Archive for the ‘Senior Citizens’ Category

Bush outlines his plan to kick start the economy

Friday, January 18th, 2008

As I sat and listened to the Idiot-in-Chief, I wondered if he actually believed what he said or just hopes to hell that we believe it.

He wants the tax cuts for the top one percent to be made permanent, but the ones he is outlining for the rest of America should only be a one-time deal.

Of course the following part really jacked my jaw: Folks at the extreme bottom of the economic rung shouldn’t get squat..because that is considered welfare.

Fark you Frat boy.

Here it is, what the Jackass-in-Chief wants and what lies and half-truths he spewed. Some lowlights:

The economic team reports that our economy has a solid foundation, but that there are areas of real concern. Our economy is still creating jobs, though at a reduced pace. Consumer spending is still growing, but the housing market is declining. Business investment and exports are still rising, but the cost of imported oil has increased.-Ok, the December report on how American’s spent their money showed it was in the toilet, the worst since 1991. The New York Times stated: Strong evidence is emerging that consumer spending, a bulwark against recession over the last year even as energy prices surged and the housing market sputtered, has begun to slow sharply at every level of the American economy, from the working class to the wealthy.

Sorry Bush, but your full of bat guano on that first point right out of the box. The way the government fixes it’s statistics on job growth have been crap for years. Too many variables that should be included in that statistic aren’t.

Wages are stagnant and good paying jobs disappear while the income of the top one percent of Americans that don’t actually work for a living and that love their stocks and hedge funds has continued to grow. To say we are growing and jobs are being created might be true..but what is the average wage of those ‘new’ jobs? The NYT article linked above shows how the lifestyles of average American’s has changed drastically:

One consequence is an upending of the traditional pattern, in which middle-aged children take in an elderly parent. As $15-an-hour factory jobs are replaced by $7- or $8-an-hour retail jobs, more men in their 30s and 40s are moving in with their parents or grandparents, said Cheryl Thiessen, the director of Jackson/Vinton Community Action, which runs medical, fuel and other aid programs in Jackson and Vinton Counties.

The Economic Policy Institute, EPI tells you and shows you graphs and charts on how wages have suffered for the working part of America:

With the release of today’s consumer price index for December—up 0.3% for the month and 4.1% for 2007—we can now examine how real hourly and weekly earnings did over the course of last year (comparing this December to last December).

As shown in Figure 1, both hourly and weekly earnings fell in 2007, a sharp reversal from the gains in 2006. After growing by about 2% in 2006, both hourly and weekly earnings fell, after adjusting for inflation, by about 1% last year.

More from The Shrub’s speechifying:Passing a new growth package is our most pressing economic priority. When that is done, Congress must turn to the most important economic priority for our country, and that’s making sure the tax relief that is now in place is not taken away. A source of uncertainty in our economy is that this tax relief is set to expire at the end of 2010. Unless Congress acts, the American people will face massive tax increases in less than three years. The marriage penalty will make a comeback; the child tax credit will be cut in half; the death tax will come back to life; and tax rates will go up on regular income, capital gains, and dividends. -Notice that he really wants to keep those on top of the foodchain safe, but not anyone else. God forbid their taxes go back up in the form of capital gains, dividends and the estate tax.

For the 99% of American’s that actually work for a living, their income isn’t growing like the income for the wealthy at the top of the economic food chain. From the latest data that is complete:

From 2003 to 2004, the average incomes of the bottom 99 percent of households grew by less than 3 percent, after adjusting for inflation. In contrast, the average incomes of the top one percent of households experienced a jump of more than 18 percent, after adjusting for inflation. (Census data show that real median income fell between 2003 and 2004. Average income is pulled up by gains at the top of the income spectrum; much of the 2.3 percent rise among the bottom 99 percent seems to largely reflects gains by households in the top decile of the income spectrum. In contrast, trends in median income capture the experience of households in the middle of the income spectrum.)

 

The top one percent of households (those with annual incomes above about $315,000 in 2004) garnered 53 percent of the income gains in 2004.(emphasis mine)

Sadly the reality is..it’s worse than that. The CBPP explained that the enormous gains at the top of the income foodchain caused a rise of income as a whole. But average income dropped between 2003 and 2004, and has not risen appreciably since then. In short, while the top one percent get richer, the middle class is shrinking, as economist Paul Krugman pointed out in a speech earlier this year:

By the time World War II was over, we had become the middle-class society that the baby boomers in this audience grew up in. We had become a much more equal society. That high degree of equality began to go away — depending on exactly which numbers you look at — during the late 70’s, maybe a little earlier than that. And at this point we’re basically back to pre-tax and transfer to the levels of inequality that we had in 1929.

What happened in 1929? The Stock Market crashed and burned.

The final blurb from our Frat Boy in the White House: In a vibrant economy, markets rise and decline. We cannot change that fundamental dynamic. As a matter of fact, eliminating risk altogether would also eliminate the innovation and productivity that drives the creation of jobs and wealth in America. Yet there are also times when swift and temporary actions can help ensure that inevitable market adjustments do not undermine the health of the broader economy. This is such a moment.

I don’t really want to call our Decider-in-Chief a delusional moron or better yet a lying sack of crap, but if that shoe fits… you hold him down and I will stick it on his foot, while I put the other one where the sun doesn’t shine, otherwise known as his behind.

Biggest lies of the year..part deux

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

I report..you decide..all of this is from FactCheck.org:

Rudy’s Adoption Deception

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani claimed adoptions went up 65 percent to 70 percent when he was mayor of New York City, when in fact adoptions at the end of his tenure were only 17 percent higher than at the start, and they were falling. His manipulation of official statistics was a classic case of using data selectively to create a false impression.

Levitating Numbers May 7, 2007

Rudy’s False Cancer Claim

Giuliani claimed in a radio ad that men suffering from prostate cancer have only a 44 percent survival rate under England’s system of “socialized medicine.” The true figure is 74.4 percent. Giuliani’s bogus statistic was the result of bad math by a campaign adviser with no particular expertise in cancer research. It was denounced by any number of cancer experts including one who called it “nonsense.” Giuliani stubbornly refused to admit his error, claiming the 44 percent figure is “absolutely accurate.” It isn’t.

A Bogus Cancer Statistic October 30, 2007

Bogus Cancer Stats, Again November 8, 2007

Rudy’s Inflated Cop Count

Giuliani falsely claimed that he grew New York City’s police force by 12,000 officers, but 7,100 of those he counted were already housing or transit police who were simply merged into the New York Police Department. The actual increase in the size of the city’s uniformed police officers was about 3,660, or about 10 percent, and the cost of hiring about 3,500 of them was partially covered by the federal government under President Bill Clinton.

Cop-Counting Cop-Out October 9, 2007

Rudy’s Bogus Crime Claim

A Giuliani TV ad falsely claimed New York City experienced “record crime … until Rudy.” In fact, the city recorded its highest rates of both violent crime and property crime years before he took office. The downward trend was well established before he was sworn in.

The Not-Quite Truth About NYC November 27, 2007

Rudy’s Tax-Cut Puffery

Giuliani constantly repeated that he “cut or eliminated 23 taxes” while mayor of New York City, but eight of those were initiated at the state level, with the mayor cheering from the sidelines. A ninth cut, one of the largest, was opposed by Giuliani in a five-month standoff with the City Council, until the mayor finally acquiesced. He can properly claim credit for initiating only 14 of the cuts.

Giuliani’s Tax Puffery July 27, 2007

Richardson’s Job Inflation

Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson continually boasted of creating 80,000 jobs since becoming governor of New Mexico. But official figures showed a 68,100 gain when he first started making this inflated boast. He based his claim on a definition of “jobs” that includes unpaid workers in family businesses and freelancers who don’t draw a paycheck.

Richardson also claimed he “made New Mexico 6th in job growth,” when the state already ranked 6th for the 12-month period before he took office and later fell to 17th under Richardson’s stewardship.

Richardson’s Job Boast August 22, 2007

Richardson Flunks Math and Science

Richardson also claimed over and over that U.S. students rank 29th in the world in math and science. Not true. The two leading international assessments of student achievement rank U.S. students better in all cases, and in most cases much better, than Richardson claims. U.S. students do post mediocre scores compared with those of other industrial nations, but Richardson is using a fanciful number that paints too dark a picture.

Richardson Flunks Two Subjects September 12, 2007

Mitt’s Immigration Malarkey

An ad by Romney in New Hampshire claimed that his rival John McCain “voted to allow illegals to collect Social Security.” That’s untrue. Nobody who is in the country illegally could be paid any Social Security benefits under McCain’s immigration bill. What McCain and 10 other Senate Republicans voted against was an effort to strip illegal aliens of a right they currently have: to apply the taxes they paid and the time they worked while in the country illegally as credit toward future Social Security benefits if and when they become citizens or legal residents.

The same ad said one of the differences between the two candidates is that Romney “opposes amnesty” for illegal immigrants. But Romney himself once called McCain’s immigration bill “reasonable” and said it was “quite different” from amnesty. Indeed it was. The McCain bill would have required those here illegally to pay thousands of dollars in fines and fees to gain legal status.

In an earlier TV ad, Romney cast himself as tough on illegal immigration, saying “I authorized the [Massachusetts] State Police to enforce immigration laws.” He doesn’t mention that his order never took effect. It came in the closing days of his administration and was rescinded by his successor

More Mitt Malarkey December 28, 2007

Tough Guy on Immigration? November 9, 2007

Mitt’s Meth Miss

Yet another Romney ad attacked Huckabee in Iowa, claiming Romney “got tough on drugs like meth” in Massachusetts while Huckabee “reduced penalties for manufacturing methamphetamine” in Arkansas. But the legislation Romney supported never passed. Furthermore, convicted meth dealers face prison terms in Arkansas that are four times longer than those in Massachusetts, even after the reductions Huckabee supported. The reductions were drafted with help from Arkansas state prosecutors to ease prison overcrowding.

Romney on Huckabee II December 19, 2007

Mitt Mauls History

Romney claimed that Democratic President Clinton “began to dismantle the military,” but really it was Republican President George H.W. Bush who started making deep cuts in defense budgets years before Clinton took office.

More Mitt Missteps July 9, 2007

Hillary’s Trumped-up Troop Claim

In a TV ad for her presidential campaign, Sen. Hillary Clinton falsely claimed that members of the National Guard and military Reserve didn’t have health insurance until she and a GOP colleague took action. “You would think that after all the sacrifices and service of the National Guard and Reserve protecting our country, they would have had health insurance. But they didn’t.”

In fact, most of them did. All active-duty Guard and Reserve troops were covered by federal insurance long before she became a senator. Furthermore, four out of five non-active-duty guardsmen and reservists also were covered by their civilian employers or other sources. Clinton did help expand and enhance government health care coverage for reservists but can’t claim credit for creating coverage where none existed, as this ad implied.

Exaggerating Help for Troops December 20, 2007

Huckabee’s Tax Hooey

* Huckabee tried to duck charges of being a tax increaser by claiming an Arkansas gasoline tax hike passed after 80 percent of state voters approved it. But the referendum vote on highway repairs didn’t occur until after the tax was increased.

Huckabee also claimed repeatedly that he cut taxes “almost 94 times,” sliding by the fact that 21 other taxes were raised during his tenure, resulting in a net tax increase.

Huckabee’s Fiscal Record November 21, 2007

“FairTax” Falsehoods

Proponents of the so-called “FairTax,” prominently including Huckabee, claimed that a national sales tax of 23 percent could replace both the federal income tax and Social Security taxes, and eliminate the Internal Revenue Service.

In truth, the actual rate of the proposed tax would be 30 percent, when calculated the same way as state and local sales taxes. And it would have to be 34 percent to raise the same revenue as the taxes it would replace, according to a bipartisan presidential commission. The FairTax would, for example, raise the price of gasoline by roughly $1 per gallon at today’s prices and cause a $150,000 new home to cost at least $195,000 including the 30 percent tax.

And while the Internal Revenue Service might disappear, two new federal bureaucracies would be needed: one to administer the sales tax and another to keep track of sending out hundreds of billions of dollars in checks every year to compensate taxpayers for the regressive nature of sales taxes. The proposal calls for “prebates” to all taxpayers of all taxes paid on purchases up to the poverty level. That of course would require an IRS-like system to validate each person’s income and the amount of “prebate” they are due.

Unspinning the FairTax May 31, 2007

Edwards’ Empty Threat

Former Sen. John Edwards said, both in a TV ad and constantly on the campaign trail, that as president he’d tell Congress to act within six months to make sure all Americans have health insurance or “I’m going to use my power as president to take your health care away from you.” But he would have no such power. Lawmakers have health coverage granted by law, not by executive fiat.

Edwards’ Empty Threat November 13, 2007

McCain’s Supply-side Spin

McCain claimed the major tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 “dramatically increased revenues” and that tax cuts in general increase revenues. Not true. The Congressional Budget Office, the Treasury Department, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers and a former Bush administration economist all said that tax cuts lead to revenues that are lower than they otherwise would have been – even if they spur some economic growth.

Supply-side Spin June 11, 2007

McCain’s Impossible Energy Dream

McCain promised that if elected he’d set up a massive government program to develop alternate energy sources and “we will in five years become oil independent.” But the U.S. imports two-thirds of its oil, and dependence is growing. Experts we consulted said McCain’s five-year goal is an impossibility. “There’s just no way,” said Frank Verrastro, director of the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “You can’t institute technological change that quickly.” Studies assessing how to achieve energy independence set target dates ranging from 2025 to 2040.

Republicans Debate in Iowa December 12, 2007

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Biden’s Bogus Labor Boast

Sen. Joe Biden claimed during a Democratic forum to have a labor record equal to or better than all the candidates present that evening:

Biden: Look at our records. There’s no one on this stage, mainly because of my longevity, that has a better labor record than me.

Actually, all the candidates on the stage had a better lifetime labor record than Biden, as measured by the AFL-CIO’s ratings of Senate and House votes. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Edwards had the best ratings, tied at 97 percent for their congressional careers. Biden’s lifetime rating brought up the rear at 85 percent.

AFL-CIO Democratic Forum August 8, 2007

Democratic Hot Air on Medicare

Democrats made a false promise to senior citizens by claiming that they had a painless way to bring about lower prices on pharmaceuticals. Michigan Rep. John Dingell summed up his party’s empty promise during House debate on their bill, H.R. 4:

Dingell: This legislation is simple and common sense. It will deliver lower premiums to the seniors, lower prices at the pharmacy and savings for all taxpayers.

That claim was contradicted by a number of experts including the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the chief actuary of the Medicare system. Both said the bill wouldn’t bring the lower prices Democrats promised, because it wouldn’t have allowed the federal government to set up a “formulary” of approved medications for Medicare, such as the one the Veterans Administration uses to squeeze price concessions from drug companies for the drugs it covers. Formularies can be unpopular with patients if preferred drugs aren’t covered. The Democratic bill would require federal officials to negotiate while denying them any leverage. The bill passed the House but the Senate took no action.
Medicare Hot Air January 17, 2007

Bush Baloney on Children’s Health

President Bush falsely claimed that a proposal to expand the 10-year-old federal SCHIP program “would result in taking a program meant to help poor children and turning it into one that covers children in households with incomes of up to $83,000 a year.” That wasn’t true. Nothing in the proposal would have forced coverage for families earning $83,000 a year.

Actually, the Urban Institute estimated that 70 percent of children who would gain coverage under the bill that Bush attacked (and later vetoed) are in families earning half the $83,000 figure Bush used. One state, New York, had proposed (under current law) to allow families of four with incomes up to $82,600 a year to be eligible, but the administration successfully prevented that from happening.

Furthermore, the program wasn’t aimed at “poor” children as Bush claimed. Those in poverty generally are covered under Medicaid already. SCHIP was aimed at children in families without health coverage and with incomes that are above the poverty level.

Bush’s False Claims About Children’s Health Insurance September 21, 2007

Bush’s Iraqi Exaggerations

Bush played loose with the facts in an address address to the nation on Iraq. He said “36 nations … have troops on the ground in Iraq.” In fact, his own State Department put the number at 25. The White House later said the president was counting some nations that had troops in the country temporarily as part of a military exercise. Bush also said the city of Baqubah in Diyala province was “cleared.” But the Washington Post quoted a State Department official as saying the security situation there wasn’t stable at the time.

Operation Iraqi Gloss-Over September 14, 2007

Off-Base About Offshoring

An ad by a labor union PAC supporting Democratic presidential candidate Edwards in Iowa implied that the closing of a Maytag factory in the state and the loss of 1,800 jobs were due to “tax breaks to companies that move jobs offshore.” And it said Edwards would end such breaks. But the jobs didn’t move offshore. They were sent to Ohio. And eliminating the “tax breaks” in question probably wouldn’t do much to keep jobs in the U.S.

Not Working 4 Edwards December 19, 2007

“Lawsuit Abuse” Nonsense

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ran a TV ad claiming that “lawsuit abuse” is costing “your family” $3,500 a year. But that figure came from a study estimating the cost of all suits, not just abusive ones. The author of the study called the chamber’s ad “misleading.”

A False Ad About ‘Lawsuit Abuse’ May 11, 2007

by Brooks Jackson, with the staff of FactCheck.org

So, there you have it..all the lies and bs from both sides of the aisle..it’s a doozy ain’t it?

Minimum Wage for Grandma to Pay the Taxes

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

One of the largest expenses for the elderly in our nation after healthcare is property taxes. Homes that were purchased forty or fifty years ago for five to ten grand are now appraised at over three hundred grand in some areas of the Northeast. Tack on a property tax bill at thirty dollars per thousand and we have a senior citizen on a fixed income nightmare.

One of the problems with a one for all tax base fee per thousand dollar home value is that it does not in fact take into consideration the age and income level of the homeowner. Granted good old Donald Trump is at the age of AARP membership level but the average senior citizen is not anywhere close to his income level. Should the two have homes and property taxed at the same level? Personally, I don’t think so.

I’m a large supporter of letting senior citizens keep their homes. Not for one second is their one iota of thought in my mind that thinks that we should toss them to the home if they can’t pay the property taxes due. Over at the Houston Chronicle I found this interesting piece on helping the elderly that are able to help themselves…

N.Y. town lets seniors work off property taxes — for $7 an hour
By JIM FITZGERALD
Associated Press

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Audrey Davison lives alone, gets a $620 Social Security check each month and worries about the sharply rising taxes on her four-bedroom house. Davison, 76, raised her family there and after 43 years, she really doesn’t want to leave Greenburgh.

Greenburgh doesn’t want her to leave, either.

The town is pushing a program that would let seniors work part-time, for $7 an hour, to help pay off some of their property taxes.

“People shouldn’t have to sell their house, move away to a place with less taxes, leave behind their family and friends,” said Town Supervisor Paul Feiner.

He envisions retired doctors mentoring schoolchildren, retired accountants helping with the town’s finances, retired lawyers offering their services for a discount. But there are plenty of less-skilled jobs that need doing, he said.

“It’s not like we’re going to see grandma running the snowplow,” he said. “There are lots of things people can do for the town and it wouldn’t cost us that much to pay them.” - Houston Chronicle

Growing up I had my neighbors in a small town in New England that actually were able to live in their homes till the day they died because the town cared about it’s elderly citizens. After a certain age the elderly based on income paid no property tax to the town. The end result was my neighbor Betty Stein, may she rest in peace, that lived out her days in the home she and her husband bought sixty years prior. Betty was never in the best of health but she loved the kids in the neighborhood and always had treats for my friends and I that played in her yard, searching for crawfish in the pond behind her home, or just stopping in to say hello to her. Betty would never have been able to keep her home if she had to pay property tax on it. Her deceased husbands pension and Social Security were next to nothing.

Betty was wheel chair bound for all the time that I knew her growing up. Neighbors helped her every single day because she was just Betty. She had no living children or family to speak of and maybe that is why she adopted all of us neighborhood brats. What about all the other Betty’s in the nation today? Granted, our workforce in America has changed where both the husband and the wife worked a full career and with or without a pension still struggle to survive in the homes they bought so many years ago. This is an issue that needs to be looked at and solutions or probabilities discovered to save the senior citizens all across America.

Back just a few years ago the cost for just one senior citizen to live in a nursing home was averaging five grand a month for full round the clock care. How I know that little bit of information is simply because that was the bill I received every month for my father with Alzheimer’s Disease. Till we were forced to sell his home, which went entirely from the lawyers hand to the nursing home for his care. We were lucky with Blaire House of Worcester for Dad. Many other cared for elderly family or friends are not. What happens to the individual that gets placed in that home?

Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
Nursing Home Abuse News

Watching our grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles grow older has its own set of stresses. As those we love fall victim to the ailments of aging, we worry about our lives without them, all the while learning to provide care for them. We look to medicines, doctors, diets, vitamins—anything we can find—in hopes of keeping them healthy and happy and able to live as independently as they wish to. When finally the complications get too great, we turn to an assisted living, nursing home, or other long-term care facility to continue the thoughtful and conscientious care we are no longer able to provide.

Many of these facilities provide excellent care, however, far too many do not. Often understaffed with underpaid and poorly trained employees, many nursing homes push the bottom line so far that they endanger the lives of their patients.

Neglected, abused, and threatened, nursing home residents may suffer physically and emotionally. Painful bedsores, broken bones, or even premature death can result from neglectful and outright abusive treatment. - Nursing Home Abuse

What about the Betty’s that live just next door into their nineties that do not need a nursing home and still want to live their days out in their own damn home? We need to think of people like her or for that matter ourselves because the simple fact is that you or I will be in that position eventually. Would you want to be kicked out of your home because your home was taken for back property tax bills?

Don’t get me wrong, I give full credit to all of our nations senior citizens that work every single day. God bless them for being able to do so. One of my friends and co-workers is eighty four, another is seventy four. There is a difference to what these two friends are doing and what this program is all about. This work for property taxes can work for some people but it is not a fix all for blindly abusing the elderly. Did these people not live through the worst times our nation has ever seen and survived? It sickens me as a political opinion writer to think that anyone could have any argument against giving elderly retired homeowners living below poverty level any kind of break but feel free to speak your peace.

As much as America needs to protect its children with the full diligence that they deserve we need to do the same for our aged and elderly. That is a direct reflection on our society and way of life as a people. We all know that we can do better for all of our senior citizens. Should I mention that senior citizens vote too? That probably isn’t supposed to be relevant when it comes to this topic. I happen to think it is. Everyone forty and younger forget that I wrote that part. All of you forty and older bookmark this page. Maybe we should take back America by taking care of our Grandparents and elder neighbors first.

This liberal stands by all senior citizens no matter what political affiliation and will bitch the loudest when it comes to protecting them. They were the ones that paid the ultimate sacrafice and you can never forget that fact. What freedoms we enjoy today were bought and paid for by the previous generation. Maybe we should look to them as to what really being an American is all about?

In the words of former President Ronald Reagan, “As I fade into the sunset of my life…”

Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk


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