A question for Mr. Ryan

(I’m sure this question can be posed with more clarity by someone else – I have a limited vocabulary when money comes into the conversation.)

About those people under 55 who be cut off from Medicare as we know it . . . . will they continue paying into Medicare until retirement? Is that money going to current recipients or is it going to go into one of those lockboxes and held for the use of those future happy retirees to use when they go shopping for policies in the private market? Or is that money going to finance the share that government supposedly will provide. If they’re going to keep paying into ‘Medicare’, will workers be paying at the same rate? So many questions. So few answers.

29 responses to “A question for Mr. Ryan

  1. Moe,

    My guess is that my generation will continue to pay into Medicare, but can expect nothing out of it.

    It’s unfair. But life is unfair.

    To be frank, the baby boomer generation left my generation with a mess. If it means my generation has to be more frugal and take more responsibility for itself, so be it.


    • Sean – don’t worry, you won’t need Medicare — your VOUCHER will cover all your health care needs.

      And no doubt your generation will undo the havoc wreaked by the boomers and turn America into the free-market utopia it deserves to be.


      • After all, our country had most of its greatest moments before 1965…


        • The moon landing? The Civil Rights Act? Women moving toward equality? The Hubble Telescope? Inventing the internet? (I guess I need ot thank the Pentagon for that). Conquering smallpox – around the world? And polio – around the world?

          Proud accomplishments Sean. All since ’65.


          • Moe,

            I hate to do this to you, but you left yourself wide open on this one:

            How about?

            1. The abolition of slavery
            2. Women’s suffrage
            3. Electricity
            4. The modern highway system
            5. Nuclear fission and fusion
            6. Television
            7. Radar
            8. The automobile
            9. The assembly line
            10. The airplane
            11. The discovery of DNA
            12. The integrated circuit
            13. Modern plumbing
            14. Quantum mechanics
            15. Einstein’s general and special theories of relativity
            16. Refrigeration
            17. The agricultural revolution (which ultimately saved the world from starvation)
            18. The theory and architecture that led to the modern computer…

            I could go on and on, but you get my point.

            All of these wonderful technological feats were accomplished without Medicare…


          • Ahhh, I didn’t realize that the point was ‘without Medicare” – this isn’t any kind of valid comparison Sean. Many of those things were also accomplished before antibiotics. Coincidence?


          • “Ahhh, I didn’t realize that the point was ‘without Medicare” – this isn’t any kind of valid comparison Sean.”

            Moe, I think I made my point way too subtely. Many on the left claim that not having Medicare would be a disaster and promise doom and gloom if it goes away. My only point was that America accomplished even greater things before Medicare, so there is little reason to believe that getting rid of it would result in some sort of major decline in American power and ingenuity.

            In fact, I would argue that by freeing up the massive amount of dollars absorbed by this sacred cow (which has really only been around for about one generation), we could accomplish greater things as a nation by funneling those dollars elsewhere. After all, government healthcare expenditures consume more than either Social Security or Defense do.

            Of course, the privatized healthcare system also has massive structural problems that must be addressed. I just don’t trust government to offer a good solution.

            And make no mistake, many of my generation are mentally prepared for no Medicare or Social Security when they reach old age. We will just spend less and save more than the boomer generation.


          • [there is little reason to believe that getting rid of it would result in some sort of major decline in American power and ingenuity]

            Well, while that’s a bit of an overstatment 🙂 of the objections, it’s really not about Medicare Sean. Or any program with a name nor in fact it it about public v private. It’s about providing health care to Americans – all of us. How that comes to be, what we pay for it – all of that is up for grabs.

            What I will never ever understand though is why – when we have proven models all over the world that work so much better than ours – we refuse to consider adapting what works.

            I hope you can save more for your own old age Sean – especially since middle class wages have been shrinking for 30 years and there’s no sign of that turning around.


          • Moe,

            I’ll do fine. I have far more confidence in myself than I do in my government.

            I know the name of the game today is identity politics, where political entities try to transfer wealth from the productive members of society to the least productive. The problem is that the cycle never ends. Once an entitlement is created it never goes away.

            Healthcare is not a fundamental right. It is simply another method of wealth transfer from the young poor to the old rich (like SS). About 80% of healthcare costs are for people near the end of life. Why should I mortgage my family’s future for a generation that lived it up for their entires lives and left my generation with a gaping hole?


        • I just don’t believe in blaming (or praising) whole generations for the actions of some individuals who happened to be born at a particular time in history. Now if you want to talk about economic classes or political movements that’s a different story…


        • Sean – I can’t say whether health care is a ‘fundamental right’ or not, however one defines that. I personally rank it right up there with food and shelter. But aren’t we supposed to take care of one another? I’m really not into letting the poor be sick in the streets; doesn’t do it for me. Wealth be damned, it’s our obligation as decent human beings to figure out a way to make it work.

          That generation that ‘lived it up’? You mean the ones who created half the things on your list above?


          • No, the World War II generation deserves these benefits. They earned them by saving the world from Fascism. I’m talking about the baby boomers.

            I think it is more efficient for me to donate money to a charity that performs than to pay taxes to a government that does not.


  2. Mr. Ryan doesn’t think that far ahead. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be old and have to rely on past promises. I don’t think he even understands what it is to be an American and to have the comfort of relying on government promises. He never went through a financial depression and probably always had a job. Wonder if he considers that I’M paying for HIS medical care and PENSION.


  3. Woodstock,

    You don’t get it . You people are the ones who have royally screwed the next generations . Ryan is trying to save a few scraps for them . You people are the ones who denied that SS and Medicare were going bankrupt . You people, through the Democratic Party and the AARP blocked all reform that years ago would have meant there would something for them .

    Every time our side brings up the Demographic time bomb that is now going off , you go into denial mode . It’s tax cuts for the rich, it’s Bush’s wars . It’s always something other than what it is with you guys .

    Hey, but keep on going . The country will keep going down the toilet, but you and Barak will be running it . That is what really matters, right ?


  4. Alan, I’m afraid it’s you who doesn’t get it. When you commit the country to war, and not put the cost of that war into ANY budget the money had to come from somewhere. Was it free? Did the ammo and troops cost nothing? It wasn’t accounted for anywhere and hence, a big portion of the current deficit is paying for all those years. And why shouldn’t rich people pay at least the same percentage of their income as I am. No, they should pay a larger percentage. It won’t keep them from paying rent or eating.


  5. This is simply the logical culmination of the shell game begun by Alan Greenspan three decades ago. Increase so-called “payroll taxes” and decrease income taxes, so the transition is hardly noticeable to the commoners. The decrease in taxes paid by the wealthy is phenomenal. Then, since the money paid into the safety net programs is being siphoned off to pay for those tax cuts, claim that these programs are bankrupt. The paying in continues, but it still funds tax cuts for the wealthy. That was always the plan.


  6. Woodstock ,

    So you believe that the looming shortfalls in the Entitlement programs are all exactly the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars , plus the Bush tax cuts? So you believe that raising taxes on the wealthy to far above the rate that us poor shlubs pay will fill the gap ? So you believe that raising taxes on the wealthy to far above the rate that us poor shlubs pay will have no negative effect on economic growth ?

    You poor dumm ——- .


  7. Pingback: A question for Mr. Ryan…Whatever Works…. - Politicaldog101.Com

  8. Alan – the Bush tax cuts creasted the exact same revenue gap Ryan is proporting to close.

    No one is denying that Medicare is a time bomb. And it’s not just Medicare – it health care in general which is already straining the resources of younger people. My computer guy who was here yesterday is 45; he was telling me how much it’s costing for he and his wife and how much it’s going up and they have a ‘catastrophic’ policy with a $5000 deductible. He said I don’t know how we’re going to keep affording this. THAT’S your private market. It’s no solution at all. Dems and Repubs disagree on how to fix it; they do NOT disagree on the seriousness of hte problem.

    And once again, SS is fine. Especially since once we’re over the baby boomer bump, things will return to more equal numbers of working/retired. Reagan fixed it once and we can fix it again to get past that period.

    And we DO need to raise taxes. And the rich SHOULD pay more.


  9. Moe-totally agree with you especially about social security which is running a surplus and can easily be made solvent in the future.

    Alan-I don’t get your hostility but it is this type of “search and destroy” style that is keeping us from finding reasonable solutions. There are plenty of ways to make your points wthout personally attacking people. You probably will attack me back but I hope you will think about it.

    And it is just self evident that two wars off the books and now a third one in Libya has been a major factor in destroying the Clinton surplus. And Ryan and others never voiced an objection to this unauthorized and reckless spending.

    Obama needs to stand strong in defending SS, Medicare and Medicaid while denying the rich and corporations even more tax breaks.


  10. Ms. Holland ,

    As I said before Denial is not just a river in Egypt . Everything you believe is inaccurate . I do think you are just honestly mistaken . I do not extend that to your leaders . They have to know . SS is broke, you just don’t know it ,, yet .

    I find you Liberals would rather have less on your plate as long as those above you have a lot less on their’s . That is what your spread the wealth results in . Or should I say spread the poverty . Your solutions simply do not work .

    Oh and by the way, one of the reasons the young can’t find affordable health insurance is because they are paying for us older folks . We are the real drivers of costs . Maybe Obama was right . Just give ole grannie a happy pill to shut her up . I can think of a bunch of off key grannies who need them . 🙂


    • So I guess you Conservatives would rather have less on your plate as long as those above you have a lot MORE on theirs. Well, you must be ecstatic, since the wealthiest Americans own a larger and larger percentage of the total wealth, and the Ryan plan would give them even more. Glad things are working out so well for you.


  11. Alan, have you run out of words so all you could write is: “you poor dumm ____”. Reminds me of folks who cannot carry on a debate with anyone who has an opinion different from theirs. Civilized people discuss, raise points, agree and disagree. That’s how Congress used to work. Remember? And name calling was not done.


  12. Woodstock ,

    Do not bring up civilized people and debate ethics . Remember how you guys were so against the violent rhetoric, until your guys used it in Wisconsin ? I have tried not to use foul language on this board , but I hint real good .

    And maybe you could tell me when this magical time of peace and love in Congress existed ? I first paid attention during Watergate and it’s been all down hill from there .

    Ojmo ,

    ” So I guess you Conservatives would rather have less on your plate as long as those above you have a lot MORE on theirs. Well, you must be ecstatic, since the wealthiest Americans own a larger and larger percentage of the total wealth, and the Ryan plan would give them even more. Glad things are working out so well for you. ”

    I respectfully suggest that you have no idea what you are talking about . The whole pie just shrank during the downturn and during Obama’s economic rescue . The wealthy already pay far more in percentage and in real dollars than you will ever pay in your inconsequential life .

    Let me splain it to you in terms you might grasp . Since the rich already pay most of the income taxes, and tax revenue to Uncle Obama is way, way down, logic suggests that the rich were hurt more by the recession than you were .

    Only be growing the wealth will things get better . Redistribution destroys wealth . It is history .


    • Millions lost their jobs and savings in what you imaginatively call the downturn. To compare two individuals, one a billionaire and the other someone who makes an average salary, and then assert that the billionaire was hurt more because they lost more dollars overall — without impacting their lifestyle in the slightest — while the ordinary American lost everything, is one of the most absurd statements I’ve ever heard.

      And even the notion of the rich paying more overall and a larger percentage is questionable — there are plenty of millionaires whose entire fortunes are in tax-free municipal bonds; they don’t pay a penny in taxes, but live like royalty.


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