April 28, 2011

Scaring Grandma - The Whitehouse Plan

Marc Comtois

So Senator Whitehouse staked out another senior citizens home for the purpose of discussing proposals that would reform Medicare (specifically Rep. Paul Ryan's plan) and social security. Predictably, the seniors don't like the idea.

Rita Carbon, 80, of Cumberland, a retired high school secretary, said, “We don’t want Social Security to go with Wall Street.” Her husband, Joseph Carbon, 83, a retired office manager, said after the hearing, “We want Social Security to stay as it is.” And Roland Vigeant, 68, of Tiverton, a retired contractor, said, “I think the way Medicare is right now is fine.”

...Judy Moschella, 68, of Greenville, a retired sales representative, to come to Wednesday’s hearing. “I’m concerned they’re making cuts in Social Security and Medicare,” she said.

Whitehouse characterized some of the proposed changes as “potentially devastating,” telling the crowd, “We must continue to demonstrate the critical nature of programs on which American seniors depend . … We will protect our promises to our seniors.”

We've seen this playbook before. Somehow I doubt it was made clear that the reforms wouldn't affect anyone 55 years old and up. A recent poll shows that a majority of seniors favor Ryan's plan, but there are some who say they want to protect future generations.
Audrey Brett, 85, of Middletown, formerly of Manchester, Conn., who said, “I have never had a complaint with Medicare — it is always available to me and always delivers what it is committed to do.” But she said she fears that future beneficiaries may be impoverished if even a portion of Medicare is privatized.

“For all those Americans who worked, paid their taxes, added to the betterment of this country, served in military and civil service — we cannot let them live and die in poverty,” she said.

I'm pretty sure that no one is going to live in poverty, especially anyone over 55, who will still benefit from the current system. I'm also sure that the mindset evinced by the above seniors isn't going to change. Regardless, the current system isn't going to magically keep going without the future generations--for whom some of these seniors claim to want to vouchsafe these programs--paying more. And even then there's no guarantee.

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Misleading and frightening the elderly for political gain. Class act, that one.

Posted by: Dan at April 28, 2011 3:09 PM

I sure hope that Loughlin would look up all those cute little old ladies who were in those Cicilline commercials last time and ask them how they feel about David now. After all, they said David was going to protect social security for them!

Show me one vote or even a real bill put forth that would have harmed the social security system as those seniors know it today? Has your David "protected" your social security? I guess you could say that it hasn't been touched so he must have done what he promised to, right?

Then again, Ernie put a banana in his ear to keep all the elephants off Sesame Street. I never saw any elephants on Sesame Street, so it must have worked, right?

Ugh. I don't know what's worse, the tactics by Cicilline and Whitehouse in scaring the seniors or the dumb seniors who don't verify what they're being told. And they vote.

Posted by: Patrick at April 28, 2011 5:19 PM

And so another Empire nears collapse.
Make sure your kids take Mandarin classes.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at April 28, 2011 7:34 PM

Good luck selling that one. Now if you can just convince seniors that their grandchildren won't mind being wiped out by medical costs...

The chief strategist for AARP says House Republicans' problem with Medicare reminds him of the rejection of former President George W. Bush's plan for private accounts in Social Security. Like Ryan, Bush would have exempted those already in the program or nearing retirement. The seniors lobby opposed Bush's plan then, as it does Ryan's now.

"I've never seen a group of seniors, once you tell them that this isn't going to affect them personally, say it's OK, we're fine with that," said John Rother. "They kind of see themselves as guardians of the programs for their children."


Posted by: Russ at April 29, 2011 9:41 AM

So what are we supposed to believe from the irrelevant quote from this article?

AARP is a special-interest group that claims to represent the elderly but in fact makes huge amounts of money by participating in the health-insurance ripoff scheme under the present Medicare program. Of course we should swallow whole everything they say.

It would be a change if Russ would actually post something that results from his own analysis - but perhaps he has no ideas of his own.

The incontrovertible fact is that both Social Security and Medicare (and Medicaid) were actuarially unsound from their very inception and were made worse when government decided to leave the liabilities entirely unfunded with future benefits to be paid from future tax receipts. This means that both are essentially Ponzi schemes or welfare programs designed to transfer wealth from the young to the elderly with government taking a huge overhead charge in between.

This was never a legitimate function of the federal government, and one day the Supreme Court will rule it unconstitutional - if it doesn't drive the nation into bankruptcy first.

Posted by: BobN at April 29, 2011 10:01 AM

What utter nonsense, and I know a bit about this one... ask around. No insurance company on Earth is "actuarially sound" by your analysis.

Granted it's clearly "your own" (word of advice, you might want to rethink the value of that in this case and do a bit of reading).

Posted by: Russ at April 29, 2011 11:33 AM

Explain your comment, "no insurance company on Earth is actuarially sound by your analysis." Because I think its a typical BS syllogism.

It sounds like this: "The poorly-designed government programs were not actuarially sound, therefore all insurance companies are not actuarially sound."

As to your arrogant remark about "doing a bit of reading", well that needs no additional comment. I'm accustomed to the Left's gratuitous insults. I just consider the source.

Posted by: BobN at April 29, 2011 11:46 AM

What's funny is when I offer up my own knowledge, I'm "arrogant." We I cite a source, I have no ideas of my own. Nothing gratitiuos about that, eh?

As for doing some reading, look into how claims are paid by insurers, what reserve levels are maintained, etc. Then let me know which firm does not fund future benefits from future receipts. Or don't, whatever.

Posted by: Russ at April 29, 2011 12:17 PM

Russ, you are so dishonest that is impossible to talk with you.

I said you were arrogant because of your gratuitous insult, not because you offered your "own knowledge". And I am challenging you to support your claim about regular insurance companies, not merely to repeat it. Put up or shut up, pal. Show me your knowledge. You made the claim, don't turn around and ask me to research it for you. That's arrogant, and it looks like your bluffing as well. You sound like Cartman with his phony ipad in the opening scene of this week's episode of South Park.

In fact, I suspect that the entire range of business and entrepreneurial experience that you have claimed on these pages is a complete fiction.

Posted by: BobN at April 29, 2011 12:44 PM
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