They BOTH do it.

@AidaLily (1450)
United States
January 3, 2013 11:43am CST
Everyone currently is worried about the amount of spending the government is doing and different ways to cut the debt down by stopping the spending. However, they tend to each say things that do NOT help stop the wasteful spending, etc. Each side is so full of it and it is ridiculous. Both sides do it. The republicans and the democrats and we all let them. 1. Cutting Military Spending We have one of the most expensive, most advanced, and biggest armies in the world. We do NOT need to spend more on the military and could comfortably cut it without sacrificing our safety. It could even be reduced and we could pay our "at home" military more like cops and firefighters while still making sure our soldiers have what they need. I think we spend more on war and weapon contracts than we do on our soldiers and I put 'think' because I have only heard that from other soldiers who have served or recently come back. 2. Cutting Social Security and Medicare NO! I say no because the people who are saying to cut it are actually giving more money to our government to spend if not. These are not entitlements. You do not pay into entitlements. If you think cutting this will suddenly fix the debt you are terribly wrong. Part of the debt is because our government needs to pay back what they took from the American people by "borrowing" money from that savings account. 6.2% of your paycheck goes into social security and 1.45% of your paycheck goes into medicare. I've done my best to explain to people that have been told these are entitlements. In fact, it wouldn't be in danger if all of our politicians would stop taking money out of it and/or they remove the cap on Social Security and you pay it on all taxable wages. 3. Stricter regulations for welfare As I explained in another post, most states have a five year limit on cash assistance. This is usually granted by your state government and revenues they collect. People who get cash assistance for five years and then work and then want it again can not get it... at least in this state. There is your limit on cash assistance. Foodstamps can ONLY be spent on food and let's face it. They are almost in a way a corporate type of welfare. If you use them at Walmart, they are getting that money on top of anything they are able to get from the government state or federal that year. It is just another way of giving the money either back to the government or a way for the government to give whatever grocery business you shop at money. I support welfare drug testing though and if there is a prescription drug that comes up in the urine they should have to provide proof of that. I've seen places do drug testing with sturdy dixie cups and drug testing dip sticks. It isn't that expensive considering the cups are maybe $2-3 for one hundred or so of them. Medicaid is helpful for those who are disabled. If insurance was more affordable, and we the American people didn't let doctors, hospitals, etc. get away with outrageous pricing then we would be fine. Everyone could buy their own, no preexisting conditions could be counted against you, and if you had a co-pay it wasn't $5 and up. 4. Cutting corporate welfare As much as everyone loves their friendly neighborhood lobbyist, there is NO and let me repeat that for some people NO reason to pay any company making over 50 million a year any government subsidy. And there really is NO reason to pay any company making over a billion a year anything. Proper management helps a business grow. So what do we have so far for this discussion: -Stop spending ridiculously on the military. We do not need 2,000 new ships, 100,000 new drones, etc. I am sure they can figure out properly budget how to spend, research and more on our military without spending overly large amounts. -Stop considering Social Security and Medicare entitlements when the majority of people on them have paid into the system all of their lives. It is like saying to you 'Hey you've been with our bank/credit union/etc. for a long time and we just want you to know that you are not entitled to the money you put into it.' and for an easier perspective I am currently saving to buy a new house and it would be like my financial institution telling me 'I am sorry, but I want to take all the money you've been saving for your new house. I realize you've been paying into it for years but you are not entitled to this money you put in here.' -Stricter regulations on welfare whether individuals or corporate. Now that is out of the way, where do you think they could actually cut spending in order to reduce the debt? One suggestion is to stop giving money to countries that hate us. Yours?
3 people like this
6 responses
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
4 Jan 13
Yeah, they both do it. And it will never end. However...but we can get SO CLOSE to the end if they'd put a END to those politicians EXPENSE reports, free health care (included in their employment package as part of their salary) and make them do Obamacare, pay/use their OWN vehicles, pay their own tolls/cabs etc, pay their own vehicle insurance and that of their family members, pay their own gas, license, registration, maintenance on their cars for them and their family members, no more "business" lunches, no deduction for dry cleaning, or meals .... in short..make them live the way they are making us live... I guarentee you...the budget crises would nearly end! Those politicians abuse their positions so badly, and then on top of all that...no matter the economy...THEY GET TO VOTE FOR THEMSELVES TO HAVE A RAISE!!! Like any of them will vote against their own raise! Put term limits on politicians in Congress as they all there now have been there for so long...literally their entire adult lives most of them...and they haven't a single solitary clue how to live in the "real" world...you know...with those of us on "main street". They'd be broke, homeless and sick in 90 days if they had to live like the rest of us.
1 person likes this
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
4 Jan 13
I have to agree. I don't think any of congress could survive if they have to live like us. In fact, I believe there was an article sometime back in which a senator was complaining that his 174,000 salary didn't cover his house, his wife, and his SIX children. All I could think of was 'Why on earth did you have six children?'. I hate the fact they get to vote their own pay increase, I think they should let the American people vote to raise or decrease their pay. I also agree heavily with congressional term limits. They should also have to take classes on budgeting and finance, be jailed if they accept lobbyist money, and the list goes on. Most of them get a fully furnished office when they are elected in which they redo their office putting all the original furniture into storage. I think they should have to live on about 60,000 a year and see how much they learn to budget or fail.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
4 Jan 13
I think it's expensive in DC... I would be interested in having them move somewhere with a cheaper cost of living.... government bigwigs I mean. They could go to Kentucky or something, Iowa. Both of those places are cheaper than DC for sure, I know they are cheaper than CA where I live. I don't think the problem is the 6 children, I think the problem is their lifestyle. I have 3, not 6, but we do just fine lol. And I do NOT make $174K lol.
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
4 Jan 13
Lol. I have two kids and I do just fine. I think they lived in Florida and not D.C. A lot of them actually live in other places and then when they have to go in they may have an apartment or stay in hotels there. D.C. is very expensive to live though they say the prices have gone down some from before so people are moving there for jobs. Congress isn't in session enough for them to not be able to go home at some point. He was just saying he couldn't support six children on that salary and I just blinked thinking 'Well then manage your money better'. I think I live in a pretty decent low costing state. It is not the lowest costing but I don't find it too high.
• United States
3 Jan 13
Here are some of my ideas. I agree with you: Social Security isn't an entitlement program. But I do see where some MAJOR changes need to be made. I am 41 years old; the earliest that I can retire with FULL benefits is 67. Ok, that's fine-26 years from now. But if I wait until the age of 70 to retire, I can get ever more money (assuming that I'm working). I could probably invest the money that I'm paying the government in taxes better than they could! I'm thinking that if the Social Security administration would change their investment instruments, eventually everyone could live off the income it generates. Within Social Security is Social Security Disability (SSD) and Social Security Disability Income. Some of the people would receive SSD or SSDI are our soldiers who fought for our country and have come home with permanent disabilities. Perhaps some of the budget allocated for the military switched to pay the benefits that these sick veterans receive? But to be eligible for SSDI, you have to have contributed long enough into the system. I have multiple sclerosis, yet was turned down because I hadn't worked enough quarters. I've been struggling to meet that requirement, and I hope that this time I have enough. 2. Military spending. Now I'm marrying a Desert Storm veteran. The money being spent is to PROTECT our men and women out there fighting for us. During Bush's term, it was found that our soldiers had inadequate body armor; money was allocated to replace it and make sure it was up to the highest standards. I always thought that all the funds went to equipment, but it doesn't. Things like housing (either on base or an allowance); VA Hospitals (they are constantly building or adding onto existing ones) that provide physical and mental help; all of the administrative things associated with those hospitals and centers, including supporting staff; the GI Bill so that if they so desire, they can receive a college education. They receive retirement benefits after they serve 20 years. We DO need to constantly replenish our military-it seems that more are in for their tour and NOT for the long haul. Remember when we first went back to Iraq and it was found that we were deploying more reservists than ever before? Many of those people were just not in the same shape as our active military was. I don't think that we need to continue to police the world. Let's sit back for a while, and only address serious threats. Drones could be good for gathering information without adding a lot of additional personnel. 3. Look at the House and the Senate. They are paid ridiculous amounts of money to do little-to-nothing. This last Congress was one of, if not THE, least productive in history. If we acted like that in real life, we'd be fired. So we, as citizens, deserve an opportunity to ask them to refund their salaries! 4. Welfare reform. Something needs to be done, that's for sure. Maybe-you get help for the first six years, but you need to be doing something to prepare for the future because you're cut off when that kid turns five! 5. Corporate welfare. It disgusts me to no end. Many of these companies receiving handouts had a part (big or small) in the economic crisis-why did they get help? Many of those companies are still getting help, but not one of them really seemed to make a change for the better. (Why does AIG keep coming to mind here?) Super PACs were the biggest mistake in my opinion. Look what they did to our country during the last Presidential election? I'm currently unemployed. The jobs that I'm looking for pay anywhere locally $10 an hour to $35,000 a year. Those jobs on the federal level? They can pay anywhere from $32,000 and up! And if it's in a large city-Washington DC, for instance, the same can pay $100,000 a year! It's for a clerical position-one that you don't need a college education for! The unemployment benefits should NEVER have been up for consideration. I could seriously go on and on about changes that I'd like to see. But I'm going to finish now. I need to get that bad taste out of my mouth!
• Redlands, California
3 Jan 13
Yah, I love ideas even if I do not agree with them, (at least someone is thinking) not saying I do not agree with yours because most of them sound legitimate but the welfare one is supposed to make sure they find people jobs. I do not know if that is happening though?
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
3 Jan 13
Well I will address each point. 1. Yes. You probably could invest the money better than the government could. My four year old is saving up because he wants to buy a toy airplane. He is saving up all his tooth fairy money and doesn't want to spend it on happy meals and more like my friend's child does. The plane he wants is 25.00. If my four year old can save up money and not want to spend it every time we walk past a candy store or something. The government can do it when it comes to larger budgets. I think they should take the cap off of social security and put it back in a high interest savings like it was originally supposed to be in. I probably wont even be able to collect SS when I am old enough to retire but I am investing and saving what I can because of that. 2. Having part of the military budget going to helping our veterans is a good thing. I don't have problems with things like that or even getting them new equipment. I do however know that some veterans get screwed over when it comes to going to school and they don't want to give them the payments. In fact, his sister had to fight with them about it and she's been in the military for years. It becomes what are they doing with the money then if not helping the vets. Adding more ships and drones however I think costs too much as I don't think there is a need for them right now. And a nice portion of our money is spent on policing the world. I believe we have bases between North and South Korea as well as Germany and I think we need to let some of our allies solve their own problems for a bit because we simply can't afford it. 3. I really want them to get paid maybe $7.75 an hour if that. I think their salaries are ridiculous as well for what little work they do. 4. When it comes to welfare, while cash assistance is limited, I know a lot of working poor on food stamps. They are just barely, BARELY, able to pay for their bills and housing so when it is all said and done they don't have any for food and then food prices go way up. I do agree that something must be done about it. 5. I completely agree with this. I can't stand corporate welfare. This country could probably save a decent bit of money if we stopped that. Unemployment should have never come up. I am firm believer that if unemployment is such a big problem, then they should create more jobs so people can work and live off of it.
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
4 Jan 13
LOL! I like the idea of commission based pay for politicians. That is an EXCELLENT idea! How can we implement it? I think we should take all their salaries away and see what they do. If they choose well and actually do something THEN we could pay them say.... $25 each? It would be easy to see the ones who actually wanted to get stuff done, we'd quickly have a few who were making several hundred a day while we'd have losers who couldn't even collect a lousy $25. After a week I'd fire those. I'm laughing about the octopus mom... HER problem is that she already HAD children, at least one with special needs BUT she was living with HER MOTHER and not working? I don't think that anybody who is dependent and without some sort of significant other longterm partner should EVER be able to have fertility help from a doctor, that doctor should lose his license for giving HER fertility help. IVF and other things are VERY expensive, so nobody who has the thousands to pay for that should be on food stamps and welfare and crying about being broke. I don't think that woman should have had ANY children at all, much less EIGHT AFTER SHE ALREADY HAD three or four! The Duggars don't have any debt, they are not on any government assistance. They do have 19 or 20 children now but the oldest is grown and married and somewhere else. I don't have a problem with the size of their family but they are a married couple and they take care of their own family without money or resources from the government. If other people with fewer kids did the same thing this world would be better. I think the homeschooling and extreme religion is 'cultish' and not real world but whatever lol.
• St. Peters, Missouri
3 Jan 13
For the most part, I agree with you. But I want to point out one thing. Technically, Social Security and Medicare ARE entitlements. The definition of a government entitlement is a program that provides individuals with personal financial benefit (or goods or services) when they meet eligibility conditions that have been set out by law. As you said, you're entitled to that money. That's all that entitlement means. We have come to see it as negative and that part of the eligibility requirements don't include paying in. The reason I think semantics are important here is because unless you change the definition of "entitlement", your argument on this point isn't valid. What we really need to be arguing is that there should be a separate category of entitlements, with different laws regarding ending them or changing them, for all entitlements that include financial contribution from us as part of the eligibility. Just a thought.....
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
4 Jan 13
I should have clarified, but I don't see them in the way they are being presented by people on both sides as just "free" money people are getting when these people paid into the system for social security and medicare. When it comes to social security, there are those that somehow get it without meeting the requirements, but the majority of the people on medicare and social security have worked and paid into it. The ones who don't are usually the disabled or spouses who are allowed to collect what their spouses put in. In the true definition of the word, you are entitled to your money back. In the way it is presented, people have equated it with those who cheat the welfare system. There are people here on mylot who have done it which is why I stated it that way. Categorizing it may actually be better than lumping it all together which is what some people I have seen do. They lump in social security and medicare with medicaid and cash assistance for welfare when they are in fact different programs. Perhaps our government should properly categorize things.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
4 Jan 13
Well, there are people who feel 'entitled' to having something for nothing when that isn't in fact how entitlements work. The only things you are entitled to are things you have earned or paid into with an express understanding from both sides that the earned money GOES BACK TO THE PERSON WHO EARNED IT LATER. This is why I am worried about social security. Whatever current 30 somethings and 40 somethings have earned in social security has already been spent and given to someone else, so we have to count on social security income from current young workers who are now only 18-25. The economy and job situation is bad so there are not as many younger employed people and they aren't working 40+ regular jobs either. This is going to blow up in our faces in the next 30 years. Non citizens are entitled to NOTHING. The fact that some of them manage to get any form of benefit and then their ER bills get passed on to taxpayers ticks me off. There are a lot of people who claim it's not true, but I know from dealing with medicaid that some people have 'ID numbers' that are NOT social security numbers. You can't get a SS number if you are not a citizen, but you CAN somehow get a driver's license (which you shouldn't be able to get either) and with a driver's license you can get a slew of other things, including an ID for medical care, a job, housing and property. So... if out of 20 patients, you have 16 who have 'medical ID numbers' instead of SS numbers but they still qualify for medicaid, then medicaid is paying medical care for illegals, and that's our tax dollars that fund medicaid. Not okay. *sigh*
• St. Peters, Missouri
4 Jan 13
I don't really want to weigh in on my opinion on this one, simply because my opinion tends to change almost hourly. I find it very interesting to read these discussions and hear what everyone has to say. I'm learning a lot and at the same hearing some of the arguments on both sides. I think it helps me determine where my beliefs should be. So please don't think I'm criticizing anyone's statements. I applaud everyone for speaking up. I just think that part of the problem is that we're using the same vocabulary, but not the same definitions. This makes everything so much more confusing. As AidaLady said, the presentation is often such entitlement means you get something for nothing. This is never what it is. And I get angry when our leaders, who should know better, refer to it this way. It does nothing but confuse the issue. I have known people that don't necessarily think you get entitlements for nothing. They were aware there were specific requirements. But they felt they could just create those requirements. Sadly, one was my daughter. Fortunately, she's grown out of this stage without getting any entitlements. Her plan was to start having babies with no means of support. She doesn't qualify now, but she surely would then. And that was okey-dokey for her and her fiance. This is what burns me to absolutely no end!!! And this wasn't the first time she's talked about it. She's dated a bunch of losers. One she used to date had a mom that was very ill. She received financial support because she was medically unable to work and support her family. Well, she generalized this so that if her son and my daughter married, when neither was working, they could just get state aid. Excuse me??? How bout waiting until you can do it on your own??? Since when do we make life decisions based on assuming someone else will pick up the tab because we can't???? This is my issue with some entitlements. I don't know yet what I believe regarding who should receive aid. This is what changes. But I do feel very strongly, that this is wrong. Mommy, I think those are the people you are referring to also? Or are you thinking about a different segment that feels entitled to get something for nothing? I know who I believe shouldn't receive aid. Right now, it's people who choose circumstances, when other options are available, that put them in the eligible status. Mommy, I do think you have a point about how SS is funded. It probably made sense to do it this way many years ago when the population was always growing. But it doesn't make sense that it would always experience growth. At some point, any population has to level out and even decrease in numbers. So now we have all the Baby Boomers retiring and not nearly enough people paying into the system. Is it too late to change how we fund the system? What can be done? What are the options?
@Arieles (2474)
• United States
4 Jan 13
I love your way of thinking. I think you should run for office. I would elect you and maybe you could make some changes. I would guess though with the congress, it's hard to change their minds or their behaviors.
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
4 Jan 13
Lol. I have heard that before. However, congress would hate me. I hate overspending on ANYTHING! They would try to impeach me for something so fast it would make your head spin. I am very conservative when it comes to spending. I don't like spending. I don't like any more force than is necessary. I would prefer to have the strictest possible immigration laws ever.... and then I am rather socially liberal. Unless it is medical, rape, a child pregnancy (under 14), and things like that I believe women should pay for their own abortions. Gay marriage? It would be legalized and it would benefit my administration. Why? Married people pay more in taxes than single people. Then I'd be fighting congress... you don't want to work for the American people... then you don't need a paycheck. I'd want to use an executive order to cut not only my own salary but theirs until we got things fixed and people could be proud to be Americans again. I have nearly every receipt of everything I have spent in the last year and a half. Paper and computerized copies of different financial records on everything. In many different places with multiple locks or passwords. Every last penny is accounted for. If I mess up even the slightest bit, I tend to freeze any spending until I can find and correct the problem. My husband says I need to live a little. See? You probably don't want to vote for me now. There is that and I'd probably get assassinated. XD
@Arieles (2474)
• United States
4 Jan 13
Yes, run for office. I really would support you!!
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
4 Jan 13
:) Thank you very much for your support. I've actually thought about running for an office to start in 2014 for the House. I do have some skeletons in the closet but hey... who doesn't. If someone is more worried about what happens in someone's personal life than they are about fixing this great nation of ours then I believe they have some issues. It was kind of funny actually, one of my friends here didn't like any of the candidates and so she voted for me which I thanked her for. If I was old enough to run for president I would, but as it stands I am old enough to run for my state's house. 10 more years until I can run for president I believe. *laughs* I just imagined trying to have a bill passed with this current congress and they want to pass something with extra stuff in it, and I ask them exactly WHY they think we need some of the B.S. they put in those bills? Or WHY do they think they deserve to get paid more when they are supposed to work for the American people? And my favorite, WHY should I not make lobbying and insider trading for Congress illegal? They would be so mad at me. I mean in my state they have a 13 week internship in which you can learn about the house of representatives and more. They have senators, members of the house, and prominent lobbyists come and talk to the students. Students are required to develop and defend an original piece of legislation. Considering my piece of legislation wouldn't involve any PORK spending and making lobbying illegal and punishments a federal crime, I don't think they would like that much. However, I thank you for your support and I shall let you know if I run. :) --On a side note-- My friend tried to start a campaign for people to just write me in. I had to talk to so many people about my thoughts and policies on everything. If only I was older....
@Fatcat44 (1142)
• United States
4 Jan 13
This discussion shows that most of us can agree on the main principle. I agree with everything here. I still think we need to support our military well because I would rather fight the problems on other people's soil instead of have the war in our country. As for Social Security, it is set up as a ponzi scheme, i.e as wikipedia explains it "a ponzi scheme is a investment operation that pays returns to the investors from their own money or from subsequent investors, rather than from the profits earned..." And on top of it, the government has their hands in it taking money out. I want to get rid of it. I mad that I have payed into it for 25 years and I may not get any money out of it. My father in-law payed into it all his life, he is now retired, and he says he is entitled to it because he payed into. Yes he should get his money back. My answer to him is why did your generation let ponzi scheme continue. It needed to be changed years ago, but you guys just let it keep on going, and now that it is going belly up you complain. They did not do their job of fixing it years ago and now they have to pay for their mistake. Just like my generation, we have not fixed it yet, so we cannot blame other and expect other to bail us out because we made a bad investment into Social Security. So we have to get in and fix things. Instead we have political financial cliffs. The solution is full of pork. We have disaster bills that are filled with pork...i.e. Hollywood gets tax-breaks on Sandy disaster bill. We have so much stuff that is done work when we try to do something that is right. We need to shame the elected officials when they do something like this. We both, left and right need to stand together and say we the people do not stand for it any more.
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
4 Jan 13
Yes he should get his money back. There should be a choice to pay into it as a few people have suggested. I am sure some people will mess up, that is part of life and it is nice to have that safety net there. However, there are other people who can save their money and invest it better than the government can. I wont say everyone because some people are really really bad with money. When you put it that way, it does sound like a Ponzi scheme. Not to make excuses for your father's generation, but it is possible they didn't know what a Ponzi scheme was at the time and social security sounded like a great idea. There is a saying that 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'. We should have term limits or something on congress. It is getting ridiculous with career politicians on both sides of the aisle who are more interested in who is paying them off for funding than helping the American people... ALL of the American people. Not just the rich, not just the poor, but everyone. I think this will always happen with political financial cliffs because both sides keep wanting to add pork to the bills in order to give something back to the donators, etc. I also think we need to set limits on how much a person can be given or use for any campaign. The amount they spent on this last election was outrageous in my personal opinion and that money could have easily offset some of the pork spending they keep adding to these bills. And people wonder why we are broke as a country in a sense, we keep allowing our congress to add things that shouldn't be added to legislation to barely address the real problem at hand. My apologies for the mini rant. I just really hate all the pork spending.
@sierras236 (2740)
• United States
4 Jan 13
My only real criticism with your plan is military spending. They shouldn't do much on the way of cutting back. Yes, there should be a small reduction or it should be distributed better (as in better health care plan rates, wounded warrior care, mental health, etc.) A strong military is more important now than ever considering the major friction going on in the Middle East. You can make arguments one way or the other on the effectiveness. The fact still remains that the US needs a strong military regardless of what the President or Congress does. It is one of the actual Responsibilities outlined in the US Constitution. Social Security should have an opt out clause. If people are so worried about future income, the solution is to simply set income regulations on who can opt out. Also, they really should look at retirement age in comparison to current life spans. Medicare also has a relatively simple solution. Open it up to competitors that aren't the Federal Government. They can still require Seniors to have health insurance but the Government doesn't actually have to run the insurance plan itself. Welfare is a little tougher to solve. You almost have to allow more Governmental interference into people's lives in order to make sure the people who need it, actually get it.