Archive for the ‘Medicare’ tag
Jamie shares tales from his Jiu-Jitsu tornament victory, Allison and Jamie discuss notable election results, and list warning signs for the Social Security battle.
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Paul Ryan overkill: the media talks about Romney’s VP pick in the dumbest possible way, class war, DOJ refuses to prosecute Goldman Sachs, and Molly Knefel (@mollyknefel) talks about visiting her home town.
Also, Melissa Gira Grant (@melissagira) returns for part 2 of her visiting to Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Love” rally
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Jamie offers advice for people interested in MMA, “blame the victim” sports journalists claim Serena Williams is asking to be stalked, GOP attacks Democrats from the left on Medicare, California releases tens of thousands of prisoners from overcrowded prisons, Tim Pawlenty’s shocking anti-choice record, Jon Huntsman tries to run from his past, the Obama administration expresses support for repealing DOMA, and Scotty Walker is a’scurred of his constituents.
Paul Ryan continues to lose support for his crazy Grandma-killing plan to privatize Medicare. Also, the Birthers begin to cannibalize, Focus on the Family admits they’ve lost the gay marriage debate, and Jamie explains his fear of National Geographic.
Journalist Mike Elk joins the show to talk about his exclusive report on how Koch tells its employees which way to vote. Also, Paul Ryan’s base turns against him, the mental toll of BP’s oil spill lingers, and surprise! Another Republican mailed out a horribly racist photo of President Obama.
Allison continues to blog at The Nation. Share her articles on Facebook and Twitter! Latest post: Town Hall Meltdowns, Hundreds Protest Cuts.
The story looks like it’s about Fox, but unfortunately, it’s not. There’s a new rich sociopath in town.
His name is Pete Peterson and he wants to buy yer newz.
The retired mogul has created a digital news agency he dubs “The Fiscal Times” and hired eight seasoned reporters to do the work there.
So what’s The Fiscal Times’ agenda? You know, cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The uge. See also: “Entitlement reform.” Did I mention this dude used to be a Nixon administration cabinet member? Did I even need to point that out?
Simply the rantings of a despot, right? Maybe Peterson’s agenda would have had a reach no further than the deeply held beliefs of a bus stop schizophrenic had the Washington Post not stepped it to hand this asshole a megaphone.
Back in the day, Candidate Obama told a touching story about his mother’s struggle to pay her medical bills while battling cancer. Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, died of ovarian cancer at the age of 53, an event Obama said in part inspired him to tackle healthcare reform.
But what kind of coverage would Dunham receive today under the Senate bill as it stands right now?
In this experiment, Dunham is still 50-years-old (her age in 1992 when she received her Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii). She is the single mother of two grown children, so she no longer has dependents. In this model, she has just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
She is employed as an anthropologist with USAID, the United States federal government organization responsible for most non-military foreign aid. In 1999, the federal government starting annual salaries for anthropologists were $37,744 for persons with a Ph.D., so for the sake of this experiment, I’m going to assume that she earns an annual salary of $37,744.
Now that President Obama’s first 100 days are behind him, the altruism killers have stepped forth from the shadows again to remind us why Social Security must be dismantled.
The Washington Post‘s Robert J. Samuelson recycles the greatest hit of this argument in his column today. ”The recession had made everything worse…trust funds run dry; promised benefits exceed dedicated payroll taxes…retirees would scream. Hospitals might shut,” Samuelson hysterically shouts from the page.
As usual, the first hint of a looming financial crisis resurrected the sudden need to get rid of Social Security. Now that the financial crisis has bloomed into a depression, Samuelson and company have returned with spears and fire to kill the last social contract.
The fact that this tribe looks to take one of the only social promises afforded to hardworking Americans (particularly meager considering the social contracts some other countries share) ranks as one of the more totally evil things done by Conservatives. And their arguments for doing so are bullshit. There’s a reason this claim reappears every few years, or so. Social Security isn’t in immediate trouble, but it does reside on Conservatives’ wish list of popular programs they’d love to gut in the name of privatization.
The first problem with Samuelson’s apocalyptic vision of the future is that his hypothesis occurs many years from now, a problem that Samuelson points out himself in the middle of his rant (emphasis mine).
Unfortunately, the Medicare and Social Security trust funds won’t be exhausted until 2017 and 2037, respectively, by the latest projections. Although these bankruptcy dates are moved up from last year’s estimates (2019 for Medicare and 2041 for Social Security), they’re still fairly distant.
A projection dated 28 years in the future is fairly meaningless. Too many variables exist between today and 2037 to accurately say what Social Security will look like then, especially if the government takes minor actions to replenish Social Security such as raise the cap on the regressive payroll tax.
But the solution isn’t to dismantle one of the United States’ oldest social spending programs. The solution can be found elsewhere in cutting funding from the bloated military budget, reforming the tax system to be more progressive, and fixing the country’s broken healthcare system. Noam Chomsky points out in his essay The Social Security Non-Crisis
The United States has one of the most inefficient systems in the industrialised world, with per-capita costs far higher than other nations and among the worst health outcomes. The system is privatised, one reason why it’s so inefficient.
Privatized healthcare, and not Social Security will bankrupt the United States. Yet, healthcare is never the central villain in this dialogue. The great leach is always Social Security, and so Social Security must be dismantled despite the fact that poll after poll (PDF) show citizens support expanding Medicare to cover all Americans, which would help relieve the biggest burden facing Americans. However, we’re told a simple expansion of a program that already exists is tantamount to Socialism. So you see, the real solution is killing Social Security.
Samuelson’s argument is an insult to Americans. It basically claims that the government has enough money to bail out banks, pay lavish CEO bonuses with taxpayer money, and wage simultaneous wars overseas, but it doesn’t have enough provisions to care for retired workers, who have sacrificed their very lives for a system that has revealed itself to be a form of slavery in the name of Capitalism.
This so-called crisis is phony, phony, phony. Really, it can’t be said enough. America must care for its workers, and not for the private industry that wouldn’t even exist without the hard work of retired Americans.