05 May

Posts more irritating than Farmville

You're seeing it all the time today, if you're a Facebook user.

  1. No, not the Farmville requests that you think your friend personally sent you, but instead were sent to everyone on their friend list
  2. No, not the seemingly weekly changes they make to your profile page
  3. No, it's not even the "Hey, I checked in here!" posts

Rather, it's those posts, political in nature, that some people think are cool to post. You've probably seen them in one form or another:

Leftists: "Tell Republicans: Keep your hands off Medicare" (article follows when one clicks the link)

Rightists: "No New Taxes Democrats, Cut Spending!" (article follows when one clicks the link)

Activists: "blah blah ID checks blah blah Domestic Partner blah blah Illegal Aliens blah blah"


First off, when someone posts something cool on Facebook, you can click the little "Like" button, and then everyone that reads the person's post knows that you were fond of the message. However, when people post things so blindedly, like the examples above, there's no "Unlike" button. Actually, I didn't say that right -- I wouldn't be reaching for the "Unlike" button, I'm reaching for the "Ignorant" button. (for those not privy to Facebook, there is neither an "unlike" nor a "ignorant" button)

Second, over time, you know which posts come from whom. Uncle George posts the absurd "The hell they're going to tax me!" and Aunt Gertrude posts the "I earned those benefits, don't you cut them!" Both sides are either hard-core Republican or hard-core Democrat. They wouldn't dare vote for anything that the other party believes is true.

Me? I'm neither party. For voting, I sit down with a list of candidates and their viewpoints on each issue. I select the candidate who I agree with most, regardless of party, weighting the issues of course (because some things like guns just don't mean much to me). I've voted Democrat, Republican, Constitution, and Independent (but not those absurd, evil Socialists) Yes, I voted for Clinton... and others.

So when I see posts about not touching Medicare, and then see people commenting "No kidding, they're clueless" or "Yes! I hear ya!" or "I earned these benefits!", I cringe.

Yes, you're right. You did earn Medicare benefits. And you still WILL be getting Medicare benefits. They just won't be the exact benefits as they have been in the past. Just like Social Security! And before you start posting mudslinging comments on Facebook trying to bash the other side, you should stop, investigate and point at the real crux of the issue -- the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) approach.

Medicare Part A is considered PAYG, meaning that the system is not funded in advance. It is the future generations that fund previous generations' benefits. For example, the Medicare taxes collected from my paycheck do not get put in the government's savings account and saved for when I reach 65. Rather, they are going toward funding grandfather's hip surgery.

Without going into too much detail, our population growth isn't what it once was, which would have been enough to support your current Medicare benefits. Thus, without modifications to benefits, you're forced to either raise the Medicare tax or do what is done with Social Security -- raise the age which you can receive Medicare. If either of those two are options are your "solution", compound that solution every time there is a shortfall and see where that gets you.

Relying on future generations to fund the cost might have been the way to go back then, but isn't anymore. A CHANGE IS NEEDED.

And for all you extreme righties who say no new taxes of any sort -- go shove it. I understand your point on no new Federal increases, with how much money we give away to other countries and funding wars and all, but State money doesn't really get spent overseas. Roads need to be maintained. Kids need to be educated. Ziggy needs to feed his family (ha, sorry about that one).

Granted, yes, there are projects where the State doesn't make the best choices. However, we need to fund, at a minimum, the basic services provided by the State. If a State looks me in the eye and tells me a tax is required to do so, then so be it. But then if the economy recovers (which would be a revenue windfall to the State), reduce the tax back to where it was. (I know, stop your chuckling... someone would be honest enough to do that). Relying on the current tax rates to fund our necessary programs is not enough. A CHANGE IS NEEDED.

It's no wonder things don't get done at the capitol. You only have two parties, which have been molded to disagree on nearly every major topic. The only time things get resolved is at the deadline, where both sides cave in. But then, are the best choices ever made in those circumstances? (in my opinion, A CHANGE IS NEEDED here too)

But back to Facebook... it wouldn't be as much fun to post meaningful arguments... it's much more fun to throw mud, especially on Facebook where everyone is going to see it. And you'll get that self-satisfaction tingle when one of your friends chimes in, in support of your post, even though 500 of your other friends ignored it.

I've rolled my eyes and ignored these posts... always have... always will. Argue about these at the water cooler with your friends -- just keep it off Facebook.

Categories: Gripe