Sunday, November 28, 2010

Social Security & Medicare - Means Testing

All of us know people who have lived beyond their means for years. During the good times, they used their home equity lines of credit, like a cash machine, to buy cars and other toys and to pay for expensive vacations. Now many of these same people are upside down on their mortgages and worse yet will not have a home paid off as they approach retirement. Since those Baby Boomers are likely to have little or nothing in savings as they retire, no doubt they will be eligible for full Social Security and Medicare benefits.

And then, there are those of us who saved and invested over the years in anticipation of retirement. We strived to pay off our homes recognizing that one day we would live off a fixed income. Many people in this category paid the maximum into Social Security and Medicare for years; yet it is this group that will be deemed "too rich" to receive the Social Security and Medicare benefits that have been promised to us. Ironically, those that have practiced delayed gratification, throughout their lives, in preparation for retirement will ultimately be means tested and denied the Social Security and Medicare benefits that they earned. And, those that squandered their money while working, believing that tomorrow would never come, will receive full benefits.

There is something very wrong with this picture! If both the retirement age is raised to 69 years old as is being discussed and means testing is imposed as is probable, it will mean that our government has stolen trillions of dollars from hard working people who have paid into the retirement system for years. Of course, this is no surprise because since 1965 our illustrious elected representatives in Washington of both political parties have been raiding the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for social programs and various wars. THERE IS NO SOCIAL SECURITY LOCK BOX, just IOU's given the Social Security Trust Fund by the Congress and President over the years. Our money that should have been invested to provide for our retirements, was spent on pork to buy reelection.

Now the rubber has hit the road and I am not talking about all those BMW's that were bought with home equity lines of credit. 70 million Baby Boomers are retiring and the money is not there to cover the promises that were made to us. Politicians often talk about reducing retirement benefits for those that are younger than 55; but that won't do it. They will have to turn to means testing for Baby Boomer retirees that they will deem to be "rich". And, to be clear "rich" will be defined as anyone with assets, not just millionaires. So those that have sizable 401's K's will be deemed to be "rich". Those that own investment property, or small businesses will be deemed to be "rich". This will be the excuse to cheat those who have saved and invested out of their Social Security and Medicare benefits that they have paid for, just wait and see!

So rather than significantly cut spending and eliminate many redundant government agencies, which is the real solution to our national debt and deficit problem, the federal government will simply cut Social Security benefits and increase Medicare premiums for the "rich" even though these people have paid and paid and paid for these benefits. Social Security and Medicare will become just one more welfare program.

Young people beware! The federal government has proven that it cannot be trusted with our retirement monies. As an option, young people should demand that at least half the money going into Social Security can we used for private accounts out of government reach. And, all Medicare recipients should be in Medicare Advantage HMO programs, through private insurance companies, as the standard program. If retired people want PPO programs, they can buy MediGap policies to provide for additional coverage. Of course, ObamaCare has cut Medicare by $500 Billion and actually eliminated the Medicare Advantage HMO program for more than 22 million seniors that are currently in the program.

Much of this $500 Billion cut in Medicare comes from cutting payments paid to doctors. This cut has been put on hold for another year because more and more doctors are refusing to take straight Medicare patients, without overlay MediGap insurance. If this problem is not remedied by the repeal of ObamaCare, there absolutely will be rationing of care and death panels for seniors because there are not enough Doctors in the United States to deal with Medicare and 30 million more people that are covered by ObamaCare; not to mention the 12 million illegal aliens that are also in the system one way or another.

The mess the federal government has made related to Social Security and Medicare, plus ObamaCare is one more reason we must sweep these Socialist out of office in 2012 and 2014. We must elect Conservatives that support free market capitalism, limited government, lower taxes and less regulation, a balanced budget, term limits, real Social Security, Medicare, education, energy and health care reform, a strong national defense, including securing our border and fighting Terrorism, the right to bear arms, the sanctity of life and family values that are the foundation of our nation. This is the platform supported by the majority of the American people and the only way to restore economic growth and job creation in America.

We must take back our country in 2012 and 2014 by electing Conservatives that support the Constitution, as written by our Founding Fathers, not as contrived by the left wing media, Socialists in the last 97 years, former Presidents, Congresses or the Courts. Fixing Social Security and Medicare should be at the top of this; but before people are cheated out of these benefits that they paid for, we need to see major cuts across the board to federal spending. We must take back our country to preserve our freedom, our nation and way of life and for the sake of our children and grandchildren. We can do it. We must do it.

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