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BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...

Bobert 03 May 05 - 07:10 PM
Amos 02 May 05 - 02:12 AM
GUEST 01 May 05 - 02:09 PM
saulgoldie 01 May 05 - 12:27 PM
woodsie 01 May 05 - 12:19 PM
Bobert 30 Apr 05 - 07:33 PM
Amos 30 Apr 05 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,JustSurfedIn 30 Apr 05 - 01:32 PM
Bobert 30 Apr 05 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,JustSurfedIn 30 Apr 05 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,Susu's Hubby 30 Apr 05 - 12:37 AM
Bobert 29 Apr 05 - 11:16 PM
GUEST 29 Apr 05 - 09:49 PM
Amos 29 Apr 05 - 07:40 PM
Bobert 29 Apr 05 - 07:01 PM
Amos 29 Apr 05 - 08:15 AM
Bobert 28 Apr 05 - 08:49 PM
Amos 28 Apr 05 - 08:13 PM
Bobert 28 Apr 05 - 07:42 PM
Bobert 18 Apr 05 - 08:19 PM
Amos 18 Apr 05 - 12:38 PM
Susu's Hubby 18 Apr 05 - 12:11 PM
GUEST,Amos 18 Apr 05 - 11:14 AM
Susu's Hubby 18 Apr 05 - 10:09 AM
Bobert 18 Apr 05 - 07:33 AM
Amos 18 Apr 05 - 12:09 AM
Bobert 17 Apr 05 - 09:06 PM
Greg F. 08 Mar 05 - 09:53 AM
Greg F. 08 Mar 05 - 09:37 AM
Bobert 08 Mar 05 - 08:49 AM
Ron Davies 07 Mar 05 - 10:29 PM
Bobert 07 Mar 05 - 08:16 AM
Greg F. 07 Mar 05 - 07:39 AM
Susu's Hubby 07 Mar 05 - 06:38 AM
Ron Davies 06 Mar 05 - 10:06 PM
John Hardly 06 Mar 05 - 04:08 PM
Ron Davies 06 Mar 05 - 03:01 PM
Bobert 05 Mar 05 - 07:38 PM
Don Firth 05 Mar 05 - 07:36 PM
John Hardly 05 Mar 05 - 07:05 PM
Greg F. 05 Mar 05 - 06:34 PM
John Hardly 05 Mar 05 - 06:12 PM
Greg F. 05 Mar 05 - 03:01 PM
Don Firth 05 Mar 05 - 02:39 PM
John Hardly 05 Mar 05 - 01:26 PM
Greg F. 05 Mar 05 - 12:53 PM
John Hardly 05 Mar 05 - 12:05 PM
Greg F. 05 Mar 05 - 11:17 AM
John Hardly 05 Mar 05 - 08:11 AM
Bobert 05 Mar 05 - 08:05 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 03 May 05 - 07:10 PM

So this is what "compassioante" conservatism looks like...

Semms more like Boss Hog scrwin' the working class...

Me thinks that the American people are going to finally step back away from NASCAR and "I Love Lucy" reruns longs eniff to say, "Hey, I gettin' screwed by these folks I voted for...

"06 and '08 don't look so good fir the Repubs... Even with their massive lead in "safe disricts"...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 05 - 02:12 AM

A Gut Punch to the Middle

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: May 2, 2005

The New York Times

B y now, every journalist should know that you have to carefully check out any scheme coming from the White House. You can't just accept the administration's version of what it's doing. Remember, these are the people who named a big giveaway to logging interests "Healthy Forests."

Sure enough, a close look at President Bush's proposal for "progressive price indexing" of Social Security puts the lie to claims that it's a plan to increase benefits for the poor and cut them for the wealthy. In fact, it's a plan to slash middle-class benefits; the wealthy would barely feel a thing.

Under current law, low-wage workers receive Social Security benefits equal to 49 percent of their wages before retirement. Under the Bush scheme, that wouldn't change. So benefits for the poor would be maintained, not increased.

The administration and its apologists emphasize the fact that under the Bush plan, workers earning higher wages would face cuts, and they talk as if that makes it a plan that takes from the rich and gives to the poor. But the rich wouldn't feel any pain, because people with high incomes don't depend on Social Security benefits.

Cut an average worker's benefits, and you're imposing real hardship. Cut or even eliminate Dick Cheney's benefits, and only his accountants will notice.

I asked Jason Furman of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to calculate the benefit cuts under the Bush scheme as a percentage of pre-retirement income. That's a way to see who would really bear the burden of the proposed cuts. It turns out that the middle class would face severe cuts, but the wealthy would not.

The average worker - average pay now is $37,000 - retiring in 2075 would face a cut equal to 10 percent of pre-retirement income. Workers earning 60 percent more than average, the equivalent of $58,000 today, would see benefit cuts equal to almost 13 percent of their income before retirement.

But above that level, the cuts would become less and less significant. Workers earning three times the average wage would face cuts equal to only 9 percent of their income before retirement. Someone earning the equivalent of $1 million today would see benefit cuts equal to only 1 percent of pre-retirement income.

In short, this would be a gut punch to the middle class, but a fleabite for the truly wealthy.

Beyond that, it's a good bet that benefits for the poor would eventually be cut, too.

It's an adage that programs for the poor always turn into poor programs. That is, once a program is defined as welfare, it becomes a target for budget cuts.

You can see this happening right now to Medicaid, the nation's most important means-tested program. Last week Congress agreed on a budget that cuts funds for Medicaid (and food stamps), even while extending tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. States are cutting back, denying health insurance to hundreds of thousands of people with low incomes. Missouri is poised to eliminate Medicaid completely by 2008.

If the Bush scheme goes through, the same thing will eventually happen to Social Security. As Mr. Furman points out, the Bush plan wouldn't just cut benefits. Workers would be encouraged to divert a large fraction of their payroll taxes into private accounts - but this would in effect amount to borrowing against their future benefits, which would be reduced accordingly. (...)


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 05 - 02:09 PM

Amos,

I agree that that would definately be a good idea but in today's workd of reality, that's never going to happen.


The only thing that we can do from this point on is how to make the system better.



Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: saulgoldie
Date: 01 May 05 - 12:27 PM

200?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: woodsie
Date: 01 May 05 - 12:19 PM

You lot are going to clog up the etherspace with this crap!


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 07:33 PM

Well, JSI.... all I gotta say is that you remind me very much of Bush. You proclaim that I am misinformed and then you go about spinnin' tales right from a Rush Limbaugh show...

Oh, where to start...

First, about rich folks taking their money off-shore because of taxes? That's a lot of bull. They take it offshore becasue they don't have faith in America... Yeah, Bush came to us in 2001 and siad that if we gave the rich a big tax break that these folks would invest it in America. Did that happen? Heck no, it didn't. They took their money and invested it in offshore stuff and foriegn companies because they are not the patriotic Americans that Bush made them out to be when he was tryin' to get his tax cuts thru which were supposed to jump start the American econmomy...

As fir the Dems having the microphone? Bull! You are brainwashed by right wing media. But yoy wouldn't see it that way because, ahhh, youy are brainwashed. Lets rewind to the run up to the invasion of Iraq. When a half a million folks marched in DC in Novemeber prior to the invasion the "supposed liberal press" Washington Post almost ignored it and the article they wrote on page A-17 said "tens of thousands" and then went on to give the 12 to 15 Bushites as much print as the half a million folks who were in the streets taking up 20 blocks from sidewalk to sidewalk... I know. I was there... I marched in the Moritorium against the Vietnam war and there were easially as many folks for the Novemeber march... Now let's look at yer "liberal media". How many theologians, teachers, diplomats, mediators, historians were hired as analysts by the media that you listed in the run-out to war? None.... 150 military folks and not one peace-maker... And there were folks, like Scott Ritter, who had been an weapons inspector in Iraq, who was trying to tell the truth and all of theose supposed "liberal media" ignored him like he was radiation... Yeah, if you think that the media is liberal then this really explains how you are so confused about the other things in your post...

Okay, as fir fund raising... You think I like George Soros throwin so much money at the Dems? Heck no, I don't... I also didn't think that those rangers and pioneers, 'er whatever they called themselves being turned loose by Bush to go out and strongarm business people around the dcountry and all that "bundling" crap. Reminds me of the mafia when the folks go around collectin' "protection" money... I know one person who was strong armed who says it reminded him of the Godfather movie... Yopu want a level playing field then publicly fund elections!!!

As fir you hero's Social Security plan, privatized, semi-privatized or not, Bush want to cut benefits to 70% of future retiress who atrn't 55 years old or older as of today. (Washington Post, April 30, "Bush Plan Greeted With Caution")

Okay, what other things are you confused about... Oh yeah, Clinton and his relationship with Greenspan and what Clinton did as president to get a handle on a 12 year spending binge by Reagan and Bush (I), I'd recommend Bob Woodward's book "Maestro" which is purdy much all about that relationship and what Clinton *did*... You are very confused about history on this issue but, hey, anyone who exposes that "liberal media" barf gets a pass in the free thinkin' department...

And as fir your assertion that most folks today got there from hard work I would like for you to provide your sources. Until then I'm sticking by my premise that there hasn't been all that much upward mobility compared to the number of folks who are rich by virtue of being born into rich families. If you want to proclaim me to be wrong, then how about providing sources other than other right wingers who are proclaimers... Yeah, yer side is filled with porclamation but short on facts, or morals fir that matter...

Procaliming that "carving out" 3 trillion bucks from Social Security will make is stronger is absurd... It's eqivalent to using leeches to cure illness!!!

But that seems to be all that you folks know. Got a problem? Cut taxes! Yup, every danged problem in the world can be fixed by cutting taxes???? Hmmmmmm??? I am asuccessful businessman and I never thought that cuttin' my sales or revenues would make my company any better off??? Like where did you or yer buddy Bush get yer business trainin'??? There's some wrong thinkin' going on here...

And don't give me that crap about business folks not investin' because they gotta pay taxes! That's bull... I've been in business since 1980 and I don't make my decissions around taxes... I pay 'im and go from there... And I don't outsorce... And I don't offshore... I play right here in America and am sick and tired of hearing greeding people say that the reason they won't invest in America is because they have to pay taxes... They got a big tax cut from Bush and they still won't invest in America... That really pisses me off... These folks ain't businesspeople... They are rich folks who don't have a clue about nuthin' 'cause they ain't worked fir what they have and therefore find is convient to blame progressives and free thinking folks who care about investing in America for thier own laziness... I've seen it first hand... I know a lot of these folks... They are lazy and crybabies... To go along with their greediness...

But if you wanta go out and invest in the stock market, or bonds or mutual funs, JSI, knock yerself out... Jus' don't go cutting what little money comes from Social Security from the 70% of Americans that yer hero says need a good-ol-fashion Texas butt whup cut...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 05:13 PM

Seems to me a more direct way to strengthen the Social Security trust fund would be to return to it all monies drained off by COngress -- whenever it was done -- for unrelated and improper uses.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,JustSurfedIn
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 01:32 PM

Bobert,

Thanks for reading. Your reply is so full of factual errors that I will try to address only the most egregious. First of all, though, it happens that I do know something about SSI. In fact, I am permanently disabled and on SSDI now. Do I think it is a good program? No. It just happens that I have no alternative. Given a choice between the average gain on investment historically versus an entirely voluntary program wherein each person is given the OPTION to invest a relatively small portion of the total, I'll take the latter every time. The stock market will always outperform SSI on it's own. Over time, a fairly conservative mutual fund is a sure bet. President Bush has stated that only such conservative investments would be allowed. As one of the other conservatives stated, if it isn't we'll all be in the soup lines.

You say that the wealthy never get their hands dirty. Another factual error. Most people who become wealthy do so by hard work. Most have done manual labor. Most are normal middle class people that have an idea on how to build a better mousetrap. When a government confiscates wealth, it destroys initiative. People will always work hardest for themselves. The Soviet and communist governments have shown the folly of wealth confiscation. Entrepeneurs and investors are the people that helped make America the greatest nation on earth. Sure, you can find people who made their money by inheritance (Ted Kennedy - family fortune from bootlegging). Their are others who make their money by being gigolos (Kerry). I don't say that we should respect them, but they are a product of the capitalist system, which, though imperfect, is still the best economic system in the world.

You repeat lies about Bush, yet he did work hard for at least some of his money, even if his dad was well off and he could have sat on his butt and lived off of Daddy. You hate Cheney because you have been programmed by the media to believe that he is some kind of conspiratorial racketeer. Did you know that Bill Clinton gave Halliburton a no-bid contract for our ill-conceived intrusion into Bosnia? The reason is simple. They are the only ones that can get the job done on the scale that we require. No conspiracy in either war.

You say Bush lied about WMD's. First of all, it has yet to be proven that there were no WMD's in Iraq. ALL of the world's intelligence agencies believed that they were there. Many experts still believe they were or are. If not, what was Hussein trying to hide? He repeatedly blocked inspectors from sensitive sites, believed to have WMD's. We KNOW he HAD them, we know he USED them, and we KNOW he had plans for nuclear bombs. Isn't it quite preposterous to assume that Bush knew more than any intelligence agency? You guys call him a moron on the one hand, and then when it suits your needs, he becomes an evil genius. This whole "Bush lied" argument is patently absurd. If you would just think about it and check the available facts, you would see this, but you are programmed by the media and the DNC to believe a bunch of lies.   

Why is it that you save all your venom for the Republicans? There are plenty of villains to go around. Many of the ultra-rich fat cats that you love to hate are liberal democrats, like Ted Turner. I don't hear you criticizing Teresa and John Kerry, neither of whom worked a second for the fabulous wealth that they enjoy. George Soros financed the democrats in their latest failure. He made much of his money by breaking the Bank of England. He was just fined for insider trading in the liberals favorite country (France). You say that Bush "stole money from Harkin Energy Company (think Enron here) as it's CEO just before it went under."
Nice propaganda, but if you'd get your information from the public record instead of liars like Michael Moore, you would find out that:
1)Bush was NEVER CEO of Harkin Energy! Bushes company was bought out by Harkin Energy.
2)Harkin Energy never went under! They are still operating today!
It is precisely these kind of lies and ranting that has created the political climate that we now have. Of course it starts at the top with raving lunatics like Howard Dean, and then it follows Reaganomics-it trickles down.

The "Republican Mantra" that I "threw up" is not that the wealthy USED TO pay all those taxes. The fact is that they still do. The bottom 50% contributes very little in comparison. I don't expect you to feel sorry for them, nor do I care. What is important is how the taxation apportionment affects the economy as a whole. Whether you choose to believe it or not, when wealthy and upper middle class people are heavily taxed, they take their money offshore, look for tax shelters or even just let it sit and collect interest. What they do Not do is start new businesses that employ common folks. If you had money, and wanted to leave some for your grandchildren, you would do the same. Confiscatory taxation stifles economic growth. That is a fact. When I took economics, we used to graph out equilibrium points that calculated at what point a person would invest. You gave Clinton credit for eliminating the deficit, but he never intended to. If you'll check the facts, it was Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America" that was pushed for eliminating the deficit. Clinton actually opposed the idea until it was forced upon him. The Reagan/Bush peace dividend, and Clinton's decimating the armed forces allowed for the deficit to be reduced.

You state that Social Security is not going bankrupt. The fact is that it really already has. Their is no big account where our money is collecting interest. The politicians raided that a long time ago. Now we count on new taxes coming in to pay the older SSI recipients. That worked as long as workers greatly outnumbered the recipients. Now with a lower birth rate (think Roe v. Wade) this is coming to an end. SSI IS in trouble.

You stated that democrats don't "have the microphone". That is laughable. Maybe you aren't acquainted with ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and NPR, but those organizations are all heavily biased toward liberalism. They are very sly, however. When a Texas Republican gives $100K to the GOP, they call him a "rich Republican operative", yet when foreigner George Soros gives over $20 Million to the DNC they don't mention it. When a GOP Senator tapes a message to a Christian group having a special meeting about fixing SSI, they cry that he is mixing "church and state", yet, during the campaigns, Dems ROUTINELY spoke from the pulpit during actual services. That is different. The rules only apply to Republicans. I could go on, but I have to leave. I won't see any reply for some time.

JSI


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 08:39 AM

Spoken like a died in the wool closet Republican, JSI...

You have thrown up the Republican mantra about how those poor rich folks used to pay such a large share of the taxes... sniff... of, those poor rich folks... gets my old Wes Ginny butt all choked up...

Not!!!

Hey, look, JSIer... First if all lets get one thing straight right here and now. A dollar never actually produced a danged thing! People produce and guess what? Well, I'll tell ya what... Ruch folks ain't the ones driving trucks, wirking in hospitals, manning Boss Hog's widget assembly lines and buildig houses and highways... An' rich people ain't puttin' out fires, crawlin' unner houses to fix folks plumbing leaks, operatin heavy equipement, picking apples 'er rapairing cars... Might of fact rich people ain't doin' much of anything except sit around either talkin' with other rich folks 'er calling in to right wing radio shows complainin' just how bad things are going!!! That's all that rich people do!!!

Sure, in the capitalist system, money (which is totally artifical) is used to pay people to build the factory, make the widget, transport the widget to Walmart where it is sold to someone who ost likely builds widget factories, makes widgets, transports widgets or sells widgets to.... Ahhh, the widget become the wealth and maybe you'd like to explain just were the rich man got his hands dirty in the process... Well, he didn't?!?!?!

Yet the rich want to complain that they have to carry a large burden of the cost of government??? Too bad!!! If you know of any eich folks who want to trade places, JSIer, let me know an' I'll be gald to swap portfolios with 'um...

Now back to 1993 and these poor rich folks standin' in the soup lines. Ahhhh, guess what? Well, I'll tell ya what.. When Greenspan walked into Bill Clinton's office and said, "Hey, these deficit's that Reagan and Bush (I) have left you are going to cripple the economy and you're going to have to raise taxes to pay them down!" Now I weren't no fan of Slick Willie and din't vote fir him but he took Greenspan's advice and guess what? Well, I'll tell ya what. It worked...

Fast forward to 2000. With the governemnt and the economy on solid footing and fiscally respected 'round the world along comes Bush (II)m and he pounds and pounds and pounds for a big old tax cut (heavily favoring those poor rich folks that don't do a danged thing) and Greenspan knuckled under from the sheer noise... BTW, just last week Greenspan said that it would be a good idea to not make the tax cuts perminent but that, sopmehow, didn't make the jump from the business section to the front page. Why? Well, I'll tell ya' why. Rich people, the same ones who produce nuthin', own the friggin' newspapers, that's why...

Now back to Hubby. I have offered many ideas on this thread so to say there aren't options, plans and alternatives to Bush's plan is just parroting some Karl Rove/PR crap... You hear if everyday, "The Democrats don't have any plans." No, they have plans! What they don't have is the microphone!!! (Do I like their plans? Well, not roo many of them because they seem to be Republican-Lite plans but they have plans!!!)

As fir SSI, JSIer, what do you realoly know about SSI? Have you ever recieved it? If so maybeyou like to tell Mudville just what a generous plan it is... Hmmmmmm? I know a little about the program since I worked as a social worker for the Department of Human Services in Richmond, va. fir 8 years so when you anwer this question be mindfull that I can come back and tell you just what a poverty-insuring program it is. Yeah, if you're getting it, even with it, yer more than likely still living in poverty...

Now one last thing I'll bring up before I get dressed to go to DC for the blues jam is this. Poor rich folks love to talk about "personal responsinlity" but they think of it as something for other folks... Bush lied to the American people about the WMD in Iraq but he hasn't ad to pay fir it. He stole money from Harkin Energy Company (think Enron here) as it's CEO just before it went under. Why isn't he held accountable? See, that's the way rich folks think... Every day we read about some other bonehead scheme by some poor rich person to get richer that is criminal but they do it anyway. Why? Well, I tell ya' why. Becuase they think that life is entirely aboout them. That's why...

They think that "person responsibilty" means "I'm rich. You ain't. If you wanted to be rich youi should have picked rich parents"

So now, TO WIT, the 4th Repulican president or presidential candidate going back to Alf Landon in 1936, is standing up on a soapbox screaming "Social Security is going bankrupt!!! Social Security is going bankrupt!!!!"

Well, first of all, no it's not. And it wasn't when Barry Goldwater screamed it in the 60's or when Reagan screamed it in the 80's and it ain't going bankrupt now, either!!!

You Bushites are a funny lot... You'll find money fir any danged war you want to start but here the real working folks in America are loosing ground year after year and you couldn't care less...

Get a life and, ahhhh, maybe a job to go with it...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,JustSurfedIn
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 06:43 AM

Very well said, Hubby. I took the time to read this topic from the beginning. While I certainly am not a great fan of some of W's policies (e.g. the borders, prescription plan), and have voted for both Democrats and Republicans, I see no legitimate ideas coming from the Democrats. Most of the Dems prefer to denigrate, and obfuscate. Where are the great Democrat statesmen of yesteryear? Those who are actually trying to meet the Republicans halfway, like Lieberman, are roundly criticized as "DINO's" - that's Democrat In Name Only, Bobert. I have to believe that Bush is actually trying to do the right thing. The vast majority of economists, including several Nobel Prize winning economists have agreed with his economic stances. The Democrats' talking heads said of the tax cuts that Bush was "stealing from the poor" and other worse things, but the truth is far from it.

For those who know how to do research, you will find that, as of 1993, the TOP ONE PERCENT of earners paid almost 35 percent of ALL federal income taxes. The TOP FIVE PERCENT PAID MORE THAN HALF of All federal income taxes. The ratios haven't changed greatly. The Bush tax cut was less than the JFK tax cut. JFK rightly believed that decreasing taxes would stimulate the economy and bring MORE money into the treasury. Ronald Reagan did likewise and brought us out of the malaise of the late '70's. I voted for Carter, but I hadn't studied economic theory at that point of my life. I can already hear the rants about the deficit incurred in the Reagan years, and some of that is true, however, much of that was the bloating, pork-barrel spending of Congress.

Getting back to SSI, I would not be averse to raising the cap, as long as you give us personal accounts and the ability to opt out of the system. I am not totally against means testing on pragmatic grounds.
I do think that SSI is the only federal confiscation system that has been shouldered by the middle class. I, too, believe the $250 death benefit is a disgrace, and I would also agree with an earlier poster that Congress should have to participate (or opt out of - having no special system) in the same system that we are.

I can sympathize with the plight of the downtrodden, and we have the moral onus to look out for them, but people are playing with numbers when quoting poverty percentages. The monetary definition of poverty is flexible,and like all statistics can be made to look differently as a function of bias. Many factors are commonly overlooked. There is a large underground economy that many participate in, and other subsidies are not included. Many people that are below the poverty line are truly needy. We should help them. Many others have 2 cars, 3 TV sets, and don't care to work. We should not help them, yet we are carrying millions of them. I personally know several people that under-report their income by a large amount. Of course, the same thing happens with the ultra-rich and with politicians of both parties. It is human nature to try to optimize one's position, and in a culture devoid of objective standards, cheating is no longer frowned upon.

Why is it that the "Bushites" have been consistently polite, and offering their reasoning, whereas, most of the liberals do nothing more than call them names and tell them they are full of shit? Do any of you liberals study economics? If you look at Europe, they have a much higher unemployment rate. California has a larger GDP than any single European country (last time I checked). This is remarkable when one considers the fact that the American taxpayer has been paying for the protection of the free world. Even with that huge burdern we still outproduce them. Why? Capitalism. The European countries have bought into "democratic socialism". The problem is socialism is a failed concept. Free markets, low taxes, personal accountability (there- I said it!), and the recognition of traditional objective moral standards are the keys to economic growth. The teaching of situational ethics has done more harm than good.

I don't remember which of you said it, but someone made the statement to the effect that if we got rid of all the stupid people, the Republicans would lose (I'm paraphrasing). I had to laugh. I know lots of people, and most of the lower functioning, including virtually ALL of the druggies, alcoholics, and criminals are democrats. I do know a number of well-educated people who are liberals, but there is an interesting observation; most of them are educated in liberal arts programs and are social workers or teachers. Many are musicians. The people that I know that are more logically oriented, such as mathematicians, political science majors, engineers, and physicians are mostly conservative, at least economically. Left-brainers are conservative (right wing) and right-brainers are liberals (left wing). I believe this is because the more carefully you study history and economics, the more you will see how totally bankrupt the modern democratic party has become. The ONLY reason that they are against Bush's doing ANYTHING with SSI is that they don't want to give him a victory. They would rather harm America and keep some power than do the right thing. It is to their advantage to keep as many Americans dependent on the government as possible.

Okay, fire away.
JSI


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,Susu's Hubby
Date: 30 Apr 05 - 12:37 AM

Bobert,

That post did nothing but state your obvious ignorance of any economic gains that can be achieved by simply investing your money into programs that are not currently being done with the current monies.

You've got to get past this fixation of Enron and other single, highly volatile stocks and start looking at the big picture. Have you ever ever heard of mutual funds? These are a group of bonds and stocks that work together for the entire membership of the grouped monies. Now, if you had your choice of putting your money into bonds or stocks, which would you choose? By your posts, I would say that you would probably want to put all of your money into bonds. When I say bonds, I mean a fund that's made up of savings and government bonds, treasury notes and other similar vehicles. And that's ok. That's why they're there. It's called the preservation of capital.

Now look at the stocks. Just whose stocks are we talking about? There are funds that have stocks from domestic based companies. There are other funds that have stocks from foreign based companies. You can choose funds that are all healthcare related or technology related. But what are you actually buying? Individual stocks? NO!
You are buying shares of the fund itself that is made up of these hundreds or thousands or millions of stocks. You're actually putting your money back into companies whose products you use everyday. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, GE, Microsoft, Gas companies, oil companies, sports franchises, Proctor & Gamble, Dell, Magnavox, Sony, Wal-Mart, General Mills and other like companies. You're causing your portfolio to grow because you actually own pieces of the companies whose products you've either used or directly affects your day to day life.

But, you ask, what happens when the market takes a plunge? That's when it gets better. Have you ever heard of dollar cost averaging? That basically means that by putting money into your fund in regular intervals that you are going to benefit the most whenever the market is down because your money buys more shares if they're at a lower price. Who doesn't look for bargains? Now when the market comes back up then your whole portfolio will be valued much higher than if you were just to put in $10,000 and let it set for 25 years without adding anything to it.

Well, Hubby, what happens if the market totally crashes and all the companies go broke?

Then we'll all be standing in the soup lines because the green paper in you wallet won't be good for anything except blowing your nose in.

So are there risks? Sure there are. But if you consistently keep your eyes on it and as you get closer to retirement, start moving more and more of your shares from stocks to bonds then you will actually preserve what you have and stay away from the more volatile side.

Sound like too much trouble? It really shouldn't be because once you've seen it at work and have a thorough understanding of the way the system works then it should be something that everybody looks at and says, "Man, I wish I would have understood how this worked thirty years ago. I'd be a millionaire right now." But if it still sounds like too much work, then let the government decide what's best for you. You'll get your measley 1.5-2.5% rate of return on your SS contributions and I'm sure that you'll be happy.

Just make sure that you watch the mail closely and don't lose your medicare card that your neighbor is helping pay the cost for. I'm sure he doesn't want to see his money go to waste either.


Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 11:16 PM

No, hubby, no out-both-sides-o-yer-mouth here... What we are sayin' is:

1. If yer portfolio is in Enron guess what? Yer gonna spend yer golden years homeless...

2. If you flood the market with cash guess what? At some point it will just have so much cash that the industries that depend on it will, ahhhh, just ship more jobs overseas...

3. If Boss Hog continues his evil ways of out-sourcing, then in giving him a big pay-day, then in his out-sourcing he will leave the country without able consumers to buy his junk...

4. The plan that Bush has proposed will insure that most middle class working folks will have to work until they die which is a mute point since Boss Hog had allready done that by extending so much debt to the average middle class family...

Now, if Bush were to have that cut-off at about $70K to $80K then we'd have something to talk about but cutting folks who make $40K a year is purdy mean spirited....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 09:49 PM

Here's the one question that is going to put this whole topic into perspective.
>

>

Do you trust yourself in making the right decisions for your own retirement or do you trust the government in making those decisions for you?

Personally, with everybody in here talking about their persistent mis-trust of the government, I really don't see how you could believe that you will be better off having no say in what the government does with the money that's currently being sucked out of your paycheck.

It, frankly, looks as if you're talking out of both sides of your mouth.


Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 07:40 PM

Now, look here, Boberto, you gonna get your facts straightened up, pronto, iffen you intend to remain in our pet hotel....I mean, press corps. "Pet hotel" is just a nickname. Anyway, look here. I am not mad. Just like Richard Nixon was not a crook, I am not mad. I get a little peeved sometimes at people who don't accept the leadership they are offered -- perfectly good leadership, the best Texas has to offer, and they just as soon waste it!! It's like feeding guacamole to an armadillo, if you see what I mean. Anyway, aside from that, I have nothing to be mad about. My wars are in a Just Cause, and as long as that is the case, I see nothing to get mad about. Hell, _I_ ain't lost no sons or husbands, have I? What kind of a man do you take me for?

So get ir right, son, or go out and join them rabble at the gates, there, okay? We all clear on that?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 07:01 PM

Seems that Abe Licoln was right about not being able yto fool all the people all the time and Bush's past lies have now caught up to him and folks just don't believe him on Social Security... And the longer he tries to sell his current batch of lies the further the American people are distancing themselves from his ideas...

I mean, I'm beginning that Bush lies just for the sake of lieing... Problem is that vwey few folks believe him anymore... Yeah, a 100 days into 2nd term and what ever "political capital" he thinks he had with his Diebold aided 51% "mandate" (ha) is spent and he's now borrowing... Sound familiar? Yeah, Social Security is in trouble because there's a madman raiding it to finance his wars...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 08:15 AM

From the Madison, WIS "Capitol Times" of this date, a nice summation:

Editorial: Unmasking Bush's plan

An editorial
April 29, 2005

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Lee Medley holds up a sign across the street from people waiting in line to see the President Bush in Galveston, Texas last Tuesday. President Bush visited the University of Texas Medical Branch to promote his Social Security plan. (AP Photo/The Galveston County Daily News, Chad Greene)


President Bush has been touring the country for the past two months and then went on nationwide TV last night to try to drum up support for his schemes to privatize the nation's Social Security system. He was never honest with the American people; he claimed that the system was in dire straits and suggested that the "crisis" needed to be responded to immediately, but at the same time he refused to offer specifics about his proposed fix.

In spite of the White House smoke screen, or perhaps because of it, the American people have rejected Bush's appeals. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, American support of the president's approach to Social Security issues has fallen from 41 percent a year ago to 31 percent now. The percentage that disapproves has shot up from 51 percent to 64 percent.

A month ago, only 41 percent of Americans opposed the centerpiece of Bush's Social Security reform proposal: private accounts. Now that figure has risen to 51 percent.

The more Americans know about Bush's "solutions" for the faked Social Security crisis, the more they oppose the president's ideas. Unfortunately, Bush is not engaged in a two-way conversation.

He talks about his "crisis," his "private accounts" and his faith in Wall Street traders to make everything right. But he does not listen to the evidence that his approach will not work, and he does not respond to the expressions of concern from the American people.

The plan he has finally presented to Congress is, for all practical purposes, the plan he started promoting after his inauguration.

So Bush is hopeless, but Congress doesn't have to be.

U.S. Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif., summed up the rationale for resistance to the Bush proposal when she said, "Pure and simple, Republicans are manufacturing a Social Security crisis that does not exist in order to dismantle Social Security. If the Republican attempt to cut Social Security benefits went into effect today in my home state of California, the average recipient would see his or her monthly benefits drop by $393. This represents a significant loss in income for persons, many of whom are retired and on a fixed income. We need to strengthen Social Security, not launch a Trojan horse that will eventually lead to the dismantlement of Social Security." ...


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 08:49 PM

"Just one follow up question, Mr. President. Other than admitting that you are not an educated man, just what did you just say?"

Boberto


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 08:13 PM

"Well....Boberto....you're Boberto to me from now on, that's your nickname...let me try to concatenate your questions and perhaps come up with some fundamentallic respurtenances for ya.

See, in Texas where I come from, we don't have a lot of grass, not the kind that grows in Kentucy, anyway, heh heh....it a climactic thing, is what the simonists tell me. Anyway, the drivers behind these decisions...and let me add I did NOT support paper trail elections as you imply; I believe it would compromise our COnstitutionally sacred liberties...but as I was saying, you have to put all the drivers on the table if yer gonna unnerstand the situation. So one of them is of course my good friend Ken and my good friend Dick. But there's another one, and I think as an educated man you may well have imagined it is power or some dumb thing. But it isn't.

"See, Boberto, Ah am not highly educated...all I know is how to lead and make the right win over the bad in this world. And in my book, that may be simple, and it may be dull, but to me it is enough. Some folks would argue that that depends what you say's good and what you say's bad, but I leave all that to the perfessors of socialism or whatever. We have a purdy good idea of what is right and anyone who supports us is included in that, because that's what we stand for.

There's one other driver you need to unnerstand before you can achieve much lucidification on these questions, Boberto. You need to unnerstand who is the president..that's me. And that is the main one. Because I call the shots. If it looks like I'm lower than a starving snake's belly in the grass to you, well in Texas that's considered a privileged position, and maybe that's just because I am. I amy be a snake, Boberto, but I am your snake, so suck it on up pal.

" I an glad we had this here little discussioning time, Boberto, an' I hope it helps you renovate your appraisal of things so you see where I am coming from. Just look for the winding marks in the dust."

GWB


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 07:42 PM

Well, well, well....

After two months of so-called town meetings where only Bushites were allowed to attend, "private accounts" just don't seem to be catchin' on with the American people who are fearfull, an rightly so, that what Bush & the Crooks are out to gut a program that helps millions of folks who would be in the street without it...

So, tonight, Bush will make a last ditch effort to convince the American people that a good ol' fashion Boss Hog fleecin' is in the workin' man's best interest when Bush will have the first press conference in about a year...

But, fir my Bushite friends, not to worry. He wouldn't do it without a room full of shills... Yeah, Gannon is gone but, hey, noone is gonna ask any real tough questions like:

"Ahhhh, Mr. President, if you feel so strongly about your proposed changes to the Social Security system then why is it that you wouldn't allow anyone who might have had even mild misgivings to particpiate in your town hall meetings?"

"Ahhhh, Mr. President, if you believe in democracy why are you a loowing such a effort by the Christain Right, the Department of Homeland Security and other a groups and agencies to shout down and scare of the progressive voice in America?"

"Ahhhh, Mr. President, if you feel so concerned about freedom and free elections, why is it that you have done everything in your power to allow for an election in the UNited States that has a paper trail?"

"Ahhhh. Mr. President.....

But these questions won't get asked...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 08:19 PM

Well, what boggles my mind is that we are even talkin' about Social Security in the first place. This isn't a converstaion that progressives want dominating the media.

The US has serious problems that Bush and his buddies seem not want discussed and examined, like why the US, unlike almost every *developed* country in the world can't provide heath care to it's people??? Hmmmmm??? Maybe we're not all that *developed* after all. Ot whay, unlike most *developed* countries in the world we don't provide Child care services to out people??? Hmmm??? Maybe we're not all that *developed* afterall. Or why it is that one in five of our kids live in poverty??? Or why we rant something like 17th in infant mortality rate??? Or why out schoold ate literally falling apart???
Or why the US is the only *deveoped* country that has capital punishment??? Hmmmm??? Maybe we're not all that *developed*???

But do we talk about these things??? Heck no!!! All Bush and the hubby's of the US want on the table is a system that has worked for 60 years and will continue to work for at least another 40 years without much tweekin' at all...

This to me is insanity... It's like going to the emergency room with a broken arm and they treat you for the head cold that you also have and ignore the arm...

Ths logic totally escapes me here!!!

Oh, I'm sure that the Rush Limbaigh's have the hubby's all primned with some dumbass answer but it the hubby's would just shut off Limbaugh fir a week and answer the questions I've posed here I think that the hubbys might come away with a more reasonable perspective...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 12:38 PM

Well, you sound less bitter, I concede, if no less condescending and smug in your party-line certainties. I am glad you have found someone you can look up to, even if it a snake in the grass with the morals of a leprous roach. As for wrong answers, it seems to me you are not in a position to judge that.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 12:11 PM

"If you want to flog personalities, try analyzing your half-witted cross-eyed President, one of the slimiest and most two-faced characters ever to get into office anywhere, a man who cannot construct a complete sentence without putting his foot in his mouth, and who, like you apparently, deals in personalities in the most degrading and abusive manner he can dream up. He is about as qualified for office as a Gila monster. Except he's from Texas, where the bloodshed comes a little easier."



I'm bitter?

Wrong answer...Thanks for playing.



Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 11:14 AM

Wow, Hub -- you sound bitter.

The arguments you forward strike me as ad hominem attacks, an abandonment of discourse and a refusal to talk to the issues. If you want facts, rather than spin, let's lay out exactly how broken this system is. The data I have seen indicates it is not broken, is not backed by worthless IOU's as Bush asserts, and will still be operating as designed up to 40 years from now. In addition I wonder if you or anyone can bring up a track record of the invasions into the Social Security trust fund in the last five years -- or twenty for , that matter.

If you want to flog personalities, try analyzing your half-witted cross-eyed President, one of the slimiest and most two-faced characters ever to get into office anywhere, a man who cannot construct a complete sentence without putting his foot in his mouth, and who, like you apparently, deals in personalities in the most degrading and abusive manner he can dream up. He is about as qualified for office as a Gila monster. Except he's from Texas, where the bloodshed comes a little easier.

BTW, what definition of the word "liberal" are you using. In my vocabulary, the word derives from the basic Latin liber, meaning free, and implies a deep respect for individual freedoms.

You have a problem with that. Maybe you've been mainlining too much Limbaugh and Coulter, as reactionary a pair of money-grubbing opportunists as ever scammed an audience. Hmmm?

You and your kind are dedicated to the erosion of progress and the domination of other people. You use buttons and sound-bytes instead of thinking, and are grievously short of an understanding and respect for the liberal tradition the nation was built on.

A


A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 10:09 AM

come on Amos,


MoveOn.org?



Talk about liberal left spin?


I thought you were better than that. I actually was under the assumption that you thought for yourself. A lot more of your posts actually make sense now that I know that you don't.


Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 07:33 AM

Well, Amos, it must be busred 'er why would *Republican* presidential candidte Alf Landon say so in 1936, 'er *Republican* presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater say it in 1964, 'er *Rebuplican* president Ronald Reagan say in 1983, or why the current *Republican* is saying it now?

Could all of the men be wrong?

BObert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Amos
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 12:09 AM

I see no evidence that Social Security is busted, and certainly not busted in anyway I would trust Bush's Eagles to fix. The man is a pure danger to society, not a benefactor.

I recommend you review the Flash presentations being offered as finalists at MoveOn.org on this subject.

They make the counter arguments against the Bush proposal simple and clear.

The man is once again manipulating public perception in order to acheive some agendfa that carries no social good.

Screw him for a liar, an incompetent, and a bow-legged cross-eyed son of a bitch. You'd be wiser listening to a drunk orangutang.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Apr 05 - 09:06 PM

Well gol danged.... No wonder Bush is trying so hard to privatize SS... He and his fellow "privatizin" Repub buddies been paid purfdy danged good by Wall Street.

From the Center for Resposible Politics (www.opensecrets.org) hers is the short list of Wall Street donors to Bush and his buddies for the 2004 election:

Golgman Sachs.......................$2,388,311

Morgan Stanley......................$1,897,715

Merrill Lynch.......................$1,486,740

JP Morgan Chase & Co................$1,479,683

USB Americas........................$1,425,007

MBNA Corp...........................$1,137,988

Citigroup Inc.......................$1,336,418

America Banker Assoscuation.........$1,370,487

Bank of America.....................$1,272,973

Wachovia............................$1.191,535

And this is just the short list, folks... Now consider this...Four presidents of presidential candidtate have steepped forward to say that that Social Security was broken and in "crisis" and/or bankrupt. Can anyone guess who these four folks were?

(Hint: The first one uttered his observations in 1936...)

Yeah, seems that the Republican party is Hell bent on taking Social Security down. Tney see it as socialism and socailism means that they might mave to share some of the pie. That keeps them up at night drinkin' Pepto-Mismal...

Good... Keep dinking it... You all got rich off us workin' folks so now you gonna have to treow back a few peas on the pot...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 09:53 AM

Hit the wrong button.

Meant to add how gratifying the progress we've made in the intervening 40 years is.

Times are I fully understand and appreciate Phil's despair.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 09:37 AM

In a building of gold, with riches untold
Lived the familes on which the country was founded
And the merchants of style with their vain, velvet smiles
Were there, for they also were hounded.
And the soft middle class crowded into the last
For the building was fully surrounded...

We were hardly aware of the problems they beared
For our time was taken with treasure.
Oh life was a game, and work was a shame,
And pain was prevented by pleasure.
The workd cold and grey was so far away
In distance only money could measure...

 Phil Ochs, 1964/5


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 08:49 AM

You know, part of the problem with the rich these days is that they don't wear their wealth very well... No, rather that show a little appreciation for the harl labor of the middleclass, they thumb their noses at the middle class... And the poor...

Northern Virgina is any area where lots of folks who are rich live and I hate driving thru it to get into D.C. to play music. It is dripping in wealth and these folks all gotta have $2M houses with 30 rooms in 'um. An' they gotta have a Hummer, and a Caddilac Ascalade and half a dozen other new fancy cars...

And then these are the folks who cry "foul" if they have to share anything with the folks who are actually producing the goods and services...

Now I grew up in Northern Virgina and everyone lived in 3 bedroom houses. It didn't matter if you were a Congressman, an Admiral in the Navy, the owner of a shooping center, 'er what... There was modesty. But there certainly isn't any today... And, BTW, this is how revolutions start... Now I'm not saying that the US is headed toward a revolution but with the middle class and poor slipin' down the proverbial slippery slope, while the rich continue their little narcistic circle jerk, I can see a time when the rich will be afraid to leave their compounds... Yeah, like I've said before, when Southern Man (Billy Bob) figures out that he's getting screwed, it will be a new game 'cause Billy Bob got guns...

Ya' listenin', Boss Hog?

And hubby?

Viva la revolution'

Commie Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 10:29 PM

Hubby-

If you don't think the rich can defend themselves without your brilliant and devastating arguments, I'd like to know what planet you've been living on.


Again, if you don't think the rich can afford to pay more than they now do, let's go back to my earlier questions to you, which you for some inexplicable reason left unanswered:

Just how much a Libertarian are you?

Do you believe in taxes at all?

If so, for what?

Let's start there.


The second question, in case you want to read ahead, will be:   do you think the Social Security program is worth keeping? Does it serve any purpose? Just a yes or no will suffice.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 08:16 AM

If it won't fit on a bumper sticker, Greg, the hub-ster ain't interested... It don't matter what the problem is for him 'cause all problems have the same solution: cut taxes (especially for the rich)...


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 07:39 AM

Atta boy, Bubby, it was only a matter of time until you stepped in parroting the oldie-but-goodie "class warfare" shibboleth.

Are you unable to think for yourself, or is it just too much trouble to do s?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 06:38 AM

"The rich have obviously done pretty well in the US.    This is just a bit of payback."


...and with that statement lies the truth for all liberals. It's nothing but a case of bad feelings for those that have done well and you blaming someone else for the road that you have picked to travel. It's always the same...."I never made good money because the rich man always kept me down!" or "That's not fair...he's got more so let's just take it from him."

It sounds just a bit like schoolyard politics to me. Grow up and take responsibility for your own lot in life and do something to make it better and stop trying to take it from those that have done things just a little bit better than what you could think of doing. This is class warfare at it's purest. It is you that should be ashamed.



Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Mar 05 - 10:06 PM

I think it's a semantic distinction.

The rich have obviously done pretty well in the US.    This is just a bit of payback.

If they don't like it, they can contact their representatives to oppose it. I suspect they know how to influence their representatives, so my sympathy for their plight is limited.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 06 Mar 05 - 04:08 PM

That's fine reasoning if it's a tax, Ron, but as Don has pointed out, it's insurance. Insurance premiums aren't figured out that way. Since it's insurance, the premium is relative to the risk and the payoff.

Whether you are poor or wealthy throughout life, if you need Social Security at retirement, you don't get more just because you paid more. With insurance you would.

With insurance, if you are insuring an expensive car, or antiques, or even disability for a well-paying job, you pay more than if you are insuring a jalopy, eat off crates, and barely make ends meet.

It's a pretty high price to pay to insist that it's insurance, but, as Thurston J Howell III used to say, "Say, lovey".


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Mar 05 - 03:01 PM

How about the idea that the wealthy should participate because the program is worthwhile to support, as has been determined by "the people" through their elected representatives--which the wealthy definitely have a great role in selecting--- and the wealthy are the ones who can contribute more with less harm to themselves?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 07:38 PM

Well, I reckon for lots of self employed folks, my self included, it does seem very much like a tax because it is taken out of our quarterly tax payments... Yeah, there's no seperate payment coupon for FICA fir us folks. Jusy one payment coupon and an envelope... We even gotta buy the danged stamp...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 07:36 PM

Even the extremely wealthy never know what might happen. In 1929, a fair number of people who thought they were wealthy wound up depending on their Social Security. That is, of course, with the exception of those who couldn't handle it and took a dive out the window to spatter down below on Wall Street.

It's nice to have a little insurance salted away, whether you think you're going to need it or not. Sometimes you think you've got it made, then life hands you a nasty surprise.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 07:05 PM

Actually, I guess I gotta change my mind. If Don's right, and it's an insurance policy (with "premiums"?) and not a tax -- and everyone knows that -- I guess the very wealthy shouldn't be required to participate. They sure don't need the insurance. Why pay the premiums?

It's not a tax, and my notion that everyone should be participating equally as they would any other government program was kinda predicated on that concept.

Who says nobody ever changes their mind by reading the posts on the mudcat?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 06:34 PM

then what do you think the statement that they send is for?

Doubtless only to waste more taxpayer dollars by the printing and mailing.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 06:12 PM

I responded to your statement that its unreasonable for anyone not making $90K + per annum to take advantage of an IRA or a 401K- which was, and is, BS.

I do have a SEP account, so obviously I'm not saying it's impossible. What I am saying (yet again) is that after 12% has been contributed to what you call a tax and what Don call insurance, it is very hard to make that SEP into anything meaningful.


As far as your contention that the Gov't. sends an annual statement as part of a conspiracy to hoodwink folks and that The proposal for private accounts is merely to suggest gradually building the kind of accounts that most people mistakenly believe that Social Security now is

then what do you think the statement that they send is for?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 03:01 PM

Yeah, I got that-

You got this? ITS NOT ABOUT YOU!

You were going on about deluded people who thought it was a "retirement account" and that's what I responded to.

I responded to your statement that its unreasonable for anyone not making $90K + per annum to take advantage of an IRA or a 401K- which was, and is, BS.

Your contention that the Democratic response that currently ignores my plight. They tell me that I should be putting aside for my own retirement is also disingenuous- absolutely ANY responsible financial advisor has been saying this for 50 years- it ain't something the Dems cooked up recently- and its TRUE, to boot.

As far as your contention that the Gov't. sends an annual statement as part of a conspiracy to hoodwink folks and that The proposal for private accounts is merely to suggest gradually building the kind of accounts that most people mistakenly believe that Social Security now is [HUNH??].................................

Well, never mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 02:39 PM

John, if you did receive a pay stub, you would see that what is set aside for Social Security is not in the "Tax withheld" box, it is in the "FICA" box. FICA stands for "Federal Insurance Contributions Act."

Despite the fact that people, including the government, call it colloquially a "tax," it is, in fact, an insurance premium. If the government currently doesn't handle it that way, that is not the fault of the Act itself, which was passed in 1935. The way it was initially constituted, it was supposed to be treated as if it were insurance. If the Social Security system needs any correction, it is to return it to the way it was originally supposed to be according to the legal stipulations of the Act.

It is generally assessed as the most successful program to come out of flurry of much needed social legislation of the Thirties, and since then, has assured the elderly that they will not end up in a poor house—and make no mistake:   prior to the Thirties, there were real poor houses. They were not just figures of speech. They were not much better than prisons. Helluva thing to do to people who had worked hard all their lives and either hadn't been able to save for their old age or who didn't have younger family members who could take care of them.

Incidentally, among other methods of "saving" Social Security, the amount that the Pentagon spends on the construction of one Trident submarine would take care of funding well into the next century. Comparative figures such as this (and many others) are available to anyone who cares to look or who doesn't mind learning what's really going on. Incidentally, we already have a fleet of Trident submarines, each one carrying enough destructive power to obliterate a medium-sized nation, so I don't really see why we need very many more of them. And don't get me started on SDI!!.

Even though it may feel like it to you, and even if the government currently treats it that way because of it's "creative accounting," the amount in the FICA box is not a tax, it is an insurance premium.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 01:26 PM

therein lies some of my understanding and your lack thereof. I don't get a pay stub. I am self-employed and thus not shnookered into believing that anyone but me is paying the whole 12% of the Social Security TAX...

.... that I have been trying, post after post, to point out is not a retirement account as most Americans believe it is. It is a tax. And if you had read -- as such should be handled as a TAX -- that is, more equally distributed to reflect the reality of it being A TAX, instead of being handled as a retirement account with all that that illusion implies (meaning that the very rich do not DRAW from the goddamn account so they need not pay for it).

Getting ANY of this yet?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 12:53 PM

et tu, JH.

What exactly are you saying I didn't read?

(PS: ever read your pay stub where
it lists "Social Security TAX?)


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 12:05 PM

you never read before you post.


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 11:17 AM

the kind of accounts that most people mistakenly believe that Social Security now is...you get an annual report of your "Social Security account"...to maintain the illusion that it is your money (not merely redistributed taxes) that you are retiring on?

Oh, please.

Its not "The Gummint's" fault if people are stupid enough to believe nonsense. To anyone paying attention - not just now, but for the last half century - its patently obvious that social security was NOT meant as a person's sole support in retirement, and has NEVER been sold that way. What ignorant people choose to believe- and to CONTINUE to believe even if shown they're wrong- ain't the Democrat's or "The Gummint's" or anybody's fault but their own.

How's THAT for "personal responsibility"? Speaking of which, throughout my working career I made less than $90K - $hit, less than half of that for many years- and still put money away in an IRA. It was tough- but nobody said it was easy.

Oh yeah- One More Time: Social Security is NOT GOING BROKE. Don't fall for the Bush$hit. No Mas!


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 08:11 AM

If there's no problem then why remove or change the caps?


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Subject: RE: BS: *Strengthening* Social Security...
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 08:05 AM

Mushroom Clouds

WMD's

Uraq'a Al Quida Link

Aluminum Tubes

SnitchGate

Social Security is going broke...

Yeah, one thing fir sure is that the lots of American people have lost the ability to think for themselves... The Bush PR team is doing the thinling for these folks... If Tom Jefferson's warning that demovracy was dependent on an "informed" electorate, then our's is definately on a downward spiril...

It's starting to look more and more like all the Bush-heads gotta do is say something good and scarey then the masses run thru the streets screaming like in the old horror flicks...

The only thing I'm scared of is Bush and his cohorts not leaving any democracy behind when they are done raping and pilliaging the working class and the poor...

Bobert


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