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  1. #51
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I wonder, what is wrong with this? If you dont think there is anything wrong with it why do you think so?

    If there is something wrong with it what changes would be necessary to make it right?

  2. #52
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    How?

    I haven't argued anything except that our entitlement system is unsustainable without reform.
    Ah. It seemed as though you were saying that poor people, on an individual level, are generally living more comfortably than my observations would indicate. I suggested that you might want to get more 'on the ground data because I don't think you've got an accurate picture of how things are for people that are in poverty and/or disabled.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    My arguments don't jive with your personal conviction (forgive me for assuming here) that continuing/growing welfare support is more important to the nation than responding to pressing economic challenges that are exacerbated by the growth in entitlement spending you support.

    The only thing you seem to see is that there are poor people out there, and they by default require the most assistance we can give them regardless of our other concerns.

    Unless you're an economist with knowledge of how to grow entitlement spending without crowding out other national budgetary concerns, I don't see how dealing with the poor on a day to day basis gives you any ground to rebut the claim that we can't support entitlement spending that continues to grow as a percentage of GDP.



    I don't appreciate the insinuation.

    I have questions for you.

    Do our entitlement programs require no reform?

    At what point do national economic concerns, which have an effect on 100% of the populace outweigh concerns about subsidizing the lives of those at or below the poverty level?

    I understand the need for a social safety net, I'm just not so tied to it that I would rather see the economy tank than allow reforms that may change benefit levels, or narrow those that can qualify for the programs, or for that matter enforce a work requirement.
    I'm fine with reforming entitlement spending if we start with corporate welfare, including, but not limited to having corporations pay the full cost of employing people so that the burden is not pushed off onto tax payers.

    Many of the able bodied people that receive assistance do work. They just do not get paid enough to cover their basic expenses. Those are entitlements that could and should be remedied by the folks that employ them unless it is a business that is struggling and needs temporary help with these expenses.

    I do not think large, highly profitable businesses should have a negative tax liability. Nor do I think a company that can't pay their employees enough to support their basic needs has any business paying CEOs millions of dollars.

    I have no problem with expecting able-bodied people to work in order to receive help. I don't think it necessarily has to be private sector work they found on their own. I think if they cannot find a private sector job, we ought to either offer them public community service or volunteer work for a charity until they can find paid private sector work. We do still have an unemployment problem and an underemployment problem, so it's not realistic to expect, for the purposes of getting help, that everyone is going to be employed when there simply are not enough jobs for all the people that want them.

    And, FWIW, cash welfare (TANF) and foodstamps (SNAP) do have work requirements and have had work requirements, if I'm not mistaken, since the 1990s when Clinton did his welfare reforms.

    Also, as I think I've mentioned to you before, I think there are options for changing how we allocate the
    money we have. For example, our defense spending is insane.


    It might not be crazy to look at whether or not we can protect ourselves from foreign invasion on a smaller budget if we're looking at cutting expenses.

    My value system is not so much about having more welfare, but it is about it being better to spend money on feeding, educating and healing people in need rather than spending it on people who have more than they can spend in a lifetime and spending it on killing people, if we're going to talk about how we're spending money and who we're spending it on.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #53
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Thanks Obama

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    And, FWIW, cash welfare (TANF) and foodstamps (SNAP) do have work requirements and have had work requirements, if I'm not mistaken, since the 1990s when Clinton did his welfare reforms.
    House Republicans seek to block welfare work waivers

    House Republicans introduced legislation Thursday to reinstate the original work requirement for welfare benefits critics say was loosened by an executive order coming from the President Barack Obama.

    The bill, titled “Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act of 2013,” will prohibit the Obama administration from granting waivers to the work requirements contained in the welfare reform legislation enacted in 1996 under the Clinton administration.....
    I am saying that some receiving benefits are middle class, and we should rethink the qualifications for the programs.

    For instance, as I've argued before, I would like to see benefits limited to those within 130% of the federally designated poverty level.

    We also need to rethink the programs so that someone making 11 grand and getting benefits doesn't end up better off than someone making 25 grand and having to pay their medical bills (like they do under the current system).

    Under the current system it only makes sense to work more if you can make enough that it outweighs what your benefits would have been at that lower level. (clearly this would require a healthcare fix)

    Yes, there are needy folks out there, and there is a substantive need for programs like these to help those in need, but at the same time, we need these programs to focus on moving all those that can back into self supporting working life.

    If despite their capacity to work and become self sustaining, someone receiving benefits can't hack it, at some point we have to cut them off.

    I'm all for helping the needy, I'm not all for paying taxes so those that could don't have to work.

    EDIT - the biggest reason that we spend so much on our military is that the rest of the world (except the former Soviet Bloc) asked us to take care of global security for them. We've been doing this so long that now the whole world expects our tax payers to pay for their military security. It's looking like we may be shifting away from this very slowly, but that will take time.

  5. #55
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    How?

    I haven't argued anything except that our entitlement system is unsustainable without reform.
    True, but that is because you are anti-Keynesian you do not believe in raising taxes. However, the actual outcomes in this country continue to be worse for individuals than in most other developed countries (life expectancy, higher education rates, levels of individual debt, etc). Other countries have "sustainable" systems, the difference is their systems benefit -the average person- more.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    True, but that is because you are anti-Keynesian you do not believe in raising taxes. However, the actual outcomes in this country continue to be worse for individuals than in most other developed countries (life expectancy, higher education rates, levels of individual debt, etc). Other countries have "sustainable" systems, the difference is their systems benefit -the average person- more.
    I'm fine with raising them (or eliminating deductions) if we in the same breath reform taxes, healthcare and entitlements.

    The left sacrificing it' sacred cow is a necessary precondition to me, or really any Republicans these days agreeing to increase revenue in any manner.

    We've raised taxes, and diminished military spending....

    It's your turn.

    More importantly, I have less of a problem with them being raised if they are raised for everyone.

    Other countries systems are also not shaped like ours. If we pour more money into our currently broken system we will just make our structural problems larger.

    Also, how much are those other countries forced to spend on their militaries?

    There are a host of reasons that it's ridiculous to argue that other country's programs could work on the ground in the US just because they work in those other countries.

    Your statement overlooks every difference between the US and those other countries, and only gains as much traction as it does because it's so easy for the plebs to understand.

    EDIT - also, in those other countries, the middle class shoulders much more of the tax burden (this is real balance) than they are asked to here.

  7. #57
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    We also need to rethink the programs so that someone making 11 grand and getting benefits doesn't end up better off than someone making 25 grand and having to pay their medical bills (like they do under the current system).
    Yes, there are needy folks out there, and there is a substantive need for programs like these to help those in need, but at the same time, we need these programs to focus on moving all those that can back into self supporting working life.

    In some cases, those people making "11 grand" are actually working full time at many of service outlets. A McD's cashier in Chicago is making 11 grand. The same job in Virginia, right next to the capital, is 10 grand. Miami is living large.. at 12 grand. The average around the whole country is 15k, but that's still shit. We don't need programs to get them in a self-supporting life. We need to pay them more, period. And their bosses need to be paid less.

    And before you say it's their fault for working somewhere like that, sometimes they don't have a choice. And someone has to do these jobs anyways.

    The other part of this equation is that you can attract more workers if they see that a comfortable enough living is still possible on the bottom. It discourages less people, at least. Discouragement can push you to end up selling drugs (but making more cash...and end up busted and costing taxpayers thousands for prison time). Or they get into diploma mills, thinking that'll open up more opportunity, but they then end up nowhere again, and with mountains of debt. Then they're even dependent.

    I wish I was exaggerating, but I am not.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    In some cases, those people making "11 grand" are actually working full time at many of service outlets. A McD's cashier in Chicago is making 11 grand. The same job in Virginia, right next to the capital, is 10 grand. Miami is living large.. at 12 grand. The average around the whole country is 15k, but that's still shit. We don't need programs to get them in a self-supporting life. We need to pay them more, period. And their bosses need to be paid less.

    And before you say it's their fault for working somewhere like that, sometimes they don't have a choice. And someone has to do these jobs anyways.

    The other part of this equation is that you can attract more workers if they see that a comfortable enough living is still possible on the bottom. It discourages less people, at least. Discouragement can push you to end up selling drugs (but making more cash...and end up busted and costing taxpayers thousands for prison time). Or they get into diploma mills, thinking that'll open up more opportunity, but they then end up nowhere again, and with mountains of debt. Then they're even dependent.

    I wish I was exaggerating, but I am not.
    What about illegal immigrants depressing wage values in the low skilled labor market?

    And last time I checked it wasn't the gov'ts job to tell companies how much to pay store managers.

    One would think that price or salary fixing is antithetical to a free market capitalist democratic republic (referring to your contention that any above the lowest tier of the totem pole should be paid less).

    Most importantly, what about all the jobs that would have to be cut to afford to pay $9 an hr or whatever the proposal is. A point that directly counters your statement about attracting more workers, because the businesses will only be able to afford fewer better paid hires.

    That's all kind of besides the point, because my quote you used highlights how our current system disincentivizes making more money because there is no net benefit at the end of the day.

    Your hate of the successful is strong, the Robin Hood gene must be strong in you.

    I don't think its reasonable to expect to hold a job that high schoolers apply for and be able to comfortably live. Last time I checked working fast food was not so strenuous that one would not be physically capable of holding down a second job.

  9. #59
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Your hate of the successful is strong, the Robin Hood gene must be strong in you.
    Not sure if I'm Robin Hood. I'd sling some arrows into some heads, if I could get away with it.

  10. #60
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    House Republicans seek to block welfare work waivers



    I am saying that some receiving benefits are middle class, and we should rethink the qualifications for the programs.

    For instance, as I've argued before, I would like to see benefits limited to those within 130% of the federally designated poverty level.

    We also need to rethink the programs so that someone making 11 grand and getting benefits doesn't end up better off than someone making 25 grand and having to pay their medical bills (like they do under the current system).

    Under the current system it only makes sense to work more if you can make enough that it outweighs what your benefits would have been at that lower level. (clearly this would require a healthcare fix)

    Yes, there are needy folks out there, and there is a substantive need for programs like these to help those in need, but at the same time, we need these programs to focus on moving all those that can back into self supporting working life.

    If despite their capacity to work and become self sustaining, someone receiving benefits can't hack it, at some point we have to cut them off.

    I'm all for helping the needy, I'm not all for paying taxes so those that could don't have to work.

    EDIT - the biggest reason that we spend so much on our military is that the rest of the world (except the former Soviet Bloc) asked us to take care of global security for them. We've been doing this so long that now the whole world expects our tax payers to pay for their military security. It's looking like we may be shifting away from this very slowly, but that will take time.
    And I am saying that the biggest welfare recipients out there are profitable multinational corporations and until that is addressed I think it's ridiculous to worry that those of us that are scrabbling for crumbs that fall from their tables might be getting slightly larger crumbs than we deserve.

    I promise you that someone earning $11K/year and raking in every kind of assistance they are eligible for is not living high on the hog. Based on taxable income, my family is right at 130% of the poverty line. We paid cash for our house so we don't have a mortgage or rent and we don't have car or credit card payments and it's still not a cake walk. Someone making ten or twenty thousand more a year than we are, especially in a high cost of living area could still legitimately use a some help with health insurance and/or rent. They certainly need it a lot more than the Walton family does. Not that it doesn't all end up right back in the pockets of folks like them anyway.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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