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"entitlement"?
Old 07-14-2011, 10:11 AM   #1
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"entitlement"?

"Entitlement" seems to me to more closely fit Social Security and Medicare because those who have participated in these programs have earned the right to receive benefits. Taken together, they are a government-sponsored and administered retirement investment program.
Medicaid, OTOH, is charity. I am not saying it should not exist, merely that in current budget discussions it is clumped with programs which are quite different.
JMHO.
I am frequently unsure of whether a post really belongs in the "political" or "money" forum.
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Hey - Thanks for the money.
Old 07-14-2011, 10:31 AM   #2
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Hey - Thanks for the money.

If you paid all your working life you would think you just should get a benefit.

The reality could be quite different though. Things could get quite un-fair as the money runs out and the debt-markets dry up.

People like the late Senator Pat Moynihan (D-NY) repeatedly pointed out the very same issue decades ago.

There is no justice in the jungle.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:38 PM   #3
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Your "entitlement" has already been spent. Many times over. It went to tanks and roads and federal salaries and 10,000 other things. There is no longer any "entitlement."
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:40 PM   #4
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I often think I am "entitled" to SS because I paid into it, but aren't I entitled to something for all the income tax I paid in too? My guess is the poly-ticians will move toward just calling SS a "tax".

I am strongly against reducing my (or anyones) benefit just because I did all the right things(ok maybe not ALL the right things) during my life. So now because I make a bit o' cash I get cutoff from receiving any benefit for something I paid into for 30 years. I am okay with raising the age to receive but don't cut me off completly
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:58 PM   #5
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Maybe we just need some Malthusian adjustments. So much of the conversation over benefits sounds so 19th Century.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:51 PM   #6
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taxes

I think I should get something for the taxes paid as well, but feel that I have: roads, bridges, schools (for other folks' kids, but still, they are there), fire department, someone ostensibly seeing after the security of citizens here and abroad, security of travel, etc. I have no problem whatsoever paying taxes at rates from the 90s.
Certainly MANY of the taxes I paid went into things I don't support at all: two wars in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, etc. But I don't begrudge paying taxes. Nor do I begrudge the existence of Medicaid. However, it does not belong in the same category as SS/Medicare when considering the budget.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:51 PM   #7
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Medicaid is an entitlement because the law guarantees that the payments will be made. Just like any entitlement, the law can be changed. But before you start proposing to blow it away, remember that a good proportion of Medicaid recipients are fine, upstanding, bill paying citizens who worked for decades to earn their SS, their Medicare, and their life savings. When their fortunes evaporate during prolonged stays in Alzheimer's units and nursing homes, they ultimately end up on Medicaid. I for one don't begrudge them a few bucks from a slight increase in my taxes so they don't get tossed in the gutter.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:33 PM   #8
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It bothers me too.

But the word entitlement is just that, a word to characterize that one may be entitled to receive it.

Other aspects of those program make them either something that one funded or is receiving as a govt charity/subsidy.

Most of us have paid (between our contribution and our employers contribution) close to 15% of our working wages into SS and Medicare.

SS will probably continue as is... they may be some adjustments around the edges.

If anything, the part that has really changed over the last 25 years it is the cost of medical care. It has ballooned. Some of the advances in medicine and better prevention has caused many of us to live longer. But living longer means more cost because of more years of medical goods and services.

Our entire health care system has to be overhauled (or needs to be). If it is not, the cost of medical care will continue to sky rocket.

We can expect much higher medical costs (unless there are big changes). For Medicare, what that means (no pun intended), is some form of means adjustment (or testing). It can take many forms from increased premium, to bigger copays, etc. My guess is that larger copays (direct consumer cost when consumed) will be the method, because it leaves the decision in the consumers hands. So, if you have money, you will be paying a bigger share to the medical providers and drug companies.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
"entitlement"?


I'm not sure when or where that term began to be used to describe SS and Medicare and . I have assumed that someone in Congress began using it to vaguely describe benefits that the government provided folks, but, like I said, I do not know.

I have never liked the reference to "entitlements" even tho I am a recipient (I guess) since I am enrolled in SS and MC/TC.

Has it become a catch-all term for federal benefits?
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:40 PM   #10
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That's the problem with SS and Medicare. They have been mismanaged for decades and will need to rely on taxpayers to pick up the bill. The Government over-promised and now they are starting to see the consequences.

Not to mention the government, in the U.S. anyway, shouldn't be in the business of retirement and healthcare. If for no other reason, they are really, really bad at it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backpacker View Post
My guess is the poly-ticians will move toward just calling SS a "tax".
They already do. In fact that's how they got it past the Supreme Court back in the day. The government doesn't have the power to confiscate money for a retirement plan, but they do have the power to tax. Seems not to many folks care anymore what the law of the land says. Just do it if it feels good.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:43 PM   #11
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If I pay for an insurance policy my whole life, but a disaster doesn't strike me, then should I be "entitled" to my premiums back? Doesn't quite work this way in insurance. I think before we can debate SS, let's all agree what it is. Is it an insurance policy or safety net to prop up the extremely need or is it the nation's retirement program. I think different people have different ideas and before we come up with solutions maybe we should decide what we want this program to actually be?
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cb7010 View Post
If I pay for an insurance policy my whole life, but a disaster doesn't strike me, then should I be "entitled" to my premiums back? Doesn't quite work this way in insurance. I think before we can debate SS, let's all agree what it is. Is it an insurance policy or safety net to prop up the extremely need or is it the nation's retirement program. I think different people have different ideas and before we come up with solutions maybe we should decide what we want this program to actually be?
You are mistaken about what Social Security is.

Social Security is not welfare as you indicate. It has elements like that but it isn't just welfare. We have other programs for that.

When the program was sold, and forever since it was started it has been you pay and you get. So some would like to equate it with a pension you build up over the years or an insurance annuity. But it really isn't that either.

Social Security is something between welfare and a pension.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:02 PM   #13
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I think before we can debate SS, let's all agree what it is. Is it an insurance policy or safety net to prop up the extremely need or is it the nation's retirement program.
Call it insurance, call it a safety net, call it a retirement system -- how can it possibly be helpful to have a terminological debate?
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:03 PM   #14
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Allow me to congratulate those of you who have so responsibly helped solve these problems by contributing to this somewhat tedious thread.

Ha
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GregLee
Call it insurance, call it a safety net, call it a retirement system -- how can it possibly be helpful to have a terminological debate?
I say we should have a teleological debate!

Who's turn is it?
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:05 PM   #16
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I say we should have a teleological debate!
What purpose would that serve?
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:22 PM   #17
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What purpose would that serve?
Is there in fact any purposeful development toward an end, or are we all just flapping our jaws? Hey, these things matter to those of us with too much time on our hands!
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:20 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by cb7010 View Post
If I pay for an insurance policy my whole life, but a disaster doesn't strike me, then should I be "entitled" to my premiums back? Doesn't quite work this way in insurance. I think before we can debate SS, let's all agree what it is. Is it an insurance policy or safety net to prop up the extremely need or is it the nation's retirement program. I think different people have different ideas and before we come up with solutions maybe we should decide what we want this program to actually be?
Although it has been called "Social Security Insurance", I do not know a single person who considered it 'insurance' while they were paying into it; most people expected to get something out of it whether they needed it or not.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:02 AM   #19
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Although it has been called "Social Security Insurance", I do not know a single person who considered it 'insurance' while they were paying into it; most people expected to get something out of it whether they needed it or not.
It's insurance because the intention is for it to cover you against the risk of living too long (beyond your savings, etc).

There's lots of potential in this thread for equivocation (my "favourite" rhetorical error), or at least semantic confusion. Some people see the word "entitlement" and think "entitlement mentality", which is, to a first approximation, about a mistaken belief in one or more entitlements. "Insurance" doesn't have to be about bad things happening. And "Social Security" - which was originally going to be called "Social Insurance" - doesn't really provide security. And don't get me started on the different meanings of the sequence of words "Social Security" in every other country in the Western world.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:32 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dancinmama View Post
Although it has been called "Social Security Insurance", I do not know a single person who considered it 'insurance' while they were paying into it; most people expected to get something out of it whether they needed it or not.
Well, I/we were certainly led to expect that we would get something out of it because we received annual reports from the government saying so! Silly me!
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