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January 25, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Entitlements rob future generations

A recent Heard Elsewhere editorial from the Chicago Tribune about the failure of Congress and the Obama administration to address the entitlement programs can also apply to our local representatives who do not address public employee retirement programs.

How can these elected officials face their children and grandchildren, who will be paying for these benefits while we continue unrestrained government spending such as the train to nowhere or the new city hall?

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  1. The big tax cuts to the greedy affect our children even more . These cuts leave them uneducated and therefor they'er burdened with "onerous" student loan debt. If we provided public service jobs may they could pay them back. The only youth Social security and Medicare may affect is the trust fund youth.

  2. " How can these elected officials face their children and grandchildren?"

    Well Henry, they face their children and grandchildren the same way you do. You were probably a beneficiary of the Bush tax cuts which have all been borrowed money since 2003. I can only hope some of that actually was used for the benefit of your children and grandchildren.

    So when you ask the question above of elected officials, search your own experience at facing your children and grandchildren and pass on any helpful advice.

  3. Hi Jim Weber,
    Most of those Bush Tax cuts were used for to murder hundreds of thousands of people in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. And this doesn't count the physical and mental wounded that have come back from those wars and will need care for the rest of their lives.

  4. "How can these elected officials face their children and grandchildren, who will be paying for these benefits while we continue unrestrained government spending such as the train to nowhere or the new city hall?"

    Schmid -- don't you mean "city HALLS"? North Vegas has a shiny new one too, and it's been broke a long time. Good point on entitlements, and as you can see it's nothing new at all.

    For a picture highlighting your letter nicely, I highly recommend you search Google Images _ i only own a dollhouse

    "Well Henry, they face their children and grandchildren the same way you do."

    pisces41 -- hardly. Did Henry create all that new debt?

    "...I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." -- Thomas Jefferson in his May 28, 1816, letter to John Taylor

  5. <<And look at Illinois. On the verge of bankruptcy. Wasn't that the state our current President served as a part time junior senator for half a term? And look what happened? He went to DC and now the USA is tetering on bankruptcy>>

    Sorry, but our current President served longer than a half a term as a State senator.

    And tell us what other States are on the verge of bankruptcy. At least Illinois admits it, others try and hide it.

    Oh yeah, what is the unemployment rate in Illinois v. the Nevada unemployment rate?

  6. Teapublican/1%'er motto...

    "Do as we SAY, not as we DO."

    "My tax cut and my CEO's 5 million dollar BONUS is certainly more important than your silly little problem of trying to eat non-pet-food meals and buying your heart pills...please, who are we trying to fool here?
    If the choice is doing the right thing by my fellow human beings like the very young and very old, or FILLING UP my POT OF GOLD, you must KNOW for whom the bell tolled...
    It tolled for MEEEEEE!!!"

  7. The Pilgrims tried Socialism and it didn't work. No one worked the crops 'cause they all thought they'd get what "they needed" from the common storehouse. Only took one winter to figure it out.

  8. Entitlement:
    a : the state or condition of being entitled : right
    b : a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract.

    This defines executive compensation: 'having a right' to as much as they can take that is defined by contract and law.

    In truth, the "entitlement class" that drains this country dry are actually the bankers, mortgage and insurance companies that reach into personal savings accounts and take the money from those accounts to create worthless mortgages and loans. For that, they claim to 'earn' commissions, salary, bonuses, benefits, perks, expense accounts and Golden parachutes.

    Yet, no banker, mortgage broker or Realtor has ever paid back commissions on failed mortgages. They claim to have a 'right' to those commissions even if the transaction fails.

    These are the people who have put America into severe debt and financial jeopardy for no good reason while never creating a single job - except for themselves. They also want tax reductions because they are 'entitled'.

    There are continuing complaints about welfare types, but those who operate the financial system should also be considered on welfare because they never earn their incomes - they just stand over the money pot and take as much as possible.

    Welfare in this or any other country has NEVER created the same international devastation as the professionals and 'Wizards' in the financial world. No welfare group has ever caused a stock market crash.

    Bank failure in America is about 100 times that of Canada. Canadians don't loose their homes and jobs because they broke an arm - that's a modern American tradition.

    The biggest looters are at the top of the income brackets and reigning in the entitlements should start there.

  9. Forget future generations. People have to eat today. The construction industry is in shambles and is the main unemployment driver with millions in that business.
    In terms of lavish pensions. The average govt pension about 2 grand a month and most including yours truly have to pay for medical out of that stipend. The cost of the plan I had in California (CalPers Bluecross PPO Family plan) is I believe currently approaching $2,000.00 a month. If you have a family and need the insurance you are basically left with nothing.

  10. Why not privatize everything, health care, Social Security, Medicare, prisons, education, whatever? That way when Wall St. greed tanks the market again, and they will, everyone will be flat broke, earning minimum wage and in hock to their eyeballs. Maybe then people will wake up to voting against one's own best interest instead of a false ideology such as "trickle down" economics.

  11. For every Robb Quincy there are millions of retired workers trying to make it on 20k a year.
    Payton and Eli Manning make a combined 40 million a year. Compare that to the average Walmart worker. There is massive fraud and corruption in this country. A few like Quincy might get away with it but the average retiree, both public and private is struggling mainly due to sky high medical.
    Public workers get pensions. Private workers SS Medicare and Medicaid to the tune of over a trillion a year.
    I get a great pension but medical eats it up. My wife a much lower SS check but her medical costs are almost completely covered by medicare.

  12. The last time they talked about underfunded pensions was the 1968-1982 high level stock market consolidation. World wide assets just under a trillion. Today public pensions are the world largest investor class with 20 trillion in assets. The form the base for every market in the world.
    Average mutual fund returns for the last 10 years...a paltry 3.6%. This is killing everyone. The same methods pension fund managers use to generate returns individuals use.
    Long bull markets lead to long bear markets. Investors cant meet necessary investment assumptions and they end up short until a new bull market begins.
    Assumptions need to be adjusted until healthier markets return in the next few years.
    Private sector pensions are also underfunded to the tune of trillions. Cant generate a retirement on 4% a year returns.

    Not a bad cushion till things improve.
    What is in the SS and Medicare trust funds. Specifically designated intergovernmental debt.
    I would rather have stocks, bonds, and real estate.

  14. Let's call it like is, Entitlements have broke America.

    Neither party is willing to address the entitlement programs; they all want votes and they'll and say whatever is required for the vote.

    They don't care, when they leave office, they get a plush consulting job where they're paid millions and some billions and they pass that money on to the offspring through irrevocable trusts and tax shelters.

    The only difference is that conservatives and independents will offer up tax credits to offset the pain we have paying into a system that is designed by the liberals to further their sick immoral agenda.

    I say, kudos to the tax breaks and tax credits"..we deserve them, all of them and more".

  15. Calpers has $270 billion in reserves and will pay out about $10 billion this year. This time bomb crap was the mantra of the 1960s and 70s. Thats when Americans started losing defined benefit pensions by the truck load.
    What do they have currently...A grand a month SS check. WOW!!! When you pay have $27.00 in reserves for every buck you pay out that is called HEAVEN.
    What do SS and Medicare have in reserve...NOTHING

    My error...$232 billion...Largest pile of cash in the entire country. US Govt sector pensions have $3.4 trillion in reserves.
    Given the corruption, banking collapse, lousy stock and real estate markets I marvel that these massive pools of cash haven't diminished more.
    Pension funds have trillions and half the country can not come up with a grand. The lack of saving and investment by individuals is the big retirement problem.
    In the mid 1970s they talked about Calpers going bust within 10 years. I think they had about 20 billion then. As stated above 232 billion today.

  17. Rosienda - "The Pilgrims tried Socialism and it didn't work. No one worked the crops 'cause they all thought they'd get what "they needed" from the common storehouse."

    The pilgrims also thought the devil possessed people so they drowned them or hanged them. By the way, they ended up having the local natives supply them with food that some would consider to be welfare, we now call it Thanksgiving.

    You should also know that anti socialist Michele Bachmann worked on a kibbutz in Israel, one of the most socialized evironments on the planet.

    I'm not in favor of a pure socialistic system but some of you people are pure hypocrites. You rely on the gov't. just like the people you complain about.

  18. They absolutely due need to make substantial adjustments to reflect the cancerous financial markets and lousy return. Workers need to pay more into the system, retire later, and the investment assumption needs to be lowered from about 8% to about 6%. I totally agree that changes are necessary. BUT they have massive amounts of money and over time compounding will create more wealth. For a few hundred thousand California retirees to burn through hundreds of billions of dollars will take more time than I have left.
    Changes...absolutely....going bust...hardly

    The above is the real retirement catastrophe. Half the country with nothing.

  20. Problems are everywhere. I never said pension issues didn't exist. What I did say is that pension funds make up the worlds largest pool of cash.
    Your above posts reflects poor management by the city.
    The same holds true for cities like North Las Vegas. You always have to plan for rainy days. Or possibly rainy decades depending on how the current financial situation plays out.
    Financial history is filled with booms and busts.

  21. Sick...not sure of the point you are trying to make but I wish you all the best...Gerry

  22. Carmine and chuck333:

    Blagoyevich was a blow hard jerk and always was one even before he became governor. Met him once and that was enough. Short little sh&t, too boot with a roving eye!! He single-handedly ruined the reputation of Illinois and made it a laughing stock. Something Illinois politicians were quite capable of doing without his help. I did not vote for him because I was not living in Illinois at the time. Illinois should have stuck with their track record of voting in Republicans for governor, as they have for years. Even the Democrats vote for Republican governors.

    Illinois does have a terrible reputation but it is my home and I will always feel affection for it and take it's side when the Nobodies out there who have never lived here or even visited start taking potshots. There is more going for it then the negative stuff you read in the newspaper or online. There's a lot of good people who live here. Hard working Midwesterners. Plenty of them living in Vegas actually and you certainly can tell when you first meet them. They're the ones who are most likely to smile at you and be polite. You know, actually acknowledge you.

    But on the flip side - because of the financial problems the state is having because of mismanagement of funds, fraud, etc., I get extremely upset. And that's putting it mildly. I may very well lose my job because of the budget cuts the State needs to do. Many people will get hurt by these cuts. I am not happy about that because I will be in worse shape then I was when I was unemployed.

    But Illinois is also not the only State with problems. What is killing so many State budgets, and the federal budget, is the perks the State and Federal employees get with their pensions and health insurance, Medicaid fraud, but it seems no one wants to change anything. They would rather cut funds for progams that serve the most vulnerable of our society and communities.

    And tell me this all you Obama-haters - WHAT do you really think is going to happen if Romney gets elected? Do you REALLY believe things will get better??? If you do - shame on all of you!!!

  23. Maybe we could stop sending money overseas? Foreign "aid." Hundreds of thousands of American soldiers stationed in Europe, Asia, Greenland....stimulating other economies while draining ours. We need TROOPS ON OUR BORDER and troops to help locate, arrest, expel, deport illegal invaders. Then our economy has a chance at recovery. In the mean time, if we can STOP employers of illegals, we'd be going in the right direction. And stop paying "entitlements" thru the tax code--half of Americans pay nothing in federal income taxes. And, many of them receive refunds of money they never paid in. It is not "fair" or constitutional for government to decide which life styles to endorse, promote, finance.

  24. No one yet has mentioned wars, particularly wars of choice and fabrication as in Iraq. There were no terrorists in Iraq and not a single reason for invasion was justified.

    Bus raised the national debt from $5.9 trillion when he took office to $10.7 trillion when he left. By contrast, the debt during eight years of Clinton only went up $1.1 trillion.

    Iraq was a war created to spend the most money possible even though there were no terrorists or WMD in Iraq, known facts at the time. The Iraq war was created to generate debt so large that domestic spending would have to be cut.

    The proof is to say that Bush and the GOP, creators of Iraq, are the same group that continually speak to dismantle public education, social protection nets and assistance medical care for the retired...because of the 'debt crisis', while giving enormous tax cuts to the wealthy, many of whom became millionaires and billionaires because of Iraq.

    The GOP now claims that "entitlements" are destroying the future but what about the $50 billion/year we pay to China for interest on US Savings Bonds? That $50 billion could be used for education. Instead, it helps to pay for the Chinese military - which the GOP is ranting about.

    The objective of the GOP is to break up the Government, take apart as much domestic protections and security as possible and create large numbers of unemployed youth in the process, a commodity for future military campaigns.

    Mitt Romney is already saying that 'Russia will walk all over us' and that we need to stand up to Russia.

    The GOP will re-create the cold war and scavenge every last nickel for military confrontation. They know that high school diplomas were never necessary to operate machine guns.

  25. Re Freeman, you say:

    "Simply put, if borrowers were able to pay their home loans each month there would not have been a housing issue."

    No kidding! However, your statement proves you don't understand what happened in the real mortgage industry.

    People without incomes were given loans, those that could never have made the payments in the first place. No bank is required to mortgage a house because someone makes an application but that is what happened.

    The reward? Big commissions to the owners of the mortgage companies, real estate agents and bankers. They made their billions off commissions and never gave a cent back for failed loans.

    Also, a borrower may be able to make the first level payments based on 2%-3% interest rates, but NEVER when the interest rate resets on a sky rocketing principal and the monthly payments jump up 2x to 3x.

    This is what happened. Try getting the facts and tuning into the real world for once rather then spouting imaginary ideologies.

  26. Last year, Nicolas Sarkozy decided that he was going to take out Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. The French Air Force bombed Libyan targets. But France also enlisted NATO support and NATO allies bore 80% of the cost of the war in Libya.

    The actual cost to France was 320 million euros, which equals around $415 million. And not one French soldier died.

    But the war in Iraq cost $4 trillion according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. More than World War II. 4,487 American soldiers died (and maybe 500,000 Iraqis).

    Iraq is now the most expensive war this Country has fought, more than WWII - and against a third world country with few defenses.

    The war in Iraq dragged on for eight years and nine months. During that period, U.S. taxpayers spent $415 million on the war in Iraq every eight hours. An average of 10 American soldiers were killed every week while George Bush insisted on Bible passages with the daily war reports.

    As I said, the objective of Iraq was an excuse to BANKRUPT this Government and force the GOP's religious value system of austerity, deprivation, censorship on the less fortunate while putting the law of the State in the domestic bedroom, to force 'self reliance'.

    Even with this, the White House announced last week that he had signed an agreement to extend the U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan for twelve more years.

    Military occupation has become an entitlement to an economic stimulus package in the form of war rather than peace. The prayers of bin Laden, not Bush, are being answered every day as the fallout from 9/11 continues.

    Thanks Alan Grayson for the numerical statistics and core history.

  27. Marriage is one of the oldest forms of entitlement, particularly in the classic format - marry young,work and stay together. Then when one slows down and looses their job, the union doesn't automatically open up to outside bidding. Loss of energy doesn't mean being kicked out in the street and loosing all they have worked for because one isn't able to contribute.

    By that virtue, Marriage is also the oldest form of socialism known. Marriage is a legal union and not the domain of the strongest competitor. Even common law marriage carries legal obligations. To ridicule entitlements and aspects of socialism is to ridicule marriage itself.

    Police, fire and military are also socialistic elements of the government that are treated as entitlements because laws pass the 'rights' of those services to the public.

  28. Ace Jim: I agree (why discourse is impossible with a liberal.) I frequently don't even read their run-on posts. I skip the longest ones almost always. I make an effort to read some of the "other" sides but when they continuously fail to consider the issues...or they state that every problem is based on what political party they think you affiliate with....