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Thu Dec 6, 2012, 12:20 AM


"serious entitlement reform... It's not that tough."

Guess who said that today?


All of the nice thoughts I was thinking... blown to hell. At least I have a shot again at winning that steak dinner.

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Reply "serious entitlement reform... It's not that tough." (Original post)
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 OP
doc03 Dec 2012 #1
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #2
amandabeech Dec 2012 #5
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #3
amandabeech Dec 2012 #6
krawhitham Dec 2012 #4
amandabeech Dec 2012 #7
krawhitham Dec 2012 #8

Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 12:55 AM

1. I don't remember who it was but a one of our Democrats

said on MSNBC this afternoon that cutting the COLA on SS and raising the eligibility age for Medicare was just tinkering around the edges. I hope someone else saw that interview today can tell us who it was.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 12:58 AM

2. Durbin perhaps?


He's been actively yammering about the need to screw the 99% lately.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:50 AM

5. He and his family, including his mother,


need to have their pensions sent to the PBGC and their remaining Social Security and Medicare subject to the new rules. The new, new rules, I should say. The former new rules have been hedonized and substitutized by Clinton until there's little left.

Bill Clinton used to go to a Methodist Church with his wife holding a bible in his hand. He thought that would save him. Ha! At least his wife saw the futility of that action and didn't carry her bible, knowing, as a Methodist, that there was no hope.

THEN, and only THEN, will that yammering idiot be qualified to talk.

I used to the like the guy, but he's dead to me now.

I'll go on a diet to be able to give money to his primary challenger.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:36 AM

3. This tinkering with Medicare and/or Social Security will have much more devastating

and far-reaching social effects than the people supporting it can imagine.

Those who support cutting Medicare and Social Security do not know people or if they do know people do not realize how much the people they know rely on the small Social Security benefit and the Medicare health care insurance just to pay a grocery bill.

Watch the numbers of cable TV subscriptions decline of Social Security is cut. It may happen over time, but it will happen. Also, hair dressers will feel a pinch.

The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker was about $1,230 at the beginning of 2012. This amount changes monthly based upon the total amount of all benefits paid and the total number of people receiving benefits.


That is the average benefit which means that about half of the recipients receive less than that and about half more. That is not much money. A lot of seniors have savings, but they aren't earning anything on those savings. Interest rates are extremely low and the stock market is too risky for older people. Also, very few older people understand or follow the stock market.

You certainly can't cut Social Security by much without seriously hurting a lot of seniors.

Here in Los Angeles, we see a lot of elderly homeless people. It is really tragic. Cutting Social Security will make it worse.

Meanwhile, in La Jolla . . . . . .

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 03:15 AM

6. You make an excellent point on low interest rates, JD.


Those interest rates at the discount window together with the failure to return to mark-to-market on securities held as capital assets have kept U.S. banks afloat.

As I'm sure you are aware, the large banks may borrow at the excruciatingly low rate every night from federal reserve, and until recently, have been able to invest those funds in treasury securities overnight at a larger interest rate. A couple of years ago, the spread was 3%.

The Fed required collateral, but who knows what that collateral consisted of (pardon my grammar--it's late). It may very well have been the last tranch of home equity loans from some moderate-income people living in a half-finished development in Florida. We hope that the bank discounted that piece of excrement, but who knows. Bernanke isn't talking.

That's what's really pulled the banks out.

Supposedly, Apple and Ford have been able to borrow at those same low interest rates in invest in capital equipment here in the U.S. to employ U.S. citizens and permanent residents. They borrow at artificially low rates, which these undoubtedly are, but they have invested in plants in Mexico in places that have been attacked by Mexican gangs which have branched out into general banditry and which are not located near large supplies of water, like the Great Lakes or the Mississippi-Missouri River System. Alternatively, they throw money at Taiwanese companies that invest in plants in China with working conditions laudited by a certain NYT pundit, but where it has become necessary to either string the suicide nets or call in the riot police.

But our seniors, and near seniors, need to put their retirement savings in safe investments. What are safe investments? Bank deposits are about the only thing left. It used to be that stock or bonds from highly regulated utility companies were safe and paid a sedate 5% interest. But no more. Utilities were deregulated and now their securities go up and down like anything else. Municipal bonds used to be staid investments. No more. They're about to go bankrupt. What about U.S. treasury bonds, you say. Well, maybe they are safe, but they are not insured.

That leaves bank accounts. But bank account rates are set lower than the treasury secuities, and those at the most were paying 3%, and now they are down to less than 1% to provide capital to the big banks and the big industries.

It appears that Ben Bernanke hasn't even though of the problem of prudent seniors requiring safe investments. He's gone with the big banks and Apple rather than your grandmother.

That means that my Mom and your Grandmother can't live on interest as generation before them have. Bernanke is really selling out grandmother and none of Bernanke, Krugman, Geithner or Obama seem to care about it.

Please forgive me. It's late, and I've had half a bottle of nice Chardonnay.

Really though, many seniors really suffer when their SS and Medicare don't keep up with the actual inflation rate. What's really been done since Clinton has been stealing from older people through keeping interest rates low and inflation adjustments unrealistic.

If there's a hell, most of the politicians for the last 40 years will be in it.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:44 AM

4. You can have entitlement reform without cutting benefits

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Response to krawhitham (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 03:16 AM

7. Please explain in detail how that would work in the real world. n/t


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Response to amandabeech (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 01:12 PM

8. Remove the cap on SS for one thing

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