Sunday April 7, 2013, 6:40 am
Republicans are in love with conspiracy theories, because, after years of brain numbing by the Republican Ministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, sheeple are sufficiently dumbed down to believe anything. They want you to get your gun and head to the border, Granny! They say those Obama illegals are after your Social security benefits. Call it Social InsaniTEA.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 6:45 am
"Needless to say, the bigoted Republican claims are pure garbage. There remains one severe threat to Social Security, the Republican plan to give it to Banksters" So right, Tom. Like everything else they do, the big idea is to bash Obama and convince everyone that they have all the answers to everything. As if....
I think we have allowed a massive public campaign of political rhetoric to effectively sway and scare the public into believing that each Social Security payment is coming from their taxes, dollar by dollar. Separate taxes are paid into both Social Security and Medicare, both are a separate endowment fund, self sufficient and stable. I do believe that we must increase the top level of income tax that pays into Social Security, to increase solvency far into the future. Currently, as in the past Social Security is NOT a part of the yearly Federal Budget. That is simply a hoax played out for the public and both parties have a long term stake in keeping people in fear. Use the Internet as resource for discovering factual, non political information. Until we can think beyond the self serving use of Social Security and Medicare as a political weapon to gain votes, we are caught in this game of the 1% and the "Beltway" insiders.
Chained -CPI is but one more of a long list of "needed changes" from the past through to the present to keep seniors and those approaching retirement, living in both fear and near poverty, or the most vulnerable and easily frightened group in our society. Play to those "created" fears for votes. It really is quite despicable.
"The actual issues with the solvency of Social Security are extremely minor. The massive Social Security trust fund will allow the program to pay out benefits at the current level until 2038. At that point — absent modifications to the program — revenues will only be able to pay out 81 percent of promised benefits. That is to say, if the federal government did absolutely nothing over the next 27 years to shore up Social Security, a one time cut of 19 percent in 2038 would make the program solvent into the infinite horizon. This would be a sub-optimal way forward, but it underscores how solid Social Security is: even at 1.9 workers per retiree, the program could pay out at 81 percent of the current, inflation-adjusted rate without increasing revenue at all."
Oops, I did it again. TomCat I think you pull some strings that set me off. I just read far too much pure nonsense about Social Security and Medicare and desire to set the record straight. Until or unless we allowed those clowns in DC to "tap" into or change the endowment funds, Social Security and Medicare are just fine. They exist for all of us should we need either. Most will need at least Medicare, as we age the cost of private insurance begins to sky rocket beyond the means of any working or middle class individuals to afford, no matter what their pension funds accumulated allow for monthly with drawls.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 7:46 am
The Right Wing have always had a knack of calling their demented groups really nice names which generally are the opposite of what the names imply. It has been many, many years since I was taken in by a nice name – in fact the nicer the name these days the more my eyebrows rise and I investigate the thing fully as a result of decades of this kind of thing. Sadly it seems that not everyone else does, and decent but unquestioning people can be taken in by them.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 7:49 am
Don't apologize Kit. There can never be enough truthful information regarding SS and Medicare flowing to the masses.This can only help to educate the "sheeple". The more people you reach with your brand of concern and in-depth research the better for all.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 8:05 am
Darn it, Gloria! I gave you a green star already...too soon for this "All republicans are not rich and they need social security. Oddly enough they are willing to cut of their noses to spite their faces"
++++++++++++ I'll NEVER understand how people can be pursuaded to vote against their own best interets! Look at Republican women who vote against womens' health care! STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!
Sunday April 7, 2013, 8:39 am
Remember, Pam we can not fix Stupid. no Kit but it helps if you wish to be a member of the Tea Party, the funny thing was I had great hopes that they world help the GOP to be better, oh well.
David if you mean that the TP would help the GOP, grow they most certainly have. By appealing to the most extreme and often lest informed, part of the right wing, those who considered the GOP too liberal, they (Koch's etc...) most definitely have aided the GOP.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 9:28 am
Don't agree with the Chained CPI but then again will the thugs agree with more taxes? Will the sheeple turn off faux? They must hear the outcry against the actors on faux but it's easier to believe the BS they pour out daily and coninue their march toward a cliff while faux employees continue their march to the bank. So right Kit, you can't fix stupid!
Sunday April 7, 2013, 10:01 am
Ty Tom for your most appreciated standards of wit and wisdom in posting. Kit...taking a minute to 2nd Shirley's comment here. . .no apologies needed. Tom's discernment is exceptional . . .your extended remarks serve to enhance and emphasize by managing to extract the most important key points and data from a myriad of historical detail amidst volumes of propagandized--convoluted rhetoric and circumstance launched ad hoc over the years into warped media infotainment orbits. . .to immediately land the most relevant information succinctly within a comment box in a clarifying manner. . .thanks for sharing and affirming!
And about 'stupidness' . . .
"Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and higher education positively fortifies it."
― Stephen Vizinczey
“Never argue with an idiot; he will bring you down to his level and win from experience.” ―Brad Slipiec
"An empty tin makes a lot of noise.” ―African Proverb, Kenya
Sunday April 7, 2013, 10:58 am
Read Obama's "OWN" Words About Social Security:
Here’s how President Barack Obama answered CBS’s Scott Pelley’s question about whether he could guarantee that Social Security checks would go out on August 3, the day after the government is supposed to reach its debt limit: “I cannot guarantee that those checks [he included veterans and the disabled, in addition to Social Security] go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
And Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner echoed the president on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday implying that if a budget deal isn’t reached by August 2, seniors might not get their Social Security checks.
Well, either Obama and Geithner are lying to us now, or they and all defenders of the Social Security status quo have been lying to us for decades. It must be one or the other.
Here’s why: Social Security has a trust fund, and that trust fund is supposed to have $2.6 trillion in it, according to the Social Security trustees. If there are real assets in the trust fund, then Social Security can mail the checks, regardless of what Congress does about the debt limit.
President Obama’s budget director, Jack Lew, explained all this last February in USA Today:
“Social Security benefits are entirely self-financing. They are paid for with payroll taxes collected from workers and their employers throughout their careers. These taxes are placed in a trust fund dedicated to paying benefits owed to current and future beneficiaries. … Even though Social Security began collecting less in taxes than it paid in benefits in 2010, the trust fund will continue to accrue interest and grow until 2025, and will have adequate resources to pay full benefits for the next 26 years.”
Notice that Lew said nothing about raising the debt ceiling, which was already looming, and it shouldn’t matter anyway because Social Security is “entirely self-financing” and off budget. What could be clearer?
Unconvinced, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote a subsequent column questioning Lew’s assertions. “This [Lew’s] claim is a breathtaking fraud. The pretense is that a flush trust fund will pay retirees for the next 26 years. Lovely, except for one thing: The Social Security trust fund is a fiction. … In other words, the Social Security trust fund contains—nothing.”
Social Security status-quo defenders have assured us for the past 25 years that Social Security is fully funded—for the next 25 years, or 2036. So if there are real assets in the Social Security Trust Fund—$2.6 trillion allegedly—then how could failure to reach a debt-ceiling agreement possibly threaten seniors’ Social Security checks?
The answer is that the federal government has borrowed all of that trust fund money and spent it, exactly as Krauthammer asserted. And the only way the trust fund can get some cash to pay Social Security benefits is if the federal government draws it from general revenues or borrows the money—which, of course, it can’t do because of the debt ceiling.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 10:59 am
Right now, the Huffington Post points out that undocumented workers have contributed almost 10 percent of the overall total in the Social Security Trust Fund; allowing a more secure legal status for those people is, if anything, only going to boost the taxes they pay…
I'm not a fan of Obamacare. I think the existing programs are fine. They just need more financing and expansion along lines that address 21st century problems. The GOP just wants more money for their Wall Street buddies and their hedge funds. Want real change; eradicate the 17% handling fee on every US dollar issued and put the FED back under control of the US Treasury. The first thing Johnson did after he became POTUS was to round up all the US treasury dollars issued by JFK and re-institute FED control and its handling tax. This goes into the international fat cats pockets. It does not benefit the US people or their nation.
BTW TomCat conspiracy is a CIA slider invented for one thing and one thing only and that is to condition the people to respond negatively and to alienate anyone daring to question the official government position. Most conspiracies have no validity and are nothing more than the pseudo intellectual rantings of the originators and their proponents.
There are those that if validated from at least three or more sources are no longer conspiracies but theories that bare more research and scrutiny. Do you still believe in the Magic Bullet theory; that it was Oswald acting alone or that 9/11 was actually committed by a group of Arabs who could barely fly a plane?
Sunday April 7, 2013, 11:02 am
Thus, the answer to my initial question is that the president is telling the truth now in the sense that he is conceding there’s no money in the trust fund to pay benefits; but he and other Social Security status-quo defenders have been deceiving the public for decades.
And here’s the real irony: Anytime someone has proposed personal Social Security retirement accounts as a way to ensure that people have real assets in their own account without bankrupting the government or future generations, defenders of the status quo would pounce, calling such a reform, in Al Gore’s words, a “risky scheme.” They have vociferously claimed that those trust fund assets are real and that only by having the government manage and control the accounts would seniors be guaranteed to get their retirement checks.
Well, we have the status quo and seniors may not get their checks. Had we shifted to a system of pre-funded, personal Social Security retirement accounts years ago, this wouldn’t even be an issue—because retirees would have their own money in their own accounts.
Yes, the accounts likely would have declined when the stock market went down, though not if the reform were structured like three Texas counties did 30 years ago (see here). But in case you haven’t noticed, Social Security revenues also declined during the economic downturn—because fewer people were working—so that the government is paying out more in benefits than it is taking in, and hence needing additional federal revenues, a fact admitted by Lew.
If the budget crisis has done nothing else, it has exposed the decades-long lie about the solvency of the Social Security trust fund. The trust fund may be backed by the “full faith and credit of the federal government,” as defenders constantly remind us, but if it had real assets the president wouldn’t be talking about seniors missing their checks.
(Update: For a second opinion, on July 16 an editorial in the Wall Street Journal made the same argument as this piece, even to the similar title.)
Merrill Matthews is a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas, Texas. http://twitter.com/MerrillMatthews
Obama said: “I cannot guarantee that those checks [he included veterans and the disabled, in addition to Social Security] go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
Guess Obama doesn't know anything about the Social Security Trust Fund.....maybe one or two of you can send him an email and "refresh" his memory.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 11:09 am
I seem to remember a left wing conspiracy theory that George W. Bush was behind 9/11.
In the past week, the focus of the media narrative has been centered upon language.In the aftermath of the Arizona shootings, the media has cleverly diverted attention away from discussing depictions of violence within the culture and guided the debate toward conservative rhetoric. Something that has become apparent is that the same people who dismiss conservative speech as promoting fear and suspicion have gotten into the paranoia game themselves. Along with serving as an excuse to distract from the childish premise that Sarah Palin was to blame for the Arizona shootings, the left-wing media have crafted an aimless conspiracy around the phrase “blood libel.”
Taegan Goddard, founder of Political Wire, was one of many that intimated Palin had ulterior motives:
“… while it’s not entirely clear what Palin intended, it’s possible she was trying to use dog whistle politics to speak to her religious base who often feel they’re an oppressed minority.”
Dog whistle politics is a term that claims politicians use certain phrases which hold no implications to the general population but are loaded with meaning to a specific portion of the electorate. The accusation that Palin is purposely using coded language carries a conspiratorial insinuation. Ed Schultz, left-wing commentator at MSNBC, expanded on the coded language idea to hint that Palin is trying to solicit those that would establish a fascist theocracy:
“Many people think she’s used the term “blood libel” as an appeal to an extremist Christian conservative base for 2012.”
[M]aybe she got some help on the speech from somebody who knows exactly what ‘blood libel’ means.”
Schultz never clarifies how the exact definition of blood libel is supposed to motivate Christian extremists. He stops short for the lack of a coherent explanation, but liberal talk radio host, Thom Hartmann, did take the dog whistle conspiracy a step further. On his radio program, Hartmann paints Palin’s blood libel comment as Manchurian code words that will activate assasins:
“The use of the term “blood libel” is stochastic terrorism. What it means is using the media to remotely activate lone wolves . . .they are activating the latent terrorist that are out there.”
He then goes on to draw parallels between the Tea Party and Hitler’s brown shirts and insinuates that Palin and the conservative media try to activate violent Tea Partiers. In a week where the left-wing media was focused solely upon the hateful rhetoric that comes from the Right, the best examples that they could produce are vague conspiracies based upon supposed code words.
If instead of “blood libel,” Palin had used the phrase “false witness,” one gets the sense that the media reaction to her statement would have followed a similar course because the recent media spectacle was not about toning down rhetoric in general; it was about stigmatizing conservative speech. For the Left to continue on its path toward statism, conservative speech and the new media must be marginalized.
In the absence of actual violent conservative rhetoric, the Left must deconstruct and decode statements made by conservatives in order to prop up the illusion that the country is full of right-wing hate groups that are waiting for a chance to seize power, and the Left works to portray themselves as the only obstacle that stands between civil society and a fascist dictatorship. This past week serves as evidence that the leftist media have been the true propagators of fear, suspicion, and paranoia.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 11:15 am
Republicans can't be trusted to do the best for the middle class or those struggling to get into the middle class. All they want to do is get more for themselves and their rich contributors to their campaigns. They have theirs and they want to keep it that way. Vote them out of office at every opportunity.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 1:44 pm
Obama said: “I cannot guarantee that those checks [he included veterans and the disabled, in addition to Social Security] go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
Even Obama knows SS is a ponzi scheme....
Definition: Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than ...from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering higher returns than other investments, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. Perpetuation of the high returns requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new investors to keep the scheme going.
The scheme is named after Charles Ponzi, who became notorious for using the technique in 1920. Ponzi did not invent the scheme (for example, Charles Dickens' 1844 novel Martin Chuzzlewit and 1857 novel Little Dorrit each described such a scheme), but his operation took in so much money that it was the first to become known throughout the United States. Ponzi's original scheme was based on the arbitrage of international reply coupons for postage stamps; however, he soon diverted investors' money to make payments to earlier investors and himself.
If the liberals want to hang out in "la la land" and continue to believe that we have a nice, big, hefty trust fund for social security....then please pick up the phone and call Barack Obama....because he didn't know how he was going to pay the vets and the disabled.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 2:52 pm
Those darn Republicans never give it a rest. If they're not trying to shove their agendas down the throats of others, they're theorizing about the most ridiculous things. Thank you Tom.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 3:16 pm
Sharon, you are exactly right. We, as Americans, have been paying into social security for a very long time. Not too long ago, our SS tax went up. I saw it in my paycheck upwards of an extra $200.00 a month. Middle class and lower middle class Americans have just had their take home pay reduced and that's money taken from your household.
The liberals believe that the "rich" should be much more into SS. The fact is that there is a cap on what you can receive back from SS per month. At age 66, the maximum SS payout per month is $2,513.00. What the liberals believe is that the "rich" should be paying in an exorbitant amount (based on what we are taxed) so that they can also fund SS so that they can actually fund the payments that go to other Americans. Some liberals believe that the "rich" should pay into SS and because they don't "need" the SS payout, because they are rich, should not receive back what they paid in because they are "rich."
So, it's a problem. It's a problem today because of people like me....a baby boomer. There are 78.3 million Americans who are baby boomers and we've been sinking the lion's share into SS since we started working. In 1940 the "regular" monthly payouts went into effect. The baby boomers started being born after World War II (1946 through 1964) so you can say that at age 21 or 22 after college or 18 and starting employment, the baby boomers have been paying into this since 1965. So, since 2009 to 2011 the baby boomers have been receiving benefits depending on when they opted to retire. Those receiving SS stopped paying into it. Now they expect to have their "pension" stipend. When we have exhausted our baby boomer revenue in 2031 the revenue drops to pay it out. The checks are still going to the baby boomers every month but the number of people paying in has dropped considerably.
That's a real problem for our young people. We need SS reform and we need it now.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 3:21 pm
That's my "southern" statement. It always does a "heart good" to know what you are talking about. The liberals think the payout "machine" will continue to grow and grow and the payout will be the same....only problem is you don't have the people sending in the SS taxes to support it.
Obama knows that SS and Medicare is in dire trouble. He's such a "lad" and is on "constant campaign mode" that he dismisses it because he'll be out in 2016 so what the hell?
We need leadership in Washington DC something we haven't had since 2008. GWB has his negatives but he had a great deal of positives. Social Security is in trouble. It's time to wake up, liberals, and understand that reform of our social programs is necessary for it's sustainability.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 3:44 pm
Well, well, look what the cat dragged in. That's not personal to you Tom, I too am glad to have you back. I suppose it may be personal but only in the sense that the trolssa attack the strongest and smartest of us first and hardest.
Sunday April 7, 2013, 7:21 pm
Corporations have $30 trillion in untaxed assets stashed in off-shore accounts. Let's start there. And with eliminanating the income cap on SS contributions. We're not going broke. We're being robbed.
"While the tax package that Congress passed New Year's Day will protect 99 percent of Americans from an income tax increase, most of them will still end up paying more federal taxes in 2013.
That's because the legislation did nothing to prevent a temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax from expiring. In 2012, that 2-percentage-point cut in the payroll tax was worth about $1,000 to a worker making $50,000 a year."
Full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/02/fiscal-cliff-raise-taxes_n_2395559.html
Sunday April 7, 2013, 10:33 pm
Wasn't it PT Barnum of Barnum & Bailey fame that said "There is a sucker born every minute,"? Well it seems that this Senior Citizens' League is trying to prove him right. It is sad commentary on life when the most vulnerable in a society are made pawns by shucksters. I sure hope that the majority are not falling for this crap.
Monday April 8, 2013, 12:03 am
A few words in support of truth and democracy from FDR who planted strong seeds of democracy the freedom fakers work overtime to dismantle and destroy. . .
“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism -- ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.... Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.”
"The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living."
“It is the purpose of government to see that not only the legitimate interests of the few are protected but that the welfare and rights of the many are conserved.”
"They begin to know that here in America we are waging a war against want and destitution and economic demoralization. It is more than that; it is a war for the survival of democracy. We are fighting to save a great and precious form of government for ourselves and for the world.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
Note: Any person who actually believes that the "privatized" profit margin maniac sector has the acumen, capacity or even a will to provide for the genuine safety, welfare and survival of the masses or have the ability to honor and respect the biosphere that gives life to all. . .need to remove their azz-hats and supply their cranium contents with more than over processed--fake food for thought--substitutes.
Monday April 8, 2013, 9:34 am
"Let us be clear about our choice. When we raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, no one dies. When we cut Social Security and Medicare, people die." ~ Annabel Park, Story of America.org
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 1:44 pm
Thx Tom for your article in sharing it.. I chose to ignore having conversations with republicans who are just not there on point with the information given.
I will concur with those who see it as this article and presenter has posted.
I will enjoy tho when all those whose heads are stuck in the sand will be a victim of what they keep denying as truth... navigate your lives wisely.