Showing posts with label social security. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social security. Show all posts

Friday, July 16, 2021


I've got questions... E.g., how do you make a silk purse out of sows ear?

Image by Karl Allen Lugmayer from Pixabay

This is: A weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids and my great-grandkids — the Stickies — to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — A Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. Viewing with a tablet or a monitor is highly recommended for maximum enjoyment.  

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer." -Will Rogers

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

They're baaack, but they're not earmarks anymore. Nowadays, a given representative of the people can propose spending other people's money on Community Project Funding. 

The brief era of no pork (theoretically) permitted is over. The Associated Press (AP) put together an informative story a while back that you may have missed; the title of the piece is a question.

Answer: Anyone whose delegate to the Swamp can get an earmark inserted into a bill that becomes law. 

According to the article, about a hundred Republicrats, and one, lone unnamed Depublican, "have declined to participate" in the latest update to the ever-popular, long-lived game show Sausage Making, Log Rolling, and Ear Marking.

However, as the article points out, only about $14,000,000,000 will be spent on Community Project Funding this year, a mere rounding error in Swampton, D.C. A small price to pay for a potential win/win again scenario. 

Any given Citizen of the Republic whose Swamp Delegate is on the ball might be the winner of the equivalent of a, um... 

{Fedrl scratch-off ticket?} 

Perfect, Dana! Odds are you won't be but ya gotta play to win, right? Regardless, your Swamp Delegate will have to keep their log rolling and sausage-making chops sharp. You win again! If he/she/they leaves money on the table some other S.D. will pick it up. 

Question: Why do men have nipples?

And why can't the experts who never tire of telling us that no one should start collecting Sorta/Kinda Social Security till they are 70 use their powers for good?

Dr. Malcolm McGillicuddy, 79, head of the economics department of Bonkercockie University,


Who collects a second paycheck for advising the Board of regents on managing the schools HOOGE, honkin', tax-free endowment that's larger than the economy of several developing countries, 


Who oversees a small army of postdoc wage slaves that do most of the actual work in his department, speaks:

"As everyone knows by now, Sorta/Kinda Social Security is running low on Congressional IOUs. Soon we will have to raise taxes, or cut benefits, or both. Raising the minimum retirement age to 70 would be an immense help.

People are living and working longer than ever before. Also, I must note that voluntarily waiting till age 70 generates a significantly larger benefit check. Sure, blue-collar jobs lasting for 50 years or more can cause health problems, such as death, but that's why people need to learn to code. 

If something isn't done soon, we could be forced to adopt a system in which Social Security taxes are invested in a transparent sovereign wealth fund of some sort wherein fund managers of The Fedrl Gummit would be forced to perform well or fall on their swords like in the real world.  

Deplorables of all stripes would know how much real money was in their retirement accounts and could add to it whenever they enjoy a cash windfall, like when they hit on a lottery ticket for example. 

Granted this would be real Social Security but might lead to layoffs of gummit employees and deny Congress (defined pension plan) the ability to pretend to be worried about our current I.O.U funded Ponzi scheme when they're running for reelection, 24x7x365, because the longer they "serve" the better fed their pensions will be and/or the greater the chance they can pick up a lobbying gig once they're out of office. 

{Too impractical, could never be done.}

Singapore doesn't think so, Dana, as is simply and clearly explained in this article. "...this is an alternative to the welfare state that works."

Answer: You'd think there'd be a thousand jokes in which this question was the set-up, funny answer to follow. I once asked a doctor, in a social setting, and he/she/they laughed so perhaps the set-up is the punch line.

Question: Where are surplus belly buttons stored for safekeeping?  

And given that "Black Lives Matter stands in solidarity with Palestinians" and is "...a movement committed to ending settler colonialism in all forms and will continue to advocate for Palestinian liberation."

Do they have any thoughts on the rape of Tibet by the Chinese? 

Or for that matter, the Chinese crushing civil rights in Hong Kong?

Or for that matter, the Chinese enslaving a million Uyghurs to make sneakers?

{Well at least the Uyghurs are learning a skill.}

Would they care to explain their support for Cuba's dicktater?

Answer: The Navel Reserve. 

Addendum: On a related note
The Princes of the Senate also enjoy making sausage with other people's money. 

How do we protect our economy from the ethically challenged Chinese — who believe that all's fair in love, war, and becoming the world's largest, most powerful economy — without screwing up our free market?

The Princes, preferring meat cleavers to scalpels, passed a $250,000,000,000, 1,500-page bill, the Innovation and Competitiveness Act, which is a collection of smaller, individual bills. It includes, among many other things, $81,000,000,000 for the National Science Foundation (NSF) so they can spend more money on basic research.

Sounds good till ya discover that the bill creates a Chief Diversity Office and Chief Diversity Officer (the CDOO?) at the NSF (which sounds like a jobs program for Wokies with useless degrees that are tough to monetize) to make sure the sausage is distributed "equitably."

The House, not to be outdone, has passed a pair of similar bills, so some sort of compromise needs to be hashed out. No actual sausage produced yet, stay tuned. In other news, supply problems (e.g., chip shortages) continue to depress American-made car sales...

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Saturday, June 8, 2019


If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my (eventual) grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who don't, yet) -- the Stickies -- to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

[Blogaramians: Blogarama renders the links in my columns useless. Please click on View Original to solve this problem and access lotsa columns.]


                                  Just Who IS This Guy?

Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars 
Dana -- A Gentlereader
Iggy -- A Sticky (GT*)
Marie-Louise -- My Muse (GT*)

"To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offense." -Ambrose Bierce

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

I apologize on behalf of my entire generation, the Baby Boomers, to our future fellow Americans. Although not officially authorized to speak on behalf of my entire generation, I'm going to do it anyway.

After all, in an era in which even so-called traditional, mainstream news outlets (an increasingly murky concept I admit) feel free to publish/broadcast unverifiable content -- based on an occasionally reliable source identified as not authorized to speak because _______, and that likely as not proves to be incorrect -- why not?

I'm sorry, we spent all the money. Not only that, we're now living off of your credit card.

I'm not talking about the money or assets that some of us may intend to leave behind for some of you. But fair warning, you can't count on that.

Medical science is keeping people alive, on average, far longer than ever before. A given Boomer may use up all their money to slake their Starbucks addiction and/or to keep eating organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, sugar-free, etcetery, this, that, and that other thing by the time they're recycled.


The ever-spiraling cost of health care might claim it all and then some.


Medicare and Social Security, which many of us desperately need and aren't about to give up, are Ponzi schemes in trouble. This is partially the fault of the Millenials and whatever they're calling the ones after that this week. They aren't making enough babies to keep the hustle going.


In my experience, people my age (and even older) are prone to maintaining just enough life insurance to cover our "final expenses" and maybe a little more to cover the cost of a wake.


Even term insurance gets breathtakingly expensive if you hang around long enough.


There's no shortage of firms willing to buy a given geezer's whole life policy who are running no shortage of commercials to get the word out.

Cash-out now and see Tahiti before you wake up dead! Or imagine being able to afford all your medical needs! No more taking your scripts every other day! 

But like I said, that's not what I want to talk about; that's not what I want to apologize for.

The crushing and ever-expanding national debt and a plethora of unfulfillable financial promises, that's what I want to apologize for.

Granted, it's hardly all our fault. Let's look at unfulfillable financial promise number one, Social Security. Social Security is an 83-year-old program that's been around since before the first Boomer (1946) was born. Social Security is a welfare program. Always has been. I'm not complaining or about to give up my distressingly humble little piece of the pie. Without it, I'd be living in a tent.

[All right, let me be honest, without it and its first cousin, Medicare, I might not be living at all.]

However, when it was set up, living long enough to collect it was much more chancy than it is now. The Gummit set up a Bernie Madoff sort of system. Why invest the money in something real and when there would always be plenty of new taxpayers to fund the needs of the retired?

Till there ain't.

In the meantime, The Gummit was provided with a steady stream of money that they used/use for all sorts of things besides mailing out checks. But it wrote itself IOUs and promised to pay itself back, with interest! to itself -- to be paid by, itself (you).

And now...

The Gummit says there's a problem. The Social Security trust fund, which consists of IOUs, is running out of money. In reality, what this means is that there are not enough new marks taxpayers in the pipeline to pay for the old marks taxpayers.

My clearly stated mission is to provide enlightened infotainment via the wit and wisdom of a garrulous geezer. The use of the word wit, to me at least (some of you may find this puzzling), is indicative of a commitment on my part to make you smile.

Therefore, I hesitate to link to the best article I've ever read about not only what's up with Social Security but also the plethora of unfulfillable promises mentioned above. It's not particularly amusing.

My generation has been in charge for a while now, and my generation has known about this problem for a while now, and so far, hasn't done a damn thing.

Hopefully, it will all work out somehow. If it doesn't, I hope I don't live long enough to say I told you so (and ask if there's room for me under that overpass you call home).

When I'm king, I'll phase in a system like the one Singapore uses. They came up with an affordable, well run, social security system wherein their citizens, not bureauons, decide how their money is spent that provides real social security, for everyone, cradle to grave.

Their healthcare system makes ours look sick. Poppa loves you.

Have an OK day. 
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