So how much does the US spend on social welfare? And who exactly SHOULD pay?

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Sunshine, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Sunshine
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    Sunshine Trust the pie. Supporting Member

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    So how much does the US spend on social welfare? The answer to that question may differ according to one's political leaning.

    It seems that there are some who think the richer we can keep rich people, the more job possibilities there will be out there for them. Those same ones completely discount that ALL of the social welfare money goes right back into the economy because the recipients spend it all almost immediately. And this creates jobs as well.

    There also seems to be some misconception that social welfare recipients are able to work but choose not to work. Is this really the case? Are you aware that you can disable someone by giving them cradle to grave protection. I've worked with a fairly large cohort of this population and, yes, some have given up their freedom for security, as Maslow describes in his seminal work about the hierarchy of needs. But once they have crossed that break I see very little possibility of EVER getting them back into the work force again. And most truly need the social welfare due to mental illness, low IQ, or just being 'stuck' where they are. Think about it. They can't ALL work at the local fast food joint. Some, maybe yes, but the rest who have no transportation would have to spend the biggest part of their income on work expenses like transportation. That is VERY stifling to the motivation to work.

    IMO, it seems to me that care for this contingent of people, whether they need it or not, and most DO need it, has fallen to the middle class, and yet, it isn't really the middle class that has created the demographic. Bearing that in mind, then why doesn't the richest 1% just directly support the poorest 10% of the American population and leave the middle class competely out of it. After all that richest 1% holds roughly 95% of the wealth of the US.

    I was thinking about this yesterday when contemplating an income tax in the town where I work. I don't live in that town, and I don't get to vote on anything there, yet that town taxes me 2% of my earnings there just because I work on their soil. Then I hauled out my pay stub and added up ALL the taxes I paid for one month. When I compared that to what SS estimates I will have to live on when I retire, I pay $1000 more a month in taxes than I will have as income as a Social Security recipient. What's wrong with this picture?
     
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    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  2. Sunshine
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    Sunshine Trust the pie. Supporting Member

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    This thread has possibilities for discussion on both sides of the political spectrum.
     
  3. MikeK
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    MikeK Gold Member

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    Sunshine,

    The answer to the question you've posed is staring us in the face. But the eyes of the indoctrinated right-wing acolytes have been closed to it.


    The income tax rate of upper income levels:

    1950 - 91%

    1980 - 70%

    1985 - 50%

    1987 - 38%

    2004 - 35%

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/f...y-june2010.pdf

    The decades between the 50s and the 80s were the most prosperous years in our history as well as the time when the American middle class came to power. Then came Reaganomics and here we are.

    Keep in mind that Clinton left the economy with a projected surplus. George W. Bush, acting in the interest of the emerging corporatocracy, set about to cripple the middle class by destroying the economy, which he deliberately and methodically did by initiating two major, un-budgeted military adventures and imposing drastic tax reductions on the upper income levels.

    If he had not done those things we would not be having these problems.
     
  4. Anachronism
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    Anachronism BANNED

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    Sunshine, I would suggest that the only LEGITIMATE Social Welfare spending by the Federal Government is for military retirees, disabled veterans, and pensions for the small handful of individuals who have spent their entire career in the limited number of legitimate Federal Jobs (FBI, Secret Service, USPS, etc...)
     
  5. Sunshine
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    Sunshine Trust the pie. Supporting Member

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    Interesting take. I find it amazing that as this critical time in our history plays out, the bail outs of both businesses and individuals over the last few years are completely ignored, once again putting those middle class people who are still actually working on the hot seat.

    I find it disgusting that I pay 1K more in taxes each month that I will have to live on as a retired person. And that I have to pay taxes to a city where I have no representation. That is patently wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  6. C_Clayton_Jones
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    C_Clayton_Jones Diamond Member

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    As everyone benefits, everyone should ‘pay.’

    Consumers enjoy low prices at Walmart and Target benefit of public assistance. Food Stamps and Medicaid allow retailers to pay their employees who are on public assistance low wages and avoid providing comprehensive health insurance. The tiny percentage that comes out of your paycheck to fund public assistance programs is far less than what you’d pay at Walmart or Target if those and other employers had to pay their employees a living wage.

    Consequently, public assistance is a great bargain for consumers, no one should be complaining.
     
  7. Sunshine
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    Sunshine Trust the pie. Supporting Member

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    I am willing to acknowledge that public assistance in the past has had a stabilizing impact during economic downturns.

    But comparing the 3 cents I save on shampoo to the income of that company or the manufacturer is ridiculous. It is not the middle class that benefits so greatly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  8. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    Let me focus on the 2nd question. Regardless of how much we decide to spend on social welfare, how and who should pay for it? Here's the deal: liberals always think about SHOULD, and FAIR, instead of wise and effective. They expect to tax the wealthier people more and more, as though those people have an endless supply of money and they can't or won't go elsewhere and take that money with them. Both notions are false, there are many other countries on Earth where money can be made and taxed a lot less. There are also lawyers and tax experts that can find all sorts of ways to avoid paying higher taxes.

    The upshot is, if you raise taxes on the rich you disincentivize people with the most capital to invest it here in our economy, now how dumb is that? It's a global economy now, and money will flow to places where it provides the greatest return on investment.

    What we really need is to shrink the financial burden for that social contract. People are better off with a job than they are with a gov't handout, we should be pursuing policies that get as many people as possible off the dole. Instead of trying to increase the tax load onto the most successful among us, we oughta be focused on growing the economy and creating as many new jobs as possible. Liberals want a bigger slice of the same pie; I want the same slice out of a bigger pie. Why is that better? Cuz a bigger pie means more people with a job.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  9. Leweman
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    Leweman Gold Member

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    Things were socially a lot different in the 1950's are you willing to go back to everything as it was including tax rates? hmmmmmmmmmm? Also I think youre forgetting some years there in the late 70's early 80's were things weren't so great. I'm sure it slipped your mind.
     
  10. Sunshine
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    Sunshine Trust the pie. Supporting Member

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    I have seen many 'policies to get people off the dole.' They don't work because those people are secure in what they have and they have decided to live on it. Besides, they have no skills. By the time they pay their work expenses, their earning power is less than what they get on the 'dole.' You live in a dream world if you think you can change what is.

    As to taking jobs off shore......did you sleep through the last 20 years?

    1% of the population holds 95% of the wealth. They couldn't care less if you or I have a job or not.
     

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