The devil in God

Sorry, I have been offline for sometime now and have not posted.  Mostly a mix of extreme busy mode at work , having been given significantly more responsibility and basic failure to see a subject that really walks out of my fingers.

The most recent cancellation of the Lady GaGa tour in Indonesia and after reading some comment about it that argued both from a christian religious right side and the traditional liberal freedom of speech veiwpoint prompted a culmination in recent thoughts about the the title subject born also of the US political commentary found in the current election rhetoric.

Ms Germanotta (which is mot likely the name on her passport) attempted to take her sexually based protest against her Roman Catholic heritage show into this very Muslim country.  I remember travelling to Jakarta in the 70’s as a young ship’s engineer.  The Chief Mate would come around and ask you to put all the Playboys or Penthouse magazines onboard in a drawer the customs officer would place a customs seal across the locked drawer.  This was because such magazines were outlawed by the country.  It is not surprising they would not want to place the same (albeit larger) seal around Ms. Germanotta’s (Lady GaGa’s) Western liberalized exposed flesh and ask that she not perform her sex charged writhing against a half naked man who is not related to her. Sorry but let them watch it on YouTube in the privacy of their home, likely the way they now can read those banned Playboys that were not stolen off break room coffee tables on foreign ships by locals as they moved through to load the vessel with Indonesian products for sale around the world.  It is not Ms. Germanotta’s time to force religious freedom and thought to the Muslim world, such thought must come from within a society not forced.

So too the example struck me in a recent replay of the dramatization on the United 93 flight, the flight on 9/11 that did not make it to it’s target of Washington, DC because of the bravery of its passengers that fought for control of the plane after realization of their impending doom if they did not.  In that dramatization it stuck me that the artist either on purpose or by accident showed a vivid and complex scene of the devil found in the belief of God.  The scene showed the highjackers worried about obtaining their goal of glorified martyrdom for their perceived Islamic cause and the passengers worried about their being victims both praying to the same singular God.

Both Muslim and Christian in both could claim that their God was for them and not the other.   Even Christians in such great conflicts as WWII could claim that God was with them.  The reality is that belief in God is not what makes your actions wrong or right.

The belief that Mitt Romney is a Mormon and therefore unworthy of being President is something the Christian right has brought forth in claiming Mormonism is a cult.   Luckily the US electorate has risen past and realized the visualization of the Founding Fathers in the belief that in order for governments to improve mankind that religion must remain separated forever from politics..

It is when politics and political views are mixed with the understanding of a God that man’s decision temporalize the laws put forth in the concept of God have caused the most trouble for the advancement of the human existence.  Yet it is the concept of God that has provided for the human community and possibly it’s very survival.  Such a juxtaposition has been the devil in God since the beginning of time.

The Muslims believe the Christians are polythesitic because of their belief in the holy trinity and Mary as mother of God.  Yet, when there was an outside threat of Stalinistic Communism many Muslims aligned themselves with Christians because they reasoned “Muslims have a book and God. The Christians have a book and God , but the Communist do not.”

When the threat changes to that of the formation of the Jewish state of Israel (who are not without prejudice in the formation of Israel themselves but that is another blog) the answer is again centered upon God.  The event is political and territorial but it is God for both sides that makes for justice.

It is these concepts of a temporalized God that alone defies the basic concept of God.  It is to make God a victim of man’s basic need for tribal domination that provides the fuel for the destruction of man’s society for man’s hatred of another man.  It misses the very basic concept of God in any aspect and makes God man’s prisoner for political design.  Maybe the devil in God is man or man’s failure to understand God.

 

 

 

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Does Santorum want a Theocratic Government?

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” Santorum, a devout Catholic, said in an interview from Michigan on ABC’s “This Week.”

I did a double take when I first read this from a wanna be Republican front runner.  Previous discussions here involving church and state were around  candidates attacking each other for their religious beliefs or the requirement of some sort of test that the candidate should be a certain faith and not from another that was not recognized by the first’s religion.  This by Santorum shows that his not-fit-to-run the free government of the United States.  He takes none of the values of the founding fathers nor the Constitution to heart with such statements.

Mr. Santorum attempted to temper his radical position as one of religion in public forums

“The First Amendment means the free exercise of religion and that means bringing people and their faith into the public square.”

Was the United States founded by people of Religion?  The answer is YES!  Was the United States founded by people of the same Religions thought?  For that nothing but NO could be utilized.  This was the very reason that the Absolute seperation of Church and State was so set forth in the First Amendment and so preached over and over to the fledgling countries’ populace by its founders.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

The First Amendment not only forbids the government from providing for the advancement of one religion over the the other is forbids the government from preventing the free exercise of.   Now, Mr Santorum is saying that  he is really defending people of faith against a government that wishes to impose a sectarian ideals.

“That now we’re going to turn around and impose our values from the government on people of faith.”

But what of a government that imposes views from people-of-faith on those that do not hold the same faith?   We see it everyday in the texts published by such speeches as Mr. Santorum’s.   Such a candidate misses the example of George Washington, himself an Anglican and an Episcopalian, wrote;

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights.

Does not now the Christian-right seek to establish a government that forces it’s views on the free public?  Most certainly it does in it’s opposition to issues such as abortion, stem cell research, the rights of same sex couples to seek the rights of law under marriage and even the discussions of scientific findings in favor of evolutions.

The Christian Right …. assumes..that government’s proper role is to cultivate virtue, not to interfere with the natural operations of the marketplace or the workplace. The Christian Right remains baffled by the secular culture’s apparent unwillingness, on one hand, to offer schoolchildren firm moral guidance in matters of sexuality, truthfulness, honesty, and patriotism while, on the other hand, proving ever-so-eager to engineer the smallest details of the economy. Why should conscientious, hardworking law-abiding citizens be penalized by mazes of government regulations? Why should the irresponsible, the lazy, and the unpatriotic be rewarded by those same public institutions?

Since the Western Jewish-Christian tradition has provided an eminently workable premise for the United States for the better part of four centuries, it makes no sense to undermine these premises by legitimating alien ones. The key issue is not so much what would be permitted as what would be legitimated. Many, perhaps most members of the Christian Right feel that it is one thing to permit dissidents to live in peace, quite another to say that any set of values is just as good, or just as functional, as any other set.

-http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/twenty/tkeyinfo/chr_rght.htm

Mr. Santorum must remember that his viewpoints, as a devout Roman Catholic, were not long ago rejected by those he now seeks to gather votes from.  That the very essence of values of separation of church and state as established by the Founding Fathers did provide for his current candidacy as did that of John F. Kennedy who apparently makes him throw-up when he re-affirmed the beliefs of the Founding Fathers in his 1960 speech in Houston.

But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured — perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again — not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me — but what kind of America I believe in. – JFK 1960

 

It seems that Mr. Santorum does not believe in the same America that John F. Kennedy, George Washington, James Madison nor Thomas Jefferson believed in.

Civil powers alone have been given to the President of the U.S. and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents – Thomas Jefferson

 

Our rulers can have authority of such natural rights as we have submitted to them.  The rights of conscience we never submitted…. We are answerable to them to our God.  – Thomas Jefferson

 

 

 

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The Republican decimation of the Public Schools is in opposition to the good of the nation

In the current political climate clamored by the Right of budget cuts and balanced budgets the education systems have suffered more than those of Texas

Governor Perry chose to exploit a loophole in his retirement to double dip on the funds of the state.  Perry makes a $150,000 annual gross salary as Texas governor. Now, thanks to his early retirement loophole, Perry, 61, gets a monthly retirement annuity of $7,698 before taxes, or $6,588 net. That raises his gross annual salary to more than $240,000.

Granted that portion of the budget would not in of itself create a school it could very well have held one or two more teachers in the lowest of schools.  Yet, Perry and his Republican Lt Gov. David Dewhurst have almost destroyed public education in Texas.

“Republicans chose corporate tax loopholes over the educational system that serves our state’s children,”  – TDP spokesperson Anthony Gutierrez.

 

Opposing [sic] Texas Democrats strongly support the Constitution’s recognition that a free, quality public education is “essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people”; – The Party Insider

Thomas Jefferson wrote;

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.  Although I do not, with some enthusiasts, believe that the human condition will ever advance to such a state of perfection as to there is no longer be pain or vice in the world, yet I believe it susceptible of much improvement, and most of all in matters of government and religion; and that the diffusion of knowledge among the people is to be the instrument by which it is to be effected.

 

This vision has been clearly seen in the recent “Arab Spring”.  It is being found in the current movement toward open democracy in Myramar.

Though Jefferson’s discourses for the State (in his case Virginia) government in his “hope that (his state) would take up the subject of education …”  He went on the write;

  “It is highly interesting to our country and it is the duty of its functionaries to provide that every citizen in it should receive an education proportioned to the condition and pursuits of his life.” – Thomas Jefferson 1816

 

In 1856 a report to the state of legislature of New York read;

Public instruction looks to the good of the state.  Its immediate subjects are indeed the individuals who are to be taught, but the good of the state is the real purpose and the ultimate end of the system….. In a nation constituted like ours, all the elements of usefulness, strength, and glory rest in the individual citizens. The state has no strength or resources except in the number, intelligence, virtue, productive power, and property of the citizens. The whole purpose of the government is to increase all these things….

 

Given such importance it does appear that the current Republican penchant for reduction of education funding because it is easiest to attack while loopholes for their own benefit and those of the corporation are not reviewed as a remedy.  We should ask

  What good is it to promote industry for jobs if those citizens that we wish to hire are not of an education level to fulfill those employment opportunities?  To what degree would government promote or allow the reduction of our citizens in educational class so that we have to hire foreign administrators for the companies that would employ them?

 

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The Right of Economic Prosperity

Most of the Right would disagree that the Founding Fathers thought such a right existed.  But one must ask what then is Freedom?  Thomas Jefferson preached the Liberty, Equality and Self-Government.

“..the happiness & prosperity of our citizens will attest it’s merit. and this, I believe is the only legitimate object of government, and the first duty of governors,” –Thomas Jefferson to Thaddeus Kosciusko, 1811.

“I don’t see the Right to Economic Prosperity in that,”   would heartily counter, the Right.   “Why what that means is if you are prosperous you have the right to be prosperous.  It does not mean that government has a role to play in prosperity for all!”

The recent discussion of the rich Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on his right to prosperity and Newt Gingrich’s attacks on Romney’s business practices at Bain Capital and Rick Santorum’s attacking the efforts of President Obama to normalize the ability of the Rich to earn huge sums of money at a lower tax rate than even the lowest paid clerical or secretary as “Class Warfare

After the Great World Depression that led to the Great World War II American leaders knew that to prevent Fascism or Communism from taking foothold in America that an economic democracy was the best method of prosperity for the US and the World.

 

Henry A. Wallace wrote in 1945:

We must now establish an economic bill of rights….

-The right to a useful and remunerative job in industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

-The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

-The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

-The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home and abroad;

-The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

-The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment;

-The right to a good education.

 

Such statements resulted in the Full Employment Act of 1946 which empowered or mandated depending on your viewpoint the Federal Government to step in and smooth the economy during times of economic downturn.

Is this what caused the deficit?  Was this the downfall of the US?  Was the economy ever intended to be a federal issue by the Founding Fathers?

Over six score years before Daniel Raymond wrote;

The body politic, like the natural body, is liable to fall into a state of comparative lethargy and torpor.  It then becomes necessary to arouse its dormant energies by administering stimulants.  The expenditure of public money in public works will often produce this effect.

But Alas Mr. Raymond was just an economist yet he influenced Henry Clay’s opinion that the federal government’s use of funds to improve national commerce and expand the nation’s economy was desirable.

Thomas Jefferson was the equivocal states rights advocate.  He ran against the Federalists of John Adams.  His wish was for a “Simple and Inexpensive Government”.  Something most modern Republicans identify with..  Jefferson wrote in the Summer of 1800;

The true theory of our Constitution is surely the wisest and best, that the states are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign nations.  Let the general government be reduced to foreign concerns only…

Jefferson was an opponent to the distortion of the Constitution at the hands of John Adams and George Washington..  His thoughts were that the nation was too large to be deliberated over by a single government.

Yet, Jefferson saw it fit for the Federal government to spend money on the Louisiana Purchase even though he worriedly wrote;

“The Constitution has mad no provision for our holding foreign territory, still less for incorporating foreign nations into our Union” – Thomas Jefferson August 12, 1803

Jefferson saw the lands as a federal government’s method of increasing the wealth, security and well-being of the nation. He further worried that the Treaty buying the Louisiana territories would revised or even revoked.  He put his thoughts toward stretching his Constitutional interpretation even more toward the incorporation of new states even though the Constitution did not provide for it.

By 1816 a war with England began to again stretch his thoughts on the roles of the Federal government.  Jefferson’s thoughts on the actions of the Federal government had changed and evolved from one of “a few plain duties to be performed by a few servants” to one of nation building and commerce building for the well-being of its citizens.  The nation was suffering from the European dominance of manufactured goods and the use of them against the interests of the nation  Jefferson the unequivocal agrarian, who thought only agriculture was needed to sustain the nation after 31 years from his discussion of the Constitution in 1785 began to understand this change in role for the Federal government’s charter.  He scolded those that quoted him from his 1785 stance against the promotion of manufacturing but most importantly it is his acknowledgement of the need to understand the current requirements for the betterment of the nation versus previous events.  He further went on to admonish future leaders of the nation in his ideal of the best form of democratic government, the government that provides the greatest liberty to all citizens must consider the current events for the betterment of society without regards to past positions

In his writings of January 1816 Jefferson always quoted in his 1785 positions by opponents of the then current efforts of the Federal government to promote manufacturing over agriculture for the general well being of the nation of wrote of the inability to see the future and that reaction by the government must be to current circumstances:

We have time yet for consideration before that question will press upon us; and the maxim to be applied will depend on the circumstances which shall then exist; for in so complicated a science as political economy, no one axiom can be laid down as wise and expedient for all times and circumstances, and for their contraries.

 

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On Nuclear Proliferation

Hiroshima about a month after the bomb
View of of Northern Seciton of Hiroshima
Shadow of person sitting on step
People Crossing Bridge at Explosion
Victims in local centers after the bomb.
The Symbol of Anti Atomic Weaponry.
Description

This picture was taken from Hiroshima Under Atomic Attack by Shogo Nagaoka. I got it when I visited the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima with my Father. Shortly after that visit my Dad talked about the fact that he was on his way to stage for the invasion of Japan in 1945. His comment after a long pause, " I do not think I would have survived that one."

Because of the destruction of this city and many lives with it followed by Nagasaki a few days later the Japanese wishing peace were able to muster the courage to do ask for it even at the cost of centuries of their historical pride.

It is because of these acts many people like myself are here today. There are no reasons for War that are justified.

[click FS to see pictures full-screen; for picture info click the i in the top corner]

Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum for a virtual tour.

 

The current climate of the Iranian question of obtaining nuclear capabilities and all the saber-rattling an threats can be quite unnerving.  Are we approaching the capabilities in this world to annihilate ourselves by elevation of such threats by the “Yellow Press” of the right-wing toward reasons for War?

It certainly worked of George Bush in Iraq.  Had Saddam Hussein actually had such weapons and used tactical nuclear or  weapons-of-mass-destruction against coalition troops what would have been the US governments response?  What would have been the response from the conservatives running the country at that time?  What would have been the response of the right-wing ” Yellow Press” or any mainstream press for that matter at the time?

How many times before have countries determined based on perceived threats have developed them?   There are nine.  The United States, Russia (Former Soviet Union),China, France, United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel and only South Africa has shown the courage in the name of peace to get rid of theirs.

I suppose that is the question, here.  We know getting them, though technically difficult, for a nation is politically easy.  The governmental leaders need to only call on the perception devil to raise the banner.

on  January 31, 1950 over sixty years ago,  then President Harry Truman gave one of the most compelling reasons that governments all develop such horrible weapons.

It is part of my responsibility….to see to it that our country is able to defend itself against any possible aggressor.  Accordingly, I have directed the Atomic Energy Commission to continue work on all forms of atomic weapons, including the so-called hydrogen or super-bomb. Like all other work in the field of atomic weapons, it is being and will be carried forward on a basis consistent with the overall objectives of our program for peace and security.

 

This we shall continue to do until a satisfactory plan for international control of atomic energy is achieved.  We shall also continue to examine all those factors that affect our program for peace and this country’s security – Harry Truman

How easy it is for the leaders of country’s like North Korea, Israel, at one time South Africa could make such claims of the need for security against possible aggressors. South Africa developed their weapon in response to the arrival of Cuban forces in Angola.

The US having stationed nuclear weapons in South Korea in an apparent defensive move against North Korean aggression was in itself perceived as a threat to the North Korean regime and they developed nuclear weapons.  India facing internal movements to be independent of old colonial powers and the perceived threat of an an aggressive Pakistan being supplied by China.  Pakistan facing a nuclear India developed their capability.  Israel facing threats from all side finds the need for nuclear weapons if not as a deterrent than peace of mind of the option in the face of a national disaster.

Iranian leaders now faced with isolation movement by the West.  Faced with the perceived threat shown by the West’s aggression against Iraq and Saddam Hussein by the Bush Administration’s claim of weapons of mass destruction, seem to be bent on the same path.

It is not the people of these nations it is the leaders that develop the concept “country is able to defend itself against any possible aggressor.”   Stalin developed atomic weapons for the Soviet Union to counter the Western Allies after the distrust (rightfully or not) found between them.

There is much talk in these days of the future of our children as being wasted on the care of the poor and elderly in this nation in the forms of healthcare and Social Security.  Yet there is little talk about the future of our children in the form of the nuclear Big Stick approach to world politics.  Everyone will have a Big Stick before it is over.

The right-wing conservative fear mongering, sabre-rattling policy however needs to change.  We cannot in West be perceived as a threat to smaller nations that will do nothing but develop nuclear weapons to hold onto power and feign security from aggression.  President Jimmy Carter outlined it best.

“The best way to enhance freedom in other lands is to demonstrate here that our democratic system is worthy of emulation.” – Jimmy Carter

The rise of people across Iran is the perfect example of such policy.  Sure it was suppressed like it is now being done in Syria. The rise failed but one could say the same for Czechoslovakia after 1948, Hungary in 1956.  Maybe someday the efforts of Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 will not be lost among the Chinese people.  But it is time the West stop acting and appearing like “any possible aggressor
    —–

“Some people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America is the only idealistic nation in the world.” – Woodrow Wilson

 

 

Posted in Iraq, Nuclear Proliferation, On War and Wars | Leave a comment

World Politics Kiva Style.

I have been micro-lending through Kiva for several years now.  I suppose I like the fact that I may be able to help some people around the world who are struggling yet hold to ideals of they can better themselves with a little more capital.  This capital would not be available to them from large international banks looking only for the next derivative to cash in on.

Kiva.org provides a means to lend as little at $25 dollars to some of the people in the countries I may have visited during my life and understand the absolute power of freedom in the pursuit of happiness.  I may have stopped along side the road and bought some local food from a stall vendor, something that I love doing when in these countries.  I may have walked through their small store out of curiosity of what is available for people in the area. I could have bought an ice cream from a small drug store in Azerbaijan while watching locals determine what drug they needed to buy to help with their health.  I realize some of these countries the people are not absolutely free but I believe that all people want the same things in life.  They want to provide for a better life for their children and themselves regardless of the government that would want to run their lives.

It is for these reasons that I provide capital through Kiva .  I usually provide more for Women because I feel they are more than likely be suppressed in their countries and possibly not able to get the money to make their world better.  I often look for a true entrepenuer that is trying to make a better place for the people around them, as in selling food, providing services or small retail stores.  I have lent to many different kinds of business. I have taken small losses due to riots in Kenya but on the better than 97% the borrower return the money so that it can be lent again and again helping even more and more people.

I strongly recommend it.  Do some good around the world yourself.

My lender Page

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Republican Candidate Attacks the Venture Capitalist Mitch Romney

“If somebody comes in, takes all the money out of your company and then leaves you bankrupt while they go off with millions, that’s not traditional capitalism,” Mr. Gingrich said on NBC’s “Today” show.

 

Really Speaker Gingrich?  I think you have been Perryized.   Gingrich went on the to sayl

“Is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of other people and walk off with the money, or is that somehow a little bit of a flawed system?” Gingrich told reporters after a visit to an electric company here. “I do draw a distinction between looting a company, leaving behind broken families and broken neighborhoods, and leaving behind a factory that should be there,” he said.

I am trying to visualize the Speaker here is a Republican?    I think he is being attacked on these points as if he was a leftist.  It is truly amazing these comments.

Maybe he has changed his colors with the words against the Capitalist Boardroom Executive such as Romney?  Do you think he has?

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Mr. Perry, please recuse yourself

It is unbelievable that Mr. Perry would say during the Republican Candidate debates that he would re-invade Iraq or re-negotiate to put troops back in Baghdad.  His wild accusations that President Obama removed the troops to cow t’ow (cow down – sic) to his leftist base.  Seems Mr. Perry is showing he would cow t’ow – ing to his rightist base.

Maybe Mr. Perry would like to consult his predecessor as Governor of Texas about it. At the end of the Bush administration, when the Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA, was negotiated, setting 2011 as the end of the United States’ military role, officials had said the deadline was set for political reasons.

But maybe we should think that the people of Iraq are the ones which exercised their newly won freedom with over 114,435 civilian deaths in asking that the American troops not stay. Maybe he would ask the Libyan people of which an estimate 30,000 civilians died deposing their dictator Gaddafi in 2011.

Gov. Perry proves that he can be extremely disrespectful to the efforts of those men and women that served with honor and those that gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Bush War. He proves he is not fit to lead a nation of free and just peoples.

..is war the true remedy?  Who will profit by it?  Speculators – a few lucky merchants who draw prizes in the lottery – commissaries and contractors.  Who must suffer by it?  The people. It is their blood, their taxes, that must flow to support it. …..

The government of the United States was not calculated to wage offensive foreign war; it was instituted for the common defense and general welfare; and whosoever should embark it in a war of offense would put it to a test which it was by no means calculated to endure…

– John Randolph; Speech in the House of Representatives December 1811

 

Please, Please, Please Mr. Perry.  It is time to stop wasting the money and faithfulness of citizens on your vain efforts of personal glory.  Go ahead and suspend your nomination so you too like Congresswoman Bachmann can get that Government matching handout you wish to deny so many others in this country.   Take your free tax handout and leave the race.  I will tick the 1 dollar on my tax return to to insure you get the taxpayer money to do so.

 

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Writer’s Block Blog

After spending some time deciding what i wanted to write I actually began to realize I had nothing to write.  At least not one thing that I could continue to develop as to what the core reason or view was to be.

I had thought of many thoughts such as Rick Santorum’s perfect example of the Teaparty and its hypocritical advancement of smaller government.  I heard an article on the Radio where a women expressed her concern that the Teaparty and its call for smaller government in their financial lives but for some reason wanted the government to dictate the private lives of others such as gays and the private decisions of women’s bodies.  “Everything is perfect if the Government leaves me alone but other people besides myself need to be controlled” attitude.  Though I heartily agreed that this was a issue of the Teaparty and its America is free if it is governed according to my beliefs not yours attitude but that was it.  It did not really blossom into something I could expand and express or link to the thoughts of those men that had the original idea of Freedom in this country.

Then I thought I could write about …………….  Well that was it.

 

Happy New Year

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So-called “Trust Fund” has defrauded American people. (Mar 2010)

That is what Mitt Romney, candidate for the Republican nomination for president said about Social Security.  When I see such claims I am called to ask him to visit the Social Security FAQ page

How much has Social Security paid out since it started?

A:  From 1937 (when the first payments were made) through 2009 the Social Security program has expended $11.3 trillion.

(See detailed tables of annual Social Security payments 1937-2008.) (See also detail for Q26)

How much has Social Security taken in taxes and other income since it started?

A:  From 1937 (when taxes were first collected) through 2009 the Social Security program has received $13.8 trillion in income.

John Kenneth Galbraith, economist wrote

Social Security is a transfer program. It is not a spending program. A dollar “spent” on Social Security does not directly increase GDP. It merely reallocates a dollar from one potential final consumer (a taxpayer) to another (a retiree, a disabled person or a survivor). It also reallocates resources within both communities (taxpayers and beneficiaries). Specifically, benefits flow to the elderly and to survivors who do not have families that might otherwise support them, and costs are imposed on working people and other taxpayers who do not have dependents in their own families. Both types of transfer are fair and effective, greatly increasing security and reducing poverty — which is why Social Security and Medicare are such successful programs

 

Often I hear people say that the Baby Boomer Generation ruined the US with such entitlement programs.  When it fact that transfer of funds has been used during my working years to support my Father’s retirement.

The current movement in Congress and the so seems the Republican Candidates is to remove that obligation and reduce the payment to retirees or increase the retirement age.  It is because they spends too much money on the Military in the name of national defense or on their Farm constituent subsidies.

When Social Security income exceeds its expenses, the surplus is retained by the Treasury and used to meet the government’s non-Social Security expenses. For example, the recent surpluses in Social Security led to annual surpluses that went to finance B-2 bombers, farm subsidies, savings and loan bailouts, and other general federal expenditures. In return for borrowing these funds, the Treasury issues special bonds to the Social Security trust fund.  – Statement by New York Life  link

Did you know we pay the Brazilian cotton farmers are paid a US Government subsidy?  That is correct your tax money is going to pay Brazilian farmers because it is too politically difficult for Congress to stop illegal trade subsidies.  Of the top 10 states that receive Federal farm subsidies only 2 are so called Blue States ( Voted Democratic in the last Presidential election).

When candidates make the new Political rhetoric “Reduce Entitlements” does it mean reduce Congressional, Military and Government employee pensions (Roughly 18% of the Federal Budget)?

System is broke; allow young people to get out. (Sep 2011) – Ron Paul

Pledge to older workers; transform program for younger ones. (Nov 2011)- Rick Perry

Wean everybody off Social Security and Medicare. (Feb 2010)- Michelle Bachman

1994: Proposed raising retirement age, despite unpopularity. (Sep 2011) -Rick Santorum

No, reduce those that worked hard to support their Fathers with the reallocation of their assets is what they mean.  They cant bear to reduce the fraud in Farm Subsidies or stop the internationally illegal subsidies of US Cotton Farmers.  They cant be seen asking for a reduction in the Military Industrial Complex funds.  No, those are the hard choices to make when millions are being given to your campaign.

It would make too much sense to do that.  All of that saved money can then be used to increase the GDP and create jobs.  All of that saved money could be used to reduce the deficit and save Social Security for the 25 year old who now has a young son who also would be willing to help his Father with asset transfers.  He could because he would  benefit from the increased private funds available toward increasing the GDP.

There is a question as to whether military expenditures at the present and projected levels add to our national defense.  The history on this matter is persuasive. …. Capital of this magnitude could be used for arms; it could be used for private capital investment; it could not be used for both.  If an appreciable part of this outlay had gone to to the improvement of our industrial plant – as it would have, had it not been requisitioned by the government – no one can doubt that the American economy would be stronger today. – John Kenneth Galbraith

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