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Gay Marriage


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#991    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 12:46 AM

View PostDr. D, on 09 September 2012 - 12:27 AM, said:

Hi BM, good to talk with you again.

First of all, the American Psychological Association has been criticized by its own members for its generalizations in identifying the problem of pedophilia and having two consecutive gay presidents has not helped the situation.

But let’s talk about the Catholic Church scandals.  First of all, 81% of all the victims were boys which should provide a leading clue.  4,392 priests were accused of molesting or raping about 7,000 children who reported the incidents.  There is no doubt the number is much higher.

Are girls molested and raped by heterosexual nut cases?  Yes.  We can go as far back in history as we want and we will find cases.  But the greater questions is if society is doing anything to prevent those things from happening.  Are there programs for the victim and assailant?  Nothing can justify what was done but we must also examine corrective measures.

Donald Cozzen tells us that up to 58% of all priests are gay.  When 1,854 priests were surveyed, 44% reported that the community of priests had a “homosexual subculture.”  The gay activist, Elizabeth Stuart, states that at least a third of all priests are gay.  A 1980s report showed that priests were dying of AIDS four times more than in the general population.   Is it surprising that 81% of the victims were boys?

Father Bernard Lynch wrote in his book, ‘If it Wasn’t Love, Sex and God,’ “It is my belief that we were and are seriously arrested in our own psychosexual emotional development. As you know, unfortunately [with] a lot of priests who are guilty of the abuse of children, it's ephebophilia [sexual attraction to adolescents, usually aged 15 to 19], not pedophilia [attraction to prepubescent children]. In other words, they start off where they're left off. They start abusing kids who were their age when they entered seminary.”

A member of the clergy quoted by the magazine Panorama (July 12, 2010) put the proportion of gay priests in the Italian capital at 98%.  The Boston Globe reported as early as 2004, “Evidence suggests there are a significant number of gay men in the priesthood, and many homosexuals among the laity. The question of how the church should respond to gays within its ranks.”

What effort was made to prevent this monumental tragedy?  Priests were shuttled to other churches and their crimes concealed.  Cardinal Lay and the bishop convicted yesterday have paid the price for their complicity but the homosexual priests are still out there to prey on more.

I will say it again.  It is not that SOME gays commit crimes and that SOME heterosexuals commit crimes, it is the disproportionate numbers that cause concern.

Hey Doc...

I'll cut to the chase   ..........  I do not  ( and will not )  view sick  paedophiles as gay or straight...I view them as evil people  who chose any child  because they are defenceless and cannot fight back, not to mention cannot understand what is happening to them...I could narrow it all down to - Mental illness, but not a sexuality...Considering the fact I have seen a few documentaries where they claim they were victims of the same abuse and it was history repeating itself... and others claim it was due to the fact they didn't hold interest in adult sex...Summing it all up, these paedophiles had few reasons as to why they did what they did and why many killed their victims  as murder was usually the end resort for many victims ..but none of it pointed to a sexuality of any kind ..it pointed more into the direction of a mental illness...  Kind of like when a man is caught mounting a farm animal..you just cannot get your head around it.. not a sexuality.. just mental !!

Watching Sky News one night   couple years ago  Two paedophiles  ( two brothers ) turned themselves over to the authorities begging  and pleading  to get help, fearing they will abduct children soon and they felt scared they will do it causing harm... They begged for help... From what I heard, these two men were once victims of a history of sex abuse growing up...Again this all leans to a mental illness in my opinion..... I fail to link any of it to a sexuality  as they do not have a gender preference...

Anyway Doc...talking about paedophiles makes my skin crawl.. so I kept this short and care not to continue it.. I will however gladly speak with you about Gay marriage ( the topic itself )  IF you are interested lol.. If not..  okie dokie then.. :D

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 09 September 2012 - 12:50 AM.

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#992    Dr. D

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 12:49 AM

View PostBeckys_Mom, on 09 September 2012 - 12:46 AM, said:

Hey Doc...

I'll cut to the chase   ..........  I do not  ( and will not )  view sick  paedophiles as gay or straight...I view them as evil people  who chose any child  because they are defenceless and cannot fight back, not to mention cannot understand what is happening to them...I could narrow it all down to - Mental illness, but not a sexuality...Considering the fact I have seen a few documentaries where they claim they were victims of the same abuse and it was history repeating itself... and others claim it was due to the fact they didn't hold interest in adult sex...Summing it all up, these paedophiles had few reasons as to why they did what they did and why many killed their victims  as murder was usually the end resort for many victims ..but none of it pointed to a sexuality of any kind ..it pointed more into the direction of a mental illness...  Kind of like when a man is caught mounting a farm animal..you just cannot get your head around it.. not a sexuality.. just mental !!

Watching Sky News one night   couple years ago  Two paedophiles  ( father and son ) turned themselves over to the authorities begging  and pleading  to get help, fearing they will abduct children soon and they felt scared they will do it causing harm... They begged for help... From what I heard, these two men were once victims of a history of sex abuse growing up...Again this all leans to a mental illness in my opinion..... I fail to link any of it to a sexuality  as they do not have a gender preference...

Anyway Doc...talking about paedophiles makes my skin crawl.. so I kept this short and care not to continue it.. I will however gladly speak with you about Gay marriage ( the topic itself )  IF you are interested lol.. If not..  okie dokie then.. :D

By the way, I'm mad at you!  I was in Dublin two years ago and sent an e-mail you never answered!  But I forgive you because I will always remember your wonderful letter to Maria Fernanda.


#993    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 12:53 AM

View PostDr. D, on 09 September 2012 - 12:49 AM, said:

By the way, I'm mad at you!  I was in Dublin two years ago and sent an e-mail you never answered!  But I forgive you because I will always remember your wonderful letter to Maria Fernanda.

Email?  I never saw any email Doc.. and trust me, if I had of seen an email from yourself, I would have went all out to read and reply..   PM me and let me know what email you used..If you get a moment..  Cheers

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#994    Mr Walker

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 01:32 AM

View PostbLu3 de 3n3rgy, on 08 September 2012 - 01:20 PM, said:

Not challenging what you are saying, because i don't think anyone can argue against the importance of role models fullstop and not just with gender but generation as well. The role grandparents play for example could possibly be more important.imo. Children who grow up with strong grandparent role models, have an added bonus, a deeper sense of belonging, and a whole other dimension to who and what their parents are about. Children learn a lot from watching how their parents interact with their parents and so on - It provides a child with a real and strong sense of family/pack hierarchy and understanding as to where their place is.  There is a true sense of security that can help offset any natural fear of losing a parent and having to fend for self which is the childs egos biggest fear, or dysfunction that many children experience in feeling like they have to be the parent of their parent! I'm not sure exactly yet how to word it but there is just something powerful for a child to know and witness in the family hierarchy, that someone is there for the best interests of them and their parents too. That someone is looking after their parents and that they get to witness their parents also caring for their parents.

Grand parents tend to play lucid roles and slot in as needed and if played right along with what the parents do or don't do, can counter balance things. They can be the role of the best friend - emotional support when the parent can't get away with playing compromising their authority. To the role of the alpha educator or "wise one" - for a child to witness their parent having a healthy rapport with their parent, is all part of the blueprint for healthy relationships ?   I find there is a lot to be said for the role grand parents play in raising children too. many cultures do that and allow the elder gen's to have massive influence and authority over child care.

So children who grow up with out grandparents can suffer from similar issues. I have seen that first hand, and i can think of some nice examples personally, where those who have the strongest sense of family and place, happen to have extremely strong grand parent role model/ influence in their life. As if a elder matriarch of the family really does make a family behave like a family unit and stay in touch. Where as those who don't, get lazy or fall out of staying in touch and where it is implied that no one can bothered to gel together within a family, what is that saying to the children? As children do not understand it in the same way or realise that patterns of laziness can and do just happen.

So is it not so much about gender, or who is representing the family structure, but more about the numbers of who is playing what role and across what generation.

I'm just interested in how society has got to this point in such short a time for it is not that long in the grander scheme of things that children and childhoods were even given such presidence. The concept of childhood is as new a thing as Disneyland. Disneyland prob invented the fairytale childhood Lol.  But i am told and history books support this, that until fairly recently children were very much seen and not heard, the so called traditional family unit that society tries to imprint from,was this -  the role fathers played were nil, surprisingly. Males had very little to do with child raising, they certainly did not entertain or play with their children or relate to them on any social or emotional level. It was the females job of the family, including older female siblings to help raise and socialise the children. Children didn't have childhoods and they we were not treated like they were supposed to have this innocence until a certain age. I'm not sure entirely where that concept comes from - Disney again ?

Middle class and upper class families as my family were, told stories of how the Mother didn't even have that much to do with children either, they were raised by nannies and maids.  all female again, no male figures. And then from a young age sent to boarding school - as young as 5, 6. The boarding school took over for most of that with the children only going home so many times a year for holidays. Again primarily female in the educating and childcare roles. Boarding schools were not mixed but gender specific.  In working class families, if children were not going to school, they were working. So looking back into history male "input" has always been very weak, barely there. Why should it make a difference intodays society if males have input or not ? or worded more correctly, why should it matter if the role models are both female and male - isn't the important thing that children just have the role models regardless if they are all female or male or a balance of both, just as long as they are present ?
Lots of good points in here. Back even further young children of the gentry and above were sent out to other homes to learn to be ladies or squires and only saw their parents rarely. The idea of childhood continuing onto late teens is a product of free and universal education which came into effect in the western world from the late 1800s onwards (In 1870 i australia) The idea was that the new industries and commerce of the industrial age required peole to be educated to a reasonable standard In the napoleonic wars and industrial revolution children served as oficers o warships from about the age of 12 and worked in factories or mines even younger than this.

Access to both genders is important in the construction of identity We learn how to be, and create who we are, from our childhood experinces. If a child has close strong role models of both genders they will have a beter chance to be a more comlete human being.Also humans have to learn appropriate responses A boy deprived of women will have trouble learning about and understanding women, His marriage will be more difficult as a result. A boy deprived of "intimate" contact with adult men will not learnt the ways and customs, speech, or behaviour of men, and will have trouble fitting into a male society as an adult. Finally there are the skills of men and women based on their biogical and genetic diffeernces. These are best learned from contact with adults of both genders. Women have better pattern recognition colour vision near sight and attention to detail. They are also better at multi tasking. Men  are more direct in single tasking more efficient in a one task. They have better long sight  and motion detection, as well as greater strength stamina etc.

In my childhhod this translated into my mother and grandmother teaching me sewing, washing, cooking, reading, writing, entertaining,  etc. My father taught me to design and build, to take my creative part and use it to plan, construct, and complete a task.  He taught me how to turn my imagination into practical play; searching for buried  treasures, exploring, hunting, trapping and shooting for food, building and flying model aeroplanes and all sorts of vehicular devices.
  Of course some of this was culturally based, but  both were experts in their fields. Neither had time or opportunity in their own lives to learn the other's areas of expertise, even if they had been suited to it. As their biological child, I had the  genetic abilty to do all the things each of them did, and between the two of them, they taught me how to.
I take your point about grandparents, and raise you one. I am a grand uncle and a great granduncle. I am involved with many of my great nieces and nephews including one living with us now. I do my best to pass on my knolwedge skills and attitudes  to them, to give them the same advantages I have enjoyed all my life.
Modern children have been identified as lacking a sense of personal and cultural  place an d space. They have no"extended family '" or tribe of which they are apart MAny dont even have a biologicla father or mother in their family. Many have no, or very limited, contacts with biological grandparents aunts or uncles. They are lost and leaderless.

This has great and negative social effects all around the western world. It is a large cause of the sense of depression, loneliness, lack of belonging/identity, and suicide, among young westerners.

Edited by Mr Walker, 09 September 2012 - 02:05 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#995    Mr Walker

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 01:49 AM

View PostTaylor Reints, on 08 September 2012 - 06:27 PM, said:

The legalization of gay marriage would have the same effect as the legalization of interracial marriage had in the late 1960s. This is about equal rights, and I just don't see why you can't marry whomever or whatever you're in love in with. (As long as the two parties consent, are over eighteen years of age, etc.)



How do laws against gay marriage "regulate" or "protect"?
There is NO biological compaison between interracial sex and gay sex or the consequences of either, therefore no comparison between interracial marriages and gay mariages. This is  furphy, possibly deliberately designed to make those concerned about gay sex/marriage sound like racists.

The state regulates all marriges because it also gives benefits to, and places legal obligations on, married couples. For example as a married teacher I get a govt house  with low rent. I get several thousands of dollars of extra income for having a dependent spouse,(ie one without her own income)  and many thousands more in tax benefits. I can divide my superannuation and my  income to maximise pension and other govt benefits which I canot do if  if i am not living in some form of govt approved relationship. If i left my wife the state would determine how our assets and income were to be divided. And if we had children, how  their care and support would be arranged.

Edited by Mr Walker, 09 September 2012 - 01:50 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#996    Timonthy

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 12:39 PM

View PostBeckys_Mom, on 09 September 2012 - 12:46 AM, said:

Hey Doc...

I'll cut to the chase   ..........  I do not  ( and will not )  view sick  paedophiles as gay or straight...
I'm not sure how this thread got here, and the topic should have never had this many pages, but of course there are homosexual and heterosexual pedophiles.

There does need to be a distinction. For any crime, you want the most specific profile available to catch the criminal.

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#997    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 06:27 PM

View PostTimonthy, on 09 September 2012 - 12:39 PM, said:

I'm not sure how this thread got here, and the topic should have never had this many pages, but of course there are homosexual and heterosexual pedophiles.

I don't think there are, and sex abuse is not a sexuality.. I peg paedophilia as a mental illness.. You can peg it what you wish, as long as you don't want me to agree with you !!

As for how this thread went from  gay marriage to peado crimes and who does it more?  I have no idea who or why they derailed it to that... it is silly

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#998    White Crane Feather

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 04:12 PM

View PostBeckys_Mom, on 09 September 2012 - 06:27 PM, said:



I don't think there are, and sex abuse is not a sexuality.. I peg paedophilia as a mental illness.. You can peg it what you wish, as long as you don't want me to agree with you !!

As for how this thread went from  gay marriage to peado crimes and who does it more?  I have no idea who or why they derailed it to that... it is silly
BM if paedophilia is a mental illness, then the perpetrators are not responsible for their actions.  I don't think it's a mental illness. I think you pegged it earlier. Kids are just smaller and easier to manipulate, so the morally lacking and narcissistic target them. I don't think it's a sexuality either, I seriously doubt paedophiles have an identity with their preferences. And they are both hetero and homo. To me they are just moral despots and basically sexual theifs.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#999    Euphorbia

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 05:47 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 10 September 2012 - 04:12 PM, said:

BM if paedophilia is a mental illness, then the perpetrators are not responsible for their actions.  I don't think it's a mental illness. I think you pegged it earlier. Kids are just smaller and easier to manipulate, so the morally lacking and narcissistic target them. I don't think it's a sexuality either, I seriously doubt paedophiles have an identity with their preferences. And they are both hetero and homo. To me they are just moral despots and basically sexual theifs.

There are many types of mental illness. Chronic depression is a mental illness and people that have it would still be responsible for their crimes. It needs to be a type of mental illness where the person is unaware that what they're doing is wrong or that they are delusional. Schizophrenia would fit the bill for this but pedophiles know exactly what they are doing and certainly know it is against the law.

I think Beckys_Mom is correct!

Edited by Euphorbia, 10 September 2012 - 06:28 PM.

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#1000    White Crane Feather

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:45 AM

View PostEuphorbia, on 10 September 2012 - 05:47 PM, said:



There are many types of mental illness. Chronic depression is a mental illness and people that have it would still be responsible for their crimes. It needs to be a type of mental illness where the person is unaware that what they're doing is wrong or that they are delusional. Schizophrenia would fit the bill for this but pedophiles know exactly what they are doing and certainly know it is against the law.

I think Beckys_Mom is correct!
It wouldn't be the first time.

Still, i doubt it. It seems as if it's more just cowardly narcissistic behavior,

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#1001    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:21 AM

View PostSeeker79, on 10 September 2012 - 04:12 PM, said:

BM if paedophilia is a mental illness, then the perpetrators are not responsible for their actions.  I don't think it's a mental illness. I think you pegged it earlier. Kids are just smaller and easier to manipulate, so the morally lacking and narcissistic target them. I don't think it's a sexuality either, I seriously doubt paedophiles have an identity with their preferences. And they are both hetero and homo. To me they are just moral despots and basically sexual theifs.

An example - When a father can take his little girl ( the little girl who relies on her dad to protect her )  away and sexually molest her, hurting her and messing the little girl up for life, that is not a loving father, it is not considered the norm, it is mental,  and the little girl  ( if she survives ) would likely be messed up for life. Some have over time beaten their kids as they rape them and threaten if they tell, they will die, that to me is a mental illness and one that they do not care to get help with.. they like it too much...
A father who does this cannot be considered normal, nor loving.( no loving parent would want to do such a thing ) ....all of these sick actions  in my opinion is a sickness one of which those that do it to hurt and sometimes kill their victims know exactly what it is they are doing is wrong, and like many criminals who like to do wrong, just want to do it and not ever get caught...That is messed up .  
The others who not only find it easy to sexually molest either their own kids  or those who abduct other kids, usually will murder the child too and they keep going until caught. ( rape and murder - two crimes in one ) ..  I cannot class it as a sexuality... Some will struggle with this illness and fear seeking help, while others will not care and keep going until caught..

I came across this article recently...

Pedophilia is a paraphilia that involves an abnormal interest in children. ...A paraphilia is a disorder that is characterized by recurrent intense sexual urges and sexually arousing fantasies generally involving: nonhuman objects; the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one's partner (not merely simulated); or animals, children, or other nonconsenting persons. Pedophilia is also a psychosexual disorder in which the fantasy or actual act of engaging in sexual activity with prepubertal children is the preferred or exclusive means of achieving sexual excitement and gratification. It may be directed toward children of the same sex or children of the other sex. Some pedophiles are attracted to both boys and girls. Some are attracted only to children, while others are attracted to adults as well as to children.
Pedophilia is defined by mental health professionals as a mental disorder, but the American legal system defines acting on a pedophilic urge as a criminal act.

Read more: Pedophilia - children, causes, DSM, functioning, therapy, adults, person, people http://www.minddisor...b#ixzz269jxHnCN

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 11 September 2012 - 10:40 AM.

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#1002    Frank Merton

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:57 AM

My word how the world has gotten better -- and people nevertheless despair of the future.  Freedom and equality are spreading, bit by bit.


#1003    Frank Merton

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:59 AM

I've been reading a few think-pieces in newspapers about why attitudes about gays have changed so much so fast.  I think it is the internet.  People meet gay men and women here who are open, something that use to be never happened in real life.  The arguments about the issue can be presented and the biases refuted, and good sense begins to happen.


#1004    euroninja

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:23 AM

Some of my gay friends would only get married if would get the same benefits as straight marriage. Many are dancing around the social security issue. No one wants to talk about the money side of it because it makes it too real. Social security or bust.

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#1005    euroninja

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:37 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 08 September 2012 - 07:21 AM, said:

I am saying gay marriage will only prove succesful if it creates a nett economic benefit and not a liability.
http://online.wsj.co...2094040414.html


Here's the article.........

Stress Rises on Social Security
Report Says Program Will Exhaust Reserves Three Years Earlier Than Expected


By DAMIAN PALETTA

Social Security, which pays retirement and disability benefits to 56 million Americans, will exhaust its reserves by 2033, three years sooner than previously estimated, a new government report said Monday. The forecast raises pressure on the White House and Congress to tackle the entitlement program, which many politicians fear changing because of potential voter backlash.

The trustees who oversee Social Security's two trust funds—one for disability benefits, the other for retirees—said reserves for the fund that pays disability benefits would be exhausted by 2016, two years earlier than projected last year. And if the disability fund were combined with the larger fund that pays retiree benefits, all reserves would be exhausted by 2033, three years sooner than projected last year.

Benefits would automatically be cut roughly 25% if the trust funds were exhausted. Monthly Social Security benefits averaged $1,125 per recipient in March, according to government data.

Social Security and Medicare, the government-run health plan for senior citizens, are together the largest U.S. public benefit programs and account for one-third of the federal budget. The programs' costs are projected to grow rapidly because of the aging U.S. population and, in Medicare's case, the rising cost of health care.

Democrats and Republicans, in a battle over public spending, are making the role of government a central issue in the November election. Social Security is yet to emerge in the debate because, according to one argument, the program's financial problems remain decades away. Also, many older Americans who receive the government benefits vote in large numbers and have resisted cuts, striking fear in politicians.

"It is time for Congress to take on the task of retooling Social Security for the long haul," said Social Security Administration Commissioner Michael Astrue.
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Many past proposals haven't gone far. The Republican-controlled House this year and last approved a budget that would change Medicare.

The proposal hasn't passed the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. In 2005, then-President George W. Bush proposed to partially privatize Social Security but couldn't get Congress, at the time controlled by his own party, to approve the plan.

The Social Security trust-fund balances are essentially the difference between the taxes that have been paid into the programs and the total number of benefits that have been paid out over the years.

The government has borrowed from the Social Security trust fund to pay for other operations and pays interest to the program. By law, benefits are paid in full as long as the fund balances represent a surplus.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the Obama administration would seek to work with Congress to come up with a long-term solution to repair the solvency of the disability trust fund but didn't offer specifics. "The best thing to do is a long-term solution," he said.

Social Security and Medicare are primarily funded through taxes paid by workers and employers. An effort to bolster the programs' finances would require increasing revenue, cutting costs, or some combination.

Congress has lowered the payroll tax that funds Social Security since 2011 to spur economic growth, and the Treasury Department has made up the lost revenue by essentially making payments into the Social Security funds.

The Social Security disability program and the Medicare program that covers hospital care are already paying more in benefits than they collect through tax revenue. They make up the difference by drawing down trust funds built over many years when they collected more than they spent. The Social Security retirement system still collects more than it spends.

Social Security's worsening outlook comes from a combination of higher cost-of-living adjustments pushing benefits up and lagging wage growth holding down tax revenue.

In recent years, the Social Security disability rolls have soared, as many Americans with mental and physical health problems sought to enter the program and others with less severe issues applied because of a scarcity of work.

In 2011, Social Security paid $596.2 billion in retirement benefits to 44.8 million Americans and $128.9 billion in disability benefits to 10.6 million recipients.

Charles Blahous, a Republican trustee for Social Security and Medicare, said, "By any objective measure, the problems in Social Security are growing somewhat more serious." He called for a congressional deal, which he said needed to be "responsible, decisive, and prompt."

Mr. Astrue, a Republican, urged Congress to address the funding shortfalls but said in the interim lawmakers could consider redirecting some of the money meant for the retiree program to the disability fund.

The trustees also provided an update on Medicare's finances. They projected the Medicare fund that pays for hospital benefits would be exhausted in 2024, unchanged from their projection last year.

But, foreshadowing the financial pressures on Medicare in coming years, the trustees said the number of people covered by Medicare rose to 48.7 million in 2011. That meant, on average, 100,000 Americans joined Medicare each month.

The Obama administration has said it would support changes to Social Security to improve the program's solvency but hasn't proposed any. White House officials and congressional Republicans met privately last year to discuss possible changes to Social Security. Those talks fell apart when negotiators couldn't reach a broader deal to reduce the federal budget deficit. One change discussed by both sides would have slowed how benefits are increased to take account for inflation.

Mitt Romney, the likely Republican presidential nominee, has proposed gradually raising the retirement age and slowing the rate of benefit inflation for wealthier Americans. Currently, Americans can claim full Social Security retiree benefits at age 66, or seek smaller benefits when they turn 62.

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign used the new data to attack Mr. Romney, with spokesman Ben LaBolt saying the former Massachusetts governor would make "devastating cuts to Medicare and Social Security" which "would end America's social compact with our seniors."

Lanhee Chen, Mr. Romney's policy director, said in a statement that Mr. Obama's "inaction on Social Security reforms means that seniors will be left to face across-the-board benefit cuts. His failure on this issue stands in stark contrast to the meaningful reforms that Mitt Romney has proposed—reforms that will ensure Social Security remains solvent and strong for at least the next 75 years."

On Medicare, White House officials say the 2010 health care law has added eight years to the program's solvency and last year they proposed even more changes. Republicans dispute many of the figures. Last year, Mr. Obama privately explored with Republicans the idea of raising the eligibility age for Medicare, but those talks collapsed.

Mr. Romney has proposed changing Medicare to allow seniors to sign up with the government program or shop for private insurance, with the government providing some assistance for premium payments. He would also change the program to give more support to low-income seniors and less support to wealthier Americans. He has proposed curbing the growth of Medicare spending, in part, by raising the eligibility age from 65 by one month per year beginning in 2022.

With the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year, and $1.2 trillion in defense and other spending reductions set to begin in January, lawmakers in both parties have said they hope a broad, bipartisan deficit-reduction plan could come together by the end of the year.

Republicans have said that big changes to Medicare and potentially Social Security should be included in any talks that might raise new taxes, but so far both sides appear far apart on any deal.

Edited by euroninja, 25 March 2013 - 07:45 AM.

Man plans and God laughs.




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