Sunday, June 30, 2013
Social Security is not difficult to understand. There is not and never has been a Social Security Account where our Social Security taxes are held until we retire. The money used to pay each person receiving a check from Social Security is provided by contributions of today’s workers. With the exception of the first year of this program, that is the way it has always worked.
Today’s workers pay social security taxes that are used to pay today’s retirees. So why is there a crisis? There are several reasons, but it still boils down to fewer workers and more people receiving Social Security checks. Today, it takes three workers to support one person receiving a Social Security check.
Each year we have fewer babies in America and as generations pass, there are fewer workers. Between 1973 and 2011 there were 54,559,615 abortions in the United States and birth control further reduced our birth rate. Americans had fewer babies in 2011 than in any year before, according to an annual summary of vital statistics.
The problems caused by low birth rates are not limited to Social Security. Many retirees will not pay very much in the form of income tax and they will be such a strong voting block that politicians may grant them many tax-savings.
More workers can be solved by higher birth rates or more young immigrants that tend to have large families. Our choices are simple. Have more children or increase the number of immigrants from groups that are likely to have more children.
Friday, June 21, 2013
Conservatives have piled on the demands for more border security to defeat any type of immigration reform. The idea was to demand so many outrageously expensive ‘security’ demands that there would be no hope of any immigration reform. Now it seems that it has all backfired. We may again double the size of the Border Patrol, add 700 more miles of a fence and add/upgrade millions of dollars of electronic equipment and pretend that the cost will come from some fantasy about the amount of money we will see increase because of immigration reform.
First, if the politicians believe they are spending money that will actually come as a result of immigration reform, limit any dollars spent to that money. In other words, everything must be paid with the money that this immigration reform saves or generates. The one study that predicts this new tax money/savings explains where and how this magic money will appear. The politicians say they believe it. Simply include the ‘source’ of this money as the only source to fund everything in this bill. Why not? If the politicians truly believe the money will come from the sources in this study (taxes from the ‘new’ legal workers, savings in emergency room visits, etc.) then write it all into the law.
The truth is that many are so afraid of the cultural changes (not jobs, not crime, not welfare expenses) that the conservatives added so many repugnant requirements that they were certain the bill would fail. Now they are really in trouble.
However, all my worry is for nothing. All of the bills require that a plan to secure the border include certain items.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Americans love a good debate and loudly disagree. However, our freedom to disagree seems to have devolved into hate for fellow Americans. We seem to have lost our ability for civility. Instead of arguing facts, we argue emotion.
The Internet has the potential for national debate, discussion and communication. The Internet could diminish the influence of the handful of people that control the media. However, the handful of people use the tried and true method of controlling us. They identify a group that can be blamed for all of our troubles and we eat it up like manna from heaven.We can’t wait to blame everything on the present administration, political parties, political groups, welfare queens, illegal immigrants, liberals, conservatives and welfare programs. Reading the comments on many blog sites is educational. 95% of what I read on blogs is simply anger and hate. Few comments are fact based. The blogs have become a feeding frenzy for anger and prejudice. Many are really text messages where one person directs a comment (usually something nasty) to another person that made a comment.
Trillions of dollars were stolen from the hard-working American taxpayer to bail out banks, corporations and Wall Street gamblers. Yet we follow the lead of the media and focus on blaming some minority group for high taxes, the national debt and unemployment.
President Van Buren took office as a national depression set in and he said, “It is not the objective of government to make men rich – nor repair their losses.”
Anyone that invests in the stock market, real estate market or a business does so in hopes of a profit. Win or lose (just like in Las Vegas) the profit or loss belongs to the investor. The idea that tax dollars can be used to cover losses is insane.While Americans blame minority groups and fuel hate-based debates without facts, the super-rich continue to rape the American taxpayer.
· 90 percent of ‘farm subsidies’ go to the super rich mega-farms
· Foreign aid requires that food be purchased from these super-rich mega-farms and shipped around the world and the result is that local farmers in starving nations cannot sell their crops. It would be cheaper and far more effective to help the farmers in those starving nations. At least one major food distributor has refused food from the USA for that very reason. We are only helping the rich American farmers and crushing the local framers
· Foreign aid also requires that weapons must be purchased from the American arms industry. For two decades (do the math) the Egyptian military received 3-billion dollars of such aid – and our leaders cheered during the Arab Spring.
· Russia and China receive foreign aid.
· Wal-Mart and many big box stores receive huge tax breaks that helps these large companies to put small retailers out of business
· Forcing motorists to use Ethanol is a huge boon to farmers
· Using tax dollars to keep military bases open because these bases provide jobs to civilians is a huge waste of tax dollars.
· After the military begged Congress to discontinue purchasing more tanks, our Congress ordered more tanks because the creation of tanks that are not needed or wanted by our military creates jobs.
· War has become our number one business as a nation.
· While we argue about who should pay for health care and who must be insured, the pharmaceutical and medical industries laugh all the way to the bank! We spend 50% more on health-care than England, Germany, France and a host of other countries while people in those countries outlive us!
Debate can be healthy. However, communication and debate require two things; talking and listening. A few facts might also be nice.