Sunday, February 21, 2010

2012 Republican Prez Candidate Pawlenty Reveals Conservative Agenda: The TRUTH - CHANGE EXPECTATIONS! NO MORE MEDICARE! MORE TAX CUTS TO RICH!!

I saw Tim Pawlenty on Meet the Press this morning. Hearing his answers to questions brought back memories of George W. Bush and what would happen if we elected a Republican again. Tim convinced me the core Republican agenda has not changed. They want tax cuts for the rich and additional ease on regulation for big business. They want to reduce Social Security/Medicare.

Listening to him reminded me that most Americans today are forgetting about what happened during the 8 years of GW Bush's reign. Pawlenty wants to give tax cuts and deregulation to rich/big business.

Today, Pawlenty said, "the way that you create jobs in this country is get businesses who provide the jobs to have--make it more likely that they're going to start a business, grow a business, buy equipment, build buildings, conduct research, commercialize the results of that research and grow jobs."

Pawlenty's own hometown Minnesota newspaper reported, "Governor Pawlenty's budget is bad news for low-income Minnesotans who rely on state health care and for mayors already struggling to balance their own budgets, but good news for corporations paying high taxes."

Then, to top it off, when asked what he would CUT in the Federal Government to bring the deficit under control. Here is the question and response he provided today:

MR. GREGORY: So would you be prepared to cut entitlement benefits, cut Medicare, raise the, the, the age for Social Security or cut
benefits for Social Security?
GOV. PAWLENTY: Here's the math. The federal government takes in $2.2 trillion a year revenues, all sources for all purposes. Their total unfunded liabilities, including entitlements, including pensions, including the whole bill, is $65 trillion. There is no way you can make that math work. So the truth of the matter is, is we are going to have to reform entitlement programs. I've done this in Minnesota, for example, with our bus drivers in the Twin Cities. They had post-retiree health insurance benefits, and the premise was this, if we made a promise to you, we'll keep it. We're not going to cut people off in terms of their pensions if we've made a promise to you. But for people who are new to the system, who are coming on, where we can fairly give them notice and fairly change expectations, the system's going to change. And we did it.
Pawlenty's statement made my skin crawl. He may have plans to run for President in 2012. This is a Republican leader, the party of NO, saying NO to Healthcare Reform, and INSTEAD longing for the GW Bush days. The days when rich/big business received the most tax cuts, the most deregulation, which left us in the biggest Recession/Depression since the Great Depression of the 1930s. (We also lost civil liberties, but that is an entirely different blog.) Considering we entered into GW's reign with the biggest budget surplus in history, that is quite a feat.

We have a "new poor" in America. As the NY Times reports, the new poor are those of us over 50, who may have lost their jobs due to the downturn in the economy, have exhausted their unemployment compensation, do not have the "look" of desirable new prospects for Hot new jobs and are not old enough for Social Security. These folks have spent twenty, thirty, forty years working and contributing to the economy, people long accustomed to the comforts of middle-class life who are now relying on public assistance for the first time in their lives — potentially for years to come.

These fifty-somethings are the people Tim Pawlenty is talking about...the people who will be "new to the system", who have not gotten there yet. Tim Pawlenty/Republicans/Conservatives political agenda is to cut us all off before we enter into the Social Security/Medicare system, the system we have supported for forty plus years.

My husband and I both heard the words come out of Pawlenty's mouth this morning. My husband, a left leaning independent/centrist, who has been questioning President Obama of late for not getting enough done, was suddenly flashed back to the times of GWB. He shook his head. "We can't go back to THAT!"

My husband and I were both impacted by the recession, down-sizing and our dreadful economy. We were both layed off from our respective jobs over the last year or so. However, I do have a pension from my company and a small consulting business I own which contributes to our overall income. Additionally, he does have a small pension. However, we are saving and counting the years until we receive our duly paid for Social Security and Medicare. I have contributed over 40 years into social security. If you count my childhood years in the migrant camps, I have worked over 50 years of my life. My husband, over 30 years contributing into Social Security. Now, the Republicans want to take it away from us??? Plus they want Comprehensive Healthcare Reform to FAIL!

What the Republicans/Conservative agenda FAILS to REALIZE is, all of us fifty-somethings have contributed to Social Security ALL OF OUR LIVES. We do NOT want to believe it was some kind of Madoff style Ponzi scheme! DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT TAKING SOCIAL SECURITY AWAY so you can privatize it to your Healthcare Provider friends/PAC contributors form of Social Security. DO NOT CHANGE PLANS unless you are going to pay us back for all we have contributed over the last 40 years, with interest!

For many of us, as illustrated in the NY Times article, finding jobs/new careers is difficult for us "fifty-somethings." Contrary to what the ANTI websites portray, we fifty-somethings are NOT competing with those they term "illeegals." We are not looking for AgJobs, Construction Jobs, or anything in the fast food industry. We are primarily business people who worked in business all of our lives. People like Jean Eisen (57), a proficient salesperson, now out of work, existing on her husband's disability check and food from food banks.

Some businesses do not want to hire domestically. They prefer to automate or outsource offshore. These are the same businesses Tim Pawlenty/Republicans/Conservatives want to provide more tax cuts, more deregulation. The truth for the fifty somethings is, we want Businesses to hire domestically, hire experience. Don't outsource off-shore. We will continue to contribute to the economy domestically. We are loyal. We are patriots. We are hard workers. AND PLEASE DO NOT TAKE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE AWAY, just as we are approaching our time.

Listen to this good and hard: DO NOT OFF-SHORE. HIRE EXPERIENCE. HIRE DEDICATED AMERICANS TO THESE JOBS. The hard working "illeegals" are NOT IMPACTING US!!! They are NOT taking away OUR Jobs! We need people to perform the AgJobs, the Construction Jobs, the Meat Packing Jobs. However, ALLOW US to continue OUR JOBS!! DO NOT OUTSOURCE OUR JOBS OFF-SHORE!



ultima said...

I didn't see Pawlenty this morning but I saw Schwarzenegger and Rendell. They said essentially the same thing as Pawlenty regarding entitlements. You simply can't get there from here given the size of the unfunded obligations of Social Security, etc.

I don't like it any better than anyone else but those are the facts.

The question to ask is, "How did we get to this situation?"

I think it is fair to say numerous Democratic and Republican Congresses had an equal hand in it. The failed right from the get go to provide a de-politicized mechanism to adjust the tax rates and bases for these entitlement programs annually as necessary to make sure their unfunded liabilities or obligations did not get out of hand. The Congress failed miserably on this task because it lacked the courage and intestinal fortitude to do the right thing.

I have suggested several times in this forum that something needed to be done immediately. I have suggested removing the cap on taxable social security earnings while holding the maximum benefit at the present level as adjusted for inflation so that the affluent among us paid the same percent of their earnings into social security as the rest of us. Somehow I don't think we would have heard any objections from Buffet or Gates.

I also suggested that the contribution rate for Medicare be doubled immediately. The affluent already pay the full percentage on their earnings for Medicare.

I also suggested that the Congress needs to pony up from the general revenues of the government enough to make up for its past neglect of a proper funding mechanism for these programs.

Finally I suggested that a separate Board of Trustees be set up for these programs with and equal number of Republicans, Democrats and demographic, actuarial, and statistical experts with the power to make the annual adjustment I mentioned above in the tax rate and base. The decisions of this Board could only be overturned by a super majority in both Houses. I suspect neither would want to touch the Board's decisons with a ten foot pole. This would effectively de-politicize the funding decisions for these programs.

Congress over the years has addded many new program without an adequate and automatic funding mechanism.

Of course when it comes to the federal budget it doesn't help that Medicaid has to receive a large increase. Much of the Medicaid funds are soaked up by illegal aliens so that is another way to help achieve adequate funding for other entitlement program.

People do depend on Social Security and Medicare and they should be given immediate attention by both parties. Anyone who gets in the way should be thrown out of office.

Dee said...

I find it interesting that your only suggestions have to do with the medicare recipients doing with less or finding an alternative.

I think there are other ways.
1. Cut back on the profits of the Pharmas and Healthcare carriers.
2. If you seek privatization of future Social Security/Medicare then Offer a Cash Buyout to all of us who have contributed to this ponzi scheme. Pay me back 75% plus interest over the 40 years I have contributed. Cash buyout. The gov't keeps the 25% plus interest. That should be enough. They paid trillions to buyout the Banks & Wall Street. Seems like they would be fine in paying back the American people.

These are just two options you nor any Republican ever touched upon, yet they seem the most logical. I'm sure many would buy into them!

Dee said...

Beyond SS/Medicare, let's look at jobs. Stop business from outsourcing. This will save the MOST middle/high income jobs in America. Why not consider this??

Dee said...

I say to Pawlenty or any other Republican recommending stopping SS/Medicare: Don't even think about it unless you buy me out!

ultima said...

Dee wrote, "I find it interesting that your only suggestions have to do with the medicare recipients doing with less or finding an alternative."

I admit I failed to proof read my post but the above statement is clearly erroneous. I suggested:
1. Remove the cap on taxable income for social security purpose so that the affluent pay the same percentage of their income into the system as the rest of us do. (This would require a matching contribution by employers.)
2. Freeze the maximum social security benefit at the present level as adjusted annually for inflation.(This would cause the affluent to pay a lot more with no commensurate increase in their benefits leaving more for the benefits of the less affluent.)
3. I suggested doubling the Medicare tax on both the employer and the employee. (Obviously there only two ways to improve the solvency of both Medicare and Social Security: increase revenues or reduce benefits(expense). My Social Security proposal does both it increases the revenue by applying the tax rate to all income and, on the benefits or expense side,by freezing the maximum benefit at the present level as adjusted for inflation.)
4. I also suggested that the feds contribute from the general revenues of the government whatever amount is appropriate to make up for the years of neglect and underfunding of both programs.
5. I reminded everyone that both Republicans and Democrats agree that something must be done about entitlement programs if we are to save them from insolvency.
6. Finally, I suggested a de-politicized way to make sure the rates and bases are adjusted annually based on demographic, actuarial, and other statistical data and that an independent board be set up to initiate and implement the necessary changes.

There are some other changes that I have suggested in the past such as a means test once the employer/employee contributions plus interest have been exhausted. Not many people like the idea of a means test, even after they have recovered all of their and their employers' contributions plus interest. I understand that position. It's like life insurance or annuity. If you live to 100 with a paid up policy or contract, the net take will not be as good as in the case of someone who dies the day after the policy goes into effect. In the case of Social Security, if you pay into it all your working years but die the day after you begin receiving benefits most of your contributions will be used to be pay the social security of the guy who lives to 100. That is the nature of insurance of all kinds.

Dee, your erroneous kneejerk reaction is understandable given your present situation but you really should read more carefully before you comment. The list above is far different from what you say in your opening quote.

ultima said...

Dee wrote, "If you seek privatization of future Social Security/Medicare then Offer a Cash Buyout to all of us who have contributed to this ponzi scheme. "

No where did I suggest privatization of future Social Security/Medicare. But asking for a buyout is tantamount to agreement with Bush's idea for private savings accounts. There are some people who could manage their Social Security kitty but many would simply spend it and depend on welfare during their retirement years. For any buyout I say you would be entitled to all of your contributions plus those of your employer plus interest. The government has no claim on any part of it.

ultima said...

Dee wrote, "I say to Pawlenty or any other Republican recommending stopping SS/Medicare".

What do you say to Democrat Gov. Rendell of PA? Why heap all your rancor on the Republicans? I can see that you are really upset about your present situation. We all worry about this not only for ourselves but for our kids.
Social Security will never be done away with but something must be done to improve its solvency, hence my suggestions above.

ultima said...

Dee wrote, "Cut back on the profits of the Pharmas and Healthcare carriers"

I'm not sure how this would improve the solvency of Social Security. I defend the profits of Pharmas only to the extent necessary to keep investors engaged and continue their very expensive research and development programs. Every private business is entitled to a fair return on its products. What a fair return is is certainly negotiable.

With regard insurance companies, the same rational applies. I think they had a bad case of dumb when some of them announced huge increases in premiums at this critical juncture in the health care debate. I agree that there is room for improvement in Pharma and Health Insurance regulation but I don't see how that will cure the current unfunded obligations of Medicare and SS. That is the most immediate problem and I don't think Pharma and Insurance Companies are the answer. A reduction in prices might slow the rate of increase in the unfunded obligations but will not liquidate them.

ultima said...

I agree with what you propose regarding job out-sourceing and even closer scrutiny of big Pharma and Health insurers.

What I disagree with is your incessant blaming of Republicans for all the ills in society. Republican do not represent some sort of monolith that share only one singular view of the world and what is needed to fix its ills if that can be done without sacrificing all of our freedoms. We have to keep in mind that every step we take down the road of government control is a step toward communism.

You think that tax cuts for the rich is a bad thing and it probably is for some. Howeve, if it is a tax cut for businesses that results in more jobs and a more competitive position vis a vis foreign companies, that is not a bad thing even though some rich folks may benefit.

Let see who was it that was in charge when NAFTA was enacted resulting in the proliferation of maquiladoras just across the border and the jump in out-sourcing in jobs? Must have been Pawlenty!!!

Vicente Duque said...

“Progressivism is a cancer in America” - Glenn Beck in 2010

What Teddy Roosevelt said about Health Insurance, protection of the poor and the weak, Protection of the Immigrant, Taxation of the Rich - Presidential Campaing of 1912

Teddy Rooselvelt proposes Health Insurance for Americans and presents Germany and Bismark's legislation as a model. More Information on Germany and England, pioneers in these developments.

This is a speech of Theodore Roosevelt in August of 1912, during the Presidential Campaign.

Teaching American History Organization
Confession of Faith
Theodore Roosevelt
August 6, 1912

Confession of Faith

Some excerpts

It is abnormal for any industry to throw back upon the community the human wreckage due to its wear and tear, and the hazards of sickness, accident, invalidism, involuntary unemployment, and old age should be provided for through insurance. This should be made a charge in whole or in part upon the industries, the employer, the employee, and perhaps the people at large to contribute severally in some degree. Wherever such standards are not met by given establishments, by given industries, are unprovided for by a legislature, or are balked by unenlightened courts, the workers are in jeopardy, the progressive employer is penalized, and the community pays a heavy cost in lessened efficiency and in misery. What Germany has done in the way of old-age pensions or insurance should be studied by us, and the system adapted to our uses, with whatever modifications are rendered necessary by our different ways of life and habits of thought.

Working women have the same need to combine for protection that working men have; the ballot is as necessary for one class as for the other; we do not believe that with the two sexes there is identity of function; but we do believe that there should be equality of right; and therefore we favor woman suffrage. Surely, if women could vote, they would strengthen the hands of those who are endeavoring to deal in efficient fashion with evils such as the white-slave traffic; evils which can in part be dealt with nation-ally, but which in large part can be reached only by determined local action, such as insisting on the wide-spread publication of the names of the owners, the landlords, of houses used for immoral purposes.


Bismark in Germany and Social Legislation in England


As said in the previous paragraphs, Teddy was an admirer of the Social Legislation of Otto von Bismark ( The Iron Chancellor ) in Germany.

Here you find beautiful information about that :

The Huffington Post
By Paul A. London
November 3, 2008

Finally, Health Insurance 90 Years Late

Some excerpts :

The story starts in Germany in 1883. Count Otto von Bismarck, the "Iron Chancellor," championed government-sponsored social insurance including "sickness insurance" to win working class voters away from the Socialists. It was not a socialist program. It was an anti-socialist program. Bismarck rammed it through and enlarged it over the years, overriding opposition from his own conservative allies and from the Socialists who knew the program was aimed at weakening them.

Youth, Minorities, Politics :

Vicente Duque

ultima said...

The Republican Party is not the party of "no". That's just Demospin. I would hope that Republicans and Democrats would all be in favor of tax cuts and the easing of any regulations that would produce jobs. In Pawlenty's words, "...make it more likely that they're going to start a business, grow a business, buy equipment, build buildings, conduct research, commercialize the results of that research and grow jobs."

How can anyone disagree with that?

The facts about social security's and medicare's unfunded obligations are just that, facts. Deal with them. Don't just ignore them an hope that they will go away. That's what Pawlenty, Schwarzenegger and Rendell are saying. It's just a bitter pill that we have to take.

State budgets across the nation are hard on low income people because there are huge deficits that have to be dealt with. In Colorado, state funding of higher education has already been reduced 49th or 50th out of 50. Candy and internet transactions will be taxed. State budgets like the federal budget is loaded with entitlements so there is nowhere to go to balance the budget except those programs that constitute the biggest part of the budget. We could of course privatize all state higher education institutions. We are almost there already. We could open the gates of the state prisons and turn loose all the felons. We could lay off 30% of all state employees. None of these are very palatable. We could raise taxes even more than the current plan but raising taxes is never a good idea in the middle of a recession.

It's easy to criticize but if you had to balance the budget yourself as I did for 22 years at the University of Colorado, it is a different story.

Minnesota has a fairly liberal cast in the legislature so Pawlenty will not be able to do anything except what the legislature approves so the blame game is not appropriate.

ultima said...

No one is going to take away Social Security. It is not politically feasible or desirable. I think Pawlenty was referring to people who begn their working years after the entitlement reforms are enacted if that really happens, not those who are already retired or who are approaching retirement.

Republican opposition to health care reform has its roots in the fact that over 90% of people before the debate were happy with their insurance plans. They are trying to pay attention to the people rather than liberal idealogues. The opposition also has it roots in the idea that we simply don't need another underfunded entitlement when we are unable to manage the ones we already have.

Republican positions are grounded in sound economic considerations and are not nearly as onerous as Dee would have us believe.

I am sorry about Dee's and her husband's employment status. I have two sons and a daughter who are approaching their fifties. I worry about their retirement prospects and hope they will be able to stay employed. It's not easy to get a new job when you are in your fifties unless you have significant managerial experience at an appropriate level. Top executives are often in their 502 or 60s when they change jobs. They are able to do that because of the level of their experience offsets the age factor.

I think part of the debate about entitlement will come down to what can be done to enable people to do a better job of planning for a rainy day (six months or a years income in a rainy day kitty) and saving for retirement at the rate necessary to achieve the desired income in retirement. For example, at age 50 for an 80% income replacement you would need to save 56.8% of an $80k salary if you were starting from scratch, or a 60% income replacement of an $80k salary would require a saving of 33.4%. Obviously, the percentages are much lower if you start at age 25.

ultima said...

Culture Crisis or Health Care Crisis?

Dear Mr. President:

During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone.

While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as "Medicaid"! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer.

And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman's health care? I contend that our nation's "health care crisis" is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a "crisis of culture", a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me".

Once you fix this "culture crisis" that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you'll be amazed at how quickly our nation's health care difficulties will disappear.



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Dee said...

Ultima said...
No one is going to take away Social Security.

That's NOT what Pawlenty said. He said he would not impact anyone currently ON SS but wants to change it for anyone entering into it. That hits all of us fifty somethings.

The profane Anonymous had the same misunderstanding you did only who was very profane/abusive in his response so I couldn't post it. He also thinks it is funny my husband and I were impacted by layoffs.

Let me make this clear. My husband and I, like many middle income Americans were impacted by the recession, but we are not desperate. We have our pensions and my small business income. However, like most middle income Americans, we are looking forward and stretching our savings hoping we will receive our fully paid for social security payments when we reach eligibility age at 62.

Democrats are NOT taking this away from us. It is only Republicans like Pawlenty that even talk about ripping it away.

You are right. It is NOT easy to get a new job in your fifties. It is logical for employers, when hiring, to choose the twenty/thirty somethings vs us fifty somethings. No one blames them for that. Regardless of our skills, drives or talents, we are only going to work a few more years and are not in it for the long term anymore. Why should they waste years of training/indoctrination of their products/services on us? I don't blame them.

All I am asking for is that no one takes away what WE already paid for, our Social Security benefits until we die twenty or thirty years from now.

Dee said...

Maybe a few years ago Ultima, but not anymore.

As I said, while I am doing fine with my consulting skills, my husband (talented, skilled, white, male, early 50s) is having more difficulty than I am. It has everything to do with age and who is competing with whom for white collar jobs. I know. He has an impeccable resume and portfolio package.

It has more to do with outsourcing, recession and who is competing.

Again, it doesn't matter as long as we have SS and Medicare in our future.

The Dems are NOT trying to take this away. Only the Republicans have this on their agenda.

Ultima said..
Top executives are often in their 50s or 60s when they change jobs. They are able to do that because of the level of their experience offsets the age factor.

Dee said...

Most companies outsource offshore. This is why Americans are losing jobs!

Any service jobs or IT jobs are the first to go. You know this. Pick up the phone and call a business with a call center. You will get a representative from Canada or India or any other international country that speaks English. The same goes for IT jobs.

ALL of these outsourced jobs could be performed domestically. ALL of them. Business should be held accountable for hiring domestically.

Henry Ford had it right when he helped his own employees purchase their own affordable cars.

The American Worker/Taxpayer has to be our 1st Priority!

Ultima said..In Pawlenty's words, "...make it more likely that they're going to start a business, grow a business, buy equipment, build buildings, conduct research, commercialize the results of that research and grow jobs."

How can anyone disagree with that?

Dee said...

I do not like the term entitlement program. By definition, entitle would refer to a gift. Those of us over 50 have bought and paid for our social security. It is no gift. We EARNED it.

I suppose you can refer to it as a ponzi scheme perpetrated by the government.

So therefore, if you acknowledge it is a ponzi scheme, then acknowledge it was a scheme/ a scam and PAY BACK ALL we paid into it. We don't want a profit, merely payback and interest. The SS dept gives us a printout every year of how much we have paid into it. Just pay us back IF you want to start over. Very Simple! NO HANDOUTS, JUST any victimes of a scheme/scam.

Dee said...

Talk about this more.My "cap" usually comes in November. So those with super high wages, they would continue paying into social security, right?

ultima said...
1. Remove the cap on taxable income for social security purpose so that the affluent pay the same percentage of their income into the system as the rest of us do. (This would require a matching contribution by employers.)

Dee said...

The other "cap" I am interested in is the cap on earnings one can make while on Social Security.

This seems ludicrous.
Why have a program in place that penalizes people from working when they want to work?

Dee said...

BTW Ultima,
I have read over 25 articles by the "new unemployed" and those most impacted by the Recession/Depression.

Most are the over 40/50 crowd.
Most are middle class.

Most are NOT competing for jobs by those your side terms "illeegals."
They are NOT looking for AgJobs.
They are NOT looking for Construction Jobs.

They are looking for jobs that are currently being outsourced to Canada or India. They are looking for these service/IT jobs where you can work from home. With today's technology, they could all work from home. They have the skills, the knowledge, the American drive to make their company a success! IF the company wanted to do it.

But the problem is, they would rather spend $1 an hour and a million dollars in technology to hire the folks in India or Canada vs everyday Americans.

No matter what you say, it is possible and we have the skills and technology to do it, IF ONLY business would do it!

Vicente Duque said...

McClatchy Newspapers : Schwarzenegger breaks with GOP on health care, stimulus - Arnold, a gentleman, is giving political help to Obama

Arnold Schwarzenegger, always a gentleman, helps the president without the Hate and Partisanship that has infected Politics. The Governor of California shows Political Kindness and Graciousness. Arnold has warm courtesy.

So Big Muscles are not contradictory with Humanity and being Nice.

McClatchy Newspapers
Schwarzenegger breaks with GOP on health care, stimulus
By Rob Hotakainen
February 22, 2010

Schwarzenegger breaks with GOP on health care, stimulus

Some excerpts :

WASHINGTON — While Republican leaders in Washington are urging President Barack Obama to start from scratch on a health care bill, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday dismissed the idea as "bogus talk."

It marked the second day in a row that Schwarzenegger strayed from his party's positions.

On Sunday, he defended Obama's economic stimulus plan and chided elected officials, most of them Republicans, who oppose the overall stimulus but are quick to trumpet individual projects in their states that are paid for by the stimulus.

Standing outside the White House after meeting privately with Obama on Monday, Schwarzenegger touted the economic stimulus plan yet again.

"I think the stimulus package has been very successful so far and I think California has benefitted tremendously," he said.

Schwarzenegger also said it's good that the president is reaching out to Republicans as he prepares for this week's health care summit with congressional leaders.

Vicente Duque

Vicente Duque said...

George W. Bush suffers from bad neurons Alcohol - says Super Conservative Hawk : British Imperialist Lord David Owen, former Foreign Minister, House of Lords, and Neurologist Doctor

Interviews to Great British Lords, Imperialist Hawks and Glories of the Queen and the House of Lords. They say unsavory things for America.

Brits have many doubts about Adventures with America in the "Graveyard of Empires"

"Afghanistan 2002-2010 is the Gravest Failure of England since the Suez Canal Fiasco in 1956".

From Wikipedia :

David Owen in Wikipedia

Some excerpts :

David Anthony Llewellyn Owen, Baron Owen CH PC FKC (born 2 July 1938) He is also known for becoming the youngest person in over forty years to hold the post of British Foreign Secretary (from 1977 to 1979) and as one of the authors of the failed Vance-Owen and Owen-Stoltenberg peace plans offered during the Bosnian War. He has been a controversial figure for much of his career, inspiring great devotion among close followers but also disaffection due to perceived arrogance. He sits in the House of Lords as a crossbencher.

In fact Owen disagreed with them as the nationalisation was a 'confiscation' rather than an 'invasion', nevertheless the whole affair convinced him that 'politicians... able to stand up for Britain's interests even in the age of Imperial decline' and 'brought home' to him the 'robustness about the British people's character which is often underestimated by... the chattering classes'.[Kenneth Harris, Personally Speaking Pan Books, 1987]

He was neurology and psychiatric registrar at St Thomas's Hospital for two years, as assistant to Dr. William Sargant, then Research Fellow on the Medical Unit doing research into Parkinsonian trauma and neuropharmacology.
Iraq inquiry turns focus on transatlantic cooperation.
By By Alan Blinder (University of Alabama) Student Correspondent Corps
February 5, 2010

British leaders reflect on US-UK relationship

Some excerpts :

But Owen argues that had Iraq been better managed from the beginning, the coalition could have been victorious.

"Could Iraq have been a success? It could have been," Owen said.

Howe, who worked with the first President Bush, said his son, George W., disappointed his father.

"He just had an extraordinarily superficial approach to everything," Howe said. "It seemed as if he had almost forgotten the elementary components of political leadership. It was a great tragedy for his father."

Owen, a neurologist by training, said he thinks Bush suffers from adult attention deficit disorder.

He has never met Bush, but said he wonders if a link exists between the former president’s early years of heavy drinking and later difficulty delivering speeches, which he called "a language defect."

The superficial approach that Howe described triggered other problems. Hurd thinks the invasion created — not just worsened — turmoil in Iraq.

"We let terrorism into Iraq," Hurd said. "There was no serious terrorism in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, except his own brand of it."

The Future of Foreign Policies :

Vicente Duque

ultima said...

The first $106,800 in earnings in 2010 are subject to a 6.2% tax on both the employer and the employee.

Thus, if the cap was removed, a person earning $250,000 per year would see an increase from $6,622 (0.062 x $106,800)to $15,500 (0.062 x $250,000). This is a large increase of 134%. However,putting this in perspective, it still leaves the earner with $234,500. I could live on that! I don't recall whether the Social Security payroll deduction is taxed at the time it is earned or only later when you begin to draw SS. In the beginning, the feds said SS would never be taxed but it is. If it is taxed when the money is earned, the benefits certainly shouldn't be taxed.

ultima said...

I understand your desire to withdraw all of your and your employer's contributions but I doubt that will ever happen because if everyone were allowed to do that Social Security would be defunct and many poor people who have nothing else to depend on would be destitute. They would spend the lump sum withdrawal rather quickly while now they have some income for life.

ultima said...

The United States Supreme Court decided in Flemming v. Nestor (1960) that no one has an accrued property right to benefits from Social Security.

Dee said...

I agree with you that removing the cap on social security payments for the wealthy would benefit the program significantly.

They should do it.

Anonymous said...

"I agree with you that removing the cap on social security payments for the wealthy would benefit the program significantly."

You do know that makes the wealthy (anyone PAYING into Social Security) eligible for Social Security pay-outs in the future? So we wouldn't really be solving the issue, just pushing back it's death date.

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