Sunday, January 6, 2013

Adventures In Soothsaying

It doesn't take a psychic to be able to predict the next government crises. We got through part of the fiscal cliff with the middle class tax cuts being preserved and tax increases on people earning over $400,000. Meanwhile the payroll tax cuts ended, so it's a tax increase for the middle class. Confused? Here's where I get really confused.
 Payroll taxes are the taxes we pay for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Now we are coming upon the "debt ceiling crises" What do you think will be the big bargaining chip that is put on the table? You don't need a magic 8 ball to predict this. If you guessed the "entitlements" that we pay for, you are correct. The GOP is willing to tolerate a government shut down in order to get cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Americans pay more in FICA taxes than they do income taxes. We pay a lot of money for these benefits. Now, if the GOP wants to at the very least, reduce these benefits, do you think they will reduce our FICA taxes? They keep pushing up the retirement age, since we are all living so much longer, like we can keep working till we're 70, even though you may not even be able to keep your job after you are 50. Reality is way different than whatever picture they paint in Congress.
President Obama has said that he is not going to bargain like he did 18 months ago. However, the GOP is blithely assuming that despite what the President say's that he will be willing to put "entitlements" on the table again and give the GOP what they want in order to keep the government from shutting down. Debt Ceiling Clash Nears for Lawmakers - read it and weep.
So now, I predict, we are going to go back and forth until February, in yet another pissing contest about who can yell louder to get what they want. None of it will be about what is best for the average middle class American. The last minute tax cut deal apparently didn't mean diddly to Congress and they are just going to keep saying the same tired crap over and over. They will tell more lies and create more confusion, so they can do whatever they can to keep the Department of Defense spending machine running. Unlike a lot of American people, the Department of Defense is not audited. They do not have to account for any taxpayer money spent. Billions of dollars in waste and fraud occurred in Iraq. It is probably continuing in Afghanistan and the best the government charlatans in Congress can do is grab whatever Social Security they can get their greedy hands on. It's sickening and completely predictable to know this is what's going to happen. That the GOP will waste even more time obstructing whatever they can, until they get a 11th hour last minute deal and throw whoever they can under the bus. I'd like to know what your prediction is. Get out the magic 8 ball, because really, the magic 8 ball is more useful than most Congress critters. One thing I will say, it is so easy to predict what the GOP will do, you don't need to be a psychic.


  1. My prediction is simple: We're screwed.

  2. Its so true! And we just keep on paying, even though they offer us nothing. So dysfunctional!

  3. I don't predict. I just shake in fear at other's predictions.

    The rationale for raising the retirement rate to 70 is, as you said, that we all live longer than we did in the 1930s, when Social Security began. But columnist/economist Paul Krugman points out that for those few people who did make it to 65 in the 1930s, they could expect to live just as long as someone who's 65 does now. And people aren't living longer now because we're aging at a slower rate than in the past. Diseases that use to get many of us at a younger age--infectiouse diseases in particular--have been conquered, thanks in large part to penicillin. But a 70-year old in 1936 looks and moves pretty much like a 70-year in 2013. That hasn't changed.