Author Topic: Cut Entitlements.  (Read 1722 times)

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Cut Entitlements.
« on: December 09, 2012, 03:26:38 PM »

Offline Celtics4ever

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I think Congress should put an end to certain entitlement's like government paid travel to campaign and vacation home.   Also, cut Congress's retirement that is an entitlement and their automatic raises, healthcare and vacations.

There will be some pain but they can share in it.   It will save us money and is best for the country.  What better way than setting an example for the rest of us..

It will never happen but how is this different than cutting the Social Security that I pay into or the Medicare.   I work and pay into those so why is it an entitlement for me and not Congress?

Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 04:01:06 PM »

Offline coco

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I think Congress is the biggest gravy train.  Way overpaid.  No matter who's in control(dems or republicans)

Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 04:25:18 PM »

Offline slamtheking

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I expected to see the usual entitlement programs mentioned but I like your option much better as the starting point.  Congress (and the other branches as well) take way too much money to operate. 

Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2012, 01:52:01 PM »

Offline Brendan

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Here's an interesting article on the side effects of the populist entitlements. http://washingtonexaminer.com/barone-soul-crushing-dependency/article/2515441#.UMXy8pPjnZU

I actually don't mind paying Sens and Reps decent salaries, but I like switching it to a pure cash / 401k / HSA model. No paid benefits - no free flights, no drivers, etc. Higher salaries are a determinant to corruption.

I also think you should make less every time you get reelected, not more.

And I think 50% of your salary post gov't employment in excess of your salary with the gov't should be taxed. You made 200k in office and 1 million the next year? The ex-official tax = (1m - 200k) * .5 = 400k. Then you pay normal taxes on 1m - 400k = 600k.

Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2012, 01:56:06 PM »

Offline kozlodoev

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Higher salaries are a determinant to corruption.
You meant to say "deterrent", right?  ;D
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Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 02:09:29 PM »

Offline Brendan

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Higher salaries are a determinant to corruption.
You meant to say "deterrent", right?  ;D
LOL - going to fast.

Yeah I mean - someone with lots of power/responsibility and a low salary seems likely to be more corruptible. Versus someone who is not. On the one hand a low salary might attract "made men" who are there for honorable purposes. On the other hand it might attract opportunists looking for graft.

Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 02:12:30 PM »

Offline kozlodoev

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Higher salaries are a determinant to corruption.
You meant to say "deterrent", right?  ;D
LOL - going to fast.

Yeah I mean - someone with lots of power/responsibility and a low salary seems likely to be more corruptible. Versus someone who is not. On the one hand a low salary might attract "made men" who are there for honorable purposes. On the other hand it might attract opportunists looking for graft.
Yes, this is the conventional wisdom. Higher salary makes potential bribes relatively less valuable in monetary terms, and also means you have more to lose if you're exposed.

However, I don't see how a low salary would specifically attract someone for honorable purposes. Will anyone who runs for office for a honorable purpose ever be turned away by a high salary? Worst case scenario, people who decide the don't need the money can simply donate everything away to a charity. It's not like it hasn't happened before.
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Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2012, 04:38:07 PM »

Offline Brendan

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I think it made some sense when you had a "gentleman class" of people eligible for office and social norms might enforce proper behavior. In that case public service in office actually cost you money and was done as done as a noble act, not a job.

That lasted for about 12 years in the US, so I do favor higher salaries, but a strong limit on benefits. Mostly leadership wise - its a bad look for congress to have retirement plans when they need to reform federal pensions and/or ss.

Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 05:01:50 PM »

Offline slamtheking

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Here's an interesting article on the side effects of the populist entitlements. http://washingtonexaminer.com/barone-soul-crushing-dependency/article/2515441#.UMXy8pPjnZU

I actually don't mind paying Sens and Reps decent salaries, but I like switching it to a pure cash / 401k / HSA model. No paid benefits - no free flights, no drivers, etc. Higher salaries are a determinant to corruption.

I also think you should make less every time you get reelected, not more.

And I think 50% of your salary post gov't employment in excess of your salary with the gov't should be taxed. You made 200k in office and 1 million the next year? The ex-official tax = (1m - 200k) * .5 = 400k. Then you pay normal taxes on 1m - 400k = 600k.
not a bad idea on the taxation piece.  I think it would have to be modified to consider their salaries before running for elected office as well.  If someone was making a good salary prior to being in office, I don't have a problem with them making that much again after office.  (maybe even adjusted for inflation as well).  but, as you've mentioned, if they've cashed in and start making far more money, then I could see a higher tax rate.

term limits for congress are long overdue as well

Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2012, 06:10:18 PM »

Offline JSD

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To all those worried about the fiscal cliff, let me assure you that compromise will happen. Compromise and government growth is a natural occurrence in Washington.

The token cuts the op mentions here are cute, but a drop in the bucket. The interest we pay on the deficit alone trumps what is mentioned in regards to congress entitlements.

Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 06:26:17 PM »

Offline thirstyboots18

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It doesn't matter if they are a drop in the bucket of debt, they are meaningful to the lawmakers pocketbooks, and might turn their attention to solving the problem instead of rhetoric.
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Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2012, 07:30:08 PM »

Offline Celtics4ever

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Did you all know all they have to do is one four year term to qualify for some retirement?   That is crazy.

Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 07:47:21 PM »

Offline Neurotic Guy

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Did you all know all they have to do is one four year term to qualify for some retirement?   That is crazy.

Congressional pension rules are crazy and should be addressed.  I do think that we should have learned a tough lesson about pension plans in recent years and I think the next generation of pension plans will be very different.  When I was a public educator I didn't have a pension, but rather, had the requirement to pay into a retirement plan -- like (and in addition to) social security --- managed by a plan administrator.  No matching funds, but assurance of a growing fund and monthly payouts upon retirement assuming you surpass 10 years of service (pretty reasonable I think).  Congress' pension has no such requirement for contribution or reasonable vesting and is  a costly gift for providing a pretty well-paid service.  It is a direct result of the fox guarding the henhouse and is an outrage.  And I voted for Obama BTW.

Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2012, 11:45:10 AM »

Offline Brendan

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Did you all know all they have to do is one four year term to qualify for some retirement?   That is crazy.

Congressional pension rules are crazy and should be addressed.  I do think that we should have learned a tough lesson about pension plans in recent years and I think the next generation of pension plans will be very different.  When I was a public educator I didn't have a pension, but rather, had the requirement to pay into a retirement plan -- like (and in addition to) social security --- managed by a plan administrator.  No matching funds, but assurance of a growing fund and monthly payouts upon retirement assuming you surpass 10 years of service (pretty reasonable I think).  Congress' pension has no such requirement for contribution or reasonable vesting and is  a costly gift for providing a pretty well-paid service.  It is a direct result of the fox guarding the henhouse and is an outrage.  And I voted for Obama BTW.
Not to nitpick - but isn't what you described a pension? You contribute a certain amount of your salary to the pension fund, pension fund manages all the money, you are promised an annuity when you retire based on (usually) your years of service and highest compensation?

Social Security is a pension fund, but one where the plan administrator is spending your money however they see fit (not investing) and putting IOUs in a file cabinet.

Re: Cut Entitlements.
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2012, 11:52:43 AM »

Offline Brendan

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To all those worried about the fiscal cliff, let me assure you that compromise will happen. Compromise and government growth is a natural occurrence in Washington.

The token cuts the op mentions here are cute, but a drop in the bucket. The interest we pay on the deficit alone trumps what is mentioned in regards to congress entitlements.
A gov't / congress that cannot cut the trivial stuff, will never fix the big problems. I'm less convinced that a big fix is how you start than ever, just because big fixes require tremendous political will to avoid being cluster fudges. Political will, like real will power, needs practice to be built up.

Best thing Congress could do is make straight forward simple changes.

IMO

Step 1: make an across the board cut to every gov't expense of 5% against baseline - including ALL federal welfare benefits

Step 2: pass budget line by line force members to make a yes or no vote on each discretionary expenditure

After that we should have sufficiently learned the will to fix the whole thing.

 

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