Archive for poor and elderly

Challenge: Let Young, Middle-Aged Tea Partiers Pay Their Own Cash for Parents' Medical Care and Retirement


challenge battle of wits unarmed

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at TruthOut, via my pal Mark Karlin:

[T]he Affordable Care Act (ACA) limits insurance company to spending 15% for administrative overhead. The ACA is going to also attempt to limit insurance company profit. ... Although the jury is still out, many studies thus far are already predicting -- due to its cost control measures -- that the Affordale Care Act should actually lessen the cost of medical care in the United States.

But here's the BuzzFlash at Truthout challenge, which we have mentioned before: if you are young or on the younger side of middle age, you can be responsible, in cash (without relying on any government assistance whatsoever), when your parents become ill. [...]

So let their children who might balk at the Affordable Care Act pay for their mom and dad's healthcare if there is no ACA. Also, let that young person who doesn't currently have insurance, but can afford it, sign a legal document that they will not use any government funds if they become ill or have a serious accident.

Let's go a step further and challenge those Tea Partiers and Republicans and some Democrats who want to cut back on Social Security and Medicare. (After all, "the grand bargain" proponents use the same strategy of telling young workers that they will be paying into Social Security at a higher rate in order to cover the aging population.)  You and those who agree with you must first sign a similar legal document that declares that you will support your parents and supplement their meager Social Security incomes as the government cuts back the checks that they earned as they worked toward retirement. [...]

And when these young or under-50 haters of the federal government complain that they are bankrupt from paying for medical care and their parents' stay in the nursing home, just tell them to -- in the colloquial -- shove it.

Please read the entire post here.


Must-Read: Personal debt that enriches Wall St. -- NOT national debt -- is greatest threat to retirees


must read

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

Whenever the elected political tools of the oligarchs trash Social Security, they tout 401(k)-type accounts and voluntary retirement savings programs. [...]

...WP article is entitled, "Most Americans accumulating debt faster than they’re saving for retirement":

A majority of Americans with 401(k)-type savings accounts are accumulating debt faster than they are setting aside money for retirement, further undermining the nation’s troubled system for old-age saving, a new report has found....


So the problem facing even non-Social Security dependent retirees (who have earned their checks by paying into the fund) is due to personal debt not national debt. What people owe money on are non-government expenses such as college, housing, cars, credit cards, etc.  This is private indebtedness that is contributing to a looming personal retirement shortfall of funds.

Ironically, Social Security is one of the few programs that is keeping most seniors from economic impoverishment, as meager as the average monthly check is.  [...]

Since the Reagan era, wages have been relatively stagnant in the United States as debt has risen.  It is indeed this growing personal (again not national) debt that has been a primary source of profit for the banks too big to fail.  Persons who owe large amounts of money are paying off interest at often exorbitant sums (think credit cards) while in many cases barely scratching away at principal.  This is all easy money for banks that are paying out literally .01 % on savings accounts. [...]

So, let this WP article be a mini-lesson on what the oligarchy and their minions on the Hill, such as Paul Ryan, have been up to. Since the Reagan era, they have been promoting policies that increase personal debt while stagnating wages (except for themselves, of course).  In turn, a likely majority of the 99% has to go into debt and borrow money at high interest rates, while those who save receive virtually no interest on their savings.  This, in turn (except for Social Security) limits what they can save for retirement.

Then the financial titans sponsor think tanks and give campaign contributions to blame "entitlements" for all the personal indebtedness which has fueled their profitsSo, if a "grand bargain" of Social Security and Medicare cuts are enacted, the elderly become indebted and poorer, while the Wall Street barons make even a greater profit from increased borrowing as the national debt is lowered in the name of "austerity" (without revenue increases in the form of higher progressive taxes on the rich).

Please read the entire post here.


Banishing the Poor, Unemployed and Working Class from the Mainstream Media Implies That They are Worthless


media news incorporated democracy

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin;

How often do you come across an article or a television news story that presents a poor person in a positive light?  Or for that matter when do you read about or see a story on an unemployed individual or the challenges of a working class American whose salary is receding as the stock market soars? [...]

In short, if you are not a member of the economically made, political or corporate elite, you generally don't appear in the news. You are voiceless, faceless. The reality is that you are not news; your existence is hardly worthy of note, with the obligatory exception of an occasional "gee it's tough to live like this" profile of a "welfare mom" or person unemployed and looking for work for three or four years. [...]

Otherwise, in urban areas, the only regular stories you see about the poor is the knife and gun coverage of violence [...]

Some union members are well into the middle class, but even labor gets short shrift by the corporate mainstream media.  Why? Many reasons, but one of the big ones is that the owners of news "machines" in America are generally not keen on unions.  They cut into their media conglomerate profits.  So why promote the union viewpoint?

But there's another key point to remember.  News that relies on advertising for revenue and profit – which is almost all the news media ...– are shaped as conduits for advertisers to deliver to a defined market.  And guess what? Poor and low income people don't have the money to make them a desirable advertising audience (with some exceptions) for big media. So why write articles about them in the corporate media? [...]

To many in the society, their mere presence on earth blights the landscape of the prosperous.

Please read the entire post here.


VIDEO-- Dear GOP: What part of "Mommy, I'm hungry" don't you understand?


gop spending farm bill v obamacare, stimulus

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Ed Schultz was rightfully enraged by GOP bills that put farms before families, as you can see in the video above. Typically hypocritical, Republicans sweartogod they're changing, but then they continue on their merry, self-serving, greedy way.

Today Michael Hiltzik covered the same topic in depth. Here are some excerpts from his Los Angeles Times column, but please read the whole thing. Michael hits on a lot of important points:

In the name of cutting $20 billion from the food stamp program over 10 years, the House bill would throw almost 2 million recipients off the food stamp rolls, as estimated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Most of them are seniors or members of low-income working families with children. More than 200,000 children would lose their eligibility for free school meals. By LaMalfa's estimate, these are "modest changes" aimed at reform, but of course he and his family don't have to worry about being on the edge of destitution. (The Senate version would cut only $4 billion, which is why it's not favored in the House.)

LaMalfa's words reflected a familiar theme in congressional debate, which is that the recipients of payouts like farm subsidies are honest, hardworking folks while those getting food stamps (or other low-income relief) should be grateful at the help they get and shut up otherwise. [...]

The question for Rep. LaMalfa and his fellow food stamp hackers on the agriculture committee is: Why is it important for government to skip out on aid for families, but pony up for farmers like him?

Michael Hiltzik's column appears Sundays and Wednesdays. Reach him at, read past columns at, check out and follow @hiltzikm on Twitter.

outreach my ass reach out inclusive