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Category Archives: My Opinion


No matter which party you support, any alterations to Social Security using the guidelines below will affect every American citizen- Social security is not a give away, each person who has worked, earned these benefits. It is true there are social programs associated with this but remember the less fortunate who receive these benefits could be you or your family. Bear in mind that the tax reform helped no one except the upper 1-10 %  earners. Touting tax cuts for the middle class is a meaningless phrase since there is literally no longer a middle class, the “Tax Reform” took care of  that. This administration has tried to gut the ACA with no replacement and your representatives have done nothing about it and thereby abdicated their responsibilities to a Megalomaniac. MA

Maggie Haberman and Alan Rappeport 9 hrs ago

When President Trump suggested to an interviewer at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that he would, “at some point,” look at cutting entitlement programs, his Democratic critics seized on the comments as evidence that Mr. Trump would gut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in a second term.

“Even as the impeachment trial is underway, Trump is still talking about cutting your Social Security,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said at the beginning of a news conference that was ostensibly about the Senate impeachment trial.

The Democratic super PAC Priorities USA posted on Twitter about Mr. Trump’s remarks, and others contrasted his statement with his 2016 campaign pledge not to touch entitlement programs.

On Thursday, the president tried to clean up his own mess.

“Democrats are going to destroy your Social Security,” Mr. Trump tweeted shortly before leaving the White House for a campaign-related event in Florida. “I have totally left it alone, as promised, and will save it!”

Advisers said the president’s comments in Davos, Switzerland, came as he is keeping a wary eye on the ballooning deficit, which he promised to eliminate within eight years if elected. Under Mr. Trump’s watch, the federal budget deficit has risen rapidly as his tax cuts and increased spending necessitate more government borrowing.

Last year, the deficit topped $1 trillion for the first time since 2012, and it is projected to stay above that mark for several years. Even with a strong economy, the deficit has grown nearly four times as fast, on average, under Mr. Trump than it did under President Barack Obama.

Still, senior administration officials insisted that Mr. Trump was not seeking to make a new policy announcement. They also insisted that he was not making a significant break with anything he has said before. They described proposals he has made in previous budgets as efforts to grapple with the growing costs of social safety net programs without breaking his campaign pledge.

A Trump administration official familiar with planning for the upcoming the White House budget said that the president was not expected to announce any draconian cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid when the document is released next month.

However, Mr. Trump’s budget proposal could outline some of the administration’s plans for additional tax cuts. While those cuts have yet to be detailed, they would invariably add to the deficit unless they were offset with other spending cuts or tax increases. That fiscal reality could spur Republicans to renew calls for cutting entitlement programs, whose costs are estimated to grow as an aging population relies more on Social Security and Medicare.

Some Republicans argued that Mr. Trump was continuing with a longstanding practice of making vague but sometimes contradictory statements that allow people to select what they want to believe from what he has said.

But Democrats spied an opportunity to highlight the disparity between Mr. Trump’s messaging and what his government does.

Mr. Trump’s understanding that entitlement programs, particularly those for older Americans, are a political land mine was clear in 2016, when he broke with other candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination and promised unequivocally to protect Social Security.

“I will do everything within my power not to touch Social Security, to leave it the way it is,” Mr. Trump said during a March 2016 debate, adding that he would solve the problem of the program’s solvency by making the United States a wealthier country.

At the time, Mr. Trump was also blunt about the political realities of cutting safety net programs, noting that Democrats want to bolster Social Security benefits for retirees.

“And that’s what we’re up against,” he said. “And whether we like it or not, that is what we’re up against.”

Despite that promise, Mr. Trump has made several moves to chip away at America’s social safety net programs.

The Trump administration has already tried to cut food stamps, rental assistance for low-income housing, and Medicaid through efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, said Chye-Ching Huang, the director of federal fiscal policy at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The most recent White House budget proposed a $10 billion cut to the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which provides benefits to disabled workers.

“This is just the latest of many instances of the Trump administration making clear through statements, budgets, legislation and administrative actions that their basic policy goal is tax cuts for the well-off hand-in-hand with targeting critical programs, including those that support low- and moderate-income people,” Ms. Huang said.

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are projected to cost the government more than $30 trillion through 2029, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The combined annual outlays represent more than 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and threaten to weigh on long-term economic growth.

The programs themselves face a financial predicament. The cost of Social Security, the federal retirement program, will exceed its income in 2020 for the first time since 1982 and its reserve fund is projected to be depleted in 16 years, according to an annual government report released last year.

Medicare’s hospital insurance fund is projected to be depleted in 2026. At that time, doctors, hospitals and nursing homes will not receive their full compensation from the program and patients could face more of a financial burden.

Cutting entitlement programs, which are funded by workers through payroll taxes, has long been considered the “third rail” of American politics. Suggestions of trimming benefits or raising the retirement age to make programs more sustainable has been a nonstarter with older voters, who more reliably show up at the polls. In 1981, when President Ronald Reagan proposed a plan that would have reduced the benefits paid to early retirees, he was rebuffed by Congress and dealt a political blow. It took a bipartisan commission two years to agree to overhauls for the program.

Republican lawmakers who consider themselves fiscal conservatives have long wanted to restructure America’s safety net programs, but they have generally held their tongues under Mr. Trump. Last year, however, some lawmakers started to press the president to tackle the issue.

“We’ve brought it up with President Trump, who has talked about it being a second-term project,” Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, told The New York Times last year.

The need to find cuts could become more pressing if the administration tried to push through another tax cut.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that Mr. Trump had asked him to begin developing a plan for more middle-class tax cuts to further stimulate the economy.

“The president feels that we need to continue to incentivize the middle class,” Mr. Mnuchin said on CNBC. “That their taxes have been too high historically.”

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In trying to parse out the recent Virginia Gun rights demonstration, I have slogged through a mountain of information to come to this:

“Red flag law

Red flag law
In the United States, a red flag law is a gun control law that permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves. A judge makes the determination to issue the order based on statements and actions made by the gun owner in question. Refusal to comply with the order is punishable as a criminal offense. After a set time, the guns are returned to the person from whom they were seized unless another court hearing extends the period of confiscation.

Wikipedia”

Apparently gun advocate and gun-owners have extrapolated this law as a prelude to “gun grabbing”. The presence of hardware on the hips and in the arms of the demonstrators served no purpose other than an opportunity to show their hardware. As I see it the law applies to folks who have firearms and could harm others due to their diminished mental state whether permanent or temporary. It provides for the return of these firearms upon such time as there’s is no danger of these firearms being used in an unlawful manner. The only issue I have ever had with some firearm owners is the idea that any proposed firearm law is an attempt to grab their weapons. My opinion is: Rather than amass armed individuals for a demonstration against something that is largely misunderstood and the lack of participation in crafting what they (firearm owners) consider  correct legislation. Unfortunately the NRA has always been  involved in some of these misrepresentations for years as a way to keep and increase membership with little return on investment for many of its members. This is a clear example of  the”single issue” mentality which has swallowed up the country. All of these single issues are fomented by the numerous talking heads in the mainstream and online media. Remedy: Get the facts then form your opinion- using the available access to many forms of media one can easily determine facts which will allow for an informed opinion. For clarity: I am a firearm owner.

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“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observed, ‘Everybody can be great – because anybody can serve’

It is excruciating to see the Congress aka Government in the small hands of a unapologetic liar and conman. There was a time when the major parties worked for the good of the country and its (citizens (their bosses). No matter the political differences, the bottom line in most cases was the well being of the country and the residents of the United States no matter the Race, creed or color. We used to welcome immigrants who arrived here legally and many who did not. It is absolutely true that some citizens native born naturalized or illegal are bad actors and need to be watched, incarcerated or deported and that is the Normal way to handle it. What we have now is an administration and Congress that has allowed and advocated for some the worst actions on the citizens of all legalities or illegalities. All of this in the light of a Congress and administration that no longer functions as a unit that works for all of us. Some of us remember when what is happening now would have been an exception , not a rule and calmer heads would have mitigated the extremes to achieve a better outcome for us all. Now we truly have a “failure to communicate” and it is crushing the soul of our country. We as citizens have a duty to correct it through the power of the ballot. Carefully examine this “impeachment issue” and the actions of the participants then decide how many of them do you want to continue in office.

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The news cycle is revolving around the impeachment of the current President yet many are missing the real issue. The underlying issues are the failures of our elected legislators to do their due diligence by exerting their proper checks on the executive branch. While this impeachment is called political, it really is not or rather should not be. It is the duty of CONGRESS! to protect us (the voters) from any Commander In Chief who misuses his office (his office directly affects all of us). The sidestepping of duty for political or monetary gain is a crime no matter what party is n power and when the party becomes the main driver of legislation then the legislators need to be held accountable at the ballot box and in the courts if required. I have heard so many people espouse their support for the actions of this President with no real thought of the long-range and potentially long-lasting effects of his actions on ALL of us. Our opportunity is at hand where we can shed the “innocence” of cursory information and deep dive into the real world of truth. It is unfortunate that so many of us have become one-issue voters and we have allowed the rise of manipulative elected officials and news media whose sole objective is to sell their services and or enrich themselves on our unsuspecting backs. Our opportunity to correct this problem is at the ballot box but only if we educate ourselves in an open-minded fashion. Remember-the truth never changes-lies have to.

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One of the most popular daytime shows is Jerry Springer, this is a show where people are paid to come and air their dirty laundry in front of a live audience. This airing invariably results in two or more folks punching one another, pulling hair and ripping clothing. The audience is so caught up in this that they are encouraged to shout “jerry, jerry” until silenced by the showrunners. I have dubbed some Trumpers as Jerry People in that they are in the game for the entertainment, not the truth. No matter what you think you know, you don’t know the half of what is going on in this administration, aided and abetted by the Congress. All of the actions by TOTUS and his cohorts are geared to his (TOTUS) aggrandizement. The upside ( for his supporters) is “he doing what he said he would do”, the downside is the long-lasting harm done now and later due to these uninformed and self-serving actions. The tariffs were espoused as damaging for China and we (the USA) would be the winners, upon close examination that latter is a false claim. United States farmers and producers (especially metal importers) have borne the brunt of these tariffs and the retaliatory tariffs along with the drop in exports due to tariffs. Now that more facts are known about the “Ukraine” deal, it plain to see that TOTUS has no other objective beyond his own needs and wants. Each person can decide for themselves who they support but bear in mind what your support may bring if you do not vet the people you support to represent you. Too long in office may bring poor results no matter the party.

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Tariffs are good for us? MA

Jeff Cox 9 hrs ago
Though it’s not clear yet whether massive tariffs against French wine will take effect next month, Moore Brothers Wine Company isn’t taking any chances.
The retailer, which operates in New York, New Jersey and Delaware, ordered more than 35,000 cases of imported wine to be delivered by Feb. 1, just in case the White House follows through on its threat for tariffs that could be around 100% and levied on a host of other goods.
“It’s just really terrible,” said David Moore, a co-owner of the sprawling business. “But what we hope to do is make sure that we aren’t doubling prices overnight.”
Wine imports from the European Union already face 25% duties, but the U.S. Trade Representative’s office has floated the idea of hiking them to 100% as part of an ongoing battle over tariffs on Airbus airliners. The USTR did not respond to a request for comment.
Though the U.S. and China have worked out a phase-one deal of their respective tariff battle, the wine issue is just one of many unresolved trade issues around the world.
The Federal Reserve’s latest “Beige Book” update on economic conditions in the various districts around the country, released Wednesday, contained 17 references to tariffs. “In many Districts, tariffs and trade uncertainty continued to weigh on some businesses,” it says. The report specifically mentioned an unnamed retailer in the Philadelphia area that had loaded up on wine to fend off the potential dramatic increase in costs.
For Moore’s business, tariffs have a huge knock-on effect, from the vintners in the French countryside to the shipping industry to customers and employees.
“If the tariffs go into effect, it’s not just some little guy in France who’s not going to be able to sell his wines to the U.S.,” he said. “It’s going to put us out of business, and we have 35 employees. We’re not the only ones. There are going to be hundreds of distributors who are smaller.”
In all, Moore estimates that the tariffs could cost more than 100,000 jobs, though industry estimates have been smaller.
That’s why he’s bracing now for the impact.
“We hope it’s a year’s supply,” he said of the big order. “You don’t want to have a rosé that you sold last year for 20 bucks to be 40 bucks. You ain’t gonna sell that. The whole thing is just crazy. We await the return of the adults in the room.

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The tariff war has become (and was initially) a hit on farmers and manufacturing. How is it possible to put tariffs on goods coming in the country and those tariffs having no effect on the consumers? The exporters simply pass this on the importer who in turn tacks it on the selling price. The premise of hurting the supplier is a falsehood and is damaging to the economy as a whole. This is the real “trickle-down” much like touted tax reform which did nothing for folks on the middle to lower end of the income scale. The lifting of some tariffs will not repair the damage already done to the farming and manufacturing sectors, by extension the consuming public (us). What is affected by tariffs: Price of hard goods where some parts are manufactured out of the country, parts that are sent out of the country for manufacturing goods that then come back with tariffs tacked on for parts not made in the USA, is this a double tariff? Now that China is experiencing a pork crisis, will they maintain a 25% tariff on the US goods or lift it on some agricultural products for the good of their people? It is well to note that China reduced its purchases of agricultural products from the US under this Trade war. Will the administration lift tariffs on incoming goods that benefit consumers? These are questions that should have been considered before tweeting the decision to impose tariffs. If you are a concerned citizen no matter what your political focus is, you need to think carefully before voting as our Congress is as much at fault for the actions of miscreant administration. Good government is our right and we can only get it by our intelligent vote.

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A few of the many proven facts belying TOTUS’s veracity.MA

January 13, 2020, 10:24 AM CST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump made a striking claim Monday, insisting it was he who ensured that people with preexisting medical problems will always be covered by health insurance.
He wasn’t.
He also complained anew that Democrats didn’t allow him to send lawyers to the impeachment inquiry. The opposite is true: Democrats invited him to send lawyers to the inquiry and he said no.
HEALTH CARE
TRUMP: “I was the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare, you have it now, while at the same time winning the fight to rid you of the expensive, unfair and very unpopular Individual Mandate.” — tweet.
TRUMP: “I stand stronger than anyone in protecting your Healthcare with Pre-Existing Conditions. I am honored to have terminated the very unfair, costly and unpopular individual mandate for you!”
THE FACTS: People with preexisting medical problems have health insurance protections because of President Barack Obama’s health care law, which Trump is trying to dismantle.
One of Trump’s major alternatives to Obama’s law — short-term health insurance, already in place — doesn’t have to cover preexisting conditions. Another major alternative is association health plans, which are oriented to small businesses and sole proprietors and do cover preexisting conditions.
Neither of the two alternatives appears to have made much difference in the market.
Meanwhile, Trump’s administration has been pressing in court for full repeal of the Obama-era law, including provisions that protect people with preexisting conditions from health insurance discrimination.
With “Obamacare” still in place, preexisting conditions continue to be covered by regular individual health insurance plans.
Insurers must take all applicants, regardless of medical history, and charge the same standard premiums to healthy people and those who are in poor health, or have a history of medical problems.
Before the Affordable Care Act, any insurer could deny coverage — or charge more — to anyone with a preexisting condition who was seeking to buy an individual policy.
___
TRUMP: “…and, if Republicans win in court and take back the House of Represenatives (sic), your healthcare, that I have now brought to the best place in many years, will become the best ever, by far. I will always protect your Pre-Existing Conditions, the Dems will not!” — tweet.
THE FACTS: Trump and other Republicans say they’ll have a plan to preserve protections for people with preexisting conditions. The White House has provided no details.
___
IMPEACHMENT:
TRUMP: “’We demand fairness’ shouts Pelosi and the Do Nothing Democrats, yet the Dems in the House wouldn’t let us have 1 witness, no lawyers or even ask questions.” — tweet.
THE FACTS: Not true. The House Judiciary Committee, which produced the articles of impeachment, invited Trump or his legal team to come. He declined.
Absent White House representation, the hearings proceeded as things in Congress routinely do: Time is split between Democratic and Republican lawmakers to ask questions and engage in the debate. Lawyers for Democrats and Republicans on the committee presented the case for and against the impeachment articles and members questioned witnesses, among them an academic called forward by Republicans.
The first round of hearings was by the House Intelligence Committee and resembled the investigative phase of criminal cases, conducted without the participation of the subject of the investigation. Trump cried foul then at the lack of representation, then rejected representation when the next committee offered it.
His lawyers will participate in the Senate’s impeachment trial.
___
Associated Press writers Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.
___
EDITOR’S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures.
___
Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd
Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com

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The U.S. census is in progress after several (about 6) vital months of delay for a trial that should never have occurred. This delay sent the agency into a frenzied dash to hire and train people to do this important work. The delay put available people in contention with retailers gathering help for the holiday season. The census jobs are all temporary and last from 8 weeks to a year. The idea that they are temporary jobs turns some people off but the average pay rate is well above the minimum wage. It has now become a mad dash to move towards the actual work with the available people. This has created some issues that rival or mirror some cartoon characters’ actions. As with any operation, success depends on good or proper management and the right people doing the right job. Unfortunately, that is not happening locally.

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President “Bone Spurs” has again created a problem and is trying to correct it with another bad decision. This is more about taking the focus off of impeachment than an Iranian issue. His crew of miscreant “yessers” are seeking only to bolster support from his core supporters and to keep the “in Trump’s pocket” Senate on board. If you take the time to examine that voluminous statement by TOTUS during the Obama administration, you will find that TOTUS with the tacit “OK” from the Dupublicans is doing what he criticized the previous administration for doing or not doing. Apparently, TOTUS is still in the mindset that running a country is like running a company. His  “deal-making” as President is not even the same “ballpark” as negotiating with foreign countries. When the smoke clears I am hoping that folks who voted for TOTUS understand the damage he has done to the country as a whole and the coincidental damage done to our long-time allies. It is all well and good to have a separate opinion of TOTUS and his dealings but we should look at the long-range effect his off the cuff policies and actions will have for a long time to come. I have heard from some folks who voted for TOTUS, that “he has done what he said he would do” even if it’s wrong and harmful to us all. Within the administration, there is a definitive “failure to communicate” as evidenced by the differing statements by the Defense Secretary regarding the drone strike on Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani. In my considered opinion “Bone Spurs” has no stomach for war but can voice poorly conceived opinions and ideas that are supported by his staff of administrative “Yessers” and a neer-do-well Congress.

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