Why Are ‘Pensioners’ Now The Takers?


The other day The Pink Flamingo told a political colleague that one of these days we were going to star seeing the far right decide that senior citizens were such a drain on society that they should be denied medical treatment, social security and medicare. The bitter irony is that the extreme, far, libertarian right, who were the ones most upset about the non-existent death panels in Obamacare are the very ones our seniors and disabled vets should fear the most.

The op-ed that Ted Nugent did in the WTimes the other day exemplified this, by demanding drastic cuts to entitlements such as social security and medicare.  Something has happened to the right.  It is so out of control that the living are no longer sacred.  Sure, the “pre” born are sacrosanct, but, once the fetus is born, the right doesn’t give a damn what happens to the living.

“...The chained CPI is a big change that some Democrats and most Republicans are trying sell as something minor. The reality is that disabled veterans would see their benefits cut by $1,300-$2,260 a year by the time they reach age 65. Republicans are trying to create more revenue by reducing the level of benefits for disabled veterans. If implemented, the chained CPI would push Americans who already in or teetering towards poverty deeper into economic distress.

The idea of taking money away from people who may already have limitations on potential earnings and giving it to wealthy people at the top is what Republican economic philosophy is all about. Congressional Republicans like Boehner would rather protect millionaires and billionaires than their promise to the men and women who have literally spilled their blood for this country….”

The same is beginning to hold true with anyone who is not a “maker” (read billionaire).  It doesn’t matter if they are the biggest bunch of entitled brats the world has ever known.  They are the “makers” simply because of their wealth.  It doesn’t matter how unethical the process, how many lives are ruined or businesses destroyed.  They are the “makers”.  Everyone else is a “taker”.  Takers should have no rights, according to Nugent, and echoed by his followers.  Takers don’t even have the right to vote, because they will vote to raise taxes on the “makers”.

Crooks and Liars

Gerald McEntee wrote:

“...Pension payments account for less than 4% of the average state’s spending, while the annual pension for AFSCME retirees averages $19,000. Critics of the pension system conveniently ignore the fact that our members contribute to their pensions with every paycheck, and that more than 85% of their pension benefit is a result of those contributions and investment income.

Current challenges are not a result of excessive benefits. For every story about someone who gamed the system to obtain an unfair payout, there are tens of thousands of workers whose annual pensions are $10,000 or less.

Let’s be clear: Underfunded pension systems resulted from unprecedented losses of asset values caused by reckless behavior on Wall Street and the refusal of some politicians to make their required payments. As recently as 2007, pension funds had, collectively, 96% of the assets required to meet future expenditures. But Wall Street drove America’s economy and retirement security into a ditch. And now both pension and 401(k) accounts alike must be rebuilt.

Pension funds can be replenished over time at a modest cost. It is projected that states must increase pension spending from about 4% of their budgets to just 5% in the future. Surely, this is manageable….”

According to Forbes, those men and women who are now on social security and medicaid are now takers.  They live off society, worthless pieces of living breathing crap, sucking life from the ‘makers’. Doesn’t matter that the specific group of ‘takers’ who are destroying our country literally gave life to the ‘makers’, they are worthless, useless drains on society.

“...Two factors determine whether a state makes this elite list of fiscal hellholes. The first is whether it has more takers than makers. A taker is someone who draws money from the government, as an employee, pensioner or welfare recipient. A maker is someone gainfully employed in the private sector.

Let us give those takers the benefit of our sympathy and assume that every single one of them is a deserving soul. This person is either genuinely needy or a dedicated public servant or the recipient of a well-earned pension.

But what happens when these needy types outnumber the providers? Taxes get too high. Prosperous citizens decamp. Employers decamp. That just makes matters worse for the taxpayers left behind.

Let’s say you are a software entrepreneur with 100 on your payroll. If you stay in San Francisco, your crew will support 139 takers. In Texas, they would support only 82. Austin looks very attractive.

Ranked on the taker/maker ratio, our 11 death spiral states range from New Mexico, with 1.53 takers for every maker, down to Ohio, with a 1-to-1 ratio.

The taker count is the number of state and local government workers plus the number of people on Medicaid plus 1 for each $100,000 of unfunded pension liabilities. Sources: the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and a study of state worker pensions done in 2009 by two academics, Joshua Rauh and Rovert Novy-Marx. Professor Rauh estimates that the shortage in pension funding is on average a third higher today….”

It’s even worse than this.  According to FOX, the “takers” are cops, firefighters, EMS, government workers, vets, soldiers, anyone who receives money from the government.  They are, like I said, human crap, a drain on the wealthy.   If, according to those who pander to the wealthy, something isn’t done, the wealthy will take their money and go elsewhere.


But – something like Walmart is a “maker” no matter that the greatest single entitlement drain is Walmart.  Is it included a “maker” or taker after the fire in Bangladesh, where 100 employees died because they were too damn cheap to finance fire safety improvements?  Guess when there are so many “takers” in the world, their lives are nothing.

There is something serious going on here, and it is terribly disturbing.  Ronald Reagan once stated that Social Security was not to be considered part of the debt.  Neither should Medicare.  If this were still true, we would not be looking at such a financial mess, would we?

“...Reagan said, “Social Security, let’s lay it to rest once and for all… Social security has nothing to do with the deficit. Social Security is totally funded by the payroll tax levied on employer and employee. If you reduce the outgo of Social Security, that money would not go into the general fund or reduce the deficit. It would go into the Social Security Trust Fund. So Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or raising or lowering the deficit.”

Why are we still discussing Social Security as relevant to the deficit, and why are the very people who advocate against Social Security the same people who claim to revere Ronald Reagan? We know y’all hate the social safety net, but can we at least agree to deal in real math?..”


I don’t know about you, but The Pink Flamingo finds it rather insulting for people like her parents to now be considered Takers.  I’ve been doing a little dyslexic calculating.  My father is 89.  To make thing easy, since I know what his social security is, and what my mother’s is, I’m going to round out and say that they get $1200 a month.  Please, tell me how a person lives on that.  They can’t.  I know.  I do their bills.

Extending that amount over a twenty-five year period, it amounts to my parents having “Taken” about $360K from the Feds.  That’s not much, when you think about it.  Especially, when you calculate out how much they’ve paid in income taxes over the years, I defy anyone to classify them as takers.

My mother was so upset, several years, over what she was required to pay in income taxes, I had to write the check and let her sign it.  One year she paid about $400K.  Another it was $250K.  During the 1980s, she paid in income taxes, well over a million bucks.

That’s just my mother.  Over the years my father has paid in what we’ve calculated to be close to $7 million dollars.  For the two of them, that’s close to $8,000,000.  Would Ted Nugent like to define them as takers because they’ve had about $360K in Social Security?  Sure, you need to add Medicare to that.  But, anyone who tells me that my parents, who have been part of the Greatest Generation, the back bone of the modern world are takers, well, I’d like to kick you in the shins.

Go ahead, make my day.  Call people like my parents the takers.  If you do, it will show me what an ignorant lout, jerk, and brainwashed libertarian you are.  You are the one who needs help.

No wonder this country is so screwed up!

The more I think about this, the angrier it makes me.  My father owned a small business for nearly 40 years.  He paid millions in taxes.  He employed people.  He contributed to the community.  To have some little piss-ant like Ted Nugent and libertarians like him now refer to people like my parents as “takers” tells me just want is wrong with society – they are the problems, not our senior citizens.


2 thoughts on “Why Are ‘Pensioners’ Now The Takers?

  1. Senior citizens were not considered takers while they were paying into the system. It was required too. It was not optional. One thing I’ve learned over the years is to beware of any government benefit or entitlement. This was especially true after Katrina. They want you to pay some or all of it back at a later date. The government spends money like compulsive gamblers, and everytime they run into a deficit they always say it is the people on Medicare and Social Security who are bankrupting the country. We have a very uncertain financial future today. If I were a young person, I would start investing in my retirement with my first job and I wouldn’t count on the reliability of the government for anything.

  2. Why do I get the impression that most of these chest thumping “liberty lovers” who are so fond of “self reliance” will be bleating about the necessity of keeping the social contract and taking care of “the least of these” when it comes their turn to be in that category?

    Social Darwinism always looks more attractive when you feel yourself to be standing on the top rungs…but it might be good to remind these people of the old folk wisdom: Here today, gone tomorrow as Fortune turns her wheel ;)

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