More Americans Tapping Into Entitlement Programs Swells Budget Deficit

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As many U.S. citizens continue to rail against the ballooning budget deficit, the reality is that most Americans are unwilling to swallow the bitter pill it will take to tame it. 

Perhaps that's because nearly half of all Americans live in a household in which someone receives government benefits, more than at any time in history, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

At the same time, the number of American households not paying federal income taxes has grown to an estimated 45% in 2010, up from 39% five years ago, according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization.

More than half of U.S. workers don't earn enough to be taxed.  A large segment game the system by taking enough credits and deductions to eliminate all tax obligations. Even though most of us still pay Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes, 13% of all U.S. households pay neither federal income nor payroll taxes.

"We have a very large share of the American population that is getting checks from the government, and an increasingly smaller portion of the population that's paying for it."  Keith Hennessey, an economic adviser to President George W. Bush and now a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution told The Journal.

Number Taking Benefits Increases

The government initiated the first entitlement program in 1935 when Congress passed the Social Security Act, creating the retirement program as well as unemployment compensation as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal.

That was followed by the GI Bill and later Lyndon Johnson's Great Society ushered in Medicare and Medicaid. In the 1970s, Supplemental Security Income was created on top of routine Social Security benefits for the poorest of the elderly, and so-called Section 8 vouchers began subsidizing rental housing.

Other government entitlements include the earned income tax credit, food stamps, and free lunch programs for poor children.

Consequently, the number of Americans who live in households where at least one individual depends on a government safety net is expanding rapidly.

As recently as the early 1980s, about 30% of Americans lived in households in which an individual was receiving Social Security, subsidized housing, jobless benefits or other government-provided benefits. By the third quarter of 2008, 44% of the public lived in such homes.

And that number has undoubtedly increased as the recession has hammered jobs and household incomes. Some 41.3 million people were on food stamps as of June 2010 up 45% from June 2008.

With unemployment high and federal jobless benefits now available for up to 99 weeks, 9.7 million unemployed workers were receiving checks in late August 2010, more than twice as many as the 4.2 million in August 2008.

The baby-boom generation, those born between 1946 and 1964, will continue to add to the ranks of Americans receiving government benefits. Today, an estimated 47.4 million people are enrolled in Medicare, up 38% from 1990. By 2030, the number is projected to be 80.4 million.

Entitlements Balloon Federal Deficit

The cost of these programs is quickly adding up.

Payments to individuals – a budget category that includes all federal benefit programs plus retirement benefits for federal workers – will cost $2.4 trillion this year, up 79%, from a decade earlier adjusted for inflation, The Journal reported. That's over 64% of all federal outlays, the highest on record for the 70 years the government has been tracking it. The figure was 46.7% in 1990 and 26.2% in 1960.

All this entitlement spending has punched a hole in the government budget and ballooned the federal deficit to dizzying heights.

The depth of the budget problem was underscored last week, when the Treasury reported that the government ran a $1.26 trillion deficit for the first 11 months of the fiscal year, on pace to be the second-biggest on record.

And the future looks even worse.  For the period from 2011 to 2020, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasts a budget deficit of $6.047 trillion, while the Obama administration projects a shortfall of $8.532 trillion.

The lowest projected deficit in the next decade is a $706 billion shortfall forecast for the fiscal year that ends in September 2014. That doesn't sound too bad in the context of the 2009-2011 figures, but it's almost $300 billion larger than the highest federal-budget deficit in human history before 2009. 

And even that number is misleading. The federal government's Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) financial statements show the actual annual fiscal deficit careening wildly out of control.

Including the annual changes in the present value of off-the-books liabilities, including Social Security and Medicare, the annual 2008 deficit was $5.1 trillion dollars. The 2009 actual shortfall likely was around $8.8 trillion, instead of the official cash-based $1.417 trillion, according to Shadowstats.com.

Despite occasional bouts of belt-tightening in Washington and bursts of discussion about restraining big government, the trend toward more Americans receiving government benefits of one sort or another has continued for more than 70 years-and shows no sign of abating.

Medicare and Social Security – The Untouchable "Third Rails"

An ingredient in any credible deficit-reduction program would require cutting spending on Medicare and Social Security — by far the costliest and most perplexing of entitlement programs.

Frequently called "the third rail of American politics" – touch it and you die – social security reform is an issue that prompts heated debates among its supporters and detractors. Although Social Security has been changed a number of times since its inception in 1935, nothing has kept the cost from continuing to creep upwards.

This year, the system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes, an important threshold it was not expected to cross until at least 2016, according to the CBO. According to the Social Security Board of Trustees, by 2037 the program's trust funds will be depleted.

Some say that means the problem is still years away. But others think the real problem is now, since the government — already heavily in debt — will have to borrow more money starting this decade to pay back the Social Security trust fund unless it cuts spending and raises taxes.

Solutions range from decreasing benefits to raising the retirement age, to increasing the payroll tax.

But while there's a long list of answers, the political will to implement them has been missing.

"Everyone knows what needs to be done, but no one wants to do it, " Robert Bixby, director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan, grassroots deficit watchdog group told CNNMoney.com.

Meanwhile, the White House has promised America's new health reform law will generate $575 billion in Medicare cost savings over the next decade, allowing the program to survive until 2029.

But part of those savings will come from reduced "overpayments" to Medicare Advantage, a system that allows Medicare recipients to receive benefits via private health insurance providers. The savings associated with Medicare Advantage efficiencies is expected to rise to $145 billion by 2019.

But this change could prove extremely costly to retirees because most seniors on Medicare Advantage don't have so-called Medigap policies, which pay the "gaps" in traditional Medicare coverage such as hospital deductibles and doctor co-payments.

The change will force many seniors to switch from Medicare Advantage to traditional Medicare where "they will pay much higher premiums than they ever imagined possible for Medigap insurance" according to Joseph Antos, a health care scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

The new law also imposes about a half-percentage-point cut every year in the increases in Medicare payment rates for hospitals and other institutional providers. Over time, the compounding effect of the cuts will be so large that 15% of the nation's hospitals would have to stop seeing Medicare patients Antos told Daily Finance.

One Congressman's Plan for Change

Cutting federal benefits while the economy is still weak would be a mistake, some analysts say, because it could hinder recovery by giving consumers less money to spend.

But the crushing effect of entitlement programs on the federal budget means they need to be fundamentally redesigned, according to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI.

His proposed bill, "Roadmap for America's Future," calls for reducing the federal deficit and debt by partly privatizing and trimming Social Security and Medicare, freezing most government programs and instituting a simplified, two-tier tax system that would cut taxes for the rich.

Ryan proposes to freeze nondefense discretionary spending–15% of the budget–for ten years. His tax plan would eliminate itemized deductions and set rates at 10% for the first $50,000 of income on an individual return and 25% for income above that and replace the corporate income tax with an 8.5% business consumption tax.

He would wipe out ObamaCare and replace it with a voucher-based system in which adults get a $2,300 refundable tax credit to pay for health care. Similarly, Medicare recipients under 55 today would, on retirement, get vouchers to buy private insurance. He would raise the eligibility age for both Social Security and Medicare to 69 and 70, respectively, by the end of this century.

"People see that this debt crisis is real and right in front of us," says Ryan. They're paying attention to him, he adds, "because, unfortunately, I'm the only person who's put a plan out there."

Only 14 GOP members in Congress have endorsed the plan. In other words, it has no chance of becoming law in its present form.

"My goal was to get other plans launched, to ignite and start a debate," Ryan says.

The congressman blames the inability to put his ideas in motion on "the crowd that runs Washington now."  But if Republicans win convincingly in November's congressional elections, Ryan's strategy will be to win over moderate Democrats and, if the GOP takes control of the House, to force change.

"I see dozens of reinforcements coming in the fall to help us take this fiscal situation seriously so we can get this thing fixed," he told Forbes.

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  1. Howard | September 20, 2010

    Quoting right-winger Ryan and a Bush economic advisor. Not what I would call a very balanced article.

  2. Tom | September 20, 2010

    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    Let's face it; we live in a defense inspired, international giving and policing country, while concern over our own citizens is secondary and used as a pragmatic approach to alleviate concern over where the tax payers' dollars are really going and how this money is spent. Look at reality, do we like or agree with the prior Sadam's Iraq policies, no, but their country and ours was actually in a better place before the war was initiated; the prior Shah of Iran was not supported but whisked from the country by us; and the Russians left Afganistan years ago when we were supporting the insurgents of the time. What type of wars or world concerns are we in; cultural and greed equals oil. Yet we spend Billion$ on changing ideologies and practices that have no effect or purpose for the common American; the facade of war is merely a way to spend and create a huge deficit while we blame it on entitlements. Does anyone remember the Israel/Egypt conflicts during the 70's. The US was supplying both sides with the armanents, providing a very nice market for our industries. Look North to Canada, do we see similiar problems there? Look South and except for the Drug Lords, we see economies predicated on sensible goals; but if we legalized, taxed, and registered drug users, we could end a mass underground industry and the related expense of combatting it. The Political element of this country is not worried about its poor, its hungry, its weak, its children or its disadvantaged. If the money spent foolishly on foreign cultural, economic, and aggression all in the name of Human Rights, was refocused on America, our Country would prosper and our people would be content. I, for one, believe that if the American Public really had more information on reality; change would come much quicker. I belive in full disclosure, with the exception of National Security, where GAO would audit each member of Congress for voting on issues, writing provisonal laws, the intent on who it would help, their own business expenditures and personal Federal benefits, plus earmarks and gifts, and then compare that to one another. After all, they do work for us, in theory. We'll leave those Federal Salaries paid for 10 months of work after full benefits of sick and vacation leave and holidays, plus cost of living and regional pay increases for another time. Let's leave it at, I personally know individuals who could not get work in a soup line handing out bread making in excess of $100K for 10 months work a year. If the Public only knew the real issues, but are kept constrained by their own personal economic conditions. And one last questions, how many Black Africans must die before we look to that area of the world; I've yet in my 60 plus years, seen anything of any scale done by our goverment to help the true, original, Black African with the exception of personal efforts by some First Ladies, ex Presidents, or Oprah.
    Please find me wrong on the above; I do not like being jaded at my age; but that old saying, The truth shall set you free doesn't necessarily work concerning these issues.

  3. Tom | September 20, 2010

    So how come you don't include the military in your bloated, wasteful agencys? After all if a government agency is gauged on how well they do their job and the militaries job id to win wars, well then since they haven't won a war since WWII ( Oh I forgot Granada) and their budget is bigger than the social services I'd say thats the best place to start cutting! TT

  4. Tom | September 20, 2010

    So how come you don't include the military in your bloated, wasteful agencys? After all if a government agency is gauged on how well they do their job and the militaries job is to win wars, well then since they haven't won a war since WWII ( Oh I forgot Granada) and their budget is bigger than the social services I'd say thats the best place to start cutting! TT

  5. Robert Smith | September 20, 2010

    Yes . Our indebtedness is way out of hand, thanks to the current Administration, not the preceding administrations'. SO, THE IDEA TO CUT THE PROGRAMS IN PLACE FOR YEARS AND MIS- HANDLED FROM THE WORD "GO", IS A DESPARATE ATTEMPT TO BLAME SOMEONE ELSE FOR WHAT THE MAJORITY OF REPUBLICANS VOTED FOR.
    These progressive Republicans as they call themselves have contributed to the current status of affairs.
    I think it's time to refute deficit spending as a way to pay for whatever idiotic social program people can dream up. The government has only one program that has worked. They know it and use it to "keep the government running" when they cant build a good budget on time. I always thought that "states and lesser government offices" were not allowed to do deficit spending. Look at California and other Democratic run state giovernments, (even New Mexico.)and Progressive Republicans and you see they all practice deficit spending to get the so-called social programs they want. (or the pork-barrel junk programs) come on , gentlemen, stop the spending spre the socialist president wants, and get back to business.

  6. PC | September 20, 2010

    Don't worry. The neo-con retards will happily claim it's all Obama's fault, and that it's all Democrats' fault, when in reality it's ALL politicians' faults – both Republican and Democrat. They'll lie and pretend two wars and a huge Medicare benefit didn't get started by their Congress and their President.

    People game the system because there's benefits to be had. If you go back to a government that doesn't offer much in benefits, then there aren't benefits to be gained – whether by corporate lobbyists or welfare queens. At some point it'll be over because there will be no more money to steal from working people.

  7. Steve Murphy | September 20, 2010

    Social Security is not an entitlement, its an insurance policy. We pay for it all our working years and collect when we reach the appropriate age. Many folks die before they never collect a cent and others live to a ripe age and collect more than they contributed. This ballences itself out. In the past few years, unemployment has drained the fund of needed funds. That will all change when/if the employment picture brightens. Another myth about social security is that the trust fund is being raided by politicans. Not true, SS administrators have loaned that money out for government projects. For each dollar loaned, there is an IOU in place at the SS headquarteres.

    • Tom | September 22, 2010

      @Steve: You are right about the IOU's, but how legitimate is an IOU from an organization that is so far in debt that our children are on the hook for thousands of dollars?

      Seems to me that your faith in the US Government is far greater than mine has been lately. I find it difficult to lend credibility to any organization that views its large campaign contributors as "To big to fail", while it looks at small businesses and implies that they are "To small to succeed".

      Since small business has always been the strength of this nation, is it any wonder why unemployment in this nation is so high?

    • Paul | September 26, 2010

      Oh boy! An IOU from the government really makes me feel wonderful! Thanks for the encouragement.

  8. Tom | September 21, 2010

    I get sick and tired of all you writers trying to denounce Social Security as an entitlement program. Social Security was paid for by the American worker. Only gainfully employed people in this nation pay into it for their own benefit. However, Medicare is an entitlement, as is Supplimental Social Security benefits, and they should have never been associated with Social Security so the record could have been kept straight.

    Medicare is nothing more than an offshoot of Medicaid, only directed towards the elderly, and it is, indeed, draining this nation dry with the help of big Pharma who seems to have been able to devise the world's greatest get rich scheme by getting every elderly person in this nation on a $500,00 a month prescription plan.

    It's not the worker's fault if the Federal Government did not take our forced retirement 'savings', entrusted to them in the form of FICA taxes, and invest them the way they were supposed to have been. Instead, our Federal officials launched a campaign to drain 'our' money from the Social Security Trust fund to cover their own fiscal incompetence, as well as to fund ridiculous, fat cat projects that benefited only their large campaign contributors.

    Therefore, if you want to call those on Medicare or Supplimental Social Security benefits entitlement recipients, more power to you, but don't even try to imply that those who collect Social Security Retirement benefts are a bunch of leeches on our society who are draining this nation's financial resources. We paid for Social Security Retirement, every stinking dime of it, and we had the right to the interest it was supposed to have accrued over our working career. Nobody collecting it was trying to reach into anybody else's pocket to support them.

    If the money to pay Social Security Retirement benefits is now coming from the General Fund of the United States, then put the blame where it belongs, on the thieves and crooks that took our money under threat of fine or imprisonment, not those of us who worked for a living.

    Funny how this works, isn't it? Refuse to pay FICA payroll taxes and you go to jail for tax evasion. Steal billions from a trust fund that doesn't belong to you and you don't even get charged with a single instance of Grand Larceny. What a good ol' boys club this nation has become. Al Capone would have really been proud of Congress.

    • CJ | November 12, 2010

      I agree, the system is messed up. However, those who have faithfully contributed to these programs should collect. Those without jobs need to be addressed right away. We need new energy products providing Americans with jobs, the government should promote these new industries for every state.

      We have to help the elderly. They are struggling at that point in their lives, healthwise and in some cases, with alzheimer's. The hardest thing in this world is growing old and facing a multitude of health problems. There are many without children to assist them. We can not abandon these Americans. Stop giving away billions to foreign countries and spend American taxpayers on our own elderly.

      Medicare costs are skyrocketing. Taxpayers need to be informed on what costs are the greatest and why. Give us the numbers.

      The government must stop using our FICA and Medicare contributions for other things. We need to get back to realistic budgets.

  9. Bruce Webb | September 21, 2010

    "Even though most of us still pay Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes, 13% of all U.S. households pay neither federal income nor payroll taxes."

    Well since those households include ones where people rely on Social Security for most or all of their subsistence, and ones which have dependent children survivors of deceased workers, and disabled war veterans maybe we could pause a moment before kicking the elderly poor, orphans, and war heros to the curb on the basis they are just parasites. Sheesh, sociopath much? Can you correct that number to limit it to households where benefits are only going to people able to work? If there were actually jobs?

  10. Gary Wardell | September 22, 2010

    Our nation needs to find a replcement for the income tax including FICA taxes. A national sales tax. This would tax products including food and clothing. Most clothing is made in foreign countries and it needs to be taxes.

  11. anon | September 22, 2010

    Steve,

    The IOU is issued to the government by itself. This is the fiscal equivalent of masturbation, you cannot make something out of it.

    Social security is simple an income tax. Seniors get welfare paid out of the general tax fund, money printing, and borrowing.

    If this sounds crazy, that is the entire point of the Big Lie. The lie is so big that ordinary trusting people cannot believe their leaders would lie about something so huge. Well they did, and we have to deal with it by ejecting them from office because sure as heck, well the consequences come they will just shrug at us for being so stupid.

  12. eric lund | September 23, 2010

    It makes me sick to listen to uneducated low life discuss things they have little or no knowledge of.To claim people living below the poverty line or making barely enough to live are responsible for any thing wrong in this country is sickening and disgustting.where did they derive their power.what so powerful organisation is backing the poor that they can control any thing,let alone their own lives.your not only barking up the wrong tree,you don't even know what your talking about.all of the REAL wealth in this country resides souly in the hands of the wealthy,rich,and corporations.the wealthy represent three percent of the population and the corporations represents forty-three percent of wealth and property in this country.twenty three percent of the land is owned or controlled,in the form of national parks or military bases or assorted govt, installations.you know what the poor own? Not one goddam thing.they don't own a piece of dirt ,one leaf on a tree,not land that borders water,or even a lowly dandelion.I know poor.My father worked on the railroad and gave his life working sixteen and eighteen hours a day during world war two.for those too young to know you didn't have to be in the service during ww2 if you worked for an industry deemed to important for the war effort and had more than five children.my father died five months after the war ended.we didn't have apot to piss in or a window to throw it out.after getting a college education and working twenty-five years in the aircraft and missile industry i finally got smart and got a different education and learned how to make money.I've been poor and and am now modestly rich.I've been on both sides of the coin I know from personal experience to blame the poor and watch multi-billion dollar corporations not pay any taxes atall and the very wealthy not pay any taxes adds insult to injury by claiming the poor and middle class aren't doing their share,is hogwash and shows a total lack of legitimate education.Who do you think caused the toxic asset melt down? WALL STREET.who do you think gave them permission? A republican administration.And who do you think emasculated social security,lyndon baines johnson,a democratic administration.so add it up.the lying wealthy,corporate cheats,crooked,stealing wall street,crimminal poloticians.OH! yeah according to some of you morons.( the poor)

  13. eric lund | September 23, 2010

    The truth is like warts and acne,take it like it is or don't take it at all.I have been reading financial news letters for thirty years,embellishment and fake statistics are rampant and a great abscense of the truth.

  14. Gus | September 23, 2010

    The Real Criminal is The FED. Do away with the FED. They are sucking us dry. Federeal Income Tax is unconstitutional. Politicians work for the Big Corps. Both the democrats and republicans are at fault for all the nonsense that is going on. Everyone looks clueless and continue to point the finger at eachother. We are starting to look like the israelis and palestinians, who have been at war for many many years.

    One last comment. End the War. The real enemy of War is War itself.

  15. Gus | September 23, 2010

    End the WAR

  16. bob | September 26, 2010

    s.s. Why not remove the cap on s.s. tax? Over 90% of the population pays the tax on 100% of their earnings,Have the mills and bills pay s.s. tax on all of their earnings as a penalty for being over paid..BOB

  17. Paul H Clark | September 26, 2010

    This is second article Oxford club has published this week pushing an ideological point. Both are fatally flawed by confirmation bias and the use of conventional wisdom. Anyone can cherry pick “facts” that support their case, while ignoring any “facts” that counter their view. Conventional wisdom says a frog will allow itself to be boiled alive, just increase the heat slowly. This is factually wrong. All frogs will try to escape the cooking pot once the temperature reaches hot. Don’t believe it? Try Google and find out for yourself.

    Conventional wisdom says that Social Security is broke. Social Security has over three trillion dollars in government backed debt. If you have three trillion in Government bonds, you are not broke. The “can’t pay it back” argument? Are we going to default on the Arab bonds, the Chinese bonds? But conventional wisdom has America defaulting on the legitimate debt owed the middle class.

    With two articles this week I now have doubts about your investment advice. Are the same problems of confirmation bias and conventional wisdom present in your stock picks? You are starting to scare me, just not the scare you intended.

  18. Dave | September 26, 2010

    We all want to play the finger pointing "Blame Game". When in fact we have all contributed to the devastating problems that are facing America today. When it comes right down to the nitty gritty one word answer to the problems, that word would be "GREED". From the president and the rest of the corrupted government, it trickles down thru corporate america, and all the way down to the basic consumer.

  19. Socialism never works except for bankruptcy | September 27, 2010

    socialism killed California, socailism killed the Soviet Union and will kill the USA.

    • David | October 2, 2010

      First of all California isn't "socialist." Look at the majority of European countries. You would probably call them socialist, even though they are not, and they do very well. European countries offer some form of universal health care, whether purely government run or privitized, and they are not stuck with the problems we face: skyrocketing costs, the uninsured, and insurance companies. If people would stop being so stubborn and realize that many European health-care systems do better than ours our prices would go down and everyone would be covered.

  20. Ps5725 | December 28, 2010

    I'm having a hard time with people including SS as an entitlement, when it something I paid for myself to receive over a 40 year period. I think the goverments should just give me back all the money i paid in, and then I will take care of myself. Furthermore, why isn't the goverment looking at the overinflated retirement that's given to Public officials? Each time they are elected to another office in comes a new retirment benefit. How about Obama redistributing his wealth, I could use some of that 5 miill he made last year. What about teachers, unions, those programs for people who can work. I'm disabled and live off my SS to the humugous amount of $1034.00 per month, when some fat cat public offical, or public servant is stuffing their pockets. Let's face it, the rich get richer ad the poor are just plan taken advantage of. When I worked i paid sometimes as much as $3000.00 a month for SS, and I'm being accused of taking an entitllement. Get the illegals, and nonworkers off welfare and unemployment, and pay the money back to my SS fund so i can live in high style. Wonder what kind of cat food is on sale this week so I can treat myself and have some byproduct for dinner.

  21. Monica in Suwanee | January 26, 2011

    To PS5725: perfectly stated. For those of us who have worked (I'm 58 and worked since I was 16) my SS IS NOT an entitlement. I paid for it.

  22. Titus | February 24, 2011

    I'd like to see 1/2 of the police force of Houston fired. Expecially the ones close to retirement age. Apart from harassing minorities, filling our jails with innocent people, not solving murders, nor violent crime, passing out 100,000 traffic tickets a month, and arresting only pot smoking youth. They have proven to be useless. Our crime lab is still a mess, so we should fire them, and revamp that system, and implement the new arson forensics so we don't send another innocent guy to the death camp in Huntsville.

    As for National, I won't stop ending entitlements, social security, or medicare/medicaid so long as we end health care for congress people and white house staffers, tax them and churches, cut the defense budget by 2/3rds, end the DEA and drug war, cut congressional saleries in half along with their staffs, and do away with the NSA and the 212 new intelligence agencies since we already have Homeland Security.

  23. M Roberts | July 2, 2011

    All of you are so crying about social security paying to the elderly whom have worked for years and paid into the social security. What about all of the foreigners that have come here collecting social security and NEVER paid one cent into it. Plus all of the same families collecting from the welfare system and receiving more than the Americans. And our medicare and medicaid is also going to them. One of the biggest problems is, our government is "giving" our money away to foreigners that do not deserve it. I am all for helping people that need help. But why help those that won't help themselves? Would we get help from other countries if we just go there and ask for help? Not on your life!! This is just the tip of the iceberg of why we have no money for the Americans.

  24. M Roberts | July 2, 2011

    I think my first one did not go in. This is all new to me. Please excuse my second one if the first one went through.

    All of you are crying about social security paying to the elderly whom have worked for years and paid into the social security. What about all of the foreigners that have come here collecting social security and NEVER paid one cent into it. Plus all of the same families collecting from the welfare system and receiving more than the Americans. And our medicare and medicaid is also going to them. One of the biggest problems is, our government is "giving" our money away to foreigners that do not deserve it. I am all for helping people that need help. But why help those that won't help themselves? Would we get help from other countries if we just go there and ask for help? Not on your life!! This is just the tip of the iceberg of why we have no money for the Americans.

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