Usually, I like giving politicians a chance. Usually, I choose not to take sides when it comes to politics, mostly because all politics do (if you want my honest opinion) is make people angry at one another. The liberal wants a bigger government and higher taxes, while the conservative wants the exact opposite. The liberal wants to increase Medicare/Medicaid and social security, while the conservative wouldn't have a problem getting rid of the two. Etc, etc, etc.
Now, while usually, I stay out of these kinds of argument, the issue of personal finance came into play for me as soon as I started a paying job this summer. Yes, I filled out a W4, I signed a working contract, and I very happily started revising papers for my superiors. However, tonight I went over financial aspect of the job. Sure, it pays well, but then I looked into taxes and "other" expenses. Of course I'm going to have to pay taxes, I'm a citizen here, a documented worker, and that's how it works. However, let's look at what being taking out of this hard-earned paycheck, shall we? Social security (and FICA), Medicare, federal withholdings, state withholdings, and local withholdings. Ok, great. Now, look at this from the perspective of a single male (or female) who is healthy, hard-working, with health care (or at least some kind of heath care) who really doesn't make that much money. You can say what you want, making a living is difficult.
The age where an American citizen can collect his or her social security has been raised, and honestly, everyone knows that you'll get the most money possible out of government once you turn 70. FICA protects you if you get an injury in the workplace. As for Medicare, yes, that's good too, but most older people have health insurance, right? Or don't they? Now let's look at federal, state, and local taxes. If you're lucky, the government might take 18-25% of your earnings, it depends upon how much money you make. Where does this money go? Medicaid? Check. So while the working man (or woman) has to struggle to make a paycheck and obtain some kind of insurance, the poor person can sit around and get free health care. Sure, if you're destitute and truly need help, then by all means, you deserve to have the state take care of your health care. However, if you cheat the system (and a lot of people do) then god damn you. The money goes to other places too, but I don't want to get into that.
I'm currently 20 years old. I won't be getting my social security back for another FIFTY YEARS. Yes, I can file a tax return, but how much am I really going to get back? By that time, I'm sure the age will be raised to 80. Sure, Uncle Sam, I'll come pick up my check in a few, just let me get my diaper changed first! And as for FICA, are you serious? Because I'm definitely going to hurt myself typing on a PC all day long and eating a sandwich during my lunch break. It's UNNECESSARY for certain jobs! If you're in construction, then it's fine. But if you work in an office, you shouldn't be charged. People will probably try to counter this by saying "it's not that much money!" But then again, when it's you start a paying job, then you can talk.
Will I have health insurance (if it even exists) by the time I'm 70? Probably, because I'm a hard worker. Do I want to pay for Medicaid? No, I don't. Do I want to give back to the community? No. What did the community give to me? I had to go apply for the job and work nine hours a day, not the community. Since when do I have to be so generous? This isn't Europe. Many European countries have their citizens pay a large percentage (much larger than what we pay in the United States) in taxes to the government, however they get GREAT social services in return. Do I get free health care here? No. Does the government take care of me, no matter what? No. Have I hit multiple potholes in some of this country's wealthiest states? Yes. Is the public transportation any good? Once you leave New York, which isn't so fantastic, it's pathetic. Don't get me wrong, I love living in the United States, but some things just make me raise an eyebrow.
So, what do we do? Is it time to burn this faulty institution to the ground and start anew? Are we turning into a socialist, welfare state? Do you feel like you're being stolen from every time you get paid, or are things going well the way they are? My moderate stance on economic issues is slowly starting to shift, and I'm sure you can figure out which side it's starting to shift towards.