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  • Mark Twain wrote:

    “THERE were two “Reigns of Terror,” if we would but remember it and consider it; the one wrought murder in hot passion, the other in heartless cold blood; the one lasted mere months, the other had lasted a thousand years; the one inflicted death upon ten thousand persons, the other upon a hundred millions; but our shudders are all for the “horrors” of the minor Terror, the momentary Terror, so to speak; whereas, what is the horror of swift death by the axe, compared with lifelong death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty, and heart-break? What is swift death by lightning compared with death by slow fire at the stake? A city cemetery could contain the coffins filled by that brief Terror which we have all been so diligently taught to shiver at and mourn over; but all France could hardly contain the coffins filled by that older and real Terror—that unspeakably bitter and awful Terror which none of us has been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves.”

    Reply to: The Economic Serfdom Continues   8 years 4 months ago
    EPer:
  • Ryan needs to be voted out in the primary. Failing to get him out in the primary, you will have to get him out in the general election by voting for his Democratic opponent no matter how screwy his opponent is. Ryan can do a lot of damage as Speaker of the House.

    Reply to: How’s That Paul Ryan Vote Working Out for You “Conservatives?”   8 years 4 months ago
    EPer:
  • UPDATE

    Press Releases 07.23.15
    Transcript of Pelosi Press Conference Today

    Q: So it sounds like you are against the Senate bill. And this is not just the McConnell bill, it’s the McConnell‑Boxer bill.

    Leader Pelosi. I didn’t say I was opposed to it. I’m just saying it’s not going to be done by the end of next week. So let’s deal with it. I am not opposed. We don’t know what it is. They’re in the process of amendment today. So we’ll see what comes out of it.

    I commend Senator Boxer, she has many good things in the legislation that I’ve seen so far, but they are going through the process of amendment.

    I don’t like several of the pay‑fors in the bill, starting with using Social Security to pay for roads. We cannot…

    Q: Apparently they pulled that out last night.

    Leader Pelosi. Well, we’ll see. We’ll see. That was the rumor, that it was going to be pulled out. I hope that that is the case.

    But they will pass a bill, and we will pass a bill, and then we’ll go to conference. Perhaps we can go to conference with our – I think we would want to go to conference with something stronger than our five month bill. So this is going to take some time. And that’s why we’re just saying let’s take the time, let’s get the job done, but in the meantime don’t let the Trust Fund run out and don’t let the Ex‑Im Bank [remain expired]. . . .

    http://www.democraticleader.gov/newsroom/transcript-of-pelosi-press-conf...

    Elin

    Reply to: New Budget Deal Cuts Social Security, But How?   8 years 5 months ago
  • but appears that the corporatist neoliberals have once again pulled a fast one on the American People.

    It's mindboggling to me that the AARP and the NCPSSM would applaud a 'fix' that mostly amounts to a transference of wealth upward. From what I've read, other than the 10 plus million poor/low income folks who would not have even paid the Medicare premium increase, aside from the 3 plus million 'wealthy' Americans-- who arguably could have afforded to pay more--it was only 1 million plus 'Average Joes' who would have been affected by the premium increase.

    And, I read that many, if not most of those 1 million plus non-wealthy Medicare beneficiaries had 'workarounds' available to them to avoid the increase. Unfortunately, it didn't spell out 'what' those workarounds are. So, my task is to attempt to get more information on this topic.

    (Please, if anyone has info on these 'workarounds,' I'd love to see it.)

    Obviously, a 'fix' could have been put in place only for those non-wealthy folks to get relief, if a workaround was not feasible, or available to them.

    Of course, considering the wealth of our typical lawmakers, that solution apparently went right out the window.

    Elin

    Postscript: I am concerned that the SSDI Fix and/or other 'entitlement' cuts could be affixed to upcoming bills.

    Remember, Barbara Boxer and James Inhofe proposed to discontinue Old Age and SSDI Benefits for beneficiaries who had 'warrants outstanding,' as a 'pay-for' in one version of the Transportation Bill.

    Needless to say, that would have also encompassed folks who were innocent of any offense. I posted the pertinent Thursday Press Availability with Pelosi as a comment, several months ago. To my knowledge, the video may still be available on C-Span. Pelosi appeared to be stunned by that proposal, and said that she was in opposition to it. But, I didn't follow up on the proposal, so I'm not sure if it was nixed, or not.

    IMO, even if it was projected to affect only approximately one quarter million beneficiaries, I thought it was a hideous idea to use the withholding of Social Security benefits to 'punish' folks.

    Reply to: New Budget Deal Cuts Social Security, But How?   8 years 5 months ago
  • in Greece or Puerto Rico, but they are very stringent in the US.

    That's the reason for the huge proliferation of SSDI legal advocates (here).

    Elin

    Reply to: New Budget Deal Cuts Social Security, But How?   8 years 5 months ago
  • N/T

    Reply to: Social Security was mentioned ONCE in last GOP Debate   8 years 5 months ago
  • Just click on your name to edit your profile.

    Reply to: Social Security was mentioned ONCE in last GOP Debate   8 years 5 months ago
    EPer:
  • I was considering adding a little 'profile' info, but I can't figure out how to go in to make the change/addition.

    Thanks!

    Elin

    Reply to: Social Security was mentioned ONCE in last GOP Debate   8 years 5 months ago
  • May have further comment after I've had a chance to peruse all these resources.

    Hiltzik is one of my favorite writers. I should have thought to have gone to his column to see what he had to say about the proposed SSDI overhaul/restructuring. Duh!

    (I just noticed--Hiltzik's column is dated October 27th--the same day that I saw the two Washington Journal interviews.)

    I have to wonder if the C-Span interviews could have been a factor in the decision to pull this reform proposal. The viewer phone calls in both segments included many outraged SSDI beneficiaries.

    Now, I'll need to make a correction to a couple of comments that I've made based upon the reporting of The Hill and C-Span's Washington Journal.

    Elin

    Reply to: Social Security was mentioned ONCE in last GOP Debate   8 years 5 months ago
  • I mentioned flat benefits in another post:
    http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/new-budget-deal-cuts-social-secu...

    About the plan from the Heritage Foundation (a conservative think tank)...
    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/10/improving-social-securi...

    The Washington Times (a conservative website) mentions this too...
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/5/rachel-greszler-social-se...

    National Affairs (another conservative organization) mentions flat benefits too...
    http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/what-is-national-affairs

    The Social Security Administration mentions a flat benefit on page 5...
    https://www.ssa.gov/history/pdf/80chap3.pdf

    The L.A. Times wrote: "The flat benefit didn't make it into the final bill. Curiously, however, the savings it was expected to provide was still being cited by some Republicans as a point in favor of the deal."
    http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-social-security-medicar...

    Even Hillary Clinton mentioned increasing benefits for women, who (because of child rearing and low wages) tend to make less in benefits, but she doesn't say how her plan would be paid for -- so maybe she's advocating for flat benefits too. (FYI: After just checking, I noticed the website added "men" to caregivers.)
    https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/social-security-and-medicare/

    Thanks for the update.

    FYI: The owner of this website is Robert Oak. Just like you, I'm a visitor too ;) Maybe you should write a post for the Instapopulist once you have another update. Thanks again.

    Reply to: Social Security was mentioned ONCE in last GOP Debate   8 years 5 months ago
    EPer:
  • below, at least from Minute 00:38 through 00:54.

    Sometime next week, I plan to make a video clip from a 20-minute C-Span interview about the recent (supposed) SSDI program overhaul, and the new flattened monthly stipend to be tied to the FPL.

    [The interview aired during the last week of October, during the budget negotiations.]

    Following that interview with a Hill reporter, a Republican lawmaker, Rep Tom Cole (House Budget and Appropriations Committees), confirmed that this reform was part of the Budget Deal.

    When asked by the C-Span host, he even confirmed that this cut would apply to all SSDI recipients, not just future beneficiaries.

    That's 'why' I've continued to search for more details. I'll go over to "The Hill," and maybe to C-Span, to see if there have been any retractions.

    If I find anything, I'll let you know.

    I'll probably poke around for a little bit longer, just to make sure that this "change" isn't simply hidden in archaic language (although I agree with you that it doesn't appear to be part of the bill).

    BTW, I'm pretty much a commenter, and shy away from writing formal posts.

    But, I noticed that the Instapopulist Forum appears to be less formal than your Front Page, so I may look to utilize that venue on occasion. (if that's okay)

    Thank you for allowing me to join your blogging community. I expect to learn a great deal from reading and blogging here.

    (I'll try not to ask too many questions!)

    ;-)

    Elin

    (Postscript: Noticed the qualifier, "could include a move toward flat benefits. . .," just now. However, when the Hill reporter was interviewed, at length, I didn't notice any qualifiers. Maybe I should relisten to it.)

    Reply to: Social Security was mentioned ONCE in last GOP Debate   8 years 5 months ago
  • No, the "flat benefits" provision was a plan from the Heritage Foundation that was NOT included in the new budget deal...but that doesn't mean the Republicans will never stop trying. And thanks for the kudos ;)

    Reply to: Social Security was mentioned ONCE in last GOP Debate   8 years 5 months ago
    EPer:
  • since, had you not posted it, I may not have found your excellent blog.

    I'm still researching the so-called 'reform' (contained in the recently signed budget deal) which would flatten SSDI beneficiaries' monthly stipends. The topic seems to have fallen into some kind of void, outside of the few articles which you've referenced.

    I'm wondering if the PtB attempted to put the quietus on the topic in the MSM. Dunno. But, it won't stop me from searching for more info.

    ;-)

    Elin

    Reply to: Social Security was mentioned ONCE in last GOP Debate   8 years 5 months ago
  • September's seasonally adjusted sales were revised from the $447.7 billion first reported to $447.0 billion, while August's sales, which were revised down to $447.2 billion from the originally reported $447.7 billion last month, were revised down again, to $447.1 billion with this report, resulting in an advance sales figure nearly 0.1% lower than was reported last month...

    Reply to: October Retail Sales A Lackluster 0.1% Increase   8 years 5 months ago
    EPer:
  • is obscene. What they should be talking about is reducing medical costs, modeled on every other industrialized nation. America is being robbed blind with overpriced drugs, equipment and "other services", yet it barely gets a mention.

    Reply to: Social Security was mentioned ONCE in last GOP Debate   8 years 5 months ago
    EPer:
  • Actually, if you read his immigration position paper on his website, which many assume was written by Sen. Sessions or his staff, he is solid on legal immigration and H-1B Visas. He waffled a little in the 3rd debate but corrected himself soon after. My theory is that he is hearing it from the GOP bigwigs to tone it down on immigration, and since he is not a natural ideologue he doesn't know exactly how to do that, but he has good advisors who apparently watch social media chatter and keep him on track.

    Reply to: That Parochial, Old-Fashioned Donald Trump   8 years 5 months ago
    EPer:
  • a month ago, the BLS reported that September import prices were 0.1% lower, while September export prices were reported to be 0.7% lower; with the Import and Export Price Indexes for October, September import prices were revised to 0.6% lower, while September export prices were revised to indicate they were 0.6% lower...since the BEA used the former figures in their advance GDP estimate, that means our real imports, after adjusting the dollar value of them for those changes in prices, were 0.5% higher than was reported in the GDP report, while our real exports were actually 0.1% lower...the September trade report indicates goods imports of $187.6 billion, and goods exports of $127.3 billion, so thus real imports for September were approximately $0.94 billion higher than those included in the GDP report, while real exports were roughly $0.13 billion lower...annualized, those changes would subtract around $4.4 from real net exports in the 3rd quarter, which in turn would subtract around 0.03 percentage points from 3rd quarter GDP...

     

    Reply to: September Trade Revisions Will Add 11 Basis Points to 3rd quarter GDP   8 years 5 months ago
    EPer:
  • clearly, housing prices can't continue to increase at a 6% rate while incomes are rising at a 2% rate indefinitely, so an adjustment will be in order (who knows when)...if long term interest rates rise, so will the monthly cost of buyiing a home, which will also put downward pressure on housing list prices...

    Reply to: Delinquencies and Foreclosures Up Again; Time in Foreclosure at 1056 Days   8 years 5 months ago
    EPer:
  • Tech companies like Amazon get away with murder because they have bought and paid for government officials at every level. This is all well known, after all, GE got a seat in the white house via Obama and Hillary has a host of corporate "donors" as does Rubio and so on. If one looks at the state of Washington Senators, Cantwell is literally out of tech, as if, "hey, you lady, get out of our company and go represent us (corporations, Microsoft, Amazon, etc.) in D.C.

    Same with Carly Fiorina. Writing a detailed policy difference article would be really helpful. Most coverage on the election, even on "issues" is superficial at best. Last night Fox business actually did a good job in terms of asking relevant questions, yet they have their own corporate agenda so they don't nail them on how their answers won't work, will throw people out of work and so on. Trump, by the way wants to get rid of all of the NAFTA style trade deals and renegotiate bi-lateral trade agreements. That's an issue that Bernie probably agrees with. Note, the two not taking corporate money say this.

    I might write an article about "social media" and the penny payment plan they have.

    Reply to: Major Site Administration News   8 years 5 months ago
    EPer:
  • With all the mergers and acquisitions, these huge corporations can do pretty much what they want with little fear of retaliation.

    I once had a bad experience with Verizon, so I changed carriers, and later they bought them out, and I was stuck with Verizon again.

    Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

    If one company has a monopoly on the market, you can't boycott them.

    And many of these mergers and acquisitions aren't even in related businesses. Hypothetical: A company making paper clips buys out a company making toothpicks.

    No wonder we can't "Buy American" — If we want a certain product (like a TV), they're all made overseas. Are we supposed to go without TVs?

    The Comcast-Time-Warner merger would have resulted in a huge media monopoly controlling our news (when already only 6 corporations are currently controlling 90% of the media).

    Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

    We don't just have to break up the big banks, but end mergers and acquisitions. Those billions of dollars could have been spent on reinvestment within the company and hiring people and raising wages. (And mergers and acquisitions cause layoffs).

    I have books for sale at Amazon and they set the price (far above what I would ask) and pay about 1 penny on the dollar.

    Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

    Reply to: Major Site Administration News   8 years 5 months ago
    EPer:

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