Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday August 27, 2011...How did we get into this mess?

Why do I feel like the country is being run by the Tories ('God, King and Country' )and I am one of the rebels?

25 million Americans don't have a full-time job. 46 million Americans don't have health insurance.
American schools are at the bottom of the list of industrialized nations in education. 15 million children live in families who are below the poverty level. 15 million unemployed people. 3½ million homeless people. All this in one of the richest countries on Earth.

This country feels more and more like a monarchy with the wealthy acting as the aristocracy and their puppets running the country per their wishes. I understand that the Tea Party is upset, but I think they are mad at the wrong people. They should be angry with the rich and powerful who are taking over the country. The rich and powerful control politics, finances, business and the armed forces. They have instituted a police state with their Patriot Act and are trying to extend their empire to the corners of the earth through wars and trade acts. The politicians see the polls and know what the people really want, but they act in accordance with their wealthy controllers.

The average citizen holds no control over his elected official. The press is owned and controlled by the elite and they only present the news that they are allowed to. We are given the choice of which of their politicians we want to elect, but they have already financed both parties and win control no matter how we vote. Our choices are diminishing and so are our rights and privileges. The government is eradicating the unions and slowly erasing our social safety network.

Global society is dividing into two blocs: the plutonomy and the rest. Growth is powered by the wealthy few, and largely consumed by them. Then there are the 'non-rich,' the vast majority, now sometimes called the global precariat, the workforce living a precarious existence. We rebels are the precariat. We are definitely the non-rich and the non-powerful.

Maybe when enough people see what's happening we can institute a change in direction and see about helping ALL of the people find the blessings of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. After all, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed and whenever those governments become destructive of the unalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, those people have the right to alter or abolish those governments to effect their Safety and Happiness. These thoughts were so eloquently expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution and should never be forgotten.

Now that the blessings of our society are being accumulated in the coffers of the very few, we find our life styles diminishing and our choices narrowing. We stand on the outside, looking in, on the benefits of our society and wondering how we got here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday August 19, 2011...Interesting tax facts

A great site to review the individual tax structure from 1945 to 2011

 So the Billionaire reduced his taxes from 90% to 35% and increased his net pay by 650% from $100 million  to $650 million and the Millionaire reduced his taxes from 66.4% to 32.7% and increased his net pay by 103% from $336 thousand to $673 thousand, while the person earning $100,000.00 reduced his taxes from 28% to 22% and increased his net pay by 8.3% from $72,000.00 to $78,000.00.

It's not hard to see who benefited the most from the changes in the tax laws and who has the most money to influence the lawmakers and the media.  They cry crocodile tears while they pick our bones and take away our earned benefits.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday August 15, 2011...Unforgettable sayings

You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.

Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

Procrastinate Now!

I smile because I don't know what the hell is going on.

I'm starting to wonder how bad four years with no president would be.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Sunday August 7, 2011...Entitlements vs Insurance

Let's not confuse entitlements, paid for by the government, with Social Security and Medicare which are federal insurance programs paid for by the participants.

An entitlement is a guarantee of access to benefits based on established rights or by legislation. A "right" is itself an entitlement associated with a moral or social principle, such that an "entitlement" is a provision made in accordance with legal framework of a society. Typically, entitlements are laws based on concepts of principle ("rights") which are themselves based in concepts of social equality or enfranchisement.

Social security is primarily a social insurance program providing social protection or protection against socially recognized conditions, including poverty, old age, disability, unemployment and others.
Actuaries define social insurance as a government-sponsored insurance program that is defined by statute, serves a defined population, and is funded through premiums or taxes paid by or on behalf of participants. Participation is either compulsory or the program is subsidized heavily enough that most eligible individuals choose to participate.
In the U.S., programs that meet this definition include Social Security, Medicare, the PBGC program, the railroad retirement program, and state-sponsored unemployment insurance programs.

Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over; to those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or to those who meet other special criteria. Medicare in the United States somewhat resembles a single-payer health care system, but is not. "Original Medicare" plans (when Medicare Advantage has not been elected) cover 80% of the Medicare-approved amount of any given medical cost; the remaining 20% of cost must be paid by out-of-pocket via the patient's own personal funds (check, money order, cash, etc.). Medicare Advantage plans are not Medicare Supplements, but take the place of "Original Medicare". In return for a premium, these plans share costs and cap out of pocket expenses.
The Medicare program also funds residency training programs for the vast majority of physicians in the United States.

So when pundits start talking about getting entitlement costs under control, they mistakenly include Social Security and Medicare (which are not entitlements) in their discussions. These insurance programs are paid for by the participants over the years and are a contract between the citizens of the United States and their government.

The Federal government has been taking in our payments for these programs for years and years, just as any insurance company would, but instead of investing that money wisely and having it grow and grow into a large reservoir of money from which to pay the premiums they have bought treasury bills and spent the money on other things. Now we have a stack of treasury bills from which to pay the premiums. And now the politicians are starting to complain that they don't have enough money to pay off the treasury bills. They just need to get some of the tax money back from the people who received large tax reductions over the last 30 years.  They need to honor their contract!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011...The Financiers of the Tea Party

Americans for Prosperity
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ of billionaires +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
You can trust in us!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011...Someday is Now!

For years we've been saving our pennies and dollars and giving them to the government to save in the various trust funds - Social Security, Medicare, Roads and Highways, etc. (our own piggy banks for the future). Our representatives have said “Thank you very much. Trust us, we will save your money for you. It will all be there for you someday.” Someday is now!.

It turns out that they have spent every cent we ever gave them and borrowed as much money as they could get away with to fund all of their “special” friends interests. They reduced the taxes of their very “special” best friends and acquaintances and borrowed more. They reduced our inspectors and lifeguards who were overseeing the waters and the air and the forests and the food so that their “special” friends could more easily profit without spending more for stupid safeguards. They didn't have to worry about who was going to clean up the mess – leave that for the “help”.

After spending all the money and then some, they are now realizing that where they should have been saving at least some for the pensions and the health care and the education they will now have to either borrow more or reduce or even eliminate the pensions and health care and education. After all, it isn't as though there was a signed “contract” for these promises and besides, they just don't have the money to do all of that any more. It's all gone.

Of course, the “special' friends have been piling up lots of money and acquiring more and more of the wealth of the country due to the assistance of “their” government and they don't want to give any of it back to help the “common” people. They have the power and the money to influence the politicians and the media and just about anybody else they want to, so you can't make them do what you think is right. In fact, many of these “special” friends have pulled up stakes and moved on to other countries that are ripe for exploitation. They don't consider the United States as anything more than a special police force for them to exercise when dealing with “foreigners”. They have moved their plants and their offices to other countries so that they can avoid paying burdensome taxes to the United States. It was nice while it lasted.

We have been building up to the present moments for many years and it seems that now is the right time for these “special” friends to use their muscle to reduce or eliminate the unions and social security and medicare and medicaid and public education and just about any other program that detracts from their profits. They have become much more strident in their messages and much more blatant in their activities. They show little interest in the “common” man and try to flavor the perception of their work as morally correct and fiscally responsible. They take from the poor and give to the rich and are proud of it.

The nation has been sold and now belongs to them.

Until the sheep look up, there will be little change.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Monday August 1, 2011...Who can we turn to?

So now that Obama has shown himself, by his actions, to be a moderate Republican, the question is: “Who can the DEMOCRATS run for President in the next election?”. It has been assumed all along that Obama will be the Democratic candidate in the next election, but why must this be so? He didn't push for the public option and he caved in quickly to extending the tax cuts for the wealthy and he hired the wall street gurus to run his treasury department, even though they had been instrumental in the collapse of the financial institutions. He didn't push back against the tea party when they held the nation hostage in the debt limit debate and gave into their demands for cuts in spending without any increase in taxes from the wealthy or corporations. He has shown himself to be a weak negotiator and way too willing to compromise way too early. He folds his poker hand before all the cards have been dealt out. He will never win a tough contest, and the more he caves in the more the opposition will push. He apparently is willing to throw in much of our safety net – social security, medicare, medicaid, education, unemployment, etc – to the party of “NO!”.

We need to find a candidate who will negotiate and hold out for the basic interests of the common man. We need someone strong and firm in their beliefs like Bernie Sanders or David Kucinich.