Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Social Security Misinformation

Social Security is running out of money? Seriously? Would you be broke if you had $2.8 trillion in the bank? Or are you somehow under the delusion that the United States is going to default on its debts? Tell that to the Chinese and all the others who hold trillions in U.S. Treasury Bonds. You know, those interest-bearing bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the United States? The U.S. is not going to default even if the National Debt were $100 trillion; that would make the costs of borrowing skyrocket.

Calling Social Security a liability is a damned bald-faced lie. It has its own revenue stream and is off-budget. In case you are ignorant of what that means, Social Security is not part of the federal budget. Changes in benefits do not affect by even one thin dime the federal budget or the National Debt. The only change is the date that the $2.8 trillion Social Security Trust Fund zeroes out, at which point only 80% of benefits could be paid out. Simple adjustments to the payroll tax or the salary cap would fully fund Social Security after 2034. Or don't you want to raise the salary cap so that the wealthy pay more payroll taxes than a minuscule percentage of their incomes of millions of dollars?

If you cut Social Security benefits today, there would be zero effects through 2034 except to the folks who rely on those benefits. Nada. Zilch, zip, zero, null point-void. Saving Social Security by cutting benefits? That is a fucking con job by radical conservatives who are ideologically opposed to government-run programs. The financial sector would love to get their hands on all of the retirement account profits and the $2.8 trillion Trust Fund. Privatization. Profits. The almighty dollar. The free market which is supposedly inherently moral (Ayn Rand is their God and Paul Ryan is their disciple). They have theirs, and they want ours, too.

Or are you of the opinion that Congress somehow stole our retirements because the Trust Fund consists of U.S. Treasury Bonds? Paranoid, much? And do you think that Social Security is a savings program and that we are somehow being screwed? Do you also believe that Social Security is currently running deficits? Look up interest-bearing. Where are the future planned deficits going to come from? Are baby boomers screwed? Look up Trust Fund. Look up the meaning of trillions in assets. Look up why the Trust Fund was built up (hint: baby boomers).

Social Security is not a savings account. It is retirement insurance. Part of it is also disability insurance. If you want to risk your own money in the stock market, go ahead. The Great Recession wiped out many people's savings. Bernie Madoff stole (made off with) billions of dollars of people's savings. Brokers would "invest" with Madoff and present their clients with Madoff's fabricated list of stocks and earnings that clients were supposedly holding, then took no responsibility when the Ponzi scheme collapsed. Retirement accounts are stolen in other ways, too. Brokers can decimate accounts just by churning to earn fees for themselves. Bookkeepers, accountants, financial advisors can and have stolen or lost client's money. Look up why Leonard Cohen had to go back to work in his 70's (hint: stolen retirement).

You think Social Security is the problem? You've been conned.

Treasury Department reports $1.2 TRILLION loss in 2017

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Vote against ADA - HR 620

😠 The following opinion has been submitted by me to my House "representative" in D.C.
To: Collin Peterson (D-MN7):
Message Subject: Vote against ADA - HR 620
Message Text:
Is there some reason that you want to gut the ADA? Do you think that businesses are going to provide access to the handicapped (employees or customers) out of the goodness of their hearts? Are you that naive? The rationale behind HR 620 is that it protects against frivolous lawsuits. That is stupid; the ADA only provides for legal fees and injunctive (corrective) relief.

I assume you are not stupid. So why in the world would you make it harder for people to get relief under the ADA? Are you really a Republican member of the GOP (Greed Over People)? Do you think the disabled should just roll over and die so they don't inconvenience anyone? Is this part of the effort to discriminate against women, blacks, LGBT, and non-Christians and to make it legal for companies to impose their "convenient" cherry-picked religious beliefs on people?

How long are you going to deny the voters in your district from having a choice at the polls? A vote between a Democrat In Name Only and a Republican is no choice at all. I am consistently disgusted by your actions. The GOP is all about "individual responsibility" and zero belief in "social responsibility" and for you to constantly align yourself with the party of selfishness, greed, and immorality astounds me. Grow up!

The GOP Wants To Gut The Americans With Disabilities Act

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

2017 Giveaway to the Wealthy in a Must Pass Bill

This bill is needed to avoid a government shutdown. So Republicans have loaded it up with all of their wet dreams.

There will supposedly be a temporary tax cut of 10% for the middle class, much less than taxes are cut for the wealthiest. The 40% corporate tax reduction, which is permanent, will not go into higher wages or more jobs but instead will be distributed as dividends and stock buy-backs; there will not be an increase in demand for additional goods and services which is what drives job creation and wage increases.

The wealthiest 10% own 90% of stocks; so it is the 10% that are already wealthy who will receive 90% of the benefits of cutting corporate taxes. And since the poor usually do not own stocks they will receive no benefits from a slashed corporate tax rate (unless you believe that trickle-down will magically actually start working). The remainder of the 90% will share in only 10% of benefits. Plus, most business tax deductions remain in place and there will be new deductions available; that is not true for the middle class. Add to that the cut in estate taxes benefiting only the wealthy.

Despite this bill raising the National Debt by $1-2 trillion, radical conservatives still insist that they are fiscal conservatives and will need to slash social spending (including on Social Security which does not affect the federal budget at all).

The 10 year rule for bills passed by reconciliation (simple majority) only means that deficits in the 11th year on will not be worsened. But federal budget deficits are yearly figures only. There is no corresponding rule for increases in the National Debt.

What else does this bill do? It declares officially that life begins at conception, allows oil drilling in Alaska, and cuts Medicare and Medicaid. Don't forget that social programs will in the future still be targeted and cut because of "their cost." This bill also eliminates the health insurance mandate and leaves 13 million more people without health insurance while making it much more expensive for others. Also being underfunded and mismanaged are the EPA, OSHA, FDA, SEC, Education, Labor, and the CFPB, and who knows how many other agencies?

A very progressive tax bill, wouldn't you say?