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Mitt and Mini Mitt

  • Posted on August 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm

( Justin Sullivan / Getty Images ) Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) speaks as Mitt Romney looks on during a campaign rally at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C.

By now, everyone knows that Mitt Romney has made his VP choice.  I have had a few days to digest this information and really feel that Mitt just picked himself in many ways.  Not that Ryan had the same life as Mitt but Ryan looks a lot like any one of Mitt’s sons.  I saw the two of them on stage together wearing similar shirts.  It reminded me of an image I can remember of my many brothers lined up in their white shirts and dark pants, except for the pattern on the candidate’s shirts.  The image of Representative Ryan is that of an all-American family, much like Mitt’s image.  However, the family that currently resides in the Whitehouse is just as all-American as Mitt’s family except for the ingrained image White America has of themselves.  In many ways, the image Mitt portrays is a message he continually sends out when he refers to President Obama as not sharing your values.  This ad is a message about values that I personally find repugnant.

I personally believe in a separation of church and state.  I do not believe President Obama has declared a war on religion.  However, the image and message are clear.  If you are white, the president does not share your religious values.  He probably wasn’t even born in this country and he probably isn’t a Christian.

Therefore, we have the two religious candidates that share our collective values, a Mormon and a right wing Catholic.  I’m not sure that those protesting nuns agree with Representative Ryan on his vision for the poor, so maybe they too are un-American because they don’t share these exact values.

We are not all the same.  The beauty of our country is the fact that we are a melting pot of people, cultures, and ideas.  I believe our greatest strength is the diversity of our people.  With our diversity we are able to develop and create new ideas and stimulate thinking beyond the cookie cutter mode of one size fits all.  We are not a cookie cutter nation where the religious right owns our brains.  We can and must think for ourselves.

As an educator, I am appalled to be inundated with narrow-minded thinking that implies we are all of the same values…one size religion for everyone.  How many times are we going to be told that we are a “Christian” nation?  In our country, we are able to be what we want to be whether it involves religion or it doesn’t.  No one has to buy into any of this nonsense.  It’s like a subtle brain washing.  I always thought that religion was a personal matter between a person and their God.  I have never looked to a politician for my values and I doubt I ever will.   When I think of most politicians and how they got where they are I certainly don’t think of religion.  It’s backroom deals and money that talks.  You scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back.  We largely don’t have control over whom we get to vote for because it’s the money that gets them where they are.  It isn’t God and it isn’t love of country.  This is the same old crap they roll out every year to get the masses on board for the next big thing (You know tax cuts for the wealthy and shared sacrifice for everyone else).  They put up something about how religious they are and stupid sheep follow them.  Take your blinders off and see these people for what they really are.

Mitt Romney was a man born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He used his own religion to get out of fighting in the Vietnam War.  He has five sons that will never go to battle for anyone except a hostile takeover of some company.  He had a “cushy” gig in France where he tried to convert French Catholics to the Mormon Church.  I think he converted two.  While he was there, he had a car accident that I would like to know more about than I’m currently reading on the web.  He is wealthy beyond our imaginations and he won’t let us know about his taxes because it’s none of our business.  He has a lot of money outside of this country and we are supposed to believe that is a patriotic thing to do.

Then there is Representative Ryan who cannot wait to dig in and dismantle the social programs created by FDR.  Here is a man that lived on the safety net of Social Security and Pell Grants but wants to deny them for the future citizens of this country.  He wants more breaks for the wealthy and less for the poor and middle class.  He believes in the same old trickle down bullshit the Republicans have been spewing for years.

I don’t see the pick of Ryan as being that big of a stretch for Mitt.  They both are really after the same things.  With these guys, the rich get richer and the poor look for the scraps left by the rich.  Social programs and social justice, those things we were taught in church when we were kids are just some left wing Commie plot that we should avoid.  In their world, they are self-made men and the rest of the world better get in line and pull up their bootstraps.

Last night I was talking to my son and he told me he watched “The Dictator”.  Now I am not a Sacha Cohen fan but Josh wanted me to watch the dictator’s speech on Youtube, so I did.  What can we learn from this?  Where is our democracy?  I will leave you with the dictator’s speech, as it is a parody filled with truth!

Some of the American People……

  • Posted on August 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm

According to the President, the United States hails some of the most productive workers in the world.  I would say words matter Mr. President.  Today you said there were two things we could do.  I waited anxiously to hear about taxing the wealthy and creating a jobs bill.  Neither one was one of the two.  According to you the two things we can do is make cuts to Medicare and “reform” the tax code.  You still are repeating the same old sorry agenda that got us into this mess.  Shame on you!  You have chosen to follow the “Bush” agenda from dealing with the economy to continuing in endless made up wars!

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-obama-dismisses-downgrade-sees-urgency-debt-talks/story?id=14255055

President Bush came from a structure of corruption and bankruptcy.  The businesses that he and his family have been involved in have many questionable features.  Whether it was the sale of his Harkin oil, his daddy’s deal back in 1989 to grant a national security waiver for the sale of two Hughes Aircraft company satellites to China, Neil’s Savings and Loan scandal, or Jeb’s defaulted loan from Broward Federal Savings and Loan any way you look at it, Bush came from a family of corruption.  http://www.campaignwatch.org/more1.htm

Yet, somehow he managed to get those corrupt hands on our government.  Bush became President and ushered in the Bush tax cuts and the notion of endless war.  He destroyed what little gain we had made under the Clinton years with these moves.  However, ultimately with these moves the rich were allowed to get richer and the regular people and the poor were appeased by their personal tax cut not realizing that their personal wealth would eventually shrink and their wages would stagnate.  The American people were fooled by the Carny of all carnies.  So, I ask you Mr. President why you would choose to continue this fraud on the American people.  What are you getting out of this?  Your speech didn’t inspire confidence in the American people.  I was ready to give you a break.  After all, the Tea Party has literally brought us to the brink of disaster with their game playing.  However, it appears that you are right there with them!  You stand there ever the “Pied Piper” expecting us to follow your melody and jump into the sea with you.  This is not leading.  The small mention of jobs was so miniscule that it’s obviously not something you spend a great deal of time worrying about.  That crack about “some” of the American people are the most productive in the world was really quite un-American in its left handed compliment.   In other words, some of the American people suck!  I guess the “suckiest” one of all, is you!  You fail to inspire people to do the right thing.

The priority in this country should be jobs.   The only way we are going to compete in the future is if we start working now on building up what we’ve lost in this country.  We don’t even have to go to the big cities any more to see where our infrastructure is failing.  We can drive over any road in America and know that something needs to be done.  We can visit any town or city in America and see abandoned buildings where there once was a bustling factory or store front!  We need to revive our country and make it have a first class infrastructure.  Take the money out of defense and put it into our infrastructure because this has become a national defense problem.   We have the best military in the world.  We spend more than all the other nations combined to get it.  However, what is it fighting for?  Is it fighting to keep our American values here at home?  If that is the case, then we are losing the war because our jobs have been outsourced and believe it or not people are valued by what they do.  Why else would we refer to people as being a “lazy bum” or a “brilliant surgeon”?  With so many people in our country out of work what do you think they feel like?  I believe most people want to be productive in our society.  So, when you say “some” of the most productive workers in the world, I have to wonder what you mean by that.  People need to be inspired Mr. President.  They need to know that everything possible is being done to get our country on the right track for the masses, not just for the wealthy.  The divide in this country is continuing to grow deeper and deeper.  You are in Washington D.C. surrounded by other people of wealth.  I suggest visiting the real world for a change.  You live in an artificial world that just doesn’t understand what it means to be out of work without any real new prospects for work.  You live in an Ivory Tower surrounded by corruption where deals are made every day that don’t take the middle class and the voiceless poor into consideration.  You live in a world where no bid contracts are given out in places like Iraq, probably in exchange for some political apple polishing for the next big political race.  You live in a world where talk is cheap about transparency but where the American people are always the last to really know when they have been royally screwed.  The problem in our government Mr. President isn’t just that you lack leadership.  The problem with our government is that you probably are right.  “Some” of the American people are the most productive in the world, unfortunately they are not, and I repeat, “Not!” the American politicians.

Wall Street Wives, Taxes and Privatization

  • Posted on April 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Illustration by Victor Juhasz

Whew!  Everyone has just breathed that big sigh of relief that their taxes are done and they don’t have to think about them for another year.  However, we should all be thinking about where our tax monies are going instead of focusing on the two parties that would have us believe that we must slash and burn “entitlement” programs in order to contain this unyielding budget deficit.  I, for one, don’t complain a lot about my taxes and I pay plenty in terms of percent of my income.  I am single with no dependents and I no longer run a business that might help for write off reasons.  This puts me in that tax space of hell that most single people understand.  When I add up all the money I pay for federal, state, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, property taxes and sales tax I could be screaming about the taxes I pay.  However, I don’t because I know that we need roads, public education, colleges, hospitals, airports, police, defense and many other things to make our society run.  I know I pay my fair share of the tax burden.  I don’t need any more and I know that many corporations pay nothing.  I also know that many wealthy people don’t share my percent of the burden.  I’ve been saying that we need to change the tax code so those at the top can do more for our country.  They have more, so they should do more.  After all they use more of these government resources than you or I will ever use.  They use the airports all the time to fly wherever they want to be in the world.

However, what I want to share with you today is how the rich have access to the government in a way that you and I will never have.  They take advantage of programs.  They even get programs written for them so they can dip into the honey pot of our tax payer monies.  Many of us that are old enough, remember John Wayne being paid not to farm.  Yeah, that’s funny.  That’s small potatoes compared to what I recently read in this  Rolling Stone article.  http://readersupportednews.org/off-site-opinion-section/72-72/5564-americas-shadow-budget

The Federal Reserve appears to be at the beck and call of the wealthy superstars.  Even though those wealthy bankers were basically crooks and liars and never had to pay for their shenanigans, we keep forking it over to them and now even, their WIVES!  This is important to read.  It’s from the link within the article about, “Why isn’t Wall Street in Jail?”

Not a single executive who ran the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom — an industrywide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities — has ever been convicted. Their names by now are familiar to even the most casual Middle American news consumer: companies like AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. Most of these firms were directly involved in elaborate fraud and theft. Lehman Brothers hid billions in loans from its investors. Bank of America lied about billions in bonuses. Goldman Sachs failed to tell clients how it put together the born-to-lose toxic mortgage deals it was selling. What’s more, many of these companies had corporate chieftains whose actions cost investors billions — from AIG derivatives chief Joe Cassano, who assured investors they would not lose even “one dollar” just months before his unit imploded, to the $263 million in compensation that former Lehman chief Dick “The Gorilla” Fuld conveniently failed to disclose. Yet not one of them has faced time behind bars.

So, we know these guys are crooked and the government knows it too, so what does the Federal Reserve do?  Our government has a “Shadow Budget”.  There is a budget that we see and then there is another one that the Federal Reserve creates.  You must watch this video because it is eye opening.

The Fed books have been opened up and now we are finding out about these secret transactions.  This was brought about by bi-partisan support as the video has stated.  Here is just a snippet from the article:

The Fed sent billions in bailout aid to banks in places like Mexico, Bahrain and Bavaria, billions more to a spate of Japanese car companies, more than $2 trillion in loans each to Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, and billions more to a string of lesser millionaires and billionaires with Cayman Islands addresses. “Our jaws are literally dropping as we’re reading this,” says Warren Gunnels, an aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. “Every one of these transactions is outrageous.”

Here is more:

But if you want to get a true sense of what the “shadow budget” is all about, all you have to do is look closely at the taxpayer money handed over to a single company that goes by a seemingly innocuous name: Waterfall TALF Opportunity. At first glance, Waterfall’s haul doesn’t seem all that huge — just nine loans totaling some $220 million, made through a Fed bailout program. That doesn’t seem like a whole lot, considering that Goldman Sachs alone received roughly $800 billion in loans from the Fed. But upon closer inspection, Waterfall TALF Opportunity boasts a couple of interesting names among its chief investors: Christy Mack and Susan Karches.

Christy is the wife of John Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley. Susan is the widow of Peter Karches, a close friend of the Macks who served as president of Morgan Stanley’s investment-banking division. Neither woman appears to have any serious history in business, apart from a few philanthropic experiences. Yet the Federal Reserve handed them both low-interest loans of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars through a complicated bailout program that virtually guaranteed them millions in risk-free income.

Obviously, I encourage you to read the whole article.  I also think we have to press congress to stop this outrageous transfer of money to the wealthy Wall Street fat cats.  It’s Robin Hood in reverse.  We all pay our taxes.  We aren’t crazy about paying them, but we know that we have to pay something to keep society going.  I have no desire to pay for the fat cats on Wall Street so they can keep their cushy lifestyles.  It’s time we all woke up and really learned more about how our government is being run.  Right now we keep getting brain washed into accepting what must happen to those “terrible entitlement” programs because they are truly the problem.  We are also being told about all those “terrible teachers” and of course now those sleepy, good for nothing, air traffic controllers as well.  This is all smoke and mirrors, so they can privatize everything.  It will just give those fat cats on Wall Street one more thing to control.  I ask everyone that reads my blog to just pass this on and think about who the enemy really is.  It isn’t the teachers and it isn’t air traffic controllers that are asked to work all night by themselves without so much as a potty break.  It’s okay for our Vice President to fall asleep because he isn’t bringing in planes but truthfully, who is really at fault for putting these planes at risk?  I can’t help but wondering why we are hearing about the air traffic controllers right now anyway.  Is there some new reason they’re falling asleep or is there something else in the works?  http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/privatization

The next time you hear Rep. Paul Ryan blowing smoke your way, think about the real problems in government and where you tax dollars are being spent.  Here is a quick link for Rep. Ryan from Open Secrets.   http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00004357&cycle=2010

Isn’t it nice to know that he rakes in so much money from insurance and health professionals?  Of course they will clearly make more money under his big proposal to privatize Medicare and Medicaid?  http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/07/nation/la-na-gop-budget-20110408

Now, that I’ve spoiled your Easter with all my happy talk on my blog, have a happy Easter!

Bush Tax Cuts + Wars = A Deficit Problem

  • Posted on April 17, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Two peas in one proverbial pod!

Okay, it’s a simple math problem.  The Republicans would have us all believe that the deficit issue is because of the American people.  That’s right folks, you are the problem.  You are really the problem, if you are a union member and you work for the government.  You are not the problem, if you are a member of Congress or the head of some government entity because your position is so very necessary for the proper functioning of government.  You caught me laughing again!  You are so very “special” if you work for the military.  You don’t have to worry about losing your job because they’ll never cut enough to matter.  However, if you are a lowly Private in the military, it’ll be mostly talk about honor and bravery, less about money and benefits!

Rep. Dennis Kucinich says, “The geniuses on Wall Street decided that a certain amount of unemployment is necessary for the proper functioning of the economy.”  You must ask yourself a question.  Does your job fall under the category Dennis is talking about?  If it does, beware!  You could be next.  So, I’m thinking what does this mean?  It might explain why a friend of my son went in for a job interview thinking he was really competing for a job, when he really wasn’t.  It turns out, they weren’t really hiring at all at that time.  The business was just seeing what’s out there to hire.  Of course that isn’t how the posting was listed.  My son works for the company and was surprised to find out that they weren’t really hiring.  So, why would the economy benefit from a certain amount of unemployment?  Could it be that it makes people hungrier and willing to work for less?  You know less money, less benefits and more hours for less.  Who benefits under this scenario?  Certainly not the American worker!  Here is Dennis talking about the deficit and President Obama.

Dennis is right.  If we get more jobs going out there, there will be a bigger tax base.  Why have the politicians decided to focus on “contracting” government instead of focusing on job creation.  James Carville had that catch phrase, “It’s the economy stupid!”  Someone needs to be whispering these words into President Obama’s ears every day because for some reason, he hasn’t figured this out either.  Instead of going to the Republican playbook of tax cuts for the wealthy and reducing spending to cut the deficit, President Obama should be focusing on JOBS!

The other night I caught a bit of a program on the History channel about our collapsing infrastructure.  Here is just a taste of that program.  It’s a nightmare.  However, it’s not the Freddie Kruger kind where you watch it at the movies and know it’s not real.  This is a real nightmare that could have a profound effect on our lives.

We all remember the bridge in Minnesota.  Most of us know that the roads, bridges, sewer systems and many other structures in our states are failing.  So when our infrastructure truly is at risk, what are the politicians doing?  They are like Henny Penny screaming, “The sky is falling!”  Of course, the sky they are talking about relates to the deficit and the hole we have dug ourselves into.  They weren’t singing that tune back in December when they ushered in two more years of the Bush tax cuts and decreasing the amount we pay into social security by 2%.  This is corruption at its core.  There is a systematic effort here to destroy wages and benefits for the American workers while continuing to prop up business, banks and the super wealthy.  If the politicians and their cohorts can do enough damage to the American workers wages and benefits, we might have enough unemployed that will be willing work for peanuts.  Now, you might be wondering why this is important.  I’m thinking that the cost of fuel is far too high to ship things.  It only makes sense to produce things locally to save energy costs.  However, the wages have to be low enough so that business can make the type of profits they really want.  Those profits have to be big enough to be able to give out the big bonuses to the big bosses.

Now let’s get back to that equation, “Bush Tax Cuts + Wars = A Deficit Problem.”  War is very profitable.  One of the things that the politicians are really pushing for is PRIVATIZATION.  They want to privatize everything from health care to education.  They have already taken over our military.  This is happening throughout our government.  Tonight my sister asked me if I knew that while we have 50,000 troops in Iraq, did I know there are another 77,000 working with private companies.  Of course these aren’t military.  They are probably ex-military working for “for profit” companies that have been hired by the Department of Defense.  Of course, the American tax payer is still footing the bill.  Don’t be thinking we will be getting out of any of these wars too soon.  They are far too profitable for private businesses that are invested in them.

So, where are President Obama and the Democrats in all of this?  Our fearless leader is spending his time dangling carrot sticks at us at moments when he thinks we might be vulnerable.  He was “unaware” that his mike was on and he was being recorded recently.  He sure gave it to those Republicans in that private conversation, or so we have been led to believe.  As we get closer to the election of 2012, he will probably look more like he’s actually in charge.  So far in my book, he has looked like a wimp.  This is all window dressing for the next election.  My brother says he will win the election.  I don’t know if he will or he won’t.  However, I think it’s interesting that the Republicans and Democrats publicly sound so different, but when they get behind closed doors they both do everything they can to dismantle social programs, subsidize the rich with deep tax cuts and ignore the plight of the poor and they do it all on the backs of the middle class, or what’s left of the middle class.  Is the problem in our country really all about the deficit?  If it truly is about the deficit then what on earth were these two parties doing in December when they set us up with two more years of the Bush tax cut?

Here is another good piece from the Real News Network.  It’s an interview with William Black and you should watch it through the end.

Think back to what Dennis said about this being a transfer of wealth.  This is not about transferring wealth, like robbing the rich to give to the poor as in Robin Hood.  It’s all about taking from the majority and giving to the wealthy.  The government is giving tax breaks and tax cuts to the wealthy and they are also privatizing much in government and giving those no bid contracts to their buddies!  There is a constant drumbeat that we have to get on board whatever those “brains” in Washington think we must do to fix the economy.  Just remember those “brains” are listening to the geniuses on Wall Street!  Remember  William Black said, “Deficit hysteria has nothing to do with anything.”

The War on the American People

  • Posted on April 8, 2011 at 1:52 am

I heard Speaker Boehner say today that we are involved in three wars.  A thought immediately crossed my mind.  I thought there is a fourth war.  There is a war on the American people.  Legislation that is being crafted today is nothing but a war on the American people and life as we have known it.

I’m reading the book on France Perkins, “The Woman Behind The New Deal” by Kirstin Downey, and I came to the beginning of a chapter that really shook me up because it could have easily been written about today.  Here is that paragraph from page 197 of my paperback book:

By the time the Roosevelt administration came to power, the labor movement had disintegrated, with union membership falling to 5 percent of the workforce.  The American Federation of Labor had more than 4 million members in 1919 but fewer than 2 million in 1933.  Companies in the 1920s had set out to break the unions, and succeeded.  As joblessness mounted, the remaining workers faced falling wages and lengthened work hours.  Union leaders had to fight the insurmountable combination of implacable employers, a receding economy, and hostile courts.  Many lost hope.

So, let’s get back to that war that I’m talking about.  After WWII our country blossomed.  The GI bill allowed many people to go to college that would not otherwise have been able to go.  This was an investment in our country and something had to be done because there wouldn’t be jobs for everyone after the war anyway.  A lot happened to develop and improve industry in our country.  Through education many people were able to elevate their lives and gain that “American Dream”.  Today, all of that American Dream stuff is being assaulted.  The average American has a difficult time with normal life today because there are many things happening that make it difficult financially, from the cost of gas to wages to the cost of health care.

We are fighting in the Middle East and our focus, energy and money seem to all be put over there, not here.  The programs that helped get the “commoners” to the top are being systematically dismantled so there is no room for that American Dream.

The politicians have been using mind control on us for years.  I cannot repeat how many times I’ve heard how inept the government is at running anything.  The answer for these career politicians is to privatize everything they can get their hands on.  You might be thinking why they want to privatize everything.  I can give you one very good reason.  Many of the people we elect for Congress are super wealthy.  They own or are invested in many corporations.  These are the same corporations that will be running those private companies that will be running everything from Medicare, Medicaid and who knows what else to education.  http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/index.php

So, I asked my sister the other night who owns the Milwaukee Bucks?  I had been to the Open Secrets page I’m sharing with you and I thought who owns the Bucks as they are listed on the site first.  It’s Senator Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat.  Now, he may be a good guy.  I don’t really know.  I just know that it doesn’t seem to matter if they are Republicans or Democrats, many of them are just what I’m going to label “Richicrats”, you know the aristocrat, wealthy, people of our country.  They certainly aren’t you and me!

We have been told that private industry can make things cheaper because they have to compete for the job, unlike the government.  I find this interesting especially when you think about all of the no bid contracts that were happening in Iraq with private industry.  A lot of our military spending is on private corporations like Kellogg Brown and Root or Halliburton.  What is amazing is how much the military spending has increased in the last ten or so years.  http://armscontrolcenter.org/policy/securityspending/articles/fy11_growth_since_2001/

The only true “sacred cow” is the military, even though we spend a lot more money than any other nation.  http://armscontrolcenter.org/policy/securityspending/articles/US_vs_Global/

We sit back in fear and so we keep spending on that military.  We have been programmed that we must fight them over there, so we don’t have to fight them here.  We say, “Whatever it takes!” to keep us safe.  We can lose our liberty, our freedoms and now our way of life but hey, don’t you feel safe?

Many programs, formerly labeled sacred cows, are being dismantled by the government elite in the name of “saving our country”.  We have to “share the sacrifice”.  We have been told this and how is it being done?  Systematically, over a period of many years unions have taken a big hit.  Business went over seas and yep, it was the unions fault because after all they wanted too much money, so they had to go.  The private sector unions were hit first and now of course the public sector unions have to go.  This was a big first part of the plan.  Health care is another problem.  Business cannot pay for health care.  It costs too much.  What can we do about that?  Single payer might be a fair option but no, we have health care which is set up to continue to feed the “for profit” insurance industry.  This certainly does nothing for the rest of us.  What does Rep. Ryan want to do?  We’ll call it something else, like a shared sacrifice, which sounds so patriotic, but really it is dismantling Medicare and Medicaid and giving more money “vouchers” to the American people so they can “purchase” health insurance from yep, you got it, private insurance companies that are for profit.  Public education has been a bastion of our society.  I cannot even imagine our country without a good public education system.  So, over the last several years we have been told how bad education is in the United States.  What I find really interesting about this is how closely this talk aligns with the beginning of NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND.  If I was a cynical person, I might be thinking that NCLB was a smokescreen for the beginning of the dismantling of public education as we know it.  That couldn’t possibly be.  Could it?  Now, think about college education and how outrageously expensive it is to go to college today.  Our kids are stuck with an ungodly amount of debt if they go to school.  They end up being slaves to a system because they have to work to pay back their school loans.  They take whatever job they can get so they aren’t in default of their school loans.  What does Congress do about this?  They take away Pell grants and put many of those loans our kids are getting in the hands of for profit companies.  Our kids can’t get enough government loans, so they go the other route and they pay dearly.

Now the Republicans are hitting everything from the WIC program to Planned Parenthood.  Who might use these programs?  I know it won’t be any of them or their children because they don’t need them.  My friend at Modern School has put up a good post showing where all that money is going that he got from the Center for American progress.  I will be posting it here.

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/02/tax_breaks_infographic.html

Yes, let’s hit the most vulnerable Americans because they don’t have the power to fight back and hey, if they’re homeless, they won’t be voting anyway!  These greedy politicians have done a good job of getting us to look at our neighbors with an eye of scrutiny.  We see those lazy bums living near us that just don’t want to work.  We’ve been told that they just want to live off the government.  They’re useless.  They need to learn how to “pull themselves up by the bootstraps, stop whining and get to work” because after all we did!  I’m laughing as I’m writing this because if anyone has a problem with welfare it is the corporations that get the real welfare like bank bailouts and tax breaks beyond the scope of anything the little guy next door is ever going to get.  We have been told that the “job creators” have to be pampered or they will take their jobs somewhere else.  Guess what?  We pamper those job creators and they still take those jobs somewhere else.

This is the real war.  It’s an all out assault on the American people.  If you are lucky enough to have a secure job, you may think I’m a nut.  However, if you have ever had to think before you paid a bill because you’re not sure you can afford to pay it right now, or you have a kid in college, or you have a health emergency, think about what I’ve written.  So, here we are left with no hope.  We always thought if we got a good education, we could go far in this country.  Some still can, but it usually is based on who they know, not necessarily what they know.

However, there is one thing really interesting about all of this.  In my mind, I see wages falling and gas prices going up which could mean that manufacturing might be able to happen in this country again.  If the companies can get us down to where we are just happy to have a job, even if it pays peanuts, it might be more affordable for them to do business here.  After all, the cost of oil and gas is kind of restrictive for shipping costs.  We are being turned into a nation of cheap labor.  Instead of China joining us and growing their middle class, we are becoming a nation of the wealthy and everyone else.  Don’t worry about those factory jobs.  They’re probably coming back.  They just might be paying peanuts and you might have to get a couple of more jobs to pay for your home and utilities.  Don’t worry because your kids can always help out.    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/31/maine-republicans-seek-to-loosen-child-labor-laws/

Class Warfare

  • Posted on March 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm

When I was a kid one of my many brothers would climb up on our huge Maple tree and throw sticks and stones down on anyone that tried to claim his roost in HIS tree.  I mention this here today because it’s a good analogy for Republican politicians and their huge attempts at limiting the power of the poor and the middle class.  The buzzword is “reform”.  However, the reform is ONLY about limiting the power and ability of the poor and the middle class.  There is no mention of any kind of reform that really will have an effect on the wealthy or upper classes.  These reforms can be anything from workers’ rights to health care to even the judicial system.  The tort reform we always hear them talk about is set up to limit the ability of the disenfranchised to make a claim against anyone above their stature, which would be most people and corporations.  The Republicans have tried for years to limit the amount that can be received in a lawsuit for inadequate health care claiming that this is the reason health insurance costs so much.  I noticed the steep change in the cost of health insurance right after September 11th 2001.  Do you really think it had something to do with the changes in our health care providers or was it something to do with the drop in revenue the insurance companies felt from investments that tanked after that time?  Just remember that the health insurance industry is a for “profit” industry.  They exist to make a profit.  There may be some like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, my company, which are supposed to be non-profit.  However, they still pay their CEO a huge compensation. http://blogpublic.lib.msu.edu/index.php/2008/05/19/are-blue-cross-blue-shield-of-michigan-o?blog=5

Republicans like to claim that it’s all about personal responsibility and the need for people to pick themselves up by the bootstraps and of course that they, themselves, never had a helping hand.  We all know that is ludicrous because so many of them have been groomed for the positions and posts that they currently hold.  Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know that gets you to the top of that tree.  Most of us sitting under the branches of that proverbial Maple tree are lucky enough if we can get a small perch we can claim as our own.  However, those at the top aren’t very willing to share their perch because they feel a sense of indignation that anyone would want to claim what is rightfully “their” perch.  They earned it!  They are the self satisfied, bloated, corrupt individuals we all know that don’t care about what is in the best interest of the common good of all the people.  It’s what is in “their” best interest that really matters.  By golly they clawed their way to the top and you better too.  However, once they get to the top they work very hard at taking all of the supporting branches away that helped them get to the top.  You know those things like low interest student loans, Pell grants, public education, and any aid programs like heating assistance for the poor.

Many people have talked about class warfare for years.  The Republicans have accused Democrats of creating this warfare to get votes.  That part might be true because Democrats always talk about these things around election time.  However, neither party has done enough of what they could to elevate our society so that everyone can get a little branch on that tree.  True class warfare is really happening right now and it is being instigated by Republican politics.  We have been pressured into believing that we all have to “share” in some kind of sacrifice for the good of the country.  We have been living way beyond our means and we must pay the piper what is due.

No one has really pointed out something that I can see so clearly.  Most of us people sitting under the Maple tree don’t use much resources of any kind in our country.  Most of us are not flying off in our private jet wasting tons of fuel.  Most of us haven’t been to a government created airport in the last month.  We might fly once in awhile for a family vacation but we aren’t the ones using that airport like it’s our own home base.  However, we are paying for it.  Most of us aren’t living in gigantic houses sucking up our natural resources with our rich and famous lifestyles.  Most of us live quite conservatively by shutting off our lights and dialing down our furnace in the winter and up in the summer months.  Most of us pay our bills and do everything we can to not declare bankruptcy.  However, for the rich and famous, it can be done any time they get in a tight pinch.  The rest of us will pay for it because the banking industry will get their money back one way or another.  That famous rich guy will eventually think he should run for the presidency because he knows how to run a business, so how about doing the same with our country.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump

In my opinion the great leveler in society is a good education.  If you have a good education, you can go far in life.  You may not become a millionaire sitting at the top of that proverbial Maple tree but more than likely you will be able to create a decent life for you and your family.  The true key to solving poverty is in education.  The statistics here from my state are interesting.  As the education level goes up the poverty level goes down.  That makes a lot of sense, so why do all of these new Republican governors seem to want to take away from education to pay for their tax breaks for the corporations?  It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/STTable?_bm=y&-state=st&-context=st&-qr_name=ACS_2009_1YR_G00_S1701&-ds_name=ACS_2009_1YR_G00_&-tree_id=309&-redoLog=true&-_caller=geoselect&-geo_id=04000US26&-format=&-_lang=en

You can check your own state levels at these next two websites:  http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/STGeoSearchByListServlet?ds_name=ACS_2009_1YR_G00_&state=st&qr_name=ACS_2009_1YR_G00_S1701&_lang=en&_ts=317767762496

http://www.justneighbors.net/poverty-facts-your-neighborhood-who-my-neighbor

43 million people are below the poverty line in this country.  If you head on over here you will find some fascinating things to read but it won’t be surprising to most of you.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient

The Gini coefficient is a mathematical equation that basically shows the disparity between the income of the rich and the poor.  The closer the number is to zero, the more equal things are.  The closer the number is to 100, the more unequal things tend to be.  In 1929, you know during the times of the stock market fall and the beginning of the great depression the estimated number for the United States was 45.  We had a period after World War II when this number declined considerably.  This was a time when the middle class was really built and unions were a big part of that.  Since around 1980 we have gone back in decline with numbers as high as 46.9.  Most of us know there has been a change in who has more money and who has less.  This site just makes you think about things.  The rich just keep on getting richer and the poor keep trying to figure out how to strap those gold laced boots on to get to the top of that proverbial tree.

I always wonder why the wealthy seem to always want more.  They are already at the top of the tree, so you would think they wouldn’t mind letting some of that wealth trickle on down like Reagan assured us it was supposed to.  However, it turns out most millionaires don’t feel wealthy.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110314005921/en/Fidelity%C2%AE-Survey-Finds-Millionaires%E2%80%99-Outlook-Economy-Highest

I want all of you to stop laughing.  I know you are because it really is unbelievable.  Even those workers at Ford are sharing in the profits these days.  That would sound great if they hadn’t already given up so much.  The real slap in the face for Ford workers is that CEO pay!  Just check this article out.  The rich get richer and the rest of us get whatever happens to land our way and we thankfully take it!

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2011/03/mulally-bill-ford-share-fords-profts-big-time/1

Finally, here is more information that those Bush tax cuts really aren’t all their purported to be.  It turns out if you are in the top 10%, you probably did all right.  The rest of us, not so much!  This has the gap in income tax and it’s a great site to really research.

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=106

Unfortunately, we do have class warfare in this country.  The politicians take care of the corporations and the wealthy with the many tax loopholes and tax incentive plans while the rest of us are left to “share a sacrifice”, whatever the hell that means.  What it really means is that we will get less and the rich will continue to get whatever they want and need built off the backs of the middle class and dare I say the poor.  Those of us in the 90% are the ones that prop up everyone else.  We do our jobs whether it is teaching children, policing the world, scanning goods at the airport so the wealthy can continue to feel safe, or assisting them in their pursuit of more wealth.  We are factory workers, nannies, waiters and bus boys but the one thing we all have in common is proportionately we are greatly under paid, over worked and abused by a system that asks for continual sacrifice from us when the rich are expected to just get richer!

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures….or… Let’s just say the Republicans are in POWER!

  • Posted on March 13, 2011 at 12:10 am

Here in Michigan we are that sleepy old state that no one is paying attention to while everything seems to be going on in Wisconsin.  However, it seems like a coordinated battle plan has been drawn by many of the Republican governors in some very key political states all at the same time.  I don’t think this is a coincidence.  The main battles are taking place in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Florida but of course there is also New Jersey as well as other states that I’m not watching as closely as my own.  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/11/us-usa-unions-states-idUSTRE7295QI20110311

One of the things I find really interesting is how close these states have been in recent national political elections.  It seems that all of these governors are hell bent on destroying unions, teachers’ unions especially.  The NEA is the biggest of all.  It is the largest professional organization and labor union in the United States.  Republicans have criticized it for years as being a big supporter of the Democratic Party.  In Michigan the MEA has supported more Democrats but has also supported a few Republicans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUpO1QFMDtM

Here is more showcasing the sneaky underhanded tactics being used by these governors to push through their ideology much like Wisconsin’s Governor Walker pushed through his plan in the dead of night.

http://www.freep.com/article/20110311/NEWS15/103110454/0/ENT04/-100-cost-shield-Gov-Rick-Snyder-s-tax-proposal-from-voters?odyssey=nav|head

The obvious goal is about taking away the financial support to the Democratic Party and to create an environment where business can have whatever they want.  A few years ago at our school everyone read a book entitled, Whatever It Takes.  Of course that book was about educating students.  These governors are using techniques that embody that spirit of whatever it takes to destroy the middle class.  John Edwards always said he wanted to be the voice for the voiceless.  Well, we know John has been permanently derailed because of the choices he made with Rielle Hunter and the fact that the Democratic Party, much like the Republicans, really don’t care about the poor and the voiceless.  However, I must mention here that Newt Gingrich can double down on being bad to his many wives and still gets respect from the Republican Party.  The reason I mention John here is no one is speaking for the voiceless, the poor and the disenfranchised.  President Obama is working as hard as the Republicans at thinking up new ways to screw the poor and the middle class.  Just keep this tidbit in your mind as you read on because no politician is really speaking for the disenfranchised today.  All we hear from politicians is how we have to have a “shared sacrifice”.  I don’t want to get too sidetracked from things but I wonder why these politicians in the following post aren’t sacrificing.  They want everyone else to sacrifice.   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/08/wisconsin-state-senate-republicans_n_833058.html

The first time I heard about farm subsidies is back in the seventies when I was young.  I was watching the Johnny Carson show.  Johnny had John Wayne on his show.  John Wayne was laughing about how the government pays him not to farm.  Now that’s class warfare!  The current Republican governors all seem to want to give massive tax breaks to corporations; you know those entities that the Supreme Court fully recognizes for their “corporate personhood”.  It seems to me that for years I’ve heard Republicans chastising Democrats for creating “class warfare”.  The Democrats are always pointing out the massive divide between the rich and the poor.  Unfortunately, this only seems to happen around election time, but it’s enough to get the Republicans crying for mercy.  However, truthfully the Republicans have declared a sort of war on the middle class and the poor in this country.  The class warfare of today is created through governmental policies that cater to the whims of the wealthy and big corporations while slashing everything from education to any assistance to the poor or disenfranchised.  I have always believed the one thing that can help to elevate a society is a good education.  It is getting harder and harder to obtain that education when policies are in place to ensure that it fails.  Budget cuts to education are designed really to keep the poor and middle class where they belong, dumb and uneducated.  If enough people were truly educated in this country, they might do something about the sorry state of our democracy.  We hear all about how education is broken but truthfully if you want a good education in this country you better fix poverty.  I know right now there will be some narrow minded person sitting here reading this and thinking how the poor will always be with us.  That’s uncreative, small minded thinking in my book.  The great leveler in society is education because it opens many doors that would be otherwise closed.

If you will remember back to when President Bush was in office you will remember that we had all of those color coded alerts about potential terrorism in our country.  We were constantly kept in a state of fear and panic at the thought that a terrorist might be living next door to us.  These terror alerts were manipulating us during the 2004 election.  Whenever John Kerry would go up in the polls, a new terror alert would be announced and like the sheep we are we would do whatever we were alerted to do.  Today the constant drumbeat has been about those lousy pubic unions and how they are screwing up our society.  Yes, it’s the lousy teachers that suck the blood and life from our society.  Even though some of them may give hope to the hopeless, they are the new enemy of the poor.  If it wasn’t for those greedy teachers, the poor would have money.  Sometimes you know the enemy of your enemy is your friend.  Those Republicans have called for a moratorium on spending for anything that will help you or me.  However, if there is some new subsidy or tax break they can give to corporations and the wealthy they’ll get right on it because they still pretend to believe in Reaganomics where that “trickle down” theory was invented.  Truthfully, our society is becoming one of the wealthy and everyone else that are left to “attend” to the wealthy.  I’ve never been able to figure out why enough isn’t enough for the wealthy.  How many billions do you need?  That trickle down theory just doesn’t work because the richer someone at the top gets, the richer they want to be.  They don’t let it trickle down and the only way you are going to get it to trickle down is through government policies that ensure that it does.  Our “desperate times” are created by policies designed to make the rich get richer and screw the poor.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Unfortunately, we don’t truly know how desperate we all are until we get a Republican governor to show us!  I’ll leave you with the desperate people in Wisconsin that have done everything they can to make our country wake up to what’s really going on.  This clip includes Michael Moore on the Rachel Maddow show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYrv65HufIs

Here’s part 2 of that show!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvqQ_olFJ2U&feature=related

Social Security: You are entitled to your entitlement!

  • Posted on February 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm

President Obama and the Republicans are putting their collective brains together to figure out the best way to stick it to the American people on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  All the whining about Social Security is making me just a little bit angry.  There is a constant hum of information that is being pushed at the American people through the many propaganda machines to get us ready for the big changes to come in Social Security.  It’s an entitlement program which basically means that you have paid into it for many, many years and you are entitled to receive benefits from that money when you retire.  You faithfully did your part and now they want to change the game!

In December there was no worry about Social Security when the politicians put through the tax cut bill that included a 2% reduction in what you and I pay into Social Security.  Now if there’s a real problem with Social Security, why would anyone undercut that program even more?  That just doesn’t make sense to me, but of course I’m just a middle school art teacher!

This morning on “Morning Joe” Joe Scarborough said the American people get it.  In Florida Marco Rubio was voted into the Senate and he wants to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70.  So what might be going on with Florida?  From my perspective, it sounds more like the old people that live in Florida that already have Social Security don’t much care what the young people are going to do about Social Security in the future.  As long as those old folks, that do tend to vote, get their cake, they will be happy!

More and more it seems like the young people in our country are really getting the short end of the deal.  We dump everything on them.  These two unfunded wars have been dumped on the future.  We have a big deficit that will have to be dealt with by our future generation.  The unions are dead or dying so young people have to depend on business to have a sense of honor in paying them.  If you are a young person and you want to be a teacher today, expect to jump through many hoops, continue your schooling until you die, and end up with a reduced retirement package when you retire.  It’s probably like this in most other areas as well.

What really troubles me with the Social Security debate is the lack of real understanding of the American people and their circumstance.  President Bill Clinton used to say, “I feel your pain.”  However, most politicians don’t really have a clue what the American people are feeling today because they don’t live anything like you and me.

I’ll start with President Obama.  This is open information that is posted on the Whitehouse website.  http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/04/15/president-obama-and-vice-president-biden-s-tax-returns

If you look at President and Mrs. Obama’s tax returns for 2010, they really are not anything like the average American people.  When you have an income in the 5-6 million dollar ranges, you really have lost touch with people making anything under $100,000 let alone someone making $30,000 or less!  Now let’s check out the Congressmen and see what kind of money they’re sporting.  I apologize as these are 2009 figures but you will get the point.  http://www.rollcall.com/features/Guide-to-Congress_2009/guide/-38181-1.html Please note that our Representative Fred Upton is number 31 on the list.  He may sound like one of us but really is he like you?  If you want to check out another of the key player’s salary, Speaker of the House, Representative John Boehner’s net worth go here.    http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/otherdata.php?cycle=2010&cid=N00003675&type=I

You might be thinking this isn’t relevant but really it is.  We have heard for years how wonderful our government it.  You know all that, by the people, for the people, stuff.  We supposedly have gone beyond having to be property owners to vote and have a say in our elections.  However, the truth is those that have money run this country.  The rest of us just take care of those that have money.  We serve them.  They don’t serve us.  We always hear about their years of devoted service to our country.  All of us have devoted years of service to our country as well.  I teach the children of the future.  You may be a nurse, doctor, scientist, policeman, maid, waitress, soldier, or perform some other noble job, you serve your country.  You pay your taxes, you give to charity and you pay your bills.  You suck it up every time “they” want your children for war and trust me; they want your children as they sure don’t want to give their children for war!

Now they want all of us to just suck it up one more time.  Take those cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid like a man.  Do it for your country!  We all have to pitch in you know?  Many months ago I wrote a post that is worth linking back to.  http://www.ksvoboda.com/?p=317

In it I asked the wealthy to step up for our country.  It didn’t happen because the wealthy are doing the legislating!  They aren’t going to step up.  The best thing we could do is to have a revolution like Egypt and get rid of Congress and start over!  The young people really should be marching because much of what is happening and will happen will be put on them for an even bigger burden.  If you are a young college kid or just out of college a couple of years, you probably have a mountain of school loan debt already.  Do you really need to take on the debt of the clowns working in Washington D.C. too?  Every time one of them opens their mouth and moves their lips, rest assured they’re probably lying to us.  I don’t trust any of them.  At this rate we will continue to spend more money on the Defense Department and Homeland Security and less and less on education, or any of the “ENTITLEMENT” programs!  I hope I’ve given you something to think about.

The Economy of Fear and Scare

  • Posted on September 9, 2010 at 10:26 pm

I’m tired of the same old recycled scare tactics I keep reading and hearing about.  Under President George W. Bush we all had to worry about our neighbors, who could be terrorists.  We spent many years wondering how we might possibly be blown up by some half crazed terrorists that hate us for what we stand for.  If you are a teacher you even helped in this mass indoctrination by jumping through hoops at your school to assure school safety.  You may have had to listen to police officers explain to you how easy it is for a terrorist to enter your school even if you live in the middle of no where land.  In fact you were probably told they like those places the best because it would be so unexpected.  We have been wrapped up in this fear for almost ten years.  In those years we have agreed to be checked and prodded in lines like cattle, scanned like a piece of meat at the grocery store, and put under the watchful eye of “Big Brother” through numerous well placed videos all in an attempt to keep our “freedoms”.

When Bush was in office we all heard about the many color coded terrorist threats.  I cannot even remember what they all mean any more but much like a thermometer as the color went up so did the threat of a terrorist attack.  For as many “second in command” for Osama Bin Laden that we have killed in these two wars, there were always more we were supposed to worry about.  They were like a never ending supply of rats.  Where there was one, there must be many more.

Today we don’t hear so much about this threat.  Now we have new threats, usually related to our health and well being, to worry about.  If we aren’t hearing about eggs and salmonella, Swine flu, or some other disease then we are worrying about bed bugs and other insect carrying diseases.  It’s a good thing they passed the health care bill because by the sounds of it, we should all be ready for an epidemic of mass proportions.  We were all encouraged to get our flu shots, the H1N1 and the regular one because we were all going to be falling down in the streets dying like flies.  A few years ago we were even worrying about “SARS”.

This all makes me think about fear.  FDR always said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  The truth is we have everything to fear in a society filled with fear mongering.  The government has tried everything they could to keep the masses under control.  They did a pretty good job using the churches for this for many years, but since most people don’t go to church on a regular basis any more, the churches haven’t been doing the best job of keeping us compliant and complacent.  In comes mass media to make sure we are kept on our toes about the next big thing to fear.  If we are kept fearful we are less apt to make any waves.  It just makes sense that we aren’t going to rock any boats about much of anything, if we fear everything.

Today I would have to say most people are fearful about the economy and what the future holds for them.  This type of fear is really powerful because it can even get normally powerful unions to bow to the acceptance of nothingness.  No, don’t make any waves because the next wave could be the loss of your job.  We will be compliant little workers doing what we’re told and jumping through hoops to do the best darn job we can do.  We will make ourselves irreplaceable, even though that just isn’t possible, by working harder for less and pretending to love every minute of our self proclaimed diet of hard work.  We will be compliant and complacent because we saw what happened to the last guy that opened his mouth and said something.  This economy is good for business because it makes sheep out of workers.  George Bush always had the philosophy that expected more but paid less.  This is what has happened in our society.

With so many people out of work or working at a job that is beneath their skill set, many are left just hanging on and working hard to be productive workers.  This is good for business.  Business gets far more from their workers when the workers are afraid of losing their jobs.  No one wants to be the last one, because the future is so unsure.  It also helps if you have friends in high places.  This is a good time to “know someone” on the inside.  Nepotism is the wave for any job opening today.  It can get your foot in the door even if you aren’t the most qualified person for the position.  However, you will usually still have to do the job once you get it.  None of this sounds fair and of course it’s not good for the worker because the worker is stuck just taking what he can get.  It makes it a tough time to ask for a raise or any increased benefits because you’re going to hear that old line about how times are tough.  You know they’re tough as you’ve been living those tough times.

This is the state of our economy.  It is the economy of fear.  The government wants to keep us compliant and complacent.  We can’t mass protest anything that really matters these days because what really matters is putting food on the table for your family.  No one wants to draw attention to themselves to the point where they may lose their job, so any real protests are going to have to be done by the unemployed.

While all of this is happening, the government continues to tell us our children are not educated.  Our children won’t be able to compete in the future because they don’t know enough science and math.  We are living in a global economy, so our technology jobs have to go to India where they are so much more educated.  This once again is                  indoctrination.  Our children have to stay in school because there are no jobs for them.  When they graduate from college they usually have to take a job that is beneath their ability, so they can pay for their student loans.  They may go to grad school because they can’t find adequate work.  They may go work in the family business because face it, that family business is going to take care of their own first.  It is difficult for young people today.  If they go to college, they may not find adequate work and if they don’t go to college they obviously won’t find adequate work.

So what is the answer to all of this gloom and doom about the economy and fear of everything?  I admit I don’t necessarily know the answers.  However, I do know when something smells foul, it probably is spoiled.  When the government and the mass media continually beat that dead horse about young people being uneducated, I will continue to put on my thinking cap and think about what might really be happening.  There is a shortage of jobs right now and every year young people are graduating from high school and college looking for work.  If the old were to retire earlier then there would be more jobs.  That was part of the philosophy here in Michigan when incentives were made for early retirement for teachers this past year.  Of course the government ended up putting the cost of this onto the backs of employed teachers by requiring them to pay 3% more into their retirement without any included benefit for that “tax”.

Many economists have falsely claimed that social security is broken, needs fixing, etc.  They of course want to privatize it.  There are easy fixes involved for this by taking the cap off social security but also instead of requiring workers to work longer, there could be incentives made to retire earlier.  If that happened, maybe there would be more work for young people.  Now, I’m just throwing this stuff out there because the mass media seems to do a good job of throwing enough crap at us until something sticks, so I thought I’d play that game as well.

The government hasn’t been able to find a way to solve this economic problem that we are facing.  We need to think about other alternatives to getting our economy moving again.  If people retired earlier, they would spend some of that retirement money and get it back into the economy.  They’d take trips, maybe buy a second home and of course have to furnish that home.  All of this would tie into getting this economy moving again.  The young people would also be spending money and buying homes and having families because they have a JOB and can now be productive citizens of society.  Too often the government is worried about giving anything to the masses, so they probably won’t consider my plan.  They’d rather spend all the money on bailouts for banks and corporations; you know their “peeps”.  However, if you took that money that was used to bailout the banks and had given it back to the people, I bet there would have been more movement with the economy.  My son bought a place because of the tax incentive.  His dad bought a car because of the tax incentive.  Those were incentives that helped some people but of course not those without jobs.

I think we need to look at this picture a whole different way.  We must find a way to get out of this recession, depression or whatever the government chooses to label it.  All I know is this is a bad time for our country and we need to find answers that work.  Some will say my idea is crazy but at least it’s an idea.  Lately, it seems like those in government just aren’t doing anything at all and hoping the problem will heal itself or will simply go away.  I don’t think that is going to happen.  One thing the government needs to stop is all of the fear mongering.  I’m tired of being told to fear everything from my neighbors to the food I eat to even my job.  If we are to solve our economic problems we are going to have to work together for the good of all.  That means Democrats and Republicans need to quit playing these “fear” games and start pushing programs that will benefit the economy.  This doesn’t mean tax cuts for the wealthy either.  We have to pay for these two wars that have been unfunded and we have to boost the economy.  That isn’t going to happen with cutting those taxes.

So my basic idea is to give incentives for early retirement for Social Security.  It is the opposite of course from what we are being programmed to think!  This is plain and simple enough in its concept, but of course we would have to remove the cap on Social Security so those making much more money would be expected to pay more into it.  When Social Security was originally developed it was used to help take care of the elderly and of course provide more jobs for the young through the retirement of the elderly and the administration of the program.  This would be the same concept as before.  We are at a time in our history when people are struggling.  Some people that are unemployed are very close to retirement age, but not close enough.  We could lower the age for those people or we could give incentives for people that are older, so they don’t have to wait until they’re 70, to get enough money to live on.  We have been bleeding jobs out of our country for years.  If people are expected to work longer and longer until they’re 70 or so, how on earth can we, as a country, make up the jobs that need to be replaced?  If the old are expected to keep working, we will continue to struggle with providing enough jobs for everyone.  In a perfect world the same amount of people that retire are replaced with new workers.  In our world, we are expected to work longer for less.  Young people are magically expected to find some new job that probably doesn’t exist in our country.  If we had a growing economy, this might be possible, but as it is right now we are not creating enough jobs to fill these needs and of course many of our jobs have gone overseas.  I personally think this could help a lot of people from the young to the old.  Of course the people making the big salaries will have to pay more for this to happen.  I think it’s time for the wealthy of this country to ask not what this country can do for them, but what they can do for our country!

http://www.ssa.gov/history/briefhistory3.html

Have You Taken Your Hate Pill Today?

  • Posted on August 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm

You have a choice to make: Hate and fear or more of the same. This is not an easy choice.

I’ll be the first one to tell you I have no love for the Democrats because they stole my primary vote on May 31st, 2008.  However, as much as I dislike the Democrats the Republicans are infinitely worse!  If you are thinking of voting those Republicans back in power really give some thought to what it would mean to the health of this country.  They are political obstructionist that won’t pass any legislation that might get this country moving again.  They deserve to be booted out of office, period!  If you are thinking about voting for a Republican just watch this video from the 2008 election.  It’s pretty snarky but pretty true.  Think about poor BP when you watch this as some Republicans felt so sorry for them.

When Ronald Reagan was President my mother used to say, “Have you taken your hate pill today?”  The Republicans were always good at breeding hatred.  They like stirring that proverbial pot of hatred and fear.  With the up coming November election I find it very interesting that we are discussing everything except what needs to be discussed, the economy.  This past week is a fine example of the smoke and mirror politics that continues to prevail in our country.  While most people are more concerned about the health of the economy, we are busy hearing talk about September 11th and whether a Muslim cultural center should be built a couple blocks from the World Trade Center site, whether President Obama is a Muslim and whether we should repeal the 14th amendment.  I, for one, am tired of the same old scare tactics that Republicans have always used to get people in line to vote for them in the next election.

The truth is both parties have problems but Republicans brought us to the brink of disaster and it is not time to reward them for that behavior.  It was Republican policies that lead us to this disastrous economy.  We have been told for years by Republicans that old tired theory of the “trickle down” economy.  We, as a country, have been rewarding the wealthy with tax breaks and special deals in the hope that one day all of it would trickle down to the little guy.  That hasn’t happened and it never will.  Republicans are good at changing the subject during an election cycle.  Currently, we should be talking about ways to move the economy and what are we doing?  Once again we are spreading hate and fear with the help of Republicans.  It’s popular now to hate Muslims.  After all they have that crazy religion and the women all look like nuns so it’s easy to pick on them.  We also hate those cute little brown babies the illegal Mexicans give birth to just so they can stay in this country.  You know the “anchor babies”.  I wonder how long those Repubs set around thinking that one up. President Obama must be a Muslim after all his skin is dark, his father was a Muslim and his name is so different.  What if the President really were a Muslim?  What happened to freedom of religion?  Many people could care less about religion but when it comes to politics it becomes an issue.

The Republicans breed hatred and fear.  They have hated gays for years and have done everything they could to obstruct gay rights issues during the political campaign seasons.  There are many gays that are practicing Republicans such as the “Log Cabin Republicans” but in my book they are all hypocrites that help to breed hatred and fear.  The abortion issue has been settled law since 1973.  It’s about a woman’s “choice” and yet this issue has been continually used by the Republicans to get votes.  They aren’t interested in really repealing the issue as it is settled law but they are interested in getting people riled up so they go out and vote Republican.

FDR famously said, “The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.”  Republicans want you to fear everything so you will vote for them to take care of you.  We are to fear our neighbors because they might be Muslims, illegal aliens, or heaven forbid “terrorists”!  We are supposed to watch each other like psychos on the “Big Brother” show but this big brother is the government of Republicans.  We are also to fear the government as it is bad.  The government doesn’t know how to do anything.  They fail at everything they do including education so naturally you don’t want the government to do anything.  This is the plan of the Republicans.  Fear the government but make sure you keep those tax cuts for the wealthy because if you don’t you will lose your job when they fire you.  Fear that dumb voters!  Hate brown colored people and crazy pro-choice women but most of all hate Democrats because they want to tax you and take your money away.  Republicans breed hatred and fear.  I’m a positive person.  I don’t hate and I refuse to fill my life up with fear.  I know the Democrats aren’t much better than the Republicans but at least they don’t breed hatred and fear.  I can live with that.

I just had to add this today to this post!  I guess I’m not the only one that thinks the Republicans are the party of hate!

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