Wednesday, November 24, 2010
So we are about to have a Korean missile crisis. This will truly test Obama's metal. I Have no idea what should be done but I'm scared. I am scared in the say David Cosby said he was at Woodstock. That is something-less, something brown and muckyless. The North Koreans are nuts you know. That's about par for the course now days. They are the Taliban, the Tea party, with Nuclear weapons.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Hanys Health Care Association
New York State
Susan Van Meter
Last night, the U.S. Senate passed legislation to provide a one-month reprieve from the impending cut to Medicare payments under the physician fee schedule. Without congressional intervention, physicians would be subject to a 23% reduction, effective December 1, deepening to 30% on January 1, 2011. The cost of bringing doctors up to a positive 2% update for the month of December is approximately $1 billion.
The House of Representatives has left town for the Thanksgiving recess and will likely pass the Senate bill after reconvening November 29.
The Senate bill is paid for by changing the Medicare discount policy for multiple outpatient therapy services paid under the physician fee schedule. Beginning January 1, 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) planned to establish a 25% discount on second and subsequent outpatient therapy services furnished for the same beneficiary on the same day. This administrative revision to the fee schedule would have been implemented in a budget-neutral manner, with the savings incorporated into physician payments for other services. The legislation reduces the 25% discount to 20% and eliminates budget neutrality, instead using the savings as an offset for the cost of the one month delay in the physician payment cut.
The Senate’s legislation provides only a short-term solution. The White House and other lawmakers are still backing a 13-month fix at a cost of $20 billion. Contact:
Wall Street Journal
DOCTORS FEES: A scheduled 26% cut in Medicare payments to doctors has repeatedly been postponed. Initially put into law to cut program costs, the provision has been blocked in response to pressure from doctors and amid concern that physicians would stop treating Medicare patients. The latest delay in the payment cut ends Nov. 30.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Andy Griffith campaigning for the health care reform
Remember the elderly guy who voted in the Tea Party because he was sick of government spending, only to realize that his social security he needs to live on is government spending and the Tea Party wants to eliminate it? He also forgot they want to eliminate medicare too. When I was in high school debate (so long ago Nixon was President and Watergate just being thought about) a family of four lived in poverty if they made less than $4,000 a year, according to HEW. Now if they make $19,157 or less they are in poverty. A family of 2 with no children make less than $12,000 are in poverty. A single person 65 who makes less than $9,060 is in poverty. 37 million or 13% of our population in poverty.
social Solutions to poverty.
Using this poverty measurement, 37 million people, or 13 percent of the population, currently live below the poverty line. If a more realistic formula for counting the poor were used, without the flaws of the current poverty threshold, the number of poor would rise to at least 50 million.10% of our seniors or 4 million live in poverty. now they face major cuts in their medical. Wait don't say "what different does that make I'm more well off than that." Middle class poor can wiped out in a minute with disease or stay in the hospital. Very few seniors are able to do without medicare or social security. Make no mistake, cuts are coming in both!
These figures put the United States in the dishonorable position of having the highest poverty rates in the industrialized world.
Center for Economic and Policy Research
One of the important untrue items circulating in policy debates in Washington is that we can have substantial budget savings if we cut Social Security and Medicare benefits for "wealthier seniors." Peter Peterson, the billionaire Wall Street investment banker regularly announces that he doesn't need his Social Security when highlighting his efforts to reduce the budget deficit.
In fact, everyone in the policy debate knows that there are very few people like Peter Peterson among Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries and it would not matter one iota if we took away their benefits completely. The billionaires or even millionaires are such a small share of the senior population, that it would barely affect the finances of these programs even if we could find a simple way to take back all their benefits (we can't).
This is why it is incredibly dishonest when the Washington Post puts forth its case in an editorial for cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits for "wealthier seniors," a change that the paper describes as making the programs "more progressive." Invariably what the Post and others mean when they use this line is cutting benefits for people with incomes of $50,000 or $60,000 a year. While these incomes would put a senior household way above the $29,700 median for the over 65 population, these incomes would not fit anyone's definition of wealthy. By contrast, President Obama put the cutoff at $250,000 when setting an income floor on people for raising taxes.
Medicare population is growing. By 2030 it will be 76 million Americans. Medicare is the third largest government program.(Health Care Crisis, Programing on PBS). Can seniors do without it?
In 1999, Medicare beneficiaries spent approximately $400 out-of-pocket on drugs, and many expect this number to rise. But those seniors who can't afford to pay for their medications often don't fill necessary prescriptions, or they take their medicine irregularly. The consequences can be dangerous, or even deadly. “Original” Medicare does not cover the cost of prescription drugs outside the hospital, which means that more than a third of Medicare beneficiaries lack coverage for outpatient prescription drugs. That number is expected to grow as private sources of coverage get more expensive. This coverage gap becomes more of a hardship as drugs grow more expensive and more important in treating the ills of old age. But some seniors have some drug coverage under other plans, including Medicare HMOs. HMOs and other forms of managed care are often able to negotiate lower prices for drugs from the manufacturers, but people paying for their medications as individuals cannot take advantage of these discounted rates. Logically, people who do not have drug coverage are less likely to fill the prescriptions their doctors give them, and less likely to take medication that could improve their health and prevent more serious effects of chronic diseases.
Drugs still account for only 7 percent of all U.S. medical spending, a figure that is expected to reach 8 percent in 2003. Though the amount spent on drugs may seem small, it is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years. America is the only industrialized nation with a free market for pharmaceuticals, or without government restraints on drug prices. In 1998, there was a record number of new drug launches, and the industry spent $1.3 billion on direct-to-consumer advertising four times the 1994 amount.
We fought off five major cuts in medicare this year. Where was this during the political Palaver of the camping just a week ago? No one campaigned on this. The dems gun shy form health care over the summer, the Tea Party is going to gut the aid so don't want to say anything. The seniors who just got through putting them in power are now faced with feeling their wrath when these major cuts go through.
They just got through cutting their throats so there's no one to champion their cause.
By Summer Smith, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 17, 2010
These cuts are not the fault of the New republicans but the republican congress of the 90s. Yet there now the new tea party budget assassins are in and they have a mandate to cut all aid and murder the poor and elder. No one to stop them. The chickens are about to come to roost.
Doctors worry that looming cuts to Medicare could leave patients without care.
On Wednesday afternoon, doctors, medical staff and Medicare patients held a rally in Bradenton to protest the pending cuts. The rally was just one of many protests held around the United States.
Physicians are slated for a 23 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements on Dec. 1 and another 6 percent Jan. 1.
The reduction is being mandated by the federal government as a way to reduce the budget. The cuts are based on a formula that guides Medicare funding.
So far, Congress has stepped in three times this year to block those cuts from happening. Another push is underway to block those cuts again.
Dr. Andrew Clark, a family physician in Bradenton, said the change would impact his practice. About a third of his a patients are on Medicare.
"It would basically stop us from being able to take care of Medicare patients," Clark said.
Dr. Aaron Sudbury agreed, saying the cuts would limit the number of physicians Medicare patients can see.
"Medicare rates are our lowest paying," said Sudbury, who practices obstetrics and gynecology. "So if we reduce that rate even further, it negates my ability to care for those patients because I can't cover my costs to my office."
Patients like Norma Dunwood are also concerned about the cuts.
"We worked hard for it, they promised it," she said. "Therefore they should stick to their word."
The Manatee County Medical Society recently conducted a survey that found if the cuts go through, 20 percent of doctors say they will stop seeing new Medicare patients. Ten percent said they will opt out of Medicare altogether.
For Barbara Cook, it's a double-edged sword. Not only is she on Medicare, but she also works as a medical assistant.
"If they cut Medicare, then we'll have to cut back with our office staff," said Cook.
The cuts would not only affect Medicare patients, it will also impact private insurance because they base their rates on what Medicare does.
Clark said those cuts could be devastating to the entire medical community.
"It would inhibit us from adequate healthcare," said Clark.
The American Medical Association urges citizens who oppose the cuts to call their Senators and Representatives using the Association's toll-free Grassroots hotline at (800) 833-6354.
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Associated Press – Sat Nov 13, 12:16 am ET
WASHINGTON – Breast cancer surgeon Kathryn Wagner has posted a warning in her waiting room about a different sort of risk to patients' health: She'll stop taking new Medicare cases if Congress allows looming cuts in doctors' pay to go through.
The scheduled cuts — the result of a failed system set up years ago to control costs — have raised alarms that real damage to Medicare could result if the lame-duck Congress winds up in a partisan standoff and fails to act by Dec. 1. That's when an initial 23 percent reduction would hit.
Neither Democrats nor newly empowered Republicans want the sudden cuts, but there's no consensus on how to stave them off. The debate over high deficits complicates matters, since every penny going to make doctors whole will probably have to come from cuts elsewhere. A reprieve of a few months may be the likeliest outcome. That may not reassure doctors.
"My frustration level is at a nine or 10 right now," said Wagner, who practices in San Antonio. "I am exceptionally exhausted with these annual and biannual threats to cut my reimbursement by drastic amounts. As a business person, I can't budget at all because I have no idea how much money is going to come in. Medicine is a business. Private practice is a business."
The cuts have nothing to do with President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. They're the consequence of a 1990s budget-balancing law whose requirements Congress has routinely postponed. But these cuts don't go away; they come back for a bigger bite.
Doctors have muddled through with temporary reprieves for years. This time, medical groups estimate that as many as two-thirds of doctors would stop taking new Medicare patients, throwing the health program for 46 million older and disabled people into turmoil just when the first baby boomers will become eligible.
that was a republican congress too, and who in there now? Will the new Republican tea party congress fight for medicare? You think? We will soon see.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I have a couple of friends who I shall call Phoebe and Katrina. These are real people with fictitious names. A few years ago these sisters carried for their father who was on dialysis. Phoebe slept in her father's room at the assisted living place to keep him from falling and help him with things. Katrina was a lawyer but she was unable to find a position in a law firm. She had her own practice and Phoebe worked as her paralegal, but while their father was sick neither of them could work much. After the father died they two girls received 25,000 in inheritance. They had already been through a rough time in an apartment, lost the house they grew up in, so they wanted to find a new home. They put their inheritance money into a house. It was about that time (around 20006) that everyone began to notice it was getting really hard to find a job. This is was right at the point where gas prices began to really clime.
Over the course of the next few years the two girls failed to find jobs. Phoebe tried very hard, Katrina not so much she also was discovered to have breast cancer. The last few years for her have revolved around fighting best cancer and trying to survive. Without work they were unable to make any house payments, or at least many. They worked sporadically, in elections, tried to get law clients and did some legal work for friends. Phoebe scoured the countryside looking for almost anything and was unable to find a job even working in a nursery. The $25,000 was gone a long time ago. They donged the bullet on foreclosure many many times. The original mortgage company went of out business. The company that bought up the debt lacked the legal paper work and couldn't even prove they owned the house. Yet the court continued to regard the mortgagor company as the injured party and kept giving them more and more chances to evict the girls.
The mortgage company pretended to give the girls a chance to buy the house. Pheobe finally got a job working in a school cafeteria but makes very little money. She works very hard every day and makes almost nothing. The mortgage company set impossible goals standards for them to meet then deemed them unworthy of a mortgage. Katrina was dying fast enough to suit them I guess. The girls finally lost the house. They are having to look of a new place. It's very hard to find one becasue they have "economic leper" by thier names ("foreclosure" on their credit reports). The thing is the economic leper rating was put in the reports before the court was settled. So before they were foreclosed upon their credit rating said "foreclosure." Mortgage company used credit rating as one of the criteria why which they judged their suitably for a mortgage, but the couldn't get it because they had a poor credit rating because the very people they were trying to get the good credit for already told credit report people they were foreclosed upon. That has to be illogical. They had a fine lawyer. I know their lawyer so I know he addressed that. The problem: the laws are there to protect the business in their attempt to fleece the homeowner. This is obvously a sham. That's almost like putting the prosecution on the jury.
This outcome is no surprise to me. I went through the process just as they were starting to buy the house. I lost my house we moved out in August of 2006, just as they were beginning to put the money down on their house. My only surprise is that they lasted so long. I have watched every step, holding my tongue and praying because I knew it wouldn't work. I knew when they began trying all sorts of "creative options" like selling the house and renting it back from the buyer, that wont work. We tried all that. I fought for our house for two years. the truth of it is once you start down the foreclosure path it's gone. All the people who have their little business who will supposedly save you are just going to rip you off more. My brother and I never missed a house payment but they stole our house anyway. They paid the taxes the day of the closing then used that as an excuse to raise the payments three times what they were. It was over at that point but we did not know it.
Back in the early part of the decade when I used to see 'get rich quick' scam ads featuring real estate as the golden goose I knew at that time we were in for a crisis some day. I would see ads and things talking about how easy breezy it is to "buy houses and flip them" one need ever be poor again. I thought to myself "doesn't anyone ever buy houses to live in anymore?" I said then "it's going to go bust." Little did I know how right I was. The greed of America, we exist to make money. We live to get more stuff. It never has to stop, the market will always go up and up. Guess what, the bubble did burst. Who takes the fall? The poor average American, Phoebe and Katrina, people who just want to live in a nice little house with their memories of helping their father. The bastards who grow richer every day by sucking the blood of such ordinary people don't have to pay because they are the ones the laws are designed to protect, not the struggling homeowner but the brigandage which exists to feed off the homes of Americans.
The predictable results:The Foreclosure crisis is now spread over 2 million homes.
PBS News Hour Extra. Oct 22, 2010
Since the economic crisis began in December 2007, millions of Americans have lost their homes to foreclosure, sending families scrambling to find a place to live -- sometimes moving into relatives' houses, settling in homeless shelters or on the streets.
Confirmation on the number from real estate sources
Foreclosure, which is when a bank takes away a house because the owner cannot pay back a loan, is at the heart of the economic crisis. During the 1990s and up until 2007, banks and lenders encouraged people to buy expensive homes with loans far beyond their earnings. In some cases, lenders tricked homebuyers with payment schedules designed to start out low, but balloon after a few years.
More than 2.5 million Americans are currently at risk of losing their homes. In recent weeks there have been halts to foreclosures due to questions about paperwork and whether lenders and banks followed the rules when processing foreclosure paperwork. In Florida, activists such as Lisa Epstein have been investigating banks' fraudulent mortgage practices, including using ”robo-signers” to sign legal documents necessary to evict vulnerable homeowners.
Based on RealtyTrac data, since December 2007 (the official start of the recession) and through June 2010 there have been a total of 2.36 million U.S. properties repossessed by lenders through foreclosure (REO). In addition there have been 3.48 million default notices and 3.46 million scheduled foreclosure auctions.Thanks to action by States Attorneys general there was a temporary moratorium on the illegal house stealing. but that's back on now. Their house stealing only slacked off for a few weeks. That's just a temporary lull. The temporary stop is due to action by attorneys general. It has been found that mortgage companies were illegally foreclosing, just rushing paperwork through without any actual regard to real documentation of the house. This is nothing more than thieving. They are literally house thieves.
Bank of America, the nation’s largest bank, had stopped foreclosures as it investigated its methods, but plans to restart its foreclosure offices as early as October 25.
Illegal Foreclosures? The State investigates Three Top South Florida Law Firms....
all Business a D&B company
Foreclosure mills cranking out the theft of houses. Not just in Florida. It's all 50 states:
Three of Florida's largest foreclosure law firms are under investigation by the state attorney general following allegations they illegally rushed thousands of cases through the court system.
The firms, dubbed "foreclosure mills" because of the large volume they handle, are the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson in Fort Lauderdale; Shapiro & Fishman, which has offices in Boca Raton and Tampa; and the Plantation-based firm of David J. Stern. All three handle foreclosures in Palm Beach County.
Tuesday's announcement of the investigation by the Economic Crimes Division of the attorney general's office says "thousands of final judgments of foreclosure against Florida homeowners may have been the result of the allegedly improper actions of the law firms."
Several reports have surfaced in recent months of judges throwing out foreclosure cases in which key documents, such as assignments of mortgages and notes, appear to be doctored, backdated or filed by groups with no standing to foreclose on a property.
Also, attorneys defending homeowners against foreclosure have complained the amount owed a lender on a defaulted loan sometimes cannot be substantiated.
The convoluted boom-time financial practice of repeatedly buying, selling and bundling mortgages exacerbates the situation, making it difficult sometimes to determine who is truly owed the balance of a home loan.
"On numerous occasions, allegedly fabricated documents have been presented to the courts in foreclosure actions to obtain final judgments against homeowners," the statement from Attorney General Bill McCollum says.
Carl C. Asbury Save My Home Lawgroup
Action Alert – Foreclosure Fraud – Tell your Attorney General “Don’t Sit Down with the Banks! Stand up Against Fraud!”
Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on October 29, 2010 ·
A 50-state task force investigating U.S. foreclosure practices may meet with lenders as early as this week, less than a month after JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. suspended some home seizures.
“We’ve had several conference calls with major lenders,” Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said in an interview, declining to specify which ones. “The banks want to sit down with the attorneys general. These meetings are being set up,” said Suthers, whose office is a member of the executive committee of the task force.
All 50 states on Oct. 13 announced a coordinated inquiry into whether banks and loan servicers used false documents and signatures to justify hundreds of thousands of foreclosures. The probe came after JPMorgan and Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC mortgage unit said they would stop repossessions in 23 states where courts supervise home seizures and Bank of America froze foreclosures nationwide.Not only have the mortgage companies been found to be actual thieves, as I thought way back when I was dealing with them, but even the people claim to have you, the knights in shining armor who are going to come to your rescue are merely vultures circling waiting end. The state of Indiana has taken action
Indiana Real estate Rama
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller urges Hoosiers to avoid foreclosure rescue scams
VINCENNES, IN - October 21, 2010 - (RealEstateRama) — Many homeowners facing foreclosure who are frustrated with their loan servicers turn to for-profit foreclosure consultants whose advertisements often promise any home can be saved from foreclosure and their services are 100% guaranteed. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller today announced the filing of 10 lawsuits against companies making such claims calling them false and illegal, including one complaint which was filed today in Knox County against Integrated Financial Solutions, headquartered in New Jersey.
So even the 'good guys' are the bad guys. The only good guys in it are the victims who lose their houses. No one is there to help them and even the laws are against them. The mortgage company, which is just a better organized gang of thieves, those are the one's the laws protect. The media is complicit too. look at the huge discrepancy when they talk about causes. Everyone is afraid to call it like it is. PBS attributes the crisis to lowering prices.
These so-called ‘foreclosure consultants’ are taking advantage of Hoosiers who are facing desperate financial hardships and scamming them out of thousands of dollars. They are operating illegally and this will not be tolerated in Indiana,” Zoeller said. “Working to protect Hoosier consumers includes bringing actions against those who violate our state laws and also warning people to protect themselves, their family and their neighbors - don’t let a loved one fall victim to these scams, no matter how convinced they may be of their legitimacy.”
The lawsuits were filed in nine different Indiana counties by Zoeller and his team of deputy attorneys general serving in the Homeowner Protection Unit. The coordinated filing was done in an effort to raise awareness of the pitfalls of hiring for-profit foreclosure rescue companies.
PBS source above
Part of the financial crisis, however, is that the value of homes has dropped sharply. Therefore, many homeowners who pay their mortgage on time still owe more than their home is worth. For example, if you bought a house for $300,000 in 2007, your house might be worth $150,000 today. Owing more than the house is worth is called being "under water."
foreclosure data online since 2001
mortgage company propaganda
non profit organization
The MHA plan essentially comprises two mortgage relief programs to help troubled homeowners - a loan modification program and a refinance program.
Federal Mortgage Relief - Loan Modifications
This page contains a breif description of the loan modification program. For a complete description of the qualifications and how to apply go to the Loan Modification Programs: How to Qualify and Apply page.
The purpose of a mortgage modification is to get your monthly payment to a more affordable level. An "affordable" mortgage payment is typically defined as 31% of the borrower's monthly gross income. This is achieved by modifying one or more components of your mortgage:
- Lowering the interest rate
- Extendeding the life of the loan
- Lowering the loan principle
There are a lot of factors that contribute to a borrower qualifying for the loan modification. Use the online qualifier provided on this website to determine how likely you are to qualify for a loan modification:
How to apply
If youre ready to begin negotiating for a loan modification, get some free advice before contacting your lender. Consider talking to a HUD-approved, nonprofit housing consultant and find out how likely you are to qualify for a loan modification based on your individual mortgage and financial situation.
What if you don't qualify or have been denied?
If you don't qualify for a loan mod or if you've been denied one in the past, there are two private programs available to you.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Many of the Elderly voted for the Tea Party and to give congress back to the murders of the poor because they don't know or don't believe that these lunatics,who were elected on the virtue that they have no education and no credentials, would actually mean what they say and take away social security:
The Old Geezer
Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason. ~Mark Twain.
I think Mark Twain was right and it's about time for a political change in the United States of America!
Do you agree? Or do you think we should stay the course set by our current administration and politicians?
Are you satisfied with the "Hope and Change" gang that we elected two years ago?
Or do you think congress is due for a diaper change?
The 2010 midterm election will be held on November 2nd with 36 of the 100 seats in the Senate being contested and all the House seats are up for election.
In addition 37 States will elect Governors. Be sure and vote on Tuesday.
Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” ~John Quincy Adams
In my opinion there are always too many Democratic congressmen, too many Republican congressmen, and never enough U.S. congressmen. I was a Democrat for 10 years and a Republican for 30 years. I currently belong to the American Independent Party. I do not vote along party lines. I look at all the candidates and vote for the ones who best represents my Christian values, the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution ~Ron
GOD BLESS YOU AND MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON AMERICA!
This is a pretty unfair argument. Obamam had a couple of years to fix eight years of destruction and total abandonment. The economic system itself was collapsing one could not fix it without doing big things. As long as we have to make a major overhaul anyway, so much was destoryed by Bush, why not make big plans, the job called for big plans. He had very short amount of time, way too short to get anything done. The opposition motivates a bunch of thugs to work up a lynch mob mentality among intolerant forces of stupidity and then when the reformer fails (becuase he was sabotaged) the opposition mocks and ridicules becasue "O he made big plans." what a sin that is! Trying to really change things, you can't find a bigger sin in the American vocabulary.
There are a lot of sources out there showing what the Tea Party really says about Social Security. It's not stretch to prove that the majoroity of these nuts are just chompign at the bits to dismissible all forms of help for anyone who is not rich. This is all based upon the stupid as shit assumption that if they didn't pay taxes they would be millionaires.
Why don't we just look at the words of the people themselves to see what they promise to do.
Senior citizens, revolt against the revolting! If you're going to Tea Parties, you're supporting the destruction of Medicare and Social Security.They are quoting them saying that. what more do you need?
Proof: ask Bob Ellis, organizer of the Black Hills Tea Party/"Citizens for Liberty." He reveals the Tea Party's intent to destroy Medicare and Social Security in comments on the Madville Times, in which Ellis declares Medicare and Social Security illegal and its supporters and recipients un-American:...there is not a shred of authority for the federal government to create a health care system, administer a health care system, create a charity or administer a charity.
...I have countless tims [sic] denounced Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for the un-American, un-Constitutional programs they are.
My postulation IS that Medicare is a violation of the Constitution. That is my postulation because it clearly IS a violation of the Constitution. Can you find a health care system or a system of charity authorized in Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution? I certainly can't. That makes it a clear violation of the Constitution [Bob Ellis, Citizens for Liberty, comments on "Russell Olson Loses on GOP Health Care Nullification...," Madville Times, 2010.02.28–03.01].
No way around it: senior citizens, the Tea Party wants to throw you under the fiscal bus.
Consider also that the following people have signed on as fans of Citizens for Liberty, the South Dakota branch of the purportedly grassroots group who would take away Medicare and Social Security:
I'm at least three decades away from retirement, but I am alarmed that half of the people running for our lone House seat would call themselves fans of a group advocating the dismantling of the health and economic security of our senior citizens.
- Chris Nelson, Secretary of State, candidate for U.S. House
- R. Blake Curd, state representative, candidate for U.S. House
- B. Thomas Marking, candidate for U.S. House
- Brock Greenfield, state representative
- Charles B. Hoffman, state representative
- Dan Lederman, state representative
- Jason Gant, state senator
- Dusty Johnson, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission
- Jon Lauck, senior advisor to Senator John Thune
Voters, give the Tea Party an inch, and they will take away your Medicare and Social Security.
Huffinton Post nov 8
Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller repeated his view Wednesday that the United States needs to fundamentally rethink Social Security.
"Longer term, there has got to be a move outside of that system," Miller told CNN's John King. "Ultimately we want to transfer the power back to the states so that states can take up the mantle of those programs if they so desire."
Miller previously said that the U.S. should "transition out of the Social Security arrangement."
King, noting that Miller's position is something Democrats have pounced on, asked Miller to make himself perfectly clear -- that he wouldn't take away Social Security checks from the people who currently count on them, but that he'd like to do away with the program for future generations. King asked: "Would [a person born the day Miller was sworn in] perhaps grow up in an America where there is not a federal Social Security program if you got your way?"
"Absolutely," Miller said.
Miller, who upset incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's Republican primary this week, previously suggested that unemployment insurance, part of the Social Security Act of 1935, is unconstitutional. "The Supreme Court has already ruled on the Social Security Act. There was a case in 1937," said Nancy Altman, author of a book on Social Security. "Joe Miller's in a time machine."
If the Tea Party wants to back a candidate they need to start now and be ... Saying end social security will end the R majority in 2012. ...
Here is a list of target the republicans are going after.
Lawrence O'Donnell scored a political coup d'etats on his program last night, interviewing 4 leaders of various Tea Party groups, asking each whether Social Security or Medicare were "socialism". After each said "no", O'Donnell pointed out to them that there was nothing more socialistic than our government directly paying out retirement benefits and medical benefits to recipients. Later in the segment, he was able to get one of them to call social security payments "socialistic", but was still not in favor of eliminating them.
As the Tea Partiers are complaining about "out-of-control" federal spending, O'Donnell asked them each what they would cut. One, representing Dick Armey's Freedom Works, proposed a massive cut of about $1B (!) in spending from a government program helping businesses access foreign markets. Another said that Social Security disability should be eliminated. A third said she had no idea whatsoever.
the government paying for retirement like the the old people didn't work all their lives to get it.
the young Turks
On my way to the polling place sat an older man , early to mid 70's surrounded by GOP / Tea Party signs.
Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Sandy Adams, every republican imaginable.
The man had been there since before dawn, his vehicle was parked at the edge of the "no campaign" zone. The man was obviously on Social Security, a handicapped placard was in his window. A parking sticker for a local senior center, where my wife does volunteer work occasionally, funded by SSA and state grants was on the bumper.
When I passed, I introduced myself and asked him "what are you going to do when they cut your Social Security check?"
He glared at me and growled " They cant... they WON'T do that."
Incredulous , I asked "You really think so?"
"Yeah, I really think so." he said.
I continued, "Sandy Adams has openly called for the privatization of Social security...Rubio simple wants to eliminate it..."
Interrupting..." No they don't ! "
" Have you been listening? " I asked politely.
"That's just a liberal trick...." with that comment he went back to waving his Scott for Governor sign.
I went back to the car and opened my netbook, connected and did a search on Adams and Rubio. I found their interviews and comments, and ideas on privatization.
"if you have a moment"..I then showed him the material.
"What do you think now?" I asked after the presentation.
"That's just a liberal trick. They will cut earmarks and entitlement spending and balance the budget to create jobs " he looked satisfied with himself at that point and went back to waving his Scott for Governor sign. By this time a small crowd started to gather.
"Social Security is an entitlement " I said " The GOP calls Social..."
Interrupting..."Oh, NO it's not!!!!". Two other people in the crowd mummered in agreement.
"How did you determine that? " I asked.
" He told me..."
The GOP minority leader Boehner has now made it perfectly clear that they intend to raise the SS age to 70 and privatize the program to keep people with other sources of income from being able to collect any SS.
Boehner is under fire for indicating in late June that the retirement
age should be raised to 70 for those who have at least 20 years left
before retirement as a possible way to finance the ongoing wars.
"We need to look at the American people and explain to them that we're
broke," he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "If you have substantial
non-Social Security income while you're retired, why are we paying you
at a time when we're broke? We just need to be honest with people."
Loss of Social Security will mean reduction in standard of living
The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan
is to develop and promote private alternatives to government regulation and
control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive,
entrepreneurial private sector. Topics include reforms in health care, taxes,
Social Security, welfare, criminal justice, education and environmental
People with less income could not adjust fully to the loss of Social Security benefits by reduced consumption and increased savings. As a result, they would face substantial reductions in their living standards at retirement:Social Security online: women, Retirement and Security.
What about a less drastic cut in benefits? In the face of a 30 percent cut in benefits, even the highest-income retirees would reduce their consumption by 11 percent. Low-income retirees would reduce their consumption almost dollar for dollar with the benefit cut.
- If Social Security were abolished tomorrow, 35-year-old couples with annual incomes of $200,000 would reduce their current consumption almost 24 percent; but at retirement, they would have 39 percent less discretionary consumption than under the current system.
- Singles earning $100,000 a year would reduce their current consumption about 16 percent; but at retirement they would have about 42 percent less.
- Women Have Lower Income in Retirement than Men -- And Thus Higher Poverty. In 1997, median income for elderly unmarried women (widowed, divorced, separated, and never married) was $11,161, compared with $14,769 for elderly unmarried men and $29,278 for elderly married couples. Thus, the poverty rate for elderly women was higher than that of men: in 1997, the poverty rate of elderly women was 13.1 percent, compared to 7.0 percent among men. Among unmarried elderly women, the poverty rate was significantly higher -- about 19 percent.
- Social Security Is Particularly Important to Women. Elderly unmarried women -- including widows -- get 51 percent of their total income from Social Security. Unmarried elderly men get 39 percent, while elderly married couples get 36 percent of their income from Social Security. For 25 percent of unmarried women, Social Security is their only source of income, compared to 9 percent of married couples and 20 percent of unmarried men. Without Social Security benefits, the elderly poverty rate among women would have been 52.2 percent and among widows would have been 60.6 percent.
- Women Face Greater Economic Challenges in Retirement. First, women tend to live longer: a woman who is 65 years old today can expect to live to 85, while a 65 year old man can expect to live to 81. Second, women have lower lifetime earnings than men do. And third, women reach retirement with smaller pensions and other assets than men do.
- Social Security Will Continue to Be Important for Women in the Future. As the labor force participation rates of women continue to rise, women in the future will reach retirement with much more substantial earnings histories than in the past. Therefore, the percentage of women receiving benefits based solely on their own earnings history is expected to rise from 37 percent today to 60 percent in 2060. However, this means that 40 percent of women will continue to receive benefits based on their husband's earnings.
- Poverty Rates Among Unmarried Elderly Women -- Especially Widows Who Make up 45 Percent of All Elderly Women -- Are High. Divorced women are a growing share of the elderly population, and their poverty rate is higher than the overall elderly poverty rate. And finally, poverty rates among elderly minority groups are unacceptably high.
- Among Current Retirees, Women Have Much Less Pension Coverage Than Men. Only 30 percent of all women aged 65 or older were receiving a pension in 1994 (either worker or survivor benefits), compared to 48 percent of men.
- Pensions Received by Women Are Worth Less than Those Received by Men. Among new private sector pension annuity recipients in 1993-94, the median annual benefit for women was $4,800, or only half of the median benefit of $9,600 received by men. And among women approaching retirement, pension wealth is much smaller: for example, single women had average pension wealth that was 34 percent of the single men's average.
- Among Workers, Women's Pension Coverage Depends on Work Status. Overall, fewer women workers have pensions through work, 40 percent of women compared to 44 percent of men. However, women in full-time jobs are equally likely to have pension coverage as men; in 1997, 50 percent of women in full-time jobs had pensions compared to 49 percent of men. It is important to note, though, that women are much more likely to work part-time or be out of the labor force than men.
center for American Progress
Between 1959 and 1974, the elderly poverty rate fell from 35 percent to 15 percent. This was largely attributable to a set of increases in Social Security benefits. The elderly poverty rate has continued to decline in subsequent decades, reaching 9.4 percent in 2006. Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits continue to play a key role in reducing elderly poverty, especially among women and people of color. If Social Security benefits did not exist, an estimated 44 percent of the elderly would be poor today, assuming no changes in behavior.
These guys are following the myth that the market will always go up. we will just get richer and richer if capitalism is left to do its thing. They think they would be millionaires already if they didn't have to pay into social security. People are good little suckers who buy the idea they are supposed to feed the rich. We didn't learn a damn thing from the last eight years. We saw just got through watching capitalists left to do their thing, their thing was destroying the country. They stole all the houses. They collapsed the economy. The very same pie in the sky there's no limit to the market going up and up was the bull shit in the air when the great depression hit. There's a reason it's not a coincidence.
Stupid Americans so easy to fool. They fools for the rich. Now people have to die because little rich guys need their swimming pools.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Someone asked, although more rudely then I shall reflect upon, how one can be a Christian and politically liberal. The following is part of that answer. The short answer is Jesus said the greatest law is love God, the second greatest is love your neighbor. Conservative politics is about grasping for your own power, liberal politics is about empowering others. Liberal politics is love. Love is the basis of following God. For those religious types who rationalize their desire to control behavior under guise of "stopping sin" Jesus never called us to "stop sin." God never tells us to control the sin of others, he calls us to control our own sin, which is the desire to grasp power. It's the cynicism of the right wing that rationalizes its enforcement policies as "sin stopping."
St. Augustine and Reinhold Neibhur, those scandalous liberals! Toward a Third way in the Culture Wars.
St. Augustine name always comes up when feminists attack church fathers who said sexist things. By all accounts Augustine seems to have been one of the worst offenders. I've tired to point out to many feminists, of both secular and Christian ilk, that Augies words defended by feminist philosopher Geneva Lloyd in The Man Of Reason. Apprenlty Augustine was using some bizarre metaphorical reasoning and only used Eve as a derivation from Adam symbolically. But no one cares. It's so much easier just to write Augie off as a dead white male church guy who said stupid sexist things, let it go at that. Oddly enough even Augustine's best friends are not that willing to support everything he said. At one point my favorite professor at Perkins, and good friend William S. Babcock (major Augustine scholar) remarked "you don't have to accept it just because Augustine said it, in fact if Augustine said it there's a good chance its wrong." I think we were talking about free will at the time. But be that as it may, Augustine is loved by the right wing politicos of the Catholirc church because he is used (wrongly) by a scholar name O'Connell to bolster the double edge sword of civil and religious authority; these hacks somehow think that this gives them the green light on their own social agenda. The deep irony here on both sides is that if one understood what Augustine really says in his massive tome The City of God (which was really just a letter to afferent, but thinker than the NY phone book) one would have to conclude that Augstine should be a comfort as well as a caution to sides, the left and the right.
The City of God was written in reponse to the sacking of Rome by the Barbaric hordes in 410 AD. This situation left Christians in a dyer situation, since the Roman state under Constantine had worked up a connection between Christianity and God's blessing on the state that supported it. Constantine PR man Eusebuis had so inculcated the idea that God was blessing Rome because it was turing to Christ, that Roman Christians had come to understand that their well being and the success of the Empire was all linked in support of the Christian agenda. All of this can be seen in elaborate detail in one my favorite books of all time, Christianity in Classical Culture, by Charles Norris Corcoran. It's an old book, written in the late 40's, Corcoran was at university of Toronto. He has a tendency to make certain aspects of the Rome of St. Augustine analogue to the cold war of the 1940s, viewing Constantine as a mild social democ rat of somewhat liberal flavor--at least in terms of social programs. Another excellent and more up to date book which lays out a similar line of thinking is Christianity in the Roman World By S. Markus.
The Christians of early fith century Rome had come to be very selfish in their outlook. They saw themselves as God's chosen people, they alone had been given the right to extort obedience from other nations because they were doing God's will. Of course this was nothing more than the same old political philosophy of the Cesars who came before, the reason of state argument. Constantine merely revitalization it in order to give the Roman morale a new shot in the arm. In the old pagan configuration, the Cesars were adding other nations to the matrix of civilization, doing them great favor by conquest, in spite of their ungrateful refusal to be taken. Constantine merely expanded this role, not only were they icorporating other people's into the matrix of civilization, (Corcoran' term, nothing to do with the movie) but they where also making the way clear for people to hear the Gospel, thus saving souls and expanding the kingdom. The Christians of that era came to understand their material success to be a direct blessing from God in exchange for their support of the political agenda.
The sack of Rome came as terrible news to these Christians, because suddenly God had withdrawn his favor. The pagans capitalized on this mishap by arguing that the old gods of Olympus had punished Rome for turning away from them. The Christians really had no answer because they had come to think so clearly that material reaches meant divine favor. The destruction of material riches had to mean the removal of God's favor, or perhaps even the triumph or another god? Of course, the City of God is as thick as the New York Phone book, so pardon me if I give the short version: basically, Augustine argues that no temporal power arrangement can claim to be the city of God. Temporal power is an earthly thing it belongs to the city of man. The city of God and the City of Man are made for two different purposes and they have two different ends. The City of Man is Temporal and fleeting. It is not permanent and it is not holy. The City of God is permanent and Holy, and though the two exist one inside the other, the City of God inside the City of man, the City of God is everlasting and the City of man is not. Thus the temporal power can never claim to be the City of God. That means that Constantine did not set up a Christian state, and that Rome was never the commonwealth of God. No political agenda can ever be sacred and no temporal seat of power can ever claim to be the work of God on earth. Augustine totally bores the connection between temporal rewards and material success and eternal destiny.
Augustine was also a major influence upon modern political thinker and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. Niebuhr is, oddly enough, another misunderstood figure who has been cast in the role of "neo-liberal." Far from being Neo-anything, Neibuhr was a define socialist until the day he died. I know this to be the case through my own association with his friend Frederic Carney. Neibuhr applied Augustine dictum to modern cold war politics. While he did write "why is commission so evil?" and he was too slow in denouncing the warin Vietnam (waiting until almost the day he died in 1971) he was a tireless advocate of whomever needed advocating. He not ony wrotet "why is communism So Evil?" But the also went to bat to help defend the defendants in the Dennis vs. United States case, because he felt hat those representatives of the Communist Party USA were being rail roaded. Neibuhr did not allow himself to be standoffish about the people he helped, and he did not try to enshrine the American effort in the cold war on the grounds that "we have to be as bad as they are to fight communism." His work Moral Man and Immoral Society pointed out the danger in thinking pointed to the errors in human wisdom when we try to project our own personal morality onto the group. We always wind up supporting things as a group that we would never condone as individuals, because we internalize the group interest and that overshadows our ability to think as free moral agents.
Niebuhr tried to cut a course through the mine field of the American cold war. In the 1950s he fought a journal war against Billy Graham over the issue of Billy Graham's anti-communist crusades. Grham argued that all one needed was a McCarthy like anti-communism and the "simple answer of the Gospel" and one could beat communism. Niebuhr argued that Graham's approach was simple minded; that we needed keen political analysis, and answer to social ills on our own side, and a more complex message than going down to the front at a Graham crusade. Graham won the war in the popular mind because it was easier for the common man to idneify with him and his answers seemed more "clear cut" (if not more simplistic). Neibuhr, of course, won the respect of his colleagues for standing up to the crwod, there was never any danger of Billy Graham besting Reinhold Neibuhr in an intellectual debate, but this was the MacCarthy era. Neibhur's attempt at steering a third course (Debisian socialism is socialism but divorced from Marxist Leninist philosophy) never panned out in the American mind. The cold war sucked all other forms of thinking into a black hole in which it was possible only to be community, or anti-communist. There were other attempts at a third way, however, but they wound up in the same swamp of indifference. The Papal office tried through several Popes to run a third way political solution through Christian Democrat parties. This met with mixed results, sometimes good government in West Germany, sometimes support for the death Squads in El Salvador. Overall the Pope (JPII) had much more success helping to destabilize communism than he did in founding a third way.
But what other avenue should we expect in the political arena? We should expect to fail to starting a concrete third alternative since that would mean setting up a new agenda for temporal power. The strength of the City of God (the Kingdom of God) does not arize from temporal political power. The chruch is a priori the third way. When we try to forge a concrete political alliance by uninting the Gospel to anyone political agenda we miss the point and merely re-create Constratine's mistake.The City of God is not about holding temporal power, the city of man is not the city of God and cannot claim to have the anointing of God. No political party can claim to be the part of God; and by contrast, the other party is not the "party of sin." Both or all political parties are just confused humans looking for historically bound power arrangements and hoping desperately that this will make their lives better. In some senses it will, it will also make something worse. These are unavoidable realities of the world. We cannot cast the aura of the sacred over the temporal and claim victory foe the Kingdom of God!
Now we are ensconced in a kind of cold war in the church. Another enemy has been thrust upon us, one we don't' understand very well, but it remains to be seen what becomes of that conflict. But in the church the new cold war is not about that, it is about the social changes inaugurated in the 1960s which still continue today; it is about the Reagan era and the moral majority and the new republican party which somehow never quite says it is the party of God, but somehow one gets that feeling. The cold war is the culture war, "liberal" vs. "conservative." But for "liberal" read, pro gay, pro feminist, pro abortion, for "conservative" read prayer in schools, teaching creationism in schools, keeping gays and feminists out of everything and supposedly ending abortion; the short answer; Democrat vs. Republican, blue country vs. Red country. The blue/red split in the church (it's so confusing being blue after being red so long) is mainly about the role of women and gays. These are the issues that seem galvanism both sides.
Liberals are so despised and rejected by American society that there isn't a single liberal talk show on PBS. Charley Rose is what passes for a liberal and he is an avoid conservative Republican who openly camping for Reagan. Somehow, he is what passes for liberal, and he actually does a pretty good job of substituting for one. The media is reviled by the conservatives as the "dreaded liberal media" but if one were to read Noam Chomsky books one would see what a joke that is (Manufacturing Consent). There are two media watchdog groups, one left, (FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) one Right (AIM, Accuracy in Media). Having studied both and having been a local organizer for FAIR my own bias is that FAIR makes a much better case for a conservative media than does AIM for a liberal media. The media is solidly in the hands of the conservatives, especially the news media. About the only place "liberals" really rule in the media now are on cit cons, where the husband is always a bumbling fool and the wife is the only competent person and the husband is a bit afraid of her and she's always proven right. The liberal tinge to the cultural side of the media is probalby what leads many think of the media as liberal. But that is just what Marcuse called the "carnation on the lapel of capitalism."
The Evangelicall movement, since tasting real political power a couple of times, well almost, have become more despondent and feel more surrounded than ever before. Seeing the utter failure of the old patriarchal hierarchy in Western civilization they founder and desperately grab at deck chairs while the vast unsinkable titanic of guideline Age America goes under. Of course this means in reality that they are closer to political control than ever. The only way to get a conservative to move into political action is to convenes him that he's surrounded. So the more defeated and desporate the conservatives believe their cause to be, the more one can be sure they are winning. But the outcome either way will be bad for the Gospel. The Gospel is not the city of man. Taking temporal power can never be the fulfillment of God's will, not in the long run.
The Gospel should always be the third way. It was the third way when it came out in the time of Christ; neither Jew nor Greek. In other words, not Hebrew and not pagan. It was the third way in the cold war, as there was a vast Christian left history which is usually pretty much ignored and unknown in conservative churches, but it still exists. Figures like Dorothy Day and Mother Jones were real Christians and really did fight for workers and the poor. The Gospel must be the third way because it is not the City of Man, it cannot be a temporal political agenda, and the temporal political power cannot be confused with the gospel doctrine and moral view points are essential in following the Gospel, but the Gospel is much more than just sound doctrine. There is also the matter of living out our sound doctrine and how we treat people is a large part of that.
We cannot make a Christian Democrat party, as some have tried, because that's jut playing the world's game. To be effective in helping people in the world for the Gospel, we can at times enter the political arena. We can enter on either side, and we should never lose sight of the fact that real Christians who really love the Lord are on both sides. Niebuhr once said that we demonize the other because we see in him our own temporal minded pretensions. We must remember as we play the politics game that the other guy is playing the same game, he/she may have the same motives we have and we must recognize that fact. That realization could be to laud the other, or it could be to convict ourselves. We must take seriously Paul's talk about party spirit and realize that this is never more a danger than when one becomes involved in political parties.