Tulsi Gabbard is the co-sponsor of a terrific Social Security bill also endorsed by Mark Meadows – Trump’s new Chief of Staff

Talk about strange bill-fellows!

Mark Meadows

HR 860 (Social Security 2100 Act) has gained the endorsement of former Republican Congressman Mark Meadows. A founder of the House Freedom Caucus in 2015, Meadows was just named White House Chief of Staff by President Donald Trump.

This same House bill to modernize Social Security is co-sponsored by Democrat Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. She has hundreds of thousands of contributors in her active quest for the Democrat Party’s nomination for President in the November general election.

Unfortunately, the bill is held up in the House Ways and Means, House Education and Labor, and House Energy and Commerce committees.

Despite hundreds of supporters for passage of the bill, the Speaker of the House has not called for a vote in more than a year.

HR 860 establishes the Social Security Trust Fund to replace the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund.

  • It would provide an immediate increase for beneficiaries equal to 2% of the average benefit
  • HR 860 would set the minimum benefit at 25% above the poverty line
  • The law would change the way the annual cost-of-living adjustment is calculated to include medical and other expenses significant for seniors..
  • The plan raises the limits on non-Social Security income before benefits begin to be taxed. The new caps would go to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for couples, up from the current (1986 original) $25,000 and $32,000. This includes mandated RMDs, which cause double taxation for many.
Tulsi Gabbard

To pay for those changes to sustain the system through the end of the 21st century, the plan would also apply payroll taxes to wages more than $400,000, and gradually increase the contribution rate for both workers and employers to 7.4% from 6.2% of wages between 2020 and 2043.

This bill is backed by groups including the AFL-CIO, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and Social Security Works.

Rep. John Larson, D-Conn is spearheading the effort to pass this real reform. He currently has 202 members of the House ready to vote for it. He has also talked to Ivanka Trump and others in the White House and hopes for bipartisan support.

One needed area of support to get the bill passed will be the Senate, as well as the president. There are indications that the administration is at least considering the issue, Larson said.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has also met with the bill’s supporters several times and she likes the approach.

But the big surprise is the  support for the measure by Conservative leader Mark Meadows.

The plot thickens when you realize Meadows replaced Mick Mulvaney as Chief of Staff.

Mulvaney has publicly pushed for radical benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare as recently as two weeks ago. He was a co-founder of Freedom Works with Meadows, and the two began with the same negative views on so-called “entitlements”, but now find themselves on opposite sides.

When Trump exiled Mulvaney to Northern Ireland last week and brought in Meadows it provided a great relief to advocates for seniors.

After hearing from his mother last year on how crucial Social Security benefits and Medicare are to her budget, Meadows changed his mind in October, last year, and said he plans to work with Larson to come up with a Social Security fix.

“It is a bipartisan issue,” Meadows said in an interview

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) is encouraging its members to raise the issue at debates and town halls. Passing HR 860 has been a taboo subject for media reporters so far this primary season.

Meanwhile, Mulvaney’s enthusiasm to take away people’s earned benefits mirrors the motives of Mitch McConnell, who has called for Social Security and Medicare to be “adjusted” (destroyed).  However, the Senate Majority Leader has met his match with Meadows, who will wield significant power as WH Chief of Staff, dealing not only with Trump, but also the Senate and House.

Why are so many in Congress, as well as the last five Presidents, so anxious to cut senior benefits by raising the retirement age, reducing Cost of Living Adjustments, or privatizing the insurance program? Reagan and Obama used commissions to urge reductions in benefits, while Trump, Clinton and the Bush duo sought cuts in their proposed budgets.

Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works (SSW) explained “the private sector is incapable of providing the wage and health insurance that Social Security and Medicare provide as efficiently, universally, securely or effectively as the federal government.”

Insurance works best when the greatest numbers of people are covered. The only entity that can require that everyone is covered and pays premiums as soon as they start working is the federal government. That is one of the reasons both Social Security and Medicare work so well.

And that is why Mulvaney, McConnell, and other opponents of these programs want to end them. These programs put the lie to their ideological zealotry, which insists that the private sector is always better than government.

Altman said the new crusade against Social Security uses words like “reform” and opponents pretend to like the program.

Mulvaney, McConnell, and other opponents hide their straightforward ideological opposition. Rather, these opponents subversively seek to undermine confidence in Social Security’s and Medicare’s future by asserting that both programs are not affordable.

Worse, in their efforts to end Social Security and Medicare, they seek to turn Americans against each other. They tell us that seniors are taking from children, that people with disabilities are taking from seniors.

The public should cheer now that Mulvaney has been exiled to the Green Island. When explaining to a conference that he had plans for Social Security after the 2020 election, Mulvaney predicted:

In the long term you’ll have to make more major changes. The president has asked me to fix the easy stuff first.

In defending HR 860 and other bills to improve Social Security, Altman was adamant:

These opponents will not give up. And neither must we. Expanding, not cutting, our Social Security and Medicare is profoundly wise policy and is overwhelmingly popular.

But it will only become a reality if we keep our voices loud, reminding our political leaders that it’s voters, not donors, to whom they must account next election day.

Trump dumping more foreign workers into economy will destroy decent jobs for Americans

 

The President’s promise of “Hire American” in order to add more jobs and raise wages for American citizens was just trumped by pressure from rich business owners.

Under orders from the White House, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has okayed 30,000 additional waivers for H-2B Visas in 2020 – arguing that there are no citizens here who want the jobs offered.

This decision will allow companies to import 96,000 H-2B laborers in 2019, up from the 66,000 allowed by the law.

But that’s just the tip of the spear aimed at the American workforce.

The government also awarded visas for 242,800 H2-A farm laborers last year, up from 200,000 visas in 2017 and 165,700 visas in 2016. Even more are expected in 2019.

These H2-A totals don’t include visas for white collar jobs.

Last year there were an estimated 1.5 million white-collar visa workers in the country, including some 1,000,000 with H-1Bs visas, plus roughly 400,000 OPT and CPT white-collar workers, 100,000 H4 EAD workers, an additional 100,000 workers with TN visas, at least 200,000 people with L-1 visas, plus additional populations with 0-1, E-3, J-1,  or B-1 visas.

If all those letters, numbers and categories seem confusing, join the club, but one thing is clear – companies are using the visa system to favor foreign workers over Americans.

It’s not just that a Mexican citizen (for example) is grateful to get low pay here, when the minimum hourly wage is 59 cents in their country. Visa holders also face losing their jobs at the whim of employers, and aren’t in a position to complain about even dangerous or cruel working conditions.

These totals of foreign workers do not include as many as 20 million foreigners here without authorization. The government estimated that some 40% of the total are foreigners, who overstayed their three-year visa limit.

By increasing these and other visa totals, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen bowed to powerful Republicans and Democrats in Congress, who are pressured by businesses for cheap labor.

It’s easy to blame her for the increase, but something odd has happened over the years with visa quotas, and Nielsen now wants to put the blame where it belongs;

DHS spokeswoman Andrea Palermo said the department has asked Congress to decide how many workers should be imported, rather than passing the buck each year to Nielsen’s department.

Congress – not DHS – should be responsible for determining whether the annual numerical limitations for H-2B workers set by Congress need to be modified, and by how much, and for setting parameters to ensure that enough workers are available to meet employers’ temporary needs throughout the year, Palermo said.

Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, explained his group’s opposition to the most recent increase in visas:

While Congress shoulders much of the blame for inexplicably authorizing an H-2B visa increase in the first place, the decision to actually go through with one was squarely in the hands of the Trump administration.

Given the opportunity to stand with the American worker, President Trump and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen capitulated to the self-serving demands of business lobbyists and authorized 30,000 additional visas. While the economy is certainly roaring, it does not need a vast infusion of guest workers.

This decision to allow tens of thousands more foreign workers to flood the labor market this year will not only suppress blue-collar wage growth, but also take away opportunities from Americans trying to get back into the labor force.

Companies are allotted visa workers on the basis of lobbying, begging, or other financial or political methods. Firms who get this cheap labor are at an advantage in competing against companies that pay Americans fair wages and provide decent working conditions.

“Hire American” President couldn’t find enough Americans to work here!

Kochs win again as their boy, Marc, short-circuits Trump MAGA with an anti-populist spending bill

President Donald Trump must have been distracted, while rubbing his gold-plated putter, when the Cabinet and the West Wing top birds were being anointed, because only golf daydreaming easily explains:

  • H. R. McMaster, James Mattis, Rick Perry and Wilbur Ross – Bilderberg Group participants.
  • Gary Cohn, Dina Habib Powell and Steven Mnuchin – Goldman Sachs
  • Rex Tillerson – Exxon-Mobil
  • Kenneth I. Juster – Trilateral Commission

These officials are all establishment globalists, and Trump campaigned as a populist nationalist. Each appointee should be considered a slippery swamper, and because of that, some are now out of office or headed that way. Continue reading “Kochs win again as their boy, Marc, short-circuits Trump MAGA with an anti-populist spending bill”

President Trump has a chance to save mucho money if he just takes my amateur purchasing agent advice

Dark coat waving, tie curling, eyes focused in imperial triumph, what could be more awesome than the American Don alighting from Air Force One? This is not the Don of The Godfather, who measured his might in mere horse heads and bedposts. This is our President Don, who commands the mightiest military in history.

But Don has a problem. The fridges are acting up on both Presidential Boeings, not being cool, when they should. Call them undependable deplorables, needing replacement, like Senator Lindsey Graham at a voice-cracking contest. Warm beer, anyone?

The specs call for 70 cubic feet of space, doors, a little light inside, and I suppose stainless steel might be nice. These coolers would be like a big version of those 24 cubic foot jobs, that Sears would like to sell you before all their stores close.

Why am I so concerned about saving money on flying fridges that only have to last a couple years until the new ($2,000,000,000 each) Air Force One replacements arrive?

Any country that has to hike Medicare premiums on the poorest of its citizens by 24% this year is in financial trouble. The reason for this seemingly callous action is our national need to fund the growth of the military 2018 budget to $700 billion, which Senator Graham says is vital for defense of our 330 million well-armed Americans from an attack by 25 million emaciated, near-sighted North Koreans.

Continue reading “President Trump has a chance to save mucho money if he just takes my amateur purchasing agent advice”

$4,000 Wage hike “Fake News” from the White House – whatever happened to Trump promise of “no taxes for a couple earning less than $50,000”


UPDATE to April 2017 post, Russian Dossier with complete text: DNC and Clinton campaign paid for Fusion GPS  report used by FBI to investigate President.


The following was emailed to me on Saturday from the White House.

TRUMP PENCE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER 10.21.17
TAX CUTS FOR REAL AMERICANS

President Trump is working harder than ever to bring tax reform to middle class Americans, including the biggest tax cut in American history. This week, the President took his case to conservative leaders, seeking their support in pushing Congress to pass a tax reform bill, he said, “We need…help…to get our tax cuts through the house, through the Senate, and to my desk for signature.” Now is the time for all Republicans in Congress and maybe even patriotic Democrats to come together and support major tax reform that will boost wages and deliver families a $4,000 annual pay raise. We must get Congress on board, in order to deliver tax relief to hard-working Americans. Call and remind your Representative and Senators to support the President’s Middle Class Miracle today.

Although I am retired and there is no boss to give me a pay raise, I imagined that, at least, my children and grandchildren would benefit, and perhaps send me a fancier birthday card or buy me a funny hat with all the extra cash in their checking accounts.

And after learning that I am a “Real American”, according to this government email, I wondered: “could this $4,000 pay raise be real?” I turned to YouTube, where your computer screen seems to come alive with the voice of Mr. Trump and Bill Nye, among others, and found the President making this same promise: Continue reading “$4,000 Wage hike “Fake News” from the White House – whatever happened to Trump promise of “no taxes for a couple earning less than $50,000””

Fake campaign promise by Trump to lower taxes has reduced his Presidency to swimming in the swamp

“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 “Fake campaign promise by Trump to lower taxes has reduced his Presidency to swimming in the swamp”

Deep State, bankers, corporations, and politicians combine to “Keep America Just Like It Is Now”

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

National Security Council (NSC) Advisor Herb Ray McMaster apparently disagrees with that adage, and fired staffer Rich Higgins for spilling the beans on the Deep State of corporate cronies, intellectual phonies and political hacks.

Higgins served NSC’s strategic-planning office as director for strategic planning. He was fired on July 21.

The memo, written near the end of May, said the mindset within the White House is inadequate to the threat:

This is not politics as usual but rather political warfare at an unprecedented level that is openly engaged in the direct targeting of a seated president through manipulation of the news cycle. It must be recognized on its own terms so that immediate action can be taken.

Rich-Higgins
Rich Higgins

Earlier this year, Higgins had pushed to declassify documents dealing with radical Islam and Iran, including Presidential Study Directive 11, produced by the Obama administration before the Arab Spring, that outlined unrest throughout the Middle East, according to a report in The Atlantic.

McMaster also recently fired Derek Harvey, senior director for the NSC Middle East strategy. Before removal, Harvey produced a list of NSC holdovers from the Obama Administration and presented it to McMaster, who declined to fire them, the report said.

This past week, McMaster was touted by Sen. John McCain, many mass media pundits, Democrat Party leadership and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Continue reading “Deep State, bankers, corporations, and politicians combine to “Keep America Just Like It Is Now””

Sick seniors or the disabled may not be allowed to buy guns for self defense under new Obama rule

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.

Continue reading “Sick seniors or the disabled may not be allowed to buy guns for self defense under new Obama rule”