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Old 07-13-2011, 09:38 AM  
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Entitlement Program

Entitlement program (from Entitlement program: A Glossary of Political Economy Terms - Dr. Paul M. Johnson)

The kind of government program that provides individuals with personal financial benefits (or sometimes special government-provided goods or services) to which an indefinite (but usually rather large) number of potential beneficiaries have a legal right (enforceable in court, if necessary) whenever they meet eligibility conditions that are specified by the standing law that authorizes the program. The beneficiaries of entitlement programs are normally individual citizens or residents, but sometimes organizations such as business corporations, local governments, or even political parties may have similar special "entitlements" under certain programs. The most important examples of entitlement programs at the federal level in the United States would include Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, most Veterans' Administration programs, federal employee and military retirement plans, unemployment compensation, food stamps, and agricultural price support programs.

The existence of entitlement programs is mainly significant from a political economy standpoint because of the very difficult problems they create for Congress's efforts to control the exact size of the budget deficit or surplus through the annual appropriations process. It is often very hard to predict in advance just how many individuals will meet the various entitlement criteria during any given year, so it is therefore difficult to predict what the total costs to the government will be at the time the appropriation bills for the coming fiscal year are being drafted. This makes it even harder for government to smooth out the business cycle or pursue other macroeconomic objectives through an active fiscal policy -- because these objectives require careful pre-planning of the size of the budget deficit or surplus to be run. In the first place, the amount of money that will be required in the coming year to fund an entitlement program is often extremely difficult to predict in advance because the number of people with an entitlement may depend upon the overall condition of the economy at the time. For example, the total amount of unemployment benefits to be paid out will depend upon the changing level of unemployment in the economy as the year wears on. Some very large entitlement programs (including Social Security pensions and government employee retirement programs) have been "indexed" to inflation, so that the size of the benefit is periodically adjusted according to a fixed formula based on unpredictable changes in the Consumers' Price Index. Perhaps more significantly, the amount of spending on entitlement programs is impossible for the Senate and House Appropriations committees to even attempt to adjust or to control because those committees do not have the jurisdiction to rewrite the laws that specify who gets how much and under what conditions. The various specialized standing committees who do have the jurisdiction to rewrite authorizing legislation each tend to be dominated by members whose political interests lie in expanding their particular entitlement program, not in cutting it back, and the political influence of the organized special interest groups that support the programs tends to be overwhelming on the specialized committees when such proposals arise.

Since the middle 1980s, entitlement programs have accounted for more than half of all federal spending. Taken together with such other almost uncontrollable (in the short run, that is) expenses as interest payments on the national debt and the payment obligations arising from long-term contracts already entered into by the government in past years, entitlement programs leave Congress with no more than about 25% of the annual budget to be scrutinized for possible cutbacks through the regular appropriations process. This very substantially reduces the practicality of trying to counteract the ups and downs of the overall economy through a "discretionary" fiscal policy because so very little of the budget is available for meaningful alteration by the Appropriations and Budget committees on short notice.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:26 AM  
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It is also wealth redistribution. Supporters of such programs never seem to call it what it is for some reason.....

Oh, and once you near and exceed 50% of the population being on the recieving end in there is no hope for going back.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:16 PM  
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Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
It is also wealth redistribution. Supporters of such programs never seem to call it what it is for some reason.....

Oh, and once you near and exceed 50% of the population being on the recieving end in there is no hope for going back.
yes it is far better to have all the wealth at the top, I'm sure our all powerful overlords will make sure the peasants are treated fairly.....

It's not wealth redistributon, it's called paying for what benefits society, everyone benefits from a more productive society. Take off the republican blinders, no man can be his own island, everything done does require government intervention due to the scale, to make sure we are safe, our food is safe, the products we buy won't kill us, that we have an educated workforce to hire from, that we have roads, that we have defense and that we don't have severe poverty here due to lack of social security.

yes I see how you can see what you want. but to pretend that the wealthy don't benefit directly from this "income redistribution" is absurd, the problem is everyone wants the people at a different level to pay for it. It's simple business - externalizing costs.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:14 AM  
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Originally Posted by RedJeepXJ View Post
It's not wealth redistributon, it's called paying for what benefits society, everyone benefits from a more productive society.

Here we go....



Quote:
Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
Supporters of such programs never seem to call it what it is for some reason.....
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:29 AM  
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I often wonder if the strongest advocates are also the primary benefactors of this "free money society?"
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:44 AM  
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Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
Here we go....
good job going that direction......

YOU COMPLETELY IGNORED RESPONDING TO THE POINTS I MADE POINTING OUT WHY THAT ISNT SO, do you really think the rich don't benefit from these government services? Maybe we should run the government more like a business, considering what my cable and phone company tag on then let's start charging fees for everything the government provides or helps with directly, including a defense fee, a fee per educated worker they hire, a road use fee, an interstate road use fee, a port fee, a commerce oversight fee and the list could go on forever, plus the benefit all businesses are getting by not having to have real retirement plans where THEY pay (or pay the employee enough) for medical insurance and a pension.....

I support these because it creates a stronger economy and stronger nation then we would have without them, If you want to live in a third world country (since those are the only ones that don't have some form of healthcare/living assistance for the old) then I recommend you move to your utopia, I don't think you will like it as much as you think you will.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:16 AM  
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Maybe businesses should be more like the government.... Hmmm......

We could go to the store, and the prices for goods or services would be based on income. The more you make, the more you pay (for the same item).. And if you make little enough, you get the item for free, or better yet, you get it for free and they give you money. How long do you think the business would go before going into the red..
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:10 AM  
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Originally Posted by RedJeepXJ View Post
yes it is far better to have all the wealth at the top, I'm sure our all powerful overlords will make sure the peasants are treated fairly.....
I have a question about this statement.... Let's say you took 3/4 of the wealth heald by the top 10% of society and gave it to the bottom 10%. What do you think would happen? (Honest question, I do not know.) I could guess at it maybe.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:55 PM  
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Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
I have a question about this statement.... Let's say you took 3/4 of the wealth heald by the top 10% of society and gave it to the bottom 10%. What do you think would happen? (Honest question, I do not know.) I could guess at it maybe.
there is a lot of factors there, and I know the answer you are fishing for. However what bothers me is the agenda behind your question, I do not support communistic wealth redistribution and never had, I do support keeping people off the streets and enough to better themselves through education and become productive but no more.

This agenda again completely ignore the idea that the wealthiest receive ANY benefits from the government existing which in reality they receive a lot and I am not talking about direct handouts, hence the "if government was run like a business" topic. I am not talking about taxing the rich because they were more successful, I am talking about that because they received the benefits that this country has provided, and taxes should be lower on the poor people to create more incentive to move up (I know you will jump on this and exclude the next segment) You can't start out taxing the little people at 25% of their income and have them live with any decency or chance to get ahead, I hardly think a banker making $200,000 is going to be disuaded by going from 28% to 34%, sure it's a chunk of money but he will not be on the edge of being able to get by.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:44 AM  
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Originally Posted by RedJeepXJ View Post
there is a lot of factors there, and I know the answer you are fishing for. However what bothers me is the agenda behind your question, I do not support communistic wealth redistribution and never had, I do support keeping people off the streets and enough to better themselves through education and become productive but no more.

This agenda again completely ignore the idea that the wealthiest receive ANY benefits from the government existing which in reality they receive a lot and I am not talking about direct handouts, hence the "if government was run like a business" topic. I am not talking about taxing the rich because they were more successful, I am talking about that because they received the benefits that this country has provided, and taxes should be lower on the poor people to create more incentive to move up (I know you will jump on this and exclude the next segment) You can't start out taxing the little people at 25% of their income and have them live with any decency or chance to get ahead, I hardly think a banker making $200,000 is going to be disuaded by going from 28% to 34%, sure it's a chunk of money but he will not be on the edge of being able to get by.
I don't know what "agenda" you are referring to. And I don't know where you get that the "little people" (whoever that is supposed to be) get taxed at 25%. I will just put it like this. If the recipients of life subsidies didn't have things like cable, fancy cell phones, internet at home, car payments, manicures, etc.. then maybe I wouldn't have as much of a problem. I just know that I choose to go without some things to set my priorities, and some of these handouts seem to be unneccessary if others would do the same.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am aware that there are definitely some needs out there but I think that many many recipients are not really in need.
I could be wrong but I am willing to bet that only a small fraction of recipients would be considered poor if compared to even the MIDDLE CLASS in some other countries....
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