Monday, August 17, 2009


Obama's speech in Grand Junction on Saturday - he says opponents way back when called Social Security and Medicare "socialism." Scare tactics he says, by opponents, and they use the same ones today. (Actually, they are socialist programs.)

1935 FDR - In the United States, Social Security did not exist on the federal level until the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935. This statute provided for a federal program of old-age retirement benefits and a joint federal-state venture of Unemployment Compensation. In addition, it dispensed federal funds to aid the development at the state level of such programs as vocational rehabilitation, public health services, and child welfare services, along with assistance to the elderly and the handicapped. The act instituted a system of mandatory old-age insurance, issuing benefits in proportion to the previous earnings of persons over sixty-five and establishing a reserve fund financed through the imposition of payroll taxes on employers and employees. The original levy was 1 percent, but the rate has increased over the years. Only employees in industrial and commercial occupations were eligible for protection under the Social Security Act of 1935, but numerous important amendments have expanded the categories of coverage.

A nation providing a net for the needy is appropriate. It is the "numerous amendments" and increasing levy that is onerous. In 2004 Social Security paid out $500 billion in benefits. Our Social Security program is the largest government program in the world and the single greatest expenditure in the federal budget.

2008 mandatory spending programs - Social Security and Medicare:

* Social Security - $544 billion
* Medicare - $325 billion
* Medicaid - $186 billion
* All other mandatory programs - $357 billion. These programs include Food Stamps, Unemployment Compensation, Child Nutrition, Child Tax Credits, Supplemental Security for the blind and disabled, Student Loans, and Retirement / Disability programs for Civil Servants, the Coast Guard and the Military.

Contrary to popular myth - defense spending is not the main recipient of tax dollars. Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment and Welfare are 31.7% of the 2008 pie chart. Department of Defense 16.6%, if we add GWOT and DHS into the defense category their piece of the pie rises to 22.8 - still almost 9% less than that spent on social programs.

1965 LBJ - Medicare and its companion program Medicaid, (which insures indigent recipients), were signed into law by Lyndon Johnson as part of his "Great Society."

The original Acts, not so egregiously burdensome, continued to expand and expand. Initially meant to rescue those who could not provide their own safety net or retirement. But, rather than a net to assist the retirement of the lower classes and those in temporary dire straits, the Deal and Act have become the biggest public troughs.

A large amount of the political and social corruption seen in the US can be laid on the abuse of these programs, which is why we do not have or ever will have social security nor a great society. What we have is everyone who wants to gaming the system - and believing it's their "right."

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