The 47 percent -- and what we can't afford

  • Article by: WILL NAGLE
  • Updated: September 25, 2012 - 7:33 PM

Humanity by the numbers.

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jdlellis1Sep. 25, 12 7:44 PM

The U.S. Constitution was written to limit the role of the federal government. Government cannot and should not be all things to all people. Closely paraphrasing remarks by Adolph Hitler in his inaugural speech upon ascending to the Chancellory of Germany, "The individual is nothing without the state." Fill in the blanks with respect to which direction you want this country to head.

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pumiceSep. 25, 12 8:08 PM

Re: "The U.S. Constitution was written to limit the role of the federal government." The US Constitution established a strong central government to replace the weak and ineffectual central government in the Articles of Confederation, jdlellis1. The Constitution specified three major powers for Congress: to pay the nation's debt, to provide for the nation's defense, and to provide for our common good. The commentary deals eloquently with the third power. Limits on Congressional power (and per Amendment XIV, state legislatures) to make laws which deny or abridge rights of US citizens are identified in the Amendments.

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dbarton12Sep. 25, 12 8:52 PM

A lot of the reason that there are so many people on SS is that many have to take SS at 62 rather than keep working because their employers dumped them for being old or they can only get part-time jobs, and if they are over 55, the chances are they will not get another job. Many older people used to go to work for the government, but those jobs are gone. One reason why so many pursue disability is that they can't get jobs that will pay a living wage, so to survive they use their health problems to survive on disability. Does that guy in a wheelchair at Target get paid enough to live on? Likely not. He might even be on disability. Lots of people, old and young, on food stamps are being paid too little by employers or were not paid enough during their working years and did not get any kind of pension. Employers used to have pension plans and pay all or almost all for health insurance--about 1/3 of their paycheck was benefits. Now many workers either don't get any benefits or much reduced benefits. You can blame workers all you want, but you should be blaming the greed of many employers. So do you really think older people, because they might live longer, should be denied SS until they are 70 too, even though many of them won't be employable during their later years at a living wage because nobody will hire them? Should poor people live with extreme pain and walk with canes but well-off people should have surgery?

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jdlellis1Sep. 25, 12 8:55 PM

pumice, eloquently stated, however, are there any limits to "the common good" or, does one interpret your remarks to indicate that it is the responsibility for the federal government to provide all things to its citizens? Thus there are no limits to the powers of government.

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jdlellis1Sep. 25, 12 8:56 PM

pumice, P.S. almost forgot, I agree with your assessment that the Several States have greater latitude in powers not granted to the federal government.

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mmcfetriSep. 25, 12 9:10 PM

You raise several points that surely should be under rigorous discussion. I'll focus on Social Security Disability. All government programs should be tightly audited for abuse. But, having gone through the process with my son who has a mental disability, I can tell you getting approval is not easy. I applaud the staff member at Target that you referenced. Work is good for everyone, for many reasons. But I expect that he still receives disability benefits. If he works full time at a minimum wage, his wages will be below the $1000 per month that would take him off disability. And with his combined income of SSDI and wages he will still be in the 47% who pay no income taxes. He likely qualifies for Medicare as well. I am with you all the way on the value of work. And, this is a person that I think most would agree needs our support. And , if anyone knows of a scammer who is not really disabled--report it!

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mmcfetriSep. 25, 12 9:16 PM

Re EBT. There have been recent articles about EBT recipients going into a store with someone who has offered them 50 cents on the dollar in cash if they will go into the store with them and make purchases. I don't know how to solve that problem. But that could explain the lobsters.

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russ999Sep. 25, 12 9:33 PM

yes we know republican limited government = only works for the wealthy campaign donors and social darwinism for the rest of us.

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pumiceSep. 25, 12 9:37 PM

Re: "Thus there are no limits to the powers of government." Of course there are limits to the powers of government, jdlellis1. The President can veto Bills; Congress can override the President's veto; the Supreme Court interprets Acts passed by Congress and signed by the President and the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of laws and actions of the other Branches.

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furguson11Sep. 25, 12 9:39 PM

I kind of lost interest when he made the statement,"Having nearly half of American households receiving some type of government check is simply not sustainable." The 47 percent were those not paying federal income tax. I'm a little surprised that this was published.

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