Thursday, December 27, 2018

Did You Pay for Medicare and Social Security

I run into the above sentiment pretty regularly, now that's a strange use of the word entitlement but going with it the way the writer seems to want it understood.

No one paid for Social Security and Medicare, people were taxed like they were taxed to pay for defense, TANF and SNAP. Paid for it implies a quid pro quo, but a quid pro quo is not even possible. The current congress has no ability to bind a future congress. 

You are taxed to pay for public goods and congress has ostensibly (though some would consider it more a case of vote buying) considers taking care of those over 62 a public good. (BTW Medicare is funded primarily from general revenues (41 percent), payroll taxes (37 percent), and beneficiary premiums (14 percent) (Figure 7)) 

It seems to me that that a sensible thing would be to follow the Australian model and pay the same amount out to all retirees. 

Combined social security plus Medicare make up almost half of the federal spending and medical spending for people over 65 is the least effective medical spending, spending for pregnant women and infants and children would yield much more health for the dollar. Much of the healthcare for the elderly yields so little in better health that it is hard to see in the data. See. Also few people even know how Social Security benefits are calculated, if you're curious and want to be surprised, look Here

Security is very much a welfare program disguised as a Ponzi scheme. (I love to say that.) And BTW for you constitution supporting Republicans out there, SS and Medicare are unconstitutional, now I think we should amend the constitution to allow the federal Government to do charity like that. 

None of the above means that you shouldn't be for keeping them as they are, but the argument that you paid for them and are therefore entitled to them is not correct.

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