2. Many people complained about different things about it, and most felt that it encouraged out-of-wedlock births, since more babies meant more money/benefits; it was cheap!!! Two Kinds of Welfare Politics 11. A proposed programs will generally pass if the benefits are less than their costs and if political elites believe that it is legitimate, but Social Security initially gave each person who qualified more money that each person who paid actually paid. 1. This was okay, though, since at that time, the rate was small anyway, and there were so many young people that they could offset the cost and pay for Social Security. 2. Some people even vastly underestimated the costs, but today, the situation is different, since there are more elderly people than ever, and the number of people who can pay for Social Security and Medicare is starting to be not enough. 12. With Social Security and Medicare, the argument was over their legitimacy, and whether they were authorized by the Constitution and/or really needed that bad that the gov’t had to pay for them. 1. Since the creation of Social Security and Medicare, it is rare that Congress does not increase benefits, since Congressmen want to be re-elected, and what better to get votes than to give people more benefits? 13. These days, there are less and less people to pay for Social Security, people are growing older, and health care costs have shot up, so Social Security and Medicare are now in danger of being illegitimate. 14. Proposals that are in client politics will generally pass if the costs aren’t that great and the beneficiaries are “deserving.” 1. The AFDC still doesn’t cost that much, but its recipients are no longer being considered “deserving,” and instead of money, people now favor a service strategy (training people to work in certain jobs and giving them skills) over an income strategy (giving them money). 15. Some argue that welfare actually increases poverty because it’s easier and more attractive to go on it. Towards a New Welfare Politics 16. Majoritarian politics problem: who will pay; how much will they pay? Client politics problem: who should benefit; how much should they be served? 17. In 1981, people feared that Social Security would soon run out of money, and to solve this, eventually, a non-partisan group raised SS taxes, slightly
decreased benefits, and increased the minimum age that people had to be to get benefits from 65 to 67 years old. 18. To solve runaway Medicare costs, Congress has tried to regulate what doctors and hospitals can and cannot charge onto Medicare, but some argue that price controls won’t work. 1. One way was to have people pay a flat fee no matter what the injury, whether it be a broken bone or a brain tumor, and hospitals could pay for more expensive operations themselves and/or pocket the money on cheaper services, depending on the situation.
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