Comments about ‘Robert Bennett: U.S. needs entitlement restructuring’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 9 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Iron Rod
Salt Lake City, UT

I have a simple solution to the problems of Medicare and Social Security.

Require Senators and Congressmen to be covered only by Medicare and Social
Security!

Some how I think they might find a way to fund both of these programs.

Rather than give money away over seas or being the world's policeman and fighting preemptive wars (Iraq or Iran) they might be more included to fully fund their own health care and retirement payments.

As it stands now they are insulated from any of the cuts they propose.
They easily yield to most of the pressure groups who want special treatment or federal money. Most pride them selves with their ability to earmark funds for special interests.

Each new candidate should be asked to sign a pledge stating that he or she supports this idea that along with term limitations should handle this problem.

It is doubtful that this will originate with them it needs to be forced on them.

Iron Rod
Salt Lake City, UT

The same logic should apply to our State Legislature.

Have our local representatives voted themselfs benefits more luxurious than that of the people they represent?

Can any one tell me how many years do our State Senators and State Representatives need to be in the legislature to get State Health insurance for themselves and their families for life when they are no longer in the legislature?

It seems to me other state employees do not have this benefit nor does private industry.

You do not have that benefit Oh that's to bad. But you voted them in office didn't you?

md
Cache, UT

Senator Bennett,
Another way to decrease spending is to eliminate all benefits that we pay to former congressmen. I believe that we are paying too many federal employees pensions that "statesmen" like Ben Franklin felt they shouldn't be paid. Why is it fair for people who pay into the system to not have a return on their investment? Regardless of their wealth, this is another way our government is penalizing success. I don't like Oprah, but I believe she deserves the option of receiving her SS money when she is eligible. The government can't continue to give so many entitlements. This is what is ruining our country.
Term limits.
Flat tax.
Simplify and reduce the IRS.
Reward success.
Penalize laziness.
Simple.

EJM
Herriman, UT

I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Bennett's assessment. The problem now becomes where do you draw that line as to who receives and who does not receive. What politician is going to say to that person who has contributed mightily to their reelection campaign "Hey Bob, don't forget me when you draw that line. Draw it so that I am just under it."

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

Lets start by restructuring the Health and Retirement entitlements of our Congressmen/women and Senators.

Brother Chuck Schroeder
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

Robert Bennett thinks "U.S. needs entitlement restructuring?." But that's not telling us this. In todays real world, it's about these cafeteria style Constitutionalist that uses their political theories if and when it fits them and when it effects them alone, with a no waiting staff table service, their private Patroit restaurant or within an institution of the Tea Party. That's what they think is their "Constitutionalist Platform" is to spout off about. But here's what's really wrong. They never discuss ways to work together to restore our Constitutional Republic. Then a Revolution consisting of mainly middle-class urbanites, liberals, and intellectuals stand up and say "HEY", the rich get richer, we get poorer. Congress wants their votes, and they can't think beyond their nose. If a Bank loans you money, you have to pay it back, NOW, if the same bank loans K Street, Wall Street money, GOP deregulations says it's ok, keep it, get filthy rich off of it, stuff it in off shore tax safe havens, don't use it to create jobs, we want Obama to fail, and they go along with the Koch Brother's wishes, that feeds them, and don't pay it back. Congress restructuring?.

bandersen
Saint George, UT

Here is the truth of the matter: Explanations of why one shouldn't be crossing a raging river do little good for the person in the middle of the river. Congress, of which Senator Bennett and a whole host of other representatives, did little about our current problem except wave a hand, collect a check, and moved on to another "partisan" issue, without returning to fundamental principles to set our nation on a different course. Those fundamental principles, Constitutional principles, would have made a difference. Government should never have been into socialistic ideas from the start. I am no leader, but I expect those who want to lead to do so. No, I'm not buying this cavalier patronistic explanation from the former Senator. Are you?

FDRfan
safety dictates, ID

No, I'm not buying this cavalier patronistic explanation from the former Senator. Are you?

Yes I am. It is alarming that this type of sane reasoning has been replaced in Washington.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The majority of our long term deficits are produced by ever rising health care costs. A much better way to reduce entitlement spending would be to get our health care costs down to the level of the rest of the developed world.

Just getting our per-capita costs down to the level of Switzerland, which spends the second highest amount after us, would be the equivalent of getting all our defense spending for free.

  • 8:31 a.m. Jan. 9, 2012
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RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

Hey Bob, how about we phase out the entitlements, and let people be responsible for their own lives?

If people don't want to save for their retirement, that is ok, they are adults and are capable of dealing with the consequences.

It will take a generation to get this country back on course, but we can't do it with people looking to the government to solve their personal problems or to bail them out.

Freedom is not just measured in what we are allowed to do, but it is also measured on what consequences we are allowed to suffer when we fail to plan.

bandersen
Saint George, UT

FDR fan: So, what is it about the European financial crisis, not to mention the morals, and socialistic ideas do you like? America has succeeded beyond any historical marker anywhere and yet there are those who refuse to acknowledge how that came about!

UT Brit
London, England

@bandersen

Yes those filthy European morals, European countries have the highest:

Divorce rate
Teenage pregnancy
2nd highest number of abortions
Largest producers and consumers of porn
DUI's
Rate of STD's
Largest prison population in the world

Oh wait a minute.......America has all those prodigious titles!!! What was that about morals again?

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

I would suggest anyone commenting about Congress' benefits to first inform themselves.

Suggested reading at senate gov: "CRS Report for Congress Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress."

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

RedShirt.

If you phase out all the entitlements of our government, our government would no longer exist.

And even adults have been known to resort to killing and eating each other to avoid the consequence of starving. So do you take away their freedom when young to spend or take away their freedom to kill people when they are starving.

Force.

The only things we are forced to do is those things that alleviate pain or uncontrollable desire in our own physical body, and also the natural processes of birth. Eating is one of those things.

Everything else that we do, we do voluntarily as the result of choosing between consequences.

Consequences are mostly peculiar to ourselves. In our own mind, we decide the weight and importance of different consequences. Even though the value of different consequences may be different for different people, that particular person makes their own choice.

It just might be promoting the general welfare if we prevent people from making decisions that will harm themselves.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Ultra Bob | 10:08 a.m." so what you are saying is that I have no need to actually plan for retirement, and that you (or your children) will take care of me through the force of law.

So you think that retirees will resort to cannibalism if we phased out Social Security and Medicare? Isn't that a scare tactic?

FYI, the general welfare clause only referrs to those specific duties of congress as outlined in the constitution. Otherwise, it could be used to establish a socialist state all under the name "general welfare".

But to summarize your statements, you would use force to ensure that everybody is taken care of. You do not believe that people are inherantly good and would take care of their neighbors.

bandersen
Saint George, UT

Ut. Brit: Oh, wait a minute. You about had us fooled. We just about took the bait! Yes, America has many of the problems that you outlined, and a lot more. All that is the result of choice. Yes, America has all been about choice. You make bad choices, you get a bad result. You make good choices, you get a good result. Europe has all the problems we have and many more, except the opportunity to correct them as we do. They have given up the ship of morals and wealth creation, something that America hasn't completely done,except for those who no longer believe in choice and want government to make those choices for them. No thanks. Liberty is still the best hope for a bright future.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Again, I encourage Red Shirt to read Dickens and find out what the world used to look like when "inherantly (sic) good people took care of their neighbors."
Or not.
Interesting how my loudly right-wing uncle stopped complaining about entitlements for lazy people when he had a heart attack and Medicare paid his $100,000 hospital bill...

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

On one side of the fence are those who work; on the other, those who are retired. Workers both produce and consume goods and services, and when the level of production is greater than the level of consumption, wealth is created. Retirees only consume, so on their side of the fence, wealth is used up.
QUOTE

The whole premise is a lie.

Actually if there is a fence it is between the non-productive and the productive but this does not translate to those working and those retired.

The line, the fence, is actually and really between those who work unproductively or counter-productively and those who live off their current earnings or their investments (including the massive 12.8% per paycheck forced investment of social security).

This produces an entirely different and an accurate dichotomy:

On one side of the fence are those employed in parasitic occupations, bureaucrats, politicians etc, including Bennett, and on the other side those employed in productive occupations and those retired on their savings, investments, and insurance including the mandated Social Security payments adjusted for inflation.

Lowonoil
Clearfield, UT

I realized as a young worker in the Eighties that Social Security was unsustainable and destined to end badly. I started then to plan for a secure retirement even if I was not able to recover a single cent of the countless thousands I would pay into the system over my career. Now when I retire in five or ten more years, I will be entitled to a check I really don't need and would really rather see the money spent on those workers who were never paid enough to be able to retire without Social Security.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

There should be some sort of reasonable means testing. Like say if you make over a million dollars in any sort of income during the current year, you don't need social security, >250k but

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