Saturday, August 28, 2010

The President's Weekly Address: The End of Combat Operations in Iraq

From the White House blog:

With the end of combat operations in Iraq days ahead, the President salutes our troops for their service and pledges to fulfill America’s commitment to them as veterans. 90,000 troops have left Iraq since the President came into office, and by the end of next year even the troops taking part in the non-combat mission will be home. The administration is upholding the sacred trust with our veterans by building a 21st century VA, making it easier for veterans with PTSD to receive the benefits they need, funding and implementing a Post-9/11 GI Bill, and devoting new resources to job training and placement to help those veterans looking for work in a tough economy.

Join the President, Dr. Jill Biden, and even Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints in saluting our troops for their service.

Since I deal with the VA system quite a bit through my dad, my uncle and others, I can attest to the fact things are going smoother than they were. Payments are being made faster, and it seems the care is getting better.

We see more and more, caring doctors and nurses, rather than someone who is just putting in their time until they go home... and trust me it used to be just that way.

We owe these veterans everything. No matter how we feel about the wars, no matter that we supported it or not, we OWE our veterans. They are doing the job most of us couldn't and wouldn't do. They and their families deserve must more than we could ever repay.

This is one of those times, when it is difficult, I know to separate the warriors from the war... it is always hard to do that... but we must. We must remember our military every day. As I said they are doing a job a lot of us wouldn't or couldn't do. And they are doing it for each of us.

Please take a moment and thank a veteran, a military person, or the family of them, for their sacrifice, their service and their unselfish giving of their lives, or a portion of it for each of us. Because of them, we can criticize the wars, we can do lots of things people in other countries can't... because of our freedoms and the veterans who have fought, bled and died to preserve.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The President's Weekly Address: No Corporate Takeover of Our Democracy

From the White House blog:

The President calls out Republicans for blocking campaign finance reforms that would address the Supreme Court decision opening the floodgates of corporate money into elections.

This is something we should all be concerned about. This corporate takeover of the elections and our Democracy. With the Citizen's United case it has opened the floodgates of money to elections and to special interest groups and allows them to donate without disclosing names or individuals who have given.

We have had enough problems with elections in this country. Now we have to worry that the one with the biggest pocket, not necessarily the best person for the job, will be winning.

It reminds me of the old days, when people bought votes, dead people were voting and the like. We can't allow this to happen. We shouldn't allow this to happen.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The President's Weekly Address: Honoring Social Security, Not Privatizing It

From the White House blog:

On the 75th anniversary of Social Security, President Obama promises to protect it from Republican leaders in Congress who have made privatization a key part of their agenda. He makes clear that, especially in light of the financial crisis, gambling Social Security on Wall Street makes no sense.

As I am sure we all do, I have many friends and family who lost a bundle of money when the market crashed in September 2008. It is still not stable enough to plan on keeping anything in it as far as I am concerned.

Just a few weeks back, it fell again and this week has been down a lot. Can you imagine what that would do to our Social Security. Most people don't have enough to live on in the first place.... To have lost 50% or more would be enough to send the majority of people to the bread lines we still fear we are going to see.

I hope this Congress doesn't even think seriously about this. I believe they would sorely test the President and we would see him angry and adamant in a veto.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Report by CBO Shows The Recovery Act Reduced the Deficit

I found the link to this report on and had to share the report and some of the information with you.

This report was written by Economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi and published by the CBO. This chart shows what the deficit would be without the Recovery Act and how it is WITH the Recovery Act.

From the Wonk Room at Think Progress comes this:

Their conclusion is that had the combined financial and fiscal policies not been enacted, “GDP in 2010 would be about 6.5 percent lower, payroll employment would be less by some 8.5 million jobs, and the nation would be experiencing deflation.”

Blinder and Zandi break out their estimates separately for the financial policies and the fiscal policies. They estimate that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and other fiscal policies have saved or created 2.7 million jobs and without them, unemployment would stand at 11 percent and job losses would have totaled 10 million. On top of this, they estimate that if nothing had been done to address the financial crisis — no Troubled Asset Relief Program, no bailout of American International Group Inc, and no investment in the auto industry — our economy would have 5 million fewer jobs than we do today and unemployment would be sharply higher, at 12.5 percent.

However, one tidbit in the report that has received little notice is that by acting, Congress actually reduced our potential deficit problem. Given the policy steps taken, Blinder and Zandi estimate that by the end of the 2010 fiscal year, the federal budget deficit will be $1.4 trillion and it will fall to $1.15 trillion in fiscal year 2011 and $900 billion in fiscal year 2012.

The bolding is mine... because I wanted to make sure you saw it. For some reason all these so called Deficit Hawks are ignoring this in their reports and talking. Here is more:

However, had Congress done nothing, the deficit would have ballooned even higher, hitting over $2 trillion by the end of the 2010 fiscal year, $2.6 trillion in fiscal year 2011, and $2.25 trillion in fiscal year 2012. That’s right, doing nothing would have meant that the 2012 federal budget deficit would likely be over 2.5 times as large as taking the steps we took.

Once again bolding is mine. This is something we should be shouting from the rooftops and lording over the GOPers who are claiming now to want to reduce the deficit. A deficit that is largely due to their policies and the spending that went on during the years of 2001 and 2006 especially and to a smaller extent from 2006 to 2008.

Here is a nifty little chart that shows all the spending and how it is divided by category

As is shown by this chart the Bush Tax Cuts and the downturn of the economy added much more to the deficit than anything President Obama and the current Congress has done.

If you want to read the entire article from the Wonk Room, just give it a click.

We need to get this out and let people know the TRUTH about what is going on with the Finances of our Country. I have not seen this on any media outlet and I know it will never get much play if any on Faux Noise, because it tells the truth.

I hope you read the report and post these charts so everyone can see them... Please feel free to take anything you want... Linky love if you can, but is not necessary. I just want everyone, including some of the RWNJ's out there to see these and try to explain how the GOPers are going to fix this.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The President's Weekly Address: Medicare Officially Safer After Health Reform

From the White House blog:

The President discusses a new Medicare Trustees report showing Medicare to be on much stronger footing as a result of the reforms in the Affordable Care Act. In addition, seniors are also already getting help with prescription drug costs when they fall into the infamous “donut hole.”

The President lays out the reforms in Medicare and shows how much the new Health Care Reform has helped already.

For me personally, this is all good news. Helping us with the Donut Hole is wonderful. This is a terrible problem for seniors who are on high cost meds. I have one I take that costs almost $2,000 a month. Yes it is crazy, but that's what we all face. Anyone who takes medicine on a daily basis faces these costs.

The saving grace in all this is our prescription drug coverage, however when Medicare D was enacted instead of trying to get lower priced drugs, the provision put in this Donut Hole. Once an individual reaches $2700 in prescription costs, until they pay out of their pocket $6,154 they are responsible for the entire cost of their meds. As you can see it doesn't take long to get there.

After the $6,154 the Medicare D coverage starts again and pays 95% of the costs. Now some supplemental plans or Medicare Advantage plans do help out with this. But even with that, I reach the Hole every year and have to pay more for my meds for several months.

I am glad this is one of the steps that was taken in the Health Care Reform. These are the little things some people think was not needed, but trust me, if you are on Medicare and you hit that hole, this is huge.

Just the fact that so far the reforms has helped Medicare's solvency is wonderful. Wonder how the GOBP will spin this.... Since according to them it was going to harm the plan so much. Of course if they do what they usually do, they will just ignore it. They never talk about the things they predict which never happen. Those are ignored and hopefully forgotten.

We should point this out over and over again, how wrong they were and if given the chance, ask them about it. If we don't start challenging some of their outlandish claims and reminding them of the lies they told, they are going to get away with it again and again, but if we start holding them accountable, maybe someone will take notice.

Those are my thoughts anyway... What are yours?