Robert J. Samuelson: Welfare of the elderly crucial to debate on Social Security, Medicare

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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 8, 2014 1:17 p.m.

    Keep in mind that private pensions funds have been looted by a variety of corporate schemes. Retirees were promised these benefits. Corporate America welched on the deal. For this reason among others the social security compact must be honored.

  • McMurphy St George, Utah
    Feb. 7, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    @ VeaIDAR. Your response to VIDAR was spot on except for the last sentence which was nonsense.
    The only thing that should be "owed" to seniors is that they get back their contributions plus a reasonable interest. Anything beyond that should be means tested.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 7, 2014 6:27 a.m.

    How about we get out of the weeds and look at reality.

    There are 2 primary reasons that medicare is the deficit driver that it is.

    1- people are living much longer than originally accounted for
    2- health care costs are skyrocketing

    Now, again, lets look at reality.

    Many are unwilling or unable to stash away enough money to provide themselves healthcare in their old age. What do you propose to do with these people if medicare was not there.

    I understand about personal responsibility. But I also understand about reality.

    So, do you tell that 74 year old, "Too bad. You should have saved more"
    Or do we help them out with healthcare?

    What, Mr Richards, do you propose we do with those folks? Serious question

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 6:04 p.m.

    @ VST

    ok, that is fine. all I ask is that those who receive social security, pay their portion of the national debt first, and not just pass it onto their grandchildren.
    a person retiring today's portion would be $91,811
    Just pay the prime interest rate until this amount is paid off.
    Soon as this is paid off, they can then apply for benefits.
    As far as our interest/dividends owed to those retiring, that has already been paid in kind, for the privilege of living in this country.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Feb. 6, 2014 2:03 p.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah
    We are 15 trillion dollars in debt. Do those retired persons on social security; have any responsibility to pay their share of the debt?
    If you go into a restaurant, and order $200 worth of food, then pay $20. And then say my neighbor’s grandchildren will pay the rest. That does not mean that you paid for your dinner.
    And it certainly does not mean that your neighbors grandchildren, owe you dinner for the rest of your life.
    The fact is that the retired; were not taxed enough while working, they should have paid 4-5 times more in tax.
    I do not see how those on social security are owed anything.
    I do support helping people, who are unable to help themselves.
    What we have with social security, in 3/5 the cases according to this story, is we are taking money working people, many of them poor, and giving the money to wealthy seniors.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 6, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    Mike Richards,


    If the govt. tells us to plan on X for decades, then we should not be given X-2 late in the game.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 6, 2014 3:55 a.m.

    The only criteria that is important is whether we were forced to pay into the Social Security and Medicare Ponzi schemes by the government with their promise that at age 65 we would be paid a retirement/healthcare benefit, based on our forced contribution, not on our "wealth". The government did not ask us if we wanted to opt out of those programs. The government did not reduce the percentage of our income taken during our working years. The government has one simple rule - you work; therefore, you pay.

    Now only one rule applies - we paid you Uncle Sam; therefore, you owe us 100% of what was promised.