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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2005, 04:39 PM
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AMEN!!!!!!!! my wife is and my mother was a home heath care provider, seen it.
Now days you've got to be flat out broke before any help is really given to any extent.

My mothers client was a quad with MS, he could only use one finger with any amount of control.
When he received a $3000.00 tax check they cut ALL his benefits and I mean totally cut him off, now ask your self how long is this $3000.00 going to last considering he only had one good finger and someone still has to take care of him. What are you going to do with that, pick your noise until you run out of buggers and starve when the moneyís all gone.

It takes them forever and a day to reinstate your healthcare benefits, you know red tape , your dead or end up in a nursing home unless someone keeps you alive out of there own pocket even thought they themselves have already paid the tax needed, so itís those people who end up pay twice, Iím sure anyone who has been in the biz of home healthcare for any amount of time has footed a bill out of there own pocket before.

And this gentlemen retried from the foist service with benefits but after he found out he had MS his wife ditched him took half of everything then a long and drawn out fight with MS left him penniless helpless and dispirit then on top of that his first home healthcare provider that he paid for out of his own pocket I might add stole everything he had left in the bank.

So just pray you never learn this one the hard way!


Rick.

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Old 04-23-2005, 05:28 PM
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About a 100 miles from here, there's a historical place called the Garden of Eden , it's in Lucas Kansas, and it's the home of an old codger named S.P. Dinsmore. He served in the civil war and lived in Lucas at the turn of the century.

He has a statue in his yard of a worker being crucified. The ones crucifying him were a doctor, a lawyer, a politician and a preacher.

It's the same story a 100 years later.

Our government is designed to extract the last crumb off of the producers (working stiffs like you and I).

During the depression , when the U.S. economy collapsed, people were literally starving to death. At that time, social security was a good idea, but alas after years and years it has become grossly corrupt.

Many of those that participate in social security before retirement age are the disabled and the impoverished.

There are those that are so disadvantaged like mildly retarded people, who need a helping hand. I think they should get the helping hand.

Really what we need is somebody with some common sense to decide who qualifies for it.

There truly is a need for social benefits for some people, that's obvious.

However, some guy that is too fat and lazy to work is not one of them, neither is an illegal alien looking to get their child's birth paid for free.

I think it might take another depression in the land before another true governmental overhaul takes place. There are too many profiting from social programs right now for our leaders to do anything signifigant with it.

Perhaps when all of the baby boomers are retired, and S.S.is broke, maybe then they'll have to quit giving it away to those who don't deserve it.
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Old 04-24-2005, 02:21 PM
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This topic really makes my heart ache. It is literally sinful what the federal government has done to this county with sinister Social programs, SSI being the absolute worst. We are to the point that the majority of the population thinks that the Feds are the end-all-be-all to every problem we have, witness the calls on in this thread for socialized health care. Really sad.

Of course the ONLY possible solution to the SSI problem is complete abolishment of the program. Why in the world is it a good idea to send 15% of everyone's income to a bunch of unelected bureaucrats in a small town on the east coast of the country for them to do with as they please? And then to have their incompetence endorsed by our 'representatives' who divert the majority of the funds to buying their re-election to offices that allow them continued skimming privileges. I sound like an anti-government kook I know but the facts of this topic make you sound like that if you describe them honestly.

I have done an in depth analysis of the SSI scheme in years past and it is sobering to say the least. If one were to save 15% of their income in a safe 5% CD, earned no more than poverty level $20,000/yr over a 30 year period, he would end up with a $million at retirement. I even figured that that money was saved after tax so the Feds would be getting a high percentage of the current revenue they now get and since the majority of the people would retire millionaires, there would be little if any of the current places to spend that increased revenue. There would be WAY more than enough in the treasurey to pay for the indigent, hard luck few who lost their investment, catastrophic disaster sufferes, etc. A huge added benefit would be vast amounts of capital in the system that would suppress interest rates and insulate the economy from any danger of inflation. I even think it would be proper for the government to mandate that everyone save at this rate like a mega-super 401K but they would keep their stinking greedy paws out of the money.

Now consider what the real effect would be for those making the median $50,000 income and invest the money in a 10% -12% farily aggressive mix of securities the potential is mind boggling.

If a private business ran their financial house the way the government runs SSI, people would be going to jail in mass numbers. The crime they are perpetrating on us makes Enron, Global Crossing, and Hillary's cattle future trading scam look like Mother Teresa Charities Inc.

I am a few years from retirement and far from rich but I would gladly fore-go my SSI benefits if they would let the younger people in this country take back their financial futures and quit this insane ponsi scheme that is impoverishing all of us.

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Old 04-24-2005, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by willys36@aol.com
If a private business ran their financial house the way the government runs SSI, people would be going to jail in mass numbers. The crime they are perpetrating on us makes Enron, Global Crossing, and Hillary's cattle future trading scam look like Mother Teresa Charities Inc.

who do we get to file the lawsuit? I'd put my name on it as a plaintiff.


sorry about the socialized medicine. like i said, i don't have the answers, just the knowledge that something is skrewed. and like I also said, there is NO reason ANYONE in AMERIKA should not have health coverage.
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Old 04-24-2005, 03:31 PM
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I think the real problem with abolishing S.S. is that other things are not in place for the common man.

I think greed is far out-pacing nationalism in our country. Just look at the current bankruptcy law that has just been passed.

Years ago, it wasn't easy, and it was far less common for people to file for bankruptcy. However, there were no existence of high interest credit cards either.

Personally, I think the usery laws should be re-vamped, making it illegal to charge the kind of interest that we are seeing.

I'm sure you fail to see the parallel I'm drawing, but at every turn, you will find that the same basic groups of people are preying upon labor.

They are:

politicians (government and taxation)

doctors (medical profession, pharmaceudical companies)

lawyers (present at every form of corruption)

insurance companies (now mandatory in every facet of life)

Personally, when it comes down between eating and buying intangibles, I choose to eat.

I'm not counting on social security to get me by when I'm old.
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Old 04-24-2005, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willys36@aol.com
I have done an in depth analysis of the SSI scheme in years past and it is sobering to say the least. If one were to save 15% of their income in a safe 5% CD, earned no more than poverty level $20,000/yr over a 30 year period, he would end up with a $million at retirement.
While I don't disagree that SS is in financial trouble and might not be the optimal financial investment available, I must quibble with your financial analysis.

When social security began in 1935 people contributed 1% of their income (not 15%) and only contributed on the first $1,400 of income. That was a maximum contribution of $140 per year. Also "safe" earnings rates (savings accounts or CD's) have traditionally been more in the neighborhood of 1-2% not the 5% you used for your calculation. Even today you'd be hard pressed to find a CD paying 5%. More like 3 to 3.75% tops. Even with the magic of compound interest, saving $140 a year at 2% interest is not going to give you a million bucks. So for many workers who started paying in back in the 30's, 40', or 50's and have already retired, social security may have been a pretty decent investment.

Indeed, SS withholding rates have gone up over the years and are currently around 7% I believe. You employer also contributes to the fund for the total of 15% which you mentioned. To be fair, however, I think your calculations should be based on individual SS rates over the long haul, the maximum contribution limits which have been in place over time, the actual amounts they contributed, and the real savings account (or CD) rates during the time frame they were contributing. That would give a more accurate picture of whether today's retiree would be better off if they had simply opened a savings account back in 1935 or if they contributed to SS and then received benefits at retirement.

This is not to say the SS has not been bungled up. When it began 65 was set as the age when benefits would begin. That was no accident. It just so happened that 65 was also the average age when people died. So from the governments side, it seemed like a pretty good hedge. Problem is, over time, we started living a lot longer than 65 years. And our government also never anticipated the possibility that there would ever come a day when we would have more people receiving benefits than workers making contributions. That day is soon approaching and it spells big trouble. Seems to me it is not the original SS concept that was bad but rather the failure of our elected officials to update the system over time to reflect changing conditions.

Dewey
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Old 04-24-2005, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboy
While I don't disagree that SS is in financial trouble and might not be the optimal financial investment available, I must quibble with your financial analysis.

When social security began in 1935 people contributed 1% of their income (not 15%) and only contributed on the first $1,400 of income. That was a maximum contribution of $140 per year. Also "safe" earnings rates (savings accounts or CD's) have traditionally been more in the neighborhood of 1-2% not the 5% you used for your calculation. Even today you'd be hard pressed to find a CD paying 5%. More like 3 to 3.75% tops. Even with the magic of compound interest, saving $140 a year at 2% interest is not going to give you a million bucks. So for many workers who started paying in back in the 30's, 40', or 50's and have already retired, social security may have been a pretty decent investment.

Indeed, SS withholding rates have gone up over the years and are currently around 7% I believe. You employer also contributes to the fund for the total of 15% which you mentioned. To be fair, however, I think your calculations should be based on individual SS rates over the long haul, the maximum contribution limits which have been in place over time, the actual amounts they contributed, and the real savings account (or CD) rates during the time frame they were contributing. That would give a more accurate picture of whether today's retiree would be better off if they had simply opened a savings account back in 1935 or if they contributed to SS and then received benefits at retirement.

This is not to say the SS has not been bungled up. When it began 65 was set as the age when benefits would begin. That was no accident. It just so happened that 65 was also the average age when people died. So from the governments side, it seemed like a pretty good hedge. Problem is, over time, we started living a lot longer than 65 years. And our government also never anticipated the possibility that there would ever come a day when we would have more people receiving benefits than workers making contributions. That day is soon approaching and it spells big trouble. Seems to me it is not the original SS concept that was bad but rather the failure of our elected officials to update the system over time to reflect changing conditions.

Dewey
You are making my point for me actually! OK, invest in a conservative mutual - half equities, half bonds and you will get a quite safe 5-7% return. I guessed at the CD example 'cause I don't invest in anything but high growth stock mutual funds. Sure there is a huge risk on a year to year basis but over the past 25 years I have been managing my 401K my average return has been a very solid 12%. If I had gone the conservative CD or other guaranteed return fund, I would have averaged 3% inflation. Not smart investing. I know very well that SSI started out as a 1% tax. So did our income tax and it has reached as high as 90% marginal rate before John Kennedy reduced it to 45% in ~62. That is ancient history. Working with what it is now and in the future, figure 15%. That is a fallacy that your employer is putting in 7% - the full 15% is figured on his cost of employing you. He doesn't pay a dime in ANY tax - the employees and customers pay 100% of any taxes paid by a business. If they didn't, I would start a recall of the manager of any company in which I was a stock holder faster than Bill Clinton could undress a teen intern. If the company wasn't sending that 7% to the feds, he could add it to your pay. Regardless of who you think is paying it, 15% into a personally managed, fairly aggressive growth account would make the average worker a millionaire over a 40 year career.

Everything that has happened with SSI to date is sunk cost - ancient history. Starting today I stand by my analysis. A kid starting out in an entry level job @ 21, putting in just the current rate and marginal percentage of SSI funds, and further assuming real value of equities will average what they have for the past 100 years over the next 40 years, and assuming he works hard and advances himself to better paying positions over his life, he will retire with multi-millions in his retirement account.

Certainly virtually EVERYONE who was allowed to manage his own account would be infinitely better off than the $1500/mo the government gives you now.
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Old 04-24-2005, 06:43 PM
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Here are pictures of a couple of XL runs on a retirement spreadsheet I made that show the potential of personal savings accounts. Obviously a person starting in the work force today has the highest potential. Guys like me have virtually no potential to benefit from savings accounts. Simplifying assumptions include 15% on all income but if you don't believe that is coming from your benevolent Fed. Gov., I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you!

A guy starting out in an entry level $20,000/yr job;



A guy entering the work force w/ a colledge education;



As I said, EVERYONE has the real potential of accumulating a nest egg of $1million if they were allowed to keep their SSI 'donations' instead of spending it to buy re-election for their wonderful representatives. And all the above leaves out the wise investments in your company's 401K, real estate investments we all should be making etc., which in themselves serve to set us up very handsomely.

If anyone would like to play with the spreadsheet to plan their retirement, send me a PM and I'll email you the XL file. Also there are similar calculators on all the usual suspect web sites; BofA, Fidelity, Vanguard, etc. Go play with them too.
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Old 04-24-2005, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by willys36@aol.com
If the company wasn't sending that 7% to the feds, he could add it to your pay.
Yes he could. And the important word there is COULD. You are assuming in your analysis that he WOULD. Obviously that skews the numbers in favor of your argument. But it's an unconvincing assumption if we are looking for a program that we can rely on for the future. Now if congress is going to require all employers to turn that 7% over to you for your personal investing then you've got a much more convincing case. To date I've heard no suggestions from the administration or congress for including such a mandate in SS reform.

Quote:
Everything that has happened with SSI to date is sunk cost - ancient history. Starting today I stand by my analysis.
Okay, but your original post said nothing about "starting today". I took it from your statement, "I have done an in depth analysis of the SSI scheme in years past and it is sobering to say the least." that you were talking about the past, not the future. And my rebuttal had to do with trying to give social security a fair shake in terms of accurately portraying the program's historical returns on contributions invested. I don't see it as the sinister evil that you do. I see it as a pretty decent program in the beginning that kept a lot of families from poverty. Unfortunately the program failed to adjust over the years to vital changes taking place in the workplace and the extended lifespan of all human beings. I think we are both agreed that there are huge problems with SS as soon as we apply the "starting today" scenario.

Quote:
...15% into a personally managed, fairly aggressive growth account would make the average worker a millionaire over a 40 year career.
I have no doubt that you, personally, have the ability to accomplish this. I also know a LOT of people who don't know the first thing about managing an investment portfolio and are scared to death of investing their money aggressively. They believe only in what they see as safe and secure...and to them that is savings accounts, CDs, and similar low yield accounts. If getting a 7-12% annual return on your funds was as easy as you claim, our entire population ought to be fabulously rich today. But we're not. The fact is for every wise investor like you, there are probably a dozen who barely manage to keep pace with inflation. And one or two who somehow loose their shirt. I just lack your confidence in the ability of all workers to invest as well or as wisely as you. My concern is what happens to those individuals 20 or 30 years down the road when their investment funds have all gone south.
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Old 04-25-2005, 12:03 AM
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It's all moot anyway. You are correct, the vast population is totally ignorant of the magic of the time value of money. Most are screaming for SSI to be left alone so it will be. Hillary will win the next election and we will have Hillary care - 'free' health care for everyone. I actually don't care 'cause I have pretty well taken care of myself! I just feel sorry for my kids and grand kids 'cause they will be living in a pretty much totally socialist society and as we saw with the Soviet Union, that is not a very happy condition for mankind to be in.
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Old 04-25-2005, 06:39 AM
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Speaking of inexpensive health care, did you happen to see the 60 minutes segment last night (I think it was a rerun) of the health care system in India? They are using the old fashioned competitive model to try to become the worlds health care destination (need major surgery - come to India to get it cheap). And their initial steps seem to be working. It's too early to say this is going to work but wouldn't it be interesting if US health care got shaped up NOT by socialization of medicine but rather by good old fashioned competition?
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Old 04-25-2005, 09:55 AM
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Dewey-
I don't mind you challenging my thoughts. It helps hone them !

OK, here's my basis

Quote1 SSI/SSDI
Your numbers are a bit skewed. I will post a link at the bottom, for your review, after digging through the site, you will see the appropriations- Short form is this:
16% goes to Senior Citizens (includes spouses)
84% goes to blind and handicapped.
http://www.ssa.gov
http://www.ssa.gov/budget/2004bud.html#TFunds

I'm sorry, but there CAN'T be that many people that are fully incapacitated. SIX times the amount of the Senior Citizens?

I remember reading a report with the following figures, based on SSI/SSDI combined. I WISH I could find it to post.
2% Blind and birth defects
11% Senior Citizens
46% Adults
41% Children- dependants
Thats 13% going to where the program was established for. Thats sad indeed.

Please let me state that I don't begrudge anyone who TRULY NEEDS it. Not just an entitlement. Or tighten up the restrictions.


Quote 2 Regarding dependants receiving a check

Sorry Dewey. There are NUMEROUS programs to aid them. If the parent is able to reproduce, I think they can find work. For "existing children", we have gone through depressions, recessions, and many other situations facing hardships. The family that works together, stays together. The children, as a result of income levels get TONS of fiancial aid for colleges. It actually PAYS them to go to school.

Quote 3 You misinterpretted me. Currently, the W/C Docs that send someone back to work, are subject to malpractice if the person gets hurt. Bloodthirsty lawyers at work ! My feeling is they SHOULD NOT be subject to Malpractice. Perhaps a "3 strikes your out", would be appropo.

Quote 4 Currently, for W/C, you have your Doc ,a W/C doc, and legal. Not a panel of 5 to 7 Docs. Seems like a lot of Docs, but I think ultimately, it will be a better determination. Trial by Jury?

Quote 5 Obviously, Dewey, a person that is completely incapacitated would not be able to go out and do sidework or go out screwing off. This was INTENDED as a "hurdle" for the W/C people. If you are collecting W/C, and they determine you "Fully handicapped", whereas you collect SSDI for life, it will already be determined whether you can attend a "jobshop" or not. This is simply intended to deter fraudulent or borderline claiments. I think the supervision is really moot, as the investigators would have less far to travel!
The VESID (Vocational retraining program in NY) is a complete JOKE! I know several people on it. The restrictions placed by Docs, as a "save your ***" clause, will allow you to make fishing lures, and thats about it.

My post was not intended to upset you. I feel bad for your sister-inlaw, but SHE is not the problem. Fraudulent claims, and borderline claims put in place by Docs afraid of Malpractice are. She's one of the 2%'ers, so to speak. Its the fraudulent claims that make it so hard for the deserving.

I'm telling you the Fraud, and Docs are 99% of the problem. Its TOO easy to be considered "handicapped" and collect for life. I can show you at LEAST 10 on my road ALONE !! The same guys are out almost EVERY DAY hunting, or fishing, snowmobiling, or fourwheeling!! Try to turn them in for fraud. Then YOU'RE the CRIMINAL!! The response I have received from both SSSI's Fraud Division and W/C Fraud Investigators: "Some days they have good days, some days are bad"

Want real life proof? Look at the parking spaces for handicapped, and then look at who gets out of the car.
Let me know how many you can beat to the cash register!!
Or watch from outside a restuarant/diner in the morning. See how many you can pick out.

I guess I get just as cranky, Dewey. No offense intended by any means. I just see so much abuse, and how little is being done to correct it. I have invested my 7.65 % (6.2% retire/1.45% medicare)for 21 years and 15.3% for the last 5 years. I KNOW I won't see any of it, because I'm supporting to many others. (Thats $12,546.00/year for my wife, and another $12,546 for me, being pissed away) I think I can handle it better than Uncle Sam.
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Old 04-25-2005, 12:21 PM
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If you run the numbers, and the Democrats have and that is why they are at least giving lip service to SSI reform, the tax rate on our children will need to be in the 75% -80% range in about 20 years just to pay for existing entitlement programs, let alone the doubling of that tax rate to pay for Hillary Care when it gets up to steam. Government can do NOTHING economy-wise better than the private sector and good old healthy capitalistic competition.

Oh, and cboy, I have been thinking about your contention that most people could not achieve the return on investment that I have over the years in my 401K and I think you are correct. I have done it a super secret way; I go to whatever account management company that my company signs up with (have been w/ Putnam, Vanguard and most recently Fidelity) look down the list of mutual funds they offer, split my deposits between the two or three with the biggest numbers and forget it for 5 - 20 years 'til they move to another carrier and I am forced to choose 3 more. That is WAY too complicated for the average public school grad!!
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Old 04-25-2005, 12:27 PM
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Dewey, thats interesting... I can't remember what show this was on. might have been your rerun 60 minutes.... but... the gist was that countries like indonesia, thailand, india etc, were directly competing with the plastic surgery business in the usa. you can get a facelift for 30k here, for 30k in indonesia, you get a facelift, a boob job, and still have 15k to vacation with....and come home all new and beautiful. and chesty.


another point regarding medical malpractice....
it's been SOP in an operating room setting for YEARS to have the patient sign a consent form. on this consent form, are listed all the associated risks of the procedure your about to undergo. you initial all of the risks, acknowledging that you realize this indeed is risky, and that you are willing to undergo the risk, in order to have a better life after said procedure. then you sign it at the bottom. when YOU sign your consent form, and have acknowledged the risks, how come that isn't the end of medical liability?
I realize stuff happens, but if you allow another human to open you up and do whatever, you ought not to have the ability to sue said person should stuff happen. i mean, come on, if you didn't have the procedure done, would you have been better off or what? if the answer is 'or what', then wth are you even going into surgery?

on the same note, there is a surgeon here who will yank a gall bladder just for the extra money he can bill for it. i guess it's a-holes like him we have to thank.....
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Old 04-25-2005, 12:36 PM
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Larry-
The reason that most consent forms are thrown out, is that its MANDATORY for you to sign prior to obtaining that service. The way my sister-in-law (lawyer )explained it to me, is that if the Surgeon didn't KNOWINGLY make a mistake, its a 50/50 deal. If he could have prevented it, then he's toast. A 2nd year law student can 99% of the time , prove that the Doc could have prevented it with more preparation or back up. (Even though the law student has NO CLUE of surgery)
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