Posts filed under ‘Seniors/Retirement/SS’

Sweet, Sweet Story (Involving Animals and Old People)

I came across this out of Australia a few days ago:

Rescued Farm Animals Bring Joy to Nursing Home Residents

Many of us are familiar with the idea of therapy animals, particularly friendly dogs and cats who visit sick children or victims of abuse and neglect. However, dogs and cats are not the only domestic animals that can provide us humans with great comfort and happiness.

In fact, if only we’d allow them more of a chance, we’d see that farm animals can also bring joy into our lives.

Take for instance the group of “kindness crusaders” out of Edgar’s Mission farm animal sanctuary in Victoria, Australia, made up of Timmy the sheep, Miss Chief the goat, and little Ginger Chicken.

It’s primarily a photo essay and the pictures are priceless.  The nursing home residents look like they’re vibrating with joy:

Edgar's Mission 1

(Image via



Edgar's Mission 2

(Image via

If I was in a nursing home I’d love this.  Heck, I’d love it right now! and I’m not in a nursing home.  And isn’t this a great idea?  Think of all the animals that could be rescued and live a great life going to nursing homes, getting showered with attention, and bringing joy and a bit of levity to the residents.

Hey, maybe we could cut a million or two out of the military budget and do that!  Make joy not war.

More photos and info here.

March 13, 2014 at 4:08 PM Leave a comment

Sentence of the Day

From David Sirota over at in an article titled:  For Economic Stimulus, Pensions Beat Stadiums and Server Farms.

Detroit Protestors via Voice of

(Image via

There [in Detroit], as if proudly advertising its reverse-Robin Hood class war, the city is simultaneously seeking bankruptcy to avoid pensions payments, while pledging $400 million to build a new hockey stadium.

I would much rather have my tax dollars go toward pensions instead of a hockey stadium.  Geezus.  It’s a no-brainer.

December 10, 2013 at 1:40 PM 2 comments

GOP Head Slams Obama Over Chained CPI

Gosh, who could have seen this coming?

Here’s Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, who chairs the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC), talking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer:

Greg Walden via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia)

“His budget kind of lays out a shocking attack on seniors, if you will,” says Walden. “I’ll tell ya, when you’re already going after seniors, the way he’s already done with Obamacare, taking $700 million out of Medicare to put into Obamacare, and now coming back at seniors again, I think he’s crossing that line.” Prodded by Wolf Blitzer, who (wrongly) says that Paul Ryan’s budget also reforms Social Security (it actually just cuts taxes and expects more revenue to flow in), Walden says again that Obama is “trying to balance this budget on the back of seniors.


Shocking, isn’t it?

Then again, if Obama hadn’t come out in favor of Chained CPI, they’d slam him for that too.


April 11, 2013 at 1:47 PM Leave a comment

Obama: Don’t Walk Away From the Promise YOU Made

A few minutes ago MSNBC went live to a speech President Obama was giving about gun control.  Yes, it was all lofty and sensitive — vintage Obama.  MSNBC’s chyron read:  “We will not walk away from promises we made.”

Yeah?  This is Obama in January, 2011 clearly saying he will not cut Social Security benefits.

Social Security Card via Blogs times

(Image via

Fast forward to today, and this is the word on the street about the budget Obama will release on Wednesday:

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Congressman Mark Takano and leaders of organizations that oppose President Obama’s anticipated assault on Social Security will go to the White House Tuesday to present petitions signed by more than one million Americans who reject the president’s proposal for “Chained CPI.”

The “Chained CPI” scheme would restructure cost-of-living adjustments in a way that cuts Social Security benefits for millions of seniors and veterans.


Obama knows exactly what to say to make people melt but his actions speak louder than his words.  He better not only talk the talk when it comes to Social Security, he’d better walk the walk too.

If he doesn’t, I don’t think I can believe a word he says anymore.

April 8, 2013 at 5:32 PM 2 comments

Republicans Were Against Medicare Cuts Before They Were For Them Before They Were Against Them Before They Were For Them

That title is no joke.  Read on:

Paul Ryan Looking Smug via Politico

(Image via Politico)

What Do You do When One Party is This Dishonest?

We’re still waiting for a full rollout of House Budget Chair Paul Ryan’s Republican budget, but there’s confirmation now that it will once again rely heavily on retaining the Medicare cuts passed in the Affordable Care Act (even as Ryan’s budget repeals the rest of the law).

[E]veryone is under-appreciating just how outrageous this is. For the second time in a row, Paul Ryan and the Republicans have run a national election campaign (the 2012 presidential election) in which the main theme was bashing the Democrats … for a policy which Republicans support — and indeed are making a key part of the most important policy blueprint that they will roll out this year.

This is no garden-variety flip-flop. It’s a fundamental decision to govern one way and campaign the exact opposite way.

This is one of those cases where it’s so audacious that reporters just don’t want to believe it.

I really can’t think of any comparably dishonest episode in recent American political history. To base not one but two campaigns on attacking the other party for a policy which, between elections, they support…it’s well beyond chutzpah. Oh, and that’s without even beginning to reckon with the fact that the House GOP’s larger Medicare plans call for much bigger long-term cuts than Obamacare made.


1)  This wouldn’t happen if Republicans knew, for sure, without a doubt, that the media would report this kind of bait and switch clearly and repeatedly.

2)  We’ve got to invent a new word.  Outrageous, audacious, dishonest and chutzpah don’t describe what the Republicans are doing now, and have been doing for years.  I guess the big takeway is that they’re willing to lie to the American people and tell them during campaigns they’ll do the exact opposite of what they intend to do if elected.

Way to corrode the democratic process guys.


They’re disgusting.

March 11, 2013 at 4:31 PM Leave a comment

Open Letter to Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)

Dan Vowell

Dan Alan Vowell (Via

I emailed this letter to Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) today:

On Tuesday, 2-26-13, my husband, a 61-year-old msn who delivered mail in south Boulder for 36 years, was diagnosed with a brain disease called frontotemporal degeneration.  In essence, his frontal lobe is disintegrating.

No known cause.  No known cure.

The trajectory of this disease is, unless he dies of some other cause [my husband] will linger for 8 to ten years in a state of incoherence while I spend my time caring for him and paying for his care.

The insurance retired Post Office employees get is good, but it doesn’t, by any means, cover extraordinary expenses like we’re facing.

When was the last time you held a freakin’ town meeting?

Not only that, but the treat of breaking up the P.O. adds an incredible amount of stress to our lives because taking away letter carriers’ benefits is part of that whole deal.   [As in the Republicans' plan to break all of our backs].

The only way I can pay for my his care is to try to qualify for Medicare/Medicaid.  That means we sell all the assets we’ve built up over the years and put all that money into caring for my sweet Dan.

When he dies, I have nothing.  I’m on the street.

What the hell are you all doing in Washington when we are desperate out here?

I want to offer a (slight) apology to Udall.  I’m angry and I lost my temper.  I could have worded this a little better but at the same time, I’m furious.  As in seeing red.

Where are you Marko?

March 1, 2013 at 9:08 PM 3 comments

Poor Florida Seniors: Get Ready to Die

Apropos of this, there’s this:

rick Scott

(Image via Wikipedia)

Fla. Medicaid Privatization Plans Moving Forward

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Federal health officials said Wednesday they expect to approve Florida’s request to privatize Medicaid statewide as long as the state resolves several outstanding issues, including hiring an independent entity to monitor the process and having a robust plan to measure the quality of patient care in the controversial program.

Rick Scott, Florida’s Tea Party Governor, the guy who’s moving this along should be in prison.  If you’ve got time, read this:  Rick Scott’s Dirtiest Deeds.

I predict Scott will privatize Medicaid in Florida right into the hands of his hospital chain / insurance company buddies and three, four years from now the “Medicare” system in Florida will be a corrupt mess. And people will have died as a result, including Tea Partiers who voted for this narcissistic monster.


February 20, 2013 at 8:15 PM Leave a comment

Republicans in Washington State Hard at Work on Bills That Will Kill Humans and Animals

It’s just amazing what Republicans think is important:

Republican Dinasour

During their first three weeks in power, Senate Republicans [in Washington state] have introduced bills to require parental notification for abortions, allow ranchers to kill wolves and let people ride motorcycles without a helmet.

Also on the list: plans to revamp [read, cut] workers’ compensation benefits, repeal the state’s family leave act [that, among other things, gives new parents five weeks off after the birth of a child] and assign A-F grades to public schools. There’s also talk of dumping the state employee pension system in favor of a less-expensive, 401(k)-type plan.


So, they want supposedly want to protect unborn fetuses but for people who are already born they want to increase traffic deaths and health care costs by letting people ride motorcycles without a helmet; kill wolves; cut workers’ compensation benefits; make it so folks don’t have a guaranteed leave plan so they can take time off when they or a family member needs help due to a medical problem; deprive new parents of bonding time with a new baby and make it harder for people to make ends meet in retirement.

What a vicious, hateful crowd.



February 4, 2013 at 4:50 PM Leave a comment

Must-Read Post About Fried Rat

Love this hilarious post from Smart Ass Cripple.  Snark at its finest:

Rat via NPR

(Image via

Kentucky Fried Rat

A guy picks up a bucket of chicken. He takes it home, turns on the game, settles back, digs in. And soon he discovers that one of his pieces of chicken is really a Kentucky fried rat.
I hear a story like that on the news and I really get upset. I say to myself, “What a lucky sonuvabitch!” How come nothing like that ever happens to me? I suppose one reason I never find a Kentucky fried rat in a bucket of chicken is because I never buy a bucket of chicken. But that’s because every time I’ve bought a bucket of chicken all I’ve ever gotten is chicken. That’s the kind of rotten luck I have.

Biting into a Kentucky fried rat would cause me some serious PTSD sure enough. Imagine the nightmares. But it would also turn my pupils into dollar signs. I’ve gotten to the point where my retirement investment strategy consists solely of finding a Kentucky fried rat and suing that Colonel’s sorry ass from here to Toledo! Screw IRAs. It’s too late for that for me. My only hope for a financially comfy old age is to invest in a KFR.

Continue reading here…

January 27, 2013 at 12:43 PM Leave a comment

Something Very Fishy is Going on in Virginia With Hospitals and Medicare/Medicaid

When something like this happens it’s a bad sign:

image via 1-26-13

(Image via

McLEAN, Va. — The Virginia Department of Health will no longer provide public access to its hospital complaint investigations after an Associated Press story found inconsistencies in the probe of a woman’s care at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

The change in policy was ordered by the federal agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid, said Erik Bodin, director of the department’s division of licensure and certification.

When Medicare patients file complaints about the treatment they received at a hospital, state regulators conduct investigations under a contract with that federal agency, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Officials with CMS declined to comment on the records change.

While officials wouldn’t comment on the reason for the change, it comes after an Associated Press story in October showed that the state released two different versions of a report that investigated the care of an Inova patient, Sharon Van Putten, who died shortly after leaving the hospital.

A report given to the family largely exonerated the hospital, while a report obtained by AP under the state’s Freedom of Information Act substantiated most of the family’s allegations.

Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, said she could not recall a similar situation where a federal agency ordered Virginia to stop releasing an entire class of documents.


So, while “the Virginia Department of Health will no longer provide public access to its hospital complaint investigations,” it’s the Feds who have mandated that and that mandate seems to have come as the result of a discrepancy between a “report given to the family” vis a vis a presumably internal report obtained by the AP.

Wow.   Sounds like a cover-up to me, and now we have a policy which will preclude discovering the existence of new cover-ups.

This is not good.  This implies things are not going well for Medicare and Medicaid patients in Virginia hospitals.

We need more info, and soon.

As a paralegal who worked for years in the field of medical malpractice, I can tell you, this sends chills up and down my spine.

January 26, 2013 at 6:33 PM Leave a comment

Obama Prepared to Cut Social Security by Three Percent

According to inside Washington gossip, Congress and the president are going to do exactly what voters elected them to do; they are going to cut Social Security by 3 percent. You don’t remember anyone running on that platform? Yeah, well, they probably forgot to mention it.

Social Security Card via

(Image via

Of course some people may have heard Vice President Joe Biden when he told an audience in Virginia that there would be no cuts to Social Security if President Obama got reelected. Biden said: “I guarantee you, flat guarantee you, there will be no changes in Social Security. I flat guarantee you.”

But that’s the way things work in Washington. You can’t expect the politicians who run for office to share their policy agenda with voters. After all, we might not like it.


The bottom line is that President Obama and many leading Democrats are prepared to give seniors a larger hit to their income than they gave to the over $250,000 crowd. And the whole reason it is necessary is that the Wall Street types who wrecked the economy say so. Is everybody happy?


Obama.  The first black Republican president.

January 15, 2013 at 9:06 AM Leave a comment

What Are You Thinking Obama?

Obama puts earned benefits “entitlements” on the table and guess what happens:

Tweet o the Day 12-19-12

For the life of me I can’t understand why Obama isn’t protecting the big three — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — programs which Americans love and hold dear.

December 20, 2012 at 6:34 PM 2 comments

Obama Offers More Cuts to Social Security Than to the Pentagon

President Obama via CNN

(Image via CNN)

There are now multiple press reports that President Obama will agree to a fiscal deal that enacts a so-called “Chained CPI” to calculate Social Security and veterans’ benefits. Under this plan, beneficiaries would get cuts in their cost of living adjustments. Outraged Congressional Democrats have been speaking out for days against these cuts.

The cuts to Social Security benefits under such a recalculation would amount to about $112 billion over ten years.

Let’s put this in perspective. In the offer Obama gave to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), he also put $100 billion of Pentagon spending cuts on the table for the same period.

That means that Obama offered to cut a program that doesn’t add a penny to the deficit — Social Security — by more than the single largest drain on discretionary spending, the Pentagon.


Label me one of those “outraged Democrats.”

“Beneficiaries would get cuts in their cost of living adjustments?”  A Social Security recipient called in to a radio show I was listening to yesterday and said her last cost of living “raise” was $30.00.  $30.00.  $30.00 a year.

Hey, I have an idea; how about we cut military bands?

The Defense Department could be shelling out nearly $50 billion in the next 50 years for its military bands, a prominent defense analyst says, a figure that could raise eyebrows amid Washington’s new climate of fiscal restraint.

“The nation’s military services really are going to spend over $25 billion on music bands in the coming years,” Lexington Institute COO and industry consultant Loren Thompson said.

After adjusting that figure for inflation and other factors, Thompson projects the nominal costs of the bands will approach $50 billion — a price tag he derided as “ridiculous.”


The nation’s ground service has 35 active-duty bands, 18 Army Reserve bands and over 50 made up of Army National Guard groups, according to the site.

The Air Force has at least 15 bands, 11 regionally organized Air National Guard groups and at least one Air Force Reserve band, according to the Air Force Bands Program website.


December 20, 2012 at 11:49 AM Leave a comment

Don’t Let Washington Cut Our Benefits

Off the top of my head I’m thinking George Bush’s off-the-books war on Iraq, the Republican’s prescription drug program, tax cuts for the rich, the Department of Homeland Security that was a bazillion dollar give-away to defense contractors and Afghanistan.  But what does Washington want to do to “balance the budget?”  Cut the entitlements benefits We the People have paid into all our working lives:

Cut the Benefits We've Earned via recliamamerica4152013

(Image via ReclaimAmerica4252013 on Facebook)

And there’s this:  White House won’t rule out age increase for Medicare.

December 13, 2012 at 8:18 PM Leave a comment

What Will You Look Like if You Live to Be 107?

Merrill Lynch and Bank of America are trying to lure people into their retirement-preparation service by featuring a tool that takes a picture of you and ages it, presumably to scare you into thinking about whether you’ll have enough money left when you’re really, really old.

The future you

If you want to see what you’d look like as a really, really old person, go here.

I think it’s a little creepy actually (don’t know where that picture might end up) so I’m not going to do it but I thought I’d slap up a post about it anyway in case anyone’s interested.



December 9, 2012 at 11:37 AM 5 comments

Bless the Caregivers Who Are Struggling Though the Aftermath of Sandy

From ClimateDesk:

On Monday night, Hurricane Sandy’s flood waters inundated electrical equipment underneath lower Manhattan and left hundreds of thousands of residents there without power. By Wednesday afternoon, nearly 240,000 were still in the dark, with no clear end in sight. Climate Desk visited one historic high-rise apartment where residents were running perilously low on water, food, and patience.


November 1, 2012 at 12:43 PM Leave a comment

Romney-Leaning Seniors What to Preserve Their Benefits? WTF?

My Tweet of the Day, if not of this election:

Here’s a link to the poll cited.

So, Romney-leaning seniors are keen on preserving their benefits but not on cutting the deficit, yet they’re leaning Romney because why exactly?  Romney’s VP has risen to the top of the GOP heap on his supposed miracle budget that slashes  $700 billion in Medicare benefits in order to cut the deficit.

So, I’m trying to wrap my head around this. Why are Romney-leaning seniors leaning Romney if they want to preserve their benefits?  Because all they’re seeing are propagandistic campaign ads (thanks to the Republicans on the Supreme Court and the Citizens United ruling) and the fact that so-called-news organizations don’t do news — as in facts —  as inform us — anymore.

October 21, 2012 at 7:32 PM 3 comments

I’m Thinking Romney Might Regret Picking Paul Ryan as His VP

More evidence of what a mess Mr. Fix It’s campaign has been:

(Image via M. Spencer Green / AP)

Thanks to Ryan’s Medicare plan, Medicare may well be eclipsing Obamacare — which was supposed to be one of Obama’s leading liabilities — as an issue. Today’s new Post poll finds that Ryan’s scheme is overwhelmingly opposed in Ohio, Florida, and Virginia. The poll finds that this opposition is powering a 19 point advantage for Obama in these states on who is more trusted to handle Medicare. Republicans won a huge victory in the 2010 elections, largely because of Obamacare, by claiming (falsely) that the health law cut Medicare benefits for seniors. The GOP ticket reprised that attack this year.


Whoda thought?  No, seriously, this was a predictable result of picking Ryan, which makes his pick seem like an impulsive, knee-jerk attempt on Mitt’s part to endear himself to “the base,” but the thing is the base is on, and likes, Medicare too.

Oops!  Sh*t happens when you live in the Fox bubble.

September 27, 2012 at 4:14 PM Leave a comment

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: Truth and Lies (Mostly Lies) About Medicare

This editorial will appear in the New York Times tomorrow.

(Image via the

Republican attacks on President Obama’s plans for Medicare are growing more heated and inaccurate by the day. Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made statements last week implying that the Affordable Care Act would eviscerate Medicare when in fact the law should shore up the program’s finances.

Both men have also twisted themselves into knots to distance themselves from previous positions, so that voters can no longer believe anything they say. Last week, both insisted that they would save Medicare by pumping a huge amount of money into the program, a bizarre turnaround for supposed fiscal conservatives out to rein in federal spending.


The Republicans gave no clue about how they would pay for restoring the Medicare cuts without increasing the deficit. It is hard to believe that, if faced with the necessity of fashioning a realistic budget, keeping Medicare spending high would be a top priority with a Romney-Ryan administration that also wants to spend very large sums on the military and on tax cuts for wealthy Americans.

Regardless of who wins the election, Medicare spending has to be reined in lest it squeeze out other priorities, like education. It is utterly irresponsible for the Republicans to promise not to trim Medicare spending in their desperate bid for votes.


Good to know there’s a modicum of truth-telling going on around here.  The NYT isn’t known for that, but good on them for this.


August 18, 2012 at 7:13 PM 6 comments

Beware of the Word “Reform”

We need to be hyper-aware not to be seduced by the word “reform.”  When Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan use it — which I suspect they will, ad nauseam for the next three moths — it means destroy-as-we-know-it.

(Image via

“60 Minutes”: Romney, Ryan answer critics of Medicare position

“What Paul Ryan and I have talked about is saving Medicare, is providing people greater choice in Medicare, making sure it’s there for current seniors. No changes, by the way, for current seniors, or those nearing retirement. But looking for young people down the road and saying, “We’re going to give you a bigger choice.” In America, the nature of this country has been giving people more freedom, more choices. That’s how we make Medicare work down the road.”

Ryan added, “My mom is a Medicare senior in Florida. Our point is we need to preserve their benefits, because government made promises to them that they’ve organized their retirements around. In order to make sure we can do that, you must reform it for those of us who are younger. And we think these reforms are good reforms. That have bipartisan origins. They started from the Clinton commission in the late ’90s.”


Instead of doing a he said, she said interview about their “position” on Medicare, wouldn’t it be great if 60 Minutes actually read Ryan’s plan and told us in a factual way what it says?  I mean, it’s right there in black and white.  Maybe the “critics” are right!


August 12, 2012 at 4:15 PM Leave a comment

Obama Campaign Releases First Ad Regarding Paul Ryan’s Budget Proposals

Wasting no time:

August 11, 2012 at 1:06 PM 1 comment

Romney: Please, Please, Please Pick Rubio!

If Mitt Romney picks Florida Senator Marco Rubio as his vice presidential nominee, we’re gonna have fun with this quote from Rubio today on CNN’s “State of the Nation:”

I haven’t gone through the comparison,” Rubio told CNN’s Candy Crowley. “I think that presidents serve in different times with different challenges. And so I think that George W. Bush, in my opinion, did a fantastic job as president over eight years, facing a set of circumstances during those eight years that are different from the circumstances that a President Romney would face.

Bush lied us into a war; he passed an unfunded Medicare prescription drug program (a gift to the drug and insurance companies) that could cost as much as much as $1.2 trillion; he passed the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and he let the banks crash the global economy, to name but a few of his accomplishments.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what Republicans think is a, ahem, “fantastic job.”

So, keep the video handy.  If Romney does pick Rubio it’s gonna get a whole lot of airtime.  If Romney doesn’t pick Rubio, we can save it and use it when Rubio runs.  Heehee.


April 22, 2012 at 3:46 PM Leave a comment

GM Trades Pensions for a Week’s Vacation

General Motors Co. is eliminating traditional pensions for all U.S. salaried employees, but the automaker is softening the blow by giving all salaried workers an extra week of vacation.

The company said that it would also announce bonuses for its approximately 26,000 U.S. salaried workers during its 2011 earnings call on Thursday. Those bonuses will be tied to GM’s global performance.

GM also said it will give pay increases to workers with critical skills this year, but said there would be no across-the-board raises.


So instead of a pension, which guarantees regular payments in a set amount from the time someone retires until they die, employees get a week’s vacation? Wow.  Big of them.


February 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM Leave a comment

Vera Wang: Tell Me This Isn’t Photoshopped

This is the dress designer Vera Wang — aged 62 — in a spread appearing in the latest issue of Bazaar magazine:

Look at her knees.  Look at her chest and neck area.  No way this isn’t photoshopped.

(Larger version (though not much) here.)

January 25, 2012 at 6:02 PM Leave a comment

Iowans Applaud Rick Santorum for Saying He’ll Cut Social Security

I just watched (@ 7:52 p.m. ET) a live clip of Rick Santorum speaking to senior citizens in Iowa, telling them, when president, he will cut the deficit by $5 trillion, “including entitlements,” which means Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.

Like idiots being lead to slaughter, THEY APPLAUDED.


P.S.  Let’s start referring to “entitlements” as earned benefits.  The money we get back for those things came out of our paychecks, dammit.

January 3, 2012 at 8:03 PM Leave a comment

Work Until You’re 90 — It’s Fun!

The ABC Evening News w/Diane Sawyer just aired a piece about how great it is to work until you’re in your 90’s.  The segment featured a 90-year-old hairdresser who’s still going strong and yes, she seemed perfectly happy.

Kudos to her but I can’t help but wonder what the point was.  If I know the “liberal media” like I think I do, what I just saw was an opening salvo in a campaign designed to convince already-exhausted Americans that hey, if the corporatocracy takes away your Social Security, any pensions you might have, your health benefits, your accrued vacation time, etc., life’s a beach but you’re just too spoiled to notice how great it is.  And if you don’t like it, strap your boots on, put a smile on your face and work into your 90’s, and if you complain or physically can’t do that, there’s something wrong with you, not with the system.

Photo: AP

December 2, 2011 at 8:28 PM Leave a comment

Rick Perry Stands to Rake in the Dough via Our Tax Dollars

Don’t get me wrong.  I have nothing against pensions or Social Security or Medicare but I do have a problem with a man who is against all those things taking them for himself.  Then again, Rick Perry wants us to believe he’s a man of conviction so when he retires he’ll probably stay true to his word and refuse all these “government handouts:”

As a Texas governor and presidential candidate, Rick Perry has repeatedly turned to the marketplace for policy solutions to health care and retirement security.

But as a private citizen, Perry has generally relied on the government.

Perry is a member of what the Texas Employees Retirement System (ERS) calls “the elected class,” which provides the kind of lucrative pension benefits that have all but disappeared from the private sector.

Under its provisions, Perry, 61, could have retired at age 50 with lifetime health care paid for by the state. To the annoyance of his opponents, he is still in office — and every year he stays will benefit him in the long run.

If Perry retires at the end of his current term, in 2014, he would be eligible to collect as much as $119,025 a year, according to calculations based on 30 years of elective service and optional provisions. Perry will also receive Social Security, which could swell his total public pension benefits to more than $140,000 annually.

The state pays 100 percent of the cost of state employees’ health insurance premiums, and Perry, an Air Force veteran, has had access to taxpayer-supported care since he joined the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets in 1968. He is entitled to state-financed health care for the rest of his life and will be eligible for Medicare after his current term expires.


Pretty nice huh?  But again, I’m sure Perry will turn all of this down.  Oh, wait.  Maybe he won’t.  Maybe he won’t because Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are only referred to as “handouts” or “entitlements” when the 99% are getting them.  Otherwise they’re referred to as something along the lines of “earned benefits.”  So hey, we shall see.

November 7, 2011 at 4:48 PM Leave a comment

Gosh — What Are the Occupy Wall Street People So Upset About?

We constantly hear the “liberal media” wondering aloud:  So, what exactly are the Occupy Wall Street protesters so upset about?

Here’s a hint:

30 Major Corporations Paid No Income Taxes In The Last Three Years, While Making $160 Billion

One of the driving forces behind the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests is the fact that corporations have not been paying their fair share in taxes. A new report from Citizens for Tax Justice will no nothing to alleviate the protesters’ frustration.

CTJ looked at 280 companies, all of them members of the Fortune 500, and found that “while the federal corporate tax code ostensibly requires big corporations to pay a 35 percent corporate income tax rate, on average, the 280 corporations in our study paid only about half that amount.” And those who paid even half the statutory corporate tax rate paid far more than many of their competitors.

In fact, in the last three years, 78 corporations had at least one year where they paid no federal income tax at all, while 30 corporations paid not a dime over the entire three years. Those 30 corporations paid nothing, even though they made $160 billion in profits over that period.

And rather than closing loopholes so all corporations pay their fair share (and oh yeah, maybe closing some of the 800+ military bases we have around the world), the “Super Committee” is talking about cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  And that’s.  Just.  Wrong.

November 3, 2011 at 10:34 AM 6 comments

It’s Acceptable Now for a Presidential Candidate to Tell Us to Eat Cake

I thought Jon Huntsman might be a bit saner than his fellow whacked-out GOP presidential candidates, but I guess not:

2012 GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman is releasing an economic plan today that is as bad for the middle-class — and as nutty — as any proposed by his rivals. It would pay for a half-million-dollar tax break for the richest 0.1 percent of Americans with tax increases on the middle-class and new taxes on seniors, veterans, and poor families.

In an apparent attempt to eclipse all previous Republican giveaways, including the disastrous Bush tax cuts, Huntsman would drop the marginal rate paid by the richest Americans by more than a third to 23 percent –a lower rate than rich people paid during the Coolidge and Hoover Administrations or any time since. He would also eliminate all taxes on all capital gains and dividend income — the primary forms of income for the wealthiest Americans.


How is it we are at a place where millionaires can run for president and say, with a straight, unashamed face, that they’re going to raise our taxes and cut theirs?  How in the world has that come to be acceptable?  Oh, wait.  I know.  I guess we sheep have thoroughly accepted the BS (put out by corporations and the rich) that the “job creators” need lower taxes so they’ll create a whole bunch of new jobs, right?  So how low do corporate taxes and taxes on the rich need to go before they start creating all those jobs?  I mean, we’ve been waiting ten years already.

Oh, and see below for more on how corporations and their CEOs are suffering under the weight of our “high” tax rate.


August 31, 2011 at 3:42 PM Leave a comment

The Big “Job Creator” Lie

As I’ve asked a million times on this blog, why, oh why, do the American people believe the big Republican lie that if we cut taxes on the “job creators,” they’ll create jobs?  I mean, just look around.  Where are those jobs?

The Republicans in Congress have been on a spending cut frenzy since they began their assault on workers and jobs earlier this year, and the economy has not improved or grown like it should have if the GOP’s assertions were correct. At last count, the spending cuts Republicans have proposed will cost Americans nearly 2 million jobs making the GOP the job-killing masters. It is really a twisted concept to understand, but for some unknown reason the Republicans have convinced their supporters that the jobs picture and the economy will improve by enacting spending cuts and maintaining the Bush-era tax cuts. Both spending cuts and the wealthy’s tax cuts will never ever result in job creation and it reinforces the notion that Republicans are not the least bit serious about creating jobs or growing the economy.

If the Republicans had their way and slashed education, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and all programs that Americans depend on, there will still be bills to pay for the bloated defense budget, oil subsidies, and the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. The savings from severely cutting those programs will still not add revenue, and when those programs are slashed, the millions of jobs lost will result in lost tax revenue that puts the economy in a worse position than it is now. The only difference is there will be millions more Americans living in poverty with no safety nets to sustain them, but of course, that is part of the Republican’s plans over the long term. When President Obama suggested keeping the payroll tax holiday to stimulate spending that does create jobs, Republicans balked because they need the revenue to maintain the military, oil subsidies, and tax cuts for the wealthy. Increasing the payroll tax will not affect the wealthy or the corporations they own so Republicans are happy to see it increase.


The spending cuts Republicans have proposed are for one purpose and one purpose only; to maintain the wealthy’s entitlements and the defense budget. They have nothing whatsoever to do with creating jobs or helping the economy much less setting America on a stronger financial footing.


Wake-up America.

August 11, 2011 at 10:15 AM 1 comment

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