BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin's presence in the lower 48 means the Arctic ice cap can finally return.

calendar   Saturday - May 14, 2005

One Down Forty-Nine To Go

Iowa has enacted the first tax free HSA in Medicaid.  Iowa is different from other states on HSAs.  When Des Moines WHO Radio host Jan Mickelson was interviewing the President last month on Social Security he changed the subject to HSAs.  If you are running for president in ‘08 you better bone up on HSAs because you must start in Iowa.  Now that Medicaid has the HSA option I suggest you say, “We need more choices, more options, more freedom in Medicare, including HSAs.” But don’t use that exact quote because President Bush has already used that one in Iowa .. and it worked ....

DES MOINES — Gov. Tom Vilsack signed into law an unprecedented reform of the state’s Medicaid program Thursday, an overhaul that will make thousands more Iowans eligible for health care coverage under the program.

Iowa is the first state in the nation to attempt such reforms, and state officials are optimistic the changes to the health care program for the poor and disabled will be successful.

“This is extraordinarily unique,” Vilsack said. “It is cutting edge, and it is all about providing opportunity for quality health care to Iowans.”

Vilsack was joined by state officials, lawmakers who helped pass the landmark legislation and members of Iowa’s health care industry.

Around 30,000 more Iowans would qualify for Medicaid, and a new effort would be placed on preventative health measures to reduce smoking and obesity.

Close to 290,000 Iowans, or one in 10, are currently enrolled in the program and wouldn’t see changes to their benefits because of the reforms.




Posted by Z Woof   United States  on 05/14/2005 at 12:13 PM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (18) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Friday - May 06, 2005

Why Congress Refuses To Fix Social Security

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Steve Kelley, The New Orleans Times-Picayune


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/06/2005 at 05:48 AM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (11) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Thursday - May 05, 2005

The Little Dutch Boy And The Dumb Ass

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John Trever, New Mexico, The Albuquerque Journal


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/05/2005 at 06:22 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsSocial-Security •  
Comments (5) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - May 02, 2005

Last Will & Testament

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Chuck Asay, Colorado—The Colorado Springs Gazette


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/02/2005 at 06:19 AM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (7) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Thursday - April 14, 2005

Dirty Pictures

WARNING! The pictures below are not safe for work. Not because they contain nekkid women (they don’t) but because they contain images that might induce heart attack, stroke, apoplexy and/or extreme rash in sensitive people. They are (horrors) Federal Budget Graphs! All information below comes from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and are for the 2002 budget.

First, where does our government’s money come from? Take a look and see. Do you want to talk about corporations not paying their fair share? How about social security payments into the system? Take your choice ....

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Second, where does the government spend money? The first thing that should jump right out at you is that the President and Congress decide how to spend only 35% of the total budget each year (the red and blue pie slices). Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Nearly two-thirds of the budget is already allocated each and every year for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interest on the national debt and other mandatory entitlements and guess what .... those pie slices are growing at astronomical rates each year. Now, we can either keep increasing revenues to make up the difference or start cutting our military or other “discretionary” spending like federal housing, welfare, national parks, environmental cleanup, highways, airport screeners .... you get the picture.

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There! Now you can see graphically where the problem is, can’t you? What, are you blind? Look again. No, I’m sorry if you’re having a stroke. Just keep looking until it sinks in that this is pure evil ....


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 04/14/2005 at 12:27 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsPoliticsSocial-Security •  
Comments (6) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Medicare: The Real Problem

One issue left off the poll yesterday was Medicare (poll results will be published next week and a second poll to determine where you stand on those issues will be posted on Monday or Tuesday).

Medicare was left off because no one here seems to understand or care what a real problem it is .... and it is only going to get worse as baby boomers get older. Much worse than the Social Security crisis that is looming on the horizon. There are many reasons for this but you need to read these two articles to fully understand ....

First, in Canuckistan, the problem seems to be arriving much earlier than it will here in the USA because of the Canucks’ socialist medical system.

Harper given electoral bomb on health-care
Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Preston Manning and Mike Harris tossed an electoral bomb into the lap of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper on Wednesday, issuing a joint report calling on Ottawa to get out of medicare and let the provinces experiment with private health services.

Manning, the Reform party founder, and Harris, the former Ontario Tory premier, insisted their report, commissioned by the right-wing Fraser Institute, was non-partisan.

But it quickly became fodder for a potential federal election.

Follow the link and go read the rest. It is on the verge of outright chaos in our northern neighbor’s government over this issue. That house of cards called Canadian Public Health is about to come crashing down. Sic Semper Socialists!

Meanwhile, back in the Home Of The Brave and Land Of The Free, the situation is not much better. Did you know that Medicare in the US is already running in the red and has been since last year?

Medicare v. Social Security: Who’s on First?
Medicare may be failing faster, but both can be saved

First, the facts. Both programs are in trouble because they are subject to the same alarming demographic trends. Today, these programs have about four workers paying taxes to support each beneficiary. Starting in 2008, 70 million baby boomers will begin retiring, and they will live longer than their parents did. That means that the number of workers paying for each beneficiary will drop to just over two by mid-century.

But Medicare adds a number of multipliers that make its situation more severe. Social Security benefits are tied to wage growth; Medicare spending is tied to health-care costs, which are rising more rapidly. Medicare benefits are paid in the form of medical care, rather than lump sums of money. Seniors only receive subsidies when they go to the doctor — something Medicare encourages them to do more often. And there is constant pressure to expand Medicare benefits — from seniors, healthcare interest groups, and advocates of socialized medicine. Recent examples include the new prescription drug benefit, as well as coverage for preventive screening, obesity, and quit-smoking programs that President Bush added by fiat.

These factors make Medicare’s fiscal outlook over five times worse than Social Security’s. Social Security is expected to run a deficit starting in 2017. But the hospital insurance (HI) portion of Medicare began running a deficit last year. It was equal to nearly 9 percent of all federal income-tax revenue, and will only get worse. To finance the rising costs of outpatient expenses like doctor visits and prescription drugs will require huge transfers from the general revenue fund in coming years. Medicare trustee Tom Saving and his colleague Andrew Rettenmaier estimate that Medicare will consume 25 percent of federal income tax revenue by 2020, and 50 percent by 2040.

To fund all of Social Security’s future deficits, we would need to set aside $12.8 trillion in an interest-bearing account today. Fully funding Medicare’s future deficits would require a whopping $68.4 trillion. According to Cato Institute Senior Fellow Jagadeesh Gokhale, if Congress waits until 2008 to tackle Medicare’s financial problems, a Medicare payroll tax hike of nearly 700 percent will be needed to cover all its future deficits.

If those numbers don’t scare you then nothing will. The article cited above came from the prestigious Cato Institute and I tend to believe the numbers .... which is even scarier since it is not coming from some Leftist goblin with crap for brains.

No, these experiments in socialism that began in both countries after the depression and WWII are about to fall totally apart, just when the people they were “supposed to help” start to use them. The next twenty or thirty years may get extremely ugly as millions of “seniors” strap on their dentures and Depends underware and start a revolution, carrying pitchforks and torches to the castle of the evil government scientists who invented this monster called socialism.




Posted by Z Woof   United States  on 04/14/2005 at 11:47 AM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (21) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Wednesday - April 06, 2005

Illegals News

The Border Patrol weenies are pissed off at our Minutemen. Seems they keep tripping the sensors put in the ground.

Too fucking bad.  If they won’t do their jobs, the Minutemen will.


Look for the liberal media (hell, let’s throw President Bush into the group, also) to use this as a justification for allowing illegals to stay in the US.

It’ll fix social security!!!


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Posted by Ranting Right Wing Howler   United States  on 04/06/2005 at 04:04 AM   
Filed Under: • Illegal-Aliens and ImmigrationSocial-Security •  
Comments (1) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - March 07, 2005

Social Security News

Demonstrating once again why Nancy Pelosi is such a stupid partisan bitch more interested in advancing the politics of misinformation so prevalent in the Democratic party, she is once more spreading bad info about Social Security.

To wit, she says:

“The President has said this is ‘pay-as-you-go’-well, it’s not ‘pay-as-you-go,’ it’s a trust fund.”

Gee, Nancy, are you sure everyone else is aware of this?  Apparently most everyone in government realize it IS pay-as-you-go.

Is anyone surprised at this dumb broad’s rantings?


For another perspective on when SS will run out of “cash”, read this.  It does not make for happy reading though, so be forewarned.

I do not look forward to a good stock market year when 2007/2008 rolls around if all this author says is true.


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Posted by Ranting Right Wing Howler   United States  on 03/07/2005 at 06:45 AM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (5) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Wednesday - March 02, 2005

Social Security

omehow this beast keeps rearing its ugly head with rhetoric flying on both sides. 

In the interests of trying to present both sides of the issue I have some stuff for you to look at.

First off, we start with Vox Day’s piece on WND. Having read it I come away shaking my head wondering at his agenda with his view.  He spends a lot of time going into the machinations of balancing the different averages but I saw little that would lend it self to the argument that a person should not invest in the stock market (yet somehow I feel that’s the point he is trying to make.)

Could be I read too much into it since Vox is WAY more intelligent than I am so maybe I missed it?

I do know he posted to his blog about market re-balancings and the advantages (albeit yet proven) of investing in the stocks kicked out of the major averages (DOW, S&P, NASDAQ, etc.) Yet this seems like a tie in to that which really has no bearing on the SS argument.

Ahhhhh, maybe he’s advocating a “stock only” portfolio for SS rather than an index portfolio.

Someone more well versed than me will have to break the code on this one.


Not to be left out is a new contest sponsored by MoveOn.Org

What’s it about?  They are:

joining forces with actor John Cusack, cartoonist Aaron McGruder, and liberal activists Al Franken and Arianna Huffington to promote the contest, called “Bush in 30 Years: A Flash Contest to Stop the Republican Social Security Scam.”


Damn!  Even Pat Boone is chining in on this except now he’s channeling Will Rogers.

For a humorous approach to the SS mess, read Pat’s article.


OK, maybe this one does not advocate one position or the other but it is an excellent example of the media hypocrisy evident in this debate.  Particularly startling is how the NY Times takes issue with the USA Next group tenuously tied to the Republican party on this debate but absolutely disregards those leftist groups are tightly tied to the Democratic party.

In addition you have Air America going after them, too.  Yet they conveniently forget a few things which Michael Tremoglie writes about in this article.

Stuff like:

Democracy for America was founded by current DNC Chairman Howard Dean.

Whereas Dean is no longer there, his brother Jim, is.  (No relation to Jimmy Dean, I am sure!!)

Funny how Air America does not seem to think there might be collusion going on here, eh?

Democracy for America actively opposes Social Security reform. Democracy for America’s lists a “Blog for America.”

or

Democracy for America received $250,000 from George Soros

or

Democracy for America received $100,000 from the leftist Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

or

that Air America was financed by Democratic National Committee advisor Mark Walsh.

Ooops, missed all those one, too, eh, AA?

But tenous at best ties by USA Next top the Republican party is the RAGE, the NEWS!! the SCANDAL!!!!


Then again, if we look at the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan we’d see that it beats the pants off Social Security.  And it is simple because it offers five investment portfolios:

G Fund: This is, in effect, an intermediate-term government bond fund. It invests in specially issued Treasury securities. “The G Fund rate formula is the same as that used to calculate the interest rate for investments of the Social Security Trust Fund,” notes Tom Trabucco, the thrift plan’s spokesman. The fund is managed by the plan itself.

F Fund: This is an intermediate-term high-quality bond fund that tracks the Lehman Aggregate Bond Index. Like all of the portfolios except G Fund, it is an index fund that is managed by Barclays Global Investors, the world’s largest indexing firm.

C Fund: This fund is indexed to the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index ($INX) of large-capitalization stocks.

S Fund: This portfolio is indexed to the Wilshire 4500 Index of small and mid-cap companies.

I Fund: This fund is indexed to Morgan Stanley’s Europe, Australasia, Far East, or EAFE, Index of large-company foreign stocks.

Sounds amazingly like what I’ve been advocating, right?  Plus it has extraordinarily low overhead by employing less than 100 people.

For numbers, etc.  go here.


Lastly, I got this from Allan a few days ago adn even went to the site mentioned.  It is an effort by Democraps to PROVE how bad privatization would be.  Yet they give no assumptions, premises, or amounts used (total privatization?; 4 percentage points? individual half of contribution?)

The info comes from The Political Junkie Handbook

Pundits have written much about President Bush’s Social Security Privatization Proposal.  The Democrats’ social security calculator gives the user a general idea of how they would fare under Bush’s plan.  Unfortunately, there is little information about the calculator.  What factors did they consider?  Benefits under the Bush plan are a function of time, return on investment and age of retirement.  None of their assumptions are listed.  I believe that they chose a very low ROI, probably around 2%, to arrive at their conclusion that retirees will find that their benefits will be cut under privatization.

I tested two rates of return on investment: 4.23% (average annual return over last 10 yrs. in an international stock index fund) and 6.95% ( average annual return over last 10 yrs in money market index funds) .  I compared returns from the perspective of current age (50, 40, 30 and 20 years of
age) and income ( $30,000, $60,000 and $90,000).

The results indicated that some people gain and others lose at a 4.23% return and everyone enjoys substantial gains with a 6.95% return.  I estimated that everyone will break even or enjoy small and moderate gains from the existing Social Security benefits schedule with approximately a 5% return.  This should not be too difficult to achieve since the S&P 500 annually returned over 10% in each decade during the last 70 years.

Naturally not every group experienced the same returns.  Generally, the young and affluent experienced comparatively greater returns.

(Here) is a chart summarizing my findings.

Cordially,

Michael Crane

Flail away, folks!  Let’s hear it!


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Posted by Ranting Right Wing Howler   United States  on 03/02/2005 at 06:49 AM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (7) Trackbacks(1)  Permalink •  

calendar   Thursday - February 24, 2005

Social Security/Retirement Plans News and Commentaries

Larry Kudlow slams the President for acting very George H.W. Bush by saying, “watch my lips, no new taxes” and then says increasing the payroll cap on social security is on the table.

Leftists and mommy government types think this is the solution:  raise the caps so that more money can flow in.

What they don’t realize is that it is a hell of an increased tax not only on people but the employers as they must match those contributions, too.  Raising taxes does not solve ANY problem.  It just increases government bureaucracy and in this case, the legal obligation of the government. 

The problem is that the leftists in this country only want to go half way--they want to increase the cap but say nothing of the obligation that SS must cut even higher checks to those who contribute more.


But before we get too excited about government legal obligations, you would do well to read this little snippet:

In Flemming v. Nestor, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1960 that we don’t have a legal right to a dime in Social Security benefits. Payroll taxes, said the court, are just that – taxes, not “contributions” to an assured or fail-safe program of defined benefits.

In the eyes of the law, Social Security retirement checks are no different from the subsidy checks that farmers get for not growing wheat. Either set of payouts can be reduced or eliminated by a vote in Congress.

Simply stated, Social Security is a legislated and changeable entitlement, like food stamps, and not a contract.

Where’d this little bomb come from?  Here.


This next one goes back about 2 weeks but I saved it because it is now pertinent to the subject.

It comes from the WSJ’s Pete Du Pont who reminds us of this:

“Sen. Hillary Clinton telling a California audience last summer that taxes must rise because “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

Even better is what the left REALLY thinks when we read Noam Chomsky’s comments against SS privatization:

“putting people in charge of their own assets breaks down the solidarity that comes from doing something together, and diminishes the sense that people have responsibility for each other.”

That basically sums up the attitude of the Democraps:  socialism and group think are better than individual responsibility.  Government and social collectivism are the only solutions.  No independent thought or action are allowed.  1984, anyone?!?!

Mr. Du Pont does an excellent job here exposing the left for what it is and the article is worth reading in order to understand why he ends it this way:

And that is why today’s very liberal Democratic Party is so vehemently arguing against personal ownership of Social Security market accounts. The government’s Social Security system is socialism’s last redoubt, and must be preserved at all costs.


The left is constantly trumpeting the “transition costs” of privatizing SS as their main argument against it.

Hey, look, even I thought there would be costs associated with this.  But this article which quotes noted economists, to include the one who recently won a Nobel Prize for economics, who say it is all so much bullshit.  Nothing but semantics.  Read it here.


Walter Williams, another noted economist, exposes the hypocrisy of the left as it concerns social security when he details for us the efforts of noted Dummycraps who opposed President Clinton’s plan to force almost 5 million currently exempt employees into SS.  Their argument?

They warned of the adverse impact on employees in terms of lower rates of return and lost flexibility.

Yet why is it that now the President is Republican that they can’t support privatization---which is exactly what those 5 million currently have?


Governor Ah-Nold is giving them hell in California. I almost shit when I read that California’s contributions to retirement plans has gone from $160 million in 2000 to $2.6 BILLION!!!! this year!!  (that is a 16 fold increase!)

You gotta love this:

At CalSTRS, four of the governor’s own appointees voted against his plan, which led Schwarzenegger to retaliate by firing them, a move his critics dubbed the “Thursday afternoon massacre.”


And here are some ideas from 7 investment gurus about where we should put that SS privatization money.  Some of these guys think anything would be fair game but on this I disagree.

Social Security is meant to be something that would keep people from being totally broke in old age.  As such, any investment plan should be limited to 5 index funds (S&P, Midcap; World, Total Stock Market, Bonds) a balanced fund and cash instruments (CDs, money markets, etc.)

Expenses are infinitesimally small and potential for defrauding investors low.


Now go forth and privatize!!!!!!!!!


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Posted by Ranting Right Wing Howler   United States  on 02/24/2005 at 06:33 AM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (5) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Wednesday - February 16, 2005

Reader’s Corner:  Post Two

From Dave we get word of a site that is giving away bumper stickers (assuming you support social security privatization.)

You better hurry!


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Posted by Ranting Right Wing Howler   United States  on 02/16/2005 at 06:53 AM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (0) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - February 14, 2005

Ain’t It Just Like Them?

A Republican was asked if he’d been able to convince any Dems to support his measure to allow people to invest their social security money said it’s pretty hard to do so.

Why?  Well from one of those Dems comes these words:

“I like what you’re doing. I like this bill. I think it’s the right way to go. But my party leadership will break my back. The retribution that they are promising us is as great as I have ever seen. We can’t do it.”

Nice, huh?  But typical of Dems who won’t allow any of their kind to defy their mantra.

Yet there may be a couple who have more than raisins filling their nut sacs.

One is from Delaware.  He is bucking the trend wants to allow Americans the right to invest as they deem fit.

Yet you can’t help but wonder if this guy knows which side his bread is buttered on because many of his constituents are big-business types who traditionally are for lower taxes and les spending.


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Posted by Ranting Right Wing Howler   United States  on 02/14/2005 at 06:57 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsSocial-Security •  
Comments (0) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Wednesday - February 09, 2005

Social Security: Part III

The Intellectual Activist, part of the Ayn Rand Institute has just published a thought-provoking essay in defense of President Bush’s proposed changes to Social Security. The article is by Robert Tracinski, contains no complex math and references two recent editorials by none other than the Washington Post’s economics columnist, Robert J. Samuelson and Dick Morris, both of whom see the merits of President Bush’s reform proposals.

(everyone prepare for a barrage of bullshit from our troll, Tubino)

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 02/09/2005 at 06:53 PM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
Comments (7) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Social Security Calculator

Thanks to BobF I give you a nifty little calculator to play with.


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Posted by Ranting Right Wing Howler   United States  on 02/09/2005 at 06:20 AM   
Filed Under: • Social-Security •  
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DISCLAIMER
Allanspacer

THE SERVICES AND MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE HOSTS OF THIS SITE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF SATISFACTORY QUALITY, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE OR ANY MATERIALS.

Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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