12 November 2010

Fiscal Commission Proposal: "Ridiculous!", says Retiree Leader

On Wednesday, the co-chairmen of the White House Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson, released their ideas for dealing with the country’s massive debt. The recommendations are from Simpson and Bowles only, and do not represent the opinions of the full commission.

The proposals include a reduction in Social Security cost-of-living increases for current retirees; a reduction in Social Security benefits for most future retirees; and a hike in the Social Security retirement age to 69 by 2075.

In response, Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, said, “The Bowles-Simpson proposal is not a package we can support.  In fact, it is a package we will strongly oppose. While seniors are more than willing to pay their fair share to reduce the nation’s debt, we must not turn to them to pay off such a huge portion of what was accumulated by the entire country.”  He also said that raising the retirement age to 69 is not a viable solution, when so many older workers in difficult jobs are already struggling.

He added, “The Social Security cuts would hit current retirees, contrary to what was promised, since the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) seems to take effect immediately. This will lower seniors’ benefits by about 3% after they have been retired for 10 years, and by about 6 % after 20 years.” He said that changing the CPI is an attack on the middle class, since today’s 20-year old workers who retire at age 65 would see their benefits cut by 17% if their wages average $43,000 over their working lives.

He also called it “ridiculous” that billionaires pay the same amount into the system as someone earning $106,800, the current cap. He stressed that a better proposal would be requiring employees (and their employers) who make more than $106,800 a year to pay Social Security taxes on all their wages, not the 90% in the proposal. Coyle concluded, “We must not bully seniors into shouldering such a massive percentage of the debt while Wall Street millionaires once again just skate on through scot-free.” 

To see the co-chairs’ proposal, go to http://bit.ly/ajfG8p . To see “Ten Reasons the Social Security Proposal of the Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs Should be DOA (Dead on Arrival)” from Social Security Works, where the Alliance is a member of the Steering Committee, go to http://bit.ly/dxDI77. To see Mr. Coyle’s full statement, go to http://bit.ly/by0k67.

10 November 2010

Marine Corps Birthday

On this day, 235 years ago, by an act of congress the United States Marine Corps was created.  In Philadelphia recruiting began immediately at Tun Tavern, a combination saloon and bordello---to this day it is believed that a good marine is never far from either!


08 November 2010

Dallas Cowboy Jokes!

The Texas State Police are cracking down on speeders heading into Dallas. For the first offense, they give you 2 Dallas Cowboy tickets. If you get stopped a second time, they make you use them.

Q. What do you call 47 millionaires around a TV watching the Super Bowl?

A. The Dallas Cowboys

Q. What do the Dallas Cowboys and Billy Graham have in common?

A. They both can make 100,000 people stand up and yell "Jesus Christ".

Q. How do you keep a Dallas Cowboy out of your yard?

A. Put up a goal post.

Q. What do you call a Dallas Cowboy with a Super Bowl ring?

A. Old

Q. What's the difference between the Dallas Cowboys and a dollar bill?

A. You can still get four quarters out of a dollar bill.

Q. How many Dallas Cowboys does it take to win a Super Bowl?

A. Nobody remembers.

Q. What do the Cowboys and a possums have in common?

A. Both play dead at home and get killed on the road!

The police picked up a little boy wandering along the highway, when the questioned the boy he said "My mom beats me.". When they asked about his father, he replied "he beats me too". Finally they asked where he want to go and exclaimed, "the Dallas Cowboys cuz the don't beat anybody!"

A man and his dog are at a bar watching the Cowboys play, and the Cowboys score a TD. The dog does a back flip and then moonwalks. The bartender says,"That is awesome! What does he do when the Cowboys win?" The dog's owner says, "I don't know. I have only had him for two years."

03 November 2010

The Election Is Over. What Now?

So, what does it all mean?

Frankly, I do not think anyone really knows.  When President Obama was elected, with a Senate and House majority, there was widespread expectation (hope?) of change.  Well, as the current cliche' goes, How's that turned out for you?

Here, in my view, is how it turned out.  Our GIs are still locked in hot engagements in the Mideast and central Asia (OK, maybe in Iraq, just hunkered down behind the bunkers waiting for the next wave of violence targeting them); unemployment is worse than even in the Eisenhower years; no meaningful new regulation or restrictions on unbridled and pernicious capitalism exploiting America's working families; tepid reform of health care, which in the long run will be a big bonus for drug and insurance companies; and the vocal and willfully ignorant thirty-five percent of the electorate calling themselves tea-bags have captured the attention of the posturing Hoople-Heads of the national and local media and landed a few elections in what are mostly red states any way--sort of like over coloring crimson with scarlet.

Hardly what we expected from an Obama administration, right?  But, it's what we got and where we are.

My suspicion is that the Republicans will mistakenly act as though they have a mandate to destroy Social Security by handing it over to the liars, thieves, cut-purses, mendicants, dementers and death-eaters of Wall Street.  They will attempt to further enrich their insurance czar and drug company oligarch buddies by attempting to "privatize" Medicare and the Veteran's Administration health care system.  They will do this under the banner of "reducing the size of government and bringing down the deficit".

On it's face, this is an obvious lie:  The services and health care will still have to be delivered and the costs will still be there, but instead of well managed and regulated, and very cost effective, federal programs that protect Americans from the avarice of faceless corporations, we would be saddled with the Huns, Visigoths and Vandals of health care for profit companies freed to rampage through the pocket books of Americans of all persuasions.

That is the change they are promising.  Very quickly they will run into the same realities that progressives have encountered with Obama, we don't control history--history controls us!  They are facing some hard and bitter truths beyond the rhetoric and posturing that helped them gain some level of ascendancy in this by-year election.  Democrats still control  the Senate and the White House and have enough House seats to impede them.  Reid remains majority leader in the Seante and Pelosi will be house minority leader, second guessing Boehner as he did her.  Nearly half the Blue-Dog Democrats lost their seats to real Republicans--meaning that the Democrats have the opportunity to assess themselves regarding their progressive roots.  The Democrats, having been dope-slapped behind the head, should awaken, abandon pretensions to the center or right, and take this opportunity assume a more unified opposition to the Republican's outlandish notion of fiscal management.

Republicans will find that this election was about anger rather than an endorsement of their policies, and they will find, as progressives found after 2008, that the promise of change is easily made, but delivering on that promise is not easy, and that they have set themselves up for monumental future distrust.

01 November 2010


By all means vote! But, this is one of those critical elections when just voting is not enough.  Take a sick day, a vacation day, or a comp day and work the election.

Drivers are needed to help get people to the polls, people are needed to make phone calls to voter lists to make sure they have voted, or are going to, and volunteers are critically needed to serve as poll watchers to make certain the Republicans do not get away with their usual intimidation or voter suppression ploys.  IN TEXAS YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SHOW ANY ID OTHER THAN YOUR REGISTRATION CARD TO VOTE!

Just call your county Democratic Party office, tell them where you reside, and they'll get you plugged in to the process.  Sure, we need your vote to offset all the corporate money being thrown into this election cycle--but to win, we need a huge turnout.

We won something big in 2008, now we're having to fight to keep it!