Tag: Social Security

Supreme Court Rules: Social Security is NOT a Binding Contract »

This post was prompted by all-too-common opinions expressed in Randall Holcombe’s recent “Federal Government Debt Undermines the Programs It Finances” blog. The respondents passionately insist that Social Security is a contract, whatever you do to the budget, do not touch Social Security. “I paid in and it is a contract. They owe me.” The…
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Federal Government Debt Undermines the Programs It Finances »

Just looking at the rate at which the federal government’s debt is growing is unnerving. If you’re brave, you can look here. The table shows federal debt on September 30 of each year, the end of the federal government’s fiscal year. The numbers almost speak for themselves. About 37.6% of that debt was accumulated…
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Obama is Stuck on the First Envelope »

As a young woman, I took over a business that was bankrupt: its liabilities exceeded its assets by a considerable amount, and the wolf was well and truly at the door. Lots of people thought I was foolish not to “erase” its debts through filing bankruptcy and be given a “clean slate” by the…
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Goldwater Was Right about the Dangers of “Big, Inflationary Government” »

In Sen. Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign ad against big government, the narrator warns a young boy who’s parking his bike at grandma’s house, “Don’t look now young man, but somebody has his hand in your pocket. It’s the hand of big government. It’s taking away about four months pay from what your daddy earns…
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Private-Sector Socialism: What the Right and Left Don’t Understand about Healthcare in Other Countries »

There is no topic in healthcare that is more misunderstood than what other countries are doing. At both ends of the political spectrum, the mistake is the same: the belief that other healthcare systems are radically different from our own. They aren’t. Take the United States and Canada. I would say that the healthcare…
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Health Insurance vs. Healthcare: When Socializing Risk Pays Off »

Do you care whether I have health insurance? If you do care, do you also care if I have other kinds of insurance? While you’re thinking about the initial question, here are a few follow-up questions: Do you care whether I have life insurance? What about disability insurance? Homeowner’s insurance? Auto casualty insurance? Auto…
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How Much Does Health Insurance Affect Health? Some Surprising Answers »

There have been a number of claims that lack of insurance is life threatening. The most recent and well known is an Institute of Medicine (IOM) study claiming that 18,000 people die every year because they do not have health insurance.[1] Using a similar methodology, a study for the Physicians for a National Health…
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The Problem of Unintended Consequences: How Good Intentions Often Lead to Perverse Effects »

Ideal health insurance is often said to be health insurance with no deductible or co-payment, making medical care essentially free at the point of delivery. Yet, if patients have no out-of-pocket costs, their economic incentive will be to overuse the system, essentially consuming healthcare until the last amount obtained has a value that approaches…
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How the Tax System Fosters Big Government »

When goods and services are free, people tend to consume more of them. Does this maxim apply to government spending and taxation? In other words, when people can receive federal benefits without paying taxes, do they demand more of them even if they’re funded by deficits? That possibility troubled John C. Calhoun. In 1810,…
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Reproduce or Pay a Tax: The Next ObamaCare »

ObamaCare is about correcting for the “problem” that some people are not buying insurance. Rather than identify needy individuals and pay for their insurance, the bill mandates that everyone buy insurance that meets the prescription of government health czars (not too much, not too little, but “just right”). The government argues the following: by…
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