September 27, 2010

in Health,Politics

All of the attention is on the Republican Pledge. Its 21 pages are supposed to tell voters what they promise.

Not really. It’s simply a distraction. They deceived the people with the Contract in 1994. The Pledge is supposed to do the same in 2010.

They will not accomplish any of the things they promise. They can not accomplish any of the things they promise.

Actually, they don’t want to.

How can I say that, after all the trouble they went to, having a lobbyist write 21 pages for them? Seeming to go to all of that trouble is what distraction is all about. You don’t distract with something that is unnoticeable.

So, where should we look? Have you paid any attention to what the candidates are talking about? That could be a hint as to what they consider important to their bases.

I’m a veteran, so I think I’ll begin there. No, I don’t use the Veterans medical benefits. I never have. Others have a greater need for those services. I rely on Medicare.

Despite what you’ve heard, the Republican leadership don’t really like veterans. WHAAAT? Yes. That’s correct. The Republican leadership don’t care for veterans. They are not enamored of Americans in general, to put a point on it.

Veterans rank their satisfaction with VA healthcare higher than any other group in the country ranks their own healthcare. Second comes Medicare. After falling off of a cliff, you come down to how satisfied people are with private healthcare plans.

So, they must really appreciate how the Republicans own the mantle of patriotism. No? How do I know that?

Veterans are not stupid. Four days after the start of the war in Iraq, the Bush Administration made serious cuts in veterans’ healthcare benefits. Yeah. That’s the way to really prove support for the troops.

The military is known to be one of the most conservative sectors of our electorate. During the last presidential campaign Obama received 6 times as much in donations from those serving overseas as did McCain, the war hero wannabe. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

Veterans’ groups keep close tabs on what the Congress is up to. They have some lines of communication with the active troops.

During his campaign, McCain supported privatizing VA healthcare. That same idea is being pushed in this election by many, many Republicans. Zach Wamp (remember him?) actually said he wants to privatize VA healthcare but not really privatize it, all in the same sentence. He may have remembered that there are a couple of veterans in his district.

Okay, we know that, since we’ve already gotten what we want from them, veterans are disposable. Surely those tireless patriots can find more of their fellow Americans that are disposable.

Enter senior citizens.

Who needs them? Who needs grandparents? All that time wasted visiting grandma’s house could be spent playing Grand Theft Auto on your PlayStation.

We’ve already got about all of the productive, profit-making labor out of them we’re going to get. They are expensive, they are always taking up too many stalls and urinals in the rest room and they drive slowly.

Think how much money could be saved by eliminating Medicare. That pain will go away – eventually. Heart attacks are nature’s way of telling you your time is up. If you are not going to buy a new house or sell your gold teeth, you are just in the way.

Well, as long as you aren’t dead yet, we’ll probably have to continue Social Security. It needs a major overhaul, however.

The Republicans out on the hustings are harping on the privatization of Social Security. They want to put the money in the Wall Street casinos. I’m not certain that the best advice is to use retirement funds to support their gambling habits.

The Dow-Jones recently went below 10,000 and then went back above that number. The dollar has lost between 25 and 30% of its value since the first time it hit 10,000. Did you buy in when it was around 14k and now you’re looking at a realistic 8k? And when was it you wanted to retire?

Putting most or all of Social Security funds into the market would cause the market to rise. It would easily go past 20,000 within 3-4 years. It likely would go past 25k in that time frame. Why? Because there would be so much extra money chasing essentially the same amount of product.

I remember when little old ladies held blue chip stocks forever, in order to feel they had a secure retirement. Price/Earnings ratios were a good index of security. Eight-to-one or ten-to-one were considered solid. Fifteen-to-one was getting up into the risky realm.

Then the market favored 20-to-1. We began to see lots of 50-to-ones. Before the Internet bubble even 500-to-1 was not unheard of. Infinity-to-one was the result when stock prices went through the roof for companies that had never experienced a profit and showed little likelihood of ever doing so.

If Social Security money goes into the market, it doesn’t take a genius such as me to forecast another bubble. The price goes up but the profit and the underlying value doesn’t. Don’t plan on retirement.

We have already seen a great deal of retirement money added to the market. It comes mostly in the form of 401ks. Why do you think that the market is presently overvalued? A realistic Dow number right now should be no higher than 4,500, at best. The rest is hot air.

With all of that extra money, we will have a situation similar to what brought on the global economic crisis. Banks used to be able to loan $5 for every $1 they had available. Recently it has been up to $40. That means more money available for investment, doesn’t it? It isn’t real money until the taxpayer has to bail out the banks.

That money had to go somewhere and there were not sufficient places to place it. So, they sold mortgages that shouldn’t have been sold. Sub-prime. You may have heard of that.

Anyone who suggests privatizing Social Security is either intent upon robbing you of your retirement or a blithering idiot who is too easily fooled by the criminals.

So, you aren’t a veteran and you’re not a senior citizen and you don’t pay Social Security. You’re not disposable, right? Well, your job might be headed to Lower Slobovia, unless you are willing to take a pay cut. How long would you have to work to buy that new flat screen television at 12 cents per hour?

Pay no attention to the Pledge. It is a diversion. They have no intent of implementing it. If they really did try, it would have to be called the War on Arithmetic.

They say they want to reduce the deficit. They want to repeal healthcare reform. Healthcare reform reduces the deficit. They want to extend the tax cuts. There’s another $3.7 trillion of debt. They want to create jobs by not aiding small business or investing in infrastructure. See? It’s a War on Arithmetic, a War on Veterans, a War on Senior Citizens, a War on Reality, a War on the Middle Class, a War on Reason, a War on America.


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