Tag Archives: Social Security

Mittens attacks Perry on Social Security in Florida?

Republican Tea Party (GOTP) presidential candidate Mittens Romney is warning senior citizens to beware of turning Social Security into a “Perry scheme,” according to the Huffington Post.

In his political tryst published a scant six months ago, the Reverend Ricky argued the retirement safety net violated states’ rights, and suggested the program had problems from its inception in the 1930s. Ricky says he doesn’t want to change the program for older Americans, but he calls Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” because allegedly funding problems will mean younger Americans won’t receive benefits they are paying for now.

“I think Social Security has worked pretty darned well. I think the problem is keeping it from becoming a Perry scheme,” Mittens mewed.

He also said Social Security should be preserved for future generations and any shortcomings should be solved by whoever is elected president in 2012.

“Social Security is not going to change for anyone in this room,” the former Massachusetts governor reassured his aging audience.

Florida Democrats were quick to criticize Mittens however, not wanting voters to be fooled by his apparent defense of the social security system; Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, spoke to reporters on a conference call and said Romney was in favor of “dismantling” Social Security and letting people invest retirement funds in the stock market.

“Mitt Romney would have you believe this is a government handout,” she reportedly said. “Mitt Romney would rather carry water for the tea party and leave seniors to fend for themselves in the private market.”

One thing’s for sure, Mittens is smelling blood in the water from Perry’s campaign and is attempting to go in for the political kill.

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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in 2012 Election


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Privatizing Social Security – Another Good Reason not to Vote Republican in 2012

According to the Associated Press (AP) most of the current crop of Republican Tea Party (GOTP) hopefuls running for president are embracing plans to partially privatize Social Security, reviving the very contentious issue that thankfully fizzled under former President George W. Bush. If there was no other reason to oppose the election of any of the crazy eights, this would be enough – however, there’s a lack of other reasons as well; but his will do for now.

President Obama’s would-be rivals are fanatical on letting younger workers divert part of their payroll taxes into some type of personal account to be invested separately from Social Security. Key phrase “being invested” which brings us the GOTP candidate’s true motivation; lining the pockets of Wall Street contributors – who always want more, and who are willing to pay for it.

Michele “Krazy” Bachmann and Ron Paul say younger workers should be allowed to invest in alternative plans, while the Reverend Ricky Perry says that whole groups, such as state and local government workers, should be allowed opt out of Social Security altogether.

The AP is reporting that Mittens Romney says the stock market collapse in 2008 shouldn’t scare workers away from investing in private accounts, but acknowledges it’s an issue.

“Given the volatility of investment values that we have just experienced, I would prefer that individual accounts were added to Social Security, not diverted from it, and that they were voluntary,” he wrote in his book, “No Apology.”

Thankfully Progressives and Moderates alike don’t share this “privatize everything” version of the Brave New World under GOTP leadership. They say it would drain resources from the more than 50 million people who now receive benefits, and of course raising the privatization issue could likely give Democrats a potent political weapon.

“We’ll fight that fight anytime,” said Congressman Sander Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees Social Security. “Bad policy is usually terrible politics, and that’s terrible politics.”

Levin is more than likely right, there is a large voting block of seniors in this country and their rolls fill with more and more voters with every presidential election; the GOTP likes to reason that business can handle everything this country needs, from its prison system to its retirement payouts; how long before some would be GOTP candidate suggests police forces and the military should be privately run as well? Wouldn’t that be great, officers and soldiers swearing an oath to some investment house instead of the Constitution?

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Posted by on September 17, 2011 in 2012 Election


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Bachmann called Social Security ‘a tremendous fraud’?

Well what do you know? Republican Tea Party (GOTP) used-to-be darling Michele “Krazy” Bachmann, said just last year that younger workers should be “weaned off” Social Security, and that it’s “a tremendous fraud” and anyone who ran a business modeled after the program would be “thrown in jail.”

“It’s a tremendous fraud,” Krazy told Fox Business host David Asman after he called the program “one of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated on the American public.”

“No company could get away with this, they’d be thrown in jail if they ever tried to do what the federal government did with people’s Social Security money,” Krazy claimed. “What we need to do very quickly is take the money that is coming in for Social Security, and truly lock it up so that we aren’t putting it out the door anymore.”

Wow, you mean like you voted to do during the Bush/Cheney years Congresswoman? Like the many times you voted to help spend billions in Iraq and Afghanistan? Where’d you think the money was coming from, besides out of thin air?

“Michele was referring to the fraud being the federal government who has stolen money out of the social security trust fund. People have the illusion that their money is safe in a vault somewhere, but the money is being spent on big government programs,” Stewart told The Ticket in an e-mail. “Michele will protect Social Security because the government should keep its promise to those who have paid into the system.”

Well, maybe Mr. Stewart, but Bachmann has called Social Security a “criminal fraud”, and has proposed changing the eligibility age for Social Security, reducing or eliminating the program for high-income people, and privatizing the program for younger workers by giving them individual accounts similar to a 401k.

Bachmann likes to say that Social Security should not be changed for those who have paid into the system their entire lives, and that older workers and retirees should remain within the current system. For everyone else, she thinks they should be “weaned off” the program’s current structure and said, “we just have to be straight with people.”

“[W]hat you have to do is keep faith with the people that are already in the system, that don’t have any other options, we have to keep faith with them,” Krazy has whined. “But basically what we have to do is wean everybody else off. And wean everybody off because we have to take those unfunded net liabilities off our bank sheet, we can’t do it. So we just have to be straight with people.”

Here’s an idea, how about Michele and company (GOTP House) increase the tax on every single penny everyone makes, making your rich buddies pay for Social Security on all their income instead of the first $140,000 or so. That would probably make up any difference we the people are lacking, and keep the program solvent until the population swings again to more people paying in than taking out.

Bachmann is done; you can stick her with a fork. All the “krazy” talk had caught up to her, as well as Ricky Perry entering the race, and voters are beginning to see that she just isn’t presidential, much less congressional material.

Turn out the lights the party’s over they say that all good things must end …

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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in 2012 Election


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Congressional Republican Tea Partistas want to raise taxes?

Republican Tea Partistas (GOTP) in the Congress – specifically the House – want to allow a tax break to end 1 January 2012, but it’s not the tax cuts enacted by George W. Bush which benefit the top 2% of wealthiest Americans, it’s the tax cut that applies to – and helps – the 46 percent of all Americans who owe no federal income taxes but who pay a “payroll tax” on practically every dime they earn.

The explanation from the GOTP House is an interesting one, GOTP House members say their proposal to allow the cuts to end is perfectly consistent with their goal of long-term tax policies that will spur employment and lend greater certainty to the economy. By spurring the economy they mean continuing tax cuts to the wealthy – the so-called “job creators” who haven’t created very many jobs in the past decade of benefitting from Bush tax cuts – while removing tax cuts for the lower 46% of the population ala Ebenezer Scrooge.

“It’s always a net positive to let taxpayers keep more of what they earn,” says GOTP Congressman Jeb Hensarling, “but not all tax relief is created equal for the purposes of helping to get the economy moving again.”

What the deuce does that mean? Not “all tax relief is created equal for the purpose of helping to get the economy moving again”? Removing tax cuts to the lower middle class and the poor, while keeping tax cuts in place for the rich is supposed to get the economy moving again? This is like a Monty Python sketch of 12th Century England with the nobles trying to work out how to tax the poor out of every dime by instituting a road tax, or a tree tax.

The crux of the issue is that workers – aka “those people” to the GOTP – normally pay 6.2 percent of their wages toward a tax designated for Social Security. Their employer pays an equal amount, for a total of 12.4 percent per worker. Well, last December – when Congress was still controlled by real people and not the prostitutes of the wealthy – Congress approved President Obama’s request to reduce the workers’ share to 4.2 percent for one year; employers’ rate did not change. The President would like to see Congress extend the reduction for an additional year. If the GOTP doesn’t extend the tax cut the rate will return to 6.2 percent on 1 Jan.

President Obama has asked the GOTP House to come up with measures to help the economy and create jobs. “There are things we can do right now that will mean more customers for businesses and more jobs across the country. We can cut payroll taxes again, so families have an extra $1,000 to spend,” he said.

Unfortunately, the GOTP House – which ran on the premise of creating jobs – has not submitted one bill designed to help the economy; but they have submitted more than 100 bills aimed at curtailing abortions in America.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Social Security payroll taxes apply only to the first $106,800 of a worker’s wages. Therefore, $2,136 is the biggest benefit anyone can gain from the one-year reduction. Of course the vast majority of Americans make less than $106,800 a year, and thus millions of workers pay more in payroll taxes than in federal income taxes. But we can’t have the vast majority of American workers benefiting – you can almost hear Eric Cantor whining, “Why do they need a tax break? They don’t create any jobs! We need to cut taxes further for the top 2%, the “job creators”, not the sniveling supporters of the Democratic Party.”

GOTP Congressman, like David Camp, chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, and a member of the newly created House-Senate “uber-committee” tasked with finding new deficit cuts says that allowing the tax reductions to continue is troublesome, “no matter how well-intended,” will push the deficit higher.

So, allowing tax cuts to continue for the vast majority of wage earners in America will increase the deficit, but allowing the top 2% who control the vast majority of wealth – i.e., money – to keep their tax cuts won’t raise the deficit? Wow, talk about GOTP double speak.

Many GOTP members of Congress are adamant about not raising taxes but largely silent on what it would mean to let the payroll tax break expire, and they cite key differences between the two “temporary” taxes, starting with the fact that the Bush measure had a 10-year life from the start. To stimulate job growth, these lawmakers say, it’s better to reduce income tax rates for people and for companies than to extend the payroll tax break. Yes, because the uber-rich and their corporations – who we all know are people too – need to be able to have their caviar and eat it too.

Bottom line: the GOTP doesn’t give two cents for the people who work in this country; they’re only concern is to keep their Sugar Daddies (the top 2%) fat and happy so they’ll keep writing contribution checks. These “job creators” haven’t created any jobs here at home, but they’ve created thousands of new jobs overseas, benefiting from deregulation and tax cuts during the Bush/Cheney run. If you make less than $200,000 per year and you vote for the GOTP you’re slitting your own economic wrists. If this latest, and completely open move to shank you doesn’t convince you I don’t know what will.

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Posted by on August 22, 2011 in Taxes


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What’s in this deal?

The White House is saying the so-called “bi-partisan” debt ceiling deal “removes the cloud of uncertainty over our economy at this critical time, by ensuring that no one will be able to use the threat of the nation’s first default now, or in only a few months, for political gain;

“Locks in a down payment on significant deficit reduction, with savings from both domestic and Pentagon spending, and is designed to protect crucial investments like aid for college students;

“Establishes a bipartisan process to seek a balanced approach to larger deficit reduction through entitlement and tax reform;

“Deploys an enforcement mechanism that gives all sides an incentive to reach bipartisan compromise on historic deficit reduction, while protecting Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries and low-income programs;

“Stays true to the President’s commitment to shared sacrifice by preventing the middle class, seniors and those who are most vulnerable from shouldering the burden of deficit reduction; the President did not agree to any entitlement reforms outside of the context of a bipartisan committee process where tax reform will be on the table and the President will insist on shared sacrifice from the most well-off and those with the most indefensible tax breaks.”

The “deal” – if approved by both houses of Congress (something that remains to be seen) – “immediately enacts a 10-year discretionary spending caps generating nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction; balanced between defense and non-defense spending.”

The “deal” authorizes the President (by Congress – if it passes) to increase the debt limit by at least $2.1 trillion, eliminating the need for further increases until 2013. Everyone needs to understand that the financial side of all things in government originates in the United States House of Representatives – currently controlled by the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) – and it’s upon their collective shoulders that debt originates from. The President can’t spend a dime without Congressional – particularly the House – approval.

The “deal” creates a bipartisan committee (also being dubbed the uber-committee) process tasked with identifying an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, including from entitlement and tax reform. Committee is required to report legislation by November 23, 2011, which receives fast-track protections. Congress is required to vote on Committee recommendations by December 23, 2011. This is something never done before; it’s extra-constitutional in nature and will prove interesting to see how – or if – it functions, and to see if its creation – or decisions – isn’t soon challenged before the Supreme Court.

The “deal” also creates an “enforcement mechanism” established to force all parties – Republican and Democrat – to agree to balanced deficit reduction has been put in place so that if the uber-committee fails, then the enforcement mechanism will trigger spending reductions beginning in 2013 – split 50/50 between domestic and defense spending. Enforcement protects Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries, and low-income programs from any cuts. It’s the Terminator for budget reduction; of course once it is released it will be fascinating to see if it can be controlled, or if it will simply run a muck through the halls of Congress saying “Hasta la vista, baby”.

The bi-partisan “deal” – if approved – supposedly removes the cloud of economic uncertainty until 2013, eliminating the economy to move forward without the mill stone of the Tea Party Congress dragging it down; which is a good thing since most independent analysts, economists, and ratings agencies – meaning anyone not on the payroll of FOX PAC and the Heritage Fundation (yes it’s a deliberate misspelling) – have all made clear that a short-term debt limit increase would create unacceptable economic uncertainty by risking default again within only a matter of months and as S&P stated, increase the chance of a downgrade. By ensuring a debt limit increase of at least $2.1 trillion, this deal removes the specter of default, providing important certainty to our economy at a fragile moment. The plus side is – if Congress approves it – that this puts the crazies in the closet until after the 2012 election when hopefully most of them have been defeated and the Congress can reach a normal level of grid-lock as compared to the Mad Hatter’s Wild Tea Cup Ride we’ve all been exposed to of late.

The “deal” is supposed to provide more than $900 billion in savings over 10 years by capping discretionary spending including savings of $350 billion from the base defense budget; which are the first defense cuts since the 1990s and which are supposed to be implemented based on the outcome of a review of our missions, roles, and capabilities that will reflect the President’s commitment to protecting our national security. Which means these cuts may never happen at all. To be sure the war rabid Tea Party members of Congress will never vote to cut defense spending, not while the specter of “Islamic Fascism” is repeatedly resurrected whenever FOX PAC needs a ratings boost.

But it doesn’t just cut defense spending; the other $550 billion will be taken from domestic discretionary spending, which will – if approved – drop to the lowest level since Dwight D. Eisenhower was President (1953-1961).

Allegedly the “deal” is designed to achieve balanced deficit reduction, consistent with the values the President articulated in his April Fiscal Framework. The discretionary savings are spread between both domestic and defense spending. And the President will demand that the uber-committee pursue a balanced deficit reduction package, where any entitlement reforms are coupled with revenue-raising tax reform that asks for the most fortunate Americans to sacrifice. The fact the President will have the option to push for tax increases may be the deal breaker for the Tea Party Freshman, who claim they will never vote for any tax increase. This appears to be the spoonful of sugar meant to help the medicine of domestic cuts easier to swallow by the Democrats.

Additionally, it appears that the Terminator enforcement mechanism complements the forcing event already in law which is the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts; it appears it will force the uber-committee’s hand into allowing the Bush tax cuts to finally expire on 1 January 2013. In effect, if the uber-committee fails to come up with balanced deal, it would enable the President to use his veto pen to ensure nearly $1 trillion in additional deficit reduction by not extending the high-income tax cuts. If the President is re-elected – with seems entirely possible – it is certainly probable that the Bush Tax Cuts will expire, with or without a deal from the uber-committee as nothing says the President has to allow them to continue.

While there will be cuts in domestic spending, it appears the President stood firmly against proposals that would have placed the sole burden of deficit reduction on lower-income and middle-class families. This includes not only proposals in the House Republican Tea Party Budget that would have undermined the core commitments of Medicare to our seniors and forced tens of millions of low-income Americans to go without health insurance, but also enforcement mechanisms that would have forced automatic cuts to low-income programs. The Terminator enforcement mechanism in the deal exempts Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare benefits, unemployment insurance, programs for low-income families, and civilian and military retirement. It will be interesting to see where the uber-committee finds places to cut considering all the programs protected. Of course all of this is dependent on whether or not the severely weakened Speaker – John Boehner – has the political muscle to force it through the House.

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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Debt Ceiling


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Have a little faith liberals …

Everyone on the left seems to joining the conservatives in bashing the President over his insistence that “nothing is off the table” when it comes to the budget discussions. To everyone whining on the left I say, “Have a little faith baby.” President Obama is not selling out Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, and this is what Presidents do; they bring all sides to the table and hammer out programs, budgets, etc … and besides that, when the President says “nothing is off the table” and the Republican/Tea Party (GOTP) members of Congress fire back that “tax increases to wealthy are not on the table” who looks immature and not ready for the prime time? That’s right, the GOTP.

Have you considered that putting everything on the table doesn’t mean he’s going to radically change them? No, it hasn’t. We’re all just going to join in and start bashing away with comments that “he’s too conservative” and “he shouldn’t be willing to negotiate.”

Regarding putting Social Security “on the table”, what if the President’s selling point would be that he forces the GOTP Congress to accept that every dollar earned must be collected on effectively ending the FICA tax loophole everyone earning more than $110,000 per year benefits from increasing the Social Security trust fund and effectively making it solvent well into the future? Not something Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and every member of Congress would be in favor of, but it bring hundreds of billions of dollars – if not trillions – into the fund.

And let’s suppose the President puts “everything on the table” and the Republican/Tea Party (GOTP) Congress still refuses to negotiate, who comes off looking bad? The Congress of course, because there are members of the Congress on the right who will not negotiate, no matter what, Congressman Cantor and Senator McConnell both come to mind, and they’ll come off looking like the bad guys. They’ll come off looking like the smucks they are.

So, before you drink any more Hatorade, take a deep breath, and have a little faith. This President has accomplished more than any other progressive president since FDR, let’s not forget that. He isn’t going to throw the big three under the bus in spite of what Ed Schultz claims, who by the way is beginning to sound as wild and crazy as Limbaugh more and more every day. Ed, ratchet it back a few, you’re beginning to sound ridiculous. President Obama will force the GOTP to the table, and he will come off the winner politically, and the American people will come off the better. If we default – as some on the far right would like to see – then the country will be in serious trouble. When the dust settles, the far right Tea Party members of the Congress will be standing there looking as morose as ever, and feeling foolish. They will not be heroes, and will then be painted as the frauds they are.

So, I repeat, “have a little faith baby.”

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Posted by on July 8, 2011 in Debt Ceiling


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Social Security must die so America can be what we want it to be?

OK, it’s time to play guess who said it.

Who said, “I mean, just from the very notion that it said that 50 percent of beneficiaries under the Social Security program use those monies as their sole source of income. So we’ve got to protect today’s seniors. But for the rest of us? For — you know, listen. We’re going to have to come to grips with the fact that these programs cannot exist if we want America to be what we want America to be.”?

If you guessed GOTP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia you were right. But, in being right you have ask, “say what”?

Just when you think the far right lunatics can’t possibly say or do anything loonier, what do ya know? They do.

What exactly does Cantor mean when he says, “We’re going to have to come to grips with the fact that these programs cannot exist if we want America to be what we want America to be.”?

Is this what the far right means when it says it wants to take the country back? Take it back to pre-1930? Take it back to pre-New Deal? Take it back to when people worked until they died, and if they couldn’t take care of themselves too bad? This is the scary far right stuff, but of course the farther to the right the GOTP goes the father it goes away from the majority of America’s voters, and it’s going to one day catch up and bite them on the butt.

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Posted by on March 30, 2011 in Economics


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Sanders Calls for Shared Sacrifice

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has alleged while hard working Americans fill out their income tax returns this tax season, General Electric and other giant profitable corporations are avoiding U.S. taxes altogether, and with Congress returning to Capitol Hill this week to continue its seemingly never ending debate on spending cuts, he said the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations must do their share to help bring down our record-breaking deficit.

Sanders has renewed his call for shared sacrifice after it was reported that General Electric and other major corporations paid no U.S. taxes after posting huge profits. Sanders said it is grossly unfair for congressional Republicans to propose major cuts to Head Start, Pell Grants, the Social Security Administration, nutrition grants for pregnant low-income women and the Environmental Protection Agency while ignoring the reality that some of the most profitable corporations pay nothing or almost nothing in federal income taxes. And Senator Sanders is absolutely right. It’s time for the GOTP to stop pandering to its far right frantic fringe and start balancing the books by balancing the load.

Sanders has compiled a list of some of some of the 10 worst corporate income tax avoiders.

1)  Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009.  Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.

2)  Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

3)   Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

4)   Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

5)   Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

6)   Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.

7)   Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

8)   Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

9)   ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.

10)  Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.

Sanders has called for closing corporate tax loopholes and eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies. He also introduced legislation to impose a 5.4 percent surtax on millionaires that would yield up to $50 billion a year. The senator has said that spending cuts must be paired with new revenue so the federal budget is not balanced solely on the backs of working families.

“We have a deficit problem. It has to be addressed,” Sanders said, “but it cannot be addressed on the backs of the sick, the elderly, the poor, young people, the most vulnerable in this country.  The wealthiest people and the largest corporations in this country have got to contribute. We’ve got to talk about shared sacrifice.”


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Posted by on March 30, 2011 in Federal Budget


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