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Creating A Path To Fiscal Reform

January 13, 2013

To the Readers’ Forum: In December 2010, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released “The Moment of Truth....

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Jan-13-13 6:33 AM

Dr. Leonard, you report the facts well. However, what I would like to know in regards to the last paragraph is the "how". Congress has one of the worst ratings of all time and few people have respect for the body. I write and call my elected officials only to be rebuffed by people and organizations with bigger wallets. Do articulate how you'd see our demands come into practice.

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Jan-13-13 6:47 AM

Before we talk about Social Security as an "entitlement" let's have a discussion about 20 million illegal immigrants; 3 million crack heads;  42 million unemployed people on food stamps, 2 million people in over 243 prisons;  Half of Mexico; and 535 persons in the U.S. House and Senate.

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Jan-13-13 7:00 AM

Older citizens paid, along with their employers out of their own monthly earnings into the social security retirement insurance. So those checks being cut are what we paid into the fund. It is not taken from younger workers (debatable point due to fiscal tricks). The government stole what older workers paid into for their retirement and illegally took much of it for covering other federal expenses. If done in private industry, someone would have gone to jail! This was money that did not belong to the government it is not nor has it ever been an entitlement (charity), not any more than if someone opens a bank account to save for their future and the banker steals it for his own use. Theft is theft and the government had no right to steal social security insurance paid into by workers of years past

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Jan-13-13 8:50 AM

No plan has all the answers, however, the Simpson - Bowles plan was the first one that offered a very good start. Both ideological camps agree and like the plan because it is an across the board approach with no real losers and no real winners. the banks and multi- nationals are holding this up.. and will, they have the power now..

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Jan-13-13 8:59 AM

Fiscal reform to a politician is like taking away drugs from a drug addict.

Did you notice, balancing the budget is something that will happen in some other administration in the future.

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Jan-13-13 9:01 AM

42 million people unemployed and on food stamps. Every single unemployed person is collecting food stamps? You make it cound like a bad thing.

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Jan-13-13 9:51 AM

Im pretty sure that carlaw was not making it out to be a bad thing that people on unemployment need help and are on food stamps.

I think the point is that there are 42 million unemployed and there for cannot provide for their families.... Atleast thats what I got from reading the comment.

Granted there are alot of lazy people out there that choose not to work and provide and would rather have the government taking care of them. Im sure thats a small percentage compared to the unemployment rates.

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Jan-13-13 12:00 PM

Carlaw,you do realize that the illegal immigrants that you slam keep the economy ticking over? The 42 million unemployed are but people who have not kept up with the speed of change and are not willing to adapt. The other groups which you admonish, for the vast majority, do not wish to be within that designation. So, do you have a fix? And, by the way, social security was never designed to be a savings program, as you describe it. It was a bad idea in when founded and only will continue to be so. The ones who really loose out are those under 40 who will receive nothing in 25 years and who will have a retirement at a far lower standard than yours.

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Jan-13-13 12:08 PM

Thank you 6K9M8G7, exactly right. You understand what you read. The point WAS that there are 42 million unemployed! 42MILLION! We will never be able to balance a budget without addressing some of these issues and because of space I only cited a few examples. As far as compromise, I respectfully disagree with the writer. Nothing nauseates me more than the "compromise" and "get along by going along" crowd. That is outright corruption of the principles that got them elected. Sorry.

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Jan-13-13 12:10 PM

You are entitled to your opinion Henry and I am entitled to mine.

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Jan-13-13 12:50 PM

loneriderrr1, I never take the time to tell you how much I enjoy your blogs, even the ones I don't agree with! Well today I will. You are the best!

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Jan-13-13 3:54 PM

nothing is more nauseating than compromise? i usually share some of your conservative sentiments carlaw but it's precisely that attitude that's lead to gridlock. compromise is an essential element of any relationship, whether it be political, professional, or personal.

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Jan-13-13 4:20 PM

I know formerphil, but I can't help it. I don't think many politicians even try to work toward the principles they campaigned for and they have been in office term after term. They still keep getting elected.

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Jan-13-13 6:22 PM

What I am getting at is, if this indeed is the greatest power in the world, the country should be taking care of itself, not let greed have a place in our lives. You've got millionaire and billionaire CEOs and unions who think they're entitled, and this has seriously driven a wedge in our country. I support the American worker as much as I can...but as a society we'll be the first ones to protest gay marriage, but not unfair trade practices, yada yada. There wouldn't be as much laziness if there wasn't as much welfare, nor would there be a need for it.

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Jan-13-13 6:30 PM

So Henry, by YOUR standards, you support illegals who come over here, steal someone's ID, steal a job from a normal taxpaying citizen like me, even not pay taxes? Man dude I thought I was trippy. I could say this about our people in other countries illegally but there's one prob, Bob: We'd be in jail before you knew it.

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Jan-13-13 6:43 PM

In my opinion, you are absolutely right Jazzie.

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Jan-14-13 8:06 AM

Jazzie, you should do some research into what types of jobs "illegals" take. In reality, these people assume jobs which no one wants in places no one wants to live. They are not taking "well paid American jobs". In reality, without this labor and the utility it provides, our economy would come to a halt. That is why the government does "Security Theatre". Illegal migrants are a resource which many businesses need to stay competitive. With minor policy changes, we could modify the tax issue to collect taxes but we rather make it a political issue which means little in practice. Just google the economics of it. There are really smart people who have exposed the fallacy that these people take jobs.

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Jan-14-13 8:08 AM

By the way, if you worry about your identity being stolen, that can and does happen without anyone ever coming to the USA to do it. And the people who are stealing are more likely to be Russian and Chinese than Central American.

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Jan-14-13 1:44 PM

so without illegal immigrant labor our economy would come to a halt? interesting theory.

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Jan-14-13 4:48 PM

Formerly, case in point - the fruit industry. Also, there are other industries such as construction and fishing which have these dependencies. These are not my ideas. They are widely accepted by economists which study policy and economics.

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Jan-14-13 4:49 PM

Lone - WTH? Where does liberal and conservative have to do with it? I am not aware of too many liberals in the ag business.

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Jan-14-13 9:01 PM

Jazzie you even got an agree from me. I gave u several agrees tonight wink wink

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Jan-15-13 6:39 AM

Lone, I'm libertarian and a businessman. It is about profit. You are fooling yourself if you think this is a liberal issue. Maybe the provision of a social net for illegals is but having a policy to allow for illegals to act as a needed, low cost resource in our economy is not. Your bias is destroying your ability to be critical of the whole system. You can keep your rhetoric as it does not get us anywhere.

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Jan-15-13 12:01 PM

henry can you name some of the economists studying economics (lol) & policy that advocate without illegal labor our economy would collapse?

also, what is so hard about becoming a citizen in the typical fashion? you know what i'm talking about? the way our grandparents & great grandparents did it.

"with minor policy changes, we could modify the tax issue to collect taxes, but.."

or we could enforce the existing legislation we already have before we go dreaming up new legislation, wasting more time than has already been wasted.

it sounds as if you just wanna give 'em a free pass...

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Jan-15-13 12:13 PM

it's that same "ahhh to h*ll with it" attitude that's resulted in "participation awards" for kids that finish in 7th place. it's that same attitude that degraded our own work ethic. it's that same attitude that has us pushing our lawmakers to "forgive" student loans. it's that same attitude that has our students falling behind, on a global level, in vital areas such as math, science, & technology.

we have a great (& amazingly simple) naturalization process that you would let fall by the wayside in the name of a bigger bottom line. you say certain areas of the economy would collapse without illegals because americans don't wanna do the work. well, why do americans not wanna do the work that illegals do? isn't that the more important question & the question we should be addressing? maybe americans are barely smart enough to understand that if they don't wanna take a menial job, like day laborer/fruit picker, then uncle sam has their back

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