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Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You


Today’s New York Times reports it, but we tried to tell the Cheeto gang back in January ’08.

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama said Wednesday that overhauling Social Security and Medicare would be “a central part” of his administration’s efforts to contain federal spending, signaling for the first time that he would wade into the thorny politics of entitlement programs.

You know those “entitlement” programs we’ve all been paying into since forever? The ones that keep old people and fatherless children from wandering the streets homeless and starving? The President-elect is planning to mess around with them.

Speaking at a news conference in Washington, he provided no details of his approach to rein in Social Security and Medicare, which are projected to consume a growing share of government spending as the baby boom generation ages into retirement over the next two decades. But he said he would have more to say about the issue when he unveiled a budget next month.

Well of course he didn’t provide any details. Has he ever? He’ll leave the details up to his borderline libertarian, deregulation-minded economic advisors.

Should he follow through with a serious effort to cut back the rates of growth of the two programs, he would be opening up a potentially risky battle that neither party has shown much stomach for. The programs have proved almost sacrosanct in political terms, even as they threaten to grow so large as to be unsustainable in the long run.

Interesting. The NYT says Social Security and Medicare are “unsustainable in the long run.” Now why would that be? It wouldn’t have anything to do with the trillions that were just handed over to a bunch of criminals in Wall Street investment banks, would it? You know that legislation Obama lobbied so hard for?

Mr. Obama also was poised to name Cass R. Sunstein, an American legal scholar, to an existing White House post as the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. A transition official said late Wednesday that Mr. Sunstein would oversee government regulations and devise new approaches for government efficiencies.

“Government efficiencies?” Why now all of a sudden, after the U.S. Treasury has been emptied out to help the superrich? Isn’t that kind of like closing the barn door after the horses have already gotten out?

For now, Mr. Obama is seeking to keep the spotlight focused on the economic recovery plan he is urging Congress to pass. He is set to offer a campaignlike address explaining the proposal on Thursday at George Mason University in Virginia, his first speech since winning the election. In the interview, he offered some soothing words to Republicans and the financial markets about his ideological approach, saying it was only the scale and urgency of the economic crisis that led him to support a huge stimulus plan.

“I’m not out to increase the size of the government long- term,” he said. “My preference would be that the private sector was doing this all on their own.”

Hmmm…sounds familiar. I think Barack “Gipper II” Obama is planning to do the same thing to the U.S. that he did to Chicago. Lots of government money gets funneled to his supporters and pals, infrastructure programs get funded and somehow all that money ends up in somebody’s pockets–or in their offshore bank accounts.

All you had to do was read his hopey dopey book, O-bots. He spelled it out for you. Reaganomics II, trickle down–this time with another Great Depression on the way and no “safety net.” Thanks Kool-aid slurpers. We needed an FDR and instead we’re getting your idea of a “messiah.” I did so want a Democratic President this year.

144 Responses

  1. Read it and weep.

  2. Would you believe this post is already on Memeorandum? How did they do that?

  3. Like we didn’t see that coming.

  4. When I tell people about latest breaking stories like this one, they just assume I’m merely still “warning” them…then they hear it on the news and their jaws drop. I can see the cogs turning, trying to find a justification or make sense of it in their Obamaview. I’m not sure how much longer they’re going to be able to maintain the cognitive dissonance. (I sure hope it’s not as long as the Bush 23%ers.)

  5. Soon he’ll be channeling Phil Gramm (who spent his whole life feeding at the public teat) and saying stuff like “It’s a safety net, not a hammock” and “It’s time for grandma and grampa to get out of the wagon and help pull.”

  6. He’s worse than a Republican. He’s already pissing off all of his allies in Congress because shmoozing only gets you so far, then you’ve got to learn to play the game strategically.
    Now, he’s threatening to overhaul the social safety net when we’re on the brink of a Depression? Is the guy an utter moron or what? Why would you deliberately want to *increase* the fear factor by planning to take away onr of the few working pieces of the government that keeps a roof over the heads of seniors?

  7. Does anyone have a theory as to why he’s announcing his entire Republican agenda before the inauguration? Is he hoping for a big Republican turnout at the Ludacris Inaugural ball? Or is he going to break the real bad news after Jan. 20?

  8. My entire family treated me like a leper when I tried to warn them this was coming.

  9. I like the way Obama said his preference would have been that the Private Sector could have helped themselves–so we have to save the Private Sector on the backs of the old. I have to wonder if all the Dems will go along with this or is this just a Messiah’s wet dream? I just checked out Harry Reid’s stand on Social Security. I was pleased to read how strongly he stands for this program which has kept 50% of Seniors out of poverty. Then I saw that this was 2 years old and he was speaking about Bush. I will call tomorrow and see how he feels about Social Security now.

    About 6 months ago I read that a top Democrat said — we want to be a new party, a younger party. We are sick of dealing with the problems of the old and the poor. If BO does this he will do this at the beginning of his Administration. He will assure that the economic downturn will continue as he puts millions more in poverty but it will end up a blip on the radar screen in the ongoing struggle to give all our money away to the rich.

  10. Perfect timing. I don’t know if S Hall from Cinie’s post is here, but this is from there (assuming it’s not a troll):

    S. Hall, on January 8th, 2009 at 3:58 am Said:
    I am a PUMA because people like me who are older and active in the Democratic Party were told we were no longer needed. Now today Obama is at war with Seniors over Social Security and Medicare. He said that he is not going to keep decades old programs going just because of some interest group. He is hiring a watchdog to slash these two programs. I guess when the torch was passed to a new generation the older generation will have to be torched.
    Thank God I am no longer part of the party that gave us the social programs which have kept 50% of Seniors out of poverty and now while preaching Roosevelt and New Deal they are the ones who will shaft this social safety net. From New Deal to Raw Deal in 60 years.

    Your damn right, S Hall!!

  11. Well, well, well. What’s Josh Marshall gonna say now?

  12. Man, in moderation again. I didn’t even cuss this time. Except for d@mn.

  13. seraphiclight — I don’t think Obama will have as long a Honeymoon as Bush did because of this economy. People really believe that Obama will change things for the better and they will not be patient when they see trillions being taken from our treasury and given to the fat cats.

  14. oh there’s S Hall. good.

  15. bostonboomer — its my theory that Obama wants the Republicans on board when he destroys Social Security and Medicare. They have always been for Privatization. Obama doesn’t want to be out there all alone as a Pariah. He wants to make it look like the Dems and Repubs are on the same page. Therefore, he will give Republicans what they want in order to make appear bi-partisan.

  16. I wonder how long before one of our obsessed stalkers (Hi boys!) claims the graphic is racist because the picture of Ronnie Raygun is black & white which makes Obama look darker by comparison?

    In their feeble minds anytime we use any picture of Obama it’s racist because we’re reminding people he’s a scawy bwack man.

  17. GA-Hi There.

  18. GA Girl — Its me.

  19. “Well, well, well. What’s Josh Marshall gonna say now?”

    Josh Marshall will say “HELP! Let me out of here!”

    WKJM on the other hand, will say “What a brilliant strategic move, stealing the GOP’s issue and winning over their voters.”

  20. riverdaughter — For Obama it will be easier to boss us around when we have nothing. We won’t be distracted with other pursuits. Now our Big Screen TV’s can drone on endlessly about how great our leader is and it will be against the law to turn them off.

  21. S Hall – sorry I stepped away. Why would O care if the Repugs were on board? They’re already on board. Once again, the (D) does not a Democrat make. Rove/Brazilled.

  22. GA — It doesn’t look good when a Messiah albeit a Democratic one condemns the older generation to a life of poverity. This way he would be able to say this was for the good of the country. What next for us codgers — Death With Dignity?

  23. He’s the billion dollar candidate. You know that all the Bush pioneers who funded him and propagandized for him to avoid Hillary had some payoff in mind. They were salivating for our Social Security for decades, and B0 said during the campaign it needed privatizing.

  24. S Hall – It’s been many, many months since I’ve considered Obama to be a Democrat. He’s not. Expect nothing more than Republican policy for the next four years. Bush 3.

  25. Help! I am in moderation and I can’t get up!

  26. GA — When I look around and see the foreclosures, the stores going out of business, unfinished homes left to the vandals it almost seems like this is more than Republican policy its an agenda of pain. The fat cats gave Obama 600 Million to run for President. Was this what they had in mind?

  27. edge, it’s been happening to me alot too and I swear I was innocent. At the time anyway.

  28. S Hall: To be honest, something is going to have to be done about Medicare. No doubt about it. We really can’t afford it in its present incarnation. It would have been overhauled no matter who became president. But if the president is clever, a national healthcare system might have made that a lot less painful.
    Obama is not that president.
    OTOH, there’s nothing wrong with Social Security unless the economy fails to grow, which is what we are now looking at. But I will strongly oppose touching it at this point. I’m not retiring for a long time but I’m in the tail end of the babyboom. I’ve paid into it all my working life and I just saw my 401K decimated. My pensions are miniscule. And my house is losing value. SO, essentially all my nest eggs are being siphoned away. Social security is supposed to be an insurance policy against that kind of failure. I paid into it. I expect it to be there if I need it.
    And Barack Obama better not fucking touch it.

  29. RD: Something must be done about healthcare per se. Statistics show that the US leads the world in expenditures, but lags sadly in outcomes. If we fix the system, then Medicare may actually work again.

  30. bb,
    I wonder if any Obot will be using the quote from above for their new tagline:

    “I’m not out to increase the size of the government long term,” he said. “My preference would be that the private sector was doing this all on their own.” ..Barack Obama

  31. I the Health Care Post I reminded everyone that Medicare uses 92 cents out of every dollar on direct healthcare 8 cents on admin cost. where are the inefficiencys in this program? I would like to know?

    “For Profit” Health Insurance Programs Have 8 cents of every dollar collected for “profit” and about 15 cents for admin and overhead and another 8 cents for state federal and local taxes….mmmm….that leaves about 69 cents out of every dollar for actual health care.

    Me thinks that this efficiency hunt is nothing more than a ruse to cut the moneys used for healthcare delivery for lurkers from the “Pampersphere” thats the 92 cents that goes to treating sick people.

    F*cking Brilliant!

  32. Oh and what RD said-morning PUMA’s!

  33. I am remembering specifically hearing about Ofraudma’s wildly inaccurate scare commercials aimed at the elderly in Florida, to the effect that John McCain was coming for their Social Security and Medicare. Is there nothing this arrogant evil man and those who pull his strings will not do???

  34. […] As the Boston Boomer at the Confluence is pointing out Barack “Gipper II” Obama is planning to do the same thing to the U.S. that he did to Chicago. Lots of government money gets funneled to his supporters and pals, infrastructure programs get funded and somehow all that money ends up in somebody’s pockets–or in their offshore bank accounts. […]

  35. As far as social Security is concerned even with out tinkering with the system social secirity will be able to pay “full” benifits until 2040-2060 (I will be 98 then) after that point it will collect 70 cents for every dollar paid out…if the economy kicks back into growth mode then that date could be moved out to 2070 or beyond.

    Good to see Pampers grab hold of the third rail of politics. I hope he gets “Fried”!

  36. The fastest growing segment of the population is the over sixty crowd….the fastest growing segment of the over 60 crowd is the over 100 crowd.

    So the democrats want to be come the party of the young? That to me means that they wish to alienate the largest and fastest growing segment of the population. It is also the segment that is most likely to vote and has an even larger ratio of women to men…sorry boys its the truth.

    I guess the Democratic leadership prefers to be a weak minority to being a weak majority.

  37. Bostonboomer
    re: republican agenda before inauguration – for one, it would distract attention from the Blagobamarama. And also, the really bad news come after – I am afraid I have to agree with that one.

  38. http://2009.bloggies.com/

    another blog award to enter

  39. I’m so glad that you put the word “entitlement” in quotes. It drives me crazy that people consider Medicare and SS “entitlement” programs. They are not “entitlement” programs. We pay for them out of every paycheck.

  40. Considering minimum wage has only recently clawed it’s way to $6.50 an hour (260.00 a week), no wonder FICA and Medicare are going broke. Hell, I think it took a HILLARY to help accomplish that much. No jobs, low wages, spoiled kids who don’t have to -or don’t want to – work means no money goes in the system. It ain’t broke now, but it will be if this continues.

  41. janicen
    That’s the point! yet, Obama in his book, page 32 praising Raygun criticized liberals for

    A lot of liberal rhetoric did seem to value rights and entitlements over duties and responsibilities.

  42. Social Security and Medicare are “social” insurance not entitlements. Obama owes them. He has to do it. He does not give a flying f*&% about anyone outside of his little universe in Chicago and it will become crystal clear very shortly. He doesn’t like the old, female, weak, sick, uneducated, rural, etc. Basically except for a few of those descriptives, he doesn’t like his mother. I am more and more convinced that the One and his followers are children that were not wanted or were inconvenient and had no time or resources expended on them. They are emotionally and socially warped. If this is about screwing over old and sick people or creating a generation war it will get ugly really fast. Pitting people against each other in the mist of shrinking resources is sick.

  43. The Irony is the wankers and Pamper Changers have spent the last 6 months calling us rebublicans,but in reality their candidate is the one who was channeling RR from the grave.

    I officially point my finger to the Obamaist and say:

    “Republican thy name is You!”

  44. please release me from moderation!

  45. edge, somebody needs to inform Obama that we liberals have been doing our duty and responsibility for all these years by PAYING IN our damn “entitlements”. Maybe he hasn’t, but the rest of us have.

  46. I emailed this to pumapac.org

    The Democratic party is defunct. This past election campaign, Obama lied, manipulated, and wormed his way through the political process without any concern for the people of our nation, and this nation is the people. The Democratic party supported and encouraged these fradulent tactics. The Democratic party has proven itself opposed to the best interests of the people.
    Can it be reformed? The answer is no. An entire political party, not just one individual, is against the people, so why should the Democratic party care to listen to complaints and organizations that do speak for the people? It is beyond reform. Sometimes, when you look at a house, you know you can rehab it into something liveable. Other times, the best thing to do is tear it down.
    The 2-party system has served our country rather well, each party’s platform suited to the needs of different groups of peoples. The Democratic party needs to be torn down, but something needs to be built in its place or else the Republican party will be left in a de facto dictatorship. Now, I find nothing wrong with the Republican party. The Republican party cares about our country and our nation’s freedoms, but they represent one half of our nation, and citizens need more than one choice for full representation in government.
    That being said, I believe wholeheartedly that the PUMAs should become the next political party to replace the Democratic group. The strength and speed of the PUMA movement has proven its appeal and its capability in drawing a powerful base. The PUMA movement has the strongest potential to truly rival and take down the party of scam. There has been some talk in The Confluence about the need for more options last December, and we should have voting PUMA be an option.
    It can be a true grassroots organization, moving from the ground up, to reflect the minds of the people in a way than a long-standing party just can’t. We can start as mayors and other local officials. We can make ourselves known publically and spread out our base. We can field candidates from within the PUMA organization. From there, we can become governors, senators and representatives. We can strength our support base and widen it further to gain a stronger foothold. And from there, the presidency will be within our grasp.
    Once, there have been enough PUMAs in state governorment and the Democratic party has been greatly reduced in ranks, then there can be Puma VS Republican contests. I would truly love to see such an election. In the meantime, the Republican party can be a wonderful ally for they also have several grudges against the Democratic party, which has scorned us all.

  47. yay, my long post went through!

  48. My prediction is:

    Soon the Pampersphere will have numerous threads siting that R Reagan was not a “real” republican that he was a true Pre-Pampers Progressive!”

    At that point I will need my Vomit bucket again!

    RR as Proto-Pampers -yuck wretch yuck!

  49. There is some room for reform in the Social Security system.

    My wife’s immediate family has three generations – mother, daughter, and granddaughter – on SS ‘disability’ payments and none of them are of retirement age.

    Are they capable of working? Yes.

    Do they have any motivation to do so? No.

    Am I tired of my FICA payments going to support them? Oh, yes – very tired of it.

  50. The destruction of the social safety net has been going on for some time now. The last to fall is social insurance which people pay for as they do for car or life insurance. To finish it off they needed a “liberal” minority personage who was “created” to lead the way so it could not be called cruel and minority hating (ha! beat the spam filters I hope). By introducing this before he is even inaugurated, his real agenda is coming out. He is also wanting to privatize everything that hasn’t already been sold as in Chicago. Maybe the Pritzers would like to buy Yellowstone with a subprime loan.

  51. It will be interesting to see what happens to his AA support, if he continues down this road.

  52. Bonnie and Clyde didn’t have a GPS, but they instinctively knew where to go. The largest untapped pot of money in the world is now sitting in the SS Trust Fund. The same bunch of de-evolutionized jello-heads who thought it was a good idea to put people in houses they knew they couldn’t pay for have the coordinates on this pot-o-gold. They also happened to be the first ones to get BZero’s digits when he started toward the mile high styrofoam Parthenon. It isn’t coincidence when you get killed the second time.

  53. […] Comments Prolix on Don’t Say We Didn’…honora on Don’t Say We Didn’…Isolde on Don’t Say We […]

  54. Ya see, we should have let the youngsters take their Social Security donations and put them in the stock market as was proposed by Bush and the gang. Obama will see to it. How dare you little people who do hard labor complain. Some people have spent all their life thinking, going to the best schools and livng in Hawaii, they know best. Get your own damn mansion if you can.

  55. This is the Messiah we are talking about here. No Dem, repeat, no Dem is going to oppose this legislation and that includes Franken when it comes down to a vote in favor of whatever Obama sends to congress. They are all in it for the next election when they put themselves out there once again. No one will want to be seen “obstructing” the first black president and jeopardizing votes needed by their respective AA communities.

    Reid and Feinstein have already caved for whatever reasoning went on behind the scenes. This guy’s honeymoon, I believe, will last longer than most other presidents based on the theory that they need his AA constituency going forward by playing along with this agenda.

    Call me a cynic, but I do not see much outward opposition to him or his “Repub agenda” coming from the Dems. Anyone openly opposing him from the ranks of the party will face defeat in the next election. They have already threatened as much in the primaries.

    Unfortunately, we will have to look at the few remaining GOP Senate votes and voices of opposition to halt some of his gutted programs starting with Social Security. Promises have been made and the future of these careerists are strongly tied to Obama. It is we who will suffer, not them.

    Placing any faith whatsoever in a Pelosi or Reid to do right by the public has long vanished. Their is little opposition to him for reasons that far outweigh our trust. It is always the next election for these people. The chance to hold onto their seat that matters most. Paterson will more than likely appoint Caroline. He needs Obama and the AA votes for his own win as governor in a few years. No one will stand up for the people. It is all about them.

  56. It doesn’t take much of a rain to wash away clay feet.

  57. If nothing else has taught us during the primaries, it is that both parties are virtually the same. Without term limits these same players continue to feed at the trough and their endgame is based on power and holding on to that treasured seat.

    We are all to blame in this charade, repeatedly reelecting those candidates who do not serve us well in the long run but whose names carry star power, i.e., Kennedy from MA. How else can one explain Robert Byrd now in his 90’s sent back time and time again when his faculties are in question.

    New infusion is needed and we will never get that unless we rise up and demand an end to career politicians who are only in it for themselves. Term limits at least offer some semblance of guarantee that those who do choose to serve are doing so on behalf of the constituency and not so much themselves.

    The possible appointment of Caroline Kennedy is an example of the will of the people of NY to vote their own choice but because of her connections that choice will be made for them.

    I see little change attached to this upcoming administration. Too many “chits” are out there waiting to be cashed. The entire congress, GOP and DEM, are leading us down a path of destruction. The game is theirs to be played and we have been consigned to the bleacher seats.

    Franken, Burris, and Kennedy all owe a debt as a starter.

  58. Pat,
    As usual you’re absolutely correct – except for “No one will want to be seen obstructing the first black president and jeopardizing votes needed by their respective AA communities”, which I think will become stale pretty damn quick.

    Every incumbent needs to be voted out next go-round. As a matter of fact, even the “good” ones need to be primaried just to give them a run for their money (and I mean THEIR money) just to see where they stand and see where their money comes from. If there’s not going to be any campaign finance reform, then the least they can do for us is tell us who bought ’em.

  59. Who has been responsible for decades for Health Care- Ted Kennedy. The single person most to blame for the failure of UHC, and the person most responsible for foisting Barack on the American people.

    One can have no faith in the Dems.

  60. bb,
    I forgot to say great post and the O’Reagan picture is a keeper that needs to be reposted over and over. I think we’re gonna need it.

  61. Poor Ted, even though he’s has the best health care our tax dollars have paid for, will not likely be around long.

    Remember the health care heckler when Big Dawg was campaigning for Hillary? Bill said, “I’ll tell you why Hillary’s plan didn’t go through. Robert Dole, that’s why.”

  62. fuzzy: The Irony is the wankers and Pamper Changers have spent the last 6 months calling us rebublicans,but in reality their candidate is the one who was channeling RR from the grave.

    That’s exactly what I was thinking as I read over the post and comments. It seems like the new Degressive movement that is ObamaNation likes to wear the trappings of progressivism but at heart they’re Republicans.

  63. Please let me out of moderation. (I guess spammy is cranky from working overtime on the recent tr0ll infestation.)

  64. I wonder how all those seniors who voted for Obama because their grandkids told them to are feeling about this. And I wonder if those grandkids will lose any sleep over it.

  65. Yes, I remember that health care heckler. Later on she repented saying that she “had it on good authority” that Hillary had done nothing but shove her plans in a drawer once in the White House.

    She regretted her heckling (actually they were an elderly couple) because she had expected more recognition from the Obama camp than she got.

    Karma is a bum.

  66. Only Nixon could go to China. That old catch phrase meant that if someone who had not made a career of red-baiting tried it, the right would make it impossible. Well, only a Democrat can destroy Social Security and for a year now, Barack Obama has been positioning himself to be the guy.

    Meanwhile, he lobbied for the $700 billion to the banks and Wall Street, is proposing huge tax cuts for business (and not much for people), and won’t re-instate the estate tax when Bushies blunder runs out.

    The biggest Wall Street boom ever occurred under Mr. Bill’s watch and the Wall Street boys and girls fund Obama at incredible rates. Why? There was only one answer that made sense. Obama was going to let the greedy little monsters of Wall Street raid the cookie jar that is Social Security.

    Obama is and has always been an Oreo. Black on the outside and scary ambitious Republican on the inside.

    He’s running a cult of personality and not as a member of the Democratic Party. As the great basketball coach John Wooden wrote, “The star of the team is the team.” That was good enough for ten national titles and for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar but not good enough for Obama.

  67. laurie,
    yep, the young men at the Obama campaign headquarters physically “shuffled” her and her husband out the door because they didn’t want their help and felt they were just getting in the way. That’s when they realized they had made a mistake and started supporting Hillary. Too late, like many people. The rest are beginning to catch up now.

  68. We have been bought and paid for with the funds that came flooding to O from foreign countries during the campaign.

    This is all part of a much bigger plan – if people don’t push their legislators on this issue -we are dead in the water.

  69. janicen @ 7:02, I know what you mean. “Entitlement” and “Crisis” are two words that make me CRINGE when uttered by a Democrat.

  70. DavidK “Only Nixon could go to China. That old catch phrase meant that if someone who had not made a career of red-baiting tried it, the right would make it impossible. Well, only a Democrat can destroy Social Security and for a year now, Barack Obama has been positioning himself to be the guy.”

    Yes and yes.
    That old catch phrase has a lot of truth in it. That’s why I always thought that Johnny Mac would as an old military man have made a better job at ending the Iran war than BO.

    I’m sure that Social Sec. pot looks mighty pretty to them.

  71. oh thank you BB I KNEW this was coming!! the rat frakkers!!

  72. ginaswo, HI, ((((HUGS)))))!

  73. I remind youngsters that NYC Dept of Sanitation used to have a division that picked up dead elderly people off the streets of NY before Social Security…..heartless wretches are some of these me me me people…..i see some special inaugural ball is cut off for admission at age 35, called the recogniition of the work the yyoung people’ did,
    uhm okay so I miss the new ‘young’ cutoff being over 35, jeebus, so clearly a war b./w generations he is promoting…had they had all their money in the markets they would have lost everything the way some Wall St workers I know did, DIVERSIFY…and I wrote a comment suggesting PEBO would do this and they slammed me left and right, posted it on a site dedicated to PUMA comments and laughed..sure, let’s see these youngsters get by with the NEW economy without pensions, SS and HUGE HUGE deficits, PEBO will be raising their taxes after he gets a second vote out of them in 4 yrs ..maroons the lot of them….

  74. (((GIANT HUGS TO PDGRY!!!))

    Missed you!!!!

    I blog on my own now, pls stop by to read anytime, !!!!

    I lurk here too :0)


  75. hey pdgrey, I am finally getting to meet Hillary! Hubby gifted me with the best gifting evah, a ticket to see Hillary and have a photo with her at the Bon Jovi fundraiser next week in NYC!! and Big Dawg is to be there too! I am over the moon!!!!!!!!!

    how are your Dad and sister, I hope all is well

  76. david k , laurie

    yes!!! the old model is dead for fees, Golden Slacks needs a new model they have ZERO intention of being an actual bank and seeking depositors, they and PIMCO and the rest will get massive fees off investing the SS redistirbuted funds…good greif….

  77. Ginaswo, I’m so jealous! Happy New Year! By the way I missed the “keys to the castle” over at Camille’s. I can’t log on any more. Do I need to do something special?

  78. funny thing – this is at least the tenth “don’t say we didn’t warn you” type post here at the Confluence. DSWDWY is the new WTYS.

  79. ginaswo, Dad is not very well but we are making our way everyday. My sister isn’t walking very well either. My other sister, just found out she has to have a gall bladder operation. I thank you for always asking.

  80. JE @ 7:38AM,

    FYI, Unless your wife’s family members have worked for a rather long time, they would not be able to get Social Security Disability (SSDI), which is based on contributions to the SS system. They could be on SSI, which stands for Supplemental Security Income and is not funded through Social Security or your FICA taxes. It is an entitlement program that is paid for through general tax revenues. If you voted for Obama, be happy, because SSI funds are going to dry up and your wife’s family members’ payments will very likely shrink or go away as the states struggle to get by without Federal support. These family members whom you disdain may then be homeless or seeking help from you. Won’t that be fun?


    In fact you are not paying anything toward the SS payment of anyone receiving them now. The Baby Boomers, for example are already paid for. That is why changes to the system were made under Reagan. He wanted to end SS, but instead was forced to better fund it. It’s not our fault if GW Bush robbed Peter to pay Paul.

    However, I will say that based on your comment you sound like a cold-hearted, soulless individual, and this probably isn’t the right blog for you. Most of us are liberals who care about previous generations and those to come. I personally do not want my parents or future generations to die on the streets like beggars in Calcutta. If that’s the kind of country you want, then support Obama’s policies.

  81. Now I’m going to see if Whoever Kidnapped Josh Marshall is covering this at all. Hyoocrite!

  82. BB:

    We sure have lots of new visitors who say illiberal things, dontcha think?

  83. Yeppers. But I’d like to leave that one up to make an example of him.

  84. The spam filter is filling up all by itself this morning.

  85. myiq,

    That’s nice. I’m so glad that all our efforts yesterday and the day before are helping spammy do his work! The ends of my fingers hurt and I need to put on a wrist brace, but what the heck. Swatting nasty trolls can be fun.

  86. Now, I find nothing wrong with the Republican party. The Republican party cares about our country and our nation’s freedoms, but they represent one half of our nation, and citizens need more than one choice for full representation in government.

    I never call anyone out, but it’s evident that Karen has been in a coma for the last eight years.

  87. BB:

    Why is ABG so angry? He didn’t stay happy very long.

  88. SweetSue:

    Due to the attention we have received lately we have been inundated by trolls.

    Some are suicide bombers (they just come in and rant until blown to spamville) but others are more subtle. The subtler ones pose as friends/allies so they can post stuff to make us look bad.

    We’ve seen a bunch of concern trolls too.

  89. bostonboomer @10:39AM

    “I personally do not want my parents or future generations to die on the streets like beggars in Calcutta.”

    I don’t want that to happen to my parents either. Fortunately, my parents are doing pretty well. It is my in-laws who find it easier to take government money than to find a job.

    “These family members whom you disdain may then be homeless or seeking help from you. Won’t that be fun?”

    My wife and I have already discussed this scenario – they’ve burned her too many times before I met her and burned us too many times since we’ve been married by coming to us for ‘help’ so we are going to wish them the best of luck if their checks stop coming, but won’t be supporting them.

  90. In the interview, he offered some soothing words to Republicans and the financial markets about his ideological approach, saying it was only the scale and urgency of the economic crisis that led him to support a huge stimulus plan.

    “I’m not out to increase the size of the government long- term,” he said. “My preference would be that the private sector was doing this all on their own.”

    That is really scary. He goes out of his way to soothe Republicans, but continues to stab Liberal Dems in the eye. Amazing.

  91. ginaswo, on January 8th, 2009 at 9:58 am Said:

    I am so jealous! We want a full report after the event.

  92. “that is not the country I know”

  93. Social Security will only be in a shortfall for 12 years. The Boomers are not going to live 1,000 years and they had fewer children. Therefore, Social Security would show a large surplus after the Boomer generation.

    But we have a different problem here. China will no longer buy up our debt and Obama has these grand plans to help big business. Therefore, Social Security’s piggy bank will once again have to be broken into.

    Bush wanted to privatize SS but he wasn’t popular with young people and his pleas to them fell on deaf ears. Not so with The One. He made it clear from the beginning of his run for the Presidency that he was only interested in the younger generation. Watch the propaganda spew from Obama’s mouth against the old.

  94. I quite honestly didn’t think Obama would start trying to dismantle Social Security until his second term.

    Democrats had to see what going after Social Security did to Bush. He was damn near untouchable til then and suddenly, wham, not only untouchable but defeatable because of Social Security.

    Obamacrats may well slaver over Obama and his wisdom and his Reaganness but old time Democrats may well hear the steps of angry voters and think about it more than a little. If dismantling Social Security is done with most of the Republicans and a few Democrats I don’t believe Obama will see a second term. And if Democrats play along I think we will see a whole lot of Democrats with serious primary fights on their hands.

    As RD has talked about her pensions and 401K diminishing so have millions of other Americans. Those who once only thought of it as icing on their retirement cake are now regarding it differently. And no matter how many names the younguns call us old farts, we vote. And you talk about touching our Social Security and we’ll vote your sorry a$$ out of office no matter what letter you have after your name.

    I don’t think Obama and the Obamacrats will have as easy a road on this issue as many here think they will. I hope, for all our sakes, that I’m right.

  95. JE,

    You seem to have missed my point, which was that your FICA taxes aren’t paying for SSI. That was your complaint in the comment I replied to. Best of luck in your old age after Obama finishes bankrupting the country.

  96. KenoshaMarge,

    Maybe it’s worth it to Obama and his backers for him to be just a one-term President. Then they can buy the Presidency for Jeb Bush. See how that works?

  97. Jeb Bush has stated he will not be running for Congress in FL.

  98. I have to wonder what Senators from states like Florida, California, Iowa, Minnesota, Arizona and Nevada, whose constituancies are older Americans are going to say about all this. Could Obama have misread the times and the Democratic Senators? Another day another misstep.

    I just took another look at Senator Reid’s website and here’s what he has to say —

    Social Security reflects the best of America’s values. It promises all Americans that if they work hard and play by the rules they can retire and live in dignity. Social Security is not a handout. It is a benefit that Americans have earned by working and paying into the system.

    Social Security has been a remarkable success. Today, less than 10 percent of seniors live in poverty. If not for Social Security, that figure would be about 50 percent.

    Let the debate begin and let’s see who is willing to throw grandma down the stairs in her wheelchair.

  99. Kenosha — Bush always felt his biggest mistake was not to privatize SS in his first term when his popularity was high. I knew if Obama did this he would do it at the beginning of his Administration because once the media stopped covering it he could move on to other things.

  100. The reason to privatize SS is because Wall Street, like a vampire, needs a fresh infusion of blood (cash). All that money set aside for SS is just sitting there making them drool to get their hands on it. I can’t believe that at this time ANYONE would buy the idea. We already have privatized pension in the form of 401Ks and IRAs. Look how well those have done at this point!

    That leave a lot of people falling back on their SS, which appears to be a shaky proposition. bb has said it before, I think. Older people are expendable. Even if you do not mind working into old age, it is not as if there are jobs for you!

    It sure looks like the money behind BO was for this purpose.

  101. Kenosha — I agree with S.Hall — Obama wants to do this now because he believes his popularity is so high that he can “get away with it.” For those of us smart enough to object to it, I expect many tr0ll storms, special comments by KO that we are trying to hold back progress & allegations of r@cism. It will be the primaries all over again, but worse because now they know these tactics “work.”

  102. “Best of luck in your old age after Obama finishes bankrupting the country.”

    bostonboomer, well, since I’m only 40, my old age starts in about 25 years or so.

    No matter what happens now, I think the US will have recovered by then.

  103. I do think that someone has to take on the problems in the foundation of Medicare and SS. But every knowledgeable person I know says that Medicare is a far bigger problem than SS. They need to be dealt with comprehensively. Actually, I would like to see Medicare extended to all Americans. Employers and private $ could make up the gap between Medicare payments and medical costs, just as medicare recipients do. It needs to be like SS—everyone contributes as part of their SS taxes. This gives a solid foundation for everyone with an open end to ensure that you could get gap insurance of your choice. It would cost everyone more in the short term but in the long term a good thing. The other big thing should be a massive national program to improve health and fitness and combat obesity. When you go into a medical clinic, just check out the % of overweight people needing care. It is pushing up medical costs for all of us.

  104. The assumption here seems to be that Obama is proposing to privatize SS. Has this actually been stated by Obama? I see him moving so quickly to the center that I can’t imagine him doing anything that controversial. This man does not like conflict—-look how quickly he has folded on any number of issues, the latest being Burris.

  105. I am shaking in my boots re: my retirement which is supposed to be in near sight. Bush managed to screw us up royally in 8 years. Now Obama comes in to finish the job.

    Why do we give one man so much power? That is NOT what the “Founding Fathers” envisioned when forming our goverment. It was to be “OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE”. I think Presidents forget that. They think the presidency is OF, FOR AND BY THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES.

    Al Gore was right, put S.S. in a LOCK BOX. Obama didn’t care about us when he was my Illinois senator, and IMO, he doesn’t care about us as American citizens. He allowed Tony Rezko to provide sub-standard housing to people living in his congressional district but managed to get a sweet deal on his house instead. Expect more the same with Obama as president, only in greater degrees. His massive style inauguration while people are losing their houses and jobs right and left only confirms his “let them eat cake” mentality. With this rubber stamp democratic congress we now have, whatever Obama wants, I fear Obama will get.

  106. Fif: “I’m not out to increase the size of the government long- term,” he said. “My preference would be that the private sector was doing this all on their own.”

    I am not sure I read this the way you do. I do not think that government should be the central economic engine of this country. I do think the private sector should be that engine. Maybe this is a pronoun problem: what does he mean by the “this” in the statement. I assume he means stimulating the economy, getting people back to work etc. I do agree with that even though I also think at this point government is a blunt, awkward tool we have to use to try and get things going again. But government is just as corrupt, overreaching and screwed up as the private sector—more so—because it does not have a lot of competition. It does some things very well. SS and Medicare just happen to be the only big 2 I can think of.

  107. Wow, a lot of fear here

  108. Completely OT but speaking of the massive inauguration, it looks like they’ve already started putting up barriers along GW Parkway. They’re all the way into Old Town which is further than they extend for July 4. Man, it’s going to be a mess around here. Thank goodness my office is closing down for the 19th and 20th. I’m going to avoid inside the beltway like the plague!

  109. Angie, J Hall and BB, you may all be right. I just don’t think that it will be as easy as Obama and the Obamacrats seem to think.

    He may be riding high, wide and handsome but that can end PDQ.

    And sorry, I just don’t buy that in order to get rid of Social Security as we know it that Obama would resign himself to being a one term president. His ego and arrogance would never tolerate that.

    In addition when Bush was arguing for privatization the Stock Market was going up and up and heading for over 2000 on the Dow. The housing bubble was still big and shiny. Now there are far fewer people who think that investing is all that.

    Like I said, I may be wrong. I just don’t think it’s a gimme for Obama. Bush in his arrogance thought he would ram it through too. He learned differently. Hopefully there are still enough honest politicians, or relatively honest politicians, or politicians with a healthy fear of voters to stop Obama and the Obamacrats.

  110. Horrifying and even scarier than I had thought. Guess I’d better start cleaning out my spare room — MY parents lost their entire retirement savings to Enron (my stepmother worked there and wasn’t old enough to be permitted to divest herself of the shares the company stuffed into her 401k). Ugh.

  111. JE,

    I’m letting your comments through, because you are an excellent example of the types of people who supported Obama–the same kinds of people who supported Reagan and his mean-spirited “supply-side,” trickle-down” economics that created the horrendous homeless problem we have today.

    I guessed your age without being told. You’re too young to really recall the days when we didn’t have homeless people sleeping in parks and cars in large U.S. cities.

    Karma will get you too, if you don’t watch out, as John Lennon used to say. There comes a time in most people’s lives when the most important things in life are family and friends and caring and doing for others.

    Since I’m a psychologist, I think of it in terms of Erik Erikson’s theory–healty adults reach a state called Generativity (the unhealthy ones setting into “Stagnation”). That’s the stage in life when you begin to want to give back, to share your experience strenth and hope with others–both those younger than you and older. A lot of joy can be had through loving and giving–far more than anyone gains by taking, accumulating, and looking down on others. You either learn that in your life and continue to grow as a person or you don’t.

    Life is amazing, isn’t it? We have opportunities to grow and change and become better, stronger human beings throughout our lifetimes, right up until the end. Perhaps your wife’s relatives haven’t been able to grow–I have no way of knowing. I do know that you have a ways to go. Best wishes.

  112. OT — anyone else getting those emails begging for money for the innauguration (which, btw, is the most expensive ever — just what we need during these hard times) How much more money does Obama need & who are the idiots who keep sending it?

  113. Jangles,

    I’m basing my conclusions about what Obama meant in that quote on three things.

    1. I read “Audacity of Hope” pretty carefully. In the book, Obama clearly says he believes in turning over social programs to the “private sector. He also makes it very clear that he blames Baby Boomers for most of society’s ills. Finally he lionizes Reagan, and specifically praises him for cutting social programs.

    2. Obama’s top economic advisors are passionate privatizers from the U. of Chicago, Milton Friedman school of thought. One is Goolsbee, I don’t have time to google the others. If you’ve read “Shock Doctrine,” you know what they’re like.

    3. Obama got his early backing a much of his money from Wall Street investment banks. They need an infusion of cash, and the only big pot of cash left is Social Security, which is our money that we have paid in. They want it.

    Privatizing social security and medicare won’t save them. It will destroy them, and we’ll be back where we were in the 1930s. Medicare runs on almost no overhead. It could have easily been expanded to cover every American years ago. Social Security is also a very efficient system.

    I respect your opinion, and I know you are a knowledgeable person. I’m not trying to attack you, but I do think I’m right about Obama and what he wants to do. He is GW Bush II.

  114. Way at the top of the post FuzzyBeargville asked re medicare, “where are the inefficiencys in this program? I would like to know?”

    The obvious weakness (speaking as an American living in Canada) is that it only includes those at the high usage end of life. When you pool all the resources, covering the entire population, the low-usage population balances out the high-usage population.

    By-the-by, the stories about how awful the Canadian healthcare system is do NOT reflect my experience, or the experience of anyone I know, nor the experience of anyone I have heard or read about. I’m a healthy person, but I would consider myself completely irresponsible if I risked moving back to the States.

    “May the farce be with you!”

  115. I and most other physicians and hospitals, take Medicare payments which are 1/3 or less of our usual and customary fees. But we take it and the disabled and elderly get private medical care and private hospital care that fully matches full-pay patients care. If bobo starts messing with this insurance, there will be hell to pay for these group of people. If you can spend trillions on your wars and trillions on your bailouts, do not try to deprive hard-working doctors, nurses, and hospitals of their fees, however pathetic the amount is right now because we will not work for free when CEO’s are billionaires.

  116. Hi Angie,

    I think I got them. I just delete everything without reading–even Hillary’s and Bill’s e-mails.

  117. jackyt,

    You are exactly right. Excellent point!

  118. kenosha — please don’t misunderstand — I don’t think he will get away with it (at least I hope he doesn’t) — I think he thinks he will — that is how conceited he is — he thinks he can get away with anything because thus far he has — Wright, Chicago, Blago, etc. I’m hoping this will be the final break that separates the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, with the vast majority realizing WE weren’t the crazy ones & with only the die-hard Obots on Obama’s side (kind of like W’s 22 percent fav. ratings).

  119. JE — BWAHAHAHA!! you actually said “since I’m only 40, my old age starts in about 25 years or so. 40 is OLD baby, OLD — I know, because I’m younger then you by a few years & the Obots tell me all the time how OLD I am! You must be a man. BWAHAHAHA!!

  120. I don’t think he’ll get away with it either, because we will hold his feet to the fire and so will lots of other people. If the boy blogs want to enable him, fine. They will only be more marginalized.

    Angie, last night we had three posts highlighted on Memeorandum. The wierd thing is that this post was linked there right after I pulished it–within minutes! It’s as if they have some kind of software monitoring blog stories and we are one of the blogs. Amazing.

  121. Angie,

    JE is one of those “I’ve got mine, f&&k you” types that drank the koolaid and believe Obama won’t f**k them too. LOL!

  122. I of course don’t know what Obama might have in mind in detail on the SS front.

    But the language he has used is quite radical and disturbing, to say the least. It’s clear that he doesn’t have in mind some small fix — essentially, SS and Medicare are going to have to bear a major brunt for correcting any deficits Obama will be introducing.

    I personally doubt he’d introduce privatization at this stage, in the wake of the meltdown on Wall Street — nothing could be more politically damaging.

    But I can easily see him reducing benefits or raising payroll taxes over the long haul — indeed, he has no other options, so far as I can see.

    Why a Democrat might use the current financial crisis to seize on that option is the question. Certainly a liberal wouldn’t. One would have thought that it would be the Republicans who would exploit such an occasion to do something so, well, Republican.

  123. bb — that is great about the memorandum! your post deserves it!

  124. Bravo BB’s comment at 1:03! The problem we have with the younger set (even younger than you JE) is that we’ve lost “looking to the elders” who have walked the walk and talked the talk. Hopefully, having walked a long journey, we’ve gained wisdom. Sadly, the youth is not interested in our gained wisdom and would rather do their learning through media and unfortunately, the worst – each other.

    JE said “Wow, a lot of fear here.” IMO, one can call it “fear” or one can call it dealing with reality.

    JE said: well, since I’m only 40, my old age starts in about 25 years or so. No matter what happens now, I think the US will have recovered by then.

    So you hope, JE. Aaah, young one, let me tell you something – the government is starting to think “you are not so old at 65”; afterall, the statistics show you live until 83 or so. Furthermore, for the first set of boomers, the retirement age is no longer 65 – it’s 66; and there is talk that soon it will go up again – to 67. That can be found on the Social Security.gov website. Soon, it may go to 70 or even 75; or, hey, maybe even 80 if they are keeping us alive long enough. Anyway, you get my drift.

    I will be 62 on Saturday. I am applying for my check now – at 62 because I am afraid it just won’t be available when I’m 66, or I might even have to wait several more years to get the full benefit. I might as well put it in the bank and draw interest or even start an IRA for my daughter. And speaking of my daughter – you see I know what goes on with the present young generation – I had her when I was 40 – she’s 21 now. She’s lucky to have parents with wisdom. LOL

  125. JE, actually if you’re 40, physically speaking, you’ve been in decline for many years. Humans peak in their 20s. If you’re not already on an exercise regimen, then I respectfully suggest you start one because major muscle loss starts around now and the weight piles on faster and it’s much harder to take it off. And I’m not being snarky or fearful, just an honest-to-goodness head up.

  126. Yeah, gxm17; agree 100%; it’s all downhill from here to JE at 40! JE will now have to work, and work hard to maintain his health, looks (if he has it), vitality and stamina. Not an easy job but he should, as I said, listen to the elders!

  127. bostonboomer, thanks for letting my comments through – this is an interesting dialog.

    angienc2, you really think 40 is old? Pehaps it is a male perspective/female perspective thing. Although my wife is the same age as I am and she tells me that she doesn’t feel old either.

    bostonboomer, regarding “JE is one of those “I’ve got mine, f&&k you” types”, I think of it more along the lines of, “I provide for my wife and myself so best of luck to the rest of you.”

    Perhaps you have the resources to extend your circle of “people you are willing to financially support” further than I am able, or willing to do.

    Sheri, my mother is 69 and her husband is in his early 70’s and they both work full time. She’s an office manager and he maintains computer systems. They work for a woman who is in her 90’s and still running a business.

    I expect to be generating an income one way or another all my life.

  128. For my age bracket full retirement is 67. JE’s will be too unless it’s extended again. Then it will be 70.

  129. gmx17 – yes, that is a very good point regarding health and exercise. Thanks for that advice.

  130. gmx17 – also eating a healthy diet – I don’t eat nearly as much processed foods as I did when I was younger. I even find that I like my vegetables.

    And have cut my alcohol intake down to almost nil. I feel healthier for that.

  131. bb: JE is one of those “I’ve got mine, f&&k you” types

    Yeah, I know that type — they used to be called Republicans — now, they are Obamacans! LOL

  132. Angie: LOL! At least we can still laugh. It’s easier with a clear conscience too.

  133. Oh jesus, they are going HARD for the kids now….


  134. Whoa! Owen, thanks for the link. That’s unbelieveable. My brother will probably buy it too, and he has little kids.

  135. “Yeah, I know that type — they used to be called Republicans”

    Well, maybe I could have been a Republican in the 1970’s.

    By the time I reached voting age, the Moral Majority types had pretty well taken over the GOP and since I’m liberal on social issues, I have never voted for a Republican.

  136. Brava, bb! Wonderful post, though quite terrifying. For a small
    business person close to retirement age, it is especially so.
    And it’s not just oldsters who will feel it, it will affect entire
    Anyone who was paying attention could have seen
    this coming, though, honestly, I didn’t expect him to be so
    blatant about it, and this early. I think people like KO won’t
    defend it, they’ll just ignore it. So will most Obamacrats, just
    pretend it’s not happening, kind of slip it between the sheets.
    Unless we make a very big fuss it will sneak on through.
    I repeat, we need to organize more. I hope that many of us
    will think about running for some kind of local office.
    Pumas and those without blinders need to keep the
    pressure strong, loud, and steady. I wonder if we could
    convince Hillary to stay in the Senate and keep up the fight.
    We need to find some people who are brave enough to
    do their job.

  137. franklyO — Seems BO and Michelle have one thing in common–they love to scare people. Nobody wants to make any major changes to SS. Even my Republican Senator who was a proponent of Privatization feels that anything more than tweaking SS is not on now and maybe not ever.

    Harry Reid’s office says he feels stronger about the importance of SS now then when he wrote the position a couple of years ago which appears on his website.

    Obama is following the Bush Rule. If you scare the public they will go along with anything.

  138. JE says he’s not worried because he is only 40 and all will be well by the time he is 65 (btw, the age has already been pushed back). What is his point??!! Nothing matters as long as he is covered??!! I guess that mentality is a good example of why things are so bad now.

    Actually, I don’t think privatization of SS will go over with the public. I do think it will be tried, however. Like angie said.

  139. Obama appears to be squandering his power on something which is so divisive–dismantling SS
    and Medicare.

    Roosevelt understood something that Obama cannot even hope to comprehend. We need to put money in the hands of the people and they will spend it. When Roosevelt said WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR BUT FEAR ITSELF the nation rallied around him. Obama’s scare tactics makes him look like he is frightened by the office he is about to hold.

  140. BO acts like he just now found out there are issues out there. Hillary had a plan to help foreclosures a year ago. We still don’t have a viable plan!! The banks took the money and bought up other banks with it.

    BO is scared now because he did not have the sense to realize what the problems were in the first place. He thinks that just because he just found out, that we just found out. Kinda the way Bush always acted.

  141. angienc2, on January 8th, 2009 at 1:17 pm Said:

    kenosha — please don’t misunderstand — I don’t think he will get away with it (at least I hope he doesn’t) — I think he thinks he will — that is how conceited he is — he thinks he can get away with anything because thus far he has — Wright, Chicago, Blago, etc. I’m hoping this will be the final break that separates the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, with the vast majority realizing WE weren’t the crazy ones & with only the die-hard Obots on Obama’s side (kind of like W’s 22 percent fav. ratings).

    My point exactly Angie. I’m sure there were wiser heads telling Bush that he shouldn’t try to do it and he, in his arrogance, went right ahead because he thought that he could do anything he wanted.

    I believe Obama is the same type. I’d bet there are wiser heads trying to rein him in too. And just like Bush he’s not about to listen to anyone. We’ll see. I think he’ll try and fail. And that may just be what’s needed to do him in. That and his Reaganomics b.s.

  142. “What is his point??!! Nothing matters as long as he is covered??!! ”

    Well my point was that the current economic troubles don’t mean that America is doomed. Things look bad now, but in 20+ years, things will be better.

  143. someone over at no quarter said that his SS check has been cut by $200. anyone know if there is any truth to this?

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