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What should we cut to reduce the deficit?
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jpbassking



Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 2299
Location: Leo

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

End the war. Bring our people home. Secure our borders. Save billions.

AND KEEP YOUR FRIGGEN MITS OFF SOCIAL SECURITY!

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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 4646

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chandler--I think the idea with some currency is modest; increase the age of full benefits from 67 to 69 in two one-year increments. That would/should probably raise the early retirement age from 62 to 64, or reduce benefits. The reason is that people who have paid into it have not paid enough to capitalize the stream of benefits. Social Security is paid in party by current payees. Payroll tax increases may make it sounder, but they still end up being a tax on todays young workers. All of us old farts really didn't pay enough to fund it. Sad truth. Same is true of the State pension system. I advocate small changes now.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1847

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swchandler

Please reread my post regarding SS. I have suggested increasing Medicare (not Social Security) age to 67 to save money if we are not willing to tax. Contrary to popular belief, the Medicare tax 2% does not even come close to funding the program.

Social Security is a different beast. And short term is funded. For me (early 50's) it is already to 67.

I see no reason why the benefits provided by the advancement in medical care should not extend our ability to work longer rather than increase the length of time we get Medicare.

In either case, changes should be phased in.

I, too will be relying, at least partially, on SS when I fully retire.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1847

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The subject of government pensions is another matter completely. I won't get one, but I also feel like it is unfair to pull the rug from under those folks. However, look for states to try and reduce cost of living increases to reduce funding short falls.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13265

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
1. Did it make economic or military sense to close that base? I don't know. But, at the end of the day, politics was served.

2. How about combining military bases from different branches that are in close proximity to each other?

3. I don't think we can really reduce the deficit without coming to terms with our military and SS spending.

4. Closing loopholes ... raising marginal tax rates ... interest deduction ... capital gains exclusions


1. I recall laughing out loud with the local host when a local TR caller asked the host, "Do you suspect politics was a factor in keeping our base open?" The stunned answer was something like, "That's the ONLY factor in base closures."

2. Being done, but I'd be surprised if the savings is a major percentage. Their missions are so very different that the duplication of effort is not as big as the general public would think. Lotsa dollar bills, I'm sure, but a big percentage? That would surprise me.

3. We must be very careful about cutting military spending. There's no point in cutting the deficit if we're defeated and overrun, and short of that, a weak military makes effective negotiations difficult to impossible, just as our weak, apologetic, USA-criticizing president endangers us today.

4. The FAIR TAX eliminates ALL that stupid $#!+ and the OTHER 67,000 PAGES of BS. Anyone who actually studies it -- unlike the Left, Middle, and half of the Right of the public, the congress, and the media -- can't help but support it.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5433

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead,

My apologies, you are right about your focus being Medicare rather than Social Security. At this point, I'm sure that it's quite clear that Social Security is a real hot button issue for me.

Regarding Medicare, I don't necessarily agree with raising the eligibility age, but I think that things need to change significantly. I personally feel that folks should take more responsibility for their own healthcare.

I'm quite happy with my high deductible health insurance plan with a HSA option. Moreover, I don't have to have a primary care physician, and have a lot of choice in selecting the physicians I want. While I do pay a monthly premium for the plan, I have to admit that as a Raytheon retiree, they also contribute a part of the overall premium. If the government could under Medicare be a partial contributor much like Raytheon currently does for me now, I think it would be good solution. At 65, when I start Medicare and Raytheon's role ends, the government will be required to start picking up the costs for my care, and under the current scheme of Medicare now, it will cost the government significantly more overall.

Also, for folks like myself that regularly incur higher yearly medical costs, the HSA is a great idea because you can totally write off the income that you contribute and potentially save it into the future tax free. If one is lucky and sustains good health, you benefit directly and can build a significant cushion for the future should you ever experience a health event.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1847

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting idea to maybe "phase in" Medicare. There may be a compromise that allows folks to delay receiving Medicare for a lower copayment later. Or allow a higher deductible to share some risk and lower copays or premiums.

Health care costs prior to the enactment of the health care reform was projected to increase at some 6% per year and consume 20% of the total GDP by 2019 (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services). Health care reform may shift costs to the Federal Government (CBO), but overall costs as a function of the GDP will be statistically the same. The next decade after that is where the value of the health plan should be realized.

Now, I sharpened up my pencil and got $45 B from Medicare, $25 B from Medicaid, $ 20 B with a new gas tax, and $40 B with a 3% across the board cut. All of these would be difficult to accomplish. Total $130 B. Deficit for 2012 is projected to be $800 B!
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13265

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW ... I'm impressed! Obama says we need to reduce the deficit by 3%! Doesn't say how he might accomplish it, but just think ... $40B a year! Isn't that impressive? Oh, well ... at least he defended his government expansion thus far and vows to keep growing it.

I want to hear outrage from every one of you libs, after your and my well-justified outrage when Bush did the same damn thing.

He hasn't learned ANYTHING!
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1847

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No - Obama said freeze spending on domestic programs for 5 years to reduce the deficit $400B.

I was the one to propose 3% across the board cuts on discretionary spending primarily to show how little effect it would have on the deficit.

Neither one of us will get our way!!

I admit, once he said tort reform, the wife and I were dancing and singing so much I missed the rest of the speech.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13265

PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
No - Obama said freeze spending on domestic programs for 5 years to reduce the deficit $400B.


Over 10 years. That's $40B/yr.
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