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bito On December - 1 - 2011


The place to post your comments without interrupting the single topic posts. However, be mindful of the strict rules!!

If you find the rules here are too confining, try the Morning Blog.





You know the rules, now follow them! Please?

Every so often I intrude TO/OT with a personal pick of a site that I find important that I feel needs to be shared and not lost in the shuffle of the constant flow of thoughts on The Planet.

And yet with globalization, we seem to have developed a strange apprehension about the efficacy of our ability to apply the innovation and hard work necessary to successfully compete in a complex security and economic environment. Further, we have misunderstood interdependence as a weakness rather than recognizing it as a strength. The key to sustaining our competitive edge, at home or on the world stage, is credibility — and credibility is a difficult capital to foster. It cannot be won through intimidation and threat, it cannot be sustained through protectionism or exclusion. Credibility requires engagement, strength, and reliability — imaginatively applied through the national tools of development, diplomacy, and defense.

The Y Article

A National Security Narrative




A Very Special “Happy Holiday Season”

to All our

Planteers and to our very many Visitors.

May this time of year be a special one, a time to reflect on the past and enjoy time with your friends and family.  Enjoy the foods and drink, and the sharing of it with all including that “grumpy relative,” that one  that has to control the conversation and insist at sitting a the head of the table even though he is a guest.  Maybe especially him or her, their thoughts you don’t get to hear everyday so it maybe  something to be thankful for that you will only have to hear during once during  the holidays!

Please remember the ones that can’t be with us or can no longer be with you due to travel, job placement,  death or illness they need to know that our thoughts are with them.

A wonderful season with a wonderful reason to share because they are in need and with so many in need this year, it’s easy to share even with the simplest of gifts.  A simple five or ten dollar gift card may biggest gift they get this year.  A day volunteering some time  at your local charity or a small gift to them.   Talking to friends this week who volunteer for the favorite  and they are having difficulty with supplying used clothing and shoes.  Over 200 pairs of used shoes were handed out in a few hours last Saturday, used shoes!  Maybe it’s time to spring clean this “very special season” and see what you may be able to donate.

And a wonderful time to enjoy this “very special season,”  by your giving and seeing  precious smile on others, and there is no way easier or more precious than giving to the little ones.  How priceless are the laughs giggles  and screams from their little precious faces?

Or if you forget the last half, there’s always the : “Eat Drink and be Merry…” 😉








American Civic Knowledge Survey

Both the ancient Greeks and Romans valued wise and public-spirited citizens. Let’s see just how wise you really are? Are you a Barbarian, Philosopher King, or something in-between?


Mapping the Measure of America

Written by bito

Was once a handsome frog until kissed by an ugly corporate princess.----- Like a well honed knife, the internet can be a wonderful and useful tool. It can be used to prepare and serve a delicious meal or it can be used to cause harm. peace

13,138 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. SallyT says:

    Now the weirdos of the Republicans fringe want to see the medical report on Hillary Clinton to see if she is faking illness to avoid their question on Benghazi. She may have her faults but I don’t see Sec. Clinton running from questions from the Repugs. That is one animal she won’t need a chair and a whip to address. Maybe a spray bottle with water. That is how I make my great dane settle down.

    U.S. News
    State slams ‘wild speculation’ on Clinton

    “You know, every foreign service officer in every foreign ministry in the world knows the phrase I am about to use — when you don’t want to go to a meeting or conference or an event, you have a ‘diplomatic illness,'” Bolton said. “And this is a ‘diplomatic illness’ to beat the band.”

    Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/12/18/State-slams-wild-speculation-on-Clinton/UPI-66871355875840/#ixzz2FdhenRB8

  2. SallyT says:

    Bernie Sanders December 20, 2012:

    Remember when the White House said Social Security was “off the table” in the deficit talks because it has a $2.7 trillion surplus and hasn’t contributed to deficits? Remember when President Obama pledged not to cut benefits for retirees, widows and orphans? The White House has now agreed to adopt a stingier formula for cost-of-living increases which would cut benefits. In a Senate floor speech, Bernie said the White House had offered repeated assurances that would not happen “and that Social Security should be off the table in terms of deficit reduction. I heard that many, many times. So I wonder how Social Security suddenly has gotten back on the table, including a chained CPI with devastating cuts to seniors and disabled vets,” Sanders said. “Mr. President, I am disappointed.”

    Senator Sanders say lets deal with and discuss SS separately but not part of a deficit reduction.


    • Nirek says:

      Sally, Bernie never fails to fight for us 98%ers!
      I will wait before I find fault with POTUS however.

      • SallyT says:

        I don’t think I can find fault with the POTUS as of yet because there isn’t even a plan. This is all negotiating and chess playing. But, it is sure good to know that there is someone out there watching out and will speak up if there is a problem or even a fault should there be one. However, I don’t think Boehner can even get his Plans A-Z off the ground.

        • bito says:

          I did hear an “insider” of the Dems (I have this in a comment to KQ) say that this was a test thrown to the R’s to see what they would do with a “cut” to SS benefits. As you see, they didn’t bite, they are sticking with protecting the top 2% come h)) or high water and not break their pledge to Norquist!

          Is it any wonder that the President has a 57% job approval and Congress has 11%.
          I need to find a break down of congress Dems v R’s, whatdaya think? 70% to 30%?

          • Nirek says:

            90%to 10% is closer to reality.

          • SallyT says:

            Bito, did you see Cantor’s face as he was leaving tonight? I think he is checking right now how his butt will fit in the Speaker’s chair.

            Also, do you think this is just show and drama to take it all down to the wire? I sometimes wonder……..

            • bito says:

              Sally, it looked to me like he was looking at his knife to see if he went deep enough, but not too deep. Did the Speaker plan on late night votes, so much that he ordered in food for the caucus, and did Cantor just step on him then jump up and down on him by adjourning? Either way it sucks, as Jared is saying, and I have been saying, this really hurts the real economy, real people, real jobs, real Christmas…. It may be fun and games for them playing their political gamesmanship, but they are harming real people!

  3. SallyT says:

    LIVE: Tea Party Group Flip-Flops, Now Opposes Boehner’s ‘Plan B’

    1:49 PM | Top conservative group FreedomWorks flips and now OPPOSES Boehner’s plan.

    Keeping score, that means FreedomWorks joins RedState, Heritage Action and Club for Growth in opposing Plan B.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/boehner-plan-b-vote-fiscal-cliff-obama-taxes-cuts-2012-12#ixzz2Fcf8Edtc

    • bito says:

      This party is something, one part of the party is feeding the other part using one hand and the other part is using “the other hand”, feeding them something else if you know what I mean.

      It would be funny but it’s hurting the country, the people. We need to get this game playing over, make Wall St. happy and get back to work getting people back to work! Act like adults for the sake of the country!

  4. SallyT says:

    But, the world ends tomorrow and all those guys with the gold bars in their basement along with their guns have been preparing for it! I would think they would be out making a last ditch effort to get more.

    Gold Is Falling Out Of Bed



  5. kesmarn says:

    Friends, even after having been a nurse for 1000 years, I am amazed at this latest piece of news. An absolutely incredible recovery. I’m not one to use the word “miracle” lightly. However….

    Can I get a drum roll please……………. Emmett WILL be DISCHARGED from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to come HOME TOMORROW!!!!!!!
    That is right, our amazing CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!!! To tell you how much of a miracle this is. We were expecting Emmett to be in the hospital here until the middle of January. Emmett is being discharged 4 weeks earlier than expected. I am still in disbelief. We WILL be HOME for CHRISTMAS!!! If we are able to get a flight out. lol.
    Praise to our loving Father in Heaven for hearing and answering all of the many prayers sent to Him above. We are so THANKFUL for the LOVE of our SAVIOR and for helping Emmett to recover from this huge surgery. God is GOOD!!!
    Merry Christmas Everyone! Thank you for all of your faith and prayers. We KNOW b/c of your faith Emmett has been healing!

    • Kalima says:

      I almost missed this kes, and my smile is from ear to ear hearing this wonderful news.

      When I read comments where people say there is no hope in this world of ours, I have to shake my head because there is plenty of hope, and Emmett has just proven them wrong.

      Merry Christmas little Emmett, and may your world be filled with wonder, and your recovery quick so that you can enjoy all that you have missed up until now.

    • bito says:

      Absolutely FANTASTIC news
      I really don’t know if there are words in my vocabulary that could express how I feel!
      Emmett, We know you will need more surgeries, but it seems you have the perfect medical team!

      Go EmmettGo Team

    • kesmarn says:

      House Repubs sent a drunken narcissistic boy in to do a man’s job and this is the result, Kalima.

      The President must have felt as though he’d entered some bizarre parallel universe, trying to negotiate with that lunatic. (Who represents a bunch of other lunatics in the House.)

      • Kalima says:

        Hi kes, it’s as Tomasky pointed out, nothing at all for the country, and everything about keeping his job, which btw, he is lousy at. He can’t hold a candle to Nancy Pelosi who crossed party lines often to negotiate. Repubs don’t have a clue how to do that because it’s always about them.

  6. SallyT says:

    Hey Scott Brown, how would you like to face off against a hunk that isn’t yourself?

    Is Ben Affleck going to run for Senate?

    Rumors are spreading around Capitol Hill and elsewhere that actor-director Ben Affleck might be considering a Senate run for Massachusetts.
    Affleck, however, would not confirm or deny the rumor. “That’s not what I’m here to talk about,” he told Politico. “I’m here to talk about what role we can place in making the Eastern Congo a better place.”
    But Boston reporter Jon Keller argues that if Kerry’s seat does, in fact, open up, Affleck could have a fair chance. Affleck has been active in the Democratic Party for more than a decade, and campaigned for Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.),


    • bito says:

      Sally, do you remember hearing this before, or am I having DeJa Vu all over again?

      • SallyT says:

        Bito, I am no judge of DeJa Vu as I spent most of my time these days saying: “Unh? Say that again?” But, I think it has been brought up before of Affleck running for office here or there. I just hadn’t seen it in connection with Mass. I thought it funny since so many times I have heard of Scott Brown referred to as “so good looking”. Also, Affleck has said he would not run for office before. People do change their minds. I don’t know if he would but he is very knowledgeable and he has impressed me with his depth in discussing political issues.

  7. kesmarn says:

    The updates on the case of 3 year old Emmett’s recovery are continuing to be very encouraging!

    He finally got a chance to have a visit with his big brother:


    And here are the latest milestones:

    Switched all meds from IV to j-tube
    Almost to full feeds
    Stooling regularly
    TPN is off
    Off ventilator except nights
    Pulling PICC and Port
    Started simple sips of water

    The bottom-line translation for all those initials (for non-medical folks) is that a lot of those lines and tubes are disappearing. He’s walking with a little walker now!

    Thanks once more for all your prayers and good wishes.

    • Nirek says:

      Kes’, I needed that good news. Thanks.
      I’ll continue to pray to Mother Nature and God that Emmett and all children do well.

      • bito says:

        You mentioned that you had young grandchildren in your family, just curious, were you aware of the dangers of button batteries and small children before this incident? I am no longer around any small children in my family and I was completely unaware.
        Just thinking though, I do see some small children around my primary doctor, he has a family practice, and I have never seen a warning poster up in his office either? Do they have them at schools?

    • Kalima says:

      This photo made my heart skip a beat kes, a sight for sore eyes if ever I saw one. Wonderful news, looks like the little guy is on his way to leading a normal life.

      Thanks for keeping us up to date, and prayers continue so he can be well enough to go home again soon.

      • kesmarn says:

        All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you, Kalima.

        If having a large group in your corner, praying and/or sending positive thoughts, means anything (and I think it does) Emmett is on his way to a better life.

        • Kalima says:

          I believe in the power of positive thought, and sometimes prayers. I’ve seen good things happen time and time again because of it throughout my life, so I’m glad to be adding my voice. He looks like a delightful little boy, and deserves the chance to grow without complications and pain. My heart bleeds when I see little ones in a hospital, and I saw a few babies and toddlers this Tuesday during my hospital visit. It brought tears to my eyes as it always does

    • bito says:

      Thanks for the news k’es, I should say the GREAT news! Regretfully, I do know all those initials and to see those go on the little fellow will really free him up and get him back to full strength. Sounds like he is healing fast which is yet another wonderful sign! Sounds like he is on his way to a full recovery, don’t you think?
      Tears in my eyes for the little man! Just gotta love how he has his hand on his brothers chin and look at the fantastic smile, WOW!

      • kesmarn says:

        b’ito, I feel for anyone who knows from personal experience what all those initials mean. Because that means you have been “battle hardened” for sure.

        Yes, the way he has his brother’s face cradled in his hand is just too sweet. I’ve grown quite attached to these boys, even though I’ve never met them.

        My friend (their aunt) says that down the road Emmett faces two more surgeries on his trachea. But that’s later. He needs to get past this hurdle first.

        And it looks as though he’s well on his way. My friend also says that the boys are hoping it snows while they’re here in Ohio. They live in Phoenix and never get to see snow, so I’m hoping this storm on the way is not too big (so my son will be able to travel from Madison) and yet big enough that they can enjoy it!

        • bito says:

          k’es, I was just asking if was aware of the dangers of button batteries before this incident, I sure wasn’t. Where do parents with young children/Grandparents lean such information? School? Medical facilities? I was unaware of the dangers of button batteries until this incident! We were talking about it at the Country Club and only one person was aware because she had a grandchild.

  8. kesmarn says:

    Only one human is more powerful than the POTUS:


  9. SallyT says:


    . This morning, housing starts came in below expectations, falling 3 percent in November….
    . After House Speaker John Boehner introduced “Plan B” yesterday as part of the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations, the White House slammed the plan this morning, saying President Obama would veto a bill if it reached his desk….
    . Speaker Boehner responded this afternoon by giving a brusque press conference – clocking in at under a minute in length – before leaving the podium abruptly without taking questions. “Tomorrow, the House will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for every American,” Boehner said. “Then the president will have a decision to make. He can call on Senate Democrats to pass that bill. Or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history.”
    . Around 10:30 AM, when the Department of Energy released its weekly figures on oil stockpiles, WTI crude oil futures surged….
    . President Obama delivered a separate press conference on gun violence today, introducing a task force to address the growing problem highlighted by Friday’s tragic shooting. However, stocks of gun manufacturers, which have sold off substantially this week, were unfazed by the news, rebounding from their recent lows.
    . CNBC reported this afternoon that hedge funder Bill Ackman is short Herbalife stock, sending shares nearly 9 percent lower. Herbalife stock was plagued earlier this year by speculation that another big hedgie, David Einhorn, may have been short the stock.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/closing-bell-19-2012-12#ixzz2FXEcLyKp

    • AdLib says:

      Wonder how much the corporate sponsors of the GOP are enjoying their stock prices dipping thanks to their puppets’ futile struggle against the reality of what Obama will sign and the American people want.

      • What gets me is, the GOP also voted for the fiscal cliff in the last attempt to keep the Bush tax cuts as part of the deal they worked out then. So, if middle class tax cuts do go up, the GOP is every bit as much to blame, as the dems. Can’t they see that?

        I think Boehener is bluffing.

        • bito says:

          KT, I’m not sure what you mean with your “you think he’s bluffing,” but I wonder if he has control of his caucus? I sure don’t know that one either. Who is really running their side and will they even be able to pass their “Plan B” tomorrow without any Dem votes? I do wish that there were two caucuses both run by adults for a little bit of time. I think people are tired of all the game playing all the time, after a while it does get old especially after the mass killing and we have some time for some serious actions right now.

  10. bito says:

    Nasa’s post-Mayan apocalypse video released 10 days early – video

    The End isn’t just near it’s been taped and posted already! 😉


    But it seem that it;s really big new in some parts of Russia. Go figure?!?

    Mayan apocalypse mania grips Russia

    Officials try to calm fears as Russians buy up emergency supplies before the Mayan calendar runs out on Friday

    For more than a month, Russians around the country have been buying up candles and matches, salt and torches in an effort to outsmart the apocalypse some believe will come when the Mayan calendar runs out on Friday.

    In the coalmining town of Novokuznetsk, shelves nearly emptied of salt stocks last month as the city’s residents prepared to ride through the end of the world. “60 tonnes were bought in one week,” Yelena Zuyeva, a city official, said last week in comments carried on the local administration’s website. “Today all trade companies are working and are ready for any level for consumer activity.”

    With the end of the world just days away, Russians have moved from buying stocks to thinking long and hard about where to be when the lights go off. In Moscow, an underground bunker built during the second world war for the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin has offered its services: “We invite you to survive the apocalypse on 21 December in Bunker-42 on Taganka at 65 metres underground!” a note written in ominous red on its website cheerily reads.


    • Hey, don’t panic! Bruce Willis will save us!

    • kesmarn says:

      What does NASA know about science, b’ito? Isn’t this is just their opinion? Glenn Beck says to buy a gun, hoard gold and cornmeal and hide in a bunker till he says to come out. And he almost graduated from his sophomore year of kollege. Are you saying I shouldn’t listen to him?

      Seriously, I gotta love the science guys at NASA when they’re talking about the possibility of an asteroid destroying the earth the day after tomorrow. “If an asteroid were that close, we would already be able to see it now. You don’t need to ask the government. Just go outside and look. It’s not there.”

      GO OUTSIDE??? 😯

      • Well kes, it’s obvious that NASA knows nothing about global Climate Change and what is causing it! (sarcasm, sarcasm) Everybody knows they are in cahoots with ecologists to get big business to buy their inventions! Damn libruls!

      • bito says:

        I don’t know k’es, the know-nothings of this era really, really don’t know anything do they? And they seem to be so dammed proud of it to boot! Both in science and politics and that makes it scarey for all of us because they control the purse strings. I wouldn’t be surprised if the House next year in their budget didn’t replace the NASA budget with a Dept of Alchemy and put the US back on the gold standard. Their going to have those NASA Boys working overtime turning lead in to gold. I’d bet a plug nickel on that! 😉

        • kesmarn says:

          😆 Brilliant, b’ito! Department of Alchemy is right on the money — or the gold bullion…?

          Since the Founding Fathers never mentioned the space program, I’m pretty sure it’s unconstitutional. Which would make all those science guys traitors. If they aren’t warlocks.

          How dare they suggest we “go outside” and verify that there’s no asteroid barreling toward us? It’s dangerous “outside.” If we wander too far in attempting to verify their alleged “truth,” we might just fall off the edge of the earth.

          Better to just let FOX news explain it all to us while we hunker in the bunker.

    • AdLib says:

      Bito, my understanding is that it was a group of Mayan “Cocabaggers” who came up with the whole “End of the world” Mayan calendar thing.

    • bito says:

      Kalima, I think that there was a lot that went wrong with this situation, but very little had to do with the State Dept. or the three career diplomats that were “relieved of their duties” (I was glad to see that they may get reassigned in their duties.)
      Somethings did go very wrong and one thing that started it was the Republicans cutting the funding for security. Cut the funding security, security blows up in their face, blame three scapegoats for lack of security. Enter stage loony right with McGrumpy and Loony Lindy with their spooners Faux News and what do you get? it’s almost like Fux News is an arm of the government. They call for an investigation and one of their political bootlickers goes back to Congress and gets one.

      • Kalima says:

        There might have been failings, but not enough for resignations, and no blame has been directed at anyone. Unfortunately the GOP are either deliberately blind or just being obtuse to the well know fact that they cut funding for embassies around the world, and no one is holding them responsible as usual. Don’t you think it’s about time someone did? Especially those who profit from supporting the NRA should have their photos on posters saying that these people don’t care about citizens being murdered with guns, they only care about the campaign donations and bribes they have been getting for years. Sounds like murder for profit to me.

        If McGrumpy appeared in a Pantomime show, he would be the horse’s arse, and Lindy could walk behind him dressed as a bucket and shovel.

  11. Nirek says:

    If these high capacity magazines have a ligit use it has to be in the military. Civilians with guns should practice and hit what they shoot at. Instead of spraying bullets all over and hitting innocent people. There is no need for many round in a magazine.

    • Exactly Nirek. These weapons and the large capacity magazines that are used, should only be used by the military and law enforcement. As I have said many times since this tragedy, no civilian would EVER need that kind of fire power.

      The trouble is, all these survival nuts and those morons who say they need them to keep the government in line, will protest the loudest against SANE gun laws. It just boggles my mind to think that these morons actually believe they could overthrow our military with small arms fire. They are just plain flat out batshit crazy.

  12. bito says:

    I knew I was asking too much by hoping that that the purists would hold off or tone it down but no, without knowing what the negotiations are fully about, they show up and start setting their heads on fire. I could be wrong on this one only because I thought Kos was on a full monitor of the Emo’s.

    Christmas comes early for Boehner


    If some one on the right, middle, left, or up and down tried to post this here on PPOV, I am pretty confident that they would get pummeled by many of our membership, not because of their POV so much but for the complete lack of sources, facts or figures. It’s as if it were made out of compete air.

    • Nirek says:

      Bito, I almost think going “over the cliff” will be a good thing. The defense budget will take a hit as well as everything else. After the first work day the congress can vote to cut taxes on those of us who make $250,000 or less. I’m betting the GOP will not vote against a tax cut.

      • bito says:

        What would be good, would be for both parties to cooperate and come to an agreement, to act like adults, not just for the US but for the worlds economies. I would do a lot to remove all these so called “doubts” a let the economies move forward. Short of that, I really don’t know, both have some pros and some cons to them, but I’m really sticking with some maturity taking hold on all sides.

    • Recalculating the CPI is about the smallest effective benefit ‘cuts’ imaginable since it’s not a cut but a decrease in the annual benefit increase. I’m on SSDI and can live with this ‘cut’. Oh yeah and these ‘cut’ amount to a 1.7% cut at worst in SS benefits. Ask Kalima if that is austerity based on what is going on in the UK.

      It’s just like with raising rates on $400K instead of $250K bracket. I always thought a problem with the whole debate on taxing the rich was that $250K is not really that rich anymore especially in states like CA and NY.

      I doubt this GOPTEA congress will take the deal anyway so again it just shows only one side is serious about cutting the budget.

      • bito says:

        KQ, If the circumstances warranted a cut in SS benefits, you know I would more than likely join you in looking for a solution. Again I have to ask, what, where is the need for a cut in SS needed.

        • I just don’t view a 1.7% decrease in the increase of SS benefits as a cut. It’s a gesture at best. Real cuts would be 5-10% across the board cuts like they are doing in the UK. A real cut would be increasing the SS age to 67. To me it’s about the least important pawn you can throw in the negotiations.

          I go back to my ant an elephant axiom. Progressives are worrying about this tiny ant thing on top of the elephant rather than looking at the real impact to policy. So it becomes more about winning and losing than the policy itself.

          • bito says:

            Agreed, KQ, I would give you that pawn and i would raise holy hell about it if I had to give it up to make it seem even like a larger piece in the negotiations if need be. I also am in in total agreement with your real cuts in the UK. Quite often cuts in the US are actually cuts in the scheduled growth, which can be misleading. My question is “why am I even talking about cuts in Social Security benefits at all? They have not added to the debt nor the deficit, yet I am cutting them to offset what?” in the negotiations? If I am going to be trading the for something, I want to know what it is. Is it the total bottom ‘spending” line for the total “revenue” line or is it something tangible or something like raising the bottom top line from $250,000 to 1 million?

            (how are you feeling, Brother?)

            • SallyT says:

              KQ, I have no problem with anyone progressive or otherwise questioning this and bringing attention to the matter. I am very concerned as I am dependent upon my SS. A cut here, an adjustment there, or changes made are chips at it. I wouldn’t like any getting big enough to allow it to crumble. The Republicans have been working for that since it began. I have also read that sometimes things are leaked out to see the responses it will get. Boehner has no problem in saying he has to do this or that because his caucus won’t let this through or pass. The Democrats can use the same tactic that we will not let SS be used and they have the public behind them. Just look at the responses.

            • Any adjustments to SS are only designed to extend it’s solvency. So as part of a budget cut you are indeed correct. Part of the reason that this cut was selected was to compensate for the 2% payroll tax holiday we’ve had the last few years. Dems are just fiscally conscious that way and are sort of back funding that reduction in solvency.

            • bito says:

              KQ, Bingo, I knew there was a reason I liked you, you have a memory! I had forgotten all about the shortfall caused by the tax holiday. I also heard the rumor that this was a test by the Obama Administration, that he would make an offer of a cut to an entitlement fully knowing that it would get turned down, later for the PBO Admin to say:
              “you even turned down our SS reform” as a part of their gamesmanship. Hey, they are politicians also.

      • SallyT says:

        I will be hurt if we lose this increase. I’ll wait to see how it is calculated before I panic. We didn’t get any for several years. I did get the increase this year and it was more than $38.00 a month. It doesn’t cover the increase in my property tax but it certainly will help. I know many people that it will hurt also because their benefits aren’t as high as mine. You are very fortunate that it won’t. I will wait to see how Senator Sanders reacts before I do. But, AARP is not too happy.

        • bito says:

          Sally the cuts you saw the last two years had absolutely nothing to do with any changes or negotiations from what I understand. The lack of any raises were based on the same calculations that has been used for many years. Senator Sanders did get passed a $500 raise for some based on a sliding scale. (I have a hard time recalling, because mine was stolen in a case of identity theft.)

        • I appreciate everyone’s circumstance is different for sure. Because I get disability from a private source and finally got SSDI I’m going to have to pay some taxes next year. So actually not extending the middle class tax cuts would have a far more net negative effect than adjusting the CPI. I know it’s different for folks and like usual the lowest incomes are hit the worse. But to call this a huge cut in benefits is just overstating the impact.

          • SallyT says:

            Any cut to SS is scary. One cut now, another later? But this cut has reaching effects if it is passed. I am sure we will feel this cut before any over $250,000 will feel a tax increase.

            The inflation measure under consideration is called the Chained Consumer Price Index. On average, the measure shows a lower level of inflation than the more widely used Consumer Price Index because it assumes that as prices rise, consumers turn to lower-cost alternatives, reducing the amount of inflation they experience.

            If adopted across the government, the change would have far-reaching effects because so many programs are adjusted each year based on year-to-year changes in consumer prices.

            On average, annual increases in Social Security payments, government pensions and veterans’ benefits would be about 0.3 percentage points smaller each year. Next year’s COLA is 1.7 percent. Under the new measure of inflation, it would be about 1.4 percent.

            Taxes would slowly increase because annual adjustments to income tax brackets would be smaller, pushing more people into higher tax brackets. Over time, fewer people would be eligible for anti-poverty programs like Medicaid, Head Start, food stamps and school lunches because annual adjustments to the poverty level would be smaller, leaving fewer people under the official poverty line.

            If enacted for 2014, the change would reduce government borrowing by $223 billion over the next decade _ $158 billion in spending cuts and $65 billion in tax increases, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The biggest savings _ $102 billion _ would come from Social Security.


          • bito says:

            I’m not to sure about this at all KQ, why are we looking into cuts at all? Social Security did not add one red cent to the debt or the deficit and if one want revenue raised from SS, why cuts? Raise the cap immediately to $200,000 from the $106,500(around there)don’t need a large and quick bump in revenue. If you still need/want revenue raise the cap more quickly than what it was set at under Reagan/O’Neil’s agreement. But I don’t see any need for any benefit cuts.

            • AdLib says:

              Bito, you’re right, there is NO need for benefit cuts in SS if the contribution cap on the wealthier is lifted. And in any case, SS has never contributed to the deficit so why indeed should it be cut???

            • bito says:

              So why is there even any discussion, AdLlib? They are even coming up with different ways to cut it befroe showing why it needs cut! Hair cuts for a bald man?

          • AdLib says:

            KQ -- Here’s some numbers to consider:

            Differences between the two inflation measures are small, often about 0.3 percent in a given year. But over time, the impact can add up. Basing the COLA adjustments on the chained CPI instead of on the traditional CPI would cut the typical 65-year-old’s benefit by $130 per year, but after 30 years of retirement that person’s annual income would be $1,400 less, says the National Committee To Preserve, Social Security & Medicare.


            Losing $1,400/yr a year for a low income senior citizen, especially in their later years, is a big hit.

            • bito says:

              AdLib, I have to ask you the same question as I asked KQ: Why any benefit cut? What “hole” is it supposed to fill? Need revenue from SS, why not raise the cap? I just haven’t been convinced of a need to cut benefits no matter what scale one uses.

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