Skip to main content

View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Of fiscal cliffs and cliff diving (92 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I'd rather they mess around with deductibles... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yellowdog, Amber6541

    .....or means testing than raise the age.

    Of course, I'm speaking from self interest, but who the hell is going to hire all these old geezers the Repubs want to keep in the workforce until age 70?


    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:33:30 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Walmart (but not full time with bennies) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites, Amber6541

      so it goes.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:37:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Means testing would be prohibitively (5+ / 0-)

      expensive, IMO.
      Think of it this way: Every year, say we have 1 million people that reach retirement age. Some agency then has to pore through (assumably) their tax returns to find out what their income and assets add up to each year. Then they have to figure out what income they would make from investment and retirement accounts (ROTH IRAs, 401Ks, pensions, etc).
      Then they have to figure out at what point they make too much money to be able to get benefits from Medicare.
      Then there have to be programs in place that can affordably offer insurance to people over 65.
      Here's Paul Krugman:

      The usual argument against means-testing — which is entirely valid — is that it (a) doesn’t save much money and (b) messes up a relatively simple program. The reason it can’t save much money is that there are relatively few people rich enough to be able to afford major cost-sharing. Meanwhile, the good thing about Medicare, as with Social Security, is precisely that it doesn’t depend on your personal financial status — you just get it. Means-testing would turn it into something much more intrusive, like Medicaid.

      But there’s a further point I haven’t seen emphasized: if you want the well-off to pay more, it’s just better to raise their taxes.

      Wait, you say: won’t raising taxes reduce incentives to work and create wealth? Yes, it will (although such effects are greatly exaggerated in our political discourse.) But means-testing benefits does the same thing. Conservative economists love to point out that means-tested programs like food stamps in effect create high marginal tax rates for low-income families, since they lose benefits if they work and earn more. Well, means-testing Medicare would do the same thing: your reward for a life of hard work and accumulation will be higher copays and deductibles.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:59:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  One response - they do have computers to do (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        One Opinion, skohayes

        the pouring over of all that financial stuff.  Humans would only need to push a few buttons, then the computer would do the rest.

        Mother Teresa: "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

        by Amber6541 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:33:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd prefer an "I don't need it." checkbox (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Like some do with donations to certain state programs. I agree it is important to keep the program as a defined benefit pension rather than an insurance program.

        •  I have to do paperwork for the USDA (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          about once a year in my job. I'm using a form with carbon paper in it.
          Don't kid yourself. Different departments use different computer systems, different software, different databases.
          You can't just push a couple of buttons and viola the work is done.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 03:49:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site