"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chutzpah, Squared

I've had a hell of a week -- flu, dental work, and for a grand finale, I threw my back out -- but this story deserves some notice.

Some Very Serious Recommendations from the Parasite Class. From CNBC:

Executives of the Business Roundtable are urging Congress to raise the Social Security and Medicare age eligibility to 70, from the current 67, and to adopt means testing for wealthier retirees, in order to keep the entitlement programs solvent longer-term.

"When you look long-term at the U.S. fiscal health, you have to look at these questions," said Business Roundtable President John Engler during a meeting with reporters in Washington Tuesday.

The idea is not likely to be popular. The Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction committee saw opposition when it suggested lifting the retirement age to 69. The Roundtable executives argue that raising the level gradually for those less than 55 years of age now will provide substantial long-term savings to the entitlement programs, while still giving Americans time to adjust to the new requirements.

"It's the power of compound savings here," said Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T, and vice chair of the group's health and retirement committee. "If you start to save now, it really adds up."

Stephenson's pay last year was roughly $22 million. I can't see him hurting for retirement income.

And this bit really pissed me off:

The CEOs said they are looking at pragmatic options which provide a long-term solution to the unsustainable growth of entitlement spending.

That is pure, unadulterated horse-pucky. First off, Social Security and Medicare are not "entitlements" -- they are earned benefits. They're insurance programs, and I can see where these bozos are trying to model them on private insurance companies, which are possibly the biggest legal racket in the country. (The only thing I can think of that's more blatant is military spending.) It's like the health insurance industry -- you get sick, they cancel your policy.

There are a couple of realistic "fixes" on this. For Social Security, it's probably too simple for the 1% Club to fathom: lift the cap on the payroll tax. Ta-Dah! Solvency for at least the rest of the century, and probably beyond.

And here's my Congresswoman, Jan Schakowsky, with a fix for runaway health-care costs:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The really depressing thing about this is that the parasites from the Business Roundtable will be lobbying Congress, and the members of Congress will listen to them, rather than tossing them out on their asses.

I guess you get what you pay for.

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