Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Kill Our America Hating Flag Burning Asses?

Don't mistake criticism and protesting for hating and a lack of patriotism. It just means that we want the country we love to be better.

Don't think there's room for improvement? Try being black, gay, a woman, or a sick person with a 30% co-pay and a $4,000 deductible. Try being an investor with Madoff (SEC was warned and did nothing) or a resident of Flint, Michigan. Try losing your life savings in the Great Recession because radicals did not want commercial and investment banking separate.

Try working full time for minimum wage at a company of less than 50 employees (no employer-provided health insurance). Try being an employee of a company which has to provide health insurance while competing against foreign companies that don't. Try living in a state that rejected Medicaid expansion so that you have no health care because you make over $4000 a year and don't make enough for the ACA insurance exchanges.

Try being poor. Try being on Social Security while hearing all the lies about it and watching all the efforts to get rid of it (by those who want to make a 20% profit off of your retirement) and being called a moocher after a lifetime spent paying into Social Security and Medicare.

Try being the relative of a victim of police violence or a mass shooting by someone who just had to use their AK-47 on a group of innocent people.

Most people do not claim soldiers and veterans and the police are not heroes, and most people do not hate America. Still want to shoot us? Yeah, you can take the easy road and disparage us and call us leftists or socialists or whiners or haters or moochers or threaten to kill us or send us to countries we never set foot in. Or you can try to understand that there are people who are hurting and need your help.

Get the picture?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Facebook Presidential Candidate Guide

This is from a facebook posting.

My response:

  • Gay marriage - if you are against it then don't marry someone of the same sex. 
  • Increase Gun control - are you part of a "well regulated militia"? 
  • Increase Border - ever hear of work visas? Oh, that's right, then you would have to pay higher wages.
  • Common Core - good luck to students transferring schools and meeting minimum standards.
  • Support Obama Care - this was actually the Republican plan (Massachusetts, under Romney). This is putting insurance companies between you and your doctor, and is costing people big time with deductibles and co-pays and coverage limits and gaps. What good is insurance with a 40% co-pay after the deductible? Most other western nations have essentially free health care and lower costs. 
  • Drug Test Welfare - anyone accepting government money, including congressmen. In states that have testing requirements, welfare recipients test positive for drugs at a much lower rate than the average population. 
  • Felon Right to Vote - Didn't you already pay your dues? And why complicate voting? If you are not in prison, you should be able to vote. (Shouldn't that be ex-felon?) 
  • Global Warm Regul. - Nah, let's deny climate change and cite the one (debunked) study that disproved global warming. Anyone want an iceberg? We're having a fire sale. 
  • Space Travel Budget - Oh, we can't afford that. Deficits are way too high. Why? Because revenues keep going down. Corporate taxes are a fraction of what they used to be, with the big corporations paying the least (especially if you have your corporate address in another country). Capital gains, which is when your money makes money, is taxed much less than when humans make money. (Rich people's money is so much more important than workers' income from labor.)
  • Military Budget - We spend more than the next 20 nations combined on our military. (Hardly any of that for personnel - ask all the military people on food stamps.) And do we have to have 900 military bases in foreign countries? 

And do you want to know where American jobs went? Overseas, with cheap labor and no standards for imported goods (which US companies must comply with). Free trade. Shouldn't that have been fair trade? And remember, US companies must provide health insurance for employees if they have more than 50 workers, unlike foreign companies whose employees have health care through their government (or none at all).

Social Security - those paper I.O.U.s? They're called Treasury Bonds. Yes, Social Security is broke with only 2.8 Trillion in the Trust Fund. After 2034, Social Security will only be able to pay out 79% of benefits owed. Let's raise the retirement age and cut benefits! We should start to see results from that in 2034. Or we could raise or remove the cap after which income is not subject to payroll taxes. Currently the cap is $118,500, which means that all income above that is not subjected to payroll taxes. Millionaires pay a much lower payroll tax percentage than most people. Social Security has its own revenue stream (payroll taxes) and should not (by law) be counted as part of Federal revenue or costs. If Social Security has deficits, it only means that money must be taken from the Trust Fund; it has absolutely nothing to do with the regular Federal budget or its deficits. And why should SocSec be privatized? So that the financial sector can make lots of money with administrative costs. Instead of a 2% overhead, think 20%. Also, think embezzlement, bankruptcies, stock market crashes, etc. that are hazards with privatization. How many people lost their retirement money in 2008?

2008 Recession. The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 separated risky trading and investment from traditional banking activities like business lending and consumer finance. When the repeal was passed in 1999, lots of people said to expect a financial crisis in 10 years. They were wrong. It was only 9 years. The repeal was part of the "less regulation" philosophy of the radical conservatives.

I used to think Republicans were the fiscally responsible party. But now they decimate revenues (part of "shrink the federal government and then drown it in a bathtub" ideology) and then claim there is no money for social programs. Social Liberal and Fiscal Conservative? Then you are definitely not a Republican.

I am a Progressive Democrat, and the above are some of the reasons. Do you really think you are a Republican? Then read each party's platform and tell me again what you are.

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.