Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hey, Babes, Let's Network!!

I've always envisioned all the bloggers across the country as a force of almost unimaginably massive proportions to be reckoned with - thousands or ever hundreds of thousands of individual writers with their own personal outlets, who can if they want reach almost every human being with a computer all across the country and even around the world. That is, to me, what blogging is all about, or should be.

So now I'm asking you to help me fulfill that dream by reposting the following information. You see, the Republicans have been trying to defeat Social Security ever since it was first created in 1935 - in fact, some of them have made it their life's work to try to do so. But obviously so far, they have failed.

But they're still trying to this day - and for reasons that so far escape me, some of the high-level pundits whose work I usually admire seem to believe that somehow, this time, they may actually have a chance to pull it off.

So spread the word, far and near, spread it loud and permit no bullshit to get in your way: Social Security is NOT going away, and any politician who votes for it to be repealed does so at peril of his career.


I DIDN'T WRITE THIS. BUT I SURE DO WANT IT SPREAD. PLEASE HELP!!!! And you can cut&paste the links at the bottom of the page if you want further information.

I'd love to see this on every blog in America. Except of course the right-wing ones. That's never gonna happen!
Social Security is under attack and we need to fight back against the lies.

Have you heard that Social Security is going bankrupt? Driving up the deficit? In crisis?

Well none of that is true. These are all myths that opponents of Social Security have been spreading to scare people into accepting benefit cuts this fall. But the myths are taking hold—so we have to fight back with the facts.

So we've put together a list of the top five myths about Social Security, along with the real story. Can you check out the list and then share it with your friends, family, and coworkers?

Share the list by going to If you're on Facebook, share it by clicking here. If you're on Twitter, tweet it here.

Top 5 Social Security Myths
Myth #1: Social Security is going broke.

Reality: There is no Social Security crisis. By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.6 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a 'T'). It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it'll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits—and again, that's without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers' retirement decades ago.2 Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.

Myth #2: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.

Reality: This is a red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than they did 70 years ago.3 What's more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly—since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4 But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut.

Myth #3: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security.

Reality: Social Security doesn't need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here's a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share. If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6 But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.

Myth #4: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs

Reality: Not even close to true. The Social Security Trust Fund isn't full of IOUs, it's full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market—which would have been disastrous—but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.

Myth #5: Social Security adds to the deficit

Reality: It's not just wrong—it's impossible! By law, Social Security's funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can't add one penny to the deficit.8

Defeating these myths is the first step to stopping Social Security cuts. Can you share this list now?

Thanks for all you do.

–Nita, Duncan, Daniel, Kat, and the rest of the team


1."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010

2. "The Straight Facts on Social Security," Economic Opportunity Institute, September 2009

3. "Social Security and the Age of Retirement," Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010

4. "More on raising the retirement age," Washington Post, July 8, 2010

5. "Social Security is sustainable," Economic and Policy Institute, May 27, 2010

6. "Maximum wage contribution and the amount for a credit in 2010," Social Security Administration, April 23, 2010

7. "Trust Fund FAQs," Social Security Administration, February 18, 2010

8."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Paul Krugman copies me

by Rich Miles

A most remarkable thing happened this morning. I mean really remarkable. I've often had major thoughts about stuff before anyone in the MSM does (I predicted the major gum-up in the intelligence community, and its concomitant huge expense, years ago, for instance), but rarely if ever has there been any proof of this. If I let the thought go by without expressing it, I was screwed - no one knew I'd had this profound thought.

But today, Paul Krugman wrote on the same topic (mostly) that I did yesterday: The attempted rehabilitation of George W. Bush, all the while using that rehab to make Barack Obama into the Great Satan.

Dr. Krugman, Nobel Prize winner, is impressing me more and more, though he's been a brilliant man for a long time now. He recognizes the little stuff inside the big stuff, and tells us about it, all the while informing it with the big picture.

But today's Krugman column tells secrets that the repugs don't want you to know - that they're not only not working with the president to make America better, they're actually working against him, and seeking to bring back the Bush administration, the one that almost broke America completely.

I mean, what the hell is it with these people, and what was it about Bush that made them so keen to get him, or at least his ideologies, back in place in America? I've said before that Reagan was never a charismatic figure, and if Reagan wasn't, then Bush damn sure wasn't. So it isn't that he was such a towering public figure.

Are we as a nation and a people so venal, so self-absorbed, so lacking in perspective that we'll vote for a politician who will destroy the rest of the country, as long as he promises to lower taxes? Is that all that matters to us any more, lower taxes?

Read Dr. Krugman today. See if his premise doesn't scare hell out of you. I think it just might. Karl Rove is speaking publicly again. That alone should make you wee yourself.

And I'm quite sure that there are interests in this country - self-interests, mostly - who would love to see another Bush era. Because it would benefit them. Never mind the deep damage it would do the country. We have become a nation of selfish bastards, and there are those - quite a few of them actually - who are trying to make sure we stay that way.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Questioning Authority

by Rich Miles

Let me ask you fuckin' repugs something:

(Hey, I like that - fuckin' repugs. Think I'll use it more often.)

So anyway, let me ask you something: Why are the additions to the federal deficit created by Obama and other Democrats so important and so dire, when 8 YEARS of deficit creation by Bush and his fuckin' repugs were never spoken of with so much as a discouraging word?

Why was Bush allowed not only to spend zillions of dollars, but to KILL OUR CHILDREN, in a cause that had nothing to do with the attacks on our soil of Sept. 11, 2001?

Why was that all right, but Obama's efforts to get the country and its people back on something resembling an even keel are not to be tolerated?

Now don't get me wrong - I don't like the idea of deficit spending any more than the next guy. But why was it all right for the God Bush to do it, including that stinkin' war we're still in today, the longest war in American history, but it's not all right for Obama to spend even more, even though he's making a (so far insufficient) effort to put people back to work, which is our real problem now?

And why is it not as obvious to you as it is to us that the entire Bush the Younger administration was about NOTHING more than robbing America - stealing as much of her substance as possible in 8 years, and doing rather a damned good job of it at that?

Dear fuckin' repugs, don't you know this is what infuriates us about you the most? Your inconsistency, your ability to let the sins of your leaders pass by unremarked, while the sins (or not) of our leaders are just too evil for contemplation. Your hyperbole, your effort to make everyone believe that your people are led by God, while ours are pretty much the instruments of Satan?

Doesn't it ever chafe a little on the inside of your skulls? Don't you ever examine your leaders and their actions enough to recognize that they're not looking out for your best interests? I mean, it's obvious to us - just because they SAY they're on God's side doesn't mean they ARE! Just because they tell you their wishes are those of God doesn't make it so!

I mean, don't you people EVER question anything, or anyone among your leaders?

I can't go on. This gives me a headache, realizing that fellow human beings can be so very very STOOPID!!

I mean really, you fuckin' repugs! Don't you EVER....

Ahhhh, fuck it. No one is going to change their minds because of this. But what I learn from this, the battle of the Democrats and the repugs, is that fuckin' repugs are just crazy. Vehemently, virulently crazy! That is, where they're not stupid beyond redemption.

And THAT is what we really think of you. We'd feel sorry for you, if you weren't so busy taking potshots at our heads - usually figuratively, but occasionally quite literally.

So not that it will do the slightest good, but - would you people get your shit together? I mean seriously - some day you're going to have to be put out of your misery if you don't. At least, I hope you are.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Why can't anyone call it like it is?

by Rich Miles

So I'm watching all this shit going down in Congress about "business reform", and in the midst of all that, I suddenly realize that no one, but NO one, is really saying what has happened: the Republicans have fucked up the country beyond all recognition, and we're now faced with the daunting task of UN-fucking it.

No one is saying that in any kind of serious public forum. No one is saying that back in the Reagan administration, when the talk was all about "free markets", and suchlike nonsense, and we actually LET THEM DO IT, let them remove most of the government regulations that controlled the robber barons to a degree, and as might be predicted the robber barons started lunching on all the rest of us, and their greed was so great that twenty-five or thirty years later, there was hardly a one of us who didn't have at least the odd bite mark on our sorry carcasses, and some had been utterly devoured.

And here we are, 30 years after Reagan was elected, and the only honest statement one can make about the business practices of those 30 years is that they DIDN'T WORK for the overwhelming majority of the American people. And as we try to fix the system that ate at least a little of almost all of us, no one is willing to use the one word that describes the actions of those vultures to a T:


For that's all it was. It wasn't letting the free markets have their way, it was greed. It wasn't capitalism at its "best", it was greed.

It was people who were already insanely wealthy using the relaxed laws to rob the less wealthy and the poor. It was unregulated big business devouring the small mom and pop businesses that all but don't exist today. It was those same big businesses greasing the palms of government to secure contracts that made them even huger and richer.

In short, it was greed. And those who could not trade in greed perished. Those who had a conscience, and couldn't bring themselves to run roughshod over their fellows were themselves run over and killed. And it continued for years and decades, and now we've finally realized the human and financial costs of such a status quo, and we're trying to put the genie of greed back in the bottle.

But it ain't easy. For one thing, the greedy have received lots of help from the courts, and for another, the greedy are whining about their right to be greedy being infringed upon, or potentially so, by these new laws. Seriously, they're whining!

But the country can't keep up this way. We can't have this kind and degree of greed continuing in the boardrooms and office suites of America. There has to be some sort of regulation of these people. They cause too much pain and damage when left to their own devices. Congress is slow, but they seem to be on it this time, at least to a certain degree. But they have to pass some version of the reforms. It is very possible that America will not survive if they don't. At least, won't survive in its present form. We won't be able to afford her. There'll be about 1000 people with all the money, and none of them will be paying any taxes.

Far-fetched perhaps. But not impossible.