Social Security

Obama’s 2nd term high point: passage of his $620 billion tax increase bill

Barack Obama reached the high point of his 2nd term just 19 days before he is sworn-in for his 2nd term.  The passage of Obama’s $620 billion tax increase bill will be the zenith of his remaining 4 years in office.

Obama will sign nothing of substance into law unless conservatives in the House of Representatives  --  who suffered a temporary setback on the first day of 2013  --  approve of that law. 

Indeed, Speaker John Boehner will not allow any major legislation that conservatives do not approve of to reach the House floor after the fiasco which occurred on the floor of the House of Representatives last night.  In violation of former Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert’s rule of not bringing to the House floor any major legislation which does not have a majority of the Republican majority approving of the legislation, Boehner caused the Republicans in the House to suffer a major defeat. 

Boehner managed to get only 85 Republicans to vote for Obama’s $620 billion tax increase bill. An overwhelmingly majority of Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats (172 out of 188 voting Democrats) voted for Obama’s tax increase bill.  It was a stunning defeat for Boehner’s leadership style.   

Should Americans Re-elect Obama?

The first question would be: Has life been better since Obama took office? A cable news program posed this question among random people on the streets of America. The majority of the answers were 'No, things are worse."
Obama's term in office has been wrought with disturbances, distractions and questions from the start.
The trust that a nation should have for it's president was immediately thwarted when Obama refused to present a valid birth certificate showing that he was born in America, as well as other papers that would account for his earlier years including college or university transcripts.
Not only did he refuse to provide them but spent over a million dollars to a law firm to block access to any of his papers. That created overwhelming suspicion of his entire White House occupation.
Making matters worse, according to information provided by Bob Boyd, host of the national radio program, Issues in Education, it was shown that he had several social security cards, one being from Connecticut where he never lived.

Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate Fiddles While America Burns

The Democrat-controlled United States Senate under the leadership of Harry Reid, D-NV, has done virtually nothing since it began on January 5th of this year.  Indeed, the Democrat leadership in the Senate  --  and in the United States House of Representatives, during the leadership (if you can call it that) of San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi when she was speaker for 4 years before the Republicans took control this past January  --  has not passed a budget as required by law for a number of years. 
 
On the other hand, the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed its budget, as required by law, earlier this year.  The House Republicans have also passed over 25 major bills to create jobs in America, a nation which has suffered a 9% unemployment rate, on the average, under Barack Obama since he became president almost 3 years ago.
 
Before the Republicans adjourned for Christmas in the House of Representatives last week, they passed a spending bill  --  now signed into law by Obama  --  which will fund the government until the end of the 2012 Fiscal Year on September 30th. 
 

California Cop Stepped Over The Line

Being a Pastor of Senior Citizens, I was appalled to read a letter to the editor of The Contra Costa Times yesterday (1/27/11). A senior citizen, Christine Wasserbauer of Concord was hurrying home having just exited a bus and crossed in the center of the street after seeing there was no traffic. The street was clear and she proceeded. She had to urgently get to the bathroom due to medications she has to take.

A motorcycle cop, roared into the scene, stopped the woman and lectured her. She explained the situation. Instead of letting her get home, the officer continued to hold her and wrote out a $136. ticket for jaywalking.  Meanwhile, the woman soiled herself, which is extremely degrading and dehumanizing to senior citizens. This thoughless cop delayed her in order to bring in extra cash for his city government.

This woman was not doing anything that endangered the community like DUI. She was trying to get home as quickly as possible and made certain the street was clear before crossing.  Again,she had a medical issue. And she was fined $136.00!

Social Security coming up short (spending more than it takes in)

Although it's far from a surprise and has long been predicted, it's finally a reality: Social Security is now officially paying out more than it is taking in.

Of course, Social Security has taken in more than it has paid out pretty much since its inception...which would lead a normal person to think there's a big fat piggy bank just waiting to pay out all those benefits, right?  Wrong.  The truth is that the government has faithfully borrowed every dime of that surplus over the years and spent it on, well, everything.

Bruce Krasting looks at the public data on the Social Security "Trust Fund" and points out that the numbers are headed in the wrong direction...pointing out that this wasn't expected to happen for another five years or so.

This is the cost of the protracted recession and the failure of the
economy to generate new jobs. The 2008-2009 increase in benefits was at
a nosebleed level of 9.5%. That level has collapsed to 3.9% in the
2009-2010 period.  ...

Social Security Going Broke - Faster

As pretty much anyone and everyone who's paid any attention to the news for the past generation knows, Social Security, as it is currently configured, is going to run out of money.  It's simple math.  But it has always (to a great many people) seemed like a distant prospect, not something that demanded to be dealt with right now.

For decades and decades, the program has muddled along, with a few tweaks here and there, running a surplus of funds paid it by workers versus benefits paid to retirees.  And, of course, the federal government "borrowed" those surpluses from the Social Security fund and spent them on just about everything else under the sun.  Which means there has been an ever growing IOU in the "trust fund".  Couple this with the beginning retirements of baby boomers, and many people have pointed out that it's going to be a problem sooner rather than later.

Well, guess what?  That day of reckoning is here.  Via USA Today:

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