Under the Radar News or A Case of Ho-hum?

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I am not always as  thorough in scanning the news sources of the Web as I think I am. Or, maybe we have been bombarded with so much bad news since 2007/2008 that we’ve become mind-numbed and many events just don’t register any more. Or, maybe our government and their allies in the MSM are hoping we won’t notice certain things.

At any rate, today I want to cover a few things I’ve picked-up on that I think deserve more attention than they seem to be getting. I apologize in advance if I am sharing what for you is old news.

Perhaps the Rich are Getting Poorer Too

This past Saturday Maggie, of the Maggie’s Notebook blog, ran a piece about a Wall Street Journal article that I think deserves more attention. I’ll share some high lights here and you can checkout the article for more information.

Adjusted gross income filers of $1,000,000 or more fell from 390,000 in 2007 to 237,000 in 2009. That is 39% fewer million dollar plus income earners. As a result, this group paid $178 billion less in taxes.

Those with taxable income of $10 million or more dropped 55% from 18,394 persons to 8,274 in the same time frame and, therefore, this group paid 51% less into the governments coffers.

The net result of Obama’s jobs killing, wealth destroying machine, our government had to borrow  an extra $130 billion in 2009 alone. Now, you would think that the Republicans in Congress would be talking this up and throwing it in Obama’s face every time he drags out that tired old song about the rich not paying their share. But, I’m not hearing anything. Are you?

Americans Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits Should Be Worried!

On Monday, I came across this story from Yahoo News  that  tells us this:

New congressional estimates say the trust fund that supports Social Security disability will run out of money by 2017, leaving the program unable to pay full benefits, unless Congress acts…

Folks, that is just a little over five years from now. And, I would guess that this estimate is predicated on over estimated GDP.  How can the President and the Democrats not concede that it is time to reform the entitlement programs? Why aren’t the Republicans making more of an issue out of this very disturbing news? How many Social Security Disability recipients do you think are aware of this pending crisis?

Our Police State Takes On Another Layer

This old news that was reported by Big Government on January 1, 2010. That was when I was still virtually cut-off from news out of the US so excuse me for resurrecting this old news but I find it very disturbing. A big Hat Tip to Patricia (Loopyloo) at MY BLOG for the links that lead me to this story.

From the Big  Government article I learned this:

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan issued an Executive Order which gave permission to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to operate within the boundaries of the United States.  Reagan’s EO put INTERPOL under the same basic guidelines as the CIA, FBI, ATF and other Federal law enforcement agencies.

Two weeks ago, without any announcement, debate, discussion or inquiry from journalists charged with “speaking truth to power” President Obama issued an amendment to this EO.  The amendment removed part of Reagan’s order that kept INTERPOL from having full diplomatic immunity while operating within the United States.  In other words:  Under Reagan and right up until two weeks ago, INTERPOL was authorized to operate within the USA but they did not have full diplomatic immunity and had to adhere to certain laws set forth for investigative agencies.  Laws that prohibit authorities from violating our constitutionally protected rights.

So, not only does DHS have the right to knock down your door without a warrant now Interpol can do it as well and if you don’t like it you have no recourse because Obama has given them diplomatic immunity. I don’t know how you feel about this but I think it is BULL SHIT! At least Bush got the approval of Congress to take away our rights. But, Chicago thug Obama; he don’t need no stinking Congress.

The Conservative New Ager blog had this to say:

One of the things that makes me like Michele Bachmann is that she has said that if elected one of the first things she is going to do is go through all of Obama’s executive orders and throw out most of them…

Maybe the next President ought to go through all EOs back to the Carter administration and find out what other gems there might be.

Wasting Our Money Making Money?

There was a video I saw yesterday tha t I really wanted to share with you. Unfortunately this old man can’t remember where he saw it. Sorry! But let me tell you about it and if any of you can direct me to it I will insert it.

Apparently our Congress passed a bill in 2005 to produce commemorative one dollar coins honoring all past US Presidents. The US Mint has been dutifully producing said coins. Each coin cost about 34 cents to produce and they have minted billions of them. Guess what? Nobody wants them. Therefore, the US Mint is storing them in vaults. Billions of dollars worth of coins are bagged or boxed every day and put away in storage. And, now the Mint is planning to spend near $700,000 to build a new vault because they are running out of storage space. STUPID IS, AS STUPID DOES! How hard would it be to introduce a bill to put a stop to this nonsense? What is really scary is that you and I know this is just one of hundreds ,if not thousands, of ways our government waste our money every day. SIGH!

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

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39 thoughts on “Under the Radar News or A Case of Ho-hum?

  1. I recently read that over 60 percent of applications for SS disabilty are now being approved. From what I saw when taking my relative regarding Medicare to the S.S. office, it appears it is the new welfare entitlement. There were over 50 applicants waiting the hour I arrived. Social Security was to be a retirement program. Anything goes now with the new Regs regarding elgibility. I cannot find the recent change to qualify for disabilty, but as I recall….”Muscle pain” and the like were qualifications.

    1. My professional career came to an abrupt end when I was 54 due to health issues. It didn’t occur to me to apply for SS disability because I thought I had sufficient savings that we could live out the rest of our lives comfortably. But things went very sour for us here in Venezuela and at the age of sixty I applied for disability. The forms and the information required was daunting. As it turned out I was denied disability because for the four years I was living off of my savings, I did not pay any FICA and you are only allowed to miss one quarter of FICA payments during the ten years prior to your disability. But, my point is, at the time, I thought the hurdles that one had to overcome to qualify for disability were quite onerous. Maybe things have changed since then.

      1. I have no quarrel with those who have legitimate claims. I looked for the 60 percent approval,without success, but did find this::
        YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – We’ve all heard about the financial problems of Social Security’s retirement fund. But the disability program is facing even more dire predictions.

        Applications for Social Security Disability are up almost 50 percent over a decade ago.

        About 3.3 million people are expected to apply for disability this year, up more than 700-thousand from 2008. Experts say claims usually increase in a down economy because many people with disabilities get laid off and can’t find new jobs. Also America’s population is aging and disability rates go up as people get older. And there’s just plain desperation. As people get laid off they take a shot at disability.

  2. 2017? The Social Security Trust Fund is broke right now.

    Social Security and Medicare have been operating on a PAYGO basis since passage of the Budget Control Act of 1990 that created a “unified budget”.

    The latest re-authorization of PAYGO was signed into law by President Obama in 2010.

    Current year collections are used to pay current year bills. Until now anything that was left over was spent for other programs like defense and Medicaid after the SS fund was folded in with general fund revenues.

    As of last year collections no longer are enough to pay expenditures. The Social Security deficit cannot be paid from the Social Security Trust Fund because, in truth, there is nothing in it to pay with. So that deficit was tacked onto the national debt.

    With the payroll tax holiday(s) we only accelerate the time when Social Security deficits(with Medicare and Medicaid) grow so much that it topples the rest of the federal budget.

    Perhaps that is what is meant by saying Social Security will become insolvent by 2017!

  3. The whole disability thing is absolutely rife with fraud. A few days ago at Coyoteblog, Warren Meyer did a piece on it. As an aside to the factual stuff, he told of his own experience as a business owner (he runs a company that privately operates public camp grounds… more efficiently and at lower cost than the government, by the way). Apparently he is frequently asked by people applying for camp host positions if they can be paid under the table in cash so they don’t lose their disability by working.

    Again, a social safety net that has a legitimate purpose, but that gets abused and the result is unnecessary spending by the tax payer.

    1. It seems incredible to say something good about such a terribly inept politician, but the Reid debt ceiling proposal had provisions in it to go after fraud and abuse in government, including entitlement programs.

      Reid, of course, mistakenly called the recovered funds “spending cuts” but it is the kind of thing we should be doing already. Reid’s suggestion did not get into the final plan.

      However, all government agencies should be fighting fraud and abuse WITHOUT having Congress pass a special law for it.

      1. One would almost think that the government had some fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers and preventing fraud would be job one. However, if the goal is “spend more than last year so you get more next year” the incentive to weed out fraud is pretty much gone.

  4. Interesting tidbit about the rich. I guess it makes sense. In such a downturn even they make less money.

    I had not heard about Obama’s gift to Interpol. This has some very bad implications. They can now essentially bust down your door for doing something that is legal in the US but illegal according to that fictional toilet paper known as “international law.”

    1. The INTERPOL deal bothers me a lot. I’d like to know what motivated Obama to make this change. I wonder if it was a request from INTERPOL and if so, how many other countries have given them diplomatic immunity?

  5. The heightened police state both terrifies and angers me.
    I say a thorough review of ALL executive orders need to be reviewed by the incoming conservative prez. As a matter of fact, I think we could operate quite well (and constitutionally) if all executive orders were held as null and void–separating those out that perhpas need congressional legislation debated.

  6. I loved the piece about the $1 coins. I was recently in Grand Rapids Michigan and had occasion to park at a municipal facility. When leaving you are to pay at a machine which accepts credit/debit cards or cash. When I inserted my $20 bill for my $4 fee I received $16 of those confounded coins you describe as my change. I bought my wife a glass of wine at a local resturant bar yesterday and paid part of my tab with them.

    The owner looked at them like they were the slugs we used to put in the candy machines as a kid. No one had ever seen them before and they were the butt of many jokes as she decided what on earth to do with them. She finally decided to deposit them in her six year old’s piggy bank to solve the problem.

    Stupid is as stupid does indeed. Thanks for the laugh. (All the government stupidity should be on this scale.)

  7. The entire EO process needs to be strictly controlled. An EO was never meant to be a tool that allows the President to bypass the Congress. From Wiki:

    Executive orders have the full force of law, since issuances are typically made in pursuance of certain Acts of Congress, some of which specifically delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power (delegated legislation), or are believed to take authority from a power granted directly to the Executive by the Constitution. However, these perceived justifications cited by Presidents when authoring Executive Orders have come under criticism for exceeding Executive authority; at various times throughout U.S. history, challenges to the legal validity or justification for an order have resulted in legal proceedings.

      1. Other than the immediate use of the military for a defense action, I can’t figure out how presidents are just waltzing around waiving Executive Orders and getting away with it. Plus, these EO’s are worthless without the funding and cooperation of Congress…domestic orders, that is. So Congress is complicit for funding them. The one with Interpol is off the charts, basically handing police powers to a foreign agency within the sovereign U.S. (I heard about it at the time, but because I saw it on the web. Newspapers and television news did not cover it at all.) How does that happen without the SCOTUS slapping him down. As for the rationale, Jim, it is giving global powers over American citizens. That is the goal.

        Checks and balances are broken…looks like. The rot is so pervasive, it is going to take years and years to get back….if ever. Sorry to be pessimistic.

  8. Don’t feel bad for covering old news, my posts are still stuck in World War One!
    The super billionaire oligarchy aka bankstsers are siphoning off America’s wealth. Those making paltry millions are like bottom feeders to them.
    And yes, the executive orders are scary. JFK issued the one that would start the process of making federal reserve notes exchangeable for silver. That didn’t end well for him.
    My next door neighbor couldn’t get disability and she is truly disabled, while the man who lived here before me got disability and some sort of cash settlement to boot because he “hurt his back”. It’s just so messed up it’s almost indescribable.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, RM. If our government thieves had not robbed the SS Trust Funds and had instead invested them wisely, the Social Security would probably be solvent today. Instead we are left a pile of useless IOUs.

  9. The Republicans are really doing a poor job of getting the message out there in my opinion. They let Obama carry the message on SS during the debt ceiling debate and now it may go bankrupt any way and the Republicans just don’t seem to be willing to address this.

  10. We have been bombarded with so much bad news that we’re becoming inured to it and close to shut-down mode. Overload!

    Still, I keep looking for those under-the-radar stories even as I feel more and more in doomsday mode.

  11. BTW, if Social Security Disability collapses, we’re going to see people dying on street corners. And not all of those people are old either.

    My mother became totally disabled at the age of 44 due to cardiac problems. There are many people out there like my mother and living on SSDI.

  12. There is just so much stupidity pouring out of Washington that it is impossible to keep up with it all. In order to fix things, America needs more than just a change of policies–it needs a national resurgence.

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