Category Archives: Social Security
When the right and left political wings agree, you can bet middle-class Americans are in trouble.
And if you are talking about Social Security, a new bipartisan plan spells major cuts in benefits, as the establishment is set to privatize our public retirement system after the mid-term elections next year.
About $2.8 trillion (2,800,000,000) has been borrowed since the 1980s from your Social Security contributions to pay for bureaucratic wars on poverty. to fight real wars on ungrateful Arabs, to sweetheart deals to campaign contributors, and to create a war machine larger than all other countries combined.
But the political class has decided it should not pay back this money, but will instead cut your Social Security benefits enough so they you only get benefits from FICA taxes paid in the current year, and receive none of the money borrowed from the Trust Fund, which will be dissolved.
This $2.8 trillion is part of the National Debt. Eliminating it means the politicians can boast that they are cutting that debt, even if it means not paying the bill to seniors. Meanwhile, repayments on debt will continue to go to all foreign countries, the bond clippers and treasury note holders.
One advocate of investing your Social Security taxes into the stock market is the Center for American Progress (CAP), founded by John Podesta, Bill Clinton’s chief of staff back when, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager last year. That’s the same Podesta who thought G mail was the way to protect national security messages.
CAP will make Wall Street cash rich with your 6.2% FICA payments, and the big banks will impose fees that will bring an even more golden age to the billionaires. In addition CAP advocates cuts to benefits for middle class recipients and increased benefits for those who contributed the least (or even nothing).
The Cato (rhymes with “play-dough”) Institute is a far-right creation that wants Social Security taxes put in private funds so the stock market can guarantee your retirement.
Well, not exactly guarantee, but if your Wall Street investments flounder you will get an amount equaling the poverty level, no matter how much you contributed. The institute also loves the concept of raising the minimum retirement age from 62 to 65, so the “little people” keep working and don’t get in trouble. A side benefit is that more workers in the labor pool means lower wages for all, and more profits for business and a bigger GDP.
While Podesta has always been an operative of the Democrat Party and linked to CAP, the Cato Institute has mostly escaped charges of political connection.
Cato was founded in December 1974 in Wichita, Kansas as the Charles Koch Foundation and later changed its name to sound less like a bunch of lackeys, who report to a very rich guy. Charles Koch and his brother, David, have a net worth of $82 billion ($82,000,000,000) and spent about $800 million last year on political campaigns and lobbying – more than anyone else.
By contrast to the $800 million from the Kochs, the AFL-CIO managed a little more than $16 million in contributions and lobbying during the same period.
CAP and Cato also agree on virtually unlimited immigration, a stance which pleases their funders, and they want even more Earned Income Tax credits (EIC), which subsidize corporations through IRS payments to their most underpaid workers.
GOP House passes plan to raise Medicare eligibility age to 67, then turn it over to insurance companies
Time after time, Mr. Donald Trump promised no cuts to Medicare and Social Security, but the current leader of the nation and Republican Party now seems to have a change of heart – to put it very kindly – or he has just wandered even deeper into the swamp.
It could be the President is distracted by his fake plan to lower taxes for the middle class and so he hasn’t noticed the GOP-dominated House passed its 2018 budget resolution on Thursday by a vote of 219-206. The cunning House Speaker Paul Ryan led his swarm to approve cutting $1.5 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid. Eighteen Republicans voted against the resolution, along with all the attending Democrats.
Robert Roach, who heads the Alliance for Retired Americans, was furious at the news: Continue reading →
“If you’re single and earn less than $25,000 per year, or married and jointly, and jointly earn less than $50,000 – so very important – if you’re single and make less than $25,000 or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you’ll not pay any income tax. Nothing.” – Donald Trump
September 29, 2015
@2:00 – Less than $25,000 or jointly less than $50,000, pay no taxes
February 3, 2017
In January President Trump took office and almost immediately lowered the benefits of his “middle class” tax plan. Suddenly, the $25,000 and $50,000 standard deductions promised on the campaign were slashed 40% to just $30,000 and $15,000. Continue reading →
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year had 4,036 generic drug applications waiting for approval. In October 2012, there was a backlog of 2,868 drugs. It now takes a median 47 months to approve a generic drug by the FDA – nearly four years.
What does this mean to the healthcare consumer?
First, it allows a drug company to continue selling their “brand name” drug because there is no replacement on the market. Brand name drugs are sold at incredible prices, pushed up by obscene profits, as well as constant advertising, plus promotion of drugs by medical professionals. To many in the health business, brand name drugs are the real money makers.
By comparison to the United States, the European FDA – the European Medicines Agency (EMA) – has just 24 generics awaiting approval. It takes about a year to get approval in Europe, one quarter the time of the U.S.
Why would it be faster to approve generics in Europe than here? The answer is that patients in America pay for their drugs, either directly or through health plan premiums. In Europe the government negotiates drug prices, because they are working to lower costs to benefit their citizens and reduce spending. It’s the difference between healthcare for profit or Continue reading →
71-year-old man shoots robbers at internet cafe in Florida
Last week, it became more dangerous to be old or disabled.
That’s because the Barack Obama brain trust ordained a rule that will force the Social Security Administration (SSA) to share records with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to look for so-called disabled or impaired individuals.
The government then decides whether or not to ban them from buying a gun.
The SSA maintains that “under our representative payee policy, unless direct payment is prohibited, we presume that an adult beneficiary is capable of managing or directing the management of benefits.” That means you better keep your checking account in your own name, and if you go crazy. just let someone handle your finances using only your name.
Social Security really needs to be reformed. Medicaid probably needs to be capped when it comes to the states. Medicare, there needs to be some sort of means testing.
The (Social Security) retirement age needs to be raised. A portion of Social Security ought to be privatized, if not all. And there probably needs to be some means testing. It’s a Ponzi scheme that’s not sustainable.
“Citing a story in USA Today, which reported that a rash of retirements in 2009 is pushing Social Security to the brink, Johnson said the retirement age needs to be raised perhaps to 70 or 72. “This is the reality, we’re broke,” Johnson said in 2012. Continue reading →
Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman, current hubby of Andrea Mitchell (Hillary Clinton’s talking head at NBC), and long-time member of the Trilateral Commission, has a big problem
Al isn’t mad at the “pop” in pop-out-of-the-cake by some former girlfriend, like Barbara Walters. He sees a dangerous “pop”, the worst kind – the potential revolt of what he might call the “vast unwashed multitude of the deplorable and nonredeemable.”
Google identifies the threat to Al this way: Continue reading →
Fracker’s friend frets that you might retire and get your Social Security, instead of working to death
When Libertarian Gary Johnson proclaimed that Americans should not get their Social Security until age 72, he was actually condemning many to death before receiving any of their “earned benefits.”
That’s because the average life expectancy of a Black male in the U.S. is 68 years, meaning death four years before Gary would grant retirement security. While the average life expectancy for men in general is 76.9 years, men in the middle and lower income levels die five years sooner, or at 71.9. With a 72 retirement age, most men would die before that first Social Security check.
As an aside, male life expectancy in this country, where we work so long and hard, is ranked 32d in the world, behind such places as Costa Rica, Chile, Greece, Slovenia and Korea, as well as most members of the EU. We did tie with Cuba – for what that’s worth.
David Barton, another Johnson/Tea Party type, personified the big business view of Continue reading →
Gary Johnson wants to cut 43% from Medicare and the Defense Dept., end the senior drug benefit, eliminate student loans, and stop taxing the rich
Is the grass always greener?
It was a simple question to Gary Johnson in a 2012 interview, while running for President as the Libertarian candidate: How do you stop the deficits and out of control spending?
The answer from Johnson, who is currently managing 6% to 10% voter support in national polls:
A: Well, cutting $1.675 trillion from the federal government. You got to start out by talking about (cutting) Medicare and Medicaid by 43 percent. They could block grant the states, 50 laboratories of innovation. Give it to the states to deliver health care to the poor and those over 65 and do away with the strings. Do away with that regulations; let states handle it. There would be best practices emerge. Other states would emulate the best practices. They’re be failure. States would avoid the failure.
Johnson also wants to eliminate the Federal Income Tax, which would require huge program cuts in the federal budget to pay for it. His revenue solution would be a national 23% sales tax, plus virtual elimination of the earned Medicare benefit (now paid for by workers with a payroll tax). Continue reading →
UPDATE: (July 23, 2016) Rumors swirling today that Jeb Bush may announce that he will vote for Gary Johnson, joining the smoking car on the Libertarian train to nowhere No word yet from Bush the elder, Bush the brother or mama Bush.
Former Republican Presidential nominee Willard Mitt Romney said recently he would not vote for presumptive nominee Donald Trump in the general election in November and would consider voting for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
Romney’s running mate in 2012, Paul Ryan, has also been described as a Libertarian, although he votes as a Republican. His consideration to vote for Johnson, Romney explained, is because he doesn’t regard Donald Trump as a true conservative. Johnson ran against Romney in 2012 for the nomination.
Here’s what “true conservative” Gary Johnson believes, gleaned from press interviews: Continue reading →