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32 states have laws that require adult children to be financially responsibility for their impoverished parents. There are no laws that require financially stable older parents to be responsible for their impoverished adult children. Why is it easier for adult children to receive social program handouts at taxpayer expense and not the elderly?

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Debralee - it's an interesting question. I saw an episode of one of those intervention shows a while ago where the distraught parent of an adult child (the mom was quite wealthy and had been supporting her son) was being encouraged to cut him off financially and "let him hit bottom." The thought occurred to me that what she was really being encouraged to do was "wash your hands of him and let the taxpayers take care of him."
It's true, when we arrive at our 'golden years' whether we're very wealthy or have little money and few assets, the government provides us with income and comprehensive health care. When we're younger and struggling to be productive members of society, getting help is nearly impossible without impoverishing yourself to the point where it's almost impossible to recover.
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My point was that fidicial responsibilities should not be for just financially stable adult children of indigent parents, but also financial stable parents of adult indigent children. Make the laws fair and equitable.
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igloo, thank you. You wrote it so clearly. I checked and SS is an entitlement program, so I have to change my thoughts on that.
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Isn't, Jessie....we are all right and we are all wrong. How it's been explained to me is that Medicare, Medicaid and SS are all federal entitlement programs but they have 3 different structures to the entitlement:
- SS for retiree's is an investment based entitlement - your "pay-out" is dependent on how much you paid into or invested. So the very, very elderly, like my mid90's mom, get about $ 600 - 900 a month as their investment is based on their working years of the 1940 - 1970's when wages were lower. While those recent retiree's can get double or triple SS since their wages were much higher. So they have more investment dollars for the base payout. If you paid into the system by & large you get an entitlement or do it based on your spouse.
- Medicare is an umbrella medical and hospitalization entitlement. Also now it includes a prescription drug program. Umbrella in that all the rules are based on the same federal standard and payout for health care based on community standards. You get it once you become 66 and have the payment for it deducted from your SS check and you cannot opt out of Medicare.
- Medicaid is a needs based entitlement program for the very poor and although it is federal, Medicaid is adminstered by each state under their state rules and laws. Medicaid requires re-certification or renewal. About 60% of all NH residents nationwide have their states Medicaid program paying for their care.
None of these are an ideal system but every day I am so grateful that these programs are there for my mom and all the other elderly and others at-need.

to DebraLee - Filial responsiblity laws are rarely enforced. I'm remembering that they have been enforced in PA but those situations were that family were held responsible for the elder's NH debt as they did not submit the documentation needed for Medicaid and they signed off on being finanically responsible person at the time of admission.
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If living with dementia has taught me anything is that some things are just not worth arguing. :D
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p.s. I think you're reacting to the politically-charged definition of "entitlement program." The simple, dictionary definition is: a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group. Objectively speaking, Social Security IS an entitlement program, no matter what spin the propaganda peddlers put on it to get the electorate all stirred up and irrational.
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JessieBelle: Yes, the money in the Social Security budget is "owned by us." Every penny of federal money (whether it's in the defense budget or the public programs budget) is "owned by us." How any fund of the federal government is administered or disbursed is determined by law and laws change. Again, it's not a savings account and no individual has "points" in it. The way the money is currently collected and paid out is according to current law. It can change. It HAS changed and it will change again, because there's no way to sustain the current projected pay out with fewer workers paying in. It's simple math.
When Social Security was designed many years ago, the idea was that every worker would be taxed, but not every person would collect. In 1940, only 54% of adult men could expect to live to age 65. By 2000, 72% could. And, people collect longer now than they did then. It's not sustainable in the long term.
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Isn'tEasy, SS is not an entitlement program. Money in the SS pot is an accumulation of what has been added in the past and the present. This money was to be invested and not borrowed from. In the 1980s, the federal government began borrowing from the fund by buying treasury notes, so much of the fund now is in treasury notes. The notes in SS is one of the largest parts of our national debt. Imagine what would happen to the US budget if SSA called in all those treasury notes at once. The fund itself is owned by the people who paid into it. People who worked the longest and made the most money have the most "points" up to the maximum allowable. These points reflect their investment in the fund.

There are two funds within SS, and the programs draw money from these funds. Retirement money for people and their dependents come primarily from the largest fund. Money for disability and survivors are drawn from both funds. I don't remember the percentages right now.

But SS is not an entitlement program. The fund is owned by us.
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TexasTom: You seem to share most of America's misconceptions about social programs. For starter, old folks can't collect what's typically known as "welfare" and there's no asset or income test for social security, so elderly "millionaires" collect a social security check each month just like elderly poor people. And, here's insult to injury...the rich guy got to stop paying into it each year he was working because he hit the cap. The poor guy paid a portion of each and every pay check.
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I didn't count SS disability payments, that number includes strictly SS for the elderly. So, slackers who feign disability aren't part of this discussion. Absolutely, disability payments are a big part of the SS budget, but it's a separate program and I didn't include it.
As for the old "they paid into it" trope...just not how it works. Social Security payments for the elderly come from payroll taxes on current workers. It's NOT a savings account that you contribute to while you're working. It NEVER has been. It has ALWAYS been an entitlement program, there was just no asset qualification (and that's got to change).

Obviously, we should all save for retirement. Some can't or don't and therefore, enter the non-income earning years with little or no money to support themselves. When there were multiple baby boomer workers to support each elderly person, there was plenty of money to make payments to everyone, regardless of their financial status. Now, there are not enough workers to support EVERY elderly person (and there will be even fewer as the baby boomers age), so some criteria will have to be used to determine who gets Social Security. So, who should get a check, a rich person who has plenty of money to support themselves or a poor person who does not? It's that simple.
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It was just printed in my AMAC Mag that the people retiring now will be the first ones to receive less in monthly payments from Social Security than they paid in. But there will be plenty of people that have not paid a penny into any Social Program that will draw it for life and refuse to better themselves. I am not referring to the truly handicapped. I paid for my SS check and Medicare. It was taken out od my paycheck every week, two weeks or twice a month. Depending how I was being paid at the time. And I seriously don't think that there are very many millionaires drawing SS. The ones that do. Guess what ? The paid into SS also. Let the young people do what they are clamoring about bowing out of the mandatory SS. Let them set up their own retirement accounts. Then lets see how many are on Welfare and Medicaid when the time comes for them draw a retirement. We need to help take care of "our citizens" that can not take care of themselves and tell the others "to crap or get off the pot" get a job and be productive and stop wanting the Government to carry you from the cradle to the grave.
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I'd like to point out, as well, that the majority of the elderly paid into SS for all of the years they worked, sometimes 50 years or more. I'd say they earned it fair and square.
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I just found one site that had a breakdown off payments from the SSA in 2008. It was far less than half (31%) that went to disability and survivors. Still it is a big chunk of the SS budget.
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IsntEasy, you make some good points, but I do have to point out that a little less than half (from what I've read) of social security payments are made to people less than retirement age for disability or when their parents/spouses have died. I haven't checked with anything official to get what the real numbers are here. Disability is big in the US and supports many law firms in cities. The firms dedicate their time to getting SSI and SSDI for people younger than reitrement age.
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First, those laws requiring adult children to be responsible for their impoverished parents are rarely enforced and should be taken off the books.

Your question doesn't clearly reveal your point. Are you suggesting that the elderly should be required by law to take care of their adult children? That's an interesting question for debate. It would certainly have an impact on parenting – maybe for the better!

Or, are you suggesting that the elderly are somehow deprived of their fair share of tax dollars because the money is lavished upon the younger poor?? Because that's crazy talk.

The facts are that the biggest, most costly, taxpayer "handouts" (your word, not mine) by far are Medicare and Social Security for the elderly. The tax dollars "handed out" to younger citizens are minuscule by comparison.
Tax "handouts" to elderly (Medicare and Social Security) = $1.20 TRILLION
Tax "handouts" to children and families (Food Stamps, School Lunches, "Welfare", Children's Health Insurance Program, etc.) = $.09 TRILLION

I'm not suggesting that there shouldn't be a safety net for the elderly poor. On the contrary, I think that it should be much more substantial than it is currently. However, sending Social Security checks and Medicare cards to elderly millionaires at the expense of poor children and struggling families is disgusting. It's clear evidence of how our laws are made and who they're made to favor.
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