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Let’s hope the future is not set in stone

© Tom Tomorrow

So, how many of these things do you think will come true? I’m definitely betting on #4 (next to last). After all, they did it to Clinton and they’ve been doing everything but to Obama. And unfortunately, they will probably try #2, but will likely fail.



  1. patriotsgt wrote:

    Wrong again – SS benefits are already being cut under Dems.

    Anger follows news that Social Security again won’t have cost-of-living hike

    Because they won’t fix SS, it is running out of money. It is the largest legal ponzi scheme in the world invented by Dems and run by the US gov. That is why the majority of americans are opposed to the HCR bill, because it is unfunded and like SS will add to National Debt. Americans are not opposed to HCR just unfunded HCR. Let Obama tell the seniors they will have to accept less SS and let him tell those approaching retirement they’ll have to wait till they’re 70 and accept 50% of their benefit. Also, that medicare will have to be reduced and rationed. Lets tell the truth. By the way our country is operating without a budget, again, 2 yrs in a row, on a CR (continuing resolution) Pelosi and Reid, the financial watchdogs that they are, ignore their constitutional requirements again. I guess I wouldn’t want to publish such a dismal document either.

    Lets tell the whole truth not just one point of view.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 5:57 am | Permalink
  2. ebdoug wrote:

    The problem with COLA is the greedies raising the price of health insurance over and over and over hoping no one notices. All your groceries go up. Cost of goods in Wal-Mart? Because they are given health insurance, etc. Somehow that was not factored in.

    Medicare has already taken away benefits. Full cost for preventative DT (diptheria tetanus) $49. Annual physical no longer free. Since I was paying 13K a year to breathe in and out before I went on Medicare a,b,c,d, I have little to complain about. Also my income is no longer 20K so I can afford it.
    Those living on just social security have health subsidies for meds, etc. all over the place. They aren’t expected to pay. That part keeps going up.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 7:17 am | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    PatriotSgt, have you been watching Fox News again? We warned you about that! 🙂

    Seriously, that link you posted doesn’t support any of the claims you are making. Your first line says “SS benefits are already being cut under Dems”. As the article clearly states, SS benefits are pegged to the consumer price index. This was set in the law way back in the 70’s. The consumer price index went down this year, so no increase in benefits.

    “No increase” is not the same as “cut”. And this has nothing to do with the Dems. And throwing out names like “ponzi scheme” doesn’t help. If social security is a ponzi scheme, then all insurance is a ponzi scheme. So what?

    And you are dead wrong when you say that the HCR bill was unfunded. According to the non-partisan CBO, it was completely funded. You want unfunded? How about the Medicare Part D, which the Republicans crammed down the throats of Congress when they were in power? Completely unfunded.

    If it were possible to have a calm, rational discussion about Medicare and social security, then it might make sense to raise the retirement age to 70. The retirement age has been constant for a long time, and people are living much longer now.

    But the biggest thing that makes me shake my head, is that the people who are complaining about “socialism” and that they don’t want the federal government giving out money, are the same people who scream when anyone talks about adjusting our biggest social programs like social security. Makes me think they are only interested in scoring partisan points, not in actually doing anything.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 10:01 am | Permalink
  4. patriotsgt wrote:

    IK – at least the post came from MSNBC.
    You are correct, no increase based on CPI, it’s a common play on words used by politicians (including the pres. )all the time. But as the articles relate seniors are experiencing rising energy and other costs. Interstingly, how many gov workers got cost of living increases in the last 2 years?

    It’s true, we will have to have a meaningfull discussion on many of our entitlements, including gov pensions (which I will get one day)and other benefits. I don’t think any of our politicians have the stomach for it. Perhaps, if term limits were in place they’d have the courage and commitment to do whats right not what gets them elected.

    On the HCR(it’s really another whole issue), the independant CBO report can only crunch the #’s they are given to work with, the assumptions. Already, they have to deal with the admins assumption that the Medicare Dr. fix (reducing Dr. payments by 20%) is a bad thing and the est 150 billion in savings will not be there thus erasing the 134 billion the admin touted that would reduce the deficit. OK even given that, can anyone tell me how the 30 million uninsured will be paid for, since most are uninsured because it’s too expensive. Estimates are it will cost approx 13k/person by 2015. I can’t figure it out from the bill.

    I havn’t had time to watch FNC lately, or any other TV for that matter. I read online when I have the time.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 10:43 am | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    Um, and just how is basing COL increases on the CPI a “play on words”? Isn’t calling no increase a cut a play on words?

    Do you have a better measure for inflation? Last time I checked, the CPI included energy costs, as well as housing, utilities (including telephone), food, and all normal living expenses. Interestingly, the CPI does not include income taxes, which went down with Obama (for most people), so actually most seniors should have more money, not less.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Permalink
  6. Bert wrote:

    I thought the CPI index was modified under Bush so they could select what to include and essentially fudge the numbers down.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink
  7. ebdoug wrote:

    Also under Regan. He threw out the rising cost of housing to be included in COlA

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink
  8. ebdoug wrote:

    Anyone have the stats on forced investing in social security for retirement? I’ve forgotten the number of years before you get everything back (not adjusted for inflation) Rest is gravy. Nothing to sneer at or complain about.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
  9. Jonah wrote:

    Regarding cost of living increases, i think its a shame that seniors aren’t getting their proper dues. Having one’s retirement savings wiped out and not getting an increase in social security to make up for inflation-lower taxes (unless that value is negative) has to be daunting. While I think federal employees are paid way too much I think public anger is focused too much on big government. The article below from krugman addresses some of the fallacies in that thinking.

    I think more anger should be focused on CEO’s and other execs who are taking a far higher share or their company’s profits and taking undue risks for that higher share which in turn leads to layoffs and roller coaster stock markets. Capitalism gone amok is more to blame for our woes IMO.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Permalink
  10. Iron Knee wrote:

    Excellent Krugman article, Jonah. Thanks. The same thing happened after the Great Depression. The recovery stalled because the government was unable to increase spending until the start of WWII (when they had a big excuse to increase spending).

    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 12:39 am | Permalink
  11. patriotsgt wrote:

    OK I understand Krugman is a progressive god, but he is not the only economist, just one who is also a progressive and makes alot of money from satisfying like minded people.

    On his point about the spending, if it was not spent then where is all that money. And why did the president say, when selling the package, that the money would go to “shovel ready projects”. Where is the accountability for that 850 billion? Or did it get flushed down the political toilet to pork ready projects. I think we’re missiong the point. I think the majority of Americans were for the stimulus if it was going to be used for what it was intended, but it appears it was not. Then we had to add money for teachers, unemployed and now the president wants 50 billion more for “shovel ready projects” on infrastructure. Hello, we havn’t finished spending the 850 billion on the first “shovel ready projects on infrastructure”. I’d like to see the accounting on the first round of expenditures. But, thats probably a challenge for this administration since they can’t get their congress to even pass a budget. Thats what I am upset about.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 7:07 am | Permalink
  12. Jonah wrote:

    Regarding krugman, I personally don’t think of him as a god. I sometimes disagree with his politics but when it comes to the economy I respect his views. If the nobel committee saw fit to think he had a good grasp of the economy then I think we should all agree that he is just not a liberal shrill when it comes to the economy. He also has his reputation to think of.

    Then facts are facts irrespective of who wrote them. What Krugman wrote is simply true. There are plenty of federal and state jobs that have been lost. I can’t think of a simple federal program that has become abnormally large. The government has printed a lot of money to lend to banks so that they can lend to small businesses and large businesses alike. The deficit has gotten bigger because not all of the money going to the banks has been printed. And all this money is being spent because of a lack of regulation not because of too much regulation and big government.

    As for the stimulus keep in mind that 1/3 of it was tax cuts which went to all of us and 1/3 kept states and cities on life support for a while longer. One can argue that perhaps some of the money given to states was not spent properly but in early 2009 in looked like the world was about to collapse so I really don’t think anyone can complain about money given to states to keep teachers, fireman and policemen employed.

    As for the remaining 1/3 of the stimulus, from what I’ve read most of the money was spent this summer on infrastructure projects. If the obama admin said there were a lot of shovel ready projects then they were wrong but perhaps we should blame the previous admin for that. I doubt its easy to plan a project in a few months.

    So writing that the entire stimulus was wasted is completely inaccurate since 1/3 of the money back to us and 1/3 was spent on services we can all agree we needed. I can’t speak for the remaining 1/3 on infrastructure and chances are high we could spend on a bridge to nowhere but at least it keeps some poor soul employed until the economy picks up.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 8:33 am | Permalink
  13. Patricia Andrews wrote:

    THank you, Jonah for some real insight! Here is a letters from “the rest of us”: We are seniors. Recently we hired an out of work man to build a screen door. He’s looking forward to building two more. In three months we will have three doors and he will have three checks for a little over $200 ea. That’s all we can do to lift the national economy on our backs and keep the flies out. Patriot, I’m personally sick of those who can only try politically approved ways of fixing the mess. If this was a war, we would try whatever worked and plan on correcting problems as we went. Tired diaklog never fixed anything.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 8:57 am | Permalink
  14. Jonah wrote:

    Just in case my views are not misconstrued, I am all for a smaller efficient government but lets not let the blunders of the previous admin cloud the fact that we do need stricter regulation. Capitalism is good but not the type of capitalism we’ve seen the last 15 or so years with frequent bubbles which has left retirement portfolio’s in tatters. The republicans are using rhetoric like “big government” and the tea party just to get back into power and while the intentions of some members of the tea party may be good citing “big government” to place clearly unqualified people like COD and SA to create policy is, to put it politely, silly.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink
  15. patriotsgt wrote:

    Jonah – your arguments are well thought out. Do you have any info on the “tax breaks” that went to all of us. As for Fed and state jobs, I am fairly sure the fed has added 1000’s of jobs, and concede that states have lost. Your statement that the deficit has gotten larger because not all the money has been printed yet doesnt make sense. Printing more money will devalue our currency yes, which would artificially make our debt worth less, but we’ll just have to borrow more to get the same value, which increase the debt. I’m not a guru, but it seems like fuzzy math. Your other assertion that all this money is being spent due to a lack of regulation makes it sound like we don’t need any more stimulus just legislation and the problem is fixed. Just the opposite is true I believe. Business are not expanding because of too much regulation and pending regulation. HCR costs and rules are still being determined, wall st reform costs must be determined, pending legislation such as cap and trade, green energy and others all have unknown costs and create uncertainty within the business community. They cannot forcast and plan until the future costs and rules are known. That is what is stalling or economy, not lack of regulation.

    I’m not trying to be argumentative Jonah, but Krugman just saying that 1/3 went here and another 1/3 went there does not give me a warm and fuzzy. I’m not doubting he is a very smart and capable economist, but if this site has taught me anything it is to question and ask for facts not believe in heresay.

    Patricia – We are all spending – I have put over 20k back into the economy fixing and repairing properties, and given other money and time to habitat for humanity. There are alot of Americans like us, spending and buying despite what is being said. Americans are also not spending wildly, but picking projects that will get the most “bang for the buck”. I think with the trillions in spending the gov is just tossing alot of our money in the air hoping something works instead of targeting good projects that will stimulate and produce results.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 9:42 am | Permalink
  16. Patricia Andrews wrote:

    Gentlemen, thank you for your comments and forgive any roughness in my comments. The core frustration that created my “rant” is that there seems to be only one dialogue about wealth right now. Everybody that can get to that enviable status of “too big to fail” (ironically speaking!) can offer solutions that completely bypass those that are “too small to notice,” (Also ironically speaking!) Thus my analogy of the screen doors! I really feel that solutions HAVE to have balance or they will fail to send the country forward.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink
  17. patriotsgt wrote:

    Well said Jonah. We need reform, but we need to learn from the past. I blame republicans and democrats alike for falling asleep at the wheel during the last 10 years. They all thought the prosperity of the 90’s would last forever. They saw the housing bubble coming and said/did nothing. In that regard I agree with the TP in replacing all the long term incumbants. Get some fresh ideas in DC.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink
  18. Jonah wrote:

    PGT, Here are some links from non liberal sources which shows how the stimulus money has been spent.

    Here’s a really good breakdown from wapo. The CBO calculates tax breaks as 22% and not 33%.

    And here’s a link to explain what I meant by printing money

    As for the tea party, I don’t think rationale practical thinking person would want rand paul, paladino, sharron angle or christine od as policy makers.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
  19. patriotsgt wrote:

    Roger on Paladino and Odonnel, I don’t think they’ll win anywaym they’re too far out there, but I don’t necessarily like their opponents either. There should be a “none of the above” choice on ballots or write in a dead president like Washington or Lincoln. I don’t know enough about Rand Paul or Angle. I do like a few ideas from Ron Paul though.

    Thanks for the links, I’ll research them as soon as I can.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Permalink