur hour in the White House since he arrived. He had that dolt of a press secretary Gibbs who couldn’t talk his way out of a sack trying to sell his message. A large part of this country rose up against him during the health care debate, that vilified Tea Party, whose immediate concern was over spending, freedom and the national debt. (Boy, oh, that’s right, according to you, we are largely racists).

Obviously there is no comparison between the Clinton years and the Bush years. Clinton prospered from fortunate circumstances that he did not create, and signed a repeal that opened the door for anybody and his Uncle Joe to loan money in the mortgage industry. Well that took about a decade to backfire, and Bush had to deal with it, bailing out those who shouldn’t have been loaning money in the first place. And then there’s 9/11/01. If it had been 9/11/93, then you’d have seen another Clinton debacle.

Finally, to you realize what you are saying when you write? If tough choices are to be made, as you suggest, then why are we spending so much on the elderly in the last three years of their lives, the most expensive ones when it comes to health care?
If you are suggesting we have an “adult” conversation on this, then, people will act in their own self interest. You think people are just going to be encouraged to let themselves die? No, but money is tight and your form of government will step in. And the result of that is—death panels. And you make Sarah Palin right along.

You are ignorant. You are not thoughtful. You are not reasonable. You sole purpose is to lobbed grenades at the other side. You too are incapable of having an adult conversation.

Not at the Trough

April 15th, 2011
11:48 am

What makes me sick is that, as a responsible person, I have saved for my retirement (no pensions or healthcare plans for this one), and have just enough to live on for my life expectancy. Now I hear that this President will cut my social security because I have saved and am therefore “fortunate” or “wealthy”. I would like to get him alone in a room.

Independent

April 15th, 2011
11:50 am

If you want to look at things to cut, look at Medicaid spending on young people having babies. Pregnancy account for a lot of Medicaid spending; this is a CHOICE and there is nothing saying that normal childbirth has to be done in a hospital. Let these women have their babies in little (soundproof) rooms just outside the hospital. No drugs, just the way nature intended. If there is a medical emergency, the hospital is right there. Otherwise, cheap and easy.

kayaker 71

April 15th, 2011
11:51 am

So if you eliminate SS benefits from those who make over a certain amount/yr, what do you do with the money that they have already contributed? Most people who attain wealth do it gradually over a period of time. Why penalize excellence and reward mediocrity? I am tired of being responsible for the bad choices others make. And I am going to be expected to give up a certain portion of my life to continue to support these bad choices?

Mr Right

April 15th, 2011
11:55 am

Me

April 15th, 2011
10:33 am

Mr Right
April 15th, 2011
10:20 am

CT, please explain how taking peoples money increases prosperity. So if that is true why don’t we tax everyone 90% and then we could really prosper like they did in the old USSR!!

Easy, we collect more and paydown our debt. Or even just collect more to balance the budget as we did in the 90s with Clinton. Then the world markets view our economy as stronger, and up goes the value of the dollar. Then you can more easily afford those Chinese goods at Walmart and Target. The key here is to have a balanced budget. You do that by trimming spending and collecting more – then watch what happens to the dollar. Just like in the Clinton years….. Everyone needs to pay their share

The top 5% pay 58% of taxes paid so it looks like they are paying their share so it must be the rest that are not! You could tax the you know what out of the rich and it still would still only put a dent in the deficit so taxing more is NOT the answer. We have a spending problem not a problem of not taxing enough!

Buster Collins

April 15th, 2011
11:58 am

Oh, lest we forget; children didn’t ask to be born, isn’t that right, Cynthia? So why bother?

Mr Right

April 15th, 2011
12:00 pm

CT in favor of death panels? Hmmm- Wasn’t that what Sara Palin said would happen?

Billy Ray Valentine

April 15th, 2011
12:02 pm

children didn’t ask to be born, but these old people aren’t asking to die.

I can see the headlines now…….

Mother of 6 kills her 75 year old mother because her baby needed food.

buck@gon

April 15th, 2011
12:03 pm

Cynthia,

Upon review of this whole blog and the overwhelming number of CIVIL AND COURTEOUS disagreements with you, and given the fact that you have not once, as an adult or otherwise conversed or responded to reasonable criticism, and given the fact that you have written only two blogs this week, and given the fact that this is supposed to be your job; I’m wondering if it isn’t time for you to go somewhere else where you will feel more compelled to engage in your public responsibility as the editorial editor of the only newspaper in the Metro Atlanta area.

Is it that you so disrespect us, your fellow citizens, or is it that you have nothing left in your rhetorical bag of tricks to sell policies that most here will tell you have already failed? Is “holding an adult conversation” like we all suspect, just going along with whatever you or Obama says? Why not go somewhere where you aren’t creating “kleesay” “conversations”, and where your blogging friends will not be censored electronically from writing “kleeshay” about your own writing? Maybe it’s upper management, maybe it’s you, but everyone has got to admit, your work here is not what it used to be. You’ve made lots of money doing this for a good long while now, and you still have your Pullitzer….

Why not get a job with the Obama campaign for 2012? You’ve certainly served a long time here in Atlanta. Leave now while–like Eric Holder said, the man you called a “patriot”— you can still help “your people”.

I’m going to send my concerns along to upper management and to the publisher in hopes of expediting this process for you.

Sinerely,

Buck