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Archive for the ‘war on elderly’ Category

Remember this asshole?

Thumbs up, y’all!


What an asshole. Hundreds of thousands died because of this asshole and his posturing. Now, let’s look at another group of assholes:

House Republican sociopaths on parade


They were high-fiving each other and shouting “Mission Accomplished!” because they, too, have condemned hundreds of thousands to die by depriving them of healthcare. More particularly: By removing the requirement that insurers offer insurance to people with pre-existing conditions.

Who has a pre-existing condition? Pretty damn well all of us who are past age 40, people. It’s called “living life”. Everybody gets there eventually. I know I’m personally uninsurable if insurers are allowed to deny coverage. Too much wear and tear over the years, plus chronic allergies, genetic in nature, not because I lived wrong. Thing is, anybody who is of a certain age has this wear and tear. It’s just how human bodies age. And there’s millions of people in my boat, any of whom will die if they have a heart attack or get cancer and they don’t have health insurance.

Sociopaths. We are ruled by sociopaths. By cold-blooded lizard people who view human beings as prey, not as fellow travellers in the human race. And people will die if this bill makes it through the Senate, guaranteed.

– Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

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Every morning, I open up my web browser wondering if today is going to be the day I don’t say “What the fuck?” about something that His Fraudulency Donald the Trump or one of his lizard people officials said or did. Today, once again, was not that day. Because a) the Orange Racist Pussy Grabber released his proposed budget for next year, a budget that predominantly eliminates programs that help Trump voters such as Meals for Wheels and the Appalachian Regional Commission (and what kind of heartless sociopath could ever advocate zeroing out the budget for Meals for Wheels and Sesame Street, for crying out loud!), but he also proposed spending $4.1 billion on his wall next year. Because people might die due to eliminating the Chemical Safety Board, but by god it won’t be done by one of them Messicans!

Talking about which, the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court has demanded that ICE stop stalking California courts, claiming that ICE is intimidating Hispanic witnesses in ongoing criminal trials and causing a public safety hazard. ICE of course says basically “up yours, Ms. Judge, you’re not the boss of me!”. Just as Customs and Border Protection says to they don’t have to obey the NAFTA treaty that says registered nurses qualify for a TN visa and thus can keep out much-needed Canadian nurses because, well, they can. Even though NAFTA is still the law until officially repealed or renegotiated. But God-Emperor Donald the Trump’s administration doesn’t care about no steenkin’ law, it’s all defiant juvenile “you’re not the boss of me! I don’t have to follow your rules!”. Because Cheeto Mussolini says they can. So they do it.

Then there is the ongoing Nazi saga of Sebastian Gorka, who has been dodging allegations that he is a Nazi for weeks now. Well, today a Jewish news magazine published what they purport is evidence that he really is a genuine bona fide Nazi, forcing him to explicitly deny that he’s a Nazi. Except that if he was ever a member of that Hungarian Nazi Party, he is ineligible for immigration to the United States, and could be stripped of his citizenship and deported, just like that sad sack Nazi who’s about to be deported to Poland. Oops!

And on to the Russia front. No wonder Michael Flynn resigned — he was up to his ears in Russian dough.

Finally, I think we’ve found Donald Trump’s next Peace Corps head — a Mormon missionary who beat the crap out of two people who tried to hold him up in Brazil. Because Trump is defunding the Institute for Peace while giving the military more money because the only peace he believes in is the peace of the grave, and this is exactly the right man to enforce that peace.

And that’s this day’s dispatch from the Imperial States of America, where God-Emperor Donald the Trump’s regime of lawlessness and incompetence continues as it has for the past 56 days.

– Badtux the News Penguin

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High Resistance, Medium Tolerance

That was the question asked by a right-winger who then went on to list all the good things that President Trump has supposedly done — some of which are things that liberals resist. But I figure I’ll answer his question, since it’s something we need to keep in mind:

We resist:

  1. The replacement of science with faith in our schools and in our government.
  2. The destruction of our public schools in favor of Bible schools.
  3. Removal of protections for endangered wildlife and attempts to exterminate gray wolves via removing them from the endangered species list.
  4. Removal of EPA funding for restoring endangered waterway like San Francisco Bay, the Great Lakes, and Cheseapeake Bay
  5. Attacks on women’s health and reproductive rights, such as removing funding from Planned Parenthood.
  6. Attacks on voting rights, especially attacks that target minorities, the elderly, and the poor such as voter ID laws that are proven to suppress the votes in those constituencies.
  7. Attacks on free speech rights by those who wish to outlaw protest and dissent.
  8. Attacks on Jews and Muslims such as the recent burnings of Muslim community centers and bomb threats against Jewish community centers.
  9. Removal of health care from millions of Americans including essentially ending Medicaid over time by capping how much money can be spent on it.
  10. We resist tax cuts for the rich and tax hikes for the poor.
  11. We resist increases in corporate welfare for defense companies at the same time as decreasing funding for food for the working poor including, well, a lot of those same soldiers that Trump says he cares about.
  12. We resist attempts to outlaw many contracts between worker-owned labor cooperatives (“unions”) and corporations via so-called “right to work” laws.
  13. We resist attempts by fucking Nazis to hijack the public discourse. And possibly worse, if we don’t stop them.
  14. And so on and so forth.

In short: Wherever there is a proposal by the Trump administration that hurts the poor, hurts working people, hurts the environment, hurts women’s rights, hurts the rights of minorities, hurts the rights of people of the rainbow (sorry, I don’t know all the letters in the latest acronym for all those of alternate sexualities), that furthers hate and bigotry against entire classes of people, we resist it. The above is just the first 6 weeks of what we’ve resisted. It looks like we have close to four more years of this shit. SIGH.

– Badtux the Resistance Penguin

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As an aside to my previous posting noting that Social Security could be saved with a relatively minor (as a percentage of GDP) tax hike, I will point out that the Republican plan for Social Security and Medicare is in conflict with the Republican plan for fighting global warming. Under the Republican plan of doing nothing to fight global warming, there will be insufficient ice floes for all the elderly who are unable to work.

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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Is Social Security sustainable?

The answer to that depends on the answer to the question, “what lifestyle do we want to guarantee for our retirees.” The retiree population is expected to peak at 21% of the US population by 2050. It’s currently at around 14% of the US population today. Right now the average Social Security payment is $1335/month with a total yearly expenditure of $636 billion dollars, while the U.S. GDP is 17.9 trillion dollars. So retired workers are receiving roughly 3.6% of the U.S. GDP as Social Security payments right now. If the percentage of retirees were 21% rather than 14% and the benefit remained the same, retirees would be receiving 5.4% of GDP as Social Security payments.

So: if we want to maintain the same lifestyle for retirees as now, we have to raise social security taxes by an amount equivalent to 1.8% of US GDP, a level of taxation which still leaves the overall level of taxation far below the level in most other advanced countries. The 5.4% total is roughly how much the war in Iraq was costing at its peak. If you say we can afford to spend 5% of GDP on a war overseas against a country that had nothing to do with attacks on America, but we can’t afford 5% of GDP on keeping Americans alive, I have to say that you have a problem with your priorities. Because it is quite clear that we can maintain the current benefit level by raising overall taxes by the relatively small amount of 1.8% of GDP. The only reason to not do this is politics, not lack of capability.

The next question is, “will there be enough workers to support that many people?” That answer is, of course, “yes”. The United States has had no qualms about importing workers from the rest of the world as needed in order to fill shortage areas. The 20 million Mexicans who are currently cleaning our hotel rooms, picking our fruits and vegetables, and building our houses are proof enough of that. Not to mention the millions of Asians who are critical to our IT industry. 6% of the population leaving the workforce will leave a lot of openings, but exporting jobs to other countries via outsourcing or importing additional immigrants to fill jobs that cannot be outsourced to other countries will clearly be sufficient to resolve that problem.

In short, there’s no problem with the sustainability of Social Security. We can import as many workers as needed to maintain the economy, and even at peak retiree level in 2050 we can maintain the current benefit level by raising Social Security taxes by an amount equivalent to 1.8% of U.S. GDP, a level of taxation which will still leave the level of U.S. taxation far below the level in most other advanced economies.

Medicare, on the other hand, is a different story. But that has nothing to do with Social Security itself, and is a subject for another post.

Sources of raw data:

https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/basicfact.html
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp
https://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/p25-1140.pdf

– Badtux the Fact-based Penguin

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The average Social Security benefit in March 2016 was $1,231.42 per month. This is $891 billion per year, out of a $17 trillion dollar economy. Or roughly 5.2% of the U.S. GDP that must be raised as Social Security taxes to pay those benefits. Yet we’re being told that we must raise the retirement age because that princely sum is going to bankrupt America. We’re being told that by people who spend more than that per month on the car payments for their BMW’s and Mercedes Benzes, we’re being told that by people who spend more than that per month on private school tuition for their children (who, heavens forbid, couldn’t go to public schools where they might actually interact with *poor* people), we’re being told that by people who whine that their Congressional salary of $174,000 per year (that’s $14,500 per month, over ten times what the average Social Security recipient receives) is insufficient to live on.

We’re being told that these Social Security beneficiaries should rely on the pensions that were stolen from them by companies doing “strategic bankruptcies” to dump their pension obligations, we’re being told that these Social Security beneficiaries should rely on the 401k’s that were stolen from them by Wall Street bankers who run a Ponzi scheme on Wall Street that regularly collapses and wipes out everybody’s 401k (and where does that money go? Well, not to you or I, hint, the rich keep getting richer and the rest of us, not so much), we’re being told this by people who make 10 times or more that $1,231.42 per month because, well, they don’t need Social Security, so they don’t care how many old people die of starvation. It makes their little soldiers salute, the thought of all those dead bodies. Besides, there’s some homeless guy in some third world country (or in San Jose, California) surviving on $5 per month by eating at soup kitchens and eating table scraps out of dumpsters and wearing clothes picked out of trash piles, so there.

Oh wait, that’s right, olds are supposed to be supported by their family, not by receiving the Social Security benefits that they paid into the system to receive. No family because you never married and never reproduced? Too bad. Just die, already, right?

Lizard people. Cold blooded lizard people from planet Sociopath with no empathy or compassion towards human beings, who they consider only to be prey, not fellow travellers on this journey we call Life. That’s the only beings who have an excuse for wanting to cut the pitiable benefits that Social Security pays, they need the protein and calcium they’ll get from eating the bodies of the olds. Anybody else has no excuse. They’re just sociopaths who get their kicks by harming their fellow human beings. That is all.

— Badtux the Pissed Penguin

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For many decades government workers at the state and local level have worked under a bargain that was simple and well known. They would work for the government for less than market rates for thirty years, give up Social Security, work honestly so they wouldn’t be fired for misbehavior, and in exchange they would get a pension that was slightly above what they’d get from Social Security. How slightly above? Well, the typical Detroit retiree gets $18,275 per year from the Detroit pension plan. The average Social Security payment is $14,760 per year.

So that’s the “extravagant” pensions that suddenly, across the nation, cities are suddenly “no longer able to afford”. Furthermore, even if you went to work for the city at age 21 and retired at age 51 and got a job in the private sector, you will likely only have 15 years of creditable Social Security service when you file for Social Security. So I used the Social Security calculator, put in a person, “Jack”, with 15 years of $20K/year earnings and got a whole $5,350/year in Social Security earnings for “Jack”.

So that’s the extravagant “double dipper” retirement for a Detroit worker: $23,615/year. It’s enough to live on, but you aren’t going to be indulging in caviar and new BMW’s on that kind of retirement.

Yet we hear that we “can’t afford” to pay $23,615/year to our retirees, even though that’s less than half the median family income, which, remember, includes elderly families. And remember, the elderly live only 20 years on average after retirement, while workers work for 40 years on average, so that means that each worker only would have to pay on average around $12,000/year in taxes out of that $50K/year median income in order to give the elderly this much money. To say we can’t afford this is ridiculous, because we can afford it. We just don’t want to, because we’re a bunch of vicious stingy promise-breaking motherfuckers who would ram a baseball bat up our own mother’s bunghole if someone paid us enough money to do so. Good and hard, too.

So it goes…

– Badtux the Numbers Penguin

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