There was a time that I thought Americans remembered why there were pensions and programs like Social Security. I thought they understood that someday they also would be old and that average working people cannot save enough money to retire if they must do it alone. Between rising costs of everything (forget the lies that inflation is low- it's not with basic things people need most) there is no way the average family can hope to retire without either a corporate or government pension, Social Security or two out of the three.
I think a lot of the righties and Independents who have decided Social Security is bad simply don't want to pay for it. They don't remember what it was like for oldsters before it came along. They weren't born then. They listen to fools like Marco Rubio who say it's taken away people's independence. *taking a deep breath to avoid screaming*
Rubio is a baby basically and he's listened to lies from the right as well as knows it's what the right want to hear. So he goes to Reagan's library and says what the right wing wants him to say-- SS has hurt American independence. I guess he only knows people who don't mind the elderly moving in with their family or maybe he thinks for an oldster to work all their lives is what independence means.
Here's the thing-- no pension system is any different than Social Security. They are the same thing. Government, corporate, whatever you want to call them. People pay into them for a future chance to not have to work when they get old. That was the whole idea and those who think it's not needed anymore either are counting on their own pension system to bail them out, or are too young to care and don't like the payroll tax (which Democrats seem determined to end making Social Security fail that much sooner).
There is an easy fix for SS if not for government pensions. With SS, just have everybody pay the tax on all their income. It would take care of the shortfall and then make sure that the country understands, it's not to the advantage of any to have old people in poorhouses or forced to live with family members who don't want them. Remember how it used to be or let me tell you for babies like Rubio.
Some elders would move from one house to another within the family and had no home of their own. Others moved in with one daughter's family. The ones without family faced a very bleak future with old folk homes and dependent on charity which Rubio likes the idea of a lot but it doesn't give independence.
Back then very few had the option of quitting working based on savings to maintain a home. That is why there became Social Security. It was not some evil plot of Democrats but came from evaluating a situation that Americans didn't want to see going on where the elderly were living in poverty unless they came from families that had left them a lot of money.
The photo at the top is of my great grandfather and grandmother. He died at 65, working still for mining companies in Deadwood, South Dakota. My great grandmother then forever after lived with her kids. Is that the future for America? Really, truly, that's what people like Rubio and Perry want so they can save people making over $120,000 a year from paying a payroll tax on all of their income? Truly?
Here is the problem, as I see it, with what the author said. He is speaking of what Christians should want who actually follow Jesus Christ's teachings. Is there any evidence that is what Perry and Bachmann are doing? Can we see by their words how say the Sermon on the Mount has influenced their agenda for America? They are good at saying it's who they are; but by their actions, which is what Christ said we should go by, what is the evidence? Feed the poor, heal the sick fits into what part of their political agenda?
Here's the thing, as I see it. The right wing with the help of some rich billionaires, has turned government into the bad guy. It's as if government is some evil entity out to take what everybody else has worked to get. The concept that government is what we said we wanted done, that's foreign to the ones who only see a dollar as of value.
So inspecting meat, monitoring pollution, setting standards for what can be put in water, maintaining roads and bridges, public schools, libraries, programs for the handicapped, elders, and the needy, to the right wing, pffft to it all. There was a reason for those programs but a very selfish (plus I think short-sighted) current generation has been led to believe there is not. Because some of them failed or weren't what they should be, they are being told they should be gutted-- except for a mightier and mightier military anyway.
Right wingers talk about cutting the budget but they don't get specific. At least I do admire that about Rick Perry. He's specific. He has shown what it means to follow a right wing agenda for Texas with less high school graduates, less health care for those who cannot afford it, less regulations on pollution, lower wages and his desire to see Social Security and Medicare be declared unconstitutional. He does this all with an arrogant swagger that worked for GW Bush and who knows might again. Palin proved how much righties admire arrogance.
What I wonder is how many people who bemoan tax cuts on those making over one million dollars a year, how many of them who want less government realize what that will look like in twenty more years. It all began under Ronald Reagan to dismantle what earlier generations worked to create with a government that did serve the people. It is coming to a culmination now with a Supreme Court who is totally on the side of corporations and a Republican party that only considers extreme right wing figures as their nominees.
Is this America? Is it what we will find our country looking like if these people take over all power? The righties who support this really don't have a clue that most of them will only lose under it. They are simply into the idea that when the rich get more, they somehow win by that. They like the idea of less freedoms for American people and a dictatorship under someone else's concept of God where you no longer have personal freedoms but corporations can do whatever they want.
We will know in 2012 who Americans really are. Is this really a united states for all the people or every man for himself? Right now I don't have the foggiest idea.
And for anybody who says I am an Obama apologist on this, sorry but you don't know me at all. When we got called, twice now, asking to donate to Obama, we said no soap, not unless he truly becomes the progressive we thought he was. Oh, we'll vote for him. What is the option? Surely nobody could seriously see me voting for a Romney, Perry or Bachmann, but if the Republican party had a real conservative candidate, which they do not, then I don't know what I'd do.
Obama has been a disappointment but not because he went too far left. It's because he didn't fight for the values I believe made this country so powerful and are being threatened-- concern for us all and a belief that it's a ship that the weakest take down if we don't work to make it possible for everybody to have a chance. Damn to the talk that we want everybody to have happiness. This isn't about that. It's about everybody having a real chance to work for it and for the weakest citizens to be protected. College right now is hard for the middle class to get degrees and soon won't be possible for anybody but the wealthy and how long after before a high school diploma will go with it if the Perry mentality keeps growing in this nation.
Pretty much take any Republican candidate and look to what they believe, what they call for having happen, and you see the same thing. Huntsman might be the exception but he doesn't appear to have a chance because he's evidently not a religious fundamentalist as Romney is (yes, Mormons can also be fundamentalists). Is this the America that the right wants for our future?
At one time I considered myself a pretty tolerant person. Now to an extreme right winger that means I was bad bad bad as they have equated being tolerant as being liberal, evil, communist, socialist, etc. etc. But to me tolerant means if you don't come knocking on my door to try and impact my life, I don't care much what you waste your money or life on. I have seen too much foolishness to believe I can really impact what other people swallow or how they want to spend their dollars.
BUT that is changing and my tolerance is disappearing as more and more I feel threatened by religiosity that spouts pious phrases (while too often living anything but pious lives) and wants to push that onto me through laws. The desire among some is to go back to Puritanism and here is the kind of thing that makes me worry it just might happen.
If you have known very many people on a personal level who talk like these two, you know their personal lives often show anything but what they claim in public. Not to say it's true with today's crop of right wing religious leaders; but even if they live those pious lives, what they want to push onto me, the government they want to dismantle to replace with something new of their own invention (of course, actually their concept of god's invention), well that makes me worry.
I hope anyone thinking of voting for those of this mindset (read above article), will consider that no matter what they say, their religious views will be primary in their decisions and right after that will be profiting the rich. I think this should be a very scary time for anybody from either party as when one party becomes the tool of an extreme religious view, the other party feels they need to be less responsible for what they do-- as though, of course, people won't vote for this. Look around the world and through history for how that worked out in the past!
Using the excuses of improving our economy by lowering taxes on our richest segments, likewise that we could ship jobs overseas and somehow improve our lives, that denying some medical care would get more money for others, that we didn't need regulations on anything because corporations would do it wisely themselves, that we should fight wars overseas somehow to keep ourselves safer, that a public education system is bad and we should depend on corporations to educate our children, that universities are hotbeds of wild thinking about things like evolution hence we only need again the corporate system that will yield doctorates to people based on their say so and no idea what education those people actually got, we have gotten into one hell of a mess as a people.
From the looks of it the same thing is happening around the world, with blame easy to put on left and right ideologies for how it got here. There is a very weird illogic system in place with a large segment of our population who listen to someone like Palin when she says she told us that our debt would ruin our credit rating as a people. Excuse me but maybe what impacted that (if we assume the ones at S&P used any logic), was a segment of leaders who said they wouldn't pay their bills and if they became the majority the debts owed would be ignored. But people who listen to Palin could care less about logic. And you can take that to the bank!
Try reasoning with any right wing person and after awhile you get to feeling as though you are talking to someone who had been moon-blinked as described in the stories of the owls of Ga'Hoole. They do not deal with facts or issues and their favorite tactic is insults and sometimes if the discussion is online, it becomes crude.
(Incidentally for anybody from the right who actually reads my words before saying something crude and rude, your disagreeing comment will only make it here if you use logic in the argument. Insults-- pfffft!)
My son came out this week one evening to pick up his two boys, and he asked the question as his frustration was as great as mine about our situation today-- How do we reach people who are not operating from facts but rather from feelings? I have no clue and have been trying for a long time.
When people tell everybody that a president must tell the world and everybody else how exceptional they are, they are demanding lies to satisfy their egos. They don't want any of the programs today that would help us maintain what used to be our exceptionalism. They want, I guess, to ride on the coattails of those who came before and were exceptional, who understood a public education system of superior quality mattered if a nation wanted to be a democracy where the people could vote wisely. This was a population who understood, in sufficient numbers, that the government not only can do good things like maintaining public libraries, but should!
I about go nuts when I hear a rightie put down public education as a way to save money. They do this by saying it doesn't work. Oh and corporate education works so much better when it can produce a doctoroate for someone like Bachmann's husband where he then goes around saying people can pray to change someone's gender and it works. I don't doubt for a second they can brainwash someone into denying their nature. That happens regularly but to change sexual orientation!?! Oh, doubtless, they can pray to get them to ignore what it is, to deny what it is, to even use secret perversions to hide what it is, but change it? No, they cannot but the place he got his degree wasn't teaching facts, and it was able to give a degree based on ideology because we have lost track of what an education means.
The people who put down that public education are likewise those who most likely benefited from one. They were able to attend college at a time where anybody with a B average in high school and who had taken college prep classes in high school could pay their way by part time jobs. That's was then and this is now where a university degree can put someone in hock for years and years. It's not enough that students pay back the loans, Republicans want the interest to begin the moment they get the money, hence multiplying what it will end up costing them. No wonder we hear of kids prostituting themselves to pay tuition. That suits a certain mentality of American, I guess.
My concern for the future of the middle class is obviously becoming stronger as I have grandchildren growing up who will someday be trying to make their own way in a world that seems to value none of what I remember it valuing.
American exceptionalism has to be earned and it cannot be done by saying I only want to pay for what benefits me. It has to be done by seeing us as a whole, seeing government as a valuable tool that must be kept effective and honed, ready to use as well as looking at what programs and tax codes will help us compete in the world.
You cannot fix a bridge by sitting on your hands (and wallet) saying government cannot do anything right. You cannot ignore the history of the situation that if corporations end up maintaining all of our infrastructure (for their profit not ours) with no oversight by anybody else, we will end up with a lot of it crumbling.
We are not exceptional people by just being born here. It's what we do with what we are given when we stepped into life in a very beneficial environment. Destroying that all to prop up some rich people while we ignore the educational system that could let future generations work for what earlier ones got, well that makes me so mad I cannot even write about it without a rise in blood pressure.
I don't deny that we have had programs that didn't work or do what was intended. Fix them. Don't destroy them and don't tell me that all that should matter is what benefits you and then claim to be a patriotic American. You are just a selfish one.
The deadline for deciding on raising the debt ceiling, almost led to the United States refusing to pay its debts. What would have happened had Obama and Democrats not agreed to compromise is anybody's guess. A certain group of people didn't care what it did to the people in this country, to the world, to anybody; and there is a Bible story that fits this situation quite well.
Solomon was a wise king who basically served as judge and jury over disputes of his people. Two women came to him with such a dispute. Both women claimed a baby was theirs. With no DNA back then, he had to figure it out. Finally he said, he'd cut the baby in half and each woman could have half. One woman said basically-- suits me. The other cried no, don't do it. Let her have the baby. He gave the baby to her as she obviously loved the baby as a true mother would while the other didn't care.
So here we are today with many finding fault with Obama for agreeing to the Republican terms (which were no tax increases on the rich, no increases of revenue, and only spending cuts which mostly will hurt the poor and middle) to prevent the country from going into default. One faction of the Republican party doesn't care. They say let the country go into destruction to avoid them losing any ground at all. So tell me who really loves the country, the whole of the country?
Nobody will deny Obama has made some big mistakes with how he handled the debt ceiling. He could have dealt with it last year before the election when he had a majority. But his biggest mistake has been to believe that a certain segment of Republicans truly do love this country. They talk a good show, flags and all, but when it comes down to it-- cut the baby in half!
Born 70 years ago, I am still living in the Pacific Northwest which I love from one end to another. My interests are writing, video creation, creativity, dreams, relationships, politics, photography, aging, country living, transitions, our senses (all 6), and spirituality.
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