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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 7,398

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In 2003, when George W. Bush* pushed for privatization of Social Security

the transition expenses alone were estimated to cost 3 Trillion Dollars. It was said Uncle Sam would not be willing to pay this transition cost, and neither would the recipient of the program. The only way this obligation could be met would be to cut benefits of participants, which cuts were projected to be very hefty.

During the 2008 market crash, I asked the question if Social Security had been privatized, how much would have been lost. It was an open question asked here on this forum. Two days later, Paul Begala in a cable appearance brought the subject up and said if Social Security had been privatized, 40 percent of the Trust Fund would have evaporated.

Imagine coupling these two events together (a double whammy) and try to think what the consequences on that program would be. In my opinion, Social Security participants would be sweeping the crumbs up off the floor ... if they could find any. But of course that would make Pete Peterson very, very happy -- and that is all that matters in these times.


Social Security is NOT in crisis -- but Uncle Sam is for borrowing against the Trust Fund

Let's keep this picture clearly in focus. Uncle Sam borrowed against the Trust Fund Baby Boomers built up. This Trust Fund accrued as a result of the agreement reached in the early 80s (perhaps 1983) to buttress the Plan against the onslaught of the huge number of people retiring as the Boomers reached retirement age. Part of that agreement was to double the FICA withholding. As a result, Boomers became the first generation to pay for not only the retirement of those who retired before them as well as financing their own future retirement. That agreement also raised the retirement age.

And so we were set -- until Uncle Sam started borrowing against our Fund, as well as the retirement funds of Federal Government employees. Uncle Sam backed its debt by issuing Treasury Notes. When the time arrived that Uncle Sam needed to withdraw monies from the Fund for the Boomers' retirement, the Federal Government had to sell a like amount of the withdrawal of Treasury Notes. As Geitner himself publicly explained, "in this economy that is not easy to do." (loosely quoting from memory). So the Federal Government has to pay Social Security benefits to Boomers out of the general fund. This prompts politicians to go around saying, "Social Security is broke. It is nothing but a Ponzi scheme! They want the debt forgiven at the expense of current and future recipients!

And then there are those billionaires who want to abolish Social Security because they do not think the Federal Government should be involved in programs such as this (the nanny state), as well as the corporations who want it abolished because they do not like having to pay that matching FICA tax for each employee. The sum total of those matching taxes adversely impact their bottom profit line. Get rid of it!

So I say raise the cap and fix the problem. Quit lying to the general public about the cause of this problem.


The only way to change the Constitution is through an amendment

So obviously, the 14th Amendment does just that. Any change to that wording would have to be made through the passage of another Amendment, which would have to be approved by two-thirds of both Houses of Congress and subsequently ratified by three-fourths of the states.

But read the text of Article 5 of the Constitution:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.


It appears that the Constitution can be amended by in the first instance state legislatures ratifying the proposed new amendment, but in the second instance by state conventions, with the same three-fourths needed for passage.

Either of these methods require a super-majority of the states (3/4's) approving the language so if Trump is planning on changing the 14th, he would have to bring along 38 states to his side.

Of course there is also that remote possibility that 5 Supreme Court judges could step in with some wild hair interpretation of a couple of obsolete laws such as was done with the Safe Harbor provision in the Bush v. Gore decision and assert that we have interpreted the 14th Amendment all wrong all these years....


Are you suffering from Ed Schultz withdrawal?

Here is the antidote:


I think I will make it a habit to listen everyday at 5:00, which unfortunately means I will have to miss Chuck Todd on MSNBC at that time.


The slate of electors chosen as a result of such an act by the Florida legislature

would have been challenged as a violation of the Constitution. In that light, the Electoral College would have been absolutely correct to discard that slate and not count those electoral votes in the final tally.

Absolutely no state can change its election laws within such close proximity to the actual election to overthrow the outcome. The Constitution delegates the right to conduct Presidential elections to the states, but each must have the rules outlined in their respective state constitutions prior to the vote. Any changes voted by the Florida Legislature during this controversy could not legally have any impact until the next election.

Had the recount of the entire state allowed to be resumed and Gore had won the popular vote, a Democratic slate would have had to be been sent to the Elector College. Had the Florida Legislature carried through with its threat to send a Republican slate regardless of the outcome, the votes of that delegation could have been protested if by no one else members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

During Election 2000, there were many, many maneuvers as well as threats the Republicans publicly aired, but their strategists in some cases did not know the law -- in other cases they just figured they could threaten anything and people would not know the threats could not be legally executed.

Chief Justice John Roberts at that time was a Constitutional lawyer from DC who traveled to Florida to give advice to Jeb Bush during the recount. It is very difficult for me to assume he did not know this very maneuver was unconstitutional....

In the matter of had the recount resumed, who would have won, all one has to do is remember the 6,000 votes that went to Pat Buchanan which were intended to be Gore votes. Many of the voters in that community were Jewish, and their horror was publicly palpable when they realized their votes had gone to Buchanan rather than Gore. No question Gore would have recaptured those votes in a statewide recount....


That is exactly what I was headed to the bottom of this thread to post

I am a baby boomer, and I wish someone had given me that advice when I was starting out. My generation was a bit more fortunate in that good jobs were still available -- even pretty goods one -- but as our age started inching toward that of being a senior, employers started easing us out to save money by hiring younger people, paying them less, and denying them the benefits they had given us.

Once when I was in my 30s, a vice president in a very large corporation with whom I had never even spoken, came to my desk and said anyone who works as hard as you should be working for himself. At that point of my life, that was something I could not even consider, having a daughter preparing for college and looking at high tuition payments.

But in 2007, having finished my responsibilities, I walked away from an excellent job and started working for myself. Over a period of time, I have made this work for me, but I have always regretted not having started something of my own on a part-time basis while holding down a position in the orthodox workplace to pay family bills. This is something I now believe every person should do at a younger age, building their own business so that eventually they can work solely as their own boss.

That vice president was absolutely right. Anyone who is willing to work extremely hard at what they do should find a way to channel that for him or herself, not to another.

In the overall scheme of things only YOU can count on YOU to keep yourself employed, and how much effort, research, time and demand for your product or your service will dictate your financial rewards. YOU will never lay yourself off in order to hire a younger person, YOU will never deny yourself needed sick leave or a vacation and YOU will never undercut YOU. Only YOU can count on YOU through good times and bad.



I have known since Election 2000 he had ethical challenges. I am sure most of you know that as well.

I have heard it said more than once that his parents considered him the smart son. You must have read that as well.

It seems every time I hear him comment on something these days, his words make my jaw drop. He is just so simple. Does he actually think we who hear these things take them seriously? Knowing what we know now, he still thinks we were right to attack Iraq? George W. Bush* kept us safe? Call me crazy, but I didn't feel very safe on September 11, 2001, watching the Pentagon burning from downtown DC where I worked.

And when one thinks about the fact Florida is a 2016 must-win for him, why -- knowing there is an overabundance of senior citizens residing in Florida -- would he say he believes we have to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70? What was he thinking! Or was he thinking?

And speaking of "thinking", does he think that Election 2000 happened 15 years ago and everyone has forgotten about it? We the people are just too dense to realize that his manipulations of that contested election and the shady maneuvers that followed were to force the outcome to favor his brother? Catastrophes such as 911, an illegal invasion of Iraq, the 2008 economic crash, and a ten trillion dollar deficit kept off the general ledger for the next guy to fix ensued. We call those debacles collectively the Bush* legacy. That legacy was made possible by Jeb Bush, who greased the road to the White House for his brother -- Florida Supreme Court decision be damned! The right to vote is not necessarily paramount!

Someone should tell these commentators who have reported gushingly about Jeb's intelligence that simply being smarter than George W. does not necessarily a wise man make.... But the fact that some Republicans think he is the right person to occupy the Oval Office is not amazing -- it is terrifying.


Postscript edit:

Apparently, Lawrence O'Donnell and an election watchdog (his name is something like Fred Wertheimer -- phonetic) also truly find Jeb amazing. Lawrence just reported on his show tonight a 15-page letter has been sent to the Attorney General asking for an investigation as to whether Jeb has violated campaign finance laws. Lawrence said the election watchdog did not bother sending the letter to the FEC since it only investigates civil violations. The letter forwarded to the Department of Justice asserts Jeb has violated criminal law and cites several statutes.

The glaring (pardon the expression) elephant in the political campaigning room is the fact that Jeb has raised through his PAC approximately One Hundred Million Dollars. The current restrictions limit what someone exploring a run can raise to a figure reasonably suited for expenses during the exploration. Question: who needs One Hundred Million Dollars to explore his or her election viability?

I am going to check out a couple of things on Google, and if I find what I am looking for, I will update this edit.

Here is more: check out this truly cool article I found on the Huffington Post: How Jeb Bush Is Thumbing His Nose at Voters with his Super Pac Scheme.


I think the mark of a truly great song

is that the first time you hear it, you are enthralled by every word as the ambiance the song generates grabs your heart and holds onto it. The second time you hear the song is just as enthralling as if you had never heard it. And so it goes every single time the rest of your life you hear that performer sing that song. And that is what this song has done for me.

Goodnight, Mr. Sledge, many of us will never forget your music and will always remember the great pleasure your songs gave us.


You are exactly correct

We are the first generation to pay for two generations' Social Security retirements funds. Yet, listen to the generation behind us. They have been brainwashed into thinking it is the Baby Boomer generation threatening their future retirement.

In theory, we were to pay for the generation before us, then we would pay for our generation, and after the last Baby Boomer bit the dust, the problem would be over because the next slate of generation of retirees would not be as huge as ours. When that day comes, who here thinks the FICA tax will be lowered to its former normal rate?

I learned about the resentment many in the generation behind us have for Baby Boomers, thinking their FICA is being sucked up by paying for the huge numbers of retirees considered Baby Boomers one day while shopping in a retail store. The young man behind the counter looked at me and smirked, saying, "Boy your generation really did a number on my generation. By the time I get ready to retire, Social Security will not be there." I was very saddened to hear such a young person say this. I asked him who or what was the source of his news, but he did not respond. So I explained to him the 80s' agreement, and asked him to look this up for himself and see for himself we were paying for our own retirement. I told him this misinformation was being spread by Republicans who wanted to assist Wall Street gets its wish to privatize Social Security.

If George Bush* had been successful in privatizing the program, 40 percent of the then current funds would have been lost during the 2008 crash. We can never allow such privatization to happen. The transition costs to convert the program would have been 3 trillion dollars in 2003. The government would not pay for the transition, neither would those slated to administer the program privately, and it was decided the participants would foot the bill by having their benefits cut.


When Republicans complain about President Obama's immigration reform "power grab"

I automatically think of Rupert Murdock.

Rupert Murdock was born in Australia, but in the 80s decided he wanted to buy a news station in the United States. Unfortunately for him, U.S. law required one had to be a U.S. citizen to do so. No problem -- Rupert Murdock had a friend in a very high place. That friend's name was Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan expedited Murdock's American citizenship application, and enabled Murdock's dream to control a portion of the news broadcast within the United States to become a reality.

Sometimes when one does a favor for a friend, reciprocity comes into play. I am attaching a link which describes Murdock's role in participating in a "Cold-War style propaganda" program. Read the entire article when you have a chance because it will make one's hair stand on end to learn all in one place exactly how much influence this conservative Australian has had in defining what many Americans believe. Of course, many DU'ers know much of this information but perhaps some of the younger members are unaware.

Also, when you read of Murdock's personal perspectives on different issues, you will recognize those perspectives in many of today's Republican politicians. It is good to know where some of this crap originated and how it gets spread around....


The Reagan administration pulled right-wing media executives Rupert Murdoch and Richard Mellon Scaife into a CIA-organized “perception management” operation which aimed Cold War-style propaganda at the American people in the 1980s, according to declassified U.S. government records.

This example of how a former conservative United States President used his position to usher into the United States' broadcasting arena someone like Rupert Murdock and the catastrophic influence Murdock has had on news broadcast to the American people over the decades makes President Barack Obama's Executive Orders look mellow, if only because he has done everything in the light of day for the public to see.

And then of course there were 18 immigrations reforms by recent Republican Presidents, none of which were power grabs simply because none of those Presidents were born in Kenya and all were Republicans. See the difference?


So the next time you hear the Republicans complain about President Obama's power grabs on immigration reform, think of Ronald Reagan and Rupert Murdock. No one was throwing the impeachment javelin at Reagan because the Republicans were too busy worshiping him.

If you are reading this thread at this late hour, please give it a kick for the morning crowd.

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