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  • Video: Fix Our $43 Trillion Entitlement Problem First

    Although the United States does have a huge deficit problem we can’t afford not to fix, the Obama administration is focusing on the wrong aspect in trying to create a new federal health program. Congress needs to address spending for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — all programs that have existed for decades — that is primed to explode.
    Long-term excess costs for Social Security and Medicare alone: $43 trillion. When added to the national debt, that is about $184,000 for every man, woman and child in America. We should focus on reforming existing  federal health programs so they’ll be sustainable for generations to come. Here’s what Heritage’s Alison Fraser has to say.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Video: Fix Our $43 Trillion Entitlement Problem First

    1. Ted Forrand; Houston says:

      Ms. Fraser;

      I cannot get over the fact that someone like Jared Bernstein who has what seems to have lived a charmed life; has to meddle with my life. How on earth does this guy think he should have any say so in my life or any other American’s life? He has the ear of the president and is a significant influence on this destructive and racist medical/health care policy. After all, the majority of the taxpayers that will foot the bill are white so isn’t it reasonable to deduce that since some of us are making a whopping $80,000 a year and are so affluent that we be forced to give up a greater portion of our pay to prop up those that don’t want to pay for medical insurance or who are too lazy to get a job that provides insurance.

      I have yet to hear anyone on the so-called right establish the fact that when a company provides medical and or dental benefits it does so as a means in which to compete with other employers to attract favorable or even the best talent. Why, because it is a form of compensation!Compensation is about competition and competition is at the very root of capitalism which is the life blood of a true democracy. It was no accident that I landed a pretty good job and have been with the same company for 23 years. It was no accident that I graduated from high school, received two Honorable discharges from the United States Air Force after eight years of service. It was no accident that I pursued and received an Airframe and Powerplant License from the FAA. It was no accident that I received AS and BS degrees along with graduate credits. And it is no accident that I have showed up for work every day for 23 years with the same company without calling in sick for work!

      But Mr. Bernstein, Rep. Pelosi, Senator Reid, and President Obama seem to think I have unfairly achieved too much and should give up some of my spoils. I can only imagine that they collectively feel that I am not worthy of what I have worked for; what I have achieved although raised by parents that did not as much as finish high school. It isn’t enough that through perseverance I was able to change my proverbial family tree despite my parents’ numerous divorces. No, these maniacal and diabolical soles figure that since I was born white I was born with an unfair advantage and that I deserve to pay for the advantage that I worked diligently and purposefully to attain.

      I can only hope that this direction is stopped before it pummels opportunity for the future of my three daughters. You see, at 49 years old I come from the same generation as President Obama. I have daughters that are younger than his daughters. That being considered, I do not have the income to afford propping others up, I do not have the time to find a better paying job, it is a bit late in the game to become a politician, a trial lawyer, doctor, news anchor, movie star, professional athlete or talk radio host. Landing a government job is unlikely due to my lack of minority status, becoming a police officer or a fireman at my age is doubtful; I’m even too old to go back into the military. Gambling my children’s future away at this point is not an advisable option; because there are few options available.

      Perhaps our nation has undergone some errors but it took years for these errors to manifest. As such, it seems logical that correcting these errors in as much time or perhaps half as much be a reasonable approach. After all, getting into this mess created just as many jobs as it will take to get out of this mess over time. The all or nothing approach by those mentioned above will amount to too many being financially crippled without the opportunity to recover. Mr. Bernstein’s book, “Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed?” is a metaphor for what the Obama administration and the democrats are doing to those of us that just cannot afford to start over.

    2. nilo says:

      I'm not an economist, but I do know that competition is the free market solution. That is not what this administration wants. The Obama Boys want control not competition. Healthcare that is not competitive is going to be disruptive to the economy and unaffordable in the long term. Let me choose my insurance coverage. If Obama chooses it, I will suffer the consequences of a healthcare system that cannot function, and that will ration my care (some call it Euthanasia). There has to be competition among the healthcare providers. Without it, we all suffer………. unless you can afford the best healthcare and have the influence to avoid having it rationed to you. Not too many of us have that option.

    3. Jeff, Rehoboth says:

      Thank you for pointing out the real problems.

      1. The huge entitlement obligations we are already tied to are already a huge (and unsustainable) albatross around our necks.

      2. That folks like Jared Bernstien are playing funny money in an environment where there is really a zero sum gain. Deficit neutrality, in the era of an unsustainable deficit isn't the right answer.

      And if anyone really believes that that Obamacare is actually going to be deficit neutral, I've got some swampland in Arizona you might be interested in…

    4. Brad S,, Detroit, MI says:

      The best way to get rid of the entitlement mentality ?

      If you don't pay taxes – you can't vote. Plain and simple.

    5. Marshall,Michigan says:

      Fix whats Broke! (only)

    6. Tim Az says:

      The left has the solution for the 43 trillion dollar entitlment problem. That's why they need government run Health control. If you can deny health care to seniors with the intent of causing an early death you can steadily reduce the amount payed out through entitlments like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. The baby boomers are the ones the left faults for the entitlements problem. Not the lefts constant raiding of money from entitlment programs that they created. The only thing that gives meaning to the lives of these people in government is to spend more money than they did in years past. A very empty and sad life indeed. How's that hope and change working out for you?

    7. James Jones - Richmo says:

      YES, YES, YES – regarding Ted Forrand's comments.

      I think we should individually address three areas without creating a new entitlement program.

      1) The Un-Insurable – we need to create an opportunity for these people to purchase insurance; not a government funded handout. The people in this group must still pay insurance premiums; insurance is Not a Right. The extremely poor already receive medical benefits under other entitlement programs.

      2) Health Insurance Costs – remove barriers that prevent competition across state lines. In addition, remove any legislation that requires our hospitals to treat ILLEGAL ALIENS 'free of charge' for anything other than life threatening illness or injury and allow them to contact immigration officials. The care for ILLEGAL ALIENS is one of the largest causes of price escalation in healthcare (and others) today.

      3) Tort Reform – we must reduce the threats of ridiculous lawsuits and outrageous awards. This problem causes doctors to practice preventative medicine, which inflates the cost of care. Similarly, lawsuits have driven the cost of malpractice insurance to extremely high rates. These costs are passed on to US, the consumer.

      However, our elected officials have forgotten they are our represenatives and instead feel they are our parental figures. Many recent statements express views that imply; voters need to be quiet, the Administration or Congress knows best, and that they don't need to listen to us are clear attempts to treat us as a parent would a child.

    8. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      I'm sorry Mr. Obama, I cannot live out the rest of my life on $186,000 dollars. Got any other ideas? I know this may sound confusing, but it is no more confusing than anything you've said!

    9. Leon, Durango, CO says:

      Gosh, let's see. Legally I can't do my own doctoring or get help from anybody else. Nobody is allowed to "cure" anything or say so. Ever since the Socialists took over the AMA the price of doctoring has gone mad, $400 bandaids are like our $25 phone calls, these doctors aren't gods. I don't want absurd life extension at confiscatory prices. Give me back the doctors of the 50's and 60's. Why did they close the Med Schools? Oh! You are going to help me pay for something I never wanted! Gee! Thanks a lot!

      The problem with medicine is they take too much and even the doctors hate it. I'd rather have a free market with witch doctors and all, herbologists and wise women. Let us do our own testing and lab work, find our own medicines and health practices. Don't pay them $42 trillion! Oh! You want my grandchildren to pay it and then I am supposed to like it? If everybody pays that is supposed to make it affordable? Bull! Don't pay it at all! That is ten times too much money for the service you get, Medico-slavery.

      Come on people! Socialists have been fifty years wrecking Medicine as an industry. How about you just reverse the damage to the profession? Yeah! Physician! Heal thyself!

    10. Jerry from Chicago says:

      Ted Forrand, in Houston is right on! I couldn't agree more Ted.

      Mr. Obama talks of the $500 billion he can save by eliminating waste and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid. I say great, what are you waiting for?

      We don't need to take on a government run, national health care plan BEFORE finding a way to save that $500 billion, do we? Let's do it now!

      Let's stop the ridiculous earmarks for Congressmen trying to look good to the homwtowners. Did John Murtha really need to build an airport in Podunk, PA (limited to 3 flights a day, to only D.C) just to put his name on it? Do we really need to spend $2.5 million to study how to take the smell out of pig manure?

      Do we really need to be sending financial aid to Hammas? How much does the U.S. spend keeping illegal aliens, convicted of crimes in the U.S. in our jails? How much do we spend paying for their health care when they show up in emergency rooms? How much do we spend educating their children? How much to subsidize their housing? We better figure out how much, because if we owe it to them, then we owe it to every person in the world. We American citizens that still have jobs can't afford the bill for all this that the liberals feel we owe the rest of humanity.

      There is too much of this nonsense to count. We need to put people in Congress who will put an immediate stop to this.

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    12. samuel says:

      OUR GOVERNMENT LEADERS IN WASHINGTON AND LOCAL HAVE NEVER HAD TO WORK FOR A LIVING. MOST HAVE BEEN ON THE TAX PAYERS BACKS.

      IF OUR LEADERS WOULD GET ALL THE LAZY PEOPLE OFF DISABILITY, AND MAKE THEM WORK, SOCIAL SECURITY MAY BE THERE FOR OUR CHILDREN THAT WORK.

      IF I CAN LOOK OUT MY WINDOW AND ATTEND CHURCH WITH A VERY FEW PEOPLE THAT ARE ON SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY. IN MY SMALL WORLD I CAN NAME AT LEAST 50 ABLE TO WORK. THEY HAVE CHILDREN ON SOCIAL SECURITY. THESE SAME PEOPLE BUILD HOUSES, UNDER THE TABLE, EVERYTHING IS UNDER THE TABLE. MOST ARE YOUNG PEOPLE.

      SOCIAL SECURITY NEEDS TO GET RID OF THE TORT LAWYERS. THE LAWYERS ARE GIVEN THESE PEOPLE DISABILITY SOCIAL SECURITY. I KNOW OF ONE YOUNG MAN THAT WAS TURNED DOWN BY S. S. OFFICE., GOT A LAWYER. GOT HIS S.S. DISABILITY. MOVED TO BETTER APARTMENT, GOT A CAR. NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS PERSON.

      IF YOU DON'T WORK , YOU DON'T EAT. IF YOU DON'T WORK AND PAY TAXES, YOU DON'T VOTE.

    13. Doug Simmons, Twai says:

      Those of us who will actually be paying for this crazy government health reform package(should it become law), realize that it's not going to pay for itself, and the main reason the politicians aren't listening to those who oppose it, is that they are totally bought and paid for by the lobbyist subculture that is running this country. These career hacks who rule over us, only see the taxpayer as a source of revenue, and not the people they were elected to represent.

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    15. Don Fitzpatrick says:

      Our founding fathers knew that govenment worked best when allowing its citizens the freedom to live, work and play as they chose to as long as they weren't infringing on the rights of others in doing so. Where in our constitution does it give the government the right to be the provider of anything other than making sure our rights are not infringed upon and keeping us safe from others?

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