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2010 November 11 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Raising The Retirement Age

From the Social Security Administration website: Age To Receive Full Social Security Retirement Benefits

Here’s how it works. If your full retirement age is 67, the reduction for starting your benefits at

  • 62 is about 30 percent;
  • age 63 is about 25 percent;
  • age 64 is about 20 percent;
  • age 65 is about 13 and 1/3 percent; and
  • age 66 is about 6 and 2/3 percent.

They are cutting benefits without admitting to doing it, and they have admitted that they are aware that Social Security and Medicare have no affect on the deficit. Both are covered by a separate tax and budget system. The most important thing that can be done for these programs is to get people back to work as soon as possible.

The only possible “tweak” needed for the Social Security system to maintain the status quo forever is to raise the cap.

Medicare does need work, primarily in two areas: Part C – Medicare Advantage and Part D – the Prescription Drug benefit.

Part C should be eliminated as it is not as efficient as the traditional system and it is more expensive. The reason is simple – private, for-profit health insurance companies are involved and not one of them is as efficient as traditional Medicare. Some will point out the additional services available under Medicare Advantage plans, but they aren’t universally available to all Medicare recipients, and they cost the program more per recipient. The extra features can be obtained by private Medigap insurance with the costs borne by those that want them.

Part D should be rolled in with other existing government programs, like the VA and the DoD Tricare system, and negotiate for drug pricing as one group. The fragmented system just increases costs and injects private insurance companies into the process without adding any value. This isn’t about bailing out private corporations, most of whom are now foreign owned, it is about providing medication to people who need it at the best price… you know – capitalism.

November 11, 2010   2 Comments


sources of the Deficit

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities takes on Tax Cuts: Myths and Realities. Using Congressional Budget Office data they demonstrate that tax cuts are far and away the largest single cause of the deficit, with “security” spending in second place.

The Clinton “surplus” that the Shrubbery gave to the wealthy in tax cuts, was the planned surplus in withholding taxes to pay for the retirements of the Boomers – the Republicans looted the Social Security trust fund.

Reducing taxes, as proposed by the Cat Food Commission, will further increase the deficit, not decrease it. Changing the tax rate on corporation is totally irrelevant as they don’t pay taxes under the current system. Google manages to maintain its tax rate at 6% 2.4% by laundering money through Ireland and the Netherlands. Exxon made a $19 billion profit one year and received a tax rebate in excess of $150 million. There is no connection between the corporate tax rate and the rate that corporations actually pay.

November 11, 2010   7 Comments

Cat Food Commission

Executive Session

funny pictures-The voices in my head might not be real...

November 11, 2010   2 Comments

Veterans Day

PoppyAt the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the guns fell silent. The Great War, The War to End All Wars, was over…for a couple of decades.

The red poppies of Flanders fields became a symbol of that war and the veterans that returned from it. Known as Remembrance Day in much of the world, the poppies will be in evidence. Remembrance Day observances have more in common with the American Memorial Day as a day to honor those who have died in war.

First called Armistice Day in the United States, the name was changed to Veterans Day, and its purpose changed to honoring those who are serving, or have served in the military. The change was made to avoid a conflict with the existing Memorial Day observance that goes back to the Civil War era.

A heart felt salute to everyone who managed to survive basic training. We can hope that sooner, rather than later, there will be no need for another generation to put on uniforms.

November 11, 2010   13 Comments