Robert J. Samuelson: Is grandma for real?

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  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Nov. 6, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    "The idea that Social Security and Medicare spending should be defended to the last dollar — as advocated by many liberals — is politically expedient and intellectually lazy."

    If they are advocating taking money from the working poor to give to well to-do seniors who are politically powerful, they aren't liberal. They may be a different type of conservative than Newt Gingrich or the Koch Brothers, but still equally toxic.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Nov. 6, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    Lucky those for getting dealt a good hand of cards. Vegas has more losers than winners. 30 years ago 100,000 was a lot of money when a house coated 20,000. What will you need 30 years from now.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 5, 2013 3:53 p.m.

    My grandma has no pension. She raised kids, so she had no income to tax. Her meager savings were spent long ago. She lives on my late grandpa's Social Security and uses Medicare. What does Mr. Samuelson propose that she do? Opening doors at Walmart is a little tough for a 90-year-old lady who can't see well and suffers from dementia.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Nov. 5, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    Many government programs are designed to either transfer money from wealthy people to poor people or from young people to old people.

    The point of the article is that "old" does not necessarily mean "poor". In fact, government may be taking money from a young struggling family and giving it to some rich old guy who is happy to get it, but doesn't need it.

    I'm not talking about Social Security where old people are receiving benefits from a program they paid into over their whole lives. I am talking about the other stuff where you get a benefit without having contributed at all.

    This notion that we have to give all seniors (including Warren Buffett) a big discount on everything just because they are old places a financial burden on everyone else.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 5, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    The point of Mr Samuelson's column was that we're taking money from the young (often with children to support) to support the elderly who in many to most cases don't need the money whose children have moved out and their house is paid for. Have you ever been to Las Vegas and seen who's dumping their money into slot machines? It ain't 22 year olds.
    I'm all about taking care of the elderly but America is going bankrupt because of the AARP. Are we going to destroy everyone's finances because we can't make changes to Soc Sec and Medicare? Medicare is a lousy insurance program anyway for the people on it.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Nov. 5, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    So the argument here is that grandma is doing better than most because her income, while still almost 25% lower then the next lowest group, grew at a faster rate. Therefor, grandma really isn't doing all that bad.

    Are you kidding me? The elderly still have an income almost 1/4 less then the next LOWEST group. They are hardly living large at the expense of everyone else.... how much below the average do they need to be before certain crowds will be happy.