White House Web page asking what you would do with the $40/week you save on your reduced social security contribution Around Town, posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2011 at 7:38 am
The White House is soliciting comments on what you would do with the $40 you save per week on reduced social security contributions. By the way the White House is misleading you. You only save $40 week if you make $104,000/year. If you make less you save less. To find out how much you save divide your annual salary by 2600. If you make more than $106,800 per year then divide $106,600 by 2600 to get $41.08 per week that is the maximum you save.
My response that I submitted to the White House Propaganda web site - the one that encourages you to party today so you can live in misery during your retirement is below
"It means that Social Security will go bankrupt that much sooner. How can President Obama be so fiscally reckless with our retirement money. Social Security was created so that we would have a safety net in our retirement. The president wants us to party now.
So Mr. President I ask you is it worth it to have a pizza today so we can eat dog food in our retirement? Not all of us have bloated Government pensions. Shame on you!"
Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2011 at 9:27 am
I am with the Romney Wing of the Republican Party that wants to end Obama's failed experiment with European Socialism and bring responsible governance back to Washington.
I am also for tax rates that bring in the most revenue. If the tax elasticity is greater than 1 then it is best to lower the tax rates to increase the tax revenue. If the tax elasticity is lower than one then it is best to raise the tax rates to bring in more tax revenue. The idea is to get the tax elasticity equal to 1.
Posted by R.Gordon, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm
Oddly enough, when Madoff was functioning before he began swindling, he had the same concept as H.Lawrence...the only difference is that it only affected those who were employees of people of retirement age who still deposited their SS checks while they worked.
Why not just donate your monthly stipend into a charity like UNICEF and write it off? This country is not going to have mass employment for a minimum of 23 years.
Elaborate of the Obama experiment with European Socialism which is not a cold turkey. You and P.C. have such strange theories.....so 1776.
Posted by Pearl, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on Dec 29, 2011 at 10:24 am
Where did Romney ever end up on the payroll tax holiday? Obama was for it. Most of the GOP in the senate was for it. Boneher flipflopped and was generally a dork the way he ran the whole issue - negotiating for it, then unable to even deliver his end of the bargain. Finally caved and was for it.
Or is Mitt still prevaricating and flipflopping?
Mitt has an opinion on everything. It's just a different opinion for each day that ends with a "y".
Posted by Big Cat, a resident of the Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley neighborhood, on Dec 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm
Romney's a joke. Bends to what ever the polls say. Back in the nineties, he polled abortion and took a choice position because the polls told him to...
What a lowlife.
"When he challenged Ted Kennedy in the 1994 U.S. Senate race, Mitt Romney used polling data to determine that he would run as a pro-choice candidate while remaining personally pro-life, according to a new book by Boston journalist Ronald Scott.
The Washington Examiner revealed the moment in Scott's book:
According to Scott, Romney revealed that polling from Richard Wirthlin, Ronald Reagan's former pollster whom Romney had hired for the '94 campaign, showed it would be impossible for a pro-life candidate to win statewide office in Massachusetts. In light of that, Romney decided to run as a pro-choice candidate, pledging to support Roe v. Wade...." Web Link
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Dec 30, 2011 at 7:35 pm
Gee a politician that bends with the wind. Who's "positions" are based on polling. Whoda thunk? All politicians, republican or democrat are cut from the same the same cloth. They're all lying, go with the flow, what's the latest polling? Spare me the holier than though about Romney being a "hypocrite." They ALL are. If you don't get that you're either naive or you have a political axe to grind. Which is it?
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Dec 30, 2011 at 8:01 pm
S Matthew -
Perhaps you forgot that the "Boehner wing" of the House actually voted to extend the payroll tax holiday for one year - something even President Obama supported.. It was the Senate that reduced the duration of the holiday extension to just two months.
Now we can enjoy all-out Washington warfare for the next month or two.
Posted by Big Cat, a resident of the Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley neighborhood, on Dec 31, 2011 at 5:34 pm
Romney's in a league of his own. Perhaps a planet of his own. Let me flip - a universe of his own. Ever hear him talk when it's not a speech?
Go ahead - name someone even close to Romney. Perry? Newt? Santorum? Bachman? Even Huntsman? If we can hold off Romney until Florida, maybe someone new will step in - Christie, Jeb, Daniels, Thune, who knows?
Romney needs to be beat in Iowa and South Carolina, and be a weak winner in NH. Make it easy for a real candidate to step in.
GHW Bush gave us Souter for 20 years. Can we risk a flip floppper like Romney at this time?
Posted by Big Cat, a resident of the Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley neighborhood, on Jan 1, 2012 at 10:25 am
Mitt even flips on who to blame for his running the last 7 years: Web Link
" "Ann Romney told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that she insisted to her reluctant spouse: “You know what, Mitt, you’ve got to do this again.”
Mitt resisted, she said, because “he remembered how difficult it is and what the hurdles were going to be.” Mittens, as her not-so-cuddly mate is called by reporters, knew he was not a natural with voters.
According to Mitt, their pillow talk sounded like a political ad. “She said, ‘Look, no one else can beat President Obama. No one else has the background to actually get the economy going, understand the economy in a very fundamental way.’ ” "
Such an odd couple. First she flip him on running. Did she tell him which polls to follow as well?
Posted by Big Cat, a resident of the Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley neighborhood, on Jan 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm
I waffle back and forth on Romney's chances. On one hand, he isn't facing very good candidates, on the other...
For a guy running for office for the last seven years, he doesn't appear to have attracted any new voters. He may come out of Iowa with the same number of voters he got in 2008, which is a pretty sad (but great) thing.
I have to trust folks' basic instincts about the weasel.
Pray it gets tied up for a couple months and a real candidate emerges.
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Jan 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm
Big Cat -
You should vote for who you like... but you're not going to vote for anyone on Tuesday unless you're in Iowa and attend a caucus.
Interesting that Sarah Palin could be your choice. You don't think Governor Palin ever flip-flopped? Perhaps you don't remember her multiple positions on the "bridge to nowhere" or support of TARP? Let she who is without sin...
By the way, Dennis is Dennis Kucinich. His wife is one of the few things I like about him.
Posted by Big Cat, a resident of the Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley neighborhood, on Jan 2, 2012 at 9:15 am
Of course one can't deny that politicians frequently will change on an issue. Nor can one deny that the most populated states rarely get to "play" in the selection process. Am curious what a list of lib politicians has to do with Romney flipflopping on every issue:
* flips on abortion
* flips on gay marriage - flip flops on DADT
* flips on cap gains taxes
* flips on stem cell
* flips on minimum wage
* flips on climate change
* flips on Stimulus
* flips on Bin Ladin
* flips on mandates
* flips on his own RomneyObamaCare
* flips on immigration
* flips on the Reagan
* flips on Social Security
* flips on his "ideology"' - 'Relative to the leading candidates, some people see me as being more conservative.' - 'I'm not the most conservative candidate.'
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Jan 2, 2012 at 10:46 am
Big Cat -
I'm not trying to convince you to vote for Romney. As I said, it matters not what we believe in California. And it has nothing to do with the size of the state (by population), it has to do with the disparity of the political parties.
If a state is very red (like Texas) or blue (like Massachusetts), it will receive no attention from candidates. Why waste precious time or money there - the outcome is already known! However, even large states - Ohio, for instance - where there is a near 50/50 split between the two parties, are definitely in play. A few votes one way or the other can, and does, swing an election. In fact, people like Karl Rove and David Plouff can narrow the election down to the outcome at just a few PRECINCTS.
Regarding Romney, I'm saying that no politician - NO POLITICIAN - is consistent. There isn't a single candidate that hasn't changed his/her views. I would assume your political views have evolved over time also, mine have. I was originally for the war in Iraq (based largely on the consensus of the international intelligence community), but changed to a complete waste of time, money and lives. After watching the film "Restrepo" (admittedly about Afghanistan), I realize that we're fighting over rocks. Literally.
So Romney changes his mind. This election is going to be a choice between TWO and only two - candidates. So would you rather have Romney or President Obama?
That's the question, the only question. The rest doesn't matter.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Jan 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm
It's a crying shame that there isn't a true third party in this country. I think a very large majority of voters would vote for a viable third party candidate. The problem is that the money isn't there. And it takes a lot of money to get elected. I'd vote for a viable third party candidate in a heart beat. Problem is, there isn't one.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Jan 2, 2012 at 7:41 pm
you are absolutley correct. Until the legislature enacts laws to overturn the absurd decision by the supreme court making corporations persons that have first amendment rights is isn't going to happen.
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Jan 2, 2012 at 9:25 pm
A couple of things to consider.
A third party just has to have enough representatives in Congress to deny the other two parties a majority. This is what happens in most European countries where "coalitions" MUST be formed to govern. In those cases, a very small group of people can actually hold the other political parties - which are, in fact, LARGER - hostage. Sounds a little like the Tea Party, doesn't it? So you don't have to be very large to have a very big impact (again, like the Tea Party).
Second, it's a bit of a simplification to say that the Citizens United decision gave "personhood" to corporations. What the decision said is that political contributions represented free speech and that free speech applied equally to groups, organizations and corporations. So whenever you laugh about "corporations being people," you shouldn't forget to add "unions are people" because they were specifically included in the CU decision. And I don't think anyone who rails against the CU decision wants to curtail union contributions.
Third, the largest political campaign contributors are - BY FAR - unions, not corporations. As I recall, the largest union political campaign contribution was something like 20x the largest corporation political campaign contribution. And here's my source: Web Link
Finally, remember that Obama - who talked openly about the value of public financing and the corrupting influence of private money - REFUSED public financing for HIS campaign and ended up outspending the McCain campaign by a huge margin. So money counts, friends. And it is for that reason that I don't think you'll ever see a limit on this resource. EVER.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Jan 3, 2012 at 7:09 am
"And I don't think anyone who rails against the CU decision wants to curtail union contributions."
Not in my case. I am absolutley against unions being able to contribute large amounts of money to politicians. The CU decision has totally poluted the political process with money. If you don't have it, you don't get reperesentation. In my opinion, the CU decision was one of the worst supreme court decisions in history in terms of the damage it is doing to the political process in this country.
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Jan 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm
I have no idea how you take money out of elections. What's to stop a guys like Bloomberg, Kerry, Romney, Soros or Koch (just covering all bases) from financing their own elections? Wouldn't this effectively eliminate people like Santorum and Obama would could never withstand that type of money?
MV - I agree with you about union money. The biggest political contributors come from AFSCME, SEIU and other unions. There isn't a single company that even comes close.
So money gets representation. This isn't exactly newsworthy. I think this dates back to... well, it dates back to the dawn of man.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Jan 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm
it may date back to the beginning of time but it seems to me it has only worsened in the last twenty years or so. That is when varioous types of media available for political advertising began to grow,thus creating an ever growing "need" for more and more campaign money. It's risen to obscene levels.
Posted by Pearl, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on Jan 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm
Pogo: "What's to stop a guys like Bloomberg, Kerry, Romney,...." Sounds like a fallacious argument to me. No one has ever been against self-financed elections, that I've heard of. That money, donated by Romney to his campaign for example, is mostly visible per current FEC laws. A $2,000 donation to any of them from anyone is mostly visible.
Romney, Koch, Bloomberg, Kerry, etc.. donating to superPACS, however, is not visible. Is not limited to 2 grand. Without limits and transparency, who's to say it's regulated in any way?
We need corporate money, huge unregulated donations made on behalf of corporations (the unlimited, unregulated CEO donations to superPACs; or a billionaire's unlimited, unregulated donations to superPACs, etc) and union money out of the game.
"There isn't a single company that even comes close."
You don't know that. Without transparency, you and I just don't know that.
With your link, without even looking for more current data, Crossroads PAC and the CoC pac made larger donations than all but 1 union (afscme, according to the chart.)
Unlimited. Virtually unregulated. Hidden sources of funds. Could be from one guy. Could be from overseas. Could be from a defense contractor that wants a billion dollar contract. Could be from a union (though they may be regulated and required to report PAC contributions, I don't know.)
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Jan 3, 2012 at 9:23 pm
But if you're not against "self-financed" elections, then you are going to end up with nothing but super rich candidates who have a distinct advantage over others. And don't the rich, by definition, have an agenda?
To me, it's about transparency, not money. Obama railed against big money, but took more Wall Street money than any other candidate in history.
Regarding campaign contribution disclosures by corporations, yes, we do know what they contribute. Not necessary to who or what they contribute, but we do know the amounts (they are declared on their SEC filings). Here is a partial list of corporate contributions over a 22 year period: Web Link but note that AFSCME contributed over $80 million in 2010 ALONE.
So you may think that these secret PACs are the Republicans weapon exclusively. But here it is in black and white (actually blue donkeys and red elephants). Mostly blue donkeys! A bit surprising, no?
Posted by Pearl, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on Jan 3, 2012 at 9:41 pm
Pogo: "But if you're not against "self-financed" elections, then you are going to end up with nothing but super rich candidates who have a distinct advantage over others." It's their money. As long as it's used legally and transparently, I can live with that. Can't you?
In fact, now that I asked that, I reread your posts and don't see any suggestions. Am I missing your opinion on a "solution", if any?
"To me, it's about transparency, not money. Obama railed against big money, but took more Wall Street money" Sounds pretty transparent if you can write that. We can see thus far this cycle, the Wall St money shifted back to the GOP. But again, these are donations that are visible to the campaigns, not to the pacs where donations are secret.
It's about the hidden money this cycle.
Last cycle, afscme did 80 million. crossroads and the chamber did 130 million. They both need to be stopped; at the very least, donors must be identified.
Posted by POGO, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, on Jan 4, 2012 at 9:37 am
I'm not sure how I can be much clearer.
While I don't like all of this money being poured into political races, I do not believe there is a constitutional solution as long as contributions = free speech. You have the right to contribute it to a candidate or cause, period.
But I'm all for transparency. Whether it's a PAC, a political party, a candidate or self-financing, I think all political donations should be disclosed, period.
The hypocrisy: Democrats have no problem taking money from Soros, unions and trial lawyers. Republicans have no problem taking money from the Koch's, the gun lobby and the religious right. They both take money from Wall Street and big business. It seems to me that you are only against big money when it's against your causes.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Jan 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm
Your wrote: "I have no idea how you take money out of elections."
I think the answer is that - somehow - the Citizens United ruling needs to be overturned.
In his dissenting opinion Justice Stevens wrote: "The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation."
80% of Americans oppose the CU ruling including 76% of Republicans. A bipartisan group called Move to Amend is attempting to garner support for a constitutional amendment that will overturn corporate personhood and declare that money is not speech. It may take years but it seems that something on this scale will be necessary to restore our democracy.
Posted by acomfort, a resident of the Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle neighborhood, on Jan 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm
The article that started this was about spending the $40 you save in your "Social Security deduction." The words "Social Security deduction" is much more accurate than "payroll deduction." But I see many posters stayed with the Minister of Propaganda's description "payroll deduction."
If you go with "Social Security deduction" then the political argument can be framed very differently. You could say that the Democrats wanted to cut the Social Security reserves and the Republicans were threatening to keep the Social Security reserves solvent for a longer time period.
Just a thought . . . as the Minister of Propaganda rarely looses.