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Today’s Anti-Social Security Propaganda

8:40 am in Economy, Government, Jobs, Media, Politics, Social Security, Unemployment by dakine01

FDR Quote on Social Security

FDR Quote on Social Security

Well, it looks like there is a new push on in the long term destruction of Social Security today. Now, I usually write about the plight of the long term unemployed and underemployed but I am getting close to Social Security eligibility so decided I would discuss the anti Social Security effort today.

I’ll start with Fact Free Fred Hiatt’s Concern Troll op-ed in today’s (Monday, January 28) Washington Post. It seems Mr Hiatt wants to offer his advice to President Obama on “entitlement reform” using the guise of how Democrats and Republicans view the past four years:

To achieve a fiscal compromise, Obama agreed in 2011 negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner to changes in Social Security that would be anathema to liberals, but Boehner walked away from the talks.
…snip…

Both histories are factually correct. That coherent accounts can be written either way ought to suggest to partisans that neither version is quite the slam-dunk they imagine.

At a minimum, it ought to propel the White House to continue acting in the national interest, whichever party that seems to serve. And for a long time, Obama has said the national interest requires both revenue increases and reform of entitlement programs.

Once again, Mr Hiatt and the Post are pushing the myth that Social Security is a part of the overall Federal Budget and needs to be “controlled” to “fix the deficit” when in fact, Social Security loans to the Genera Fund have been propping up the Federal Budget for decades, allowing for the tax cuts over the years.

While I expect this type of nonsense from the Washington Post, today’s Tampa Bay Times had a decidedly misleading headline (“US spends far more on seniors than on kids.”) How is it misleading?

In 2008, all government (local state, and federal) spent $26,255 on average for each person 65 or older, most of which is Social Security and Medicare.

The blurb on children spending:

Conversely, the federal government spends relatively little on children and Medicaid is the largest single item. State and local governments spend much more on children because they pay for schools. But overall, governments spend far more than double on seniors than they do on children 18 and younger.

Finally, at the very bottom of this post, the Times offers a couple of caveats to offset the misleading nature of their headline and opening:

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Rand Paul: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

10:14 am in Uncategorized by dakine01

So there I was, surfing around the news sites yesterday when I came across this little nugget at Kentucky.com where Rand Paul "counsels" the unemployed to suck it up and take a minimum wage job rather than collect unemployment.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul on Friday urged Americans who have been unemployed for many months to consider returning to the workforce in less desirable jobs rather than continue relying on government unemployment assistance.

"In Europe, they give about a year of unemployment. We’re up to two years now in America," Paul said on Sue Wylie’s WVLK-AM 590 radio program.

Let’s see now. A quick check shows that Kentucky’s current Unemployment rate as of May 2010 is 10.4% (let the cursor linger over the individual states to get the rate for that state). That’s the official rate and does not include those who are already underemployed. The current national rate is officially 9.7% for May 2010. Rand, that’s not a good thing to be higher than the national average on this.

Let me present a scenario for you to mull over Rand. Let’s say, you chose a career field that requires up to eight years of specialized training after completion of a bachelor’s degree. Say something like Ophthalmology. And it requires even further training to remain certified within your chosen field.

Now you’ve worked hard to reach a level of knowledge and competence in this field and you want to reap the rewards. Then your employer decides that costs are too high and he has to let folks go. The employer looks around and sees you over there making an above average salary and since you’re hitting your fifties and only going to be asking for more money, he decides that you’re the best candidate for a lay-off. He can’t quite come out and say you’re too old and expensive so he comes up with whatever excuse he can. Then he requires you to sign an agreement that you will not sue for age discrimination or you will sacrifice the severance package he provides and he will contest your unemployment claims by calling you an "independent contractor."

So here you are. All your education and professional certs notwithstanding, you’re on the street looking for employment. Since you’re in Kentucky, you actually receive a fair (in comparison to other states) Weekly Unemployment Compensation at a maximum of $415 per week. And all those other Ophthalmologists are also out there looking for jobs just as you are looking. Sending in resumes, cold calling the hospitals, talking to folks all over the country trying to find a position in your chosen field, the field you developed your expertise in. Ya know something Rand? I rather doubt that you would actually give up your hopes of finding a new position in your chosen field and take a job as a hospital orderly, emptying bed pans and making beds and moving disabled folks just to be employed until you’d reached the point of exhausting ALL benefits to which you are entitled.

Just like you take Medicaid/Medicare patients even when you don’t think the government should be providing benefits to those who are less fortunate.

And Rand? You’re not being picked on for your views. When you claim that the Civil Rights Act went too far in banning businesses from discriminating, it is not picking on you to highlight this fact.

When you are called out for opposing the 14th Amendment that allows any child born in the US to be considered a citizen and folks highlight this, you’re not being picked on.

When you’re called out for supporting a polluter like BP and folks criticize you for it, you’re not being picked on.

When folks point out that you initially claimed you would not accept money from senators who voted for TARP and turn around and participate in a fund raiser with Mitch McConnell where you are accepting money from senators who voted for TARP, it is not picking on you to point out your hypocrisy.

Ladies and gentlemen, the not quite ready for prime time Republican Senate candidate from the Great State of Kentucky.

And because I can:

Cross Posted from Just A Small Town Country Boy