Okay, so when I have to sit in traffic forEVER going from work to home, or vice versa, I often have NPR on the radio, which means I’m generally listening to Morning Edition or All Things Considered. Continue reading “St. Elizabeth’s, Mental Illness, and Greed…”
When I started writing online, way back in 2004, my blogging was a combination of minutiae designed to keep a then-deployed husband in the loop on day-to-day life at home. We were not quite to the end of W’s first term, but it was already clear to me what his election meant to the country, in terms of an erosion of civil liberty, of a dramatic (but by no means complete) shift to the right, and long term lasting damage to our reputation as a world leader by his creation of the USA Patriot Act.
In an ever-increasing feeling of depression and anger over last November, I’ve lashed out repeatedly at people who still seem to think that we are operating “business-as-usual” even in the face of abject corruption and cronyism not seen in decades in this country, going all the way back to the Gilded Age of the robber barons. Continue reading “I was off by a month. My bad.”
I am casting my vote for Hillary Clinton as soon as the polls are open for early voting. I’m not taking any chances.
Yesterday on FB there was a meme circulating about how Jimmy Carter was up by 8% before the landslide that lost him the presidency in 1980. Back in March, the article below suggested that Trump’s message wouldn’t serve to do the same damage in this election as the fight between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan did back then.
I disagree. Continue reading “Two weeks…”
Social Security isn’t entitlement and it isn’t an open gift to the government. It’s my money, taken by force out of my paycheck starting with my very first job in 1983. The government thugs who raided the fund in the first place should repay what they stole or go to jail, just like any other thieves.
Yes, all of them.
But who are they? Are they even still here? Well, that’s an interesting question. It requires some major fishing into the dark depths of history. Head all the way back to 1983 with me. That’s where it started.
Maybe you weren’t paying attention. I was, because I was receiving Social Security benefits as a teenager, thanks to the disability and early death of my mother. And here’s where it all began. With Ronald Reagan.
But not really. Actually, it’s Alan Greenspan who did the dirty work here. Reagan just signed off on the bill. Like the boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark, it’s going to crush all of us unless we figure out a way to get out of the way.
What follows is a bunch of link sausage. A lot of these links are thick with details that may seem unnecessary, but trust me, they build my case that this is, and has been, the whole goal of the GOP, ever since Reagan’s election. And with all that hindsight, it’s clear we’re getting screwed. And we’re not even getting the courtesy of a thank you or a payment for services rendered.
See, from my perspective, it started when Reagan decided that survivor benefits could be cut. First direct cut into my direct benefits as a college student. Forced me to get a student loan for my first year in college. Lucky for me, my grandfather was in a position to help with tuition, after he buried my mother.
From the first article, at FedSmith.com: Ronald Reagan and The Great Social Security Heist, some choice selections for the TL;DR crowd:
Instead of being a proud day for America, April 20, 1983, has become a day of shame. The Social Security Amendments of 1983 laid the foundation for 30-years of federal embezzlement of Social Security money in order to use the money to pay for wars, tax cuts and other government programs. The payroll tax hike of 1983 generated a total of $2.7 trillion in surplus Social Security revenue. This surplus revenue was supposed to be saved and invested in marketable U.S. Treasury bonds that would be held in the trust fund until the baby boomers began to retire in about 2010. But not one dime of that money went to Social Security.
The $2.7 trillion, which is alleged to be in the trust fund, was all spent for wars, tax cuts for the rich, and other government programs. If the money is repaid at some point in the future, we could say is was just “borrowed.” But no arrangements have been made to repay the money, and nobody in government is suggesting that the money should be repaid. So, if it is never repaid, the money will definitely have been stolen.
And that brings us to Iran-Contra, G.H.W. Bush, and Black Monday.
Black Monday? Yeah. Stock market crash. Under Reagan’s watch. Tied to a small oil problem with OPEC. Funny thing, the Bush family is deep into oil. So, we put an oil man in the White House.
And what happens then?
Fortunately for us, Bush fails to gain a second term. We have eight years of Bill Clinton’s administration, where we try to gain back some of the momentum, but we overbalance, and suddenly the GOP take the House. Hello, Contract With America. Goodbye cooperation in the House and Senate. For good and all, it seems in hindsight. And hello to the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
Another bubble, and then Enron, and suddenly the SEC is all over accountability. Finger pointing…goes nowhere. To be sure, it’s a problem, but soon forgotten in the post-election sorting out, 9/11 and infighting that comes out of the election, which put G.W. Bush in office. And like magic, the solvency of the Social Security Fund was an issue.
Now to be sure, I’ve skipped hundreds of small details to get to this point, but I wanted you to have some background. What follows is essentially link sausage, but it all points to one thing: The GOP want you to pull your money out of what ought to be a stable financial environment and trust THEM to keep your money for you while you age.
So if you want some stomach-churning reading material, click away.
This. This is what we are fighting in the government. Were you born before 1965?
You’re going to see the hit, unless you die of cancer or heart disease first. Which is entirely possible if the GOP get their way and make the death…I mean health industry private for everyone.
With an entire subsequent generation in jail or jobless, and wages that are virtually unchanged in 30 years, we are indeed in a pickle, but it’s one we could have avoided if we’d managed to keep the greedy bastards from getting their hands on that money. MY money. YOUR money.
This is a disaster that could have been avoided.
How? By stopping these people from bankrolling the deception and the lies.
Chew on this: How much have you heard the big buzz that privatization of social security is the only way to save it?
What does that mean? Pushing everyone to purchase stock, either outright or in funds.
Have you been paying attention to Wall Street this week? In just two days, my teeny tiny IRA has lost a third of its value, on three stocks. I’m not sharing which because that info’s irrelevant. Suffice to say, if I’d tossed the money into an index fund, there’d be even less. I might as well have invested the entire amount in PowerBall lottery tickets.
Welcome to the latest bubble. Tied to the sudden drop of oil.
And thank your stars the GOP hasn’t yet gotten its way, because if they had, many of you who might depend on Social Security for at least some of your income could be SOL right now.
Buy low, huh? Yeah.
So, how long do you think it will take for oil prices to rocket skyward if the GOP takes the White House? Four months? Two?
And in the meantime, I hope your retirement fund, that IRA or 401(K) of yours survives. Because without that and your precious Social Security and Medicaid, you, my friend, are screwed.
This is what’s at stake with the coming election. Bernie Sanders knows it. So does Elizabeth Warren.
“The Republican argument that Obama is an unpopular colossal failure simply doesn’t match up with reality. The Obama that Mitt Romney is running against is a failed left wing socialist that voters are rejecting on a daily basis.
The Gallup data illustrates the reality that Obama is much closer to Bill Clinton in terms of being a personally popular centrist Democrat.
Much like Reagan and Clinton, Obama has personal likability and an appeal to the political middle.
Barack Obama looks more like a potential two term success story than a one term failure.”
Reagan insider: ‘GOP destroyed U.S. economy’
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch Aug. 10, 2010, 12:45 a.m. EDT
ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) — “How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy.” Yes, that is exactly what David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, “Four Deformations of the Apocalypse.”