Monday, April 11, 2016

Social Security in the Crosshairs

Anyone trying to include Social Security in debt negotiations is doing so either out of ignorance, or as part of a partisan agenda, either as a tactic to scare Social Security recipients, or in an effort to privatize (think huge administrative fees) or eliminate Social Security. Social Security is the reason (along with living wages) that we no longer have huge numbers of seniors and disabled people in poorhouses and in poverty. Private retirement plans are subject to theft, bankruptcies, stock market crashes, bank closings, and incompetent or unscrupulous administration. In contrast, Social Security will always be there. Unless, of course, our politicians take it from us.

Raising retirement ages or cutting benefits will only have an impact 17 years from now, and would still only affect Social Security benefit payouts, not the National Debt.

How does Social Security work? The Social Security Trust Fund holds special Treasury Bonds, bought whenever there is more collected in Social Security payroll taxes than is paid out in Social Security benefits. Those bonds fund part of the national debt, to the tune of $2.8 trillion. When benefits paid exceed revenues, Social Security's special Treasury Bonds are redeemed. At the time of redemption, new regular Treasury Bonds are sold. Money given to Social Security for redeeming the special bonds is offset by money from the sale of regular bonds, and there is no change in the national debt. Understand this, and you will see through politicians' lies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Republicans Need Not Apply

Health Care Reconciliation -- Passage - Vote Passed (240-189, 5 Not Voting)

The House passed a bill that repeals key elements of the 2010 health care overhaul law including the individual and employer mandates and the medical device and "Cadillac"  taxes, and it blocks for one year federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

 Rep. Collin Peterson voted YES

(From MegaVote at

Representative Collin Peterson (D MN-7) joined Republicans in voting to terminate health care for millions of Americans. He also voted to end health care subsidies for millions of women who depend on Planned Parenthood for basic medical care. (Note that federal funding for abortions ended years ago.) With Democrats like this, who needs Republicans?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Voters Deprived of Choice in Representation

Representative Collin Peterson (MN 7th district), a Democrat who voted to enable Republicans to shut down the Federal government in 2013, continues to vote against Democrat's principles and instead polish his radical conservative credentials.

April 16th (Tax Day), Peterson voted in favor of the "Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015", a bill which gives a tax break worth $269 billion over 10 years to the richest few thousand estates in the country. The bill adds that cost to the federal debt.

The measure benefits only the top .2 percent of the population because the other 99.8 percent of the country doesn't own enough wealth to ever pay the tax.

The bill effectively repeals capital gains taxes for people with large estates, allowing investments to be passed down without any taxes on their growth over the years. This federal tax of 0% on investment profits contrasts sharply with the 25% tax on the income of middle class Americans (or 10% income tax for poor people and 39.6% tax on "regular" income for the wealthy). Heirs would only have to pay taxes on gains made after the date they get the inheritance.

This vote by Representative Peterson is just the latest demonstration of his radical conservatism in the 2015 congressional session. On the first day of the new session, he voted with Republicans in their latest effort to dismantle Social Security. He has joined the GOP in their continuing efforts to undermine the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), which is the keystone of Dodd-Frank financial reform. Collin Peterson has also voted for the Keystone XL pipeline (Canadian tar sands to southern refineries, with the final product being exported off-shore). He voted with Republicans to change the ACA’s definition of full-time work from 30 to 40 hours per week (only full-time workers receive company paid health insurance). Peterson also voted to weaken Dodd-Frank in an act which combines 11 different bills into one big package and includes provisions to weaken the Volcker Rule, weaken derivatives provisions, and undermine investor protections.

It is abundantly clear that Representative Collin Peterson is not looking out for the 99%. He cares nothing for the "common welfare" or the interests of his constituents, most of whom are not wealthy. His votes promote and condone greed and selfishness, and widen the income inequality gap. He is obviously a Democrat in name only, and his continued presence on the Democratic ticket deprives voters of a choice of representation. It is long past time for the Minnesota DFL to recognize Peterson for what he is: a radical Republican.