What’s the big deal…lie, cheat, and steal!

What’s the BIG DEAL

Lie, cheat and steal….

I think I’ve got the beginning of a great country western song.  Now all I need is a truck, a dog, a divorce, some hard liquor, a train chugging down the track, some jail time and I’ve got it….

It’s time we s##t-canned the term “entitlements” and used the real term “welfare.”

The best fiction is most always founded in truth.  And the truth is, after reading this morning in my local electric coop magazine the statements of my Representative Denny Rehberg, my Senator Max Baucus, and my Senator Jon Tester, that there’s little real truth left in Washington D.C.  No one, of course, mentioned the sins of the past.  All they said were those great keywords and phrases:  work together, difficult choices, women and seniors, common sense solutions, red-white-and-blue, apple pie…and on and on.  What they said was basically true, it’s what they didn’t say….

I presume they were asked to comment on “entitlement reform” as that was the heading of the article: Entitlement reform means making tough choices.

Tough choices should have been made by their predecessors (predecessors is a synonym for gutless-wonders), and I question that any better choices will be made by those currently with their hand on the voting buttons in congress.

Lies are by commission and omission, and these three fine fellows are guilty of omission.  I hate to live in the past, as I am an optimistic fellow and continually try and move forward, tucking past mistakes into a corner of my mind where they’re not dwelled upon but learned from.  Terrible mistakes were made by congress and various administrations in the past in regards to Social Security.  SS, by the way, is the only true entitlement, other than unemployment.  Why?  Because the recipients paid in and should be collecting back from their investment…and collecting ONLY a return upon what they paid in.  Otherwise it’s welfare, not entitlement.  Medicare is not an entitlement (once you’ve received more than your economically entitled to….), it’s the largess of the state, which means you’re “entitled” just because you’re blessed to be born in the USA.  And I’m as guilty or more so than the next guy.  I received $150,000 in Medicare last year.  Even though I’m 70 years old and have worked all my life, I’m sure I didn’t pay that much into the program, even considering a return on that investment over the years.  So, anything over what I paid in should be considered welfare, not entitlement.  And to think I’ve popped off all my life about never taking unemployment, welfare, food stamps, etc.  Of course I paid into private insurance for many years, sometimes as high as six hundred or more dollars a month.  Of course, had congress been attacking the problems of fraud in Medicare and of insane judgments given in liability lawsuits, I probably would have been billed much less for the medical care I received, and could continue to pop off.

In the first instance, the government is inefficient by the very nature of the being…the more levels of bureaucracy you lay between those who pay in and those who administer, the less efficiency you’ll have, so that cuts deeply into available returns on any program administered by the fed.  And don’t forget, the public sector employee income rose 38% over the last ten years while the private sector rose only 10%.  The fat hog at the trough keeps crowding the rest of us out…and he’s getting fatter and fatter all the time.

The fact is those “repayments” under the current system have no relevance to what was paid in.  If it had, there would be no problem with SS or other programs unless, and here’s the rub, unless someone stole the dough paid in for other uses.  Last year SS collected a hundred billion more than it paid out.  Still, I received no promised “cost of living” increase, nor did anyone else to the best of my knowledge.  And all I hear from D.C. is SS is broke?  Yes, there are lots of baby boomers coming on board, and yes, a few years ago each SS recipient had 8 workers paying into the program and now each one has only 3.  Still, if all that money paid into the system, over and above that paid out, were still there, the system would be healthy.

The whole system was based on an economic lie, an impossible economic return on investment, then congress stole what was paid in so it didn’t make any difference anyway.  If it had been a “trust” as it should have been, the money would still be in the system and should be earning a return on investment which should have been what was returned to the recipients.  That’s simple economic sense (of course economic-sense and government in the same breath is an oxymoron), unless the system is burdened with thieves buying votes.  Which is what the system is actually based upon.  Thieves buying votes.

I wish I had confidence that our congress had the guts to make tough choices.  So far, they sure as hell haven’t demonstrated it.

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