Tag Archives: Medicare

OCCUPY DEMOCRATS, A LYING CORRUPT ORGANIZATION – PART TWO

According to politifact.com, Occupy Democrats is an advocacy group that was created to counterbalance the Tea Party and to give President Obama and other progressive Democrats a Congress that will work with them to grow the economy, create jobs, promote fairness, fight inequality, and get money out of politics. Occupy Democrats also has a Facebook page, and most of my liberal Facebook friends are fans of the page. It sounds good, doesn’t it?

Of course, I often see posts where my liberal FB friends have shared memes from the Occupy Democrats Facebook page, and those memes are almost always wrong about everything. Here is another example, and there will be several more to come over the next few days.

According to politifact.com, during the last four presidencies, deficits disappeared under one Democrat (Bill Clinton), went up under two Republicans (George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush) and traveled both up and down under one Democrat (Barak Obama). It’s actually a complicated story, but Occupy Democrats boiled it down into one graphic with five short lines.

  • Bush Sr. handed Clinton a $269 billion budget deficit.
  • Clinton handed Bush, Jr. a $127.3 billion surplus.
  • Bush Jr. Handed Obama a $1.4 trillion deficit.
  • But tell me again which is the party of fiscal responsibility?

Politifact asked the group’s founder and editor-in-chief, Omar Rivero to explain his numbers, and he offered a small correction. Rivero said that the number for the first President Bush should be a deficit of $255 billion or $14 billion less than stated. “A tiny error, really,” Rivero said. “We stand firmly by our meme and its implication that Democrats are better stewards of the debt.”

For this particular instance, Politifact focused on the claim that Bush, Jr. handed Obama a $1.4 billion deficit and Obama reduced Bush, Jr.’s deficit to just $492 billion.

Rivero said he picked the first year of a new president’s first term and relied on data from the White House Office of Management and Budget. Politifact used figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which runs an interactive database for this figure for the Federal Reserve, but the two were largely the same. Then they color coded the four presidencies and marked the years Rivero picked in red.

Politico indicated that in terms of reducing the deficit, Obama did a little better than the meme said. However, the federal fiscal year begins in October. A new president takes office in January and for the most part, typically operates under the budget he inherited. Thus, it’s reasonable to use the years that Rivero picked. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

2009: Not your typical year:

The great recession hit hard in 2008 and grew worse in 2009. In that period, the unemployment rate doubled from about 5% to 10%. With Democrats in charge of both houses of Congress and the White House, Washington passed a stimulus package that cost nearly $190 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That included over $100 billion in new spending and a somewhat smaller amount in tax cuts, about $79 billion in fiscal year 2009.

George W. Bush was not in office when those measures passed. So a more accurate number for the deficit he passed on might be closer to $1.2 trillion.

But Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a group concerned by rising deficits, told PunditFact that the budget numbers don’t tell you much. It’s very difficult to untangle responsibility during those years.

In fiscal year 2009, you didn’t just have the stimulus, according to Ellis. Many of the fiscal decisions at the end of the Bush presidency were don’t in consultation with the president-elect, such as the Detroit auto bailout. Even with TARP, both campaigns were consulted.

Ellis is wary of what he calls snapshot comparisons because he doesn’t think they are fair to either president stepping down or the one taking over. They ignore too much context. Ellis noted that before deficits plummeted under Obama, they remained quite high. The Occupy Democrats post brushed past that fiscal reality.

The debt has increased more under President Obama so far than it did in the entirety of President Bush’s eight years, according to Ellis (and we all know that). Mr. Ellis also indicates that he doesn’t think that’s an accurate measure either, but it tells a different tale. Ellis feels that since Congress is really responsible for the budget, it’s always a little strange to blame the president for it.

Ellis noted that about two-thirds of all spending is mandatory, in the form of programs such as Social Security and Medicare. That said, according to the CBO, policy changes under George W. Bush, including tax cuts, the Iraq War, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, and agricultural subsidies, greatly increased the deficits.

While Occupy Democrats said that George W. Bush handed Obama a $1.4 trillion deficit and Obama reduced Bush’s deficit to just $492 billion, the post picked certain years to back that up, and for those years, its numbers were accurate.

However, many factors complicate this simple-Simon picture. Bush did push policies that drove up the deficits, the federal response to the great recession was to some extent shared by Bush and Obama. While deficits have fallen under Obama, the claims brushes over that deficits remained above the trillion dollar mark for several years after Bush left office. Thus, Politifact rates this as Half True.

Note: The above information was provided by politifact.com.

Politifact, above, indicates that under President Bill Clinton, the deficit was reversed and turned into a surplus. This is true, but it took Speaker Newt Gingrich and the House Republicans, who were in the majority, to push through measures to allow this.

According to Ryan Dwyer, in an article in the Washington Times, in February 2010; while liberals, including President Barak Obama, love to say that President George W. Bush squandered the Clinton era budget surpluses and piled up deficits with expensive wars and tax cuts for the rich, the truth is that President Bush’s deficits were the product of spending, not tax cuts.

Mr. Dwyer quotes Stephen Moore’s (Wall Street Journal) book, The End of Prosperity,” which indicates that Mr. Bush’s 2001 tax cuts failed to revive an economy still staggering from the bursting of the dot-com bubble. Mr. Bush’s strategy had been to adopt a demand-side, Keynesian stimulus, hoping that putting a few extra dollars in Americans’ pockets would jump-start the economy through increased consumption. This approach faltered, not just because Americans opted to save their rebates, but because it neglected the importance of business investment to overall growth. The economy lagged and revenues stagnated.

In 2003, Mr. Bush cut the dividend and capital gains rates to 15 percent each and the economy responded. In two years, stocks rose 20 percent. In three years, $15 trillion of new wealth was created. The U.S. economy added 8 million new jobs from mid-2003 to early 2007, and the median household increased its wealth by $20,000 in real terms.

Dwyer further goes on to indicate that the real jolt for tax-cutting opponents was that the 03 Bush tax cuts also generated a massive increase in federal tax receipts. From 2004 to 2007, federal tax revenues increased by $785 billion, the largest four-year increase in American History. According to the Treasury Department, individual and corporate income tax receipts were up 40 percent in the three years following the Bush tax cuts. Furthermore, the “rich” paid an even higher percentage of the total tax burden than they had at any time in the previous 40 years.

Unfortunately, much of the increase in revenue resulting from the Bush tax cuts was offset by spending, including the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the Medicare prescription drug plan.

9/11 happened. What were we supposed to do? Bend over and say, “Thank you, may I have another?” Also, the Clinton administration called for regime change in Iraq and the Iraq war had supports from both Democrats and Republicans. See: Can Democrats be that Forgetful? Plus the Democrats were pushing the Medicare prescription drug plan.

President George W. Bush lowered taxes and revenue to the federal government increased while individual citizens prospered. For some of the spending, we had no choice, and Democrats were pushing for a Medicare prescription drug plan.

Taking into consideration, all of the above, I would rate this claim by Occupy Democrats as much too complex to draw any sort of conclusion. But remember, Occupy Democrats lies, tells half-truths, and takes things out of context. The above is no exception.

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CANDIDATES’ STANDS ON THE ISSUES

The website, ConservativeReview.com is the best site I’ve found for illustrating where the different Republican presidential candidates stand on the issues. The issues it lists are as follows:

  • Budget, Spending, and Debt
  • Civil Liberties
  • Education
  • Energy and Environment
  • Foreign Policy and Defense
  • Free Market
  • Health Care and Entitlements
  • Immigration
  • Moral Issues
  • Second Amendment
  • Taxes, Economy, and Trade

On the scorecard page, the website administrators give the candidates green, yellow, or red dots for their stand on each of the above issues. Green means good, yellow means mixed, and red means bad. For example, candidate Donald Trump was awarded a green dot for his stance on immigration because he wants to deport all illegals and build a wall on the United States/Mexico border. On the other hand, Mr. Trump is given a red dot on Free Market because he supports the seizure of private land for economic development by private investors, he supported President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package, and he supported TARP.

An eyeball review of the colored dots indicates that Ted Cruz is the most conservative, being awarded 10 green dots and 1 yellow dot. The yellow dot was for Free Market. Lindsey Graham looks to be the most liberal having been awarded 8 red dots, 3 yellow dots, and no green dots. Cruz and libertarian, Rand Paul were the only candidates who received no red dots. Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina, and Lindsey Graham were the only candidates that did not receive a green dot.

Of the eight candidates that participated in the “primary debate” telecasted by Fox Business Network on November 10, Carly Fiorina was awarded the most red dots, 7.

By clicking on a dot under a particular candidates’ picture, you will be directed to a page with content outlining the details of each candidates’ stances.

Because we’ve all grown up with government provided safety nets and become used to them, no one is a pure conservative Furthermore, most of us are not in favor of eliminating government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment compensation.

I’m not about to outline the details of the top eight candidates’ stances on all of the above issues. You can do that yourself. However, the following will give a brief description of Donald Trump’s and Dr. Ben Carson’s stances on the issues that are the most important to me and possibly to you, also.

Donald Trump

Healthcare/Entitlements: Has said, “I will fight to end Obamacare and replace it with something that makes sense for people in business and not bankrupt the country. However, he has advocated for universal healthcare in a system similar to the Canadian system and has indicated that our objective should be to make reforms for the moment and, longer term, to find an equivalent of the single-payer plan that is affordable, well-administered, and provides freedom of choice.

Energy/Environment: Believes that climate change is a hoax. Advocates utilizing America’s natural energy and oil resources. Supports fracking and nuclear energy. Opposes cap and trade policies. Did support the renewable fuel mandate.

Tax Plan: Reduces the top marginal rates on individuals from 39.6% to 25%. The plan has a bottom rate of 0%, a tax bracket for anyone making between $25 and $50 thousand. Reduce the corporate rate to 15%. Reduce capital gains and dividend taxes. Eliminate death tax.

Immigration: Wants to build a wall on our southern border and get Mexico to pay for it. Opposes amnesty for illegals. Supports ending the birthright citizenship loophole frequently employed by illegals. Said he would deport any Syrian refugees let into the United States by the Obama administration.

Foreign Policy: Sees Obama as a serious threat to Israel. Says he has an absolute way of defeating ISIS that would be decisive and quick, but wouldn’t do so until ISIS toppled Syrian dictator, Bashir al-Assad. Opposed nuclear talks with Iran. Opposed the second Iraq War. Made the case for not removing troops immediately from Iraq because of the potential for Iraq to become radicalized by Iran. Believes U.S. forces have no role in the Middle East.

Dr. Ben Carson

Healthcare/Entitlements: Has said that Obamacare is the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. Supports health savings accounts and other free-market reforms in place of Obamacare. Believes that any fix to the long-term solvency of Social Security must start by gradually the age seniors become eligible for benefits based on the rise in life expectancy.

Energy/Environment: Opposes policies aimed at regulating climate change and supports increased energy production. Believes that developing our energy resources is a key component of world peace. Believes the EPA’s responsibilities should be focused on working with the private industry and academia to find the safest and cleanest ways to utilize our natural resources.

Tax Plans: Has proposed a ten percent flat tax based on the biblical concept of tithing. But has said that the 10% number is not necessarily the number he would propose. Has said that Obama is wrong that raising the minimum wage will reduce income inequality. Has said that he supports raising the minimum wage, a form of government wage controls. Proposed the democrat idea of indexing the minimum wage to inflation so that we never have to have this conversation again in the history of America. Opposed passing Trade Promotion Authority to give Obama fast-track authority.

Immigration: Supports a national guest-worker program. Said that immigration reform should start by ending 5incentives for illegal immigrants. When asked about a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in 2013, he said, “of course allow illegal immigrants to have a pathway to citizenship.

Foreign Policy: Has indicated simplistically that the solution for combatting terrorism is not war, but ending our oil dependency on Arab states, stating, “the terrorists will be defunded, and that’s the way you get them.” Blames low morale and weakness in our current military on the sequester spending cuts. Strong supporter of Israel. Called the Iran deal the worst deal in American history. Has shown a lack of understanding of the way foreign governments work.

In subsequent posts, I will continue outlining candidates’ stances on these issues. However to obtain additional details, which you will surely need to determine which candidate gets your vote, visit the conservativereview.com site.

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I HATE THE WORD HATE AND ITS DERIVITIVES

When I was growing up, I was taught that the word, “hate,” was a terrible word and should be used only sparingly. You shouldn’t say you hate somebody, you should say you don’t care for somebody. Instead of saying I hate beets, you should say, I don’t care for beets.

In this day and age, though, “hate” and its derivatives have become mainstream words. Now how did that happen? If you’re expecting me to say that the liberals started the “hate” phenomenon, you are correct!

Dating back to the 20th century, liberals embraced the emotion of “hate.” I can recall the animal rights group, PETA, throwing buckets of blood on people who dared wear a fur coat, made from real animal skins. I also remember these same folks attacking laboratories in protest of using animals for testing of various items from cosmetics to over-the-counter drugs. These people were vicious, letting nothing stop them in their quest to destroy anything and anyone who disagreed with them. Instead of approaching their so-called adversaries and seeking to address their concerns, they destroyed property that wasn’t theirs and made many enemies.

Shortly thereafter, we started hearing the term, “hate speech” thrown around by those on the left. While I’m not exactly sure what constitutes hate speech and the liberals change the definition on the fly, I believe it has something to do with what liberals consider disparaging talk with regard to minorities, particularly when it comes to race and sexual preference. Of course, any denigrating speech about southern, white, conservative, straight, Christians is perfectly allowable because southern, white, conservative, straight Christians are so terrible that they deserve it. This was the beginning of Orwellianism in this nation. While you couldn’t be prosecuted for what the liberals considered hate speech, you could certainly be slandered by those on the left.

In the nineties, we also started hearing about “hate crimes” and what constituted a hate crime. If a white person murdered a black person, was it because that person was black? And if so, you were guilty of what the liberals termed a “hate crime” and that “hate crime” was subject to punishment more severe than a “non-hate crime” murder. It became the job of the prosecution to get inside the assailants head and determine what he or she was thinking at the time of the murder. I do have trouble with the “hate crime” concept. How is murdering someone because you don’t like their skin color any different from murdering them for any other reason? Ask a liberal? Again, this is another Orwellian concept of attempting to get into one’s head and determine one’s thoughts. Your thoughts are not your own anymore.

Now, the word, “haters,” is used every day in common place situations. If someone is critical of your efforts, that person is a hater. Of course, liberals commonly accuse conservatives of being haters if they don’t agree with the liberal philosophy of governing or disagree with the current liberal president’s policies. If you’re not for government run healthcare, you hate the sick; if you’re against entitlement spending, you hate the poor; if you’re against affirmative action, you hate minorities; and the list goes on.

One thing that particularly annoys me about liberals and their love affair with the word “hate” and its derivatives, is the way the accuse you of being a hater if you don’t like the current president. Look at how many liberals hated George W. Bush and said terrible things about him. But just let a conservative say he or she doesn’t agree with the current president’s policies, the liberal automatically label him or her as a hater and a racist. They don’t even attempt to engage in a political dialogue.

I made a comment once that it was Democrats that actually looked down on women and advocated paying for all birth control methods for all women because women couldn’t control their libidos. For this comment, I was accused of hating all government programs and those who were recipients of those government programs including Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, etc. Talk about a stretch! So, if you disagree with one government entitlement program, you’re accused by liberals of hating all entitlement programs and those individuals who are recipients of those programs.

If you come to the conclusion that it’s actually the liberals who are haters, you are right. They invented the concepts of hate-speech, hate crimes, and don’t hesitate to call those who disagree with them haters. I live in central Alabama, yes central Alabama and never have I head the current president called the N-word (that would be hate-speech to the liberals). My fellow Republicans do not agree with his policies and most don’t like his disrespect for the American people. His wife is not a favorite of a lot of folks around here; but the root of their dislike is the comments she made to the effect that this was the first time she had ever been proud of her country when her husband became the Democratic nominee for president prior to the 2008 presidential elections.

Liberals don’t want to hear any of this, but they are the actual haters in this nation. The depths of their hatred towards the poor, the middle class, and minorities is so profound that their goals are to keep these people “in their place” by controlling every aspect of their lives. They call the rest of us haters in order to direct the attention away from themselves.

They will not stop until they have control over all of the people they hate, including the poor, the middle class, minorities, Christians, and white people. Should we even try to stop them? One day, we will have to in order to maintain the American way of life. Drastic measures may have to be employed. Are we willing to do what is necessary?

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THE DEFERRED COSTS OF DACA AND DAPA

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was implemented by the current administration in June 2012. It allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. In November 2014, the current President announced changes to DACA which would expand it to include illegal immigrants who entered the country before 2010. It would eliminate the requirement that applicants be younger than 31 years old, and lengthen the renewable deferral period to three years. The Pew Research Center estimated that this would increase the number of eligible people by about 330,000. (Wikipedia)

On November 20, 2014, the current President announced a new deferred action program called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, known as DAPA. With DAPA, the accompanying work authorization will be granted for a period of three years.

When the program goes into effected in May 2015, an undocumented individual living in the United States who, on the date of the announcement, is the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident can apply for deferment. The applicant must have been in the United States since January 1, 2010 and have remained in the United States since then.
Illegal immigration is not something that is constantly on the minds of most voters, except maybe those living in states that border Mexico where most illegals cross into this country or states in close proximity to states on the Mexican border. However, it is something about which all Americans should be concerned.

In an article in investors.com, powered by Investor’s Business Daily, and authored by Phyllis Schlafly, the costs of these executive actions will come due only after the current President has left office. According to Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, these costs are horrendous.

Rector told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that the lifetime costs of Social Security and Medicare benefits paid to the millions of immigrants to whom the current President is granting legal status will be about $1.3 trillion.

Rector has further indicated that DAPA recipients, will receive $7.8 billion every year once they get access to the refundable earned income tax credit and the refundable additional child tax credit. Those recipients will also be allowed to claim credit for three years of illegal work, which will sock the U.S. taxpayers for another $23.5 billion.
This was confirmed by IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, who told Congress on February 11 of this year that immigrants who didn’t pay any taxes or who used fake Social Security numbers will be able to claim back refunds once they get new Social Security numbers. Koskinen doesn’t know how much these tax refunds will cost and the White House never checked with him before announcing the amnesty.

Also according to Rector, the average DAPA-eligible family already receives about $6,600 a year in means-tested welfare benefits. These benefits include food stamps, school lunch and breakfast, Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Most of these welfare benefits go to households with children headed by a low-income employed adult.

Rector feels that the combined cost of means-tested welfare benefits that immigrants who come here illegally receive plus other goodies such as EITC and ACTC cash will encourage increased illegal immigration in the future. Of course, these illegals will be registered to vote and will vote Democrat.

Americans today are concerned more about jobs and about healthcare. Millions of Americans looking for jobs are out of work plus millions more have given up looking for work. Americans are also concerned about healthcare. I’ve heard that upwards of 80 million Americans lost their health plans and had to procure another health plan, many at increased costs and deductibles.

So, illegal immigration and the current President’s executive amnesty don’t seem to be major concerns for many Americans. How is this going to affect Social Security and Medicare? Those Americans, who are in their late fifties and beyond, may be able to collect their full social security benefits for a while. What’s going to happen to them in their later years if their benefits have to be cut drastically? Do they still have money to live off from their retirement savings? It might be a good idea to strive to live off Social Security exclusively for as long as you can and not go into retirement savings. And what about those who have nothing or very little in retirement savings? Remember, some of those folks have had to cash in their retirement account and pay early withdrawal penalties due to job losses and an economy where job growth has been miniscule.

And what about those who are not going to reach retirement age for ten or more years. What if you’re fifty? Will you be able to get the full Social Security benefits you were promised. And at age fifty, are you on the path to having enough saved?
Then what about those just starting out? Hopefully you have the knowledge that Social Security will probably not be there for you? These young adults may very well have student loans to pay off. Also, when you’re young, having nice clothes, driving a nice car, living in a nice place, and having some fun are important. The people in this age group may say, I can’t save for retirement now, but I’ll sign up for my 401(k) plan next month. And the beat goes on.

No age group is really in great shape. It hurts to think about this stuff and I try not to, just like everybody else. I’ll think about that tomorrow. Maybe the books I’m writing will make some money that I can put back. Maybe I’ll be able to make money off of my websites. I might have to get a day job for a while. Maybe I’ll die earlier than most of the women on both sides of my family because I won’t have access to the quality of health care that my mother and grandmother had access to.

And let’s not forget that the baby boomers are retiring in droves and that’s not going to stop for a while.

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