My Opinion

Please stop whining America … and stop being used by politicians

Free college tuition
Reparations to African Americans
Government paid child care
Guaranteed government jobs
Minimum guaranteed incomes
Cash payments annually to each newborn
Free health care via government system
Minimum wage unrelated to skill levels
Legalized marijuana
More liberal abortion rules
Prevent police from enforcing immigration rules (sanctuary cities)
Increased Social Security benefits
Expanded leave policies
All of the above have been proposed by or implemented by America’s political left. In most cases the consequences and/or method of funding is vague or simply ignored.
At first glance many of these items may appear intended to bring social justice to Americans. They are, in fact, political pandering for votes. You can tell this because the full story, the consequences, the long-term implications and the tax impact are rarely mentioned; only the plus side of the equation, often affecting small segments of the population, is discussed.
What better way to gain and hold political power than to hook citizens on government programs so they continue to vote for the perceived providers? All this is bolstered by cries of unfairness and a rigged system in order to create victims, an entitlement mentality and greater class division.
The consequences of many of these policies are higher prices for goods and services and higher taxes, perhaps a less competitive business environment and fewer jobs.
The frequent implication is that you will not pay higher taxes, only the wealthy and American business will foot the bill. That simply is not possible. A minority of Americans is already footing the bill.
We keep hearing about America being the worlds richest country. Apparently the richest country cannot adequately fund its current Social Security or Medicare programs or its infrastructure as all those trust funds are underfunded thanks to inaction by Congress over many years because it fears displaying the full cost and needed funding. That is the body that wants to control even more of American life.
In addition, the US lives on its deficits and debt while words of caution from various sources are ignored year after year. Rarely, if ever, do we hear politicians plea to get our fiscal house in order, they simply kick the can down the road to make room for more promised benefits.

“Law­mak­ers don’t like to cut spend­ing, but they have to do some­thing. Oth­er­wise the explod­ing na­tional debt will be an in­creas­ing bur­den on our chil­dren, eco­nomic growth and our fu­ture”. Martin Feldstein, Chairman of the Coun­cil of Eco­nomic Ad­vis­ers un­der Pres­i­dent Rea­gan, a pro­fes­sor at Harvard.    

So, Americans have a choice to make. What kind of country do they want? One driven by government or one driven by individual effort, and responsibility and actions. Do we create more opportunity or more dependency? Do we reward or punish success? Do we take more responsibility with our money or turn more over to others to distribute?
“We have met the enemy and he is us.” Pogo
Hey, I know it’s not all that simple. I know there are citizens who need assistance and should have it. And I know generations of past Americans overcame more adversity than we can imagine, who recovered from failure and tried and tried again, who seized every opportunity large and small and who did what was necessary to provide for themselves and their families … without whining to the world.
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4 replies »

  1. Why does this newsletter have to devolve into a partisan attack on the political left? What is the biggest unfunded new government benefit program of the past twenty five years? Given that you worked in employee benefits up until your retirement, I suspect that you know the answer – the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act which was passed in 2003 by a Republican-controlled congress and signed by a Republican president. You know damn well that the political right is just as capable as the left when it comes to giving things away in order to gain votes – free prescription drugs for seniors and free money for everyone (via a reduction in taxes without offsetting cuts in government expenditures). Explain to me why I am wrong or else leave the partisan attacks to the talking heads over on Fox News. At a minimum, you should change the sub-heading of your blog because this is not “insightful discussion about social security, medicare, personal financial matters, healthcare, or retirement.”

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    • Not partisan intended or in fact. Of course you are right about Part D. Left, Right doesn’t matter. It’s just at the present time all the most irresponsible ideas are coming from the far left. Irresponsible behavior and buying votes to the detriment of future generations is not good. If you see something that is not factual or does not raise valid questions please point it out. Look closer at the issues I raise and assumptions I challenge. I care nothing about political party, I am not associated with any. At present Republicans are devoid of ideas.

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  2. Same post that I put on a health care topic this AM – less the first two sentences.

    Congress is worried about affordability of say health care and decides your premium should not exceed 10% of your income (where did that come from)? Then say, Congress decides that your college loan payments should not exceed 15% of some gimmicked up number (where did that come from). Next is a home purchase/rent, a car, food, clothing, etc. Where Congress decides you shouldn’t have to pay more, that other taxpayers should subsidize your purchases and needs – free-up money for really important stuff in your life.

    The fact is that Congress has effectively encouraged this thinking, that you should be able to depend on Congress to tax others to provide you entitlements … and are we at all surprised that people believe that when they pay their taxes, income FICA, FICA-Med, (and where they are exempted by Congress from paying income taxes because their income is “too low”), that they believe it qualifies them for the federal largess that only Congress can provide.

    Ask any senior if they believe they paid for their Social Security and Medicare benefits… you will hear them respond yes, I paid what they required. To ask me to pay more now would be “unfair”. I relied on these programs.

    Until we stop letting Congress buy votes, especially buying votes by taxing people who don’t vote or those as yet unborn, this won’t end. Yes, people don’t have their financial priorities straight, but, we are only following our “leaders” lead in Congress.

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    • Give Congress enough time, I am sure whatever percentage of income that they think that you should not spend more on insurance, food, housing, etc; at some point in the future will still exceed 100%. Which will be a nice trick if they start taxing you at 30%, 40%, or 70% on your income. At some point if you are not super rich, it will pay to do nothing and be super poor. The recipe for socialism.

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