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Sun May 31, 2015 at 02:10 PM PDT

JEB: Push Retirement Age to 70

by joelgp

Reposted from joelgp by Bruce Webb

Although we have FIFTY-11 cons running for president, they all have the exact same message AND IT SUCKS:

1. Take from the poor to support the rich
2. Take away freedoms from women
3. Treat immigrants like dirt
4. Take healthcare away from millions of Americans
5. And, send "yo chillen" to fight their wars

So, we shouldn't be shocked when Jeb told Bob Schieffer this:

“We need to look over the horizon and begin to phase in, over an extended period of time, going from 65 to 68 or 70,” he added. “And that, by itself, will help sustain the retirement system for anybody under the age of 40.”

And even though we know this is his true plan, I bet you Trump's hair that he'll walk this back by tonight.


Reposted from Moody Loner by Bruce Webb

Remember back in January when the Republicans banned Social Security reallocation in their new rules legislation?

Remember how that was going to cut the income of people on Social Security Disability by twenty percent?

Speaking for myself, a disabled person unable to work and on disability, a twenty percent reduction in income will take my family from our current barely-squeaking-by in damn near the cheapest place to live in California right back to the food and housing insecurity we had since Arkansas.

Or we're going to have to move to Arkansas or, God help us, Mississippi because there's nowhere else in the country we'd be able to afford to live.

And just because everything my wife has tried to do to earn income in the past five years has failed doesn't mean she isn't still trying.

So what is it? Did something happen to solve that reallocation issue when I wasn't looking? Because I sure can't find it on Google, and if nothing has we'd better start packing.



Sat May 23, 2015 at 10:55 AM PDT

Bernie Sanders is for AMERICA

by StewartAcuff

Reposted from StewartAcuff by Bruce Webb

I’m fixing to deal with some grown up truth right now and I’d appreciate it if you’d hear me out.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders is my friend and my candidate for President of the United States. Even if I didn’t know him, he would still be my candidate for president.

He is as honest as the day is long. He says what he means and means what he says. He stands up for you and me every time he has a chance. He stands up for people who will never vote, because he believes in loving your brother and sister. He is fearless, honorable, and American to the marrow of his bones.

You will hear his enemies and those who are trying learn about who he really is call him a “socialist.” Bernie will not deny it.

Give me a minute to say what that means. EVERYTHING that has ever been good for average Americans has been called socialism, and those who promoted it were called socialists and often deported.

Dr. WEB DuBois

Dr. WEB DuBois was the first African-American to earn a doctorate from Harvard. He spearheaded the founding of the NAACP. His lifelong advocacy of civil rights earned him the title of socialist and deportation to Ghana in West Africa. The BULK of his IDEAS were incorporated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. All Americans speak of him with respect now.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was called a socialist by the entire Financial Elite for his policies that helped the American people, and lifted America out of the Great Depression.

Social Security was labelled socialism when first introduced.

Industrial Workers of the World

President Woodrow Wilson and Attorney General John Palmer arrested almost 4000 activists, most of them members of the Industrial Workers of the World and deported many of them for being socialists, because they went on strike repeatedly for the 8 hour day (we now call that overtime). They fought for the right to organize or join a union, which became law in 1935, and for free speech, the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The 8 hour day was once considered socialism.
All trade unionists were once considered socialists.

Dr. King was hounded by the FBI and called a socialist.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, which built a series of dams on the Tennessee River in the Depression to provide electricity to the Southern United States was called socialist.
The Rural Electric Administration brought electricity into the homes of Southerners — which is why my grandfather had electricity but no indoor plumbing — was called socialist.
Upton Sinclair and his famous novel about conditions in meat packing plants were called socialists.
• Health and safety for workers and consumers were called socialism.
Medicare and Medicaid were called socialism.
The Voting Right Act and the Civil Rights Act were called socialism.

Since Bernie entered the public fray as a political candidate for average Americans, we have seen passage of the Affordable Care Act which was called socialism, the Federal Medical Leave Act which was called socialism, and President Obama — who is often loudly called a socialist.

By the standards of the radical right-wing, Bernie Sanders is a socialist. By my standards he’s a great American who wants to improve the lives of all Americans, and in that way strengthen the core of America.

I reckon someone will call this Christian, Bible believing, Jesus worshiping, Tennessee poor boy who’s daddy was a Baptist preacher a socialist now.

Image sources: public domain, Labor411 and Bernie Sanders

Reposted from The flash that might start a wildfire. by Bruce Webb

Hi, friends. There are, like, eight other posts that I’ve been drafting, but this is a way more pressing matter. It is a call to action and a call for help.

I mentioned in my last post that I started to assist a woman named Flora who has ALS. I knew when I signed on that I would be helping her, not as a caretaker, but with administrative tasks. Emails, finding gifts for family and friends, organizing her bills as they come in, that sort of thing.

I was also aware that Flora had hired a lawyer to help her in her fight to receive Social Security Disability benefits. One she had been fighting since October 2014, six months after she had to leave her job at Warner Brothers because she could no longer work. (If you didn’t know, that’s how Disability works–you have to be out 6 months before you qualify to receive anything.)

I started working with her in February. It’s May, and she still hasn’t received a penny of her benefits.

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Reposted from Daily Kos by Bruce Webb
Man holding Social Security sign

Here's why Social Security needs to be front and center in the 2016 campaign and why Democrats need to embrace the idea of not just protecting Social Security but expanding it. It's from Gallup and it's sobering.
Although the Social Security program continues to face long-term funding challenges, U.S. nonretirees are more likely to say Social Security will be a major source of income in their retirement than they have been at any point in the last 15 years. The current 36% of nonretirees expecting to heavily rely on Social Security is roughly 10 percentage points higher than a decade ago.
Chart showing percentage on non-retirees who expect Social Security to be the major portion of their retirements
In addition to the 36 percent who say they will have to rely primarily on Social Security, 48 percent say it will be a minor but necessary source. But then there's the reality of actual rather than future retirement: "This year, 59% of retirees say Social Security is a major income source for them. Though the percentage has varied in any given year, a majority have said this each time Gallup has asked the question."

What does it mean to say Social Security is the primary income source for the majority of retirees? It means those retirees are living at about 30 percent over the poverty level. The average benefit for retired workers, disabled workers, and aged widows and widowers on Social Security in December 2014 was  $1,300 a month, or $15,500 a year. That's not very much, and that's why the discussion has to shift from cutting Social Security to expanding it. The big demographic shift we're facing with more babyboomers retiring makes it even more critical. As a nation, we can't morally or economically afford to have that whole segment of our population living in near-poverty.

Reposted from Joan McCarter by Bruce Webb
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) holds a news conference after he announced his candidacy for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, on Capitol Hill in Washington April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst  - RTX1B0A5

Entitlements, John Harwood says, are a key element in 2016 politics, mostly focusing on the Republican side and who can win the austerity race. There's a larger question he's not getting though. Here's the core of his piece.

Social Security and Medicare consume more than 40 percent of federal spending. The trustees of the programs, beseeching lawmakers to shore up their finances, project that they will swell to 11.5 percent of the entire economy within 20 years, compared with 8.4 percent in 2013. Yet the debate in Washington has been frozen since President Obama and the House speaker, John A. Boehner, failed to strike a “grand bargain” on tax and spending levels.

The pressures of the presidential campaign have revived the conversation. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, badly wounded by scandal, chose the entitlement issue as a way to jump-start his prospects among conservative Republican primary voters. “It’s time to tell the truth about what we need to do,” he said in New Hampshire last month. His bracing proposal: Raise the retirement age, increase Medicare premiums for affluent retirees and eliminate Social Security payments to beneficiaries with $200,000 of other annual income.

Meanwhile, he sniffs, "Democrats, with an entirely different constituency, have begun talking about increasing benefits," pointing out that it's central to Sen. Bernie Sanders' platform, and that Hillary Clinton is sure to jump on board. Oh, those pandering Democrats. Even President Obama, he points out, "like Mr. Christie […] has proposed higher Medicare premiums for the affluent; like Mr. Cruz, he has expressed a willingness to accept curbs on inflation increases in Social Security benefits." There you go, your Beltway media platonic ideal of bipartisanship: the willingness to screw over the olds.

Maybe Sanders and Clinton do have a "different constituency" but there's more to this than the horserace. There's the growing realization among Democrats—finally!—that they don't have go along with the austerity fetish and deficit peacockery. It's a reflection that they've come to the realization that the middle class is endangered, and that along with that, retirement security is becoming a thing of the past. But they're also seeing that it can be regained. They're finally getting that there are ways to address the deficit that don't involve hurting the vulnerable even more, and that there's a pretty straightforward solution in just making the tax system more equitable and save and strengthen these key programs, and that includes lifting the cap on payroll taxes that fund Social Security.

Now, Sanders and (hopefully) Clinton and Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen certainly all recognize that there's a real political advantage in this for them, too. But there's real debate here to be had, where good politics and good policy converge. Maybe the traditional media will even get in on it eventually.

Reposted from Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. by Bruce Webb

How about this for some super-charged "grassroots" support?

Already, one super-PAC pledging to promote Sanders' candidacy, "Ready for Bernie Sanders 2016" [their Facebook Page] is ramping up its visibility now that Sanders is in, and renaming itself "Bet on Bernie." The founder, a man named Cary Lee Peterson, said he expects to spend about $50,000 on a Times Square billboard supporting Sanders. Peterson, in a telephone interview, said he doesn't actually know Sanders but admires his background and positions, and that, with Sanders now an official candidate, he's been contacted by about 5,000 volunteers and received about $58 million in pledges -- but so far has only about $2,000 in hand.

     Ready for Bernie Sanders 2016 -- Political Organization

What's good for the geese, just may be good enough for the gander ...

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Reposted from OutOnALimb by Bruce Webb
America is going through great changes. We always have done so -- it is the nature of our nation, and the nature of the times. But this is a recent phenomenon. In ancient eras, it could be millennia between great social transformations -- the discovery of fire, the invention of hunting or agriculture, the creation of the nation-state. Today, changes of comparable scale happen at least every generation, perhaps every decade.

How do Americans feel about where we are, where we've been, and where we are going? How accurate are their perceptions? America was built on the concept of giving one's descendents a better world than one inherited. Is that idea still possible?

Let's start with an overview of where we are, and how we feel about it. Gallup polling furnishes a wealth of data we can draw upon to form some idea of how Americans feel about our present, our recent past, and our future. In another article, I'll present some long-term objective data about where we have been and where we are likely to end up. For now, let's take a snapshot of how Americans are feeling.

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Wed May 06, 2015 at 01:24 PM PDT

Will this make you angry?

by Vet63

Reposted from Vet 65 by Bruce Webb

Economic Security for Seniors: Fact Sheet via @NCOAging
Earlier this week, I wrote about Bernie Sanders, a few read it. I want you to know the pain
happening now in the neighborhood where you live by many senior citizens.

Do any of you know a senior citizen over 70 working because they have to?

I know an 80-year-old woman who just got hired at an arts and crafts store. She has a small mobile home with a beautiful garden Her husband has passed, and she lives on $800 a month. Her mobile home park just raised monthly dues that all must pay to live
in the park.

She has a bad back, poor eyesight, and goes to the food bank. The ACA gives her medical care.The quality of medical care is poor because the clinic is overflowing with customers and too few caregivers.

The food bank helps with her food. She can sew and is a great cook. She reminds me of
my Grandmother.

Over 20 million senior citizens live in poverty in America right now. Millions of seniors have to go to a food bank or get charity care. My 68-year-old friend cleans two houses a day. She scrubs toilets, cleans shit, waxes floors by hand sometimes.

I've now met a senior citizen with a sign. Her eyes stare at the ground. She seems so ashamed.

I'm ashamed that people over 70 are treated with such little respect. I'm ashamed I live
In a country that cares so little for the elderly poor. I'm ashamed we are not expanding
Social security payments to at least equal the amount of money that defines a person as
poor.If you earn less than $1,000 a month as a single person you are poor( source
Government charts).

I hope you're saving money, planning for "the golden years. Bernie will never be president, and Social Security will probably go up less than 2 percent a year. I get Social Security disability.

Get angry, fight for your grandparents, fight for you so life will be better when you get old. Expand Social Security payments to $1.500 a month for every Senior and let them have special rates for everything. Give all Social Security people the same as I have on disability. Make these
new benefits begin at age 70.

Your grandparents should not have to beg or want. We owe them that



Sun Apr 26, 2015 at 11:12 AM PDT

The Failure of Privatization

by T C Gibian

Reposted from TCG by Bruce Webb

Sell Yosemite! Dump the Post Office, the prison system, education, Social Security!!  Conservatives have been pushing this agenda for decades, insisting that private ownership would increase efficiency, but would it?

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Reposted from Phoenix Woman by Bruce Webb

Most publications geared towards Federal employees are pretty honest, straightforward, and trustworthy.  

Then there's "FedSmith".

FedSmith seems to be run by and stuffed with writings from people who think that Feds are the scum of the earth.  It's so bad that half the time, the main reason to read FedSmith is for its comments sections, which often have better and truer information than the articles to which they're attached.

Case in point: Their mendacious attack on Elizabeth Warren, who they accuse of "throwing seniors under the bus" with her Social Security legislation.

Follow me past the orange smoke for more.


Social Security is:

2%1 votes
87%35 votes
10%4 votes

| 40 votes | Vote | Results

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Reposted from john s mill by Bruce Webb

In between the Benghazi attacks/ hearings and the Clinton Foundation throwing in a little email controversy, you will see and hear “tired old ideas”, “yesterday’s news”. A not so subtle way to point to Hillary’s age.

Rather than talk about Nation Inquirer gotcha stories or naming calling, let’s talk about one of those “tired old ideas” – Social Security.

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