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Debate lacks on major U.S. issue

February 1, 2013

What gets lost in the large and loud national debates over immigration reform and gun-control legislation may be an issue of greater significance to the United States right now: the entitlement......

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Feb-24-13 1:23 PM

Dkronig: In your Calvinistic world being on "welfare" is an insult. But everywhere in civilized society, provision is made for the elderly and retired. In the US this is social security. Consider the term "social security," and you'll see how anti-social your position is. I suspect you (and yours) do or will collect their SS check when the time comes. It's the least we can do for our retired workers who have paid into the system throughout their laboring years. It is incomprehensible that you would exclude SS as part of the American way of life. As basic as it is, it still doesn't amount to a reasonable lifestyle: eating dog food is your idea of the American dream? I sure hope you've got investments; actually, I hope you don't and live to suffer from what you would now deny to others.

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Feb-04-13 1:22 PM

MikeDavis, I know of no other employees, besides military and police, who can retire after 20 years, if they are not retirement age (usually at least 60 or 62.) If you can give examples, your point would hold more water, otherwise, just making noise.

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Feb-04-13 12:27 AM

So, lessee now. SS is an entitlement program, defense is an entitlement program... Hmm, so Dcronig is not only an "economist", but also an "accountant". What next? Space Cowboy?

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Feb-02-13 9:33 AM

Many times it is cheaper to offer early retirement than to continue to have the person work. They can be replaced by someone who will earn much less. Even given what they pay out in retirement benefits, the company (or agency or whatever) still saves money.

That is the reason why so many offer early retirement to some of their workers. Cost saving

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Feb-02-13 9:26 AM

Mike Davis..."I have a real problem calling SS an entitlement."

Me too!!

We have paid into it our entire working lives, which is over forty years. Now that we are finally collecting many people are trying to call it "entitlement" trying to make cuts, and some even proposing a means test. All most of us seniors reject.

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Feb-02-13 9:16 AM

Could not agree more with the lack of good paying jobs, ones that could support a family. Christopher I worked with too many people exactly like your friend's husband. People who had been making a decent wage. They lose that job, and are expected to take a job making only a fraction of what they had been making. This is something I truly hope the economic development people are looking at in our county. Not only jobs, but family sustaining jobs are needed.

Now someone explain to me how the Dow can be back up, way up, and many companies reporting record profits, yet workers are being paid less and less and expected to do more and more?

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Feb-02-13 8:27 AM

Dc, interesting point of view. I think the country said something to the effect of "I'll take care of you after you have taken care of me" So in the accounting world that means "once I have mine, if I feel I have it to spare, I'll throw you my spare change?" Military waste could be trimmed, as with most federal projects. Pork is the dish of choice in D.C. First thing to go is a twenty year retirement. Unless it is the military or fire dept. there isn't any reason for an able bodied person the draw a retirment check until they reach the age of retirement like any other workinig class person in this country. Theres a few bucks saved, why is that never brought up in the trim the fat conversations?

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Feb-01-13 11:43 PM

The defense complex is an entitlement program, as is corporate welfare but D'agnostino purposefully and deliberately omits the unsustainable amount of defense spending. He picks on single moms with kids rather than justifying why the US spends more on defense than the next 57 countries combined.

That's THE debate which lacks on the major US issue and he's a coward for not wanting to debate it -- because he can't defend it.

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Feb-01-13 11:38 PM

Davis -- SS is a welfare program. True, current recipients paid into it. But their payments into the system wasn't set aside for them -- it was used to pay current recipients. Go ahead a look at your FICA withdrawal then go to ss**** and see what your benefits wold be if you retired. There's about a $900 - $1,100/per month gap between what is paid into versus what you'll receive. Seeing how the SS trust is only allowed to invest in govt bonds, there is no way 2% interest on your FICA over the years will equal what you'll receive.

That extra SS amount is welfare, unpaid for and unearned, just like welfare for single moms with kids -- unpaid for and unearned.

Seniors are no more worthy of extra money than single moms with kids...and there are more seniors receiving more extra money than single moms receiving welfare.

SS is a type of welfare.

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Feb-01-13 8:35 PM

Apologies to some, this is only my opinion. Very few facts...

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Feb-01-13 8:34 PM

Our political leaders have proven time and again that neither side of the spectrum give a rat's*****about anything but gaining the majority to give more of America to "their" side.

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Feb-01-13 8:32 PM

I have a real problem calling SS an entitlement. People worked throughout their adult life and have the earned the right to get the buying power of the money they were earning that was put into the system. With inflation it's a much larger dollar amount than they put in but that isn't their fault. As to welfare, SNAP, or whatever some one wants to call the free handout program. That needs an overhaul. If even one person is using this as a "career" choice, it needs to stop. There are enough community chores that need to be done that these people can do. Give them a sense of purpose, not another day of sinking a little deeper into the malaise of unemployment. No one wants to feel worthless, but after generations of it being allowed the fight to get people up and moving again is going to be monumental. America has proven herself capable of amazing things. First, we the people need to come up with a plan and take the first steps toward real reform.

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Feb-01-13 8:17 PM

Christopher, that is one of the major problems with the employment numbers that Washington keeps saying are proof the economy is improving. It's in a spiral to oblivion. 8.8 million on permanent disability...for life! Millions more off the books because of finally giving up looking. The figures from the latest release show the unemployment rate ticking up. Those were holiday jobs not paying enough for a family to live on, but the admin was thrilled to crow about them just before the election. The answer is getting manufacturing jobs back over here. The only way to do that is lower the corporate tax rate, close the loopholes that the corporations that are still here leap through to pay zero, and levy import tariffs on the goods offshore corporations bring in that are manufactured by the foreign manufacturing. Right to work is going to have to become a reality also. Unions can be replaced with labor laws protecting all American workers.

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Feb-01-13 3:48 PM

Just in for you teacherteacher "Unemployment rises to 7.9 percent" so once again under Obama unemployment goes up.

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Feb-01-13 1:46 PM

Right now, for example, i know someone who's husband was laid off from a very good executive position. He's been unable to find anything remorely comparable in over a year. He just now took a job as a healthcare aid at probably 1/4 his previous wages, at best. So, working? yes. Is that a good thing for the economy? No, not at all. Enough people like him exist to cause a hugely downward spiral on income and taxes paid and money being spent. Housing is up in certain places, others are years away from even a small uptick.

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Feb-01-13 1:15 PM

Christopher, I have to agree with you. The true unemployment rate is somewhere around 14-15%. When you just give up looking for work and your unemployment runs out then you are no longer counted as unemployed. According to the government you are only unemployed if you are looking for work. So the life long welfare and many others that gave up for various reasons just do not count as unemployed. Out of work does not mean unemployed according to that stats.

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Feb-01-13 10:09 AM

"US unemployment was down to 7.7% in November 2012 the lowest since 2008." Deceptive figues, at best. They don't include the many who've quit looking, and certainly not those working for much, much less, all impacting negatively on the economy. Statistics are funny that way.

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Feb-01-13 9:41 AM

US unemployment was down to 7.7% in November 2012 the lowest since 2008.

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Feb-01-13 9:26 AM

Anyone complaining about entitlements should have NOT voted for Obama!!!! He was re-elected by all the freeloaders. Anyone complaining about welfare should have NOT voted for Cuomo. He gave welfare freeloaders a 10% increase!! If you voted for these two STOP complaining. You got what you voted for!!!

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Feb-01-13 9:10 AM

Wow, the major libs, christopher and judeye need facts . Huh ? What the editor says is true. Entitlements are way up. defense spending is way down. All done to the liberal agenda.The govt has become godlike to these libs, private enterprise is awful. Washington is an entitlement machine and Paul and judeye cant see it . amazing aint it ? proves my point that libs need perpetual funding to keep going, whether they be union lovers like Paul or women like judeye. It is the govt they need. hey Judeye, how about increasing the minimum wage to 50 grand a year. It would certainly help those working poor.

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Feb-01-13 7:52 AM

Where did you get these figures for those on assistance? I had to use the FOIA to get the report last year. It indicated that 2% of the population was on cash assistance..with only 1% determined "employable". That means that the other 1% are disabled, elderly, or for some other reason unable to work.

Now if you are including those on food stamps..hello Working Poor. Those are the people who are working..many FULL TIME and yet make so little in wages that they still have to depend on food stamps to feed their kids, medicaid for health care, and Heap to help heat their homes.

Far from dependent. These people are working and working hard. Good paying family sustaining jobs are just far and few between around here these days. Not many just sit around and collect benefits as "entitlements".

Why does the paper not do a story on why we as taxpayers cannot have easy access to how our tax dollars are being spent instead of having to use FOIA.

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Feb-01-13 6:32 AM

How about just a little clarity? "Social programs"? "Entitlements"? What exactly do those words mean? How many programs, and specifically, which programs? Unemployment insurance perhaps? Well, unemployment is up, and up a lot in Chautauqua County of late. I'd guess the use of "entitlement programs" and "welfare" will grow. And to be honest, I probably agree with at least SOME of this article, but there aren't any facts contained in it that would allow anyone to ascertain the truth of any of it.

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