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stilldunnowho's Comments

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Nancy Pelosi: My Support For Social Security Cut 'Was Really To Call The Bluff' Of Republicans

Nancy Pelosi: My Support For Social Security Cut 'Was Really To Call The Bluff' Of Republicans

Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 12:48:18 in Politics

“"We receive 3 times what we pay in"

Can you be more specific, and show some supporting information? Doing a Google search I haven't been able to find anything along the lines of your claim, so I'm not really clear what you're referring to.”
Nancy Pelosi: My Support For Social Security Cut 'Was Really To Call The Bluff' Of Republicans

Nancy Pelosi: My Support For Social Security Cut 'Was Really To Call The Bluff' Of Republicans

Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 10:58:45 in Politics

“I do not like her wishy-washiness on this. Her various comments suggest an openness to cuts which are not necessary.

The biggest increases in deficit spending are projected to be Medicare and Medicaid; but this is because we have the most expensive and inefficient health care system in the world. On average we pay twice as much as other industrialized countries for about the same results in medical care. If our costs were in line with the rest of the industrialized world these programs would be in surplus.

The healthcare system is the problem, not the programs. That's where the fix should come. We need to hold her (and others) feet to the fire on this.”

totalyfedup on Jan 5, 2013 at 11:20:35

“Other countries come to us for training, supplies and equipment. This country far exceeds the rest of the world in research and development not only in drugs but also in treatments. If we were to be like the rest of the world our mortality rates would skyrocket to match theirs. Please the next time a crisis hits take the time to notice which country comes to their aid. If you want the best it is naturally going to cost you. The problem is so many expect it for free and do not even appreciate what they already have. Too many imagine better else ware and talk as if they know.”

wachange on Jan 5, 2013 at 11:08:10

“We receive 3 times what we pay in ,what is your suggestion to bringing that back into a system that is not a ponzi?”
Women Senators Make History In 113th Congress

Women Senators Make History In 113th Congress

Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 10:28:01 in Politics

“"Senator McChins"

"heart transplant with empathy valves"

Great stuff. Now I can start the day with a smile on my face.”

sagefeldemeyer on Jan 5, 2013 at 10:52:03

“Thanks.  I have a lot more (in me) re: the Mitchshi-t--ster.”
Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 10:09:20 in Politics

“"...I disagree with your assessment."

Fair enough, I haven't shown the work yet! :)

Here are the calculations:

1. SS has 2.8 workers per beneficiary, and is projected to have 2.0 workers per beneficiary by 2035. 2.8 is 40% larger than 2.0, so an increase in SS revenue of 40% would be needed to make up the shortfall. (I know, sounds bad, but read on...)

2. Current tax rates on SS are 12.4% (6.2% from worker, 6.2% from employer). A 40% increase on 12.4 percentage points is 17.36. This is 4.96 percentage points higher; let's call it 5%.

3. A real GDP growth rate (which already includes inflation) of 2% per year means an increase in wealth of 54% over 22 years (1.02 raised to the 22 power; use an online growth calculator if you're not comfortable with exponentials).

54% completely swamps 5%. Even a GDP growth of 1% would leave workers 24% wealthier than they are today well above the 5% cost of additional revenue. Rates could be raised a quarter percentage point per year for 20 years, and no one would feel it.

I believe cuts are not needed because that's what the data and math tell me. So I repeat my original assertion:

Cuts are NOT needed.”
Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 00:55:32 in Politics

“I was gonna say the same thing; you beat me to it.”
Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 00:45:12 in Politics

“The data and math say otherwise.

Medicare and Medicaid are costly because we have the most expensive and inefficient healthcare system in the world. On average our health care costs are twice what they are in the rest of the industrialized world, for about the same benefit. If our costs were in line with the other industrial nations those programs would be in surplus.

SS is fully funded for the next 22 years. The subsequent shortfalls can be met by modest funding increases which will be swamped by projected GDP growth. Calculations to show this involve grade school math that everyone here can understand. Let me know if you'd like to see them.”
Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 00:32:42 in Politics

“Shemphair, hollywoodjaxx, N Rathke, those are the funniest posts I've seen in a while. Pure poetry. You made my evening. Thanks.”
Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 00:29:38 in Politics

“Great point.

All, please write letters to the editor, post on websites, etc. If we hold their feet to the fire and our wheel squeaks the truth loud enough they will not be able to ignore us.”
Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 00:22:47 in Politics

“I used to think this way (that the middle of the road was the right path) until I started doing some homework:

As for the programs targeted by conservatives, Medicare and Medicaid are the most costly, but only because we have the most expensive and inefficient health care system in the industrialized world. If our costs were in line with the rest those programs would be in surplus.

SS is fully funded for the next 22 years (what else in your life has that kind of longevity?). Subsequent shortfalls can be met with modest funding increases which will be swamped by projected GDP growth. Adjustments can be made so that no one feels it. Calculations to show this involve grade school math and can be understood by anyone reading these comments. Let me know if you'd like to see them.

So in summary, cuts are not needed for any other reason than to fill ideological objectives.”
Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 00:02:08 in Politics

“No, cutting spending is not the only way.

Medicare and Medicaid are the riskiest programs, but only because we have the most expensive and inefficient medical system in the industrial world. On average we pay twice the cost for about the same amount of care. If we paid the same as the rest of the industrialized world those programs would be in surplus. Since the health care system is the problem, that's where the fix should be done.

Social Security is projected to be fully funded for the next 22 years (I bet there is nothing else in your life with that kind of projected longevity). The subsequent shortfall can be met with modest increases in funding, which will be swamped by projected GDP growth; adjustments can be made in a way that nobody feels it.

Calculations to show how painless it is to fund SS involve grade school math, and should be understandable by anyone reading these comments. Let me know if you'd like me to walk through it.”

Constance Goforth on Jan 5, 2013 at 00:41:16

“Thanks for the generous offer to walk me through grade school math, but I disagree with your assessment. We're spending far beyond our means, and are going to have to a) thoroughly review where our money is going, and b) make some hard decisions, although there will be some easy, obvious choices, too. Two other ways we can save a LOT of money: 1) audit the federal reserve (see auditthefed.com) and 2) end the drug war.”
Royal Farms, Maryland-Based Convenience Store, Slashes Employee Hours To Skirt Obamacare

Royal Farms, Maryland-Based Convenience Store, Slashes Employee Hours To Skirt Obamacare

Commented Dec 24, 2012 at 11:43:40 in Business

“I don't know what to suggest yet.

The chart on this page shows that the jobs demanded far outstrip the jobs offered in the USA right now:

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/urban-myth-structural-unemployment-in-todays-economy

I've seen similar charts that include mining (which is where I assume oil drilling would be included) and that category has the smallest number of jobs offered of all (unfortunately can't find such a chart right now).

I've read some writers who've convinced me that since wages have been flat for the last 10 years or so the growth of the consumption economy could not be supported any longer (consumption can't grow if wages don't grow); it's only because of consumer borrowing that the economy kept going, and that has obviously collapsed.

I suspect the current situation is the economy's natural level without the borrowing. That is, the economy in it's current configuration can't support the job demand that exists, hence the high unemployment. I also suspect this will not be remedied until new businesses and possibly new industries are created, which a weak economy will not do quickly on its own.

Germany seems to have a good idea with work sharing, which allows employers to hang on to workers, while distributing the losses among all, and this seems to be working very well for them. This might be a good way to go until the economy grows more.”

spammfilter on Dec 26, 2012 at 07:59:51

“I think you're reading the chart wrong. It shows more job seekers than jobs.
I remember 6 to 10 years ago, half the items in my mailbox were for refinancing and there were usually 2 to 3 a day.  I can see some validity to the point where people spent beyond their means.”
Royal Farms, Maryland-Based Convenience Store, Slashes Employee Hours To Skirt Obamacare

Royal Farms, Maryland-Based Convenience Store, Slashes Employee Hours To Skirt Obamacare

Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 11:48:28 in Business

“OK, so he's failed to get us out of a bad economy. What do you think he should have done to get us out of a bad economy?”

spammfilter on Dec 23, 2012 at 13:05:39

“I think our never ending unemployment benefits are part of the issue. They serve as a "hope" crutch to people that things will get better, instead of forcing the hard decisions of "maybe I need to be where the jobs are".

Energy. No sane person can grade Obama higher than an F. His green energy policy has been a waste. Oil, we need it, we have it, yet Obama doesn't want to get these jobs going... and these are high paying jobs.

What suggestions do you have?”
Royal Farms, Maryland-Based Convenience Store, Slashes Employee Hours To Skirt Obamacare

Royal Farms, Maryland-Based Convenience Store, Slashes Employee Hours To Skirt Obamacare

Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 11:28:16 in Business

“How has Obama given us a lousy economy?”

spammfilter on Dec 23, 2012 at 11:41:54

“He's had 4 years at the helm... unemployment in my area is over 9%, nearly 1 in 6 Americans are on food stamps...”
Mitt Romney Ad Hits Obama For Inability To Work With Congress

Mitt Romney Ad Hits Obama For Inability To Work With Congress

Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 23:02:52 in Politics

“",,,those who are use [sic] to their entitlements..."

These so-called "entitlements" you conservatives often rail about are NOT entitlements. A person has to qualify for them first, and most people pay for them through their taxes over their lifetimes.

The real entitlements problem is in the "Entitlements Class", the very wealthy who think that since they are rich they are entitled to whatever they want, such as no limits on what they can do (regulations), or paying lower tax rates than the rest of us, even though they benefit from society more (much much much more) than the rest of us.

I'm glad to work for hard-working talented people, but they don't create jobs out of some generosity to the rest of us. They hire us because they need people to run their businesses. No workers, then no business, and no wealth creation. They need us AT LEAST as much as we want to work for them.

So despite their sense of entitlement, we don't really owe them anything. If anything they need to step up to the plate and pay AT LEAST the same tax rates as the rest of us, since they benefit from society far more than the rest of us.

These ideas are abhorrent to people like Romney and the Republicans. That's why I will not be voting for them, and if you're not 1%-er, you shouldn't vote for them either.”
Corporations Can Now Donate Directly to Candidates (According to One Federal Judge)

Corporations Can Now Donate Directly to Candidates (According to One Federal Judge)

Commented May 30, 2011 at 12:53:24 in Politics

“Poor widdle corporations didn't have the same rights as unions! Waah!

Cry me a river.

According to OpenSecrets.org while unions were spending $70M on the campaign, businesses spent $2,000M (that's right, $2 BILLION), and have averaged over $1,000M for the last 10 years.

It's a wonder unions have any influence at all.

http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/blio.php

Tessie on May 30, 2011 at 21:57:54

“lol yeah, poor unions have no power at all. It's a wonder why Dem politicians bend over backwards to keep them in their pockets.
The NLPC's union corruption updates are so voluminous they can hardly keep up the documentation of them.”
Our Deficit Debate's 'Sick Secret' Is Killing Us... Literally

Our Deficit Debate's 'Sick Secret' Is Killing Us... Literally

Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 00:21:06 in Politics

“Thank you for writing about this Mr. Eskow. This is THE most important issue regarding deficit spending. Medicare and Medicaid are not out of control - the healthcare system is. Please keep writing about this; hopefully more people will read about it.”
Dear Congress: A Vote for the Chained CPI Is a Vote to Cut Social Security Benefits

Dear Congress: A Vote for the Chained CPI Is a Vote to Cut Social Security Benefits

Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 00:33:55 in Politics

“Yes, I was not clear about that. Inflation is included in the GDP growth assumption of 2%. Historical real GDP (which includes inflation) growth in the US from 1790 to 2011 is 3.73%. See:

http://www.measuringworth.com/growth/
Dear Congress: A Vote for the Chained CPI Is a Vote to Cut Social Security Benefits

Dear Congress: A Vote for the Chained CPI Is a Vote to Cut Social Security Benefits

Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 14:47:43 in Politics

“Social Security has 2.8 workers per SS recipient now, and is projected to have 2.0 workers per recipient 23 years from now in 2035. Assume we exclusively raise SS taxes to cover the shortfall:

1. 2.8 is 40% bigger than 2.0, so 2.8 workers raise 40% more revenue than 2.0 workers. Therefore we'd have to raise SS taxes by 40% (sounds bad, but read on....)

2. Currently SS taxes are 12.4% (6.2% from worker, 6.2% from employer). A 40% increase on 12.4 percentage points is 17.36. That's 4.96 percentage points higher; lets call it 5%.

3. Assuming 2% annual GDP growth, workers will be 56% wealthier in 23 years than they are today (1.02 rasied to the 23 is 1.56; use an online growth calculator if you're not comfortable with exponentials).

4. 56% growth dwarfs an additional 5% tax. I'd take a tax hike like that any day with a raise like that. Even at 1% annual GDP growth you would still get 25% wealthier.

The problem is step #3. GDP growth, largely provided by increased worker productivity, is not being reflected in wages like it used to, but only in profit increases. SS is not benefiting from GDP growth, because workers wages are not benefiting from GDP growth. Bottom line, we as a nation have the money, we're just not tapping into it any more since it's going to profits and not wages.”

palisadeshomme310 on Dec 30, 2012 at 15:46:25

“Okay, well that was a really good summary, thanks.  I noticed you do not take inflation into account, however.  So while we may be 56% wealthier, in real terms we are much less so.”
Dear Congress: A Vote for the Chained CPI Is a Vote to Cut Social Security Benefits

Dear Congress: A Vote for the Chained CPI Is a Vote to Cut Social Security Benefits

Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 13:29:05 in Politics

“We absolutely CAN afford social security going into the future, AND cuts are not necessary.

Projected GDP growth will swamp the shortfall due to demographic changes.

The calculations to show this involve grade school math. Let me know if you are interested in seeing the details; they're relatively quick and easy.

If there is a problem it lies in the fact that in recent years all of the GDP growth has gone to the upper earners, rather than to the broad middle class where it is taxed (remember SS only taxes the first $106k). If that continues then there will be a problem. If however SS benefits from GDP growth like it has throughout its history then the problem goes away.

To repeat, GDP growth will swamp the demographic shortfall; we just need to tap into it like the program has done throughout its history.”

palisadeshomme310 on Dec 29, 2012 at 17:57:58

“Actually yes, what are the more specific details on that?”
Corporations Can Now Donate Directly to Candidates (According to One Federal Judge)

Corporations Can Now Donate Directly to Candidates (According to One Federal Judge)

Commented May 30, 2011 at 12:53:24 in Politics

“Poor widdle corporations didn't have the same rights as unions! Waah!

Cry me a river.

According to OpenSecrets.org while unions were spending $70M on the campaign, businesses spent $2,000M (that's right, $2 BILLION), and have averaged over $1,000M for the last 10 years.

It's a wonder unions have any influence at all.

http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/blio.php

Tessie on May 30, 2011 at 21:57:54

“lol yeah, poor unions have no power at all. It's a wonder why Dem politicians bend over backwards to keep them in their pockets.
The NLPC's union corruption updates are so voluminous they can hardly keep up the documentation of them.”
U.S. Oil Production To Speed Up, Obama Announces

U.S. Oil Production To Speed Up, Obama Announces

Commented May 15, 2011 at 10:14:30 in Green

“That's the magic of the internet - you don't have to offer a 300 page paper, with rigorous math and citations. In fact you could just insult with a few sentences of childish hyperbole, projection, and self-important lectures about how the internet works - there's no peer review to edit out your rants, you'll still be published.

But if you expect us to take you seriously, you still need to show us the numbers.”
U.S. Oil Production To Speed Up, Obama Announces

U.S. Oil Production To Speed Up, Obama Announces

Commented May 14, 2011 at 12:32:28 in Green

“Will some of you drilling enthusiasts please show us how much oil new production will provide? Let's pretend you get everything you want - drill wherever you want, roll back all the environmental protections you don't like - how much oil will that yield? How does that compare to how much we use? What will those amounts do to gasoline prices?

We're not interested in mere claims of improvement. Show us the numbers.”

MoneythroughMagic on May 14, 2011 at 12:42:09

“I would like you to write me a 300 page research paper on how lif you got everything you want, keep all environmental protections in place, possibly improve them, how much oil will that yield, and how much cleaner will that be? How does that compare to use and gas prices? I'm not interested in mere claims of improvement. show me the numbers.
Its the internet dude. saying "give me rigorous math and citations" and then feeling superior when no one provides them doesn't mean your position is correct, it just means no one gives a care about stilldon'thaveaclue's demands on the internet.”
huffingtonpost entry

Labor and Capital in the 21st Century: Legacy of the Haymarket Affair

Commented May 5, 2011 at 00:11:33 in Politics

“Several observations:

1. Corporations frequently whine about progressive businesses and movements getting subsidized by the government, yet there is a long tradition of corporate welfare; public safety officers doing corporations' dirty work of intimidating workers is corporate welfare

2. It looks like the events of the Haymarket Affair didn't just leave an impression on public attitudes, but also established a playbook for those who wanted to oppose unions. Anti-worker parties discovered arguments that worked against workers they have used them ever since.

3. It is more than just the _whims_ of the free market that are the problem - the free market is fundamentally not working for workers: ultimately it is the employees of corporations that make their goods and services. Those employees have worked to increase efficiency, which has enabled corporate profits to grow, yet income for all but the wealthy has been flat for years. Those enabling the profits are not benefitting from it. That's just plain wrong. Once people recognize this simple truth they might start asking why and will insist things change.”
huffingtonpost entry

Federal Budget Deal Reached, Government Shutdown Averted At Least Temporarily

Commented Apr 9, 2011 at 09:30:42 in Politics

“The real story here is that this whole event was driven by the pushiness of a group of people who are a small portion of a group of people who are in charge of one half of just one of three branches of our government. Is there a more potent example of the power of a small group of people? It's time the citizenry started wielding such power for good, instead of these extremists pushing for evil.

Extremism in the defense of tyranny is a vice.”
Al Gore: Supporting Corn-Based Ethanol Subsidies Was A Mistake

Al Gore: Supporting Corn-Based Ethanol Subsidies Was A Mistake

Commented Nov 25, 2010 at 17:49:42 in Politics

“Cattail roots can be used as ethanol feedstock. They grow wild without fertilizer.

Jerusalem artichoke tubers can be used as ethanol feedstock, and they grow wild in the midwest, without irrigation or fertilizer.

Mesquite pods can be used as ethanol feedstock, and it grows wild in arid climates without fertilizer.

Pimelon grows wild as a weed in the southwest, no irrigation no fertilizer.

Prickly pear cactus can be used as a feedstock, and grows wild as far north as Ohio.

For all these crops only a portion of the plant would be used for ethanol, the rest of the plant remains as sequestered carbon.

Ethanol most certainly CAN be carbon neutral - in the above cases it would be carbon negative.”

Kaviraj on Nov 25, 2010 at 19:00:27

“So what is the carbon cost of harvesting your "carbon negative" crops of weeds? Not factored in so your claim is just a claim, nothing else.”
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