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I really would not call Social Security a lavish retirement. First of all most people pay 6.25% of their income which is matched by their employer over a lifetime of about 50 years of working.The average payout at retirement is about $1200 a month. This is below the poverty level if that is all you have. If you want lavish talk to "Conservative" Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. He has been receiving a $92,000 pension since Jan.2011 from the state of Texas while still working thanks to a loophole he found. That puts him in the top 1% with an annual income of $240,000. He is also entitled to another pension for his elected work and Social Security. This is the same Rick Perry who hasn't worked a day in Texas since September who promises to get rid of Social Security. I always find it interesting how politicians exempt themselves when it comes to austerity programs.
Sled your time line is a little off. Fannie and Freddie have been around for decades, government support for education started with the GI Bill after WW2, the definition of Capital Gains was changed during the Bush Administration to include the income of Hedge Fund managers and Wall St. execs, the Robert's Supreme Court changed the definition of corporations to allow undisclosed unlimited cash for politicians, corporations are sitting on trillions of cash and not giving dividends or hiring etc. The Boy as you put it was not President until after the country's financial meltdown and Great Recession was in full swing. Just compare where this country was on the day Pres. Bush was sworn in and were it was the day Pres. Obama was sworn in. Which one got screwed? Yes the Obama Administration has been a disappointment in that he has been unable to turn things around enough to help the Middle Class though the top 1 % and corporations are doing great. In the final analysis the Bush Administration was a total disaster and the Obama Administration is a total disappointment. We will just have to wait for Herman Cain.
Mr. Lemley is correct when he says that education is the key to success however it is not that simple. The cost of a college education is up 600% ABOVE inflation over the past 30 years. Not everyone has wealthy parents who can foot the bill. Many students are finishing their degrees with debt as much as $100,000 for just a Bachelor's Degree.
He also misses the fact that OWS is about the unfairness today in our society. The Great Recession was not caused by the Middle Class it was a direct result of Wall St. Executives selling worthless securities around the world which they knew to be worthless when they were sold. They shorted the securities after they sold them and actually made money while the organizations that bought them lost everything. When Pres. Bush and Sec. of Treasury Paulson bailed out the big banks(TARP) $33 Billion went to pay bonuses to the executives that caused the financial crisis in the first place. How many Executives have gone to jail for this-NONE.
Our political process has been sold out to the big corporations and the wealthiest of our country thanks to Robert's Supreme Court who said Corporations are people so unlimited amounts of funds can now be given to politicians without disclosure. Just look at the $15 million Rick Perry raised. 96% came from Corporation mainly Oil and Gas and Herman Cain got only 46% from Corporations. Our election process is for sale to the highest bidder.
Wall St. Executives also get preferential treatment when it comes to taxes. They get to call their income Capital Gains which allows them to pay a 15% tax rate instead of 25% to 35% the rest of us pay. On top of that the people running for President want to exempt all taxes on Capital Gains which will be a bonanza for the top 1 %.
Just yesterday the House finally did something and passed a bill which declared "IN GOD WE TRUST" as our official motto again. What they should have done is changed it to "IN GREED WE TRUST'. The net worth of Congress is up 25% over the past 2 years is there any wonder how this happened.
YVB, There are many people who went to Public School who were very successful. A few even became President of the US like Harry Truman, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Others like Gen. Colin Powell and Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor also went to Public School to name a few. The difference between them and you is that they applied themselves and worked and studied hard. You could have been successful in life also had you done the same. You get out of life what you put in it the same goes for Public School or Private School.
Unfortunately education is funded by tax dollars in the US. No one likes paying taxes but you get what you pay for. Education is the key to success and if you look at the unemployment rates those with a college education have a 4% unemployment rate and those with just a HS diploma have a 10% unemployment rate. The US has fallen from #1 in math and science to 25th in the world over the past 30 years. If we are to regain our leadership in the world we need to elevate the Teacher Profession by attracting the best and brightest. The only way to do that is to pay our teachers as Professionals like Doctors, Lawyers, Airline Pilots etc. who all make 6 figures The medium income for a HS grad in the US is $45,000 a year and that is what we pay our experienced teachers most of whom have Masters Degrees. They should use this small tax increase to start bringing up teacher salaries to where they belong.
I realize over the past 30 years and especially the last 10 we as a country have become ant-tax but instead of spending Trillions invading countries on the other side of the world who won't do what we tell them how about investing our hard earned tax dollars on Americans. Education should come first followed by rebuilding our infrastructure here at home instead of Iraq and Afghanistan. It will pay dividends in the future.
You may want to check your numbers. According to the US Gov't there are 36.5 million retired(as of June 2011) in the US collecting SS. Add in all the others that are disabled and under 65 the total is 56 million. However the number will increase as the baby boomer generations retires over the next 25 years.
JLM as an ex-military officer as myself how much waste did you see over your career in the military? How many weapon systems were built that did not work or were not needed which cost millions and billions? The Military is forced by Congress to accept hardware they don't even want because some Congressman's district is where the weapons are built. Look at the F-35 fighter that will cost over $ 1 Trillion over the next decade that is grossly behind schedule and over budget. I'd really like to fly one but too expensive in my book. The engines however are being built in the Speakers district. Pres. Eisenhower could not have said it better than anyone when he said in 1960 "Beware of the military industrial complex they will ruin our country." In my experience I would say that at least 30% is waste mostly all in procurement. Our troops are not getting rich but the Defense Contractors sure are. Right now this so called deal with the Debt is being hung up by the Tea-Party House Republicans because it includes Defense cuts as part of the deal. I'm very pro-military but not when it comes to Defense Contractors which I have dealt with first hand.
Nice to see you back.
You are right except you leave one very important aspect of our debt problem. That is a family or even a State does not have to fund a gigantic Military Industrial Complex. We spend more on Defense(Over $700 Billion a year) than every other country added together. It has tripled over the past 10 years. Are Republicans willing to cut Defense to Pre-Bush levels. It cuts both ways. In the last 10 years the Republican Congress under Bush spent $ 6.1 Trillion in deficits and the Democrats under Obama has spent $ 2.4 Trillion and climbing. How about the Republicans cut $ 6.1 Trillion from their favorite programs like Defense and Corporate Welfare and Democrats cut $ 2.4 Trillion from entitlements. That should be the starting point. Each side takes responsibility for what they did first.
Personally I don't give a damn about Democrats or Republicans. I only care about Americans and the state of our country. Both parties are to blame for this mess from wars to stimulus etc. The President does not spend a dime only the Congress can spend our money and the debt ceiling is all about what is already spent and promised by this Congress and many before them. What these clowns are doing borders on treason and they all should be fired.
YVB we had a balanced budget in 2001 the day W and the Conservative Republican Congress took over the entire government. They successfully trashed the Deficit Reduction Act which prevented deficit spending and went on a $ 6 Trillion spending spree which included Trillions in tax cuts, a new $ 1 Trillion entitlement program called Medicare Part D, 2 $ Trillion wars which continue today, a Wall St. bailout etc all WITH BORROWED MONEY. They had absolutely no problem raising the debt limit when they were in charge 7 times. You can also add in the great recession which cost 8 million jobs that cut revenue by another $ 3 Trillion. All this happened prior to Obama being sworn in so please take responsibility for the mess your Conservative Party caused. You can blame Obama for the spending after he took office like the Stimulus and Health Care. But give credit where credit is due for getting us in this mess over the last 10 years.
Cut, Cap and Balance is a joke. It says it will cut $ 6 Trillion out of the budget by using a % of GDP formula. It specifies no actually cuts but exempts Defense Spending, Congressional pensions and benefits and any revenue increases which means most of the cuts would have to come out of Medicare and SS. This is a back door approach to getting rid of Medicare which they have tried to do since 1965. A Balanced Budget Amendment cannot pass Congress where it takes a 2/3 vote and the States where it takes a 3/4 ratification. It cannot pass under any circumstances so it is a waste of precious time. If we had a Balance Budget Amendment in 1941 we'd all be speaking German or Japanese today especially with the clowns we have in Congress (Republicans especially the Tea Party and the Democrats) who can't agree on anything right now.
Last login: Monday, February 20, 2012
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