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(CNN)   Fareed Zakaria: The left needs to pull their collective heads out of their arses if they think the U.S. can sustain these entitlements without reform, because the people aren't getting any younger   (globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com) divider line 200
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1954 clicks; posted to Politics » on 20 Dec 2012 at 7:03 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-20 05:08:50 PM
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid made up 25 percent of federal spending. Today they add up to a whopping 40 percent. Within a decade, they will be over 50 percent. 
 
Very Serious Person alert.
 
SS is solvent for the next TWENTY FIVE YEARS and will continue to be fine after that with even minor tweaking.
 
As for the other two, health care costs are not crazy expensive because of Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare and Medicaid are crazy expensive because of health care costs. Fix that, you'll fix the rest.
 
Highlight: He mentions defense spending once in the article, grouped with every thing else.
 
Defense spending solvent until 2037? Still running in the black, is it?
 
VSP!
 
2012-12-20 05:21:22 PM

Dusk-You-n-Me: SS is solvent for the next TWENTY FIVE YEARS and will continue to be fine after that with even minor tweaking.


None of that matters since the Right won the media war they've been waging over the past generation. Nowadays stuff that we paid for is seen as freebies the government gives out. Medicare will probably become a voucher at some point and SS will slowly be cut until it's barely worth anything and there is pretty much nothing we can do about it.
 
2012-12-20 05:50:21 PM
People seem to forget that Social Security was created to help kick us out of the depression by giving people a fallback so they didn't just cache all their money in coffee cans and mattresses. It was put in place so people would spend money and kickstart an economy.
 
I wonder what the effect would be if we took that out of play.
 
2012-12-20 06:00:28 PM
Who is this mythical lefty in the government who doesn't want to reform social programs?
 
2012-12-20 06:07:15 PM

unlikely: People seem to forget that Social Security was created to help kick us out of the depression by giving people a fallback so they didn't just cache all their money in coffee cans and mattresses. It was put in place so people would spend money and kickstart an economy.
 
I wonder what the effect would be if we took that out of play.


It was also designed to keep old people from becoming destitute and/or being a burden on their families.
 
2012-12-20 06:27:04 PM

Ambivalence: It was also designed to keep old people from becoming destitute and/or being a burden on their families.


Now that there are more old people, it makes sense to dismantle it.
 
2012-12-20 07:05:24 PM
Fareed Zakaria stumping on screwing the working class based on bullshiat? Boy, that's new and exciting.
 
2012-12-20 07:08:44 PM
I'm amazed at the TERRIBLE messaging of the Obama administration about this. The whole budget thing should be about priorities. Could we improve things by CPI-chaining and retirement-age-raising and voucherizing? Sure.

Should we do those things BEFORE reducing the military budget by oh, say, HALF? Ending corporate subsidies? Revisiting a ~45% top marginal tax rate? Absolutely not.

That's what the message should be. Which things should get cut first, and which things should be the last to go. No one who is experiencing a financial crunch would stop buying food while keeping their HBO cable TV package.
 
2012-12-20 07:08:45 PM

cameroncrazy1984: Who is this mythical lefty in the government who doesn't want to reform social programs?


How about me? Its whats propping up the middle class in times of stagnant wages. And by times, I mean the last 40 years or so.
 
2012-12-20 07:09:01 PM
I'm open to reforming medicare and social security.  What I am not open to is reforms that only kick in for people under 50.  This can't be a massive crisis  that requires drastic cuts and simultaneously something that we will not see have any impact on the bottom line for 20+ years.  The way it's structured now, it's just a sop to older people to get them to vote Republican.
 
Not to mention that SS can be made solvent very easily.
 
2012-12-20 07:10:44 PM
He's right...and oh, look what I found here...in 11 days Defense spending will drop by 50%.

*dusts hands*

/time for a drink
 
2012-12-20 07:14:15 PM
Last I checked, we had.

It's the Republican Strawman that we don't want to fix things he is arguing against.
 
2012-12-20 07:15:52 PM

unlikely: People seem to forget that Social Security was created to help kick us out of the depression by giving people a fallback so they didn't just cache all their money in coffee cans and mattresses. It was put in place so people would spend money and kickstart an economy.

I wonder what the effect would be if we took that out of play.


Now the money is being horded by CEO's...
 
2012-12-20 07:19:18 PM
The problem with this is that it assumes that the deficit is the problem its made out to be. Government debt is our dollars. Reducing it reduces our dollars. And if we cut social programs while raising taxes and taking away our dollars, we are well and truly farked.
 
2012-12-20 07:19:19 PM
Problem: to many old people
Solution: death panels.

The leftists got this.
 
2012-12-20 07:19:23 PM

cameroncrazy1984: Who is this mythical lefty in the government who doesn't want to reform social programs?


It's not so much a left v right thing as that everybody thinks we should sacrifice the other guy's sacred cow. Business as usual, basically.
 
2012-12-20 07:20:48 PM
Now, since entitlements-social security, Medicare and defense spending have powerful interest-group support, what's going to happen is, everything else, all other federal spending will wither

I have a real simple solution to this. Take the entitlement called defense spending, and reduce it to double the next highest country's. Bam! Instant solvency. It wouldn't wipe out the deficit, but it would be close enought hat we'd have no real problems with the deficit any time in the foreseeable future.

But then, I'd also tell Japan they were on their own, and offer to sell them one of our carrier groups including the George Washington and the Enterprise. Does $800 billion in U.S. bonds seem like a fair deal to you?
 
2012-12-20 07:20:55 PM

Jim_Callahan: cameroncrazy1984: Who is this mythical lefty in the government who doesn't want to reform social programs?

It's not so much a left v right thing as that everybody thinks we should sacrifice the other guy's sacred cow. Business as usual, basically.


Well, the important thing is that there is no qualitative difference between the various sets of policies and so you can becomfortably above it all.
 
2012-12-20 07:21:10 PM
This is bullshiat. The government has plenty of money, and almost unlimited supply, and we should start (or keep) handing it out freely.

/how else will they keep their jobs?
 
2012-12-20 07:21:40 PM

bartink: cameroncrazy1984: Who is this mythical lefty in the government who doesn't want to reform social programs?

How about me? Its whats propping up the middle class in times of stagnant wages. And by times, I mean the last 40 years or so.


Do I address you as Senator?
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2012-12-20 07:22:34 PM

kbronsito: Problem: to many old people
Solution: death panels.

The leftists got this.


0/10 idiotic
 
2012-12-20 07:26:12 PM
No, the answer is that if we want the entitlements, we need a VAT. Or we have to live without them. It's possible to pay for all this, but it requires actually PAYING for it. But good luck convincing people to pay a 10% (or whatever it turns out to be) VAT on all goods.
 
2012-12-20 07:28:53 PM

Drannon: No, the answer is that if we want the entitlements, we need a VAT. Or we have to live without them. It's possible to pay for all this, but it requires actually PAYING for it. But good luck convincing people to pay a 10% (or whatever it turns out to be) VAT on all goods.


Because cutting defense spending to merely twice as much as anyone else in the world and allowing Medicare to negotiate instead of just handing big sacks full of cash over to anyone in a white coat is so darling unthinkable.
 
2012-12-20 07:28:56 PM
Farking jebuzzes neo- con. Derpfest

Oh!
 
2012-12-20 07:29:29 PM

cameroncrazy1984: bartink: cameroncrazy1984: Who is this mythical lefty in the government who doesn't want to reform social programs?

How about me? Its whats propping up the middle class in times of stagnant wages. And by times, I mean the last 40 years or so.

Do I address you as Senator?


Fark that job.
 
2012-12-20 07:31:15 PM

unlikely: Now that there are more old people, it makes sense to dismantle it.


There are more young people too.
 
2012-12-20 07:31:22 PM
A VAT is extremely regressive. If you're looking to stick it to the poor and middle class that's exactly what a VAT would do.

Know what would actually help? A triggered AMT. Make a million dollars a year? You have to pay 15% taxes no matter how many deductions you have.
 
2012-12-20 07:34:13 PM

A Dark Evil Omen: Drannon: No, the answer is that if we want the entitlements, we need a VAT. Or we have to live without them. It's possible to pay for all this, but it requires actually PAYING for it. But good luck convincing people to pay a 10% (or whatever it turns out to be) VAT on all goods.

Because cutting defense spending to merely twice as much as anyone else in the world and allowing Medicare to negotiate instead of just handing big sacks full of cash over to anyone in a white coat is so darling unthinkable.


Oh, I'm not denying that both defense spending and healthcare spending (especially the insane hospital costs at the end of life) are out of control. But even with that, if we do want to truly provide entitlements (or even a single payer), infrastructure spending, and other things which cost a lot of money, you're going to need a stable, high revenue stream like a VAT. I'm pro VAT, for the record - but it's a very difficult sell. Since the price of the VAT is inherent in the good itself, it becomes less of a political issue, you don't see it going out of your paycheck directly and it doesn't show up on your receipt. That's also its downside - it's too easy to raise it slowly without anyone really 'feeling' it.
 
2012-12-20 07:34:59 PM
I came here expecting at least one person to be making fun of his appearance, which I find entertaining.
 
2012-12-20 07:35:59 PM

Hastor: A VAT is extremely regressive. If you're looking to stick it to the poor and middle class that's exactly what a VAT would do.

Know what would actually help? A triggered AMT. Make a million dollars a year? You have to pay 15% taxes no matter how many deductions you have.


Well it's definitely regressive but you could have exceptions for certain incomes/types of spending. It would just have to be a higher rate to make up the difference.

And I'm for a triggered AMT as well.
 
2012-12-20 07:36:29 PM
Cutting Social Security and Medicare doesn't really save money, it just shifts those costs onto those who can least afford to pay those costs. Older people will still need to pay their bills and get healthcare. But heaven forbid we ask multi-millionaires to pay more and cut the obscene defense spending.
 
2012-12-20 07:38:17 PM

Drannon: A Dark Evil Omen: Drannon: No, the answer is that if we want the entitlements, we need a VAT. Or we have to live without them. It's possible to pay for all this, but it requires actually PAYING for it. But good luck convincing people to pay a 10% (or whatever it turns out to be) VAT on all goods.

Because cutting defense spending to merely twice as much as anyone else in the world and allowing Medicare to negotiate instead of just handing big sacks full of cash over to anyone in a white coat is so darling unthinkable.

Oh, I'm not denying that both defense spending and healthcare spending (especially the insane hospital costs at the end of life) are out of control. But even with that, if we do want to truly provide entitlements (or even a single payer), infrastructure spending, and other things which cost a lot of money, you're going to need a stable, high revenue stream like a VAT. I'm pro VAT, for the record - but it's a very difficult sell. Since the price of the VAT is inherent in the good itself, it becomes less of a political issue, you don't see it going out of your paycheck directly and it doesn't show up on your receipt. That's also its downside - it's too easy to raise it slowly without anyone really 'feeling' it.


This might be true if we were operationally constrained by tax revenues and borrowing to spend. We aren't.
 
2012-12-20 07:40:13 PM
The older people get, the more expensive their health care becomes. That is true if you give them amazing health care before their old or if you give them none. But in the long run, it's cheaper to give them good health care early than it is to raise the limits on age.

Every year a citizen holds off on buying insurance and getting good health care services because they are waiting for Medicare to finally cover a lot of the bills gets more and more costly for everyone. More medications that Medicare covers 90%, more surgeries and scans that medicare covers...
 
2012-12-20 07:40:51 PM

bartink: Drannon: A Dark Evil Omen: Drannon: No, the answer is that if we want the entitlements, we need a VAT. Or we have to live without them. It's possible to pay for all this, but it requires actually PAYING for it. But good luck convincing people to pay a 10% (or whatever it turns out to be) VAT on all goods.

Because cutting defense spending to merely twice as much as anyone else in the world and allowing Medicare to negotiate instead of just handing big sacks full of cash over to anyone in a white coat is so darling unthinkable.

Oh, I'm not denying that both defense spending and healthcare spending (especially the insane hospital costs at the end of life) are out of control. But even with that, if we do want to truly provide entitlements (or even a single payer), infrastructure spending, and other things which cost a lot of money, you're going to need a stable, high revenue stream like a VAT. I'm pro VAT, for the record - but it's a very difficult sell. Since the price of the VAT is inherent in the good itself, it becomes less of a political issue, you don't see it going out of your paycheck directly and it doesn't show up on your receipt. That's also its downside - it's too easy to raise it slowly without anyone really 'feeling' it.

This might be true if we were operationally constrained by tax revenues and borrowing to spend. We aren't.


Well, in a practical sense, I do not believe it is politically feasible for us to cut spending enough to make ourselves run revenue neutral. And frankly, I think healthcare should be a right and don't think they SHOULD be cut. So since I don't want permanent deficits, I would support something like the VAT.
 
2012-12-20 07:42:46 PM
So what you're saying, Mr. Zakaria, is that we should let the "fiscal cliff" happen?
 
2012-12-20 07:43:25 PM

Sherman Potter: This is bullshiatHorse Hockey. The government has plenty of money, and almost unlimited supply, and we should start (or keep) handing it out freely.

/how else will they keep their jobs?


FTFY
 
2012-12-20 07:51:36 PM

Drannon: Well, in a practical sense, I do not believe it is politically feasible for us to cut spending enough to make ourselves run revenue neutral. And frankly, I think healthcare should be a right and don't think they SHOULD be cut. So since I don't want permanent deficits, I would support something like the VAT.


That's not what I meant. I meant that we don't need to tax or borrow to spend. In other words, there is no operational reason, other than statute, to make up the difference between spending and tax revenue with borrowing.

I do want permanent deficits. When you have a trade deficit, the government deficit is our savings.
 
2012-12-20 07:52:56 PM
Let's all assume the Republicans are 100% correct for a second. Let's eliminate all the programs that support the poor. All government assistance of any kind. What have we gained? More money in the federal budget? Yes. What will it be spent on? Reducing the national debt? I suppose.
 
2012-12-20 07:57:19 PM
Good luck trying to talk sense now, Fareed. This country has gone retarded thanks to people like you. You're going to lose your job if you keep that up.
 
2012-12-20 08:00:01 PM
The Democrats should compromise on old-people entitlements. Remember, old people are the biggest demographic of the Republican party. They're voting for these cuts. Shouldn't we give 'em what they want? Assuming, of course, that the Republicans give up some major concessions as well.
 
2012-12-20 08:02:16 PM
I personally believe we need a cut off age for medicare.  I know it sounds cruel but we really can't afford it in the long run with medical prices the way they are.  Something like 90 yrs old or something.  Not killing people off or anything but just make it that after 90, medicare no longer covers most operations/medications.  It will now only cover hospice/end of life car and general medication/treatment (pain meds and such).  If they get a bad knee then just buy them a wheelchair to survive in.  No more daddy needs a heart bypass surgery or cancer treatment at 95.  Either pony up the money yourself or work with medicare to make end of life arraignments.  Sounds cruel and in someways it is but I believe it is what is needed. 
 
Also defense cuts as well and medicaid reform.
 
2012-12-20 08:03:34 PM

codergirl42: Sherman Potter: This is bullshiatHorse Hockey. The government has plenty of money, and almost unlimited supply, and we should start (or keep) handing it out freely.

/how else will they keep their jobs?

FTFY


That took me a second. Nicely done.
 
2012-12-20 08:06:12 PM

Stone Meadow: He's right...and oh, look what I found here...in 11 days Defense spending will drop by 50%.

*dusts hands*

/time for a drink


I can't until myself and 5000 of my closest colleagues let laid off. And that's just on of hundreds of companies that will be affected. Hell of a new years present. I'm sure seeing the unemployment rolls explode overnight won't have any negative effect
 
2012-12-20 08:07:37 PM
NO, WE NEED MORE TAXES.
 
2012-12-20 08:09:27 PM
Says the man who is a disciple of Samuel "Clash of the Civilizations" Huntington
 
2012-12-20 08:09:55 PM
Okay.. eliminate the withholding limit but keep the max payout limit.

next problem.
 
2012-12-20 08:10:49 PM

A Dark Evil Omen: Fareed Zakaria stumping on screwing the working class based on bullshiat? Boy, that's new and exciting.


My favorite part is when he blamed medicare for all of the local fiscal cuts that have occurred in the last 4 or so years. No mention of the real tax-payer base being demolished by the twin demons of downturn and outsourcing. No mention of the defense department but as a token statement. No mention of tax-havens, shelters, funds or favors that keep tax money away from our coffers while the companies and individuals who hold those funds away from American shores happily accept funds from OUR government and armies and perks and land because they can.

No, it's those rotten old people.
Lord have mercy.
 
2012-12-20 08:14:03 PM

5 star chef of tv dinners: I personally believe we need a cut off age for medicare.  I know it sounds cruel but we really can't afford it in the long run with medical prices the way they are.  Something like 90 yrs old or something.  Not killing people off or anything but just make it that after 90, medicare no longer covers most operations/medications.  It will now only cover hospice/end of life car and general medication/treatment (pain meds and such).  If they get a bad knee then just buy them a wheelchair to survive in.  No more daddy needs a heart bypass surgery or cancer treatment at 95.  Either pony up the money yourself or work with medicare to make end of life arraignments.  Sounds cruel and in someways it is but I believe it is what is needed.

Also defense cuts as well and medicaid reform.


Without looking up anything, I'm willing to bet you'd save oodles more by raising the bottom age by 2 years than from cutting off all the 90+ year olds.
 
2012-12-20 08:16:39 PM

moefuggenbrew: Let's all assume the Republicans are 100% correct for a second. Let's eliminate all the programs that support the poor. All government assistance of any kind. What have we gained? More money in the federal budget? Yes. What will it be spent on? Reducing the national debt? I suppose.


For me, it is not about doing away with these programs. It is about reigning them in so they don't contribute to our future demise.

/yes, they are not the only problem
//but they are one of the largest
 
2012-12-20 08:18:29 PM

Dusk-You-n-Me: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid made up 25 percent of federal spending. Today they add up to a whopping 40 percent. Within a decade, they will be over 50 percent. 

Very Serious Person alert.

SS is solvent for the next TWENTY FIVE YEARS and will continue to be fine after that with even minor tweaking.

As for the other two, health care costs are not crazy expensive because of Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare and Medicaid are crazy expensive because of health care costs. Fix that, you'll fix the rest.

Highlight: He mentions defense spending once in the article, grouped with every thing else.

Defense spending solvent until 2037? Still running in the black, is it?

VSP!


 



link

How is SS solvent for the next 20 or so years? It already pays out more than it takes in via taxes.
 
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