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Old 08-13-2014, 07:30 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,835,458 times
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There have been various such schemes proposed over the years. One was to pay everyone some minimum wage, do away with all forms of welfare and drastically simplify the tax code.

The objective was to establish a system where welfare was automatic and there is virtually no overhead to tax collection.

The scheme is not open ended. It is supposed to catch sufficient revenue to be neutral. And that may well include taxing the government stipend.

And note it is not just poor people welfare it goes after...away goes the deduction of mortgage interest...the great welfare of the middle class.

I don't know and have not seen a version of this that I would consider viable...in fact I have no idea if it is even possible. But it is not absurd on its face. It is however very unlikely in the present climate or in one in the foreseeable future.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,788,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
It wasn't a proposal; it was an off-handed, off-the-wall, ridiculous comment by an anonymous individual on a message board. You, yourself, even noted above that it is an insane notion. And yet your reaction is to create a separate thread and have a deep philosophical discussion about such a lunatic suggestion?

Seriously?
You have a good point there.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:07 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,785 posts, read 7,080,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
In the quoted portion of someone's post in another thread, I recently read a proposal for the guarantee of financial well-being of seniors by having the government grant every person over 65 $40,000 per year, no questions asked. And yes, married couples would get $80,000. I thought that was so completely insane that I elected to make the discussion of it a separate thread. I have objections on both the practical and the philosophical level.

On the philosophical level, how would young people (who are also voters and tax payers) feel about such a grant of a very comfortable life for every senior when many of the young people are struggling? Such a gross favoritism based on age alone ought to be objectionable to every fair-minded person. There is already quite enough inter-generational resentment without adding fuel to the fire so blatantly.

A more minor but still philosophical issue is how to justify favoring married couples over single people in such a blatant fashion. It does not cost twice as much for two people to live, not nearly so.

Moving to the practical level, how would such a massive give-away be funded? The argument that it would be funded by re-directing existing wasteful spending ignores two facts: First, how would we as a nation agree on the wasteful spending to be eliminated? People have different ideas about what constitutes the most blatant waste. Second, how would we as a nation agree on how the re-directed wasteful spending should be spent? Everyone would have a pet project, such as the massive give-away to seniors, but not everyone would agree because people would have different pet projects.

The level of proposed senior welfare funding is so high as to belong in a fantasy land. Depending on where one lives, the proposed amounts would represent an extremely comfortable way of life - New York City and a few other places excepted, of course.

If it were really possible to mandate a cushy life for all people by legislative fiat (or even for a large subset of people such as those 65 and older), someone would have found a way. But that is not possible, since there is no such thing as a free lunch when it all boils down. All experiments along those lines have ended in failure for excellent reasons, especially as draconian force would have to be involved in the ultimately hopeless task.

We don't live in a Garden of Eden where adequate fruit and other nourishment is ripe for the easy picking. And we seniors do not merit such extraordinary favoritism just by virtue of having survived to a given age.
Well, now that you've brought it up again, I think it's one of the dumbest ideas I've heard yet. I can't for the life of me figure out what it would be that entitles a bunch of folks, simply because they've reached the age of 65, to an annual government handout of $40,000 each, especially on the backs of younger folks struggling to make their own ends meet and provide for their own families???


And as you have mentioned, such a program would be unworkable, for all the reasons you mention.
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:55 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
1,474 posts, read 1,705,611 times
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Why do people make things so complicated? $40k/year for the venerable survivors sounds like a wonderful idea. Would motivate the youngsters to work hard because their day of reward will come too. 65 is still a ways off for me, and would love to have some sort of glorious reward to look forward to. Body might be increasingly old, tired, and achey...will need TLC the last 20-30 years of life.

The bottom line is that money is infinite because it's all based on imagination & the higher-ups pulling the strings, determining the worth of those beneath them based on education level, vocation, hardships, military service, etc. The divvying out of money is pretty much arbitrary based on those factors. There is no money, it's all promises. So hell, why not give geriatrics $40k/year for being awesome enough to work & survive that long. They've earned it.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:11 AM
 
12,375 posts, read 18,476,158 times
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Do you know how much that will be a year?

40 milllion in the US over 65 years old. Total 1.6 trillion dollars a year. That would be $1,600,000,000,000. Annual tax receipts are only 2.8 trillion a year. In order to fund this the US would have to either eliminate half of it's budget (the entire social security, Medicare, and Medicaid program, other stuff like interstate maintenance, national park funding, etc), or raise taxes to astronomical amounts, or print out money. Each will have corresponding negative effects to the economy or social programs that would eliminate any benefits - massive inflation, loss of social programs to the non-aging (in other words - you would have to eliminate entitlements to the poor and sick to give entitlements to the aging), I cannot begin to even predict what the job loss effect would be to an increase in tax, etc.

Of course, also, the population is aging. This 1.6 is just the start.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,027,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
You have a good point there.
I'm OK with the thread. It brings up a futuristic idea. (We just don't know the whole "plan" that would accompany it). Anything that gets us oldsters to think seriously about anything even it it's off the wall is all good.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:23 AM
 
12,375 posts, read 18,476,158 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
It wasn't a proposal; it was an off-handed, off-the-wall, ridiculous comment by an anonymous individual on a message board. You, yourself, even noted above that it is an insane notion. And yet your reaction is to create a separate thread and have a deep philosophical discussion about such a lunatic suggestion?

Seriously?
Agree - it doesn't need discussion. Why not propose giving a million dollars to each person in the US every year? Two million? Maybe to everyone in the world to eliminate poverty as we know it?
It's a fantasy subject for those living in some kind of make-believe world.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
3,730 posts, read 5,292,749 times
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Science fiction. One more example of the entitlement mindset sweeping and infecting the Republic. Remember the $250 that all seniors got in 2010? Was strongly opposed to that one, and even though the money came in handy at the time, held on to the check for weeks before finally cashing it, after seriously considering either sending it back or putting it through the shredder.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:01 AM
 
3,066 posts, read 2,037,017 times
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The government doesn't 'give' anyone anything. It all comes out of my pocket---AND yours.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,788,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackShoe View Post
Science fiction. One more example of the entitlement mindset sweeping and infecting the Republic. Remember the $250 that all seniors got in 2010? Was strongly opposed to that one, and even though the money came in handy at the time, held on to the check for weeks before finally cashing it, after seriously considering either sending it back or putting it through the shredder.
I do remember that, and I felt the same way. My Social Security is on automatic electronic deposit, so I didn't have options about handling a paper check. A wise friend, after listening to my complaint about the wastefulness of that give-away, suggested that I find a way to donate that money to a good cause. Through a school nurse I identified a few needy families, added a bit of my own money to the $250, and gave a few $100 grocery shopping trips. In order to be sure that's where the money went, and that no alcohol or tobacco products were purchased, I accompanied each family on the trip and paid at the cash register myself. I lied to them that I was acting as an agent for a donor who wished to remain anonymous. There were some very happy folks and it was perhaps the most gratifying charity giving I ever did either before or since. I think I'll do it again this coming Christmas. Thanks for the reminder.
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