Self-Funded...Not So Much

Bill Neinast

At least he is honest.  Bernie Sanders is proud to admit he is a socialist who admires Fidel Castro  and what he did for Cuba.  Should that not be what Castro did to Cuba?

Sanders is serious and truthful about his proposals to bring Karl Marx to the USA.  He offers or promises  a list of freebies for Americans of all ages. Government intrusion and control, of course, comes with all of those freebies.

One of the more troublesome problems of the Sanders’ offerings is the millions of young Americans   praising and supporting that move to socialism.  Have those youngsters ever been exposed to even a smidgen of evidence of the disastrous effects of socialisn/communism on Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, China, Russia, and Eastern Europe?

Unfortunately, however, it is time to be honest here.  We have had socialism in the country for almost a century.  The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt on August 14, 1935.

Initially, the program was supposed to be self funded.  Employees were to, in effect, buy an insurance policy by payroll taxes deducted from their pay and matched by the employers.  

As a result of the requirement to build a trust fund from which to make payments which were then commonly referred to as Old Age Pensions, the first payment of a social security benefit did not occur until January 31, 1940.  The first recipient of one of those checks had contributed a bit over $24 in payroll taxes.

A major problem with the Social Security Act that was supposed to be self funding is that it was not limited to workers’ pensions.  According to Wikipedia, “The act also gave money to states to provide assistance to aged individuals (Title I), for unemployment insurance (Title III), Aid to Families with Dependent Children (Title IV), Maternal and Child Welfare (Title V), public health services (Title VI), and the blind (Title X).” 

When it became apparent that all those programs were draining the pension fund, Congress began looking for more sources of income.  First to join the income stream were the self employed.  They were required to remit the payroll tax on themselves. 

Then in 1956, Congress realized that there were several million employees who were not paying in payroll tax.  These were members of the military who had their own retirement system.  Nonetheless, soldiers and sailors were marched into the system and payroll taxes were deducted from their monthly checks.  Old military ID numbers were replaced with Social Security numbers.

Then came Medicare.  That, too, was supposed to be self funded.  A Medicare tax is deducted from each Social Security payment.  A lot of retirees on Social Security do not even realize that they are paying this “premium” for medical insurance.

This short history illustrates that socialistic programs like Social Security and Medicare cannot be self funded.  The government has to step in with funds from other sources; i.e.,the taxpayer.

Those taxpayer funds do not come without strings attached.  If the government is going to dole out funds, how those funds are used has to be under the control of the “giver”—the government.  

Now look at what happens when the government takes over.  Consider those European countries and Canada that Sanders touts as beautiful examples of medical care for all.  Why do Canadians travel south across their border and others with free medical care are countries who travel much farther to this country for operations and other procedures they cannot get at home under government controlled medical care?

So here’s the perspective.

Sander’s proposal for Medicare for all sounds great.  It would be wonderful if no one in this country had to worry about being able to afford needed medical care.

The price of universal care is unbearable.  Dollars, however, are not the roadblock.  The government deciding how much medical care givers will be paid for each procedure and deciding if a certain procedure will be allowed at all is the killer.

Within ten yeas of socializing medical care in this country, there will be a large decline in individuals choosing a medical care.  The lines seeking that “free” medical care will circle doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospitals many times over.

If you question this assertion, study your, or someone else’s, Medicare statement and look at what the doctor charges and what the government allows.  

How long do you think some doctors would keep working at those government wages?

That is the true cost of Medicare for all.



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