Friday, June 29, 2012

49%ers, aka Double Dippers, Stockton and ObamaCare


There is a profound difference between what is legal, what is political, what is proper governance and what are the economic results of any specific activity or program.

The cost of anything involving government is paid for, at least eventually, by assessing taxes which offset the expenditures. In the end there is no free lunch.

That seems to have been forgotten by most Americans since Social Security legislation was passed in the 1930s, Medicare and Medicaid were enacted in the 1960s, and public sector unions helped our elected officials create the problem of seriously underfunded entitlements for public sector workers. Now we can add the cost of ObamaCare to that long list of "unaffordables."

So it's only fitting and proper that ObamaCare is officially titled the "Affordable Care Act."

Who will pay for all these entitlements? We the People will.

Taxes are the way we balance our governments' budgets. Otherwise we continue to pile on deficits and debts for future taxpayers. That can't continue forever. Ask Europe.

A Trifecta ... My 49%er Double Dipper "Education," Stockton's Bankruptcy Filing and ObamaCare's "Tax"  Ruling All on the Same Day

(1) Last evening I talked to a public school teacher who had taught one of our children in middle school some 20 years ago. He looked good and healthy. When I asked if he was still teaching, he volunteered that had officially retired and was now a teaching 49%er. A bona fide double dipper. My guess is he is in his early 50s.

Retired with a full pension, he now teaches three classes per day so he can earn ~50% of what full time teachers are paid yet still receive a full pension payment ---- in large part courtesy of the taxpayers. In essence, he is paid close to 150% of what he used to be paid, and is doing 50% of what he used to do. However, someone else has to teach the other 51% of the day, so the cost to the taxpayer is double what he received while teaching full time. And even though I'm a taxpayer, he didn't even thank me for being so dumb!

The interesting thing to me was how quickly and easily he happily told his story to a fellow taxpayer. Not a hint of embarrassment, justification or apology for the apparently widespread ongoing taxpayer fleecing by our teachers. And the President wants to borrow more money from China so we can hire even more teachers.

(2) Stockton is bankrupt because it spent more than it collected from taxpayers for a long, long time. That time is over.

(3) ObamaCare was upheld yesterday, and the individual mandate was called a tax by the Court. Whatever it's called, the legislation is going to be very costly. The taxes charged won't be nearly high enough to pay for the costs of the entitements promised.

Social Security was enacted in the 1930s and payments made into the system still aren't called taxes by most people. We call them "contributions." Sounds better to the ear.

As in other government programs, the Social Security taxes -- er -- contributions don't come close to covering the full costs of the program.

Medicare recipients receive in benefits about three times as much as they pay in to the system while working and paying taxes.

Summing Up

My point is simple. Whatever we choose to call something, it is what it is.

Somebody has to pay 100% of the real costs of all these programs someday. If not now, then later when our kids and grandkids will do the paying for us.

Stockton entered bankruptcy the same day ObamaCare taxes were upheld and my path crossed with a 49%er double dipper. That's a trifecta of sorts.

And it doesn't even cover how we will pay for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Aren't free lunches and word games great?

Thanks. Bob.

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