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Thread: Touching the 3rd Rail?

  1. #1
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    Default Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Ron Johnson suggests Medicare, Social Security be approved on annual basis
    BY JULIA MUELLER - 08/03/22 7:31 PM ET

    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that Social Security and Medicare should be up for congressional approval each year, instead of staying under their current status as federal entitlement programs.

    "Social Security and Medicare, if you qualify for the entitlement, you just get it no matter what the cost," Johnson said in an interview that aired Tuesday on "The Regular Joe Show" podcast.

    The Wisconsin senator, who is up for reelection in a highly contested race this fall that will help determine which party holds the majority next year, argued that the mandatory spending status of funding for the federal programs should be switched to discretionary spending "so it's all evaluated."

    "Our problem in this country is that more than 70 percent of our federal budget, of our federal spending, is all mandatory spending. It's on automatic pilot. It never -- you just don't do proper oversight. You don't get in there and fix the programs going bankrupt. It's just on automatic pilot," Johnson said.

    "As long as things are on automatic pilot, we just continue to pile up debt," he added.

    He argued that funding for the programs should instead come before Congress for annual approval.

    A spokesperson for Johnson's office told The Hill in a statement Wednesday that the senator "never suggested putting Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block."

    https://thehill.com/policy/healthcar...-annual-basis/
    Last edited by Nicholas Carey; 08-08-2022 at 12:31 AM.
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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Does that mean that Social Security withholdings should be on a discretionary basis as well?

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    Default

    Should have named this thread "Here, Hold My Beer And Watch This!"
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Ron Johnson is a real scumbag. Hopefully Mandella Barnes will send him packing in the fall election.

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Is there a correlation between the lack of mental healthcare and the influx of morons like this in the GOP?

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Touching the third rail? I hope he grabs firmly and holds on for a very long time (metaphorically speaking--don't want to wish anyone actually dead, even Ron Johnson).

    That said, hmm... What about some kind of means-tested social safety net? Isn't that what he's talking about here, essentially? If you're a bazillionaire, you don't need Social Security. I could see some logic in limiting access by wealth or income. Maybe. Enough logic to discuss it, though my initial reaction is negative.

    Often, putting in extra steps like means tests and qualifiers ends up costing more in administrative costs than it saves, I think? And also, throwing more hurdles in the way of those who really need it, by making them prove they are "qualified"--well, that seems cruel and ignorant. Besides, if you've earned wages, you've paid into social security your whole working life. It's hardly an "entitlement."

    Ah, what do I know? (Well, I know I'll be voting for Mandela Barnes, that's for sure)

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Is he really so stupid that he doesn't understand how Social Security works? If he gets his way, is he going to refund every dime everyone's put into SS?

    Astounding...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Touching the third rail? I hope he grabs firmly and holds on for a very long time (metaphorically speaking--don't want to wish anyone actually dead, even Ron Johnson).

    That said, hmm... What about some kind of means-tested social safety net? Isn't that what he's talking about here, essentially? If you're a bazillionaire, you don't need Social Security. I could see some logic in limiting access by wealth or income. Maybe. Enough logic to discuss it, though my initial reaction is negative.

    Often, putting in extra steps like means tests and qualifiers ends up costing more in administrative costs than it saves, I think? And also, throwing more hurdles in the way of those who really need it, by making them prove they are "qualified"--well, that seems cruel and ignorant. Besides, if you've earned wages, you've paid into social security your whole working life. It's hardly an "entitlement."

    Ah, what do I know? (Well, I know I'll be voting for Mandela Barnes, that's for sure)

    Tom
    But, where do you draw the line.
    Back in the day, means testing required claimants to sell their possessions, the tools that they needed to work at their trade, every stick of furniture except the bed, a table and a chair for each family member. Then, when that cash had run out, they received the benefit.
    Not a good system
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    But, where do you draw the line.
    Back in the day, means testing required claimants to sell their possessions, the tools that they needed to work at their trade, every stick of furniture except the bed, a table and a chair for each family member. Then, when that cash had run out, they received the benefit.
    Not a good system
    I agree--drawing the line would be problematic. And I think there are good arguments for not having means testing of any kind. But I can still see the logic of drawing a line somewhere--if you have an income (not just wages, but all income) of $10 million or more, do you need SS? $5 million or more? $1 million? I think I'd be comfortable with those kind of limits if they offered some benefit overall.

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Means testing Social Security isn't worth the trouble. The number of bazillionaires is small, the amount they receive a miniscule proportion of the whole. Raising the max income for SS tax and expanding it to other than wage income, OTOH, would be an excellent idea. Funding pensions with a regressive tax never made much sense, except perhaps politically.
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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Means testing Social Security isn't worth the trouble. The number of bazillionaires is small, the amount they receive a miniscule proportion of the whole. Raising the max income for SS tax and expanding it to other than wage income, OTOH, would be an excellent idea. Funding pensions with a regressive tax never made much sense, except perhaps politically.
    Oh yeah! I'd be all for that.

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Is he really so stupid that he doesn't understand how Social Security works? If he gets his way, is he going to refund every dime everyone's put into SS?

    Astounding...
    Hey I’ll take that deal!

    And as I’ve been paying into SS and Medicare for 44 years how exactly is it an “entitlement”?
    Last edited by Reynard38; 08-08-2022 at 09:36 AM.
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    Default Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    If you're a bazillionaire, you don't need Social Security. I could see some logic in limiting access by wealth or income. Maybe. Enough logic to discuss it, though my initial reaction is negative.
    And/or, just eliminate the FICA tax cap (you only pat Social Security taxes on the first $147,000 of income.)

    Even better, do with the Social Security tax what Medicare does. Medicare is a 1.45% payroll tax paid both by employer and employee. Employee then pays another 0.9% on income above $200,000 (single filers), $250,000 (joint filers).

    https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/taxes/fica-tax-withholding
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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard38 View Post
    Hey I’ll take that deal!

    And as I’ve been paying into SS and Medicare for 44 years how exactly is it an “entitlement”?
    Prezactly - what a moron he is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Carey View Post
    And/or, just eliminate the FICA tax cap (you only pat Social Security taxes on the first $147,000 of income.)

    Even better, do with the Social Security tax what Medicare does. Medicare is a 1.45% payroll tax paid both by employer and employee. Employee then pays another 0.9% on income above $200,000 (single filers), $250,000 (joint filers).

    https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/t...ax-withholding
    Unless you're self-employed - then you pay 100%.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Unless you're self-employed - then you pay 100%.
    Don't get me started on the bad idea that is the FICA payroll tax disincentives for small businesses and shops.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Carey View Post
    Don't get me started on the bad idea that is the FICA payroll tax disincentives for small businesses and shops.
    That's tempting, but since I'm sure we're on the same page, I can just get started all on my own.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Ron Johnson is pretty much emblematic of all that's 'wrong' with Wisconsin. Seems it's relatively recent history - but the Repubs have managed to gerrymander their way to perpetual control. They are (as a state) rabid trumpers/conspiracists, with nothing to recommend them.

    The story I read (different RWW?) was a proposed law to 'sunset' all federal laws q 5 years, then try to 'pass' them again.

    Wonder how many of our rWW's here, are ready for their party to confiscate their Social Security, and Medicare? That's been their goal for decades. Either you folks think it's a good idea - or you are your own worst enemies.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by George Jung View Post
    Ron Johnson is pretty much emblematic of all that's 'wrong' with Wisconsin. Seems it's relatively recent history - but the Repubs have managed to gerrymander their way to perpetual control. They are (as a state) rabid trumpers/conspiracists, with nothing to recommend them.
    I think you mean "Wisconsin Republicans are (as a state) rabid trumpers..." eh? Because I can assure you that many people in Wisconsin are not. It's a closely divided state, not far from 50/50 electorally speaking.

    But yes, this all seemed to start with Scott Walker (elected governor 2010) and his Republican enablers, which include not only the legislative majorities (gerrymandered into place for another 10 years now), but also the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which revealed deep corruption (as in, the court's Republican majority voted to change its longstanding rules about mandatory recusal so that conservative justices could continue to rule in cases involving major political donors--which they did, throwing at least one criminal investigation into Scott Walker's illegal election activities out of court entirely...)

    Walker and his backers were Trumpers before Trump existed, politically. They wrote the playbook. Along with the Koch brothers, and ALEX.

    It's messed up for sure.

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    That said, hmm... What about some kind of means-tested social safety net? Isn't that what he's talking about here, essentially? If you're a bazillionaire, you don't need Social Security. I could see some logic in limiting access by wealth or income. Maybe. Enough logic to discuss it, though my initial reaction is negative.

    Often, putting in extra steps like means tests and qualifiers ends up costing more in administrative costs than it saves, I think? And also, throwing more hurdles in the way of those who really need it, by making them prove they are "qualified"--well, that seems cruel and ignorant. Besides, if you've earned wages, you've paid into social security your whole working life. It's hardly an "entitlement."
    We pay a lot federal taxes without being "entitled" to personal benefits. There is no rational argument for Social Security taxes to require a personal "entitlement".

    You might be aware that there is a rather complex formula for computing the amount of monthly benefit a person gets. That formula is set by Congress. There is no reason why that could not be changed to give more to lower earners - and hopefully poorer retirees, and less to higher earners - and hopefully richer retirees. That would not require any "proof" of need.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Unless you're self-employed - then you pay 100%.
    No. You still pay 50%. Your employer - also you, pays the other 50% and gets to deduct it as a business expense.

    And that is certainly fair.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: Touching the 3rd Rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    No. You still pay 50%. Your employer - also you, pays the other 50% and gets to deduct it as a business expense.

    And that is certainly fair.
    A self-employed person still pays more - in my case I still pay 70% of the employer's share.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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