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Conflucians Say: “Fire!” over Social Security

Well, the Obots can’t say they weren’t warned about Obama.  We told them he wasn’t a liberal.  It looks like he is onboard with tinkering with Social Security.  If I were him and actually *cared* about the economy, I would back away from Social Security reeeeal slllloow like.  It’s not just a retirement fallback, it’s an insurance policy against risk.  Without it, how many Americans in the past 6 decades wouldn’t have changed jobs or started their own businesses?   There are too many short term thinkers with tunnel vision where social security is concerned.  Social Security makes entrepreneurship and creativity possible.

But leave it to Obama to want to have a “fiscal responsibility” conference to discuss how we might cut benefits for those under 55.  That would include yours truly who just lost a whopping amount in her 401K.  Yep, at this rate, I’ll be working until the day I die.  If I’d known that, I would have demanded more vacation time and higher wages.  Leave it to the well heeled to pull the rug out from under you when it’s too late to get back on your feet.

So, how do we raise the alarm?  And how do we coordinate our messages with the people who scorned us last year but are having a case of buyer’s remorse now? Stayed tuned for Conflucian’s Say tonight at 10PM EST to find out if we have any answers or just more questions.


115 Responses

  1. I love how they call it an “entitlement” program. Excuse me, I think I paid a ton of hard earned cash into a program that was supposed to return some of those earnings back to me as well as share the wealth among many.

    I can’ t wait for the Obamabots to realize they’re about to get screwed royally. Do they think when the benefits are cut and the retirement age goes up that they will pay less.


  2. It would please me greatly for Barack Obama to grasp the “third rail of American politics” with both hands.

  3. Can I just hunt him down now and beat the sh!t out of him with my cane? Anyone else that tries to survive on SSDI can join me. Especially those of us $10 to $20 over the monthly limit to qualify for anything else. Those Medicare B and D supps. are killing me.

    Back to lurking ’cause my hair is now on fire.

  4. How about when you reach 65 they hand us a gun along with the gold watch and you can shoot yourself at the same time which will save so much in the long run!

  5. Can I just hunt him down now and beat the sh!t out of him with my cane?

    If you did that there wouldn’t be anything left but an empty suit.

    Oh, wait . . .

  6. I don’t fully recall the specifics, but I believe people under 55 already have to wait until around age 67 to retire with full benefits, so this age group has essentially already given up benefits once before.

    After cutting benefits for future retirees, perhaps the next step the government will take will be to issue prepaid credit cards to beneficiaries in lieu of cutting checks. Just look at how well that is working for people on unemployment:

    Can you imagine being charge 50 cents just for calling the bank to ask how to check the balance on your unemployment prepaid bank card?

  7. myiq2xu, on February 19th, 2009 at 10:18 pm Said:

    It would please me greatly for Barack Obama to grasp the “third rail of American politics” with both hands.
    I have heard nothing from AARP about this..they should be screaming…Maybe be they have been bought off??? And didn’t Pelosi make a statement that everything was on the table except for ending SS and Medicare?? Something about this realy stinks!!

  8. I live in Taxachusetts and they are now talking about charging 1/4 of a penny for every mile you drive.

  9. myiq: I’m with you. Let him do it and feel the wrath rain down on his head. My mother was born in 1919, as such she’s a “notch baby”, she’d make all of $6500 per year if it wasn’t for farm income. Thank god she has other income, because I wouldn’t be able to support her.

    Sorry for ranting, I’m just so completely fed up with all the cheap gold plated BS from him and his cronies.

    One last thought, screw Pelosi and her Italian jaunt.

  10. sam, on February 19th, 2009 at 10:33 pm Said:

    I don’t fully recall the specifics, but I believe people under 55 already have to wait until around age 67 to retire with full benefit
    I am not sure what full benefits means…The SS payment is on a sliding scale beginning at 62 and extending to age 70. The full benefit is not paid unless you delay until age 70. “Full retirement age” is now 66.

  11. SHV,

    I haven’t looked into social security for some time, so my terminology may not be accurate. I may be thinking of it more in retirement terms for a pension plan, where you would have earlier retirement, normal retirement and late retirement, with benefits being modified on a actuarial basis.

    Anyway, didn’t full retirement age used to be 65 and isn’t it scheduled to be modified for some age groups until at least age 67? So, if prior to the modifications, I would have been able to retire with full ss benefits at age 65, and if now I need to wait until age 66 or 67, wouldn’t I in effect have incurred a benefit reduction?

  12. off topic did you all hear what clyburn said today


    Evidently it is r@cist to oppose the stimulus bill too. Quite the one trick pony that Clyburn is.

  13. I am so sick to death of having to be told of r*cism being inserted into everything. It is getting quite old. Just a ruse to keep us from looking too closely at the policies and players who benefit. And Clyburn benefits in his home state. As well as his relatives who are also feeding at the trough.

  14. The msm is missing in action as usual. I’m just afraid the sneaks will sneak the changes in attached to some other bill and we won’t know what hit us until it’s too late.

    The Republicans and the right wing noise machine won’t raise the alarm because killing the centerpiece of the New Deal has been their goal for the last decade; that and resurrecting Reagan as God. So these guys might just get away with dismantling the program using stealth tactics.

  15. sam,

    I am an early baby boomer, and I have to wait until 66, but that still isn’t for full benefits. You get more if you wait till 70. But of coursse you actually don’t get more, because you’ve given up a lot of years. I was planning to get mine at 62 and take less money for a longer time, but apparently there are some strict limits on how much you can work if you do that.

  16. Clyburn should concern himself more with this new buildup expected in Afghanistan. The economy is so bad that a lot of young AA men are signing up just to secure a form of income and those are the ones who will more than likely be sent there as fodder for this effort.

    No wonder Obama did not want to commit himself to overturning the ban on photographing those caskets coming home. He knew the same thing was about to happen with this folly on his watch.

  17. I just want to say that one of the highlights of my week is Confluencian’s Say — It’s amazing to me that I’ve never met any of the callers in person. It seems like I’ve known everyone all my life.

    ♥ Riverdaughter: Thank you for sticking with it.

  18. I am happy I took retirement when I did last year. I would have lost money in my 401K and my pension since both were diversified. And I love not having to work! Having done so for 30 years, on top of raising a family, to be able to take it then while I still had my health and can still enjoy it is a saving grace.

  19. katiebird: You are so sweet!

  20. bostonboomer, on February 19th, 2009 at 11:06 pm Said: Sam,
    BB, I retired at 62 because I calculated that I’d have to work 12 yrs. beyond 65 to make up for what I could get starting at 62. It may have changed, but last I knew you could work without limit after age 65.

  21. I’m planning to start Social Security at 62 — Except for the part about being 62, I can’t wait!

  22. Bostonboomer,

    My “full” retirement age for social security is 67. I know that even though early and late retirement are still allowed, by adjusting the full retirement age from 65 to 66 and 67 the government was able to project cost savings for the ss program.

  23. I just looked it up. If you retire at 62 in 2009, you can earn $14,160 per year and still get your benefits. If you earn more than that they take back a dollar for every $2.00 you earn. I stil think it’s worth it. I will be 62 in December.

  24. I feel like I know you all too. I can’t believe we’ve only been doing this for a year.

  25. plainjane,

    For me it’s 66 before I reach my full retirement age. They raised the age under Reagan.

  26. bb: It seems much longer though doesn’t it?

  27. SHV, on February 19th, 2009 at 10:40 pm Said
    My husband started drawing his social security at age 65 but continued to work at his job full time until he was 70 3/4 yrs.

  28. Pat,

    It really does. I can’t imagine how I got along without you all as a support system. It has really helped my mental health. I’m not kidding.

  29. {{Pat}} and {{BostonBoomer}} ♥

    ♥’s all around!

  30. bb: So true, and I think you speak for many of us.

    Quiet here tonight. myiq must be out walking those “things”.

  31. I have been grappling a little with the retirement age. I appreciate the input on taking SS at 62. I am bb’ s age. Originally I did not plan to start early, but the way things have been going, I may have to. Of course, it all depends how long you end up living, but I wasn’t sure how much you lose out by taking SS early – getting less, but for more years.
    Right now I am not working. I am taking care of a parent.

  32. BB Are you sure it was under Reagan?. My husband started drawing SS in 98 when he was 65. He has always drawn the max.

  33. Did someone call me?

  34. pj – I think it may have been passed to apply to future retirees.

  35. My husband started drawing his social security at age 65 but continued to work at his job full time until he was 70 3/4 yrs.
    Basically the same now, except full retirement is 66…you can make an unlmited amount of money money working and have no reduction in benefit.

  36. Fran: My understanding is that if you opt to take it at 62 you are stuck with that rate. In other words, when you reach 65 your benefit bracket will still be what you get at 62. You get COLA only.

  37. My father in law worked until he was 70+ and died without ever retiring. Or taking Social Security. He just didn’t wake up one morning.

    I think it’s a risk to put off taking Social Security.

  38. If you are healthy you need to consider all options. Why wait to get the last drop out of it if you are unable to enjoy at least a portion of your time.

  39. Fran, on February 19th, 2009 at 11:37 pm Said:

    I have been grappling a little with the retirement age. I appreciate the input on taking SS at 62. I am bb’ s age
    SS has a retirement estimator to do “what if” scenarios at:


    (I have not used it, so I can’t comment on how useful it is)

  40. Okay, I need to go to bed, but just for some background info on ss, if you were born before 1938 your full retirement age is 65, because of 1983 change, the full retirement age will increase gradually to 67. Social security offers booklets to help you determine the best time to retire, and you can calculate future benefits at the social security website (www.socialsecurity.gov).

    I used to work with pension plans, and believe me, anything you take prior to the full retirement age will be reduced based on life expectancy tables and other factors.

  41. Pat – Thanks for responding. Yes, I realize you are stuck with the lower amount ever after. I think you can actually take in anytime in between, at rates that are basically staggered accordingly.

    Oh well, I am glad that there is something, although not much, only a year out, if necessary.

  42. plainjane,

    Yes, because your husband is older than I am. It’s graduated by age. For me it’s 66, for younger people like Riverdaughter, it’s 67. And now they are talking about raising the age again. I’m going to apply just as soon as I turn 62. I should still be getting around $1,000 per month and I’ll have to keep working. If I wait till I’m 70, I could get more like $1,800 per month, but who knows if I’ll even live that long?

  43. thanks, sam.

  44. I doubt I will make it to whatever the new retirement age will be(I’m in the same boat as RD,40 years old). All of my grandparents passed in their 60s or earlier. My dad passed in his 40s and mom has had two heart attacks and a stroke and she just hit 60. Genetically speaking the chances of me seeing 70 are probably slim to none.

    My husband is RR though so we don’t get social security. They are one of the last of the pension type folks. With any luck he’ll get his pension and I’ll get a half pension as his spouse.

  45. Pat Johnson, on February 19th, 2009 at 11:41 pm ————————————————————————–
    You are right, Pat. I am at the same rate as when I retired except for the cola increases every year, but compounded yearly for 16 yrs. that’s a fair amount. If my husband predeceases me, I can apply for his benefits or 50% of them (?) which would mean substantially more as he worked longer and earned more per year than I did.

  46. If they start playing with SS it will only increase the poverty level to even greater heights. Expecting someone to wait until they are 70 years of age is a form of economic indenture. People under the age of 45 or so have a chance of at least socking something extra aside (if they still have a job) but those closer to retirement age now have less of an opportunity to cushion themselves in the event of radical decreases.

    It is just sickening to contemplate.

  47. I paid for 25 years into Social Security. Then I went to work for the railroad and paid into railroad retirement. They take more out of your pay for railroad retirement but the monthly payout is larger than soc sec.
    When I was laid off from Conrail, I went to work for New Jersey Transit so that I could keep railroad retirement.
    The rule is that if you go to work for a company other than a railroad what you paid into railroad retirement went back to social security.
    I now (consult) two days a week of a commuter railroad and I collect railroad retirement.
    I am allowed to work for a railroad other than the one I retired from. From 65 to 70 the income is limited just like social security. I also had to pay into social security from my consulting pay even though I collect railroad retirement.
    A small part of my monthly payment is from social security due to the fact that I did contribute to it.

    Please do not tell backtrack about railroad retirement or he will try to screw that up too.



  48. CWaltz,

    My Great Aunt Ruth’s husband worked for the RR. He died fairly young and she spent the rest of her life traveling all over the world. She seemed pretty comfortable living on his pension. Plus, she could take the train anywhere free.

  49. I picture them sitting around in back room, rubbing their greedy hands together, trying to figure out the next move to fatten their wallets while draining ours. Very unpleasant group of people.

  50. I have been in an identity crisis all year, since turning 60. No other birthday ever affected me. We don’t really celebrate birthdays, but I asked my son to take me out for a drink when I turned 60. He took me to some kind of hip club in town (where he lives). Pretty funny. We are both tall, so no hiding. Anyway, I had fun and want to do it again. I have been looking out for my parents for a few years now.

  51. Pat,

    If they did that now there would hell to pay. I guess that’s why they have all those “FEMA camps” ready. But even those might not be enough if they really try to reduce us to serfs. There has to be a point where Americans will wake up and get angry.

  52. Fran,

    I think 40 was the biggest shock for me. I feel good at the age I am now. I think being over 50 is so freeing. I’m very comfortable with who I am. But of course every time you hit a decade, it’s a bit of a shock. Turning 30 was shocking for me too. LOL! Now 35-year-olds seem like children to me.

  53. My Dad just read about those FEMA camps – or they also say places to round up illegal aliens. I said I had already told my son awhile ago that if I ever just disappear, you’ll know that is where I am.

  54. at Johnson, on February 19th, 2009 at 11:50 pm Said:

    If they start playing with SS it will only increase the poverty level to even greater heights.
    The bigger financial threat is “fixing” Medicare. A serious illness would “eat” a full years SS benefits in just a few days.

  55. I’ll be totally sucking if I have to rely on Social Security anyways. Even though according to the papers what I do is worth over $300,000, I don’t get paid and therefore don’t pay into Social Security. It’s already effected those little statements they send out that I have been home with the kids for 6 years. Its easy to see why women have a higher incidence of poverty. In addition to living longer if you take time off to devote to your children it impacts the sum you collect at retirement age. Couple that with the fact that we make less than our male counterparts as well. Ugh.

  56. bb – It’s just that I had other plans.

  57. Has anyone else read a blog called Market Ticker? It’s shockingly scary about the economy.

    But, I’m still not sure what any of it means to regular people. — If these doomsday scenarios happen HOW does daily life change?

  58. I tried to help my neighbor deal with her medicare. She needed to be put on D once she got diagnosed for diabetes. She pays an annual premium and gets her stuff discounted for 7 months of the year, the other 5 the poor thing will be paying an arm and a leg for her medication.

  59. bostonboomer, on February 19th, 2009 at 11:47 pm ————————————
    I think anyone who can take ss should before they mess with it again. I think the present bunch, Pelosi’s denial notwithstanding, is out to make cuts in the plan.
    I also remember a couple of months ago that they had some woman economist testifying in congress about taking over people’s 401K’s, then giving them back a set amount each year towards Medicare or was it Social Security benefits? Anyway, the point is that the gov. was going to attach whatever you might have planned on using for your retirement so that everyone would get an equal “piece of the pie”

  60. bb: Is there such a thing left as righteous indignation? Somehow I feel we have lost that as well. With little or no accountability remaining in any level of society, it seems to me we honor the transgressors more than those who have tried to do right.

    Madoff is still entitled to sit in his 7 million dollar penthouse while his lawyers look for ways to circumvent the system. Bush and Cheney walk free. Rove will more than likely get a pass. Outing a CIA agent and putting the nation in jeopardy saw only one man walk the plank. Lies are fed to us on a daily basis and the media looks the other way. Felons turn their stories into books. The market is in freefall and those who were in charge demand bonuses. We praise celebs who come and go into rehab.

    No one is accountable for their behavior and often benefit from acting out. There is no longer a call for moral indignation. We just sit here waiting for the next recall of products because somebody took a bribe and looked the other way.

    We are sheep. Helpless, hopeless, willing sheep.

  61. One thing I would like to mention is Qualified Medicare Beneficiary usually referred to as QMB. If you don’t have much in the way of a bank account, this can help with Medicare Part B and D premiums. The states administer it through federal pass through grants from HHS. It also pays the 20% co-pays if you qualify. Check with your state. Go to its website. Some have it under health and human services; some have it under aid to the elderly or disabled, etc. It can really help.

  62. 30 was a bad year for me. I remember folding diapers with 4 kids clinging to my ankles and on the tv came an ad that said: “You aren’t getting older, you are getting better!” For some reason I began to bawl thinking, is this all there is?

  63. Wait until you turn 70///////
    I did not think I would live to be 60 as both my parents died before they did.
    I feel like I must do things now that I wanted to do .
    I am lucky enough to still be able to do them. But I feel why wait? Every day is a gift.

    I have a plaque on my wall
    life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming ” Wow, what a ride!!!!”

    I also have a plaque in my kitchen
    I want to be an outrageous old woman who never gets called an old lady.
    I want to get leaner and meaner,sharp edged and earth colored, till I fade away from pure joy

    I have never been politically correct in my life and really have no intention of starting now.
    I still want to learn from other people
    Hopefully teach someone lessons I learned in life.
    I want people to remember me as the one who tried to live life to the best of my ability and never had to say “what if’



  64. Pat Johnson, on February 20th, 2009 at 12:09 am Said: 30 was a bad year for me.
    It was bad for me too. That’s the year I got married!! Har Har
    I had to deal with the 3 boys

  65. I had my children starting at age 32-38, all boys, and a husband married to his job. I stayed home for 12 yrs. until they all were in school full days.

  66. HelenK,

    That’s wonderful. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. My mom is 83 and is still doing well. She has been lifting weights for years now, and that has really helped her.

  67. By 30 I had 4 kids, a mortgage, a husband working two jobs. I also used to strip, wax and buff my kitchen floor every Friday. Spring and Fall I would take down all the venetian blinds and wash them. A trip to the grocery store with 4 kids in tow was a “day out” for me. I kept the tv on just to hear another adult voice in the house. Kids in the tub every night.

    When I look back now I am amazed that I got through it without losing my mind altogether.

  68. helen – thanks! I had planned to start anew when i was 50, and had raised a child to HS graduation, so I’d still be young enough. Events intervened. Now I still hold out hope that I can do it, even if I am 70 by then.

    btw, my comment about having other plans was meant, at least partly, as a joke. We always have other plans!

  69. I remember when I turned 25, I thought I was a complete failure because I hadn’t accomplished anything great yet. After all, John Keats died at 22 or something. That is really how I felt. LOL!

  70. I think there would be another American Revolution if they try to mess with Social security; even the young uns wil join in.

    All the smart people are predicting that today’s youth will have a lower standard of living than their parents. I don’t know that the youth have been told that yet. But I doubt they’ll appreciate having to help their parents out when they’re brown bagging it at work, taking public transportation everywhere and playing with the same
    X-Box they got for their sixteenth birthday.

  71. Fran,

    You can do it! I went back to school in my 40s, and I’m very close to getting my Ph.D. In the process, I’ve managed not to have to work 9-5 for a very long time. I quit my job in 1986. I’m enjoying the second half of my life.

  72. BB, My parent’s lift weights and walk on a treadmill. It helps but they’ve both got a lot of health problems. I’m really glad I’ve been able to spend so much time helping them this last 1/2 year.

  73. I am amazed that I got through it without losing my mind

    I’m afraid I have some bad news

  74. myiq:*&*&*&&^%^&%%!!!!!!! &******&^&%&^!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. Katiebird

    That Market ticker person sounds angrier than all of us combined.

    Pat J
    Putting other people first can be exhausting. I am blessed with a great spouse though who recognizes that I need me time from time to time. I also was fortunate enough to have had some life experiences prior to having them. I have fit in some college courses and get big people discussions here(I’ve even started including the older two in some of our big people discussions). All in all I’m not doing too bad. However I do realize there are a whole lot of women out there not as fortunate as me. My mother was 19 when she had me. She stayed home with us for 12 years. The fact that she stayed home for 12 years impacts what she’ll get at retirement age. Right now she’s between a rock and a hard place because health wise she shouldn’t be working like she is but she can not afford to retire, not with what they will pay her if she did.

  76. What’s funny is that what you considered important than slowly diminishes over time.

  77. Dick Cheney is furious at George W. Bush because he didn’t pardon Skooter Libby.


    “He tried to make it happen right up until the very end,” one Cheney associate said.

    In multiple conversations, both in person and over the telephone, Cheney tried to get Bush to change his mind. Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the federal probe of who leaked covert CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity to the press.

    Several sources confirmed Cheney refused to take no for an answer. “He went to the mat and came back and back and back at Bush,” a Cheney defender said. “He was still trying the day before Obama was sworn in.”

    After repeatedly telling Cheney his mind was made up, Bush became so exasperated with Cheney’s persistence he told aides he didn’t want to discuss the matter any further.

    The unsuccessful full-court press left Cheney bitter. “He’s furious with Bush,” a Cheney source told The News. “He’s really angry about it and decided he’s going to say what he believes.”

  78. Pat Johnson, on February 20th, 2009 at 12:18 am
    It’s makes me tired to think of those floors every Friday and the venetian blinds, and all, with 4 children, husband working 2 jobs.. You should have been depressed, but you probably didn’t have time for it..

  79. Cheney can go to hell. And take Bush with him.

  80. (snoring) I think I’m asleep…..

  81. I am fading too.

  82. It hit me out of no where. I guess I’d better go or I’ll fall over on the floor….


  83. No matter what age you are you only are guaranteed the right now.
    man plans God laughs
    I you really really want to do something find a way to do it.
    Hopefully it is legal. If not do not get caught.
    If you do get caught get a PUMA lawyer.
    Try to find laughter where you can.
    Make sure you let the ones you love know it.
    Have a ball, we do not know what comes after. Other then on tv does anyone come back to tell us what to expect.



  84. BB

    I kinda like 40. When I was in my 20s and even into my 30s. I was all wide eyed because the world seemed so new.It was exciting and scary. I had a whole bunch of firsts:First real job, first apartment, first house, first real love, first child, first real failure I could only blame on myself. It was scary and exciting. At 40 I look back at all the firsts and in some cases seconds and thirds and all that I have accomplished good and bad and I feel confident I can weather what is ahead because I weathered all that.

  85. Good points, helen.

  86. cwaltz: So true. You never know when something is going to puncture your plans. You need all the reserves you can pile up in order to get through. Humor is a mainstay.

  87. Thanks!, bostonboomer.

    I went back to school in my mid-thirties to do what I had always really wanted to do it the first place – study fine art. After awhile, I had to work to support myself and my son. Those couple of years, in school with my little boy and on my own were the happiest time in my life.

    I still want to do things, but sometimes I feel as though I have run out of steam. I still hold out hope though.

    btw, weight bearing exercises are the best thing for bone strength, which is actually very important when you get older.

    also, btw, my son could not afford another car when his died and now rides a bike everywhere. He is a total bike enthusiast – now building his 3rd bike. It turned out to be a good thing. I gave it a little start last summer. Want to try again this spring. I do need a decent bike, but not anything fancy. I don’t know how much longer I’ll have my car. It is 17 years old.

  88. Katie Bird @ 12:01 I’ve been wondering the same thing. Somthing happened to me today that bothered me and I hope is not a sign of things to come.

    A young man, late teens or maybe early twentys, rang our doorbell. When I came to the door he asked if I needed any chores done. Without opening the door, I told him no. He asked again and I told him sorry. Then he asked if I could help him out with $5.00, I hesitated then he went down to $1.00. He seemed distraught and I wanted to help him but I thought better of opening the door. So I didn’t. All the smart people also predict crime will go up. It’s already happening in some cities.

    Now this is NYC and I’m used to panhandlers; on street corners, on the subway, at the gas station, in front of Dunkin Donuts, but they DON’T ring people’s doorbells. Is the desperation spreading?

  89. bostonboomer, on February 20th, 2009 at 12:21 am —————————–
    I was still going to school in my 40s, and I remember my Dad asking when I thought I’d quit going . I told him I didn’t plan on stopping as school was something I was good at.

  90. Joanie,

    My parents have had people knock on the door and ask for work. They have hired a couple of them to do odd jobs and it has worked out OK. Lots of people are already desperate. They’ve lost homes and jobs.

  91. I’m getting really sleepy too. I’ll see you all tomorrow.

  92. Thanks for the discussion, ladies!

  93. Bedtime for me as well. Night all.

  94. RD.

    Look into selling some advertising on this blog of yours?

    I have no faith that pensions, 401’s, Social Sec or anything else will be left by the time these Dems get through.

    They don’t give a flying F — because, like we all know — they aren’t actual Dems.


    I read somewhere yesterday Bill Clinton gave him a year — of people liking him. At this rate?

    We all need to rethink how we have lived, believing in the American Dream — or just believing in being American?

    It’s being robbed by degrees.




  96. Did anyone see the feature on CBS News tonight about the 90-year old man who has had to go back to work at a supermarket? He lost his entire retirement fund in the Madoff scheme.


  97. KJMontana, on February 20th, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Did they treat it like oh what plucky , real can do kind of guy ! Or was there any out rage for him ??

  98. I’m really tired of hearing how the little guy has to do with less., way less. That is ALL the media talks about. But has one Wall St bonus…er, I mean ” retaining fee” , been withheld yet ?? Get back to me about
    my belt tighting when one bonus doesn’t go though.

  99. Off-topic: The state of Georgia is seeking to execute a man whose guilt is very dubious:


  100. Awhile back I had read a post on SS “reform” over at the C-blog. They had a link to an economist who stated that Social Security…as of right now…as is…can handle its payouts for the next 40 years.

    During one debate with HRC, Obie mentioned something about raising the income cap on SS withholdings to help with the “crisis”.

    If the economist above is correct, and they are worried about something more than 40 years out, then raise the income cap and see how that works. I’m sure there are the smart people out there who can plug in the numbers and such to see what that does.

  101. There’s also the case of Lori Berenson:


  102. Paper doll @1:16:
    Yes. It was a real ‘it’s just terrible, but he’s gone back to work and look how spry he is at 90″ kind of whitewash. See, his family lost everything in the first depression so we don’t have to feel too bad for him “cause he knows how to handle it.”

    He’s 90 freaking years old!! He’s gone back to work while Madoff sits in his penthouse. Seems to me Madoff should be paying this retiree a monthly allotment… that Madoff earns by making license plates in prison.

  103. just one more thing gay people are screwed on…. if my spouse dies I get 50% of nuthin from social security……

  104. right on indigo….my partner died in 2001 and at age 60 if we were legally married I would would be elligible for a widowers pention but I get nothing-

    how have you been….

    Oh and social security is the 3 rail of politics if you tuch it you get burned..I hope Pampers gets fried!

  105. After careful consideration, my friend who turned 50 joined AARP. She was unsure b/c of the Medicare Prescription plan, but ultimately she decided they won’t let Soc. Sec. go. Made sense to me. She figured they needed as many liberal voices as they could get to tell them to keep social security.

  106. PS. Gay people do get screwed on Soc. Sec., but on Dec. 23 Bush signed a law that the surviving partner of same sex couples could get the same tax status as a surviving spouse with respect to inheriting private retirement accounts. When my friend (only a friend) died, I inherited part of her retirement benefits from the fed. gov’t. I paid a lot of taxes as a non-spouse. As far as I know, this was the first law to recognize same sex partnership at the federal level.

  107. bostonboomer, on February 20th, 2009 at 12:26 am Said:

    “Dick Cheney is furious at George W. Bush because he didn’t pardon Skooter Libby.”

    That makes me so happy! Who did Libby take the fall for? Cheney, Bush or both? Did Dick promise Libby a pardon? Honor among wrongdoers?

    Cheney didn’t get his way? Booo hooo

  108. I remember reading recently in Politico that “the left” – whatever this may still be – is quiet on Social Security. Was it a statement of fact? A warning? A prediction?
    Anyway, apologies and settlements in the media today

  109. I’ll pay attention to the NYTimes when they apologize for their lies about the Clintons.

  110. Anyone with college age children or older should go visit and stay for an extended time. Then tell them to keep the extra room handy because when you retire you will have to move in with them. That might focus them on the long term rather than the short term. 🙂

  111. I am venturing out of lurkdom . .
    On Setember 4th of this year, I will be working for the same company for 35 years. I will be 57 years old this year. I am SO sick of this place that having to work 5 more years is really starting to not sit right with me. I now work for double the amount of people than last year due to layoffs. I always dreamed of working less in my old age. Starting to collect SS at age 62 is my only hope. My dad passed away at age 58 and never got to enjoy one day of retirement. I do not want that to happen to me.

  112. katiebird, on February 19th, 2009 at 11:10 pm Said:
    I just want to say that one of the highlights of my week is Confluencian’s Say — It’s amazing to me that I’ve never met any of the callers in person. It seems like I’ve known everyone all my life.
    ♥ Riverdaughter: Thank you for sticking with it.

    Katiebird –me too! except I feel like they are the women I have always wanted to know my entire life. I listen to the program the next day during lunch… almost time now.

  113. Don’t worry. The retirement age will be extended to the age when actuarily you should be dead. AARP will continue to offer entertainment, vacations and hotels at reduced prices for those who are still living and won’t pay for any treatment Medicare has not approved.

  114. What about starting whatever is necessary to get our SS money out of the “general fund”? Destroy the cookie jar… “Entitlement” my eye!! It is OUR money that is being plundered.

  115. {{FembotsForObama}} Thank you so much – I hope you can call in sometime.

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