Shutdown? Who Cares?

01Oct13
One of the 47% that pays no tax?

One of the 47% that pays no tax?

“The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, could shut down. The program provides supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education for pregnant women, mothers and their children…senior nutrition grants, which provides meals for 2.5 million elderly Americans, would not be funded in the event of a shutdown.”
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/09/29/20745618-a-government-shutdown-what-could-it-look-like?lite

Sadly, this is only the first in a series of self-made crises that are about to occur.

Congressional Action

Congressional Action

There is still the Debt Limit “debate” and the expiration of whatever short term continuing resolution Congress comes up with. Both of these are basic operational government issues. Neither have anything at all to do with policy or ideology. To be clear, both of these issues are Congress’s acceptance of what it has already authorized. No new spending bills are up for any sort of discussion.

So why are we here? Well, there is the Hastert Rule (the Speaker of the House will not put any bill on the floor without the certainty of a majority of votes from his own party), Senate filibusters that require no actual filibuster and, of course, the inability of Tea Party officials to accept anything from Barack Obama even if they agree with it. We should also remember that these very same Tea Party members also do not accept Social Security, Medicare, The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Roe v. Wade, climate change or evolution. Should we be surprised that they think shutting the government down and starving babies and senior citizens is a good idea?

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66 Responses to “Shutdown? Who Cares?”

  1. 1 jezebel282

    I would recommend contacting your Representative or Senator, but thank goodness we have been smart enough not to elect any Republicans.

  2. 2 nedsmithy

    “smart enough”
    Really!

  3. 3 jezebel282

    Readers may wonder why I had chosen to post a topic about a national issue rather than a strictly local one. After all, it doesn’t really affect Stratford does it? The answer is that it does. Immensely. Oh, not the partial shutdown of this week (unless you receive a federal paycheck). Of course anytime the largest employer in the U.S. lays off 800,000 employees it doesn’t do the economy much good. No, what will affect each and every one of us is the deadline that will occur on 17 October. That’s when the U.S. stops making its payments on its loans.

    The green papers in your wallet that are marked 1, 5, 10 and 20 are based upon the full faith and credit of the United States. They are essentially promissory notes. They will have less value on 18 Oct.

    I note that David Fuller, a local Republican Town Committee member, would like us to blame most of the Democrats for this crises. Well at least, according to his post elsewhere, 2/3 of the blame. This is ludicrous. There is literally nothing to negotiate that hasn’t been negotiated during the creation of the Affordable Care Act, 2 presidential elections, 40 (or is it 41 or 42?) attempts to repeal it and a lawsuit brought and adjudicated at the U.S. Supreme Court. Negotiate what?

    And herein lies the problem. Our government has been partially shut down, our economy will inevitably suffer needlessly, more Americans have lost income and soon our investments will be worth less (depending on that 401K are you?), our interest rates will be higher (car loans, mortgages, student loans, credit cards), there will be even less jobs available and more people looking for them, and the amount of capital available will be reduced.

    Instead of talking about this self-made catastrophe what are we talking about? The Affordable Health Care Act that was passed and signed into law three years ago and started accepting new members yesterday. But because people like Ted Cruz, Louie Gohmert, Steve King, Marsha Blackburn and Michelle Bachmann believe it is our constitutional right to get sick and die we are forced to have this discussion again. And they are willing to burn down the country to have it.

  4. 4 jezebel282

    Update:

    And now it gets really local:

    October 2, 2013
    United Technologies Announces Government Shutdown Impact

    HARTFORD, Conn. – If the U.S. Government shutdown continues, United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) aerospace businesses will be forced to furlough thousands of workers due to the absence of Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) inspectors who audit and approve operations throughout the manufacturing process for military products. Without the required DCMA inspectors, who were deemed non-essential federal employees, certain defense manufacturing work must be halted, which will result in employee furloughs.
    United Technologies’ Sikorsky Aircraft, which produces the BLACK HAWK helicopter, will be impacted immediately, with nearly 2,000 Sikorsky workers expected to be placed on furlough Monday, Oct. 7. This includes employees at Sikorsky facilities in Stratford, Connecticut; West Palm Beach, Florida; and Troy, Alabama.
    If the shutdown continues through next week, UTC’s Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems units would also be affected, and company-wide furloughs are expected to double to include 4,000 workers. This number could exceed 5,000 employees if the government shutdown continues into next month.
    http://www.utc.com/News/Archive/2013/United+Technologies+Announces+Government+Shutdown+Impact

  5. 5 appalledandamused

    The day Dave Fuller decides which party he belongs to and sticks with it is the day we might begin to take him seriously. Opportunistic flipflopping aside, the Congress has now FINALLY passed a bill to re-open the government after the Republican tantrum cost taxpayers $24 billion and lost 900,000 jobs for reneging on what is their JOB to take care of without histrionic hijinks and political brinksmanship. Frankly, we should charge every one of those jerks who voted to continue defaulting on our debts and screwing over the American people with treason.

  6. 6 jezebel282

    If it didn’t hurt so many people and cost us so much lost productivity and money, I would say this was the inevitable psychotic episode of the radical Tea Party lunatics.

    Let us hope that someone increases their dosage of Haldol and this never happens again.

  7. 7 jezebel282

    By the way, the next Tea Party psychotic episode will be “entitlements”. Social Security already has a GOP target on its back. Their plan is to “privatize” it, generating a huge profit for Wall Street.

    Now, as we all know, if you make $45k a year you will pay SS tax on every penny of it. So too if you make $75K a year. But if you make anything over $113K a year you will not pay a single penny of SS tax on any dollar over that. For example if you are, say, a school superintendent making $210K a year, $97,000 of that will not be subject to SS tax. If you make $1 million a year, $887,000 of that cost you no SS tax.

    Wanna make Social Security solvent? I’ve got an idea……

    (Oh, and if you get unemployment compensation you pay SS tax on that. Psychotic, huh?)

  8. 8 nedsmithy

    Why not just redistribute the wealth and all will be set in Camelot?

  9. 9 jezebel282

    Ned,

    I agree completely with you. I think the current redistribution of wealth from the poor to the wealthy is disgusting.

    Perhaps you can explain why the dollars over $113K are sacred?

  10. 10 nedsmithy

    First and foremost let me make it clear that I do not support your Social Security, Medicare & “Entitlement” Ponzi Schemes.I am not a Socialist. I want to be able to invest my monies where I choose. If you choose to give your wealth to the masses, then I support you in your choice. I choose not to, and take offense that you have the government reach in my pocket to support your beliefs. Yes, I do believe that every dollar that one “earns” is sacred.

    Your mileage may vary. So be it.

  11. 11 jezebel282

    Mileage may vary but we all use the same roads. Perhaps we should have tolls on every road so that only those who have enough money can drive on them? That seems to be your preferred method. After all, they will have “earned” it.

    “Social Security, Medicare & “Entitlement” Ponzi Schemes”
    As opposed to what? Goldman Sachs or BOA taking our money to the casino? Or health insurance companies that answer only to shareholders instead of policy holders (to better their price in the casino)? Unless you are a daytrader with some pretty sophisticated algorithms and lots and lots of bandwidth, you are pretty much like krill to the whales on Wall Street. Is that really where our future retirement should be? All 401k’s, Keogh’s and IRA’s are subject to restrictions that make them guaranteed to fail in a down market. The bet is always on the black, never on the red.

    But you have failed to answer the first question. Why is it that anything under $113K/year is subject to SS tax while anything over that is not?

  12. 12 nedsmithy

    Oh my Dearest, I did reply to your “Straw Man”.

    (Yes, I do believe that every dollar that one “earns” is sacred.)

    NOT just the dollars over $113K!

    The ONLY way your Socialist Plan can work is on the backs of those that choose to work for a living. Truly the end to our Republic is when the “Entitled” realize that they can write themselves a check. I prefer to be the one that signs the front of the check and not the rear.

    Jez:
    “Mileage may vary but we all use the same roads. Perhaps we should have tolls on every road so that only those who have enough money can drive on them? That seems to be your preferred method. After all, they will have “earned” it. ”

    WOW! Neat idea, one pays their own way and doesn’t have the person behind them pay the toll.

    Sounds like a plan to me! Seems to be working for Commercial Truckers?

    Why are Socialists so afraid of free thinkers and self supporters? Have any of them gone to the government to force Socialists to fund their lives? Most, if not all, simply want to be left alone and to their own devices to feed and care for their families.

  13. 13 jezebel282

    “Have any of them gone to the government to force Socialists to fund their lives?”

    Seriously? Are you kidding? You have never depended on the government for a single thing?

  14. 14 nedsmithy

    I would guess the operative word in your question would be “depended”?

    Yes, from 1959 to late 1963 I depended on my government (United States Air Force) to provide me with a paycheck.

    I have never applied for unemployment, even when eligible.

    Have been self employed for the vast majority of my life. Having said that, my government “depended on me” to pay into your SS ponzi scheme for all my employees. I also personally was forced to pay into the SS scheme BUT at twice the rate of my employees. I also was forced to pay into the Medicare scheme & continue to do so even in retirement. They also required me to pay into the workmens compensation ponzi scheme & any other number of fees and licensing schemes they could come up with.

    As to health insurance, if our state governments would open their borders to all carriers, the end user would have a vast choice of insurance carriers at a greatly reduced monthly cost, due to simple competition in an open market place! I do use Medicare ONLY for the reason that Blue Cross / Blue Shield, and almost every carrier requires you to make Medicare primary and the carrier secondary. I can see their point of view, in that it is an insurance plan that has & continues to be paid for by the insured.

    If I had been allowed by government, I would have much rather paid into a private single payer provider and kept my government out of the business! The government is not able to make a profit, they simply take & print money

  15. 15 jezebel282

    Whew! Well I’m certainly relieved that you didn’t depend on any sort of public education, scientific research, safe food, court systems that ensure your property couldn’t be seized by just anyone who wanted it, all those interstates and bridges you never used, air traffic controllers for planes you didn’t fly on, veterans loans or FHA loans you never applied for, the cleaner air you didn’t breathe, tainted food you didn’t eat, lifesaving and effective medicines you didn’t take, or the satellites for the GPS you don’t have or, oh yeah…the Internet.

    It’s a country, you know. It is not a free for all MMA event. I agree that to a business owner (yes, I have owned two of them and have paid the fees and followed the regulations you did) a government (pick any: Local, State or Federal) seems to just get in the way and take profits. But I have found that the majority of regulations exist because someone took unfair advantage at some point.

    As for the “sell insurance across state lines” routine, here’s my problem with that. Each State sets minimum standards of coverage. If an insurance company would follow each states guidelines I have no problem at all with that idea. BUT I remember when credit cards were regulated by the usury laws in the State in which the cardholder lived. The Court decided that the regulations should henceforth apply to whatever State the issuer had “headquarters” in. Voila! The only two states card issuers had headquarters were South Dakota and Maryland. No usury laws there. Miss a payment and you get to pay 29.99% interest rates. Loansharks in New York were jealous.

    We don’t need to blow up government. What we need and are entitled to is a better government. Which is why I keep typing here.

  16. 16 nedsmithy

    Most, not all, of what you have listed is what you “city folk” need to exist. My family raised most of our food and lived of the land. I can skin a Buck, I can skin / tan beaver, milk a cow, kill & butcher my own meat, along with everything else that a “good ole Maine farm boy” can do. So for the most part I can live rather well without most of the things you have to depend on.

    You have a great winter now, I’ll be here in Florida until early summer. You just gotta love the stock market , bonds, IRA’s & 401’s!!!!!

    Florida, home of Stand Your Ground & Gun Shows every weekend! Love it!

    Oh, by the way. Didn’t Al Gore invent the Internet?????????????? 😉

    Sleep tight.

  17. 17 nedsmithy

    For the curious, “Absentee Ballot”! Just takes a little planning.

  18. 18 jezebel282

    “Florida, home of Stand Your Ground & Gun Shows every weekend! Love it!”
    LOL! Of course you do.
    Hey, is it true that everyone in Florida drives at 10 mph with their left blinker on?

    “You just gotta love the stock market , bonds, IRA’s & 401′s!!!!!”
    I think you are right about bonds. But the rules are rigged for equities.

    “what you “city folk” need to exist”
    I suppose us “city folk” have become somewhat dependent upon those whole electricity and indoor plumbing concepts. Especially those of us in our 80’s and 90’s who want home oxygen, medications and heat and didn’t have enough foresight to have lots of children or avoid that slippery spot in the kitchen which resulted in a broken hip. $6,000+/month for an extended care facility certainly drains that 401K pretty fast.

    It’s sort of a military concept. The convoy only moves at the rate of the slowest boat. Or perhaps the Marine custom of not leaving the wounded behind.

  19. 19 nedsmithy

    Jez:

    Hey, is it true that everyone in Florida drives at 10 mph with their left blinker on?

    That is the identifying characteristic of the well known “Snow Bird”, with migratory season from about Dec. 1st thru April 1st! 🙂

  20. 20 jezebel282

    Update:

    With so many GOP anecdotes of “bad” healthcare and “train wrecks” I actually have one of my own.

    I recently sat down with a self-employed friend who told me he was paying $900+/month for health insurance with a $6,000 deductible for a family of four. I asked him if he had looked at the Exchange to see what’s available. It did not surprise me at all that he had no idea about any exchange.

    So we sat a a computer and I brought him to https://www.accesshealthct.com/AHCT/LandingPageCTHIX within 5 minutes he found a Gold plan with a $2,000 deductible and a bunch of no-cost preventive care options for less than $350/month for his whole family.

    “But I have (insert name of condition) and (Insert name of condition)”. So what? They don’t ask anymore and you can’t be denied. “Since when?” Since three years ago. My advice to him was to get the better plan and to use some of the $600/month he will save and buy Obama a Christmas card.

  21. 21 mikereynolds

    How did that person not know about this? I mean, read a newspaper, watch TV news. I’m glad it worked out for them.

    I know a small business owner in Stratford that paid for a plan that covered him, his wife, and two kids. It covered what they needed included a long term illness for one of his children. He got his notice in the mail last month telling him his affordable insurance plan doesn’t exist. Please fork over twice as much for a new plan.

    How is that fair? What happened to, “If you like your plan you can keep it”?

  22. 22 jezebel282

    I’m guessing that all he heard was that Obamacare was bad and had no clue what the Affordable Care Act or the health insurance exchanges were.

    “How is that fair? ”

    I dunno. I have no idea how much his old plan cost, what was (or wasn’t) covered or what a new plan on the Exchange would cost him. Everyone is different. If he just takes his old insurance company’s word for it, he’s making a huge mistake. He’s should spend 5 minutes on the site (which works in CT) and find out. Lemme know how he does.

  23. 23 appalledandamused

    Mike, your friend got the notice because, in spite of what he’s telling you, his insurance is junk and was no doubt hitting it’s term limit anyway. What these insurance companies are doing is something they ALWAYS have done – only now they have Obamacare to blame….wrongly, of course. I will bet you that your friend’s insurance had a number of caveats that would’ve put him in the poorhouse if he had a medical incident.

    And the insurance company is no doubt telling him to “fork over more” instead of doing what they are supposed to do and offer either their “more expensive plan” OR tell him to go on the exchange to find one that works better for less. That’s the thing — the insurance industry is purposely panicking that group of under-insured, even as they are getting MORE clients due to Obamacare. It’s an evil, undermining, scheming heartless tactic — and yet the low-information public blames Obamacare instead. For crying out loud, why does no one look at the greedy insurance industry for ONCE??

    Tell your friend he’s being sold a bill of goods by his insurance company and to reach out to the exchanges.

  24. 24 jezebel282

    Appalled,

    “why does no one look at the greedy insurance industry for ONCE??”

    I think they did. That’s why we have the ACA which is a start. In the bad old days, you were kicked off your parents policy when you turned 18 (or 22 if you were a full-time student), you could be denied coverage for almost anything, if you left your job and were not covered for 15 minutes you could be denied, you had to pay exorbitant COBRA payments just to keep what you had, you had to fill out page after page of your medical history and individual coverage was almost as much as your mortgage payment. Heaven help you if you actually got sick or were in an accident. Oh, and premiums were increasing at astonishing rates while corporate insurance profits were at record levels.

    Everyone in the GOP and Tea Party complains mightily about Obamacare but no one, not one, thinks that returning to the bad old days is a good idea.

  25. 25 appalledandamused

    I just heard that this website is the fix for healthcare.gov: http://www.thehealthsherpa.com

    ….and will simply and effectively guide your way. Check it out and pass along!

  26. 26 jezebel282

    Appalled,

    “Check it out and pass along!”

    You got Ted Cruz or Sarah Palin’s email address?

  27. 27 ronmoreau

    Maybe I’m missing something. $684 million dollars allocated to implement obamacare. With an approx.330 million population in this country, that comes out to over $2 million dollars per person to implement obamacare. Why does anyone have to pay anything for healthcare? Where is all this money going?

  28. 28 jezebel282

    Ron,

    Gee, I hope their math is better than yours.

  29. 29 nedsmithy

    Ron,

    You are not missing anything. WAIT! Maybe a few million tax dollars. But Hey, thats free Government money and not our hard earned money???? RIGGGGGGGGGGGGHT!!!!

    Just for the He?? of it I went to see what the “Affordable” insurance would cost me. I think I’ll stay with my current “Money Grabber” insurance company. Do not really want to pay 50% more for less coverage. I guess I really shouldn’t gripe, as I’m lead to believe that I would have maternity coverage as a mandate? Just what my wife and I “need” at 71+ years of age.

  30. 30 ronmoreau

    Just seeing if anyone is actually paying attention,

  31. 31 jezebel282

    LOL!

    Between Ron’s math and Ned’s “more” expensive policy, I’m having a great time. (Pssst…$684 million/$330 million = $2.07. ONCE.)
    Ron, how much has that private company called “Twitter” made in the last five years? How much did they spend to get nothing?

    Ned, Ned, Ned…at your age you are not qualified to shop on the Exchanges. You have Medicare. Sorry, Buddy.

  32. 32 nedsmithy

    Jez, Jez, Jez,…. Age is not a factor for my insurance premiums. So, given that, IF I were of an age to apply, the “Affordable” would still be 50% more for less coverage. I went to “http://www.thehealthsherpa.com/” and those are the numbers they came up with. But maybe it might be the mandated maternity benefits? Am I correct that these are the same mandated benefits that are applied to 59 year old single female or male? Just asking???

    I just know you will not get your feelings hurt when I point out that we are far from being “Buddies”? OK sweetie?

  33. 33 jezebel282

    Ned,

    I dunno is maternity coverage like having a motorized scooter covered? Or perhaps a pacemaker? Seriously? Maternity coverage? So…women who make $0.71 for every dollar a man makes should pay more because they were born female? I mean, after all, it is highly unlikely I will ever need prostate cancer treatment yet it is included in my coverage. Should we buy policies based on what we think is likely to happen to us? I know even if I were a curmudgeonly old man, I would want my daughter or grand daughter (or niece or wife or any female relative) to have maternity coverage.

    Maybe you’re living in one of those states that has a Republican governor that refuses to participate or refuses federal funding of expanded Medicaid?

    But I’m confused. First you are 71+ and now you are 59? Once again, the ACA is not government insurance. It is private health insurance provided by private health insurance companies. The prices in each state depend on how many insurance companies compete. Kinda like, you know, the free market? As more people sign up when they compare plans and prices side by side the market says the price will come down due to, what do they call that, free market competition.

    “I just know you will not get your feelings hurt”
    Sniff, sniff…I am a little hurt.

  34. 34 nedsmithy

    Jez,

    “Sniff, sniff…I am a little hurt”
    I’m sure you’ll get over it. If not, deal with it.

    You know exactly the point I was making with the “if 59” scenario.
    The plan I logged onto was for Connecticut. I simply “Winter Rest” in the Republican state of Florida. Gives me back a little sanity, so as to slightly tolerate the Socialists of Connecticut when & if I return this year. When your “free market competition” brings the price for a 59 year old single female down 50% from the posted prices, then I’ll listen. Until then I love my plan that gives me the option to not have maternity benefits!

    If you chose to be someone who subsidizes the program, I feel that you should have that right. Just don’t have the Government enforce that same position on me. Thank goodness that I am 71+ and in plan that isolates me from the government entitlement players that only know how to sign the back of the check.

    “Should we buy policies based on what we think is likely to happen to us? ” No, you “should” not buy that policy BUT you “should” have the right to buy that policy if it is what you want and are pleased with it.

    I think the sales pitch was that if you had insurance and was happy with it that you could keep it????? Tell that to the 300,000+ that have lost their insurance in just the State of Florida alone.

    Sure they will get better insurance at a much lower price then they are paying now. Just what flavor of Cool Aide do you prefer?

  35. 35 ronmoreau

    Jez, You’re right. Only 330 people could get that kind of money. There are a lot of misleading criticisms about Obama Care on the internet.

    My concern of course is how will it affect me. Is it just a matter of time that my employer drops my insurance and pay the fines instead? I’m sure the individuals with private insurance didn’t realize they would be dropped. How many more surprises will surface? How is Obama going to pay for it when few people sign up? Many questions.

  36. 36 jezebel282

    Ned,

    “You know exactly the point I was making with the “if 59″ scenario.”
    And you know exactly the point I’ve been making. It all depends on individual circumstances. For a 59 year old female making $45,000/year the premiums range from $102.69/month for a Bronze plan to $394.74/month for a Gold plan. That is, of course, assuming that this 59 year old female had no access to healthcare insurance through an employer. What income did you enter? What does not matter is any previous medical history or lapse in coverage.

    “Republican state of Florida. Gives me back a little sanity”
    LOL! Does anyone in “The Villages” not have Medicare? It is a government run program, you know.

    “If you chose to be someone who subsidizes the program, I feel that you should have that right.”
    ??? Every time a company or individual pays a monthly premium they are subsidizing everyone else who has filed a claim. I simply don’t understand your problem with pregnant women. Here is a huge percentage of the population who are at risk for a medical condition caused by another even larger percentage of the population. Why wouldn’t that be covered? It seems to be a minor and very weak point.

    “Tell that to the 300,000+ that have lost their insurance in just the State of Florida alone.”

    As opposed to what? In the bad old days, if you had individual minimal insurance you held your breath at the end of 12 months to see if the insurance company would renew your beloved policy at all and what the new premiums and terms would be if they deigned to do so. If you actually had a claim…well, the news wouldn’t be so good. In no case of cancellation are these policies the same as the ones offered three years ago. Coverages have dropped and premiums have increased. That’s why they are being cancelled.These are exactly the types of plans that the GOP has pushed to sell across State lines. The ones that don’t cover anything.

    “isolates me from the government entitlement players that only know how to sign the back of the check.”

    Who are we talking about now? The 28 year old female paramedic who works 90 hours/week for 3 different jobs? The 59 year old female office manager of a 5 person company that only works 60 hours/week with two kids in college? Perhaps the 34 year old female CPA trying to run her business and raise her child? Are they the “entitlement players” you are speaking of? Clearly, they are not “entitled” to maternity coverage are they? They are obviously the “takers”. Only those who live on their capital gains have “earned” the privilege to medical care?

    Ron,

    “Is it just a matter of time that my employer drops my insurance and pay the fines instead?”

    That would depend on the employment rate more than anything else. With a real unemployment rate hovering around 10% (4 or 5 applicants for every job), HR managers have the upper hand. Companies have forgotten that they actually need employees in order to make a profit. If the unemployment rate were, say, 2% in CT like it was 15 years ago, companies would be scrambling to offer more and more benefits. Instead HR managers are steadily cutting employer contributions and essentially saying “If you don’t like it, work somewhere else.” Personally I do not think that American companies should be burdened with providing health Insurance to employees. That is just a contrivance by insurance companies to guarantee that they receive enough premiums from healthy people who won’t file a claim.

    It is my hope that with increasing competition and people signing up, health insurance will be affordable enough so that employees of companies would someday say, “Thanks anyway, but I’ve got my own. Pay me more instead.”

  37. 37 nedsmithy

    Jez,

  38. 38 nedsmithy

    Jez,

    You failed to respond to the complete paragraph:

    ” think the sales pitch was that if you had insurance and was happy with it that you could keep it????? Tell that to the 300,000+ that have lost their insurance in just the State of Florida alone.”

    The survey done by the local CBS TV station says that “almost” all of the customers were pleased with the level of care and premiums they were paying. It was a policy that they picked and didn’t want to change. So, given that these people are happy with their insurance, What happened to the “you can keep your present insurance”?

    You say:
    “LOL! Does anyone in “The Villages” not have Medicare? It is a government run program, you know.”

    The more correct statement is (It is a government MANDATED program). NO options, government forced socialist ponzi scheme. Hoisted on the backs of those that can pay to cover those that cannot or will not pay.

    IF I were to have had a choice I would have opted to pay for my own insurance and have saved a lot of money.

    Same goes for Socialist Security. Let’s run this by you. The only ones that I can attest as factual is Mr. & Mrs. Ned. One of us was forced to pay into your Socialist Security (along with our employer) and the other had the ability to opt out of Socialist Security & fund our own private “managed retirement fund”. Now, many years later one of us is getting a check every month for 4+ times the amount of the other check. Also happens to be a “Defined Benefit Account”. Care to take a guess which is the private retirement account????????

    You say:
    “I simply don’t understand your problem with pregnant women. Here is a huge percentage of the population who are at risk for a medical condition caused by another even larger percentage of the population. Why wouldn’t that be covered? It seems to be a minor and very weak point.”

    I have not problem 1 with a women who decides to get pregnant. In fact I’m very pleased that my parents also made that “choice”. What I do have a problem with is the defining of pregnant as a “medical condition”. Just what part of pro creating is the medical condition? Just what part of this medical condition is ” caused by another even larger percentage of the population”? What part of our population “causes” a women to become pregnant? I thought that women were and have been in charge of their bodies? I simply do not want to pay for a lifestyle choice of another person. IF a women decides to get pregnant, she should have the forethought and planning to be able to pay for same. If not, then take charge of her body and do not become pregnant. FREE birth control is available, starting at about the 7th grade on.

    Again as always, we will never agree, given that I’m your basic right wing, ultra conservative, separatist! Simply want to be left alone to live on my mountain, you live on yours. Each supporting their own.

  39. 39 jezebel282

    Ned,

    “IF a women decides to get pregnant, she should have the forethought and planning to be able to pay for same.”
    So continuation of the species is to be paid for by women?

    “we will never agree, given that I’m your basic right wing, ultra conservative”
    Well, you are certainly right about that.

    “separatist!”
    Separate from what?

  40. 40 nedsmithy

    Jez,

    Let’s try this again. The questions are:

    What I do have a problem with is the defining of pregnant as a “medical condition”. Just what part of pro creating is the medical condition?

    Just what part of this medical condition is ” caused by another even larger percentage of the population”? What part of our population “causes” a women to become pregnant?

    Now, many years later one of us is getting a check every month for 4+ times the amount of the other check. Also happens to be a “Defined Benefit Account”. Care to take a guess which is the private retirement account????????

    Answer the questions.

    As to your reply:

    “So continuation of the species is to be paid for by women?”
    Actions have consequences! The woman should have thought things out BEFORE she put here ankles behind her ears! Is she not the one that is in control of her body? I’m not saying that the father has no responsibilities either. He also should have been thinking with his big head instead of with his little head. Each one is to be equally held responsible for their actions. I, on the other hand, do not want to be the one paying for their actions. Not the birthing process nor the next 26 years!
    As the boys of the “Hood” would say. If you can’t do the time, then don’t do the crime” NO having a child is not a crime. Forcing me to pay a portion of the cost? That’s the crime!

    “separatist!”
    Separate from what?
    Really, just really Jez! You are a fairly intelligent person.

    OK! I’ll play your game, & save you the search!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separatism
    Kind of what the Hasidic community does?

    As a footnote:

    Go back & look at my posts. Have I ever taken the position that you or the government are to be held responsible for any of my actions or financial support? Have I ever taken the position that what I believe to be my lifestyle be forced on anyone? Have I ever put forward the view that the charities & groups that I choose to support be funded by you or the government? Then pray tell why I’m forced to do just the opposite? Leave my pocket book and lifestyle alone and we will get along just great! When I reach in your pocket for $1.00, you are free to empty my pockets!!!!

  41. 41 jezebel282

    Ned,

    “Just what part of pro creating is the medical condition? ”
    I could go into the few thousand things that could go wrong during a pregnancy or delivery, but you seem to have little regard for reality. Apparently, you got yours and that’s all that counts.

    “What part of our population “causes” a women to become pregnant? ”
    Except for one anecdotal incident about 2,014 years ago, that would be the male part.

    “The woman should have thought things out BEFORE she put here ankles behind her ears!”
    Nicely put. Thank you for the metaphor. However along with breathing, food and shelter, procreation is one of those human activities that are necessary. I am going to assume that you object to covering any condition a pediatric patient might have as well. Only retired males deserve health coverage. I’m actually a little surprised that you have health insurance at all. Following your logic, you should just write a check to your doctor and nurse only when you need to. If you can’t cover it…oh well, you just didn’t make enough money did you? I mean really, why should I contribute to your cardiac catheterization or coronary artery bypass?

    “many years later one of us is getting a check every month for 4+ times the amount of the other check.”
    Again we run into that darned reality thing. Are we to assume that you only put in the exact amount as your spouse every single time for the same amount of time? Any more or less would change the result. Hers will never run out, by the way. Yours may.

    “Not the birthing process nor the next 26 years!”
    But you will. So will “they”. I hope you enjoy the roads and bridges that you drive on that I contributed to.

    “Kind of what the Hasidic community does?”
    Well sort of. There are many reasons Hasids form communities. Prejudice not being the least of them. But they do participate in society and usually vote Democratic.

    “Have I ever taken the position that you or the government are to be held responsible for any of my actions or financial support?”

    It was there if you needed it.

  42. 42 nedsmithy

    Jez,

    “Just what part of pro creating is the medical condition? ”
    I could go into the few thousand things that could go wrong during a pregnancy or delivery, but you seem to have little regard for reality. Apparently, you got yours and that’s all that counts.

    Nice try Jez. Let me rephrase the question so that you can understand it.

    Just what part of a “normal” pregnancy is a “medical condition”?
    I’ll save you the leg work, again, of defining it:

    (Medical condition) A disease is an abnormal condition that affects the body of an organism. It is often construed as a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. …
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_conditions

    Are you saying that each time a woman becomes pregnant she has contracted a disease? Then you question my reality? Really?

    Between your statements of the “cause” of pregnancy & your rant about “Only retired males deserve health coverage”, (should have paid more attention during Physc 101), I detect a “slight’ edginess toward Males? You might want to drag up a nice couch & Martini and have a talk with your shrink????

    ” Are we to assume that you only put in the exact amount as your spouse every single time for the same amount of time? ”

    Speaking of reality, the facts are:
    Socialist Security was approx. 12% of the gross for about 50 years.
    Defined Benefit Retirement was 10% of the gross for 37 years.
    Yearly income was on average, of the defined benefit plan income being 15% to 20% higher then the other.

    ” Hers will never run out, by the way. Yours may.”

    How true. Hense the reason that I also set aside 10% in an IRA & Roth IRA accounts that will more then supplement the loss of Socialist Security when it happens. If you have need of a great financial adviser, ours is still in the Milford area. Send me PM & I’ll be glad to give you his name & he will get you started on the road to financial independence. Oh, Damn, I forgot, he’s a male, so that might not work for you.

    “It was there if you needed it.”

    Thanks for the offer, but I’ll always decline.

    Hey Jez, we are far of topic here and you’ve always run a tight ship, with respect to keeping on topic, so why not start another topic and I’ll do mental combat with you over there???

    Love Ya long time G.I.!

  43. 43 jezebel282

    Ned,

    “Hey Jez, we are far of topic here”

    Not really. We are making about as much sense as Congress shutting down the government or deciding a day or so before the deadline whether or not to pay their bills. Seems right.

    “Just what part of a “normal” pregnancy is a “medical condition”?”
    I’m going to go with all of it. There is an entire medical specialty called “obstetrics”. I’m going make a wild guess without looking it up in Wikipedia that those people deal with pregnancies. There is also another specialty called “pediatrics” that deals with the result of what obstetrics produces. While it is true that not many men will go to be examined by an obstetrician, they certainly had a part in the reason for that examination. Or are you suggesting that men are that dumb that they are not aware of what causes pregnancy?

    “I detect a “slight’ edginess toward Males?”
    My edginess comes from the notion that some people believe that because they were lucky enough in the chromosome lottery that they can benefit themselves a few bucks by forcing women to bear an increased cost in premiums. (The “ankles behind the ears” thing didn’t help your argument much.)

    “Socialist Security was approx. 12% of the gross for about 50 years.”
    Cute.

  44. 44 jezebel282

    Con’t

    “Are you saying that each time a woman becomes pregnant she has contracted a disease? Then you question my reality? Really?”

    Yes, really. What logic says that pediatric healthcare insurance should be provided, but not at the beginning of the process? Or perhaps you are suggesting that females also pay a higher premium than males for dependents as well? After all,females are the ones who had it last.

    “Defined Benefit Retirement was 10% of the gross for 37 years.”

    Let’s just go with the fact that not every employer offers a defined benefit package or even more than a measely 3% contribution to an 401K. Let’s also go with the fact that not many working families can set aside 20% or more of their income. What with those uncovered maternity and pediatric expenses and all.

    Of course we are ignoring the reason for Social Security in the first place. I don’t think it was ever intended to be a sole source of retirement income. Perhaps it was because of all those starving destitute seniors in 1933?

    “Thanks for the offer, but I’ll always decline.”
    Perhaps….you’ve still got a long way to go. Either way, it was there for you if you needed it.

  45. 45 nedsmithy

    “Of course we are ignoring the reason for Social Security in the first place. I don’t think it was ever intended to be a sole source of retirement income. Perhaps it was because of all those starving destitute seniors in 1933?”

    Surrrre it was. Am I not correct, that in 1933 the life expectancy was around 60 years of age or less and the age for Socialist Security was 65?

  46. 46 jezebel282

    Actually it was started as a reaction to millions of people having their savings wiped out by bank failures and the unregulated stock market. Wait! That sounds kinda familiar.

    It was Title II that was the new social insurance program we now think of as Social Security. In the original Act benefits were to be paid only to the primary worker when he/she retired at age 65. Benefits were to be based on payroll tax contributions that the worker made during his/her working life. Taxes would first be collected in 1937 and monthly benefits would begin in 1942. (Under amendments passed in 1939, payments were advanced to 1940.)
    “It is impossible under any social insurance system to provide ideal security for every individual. The practical objective is to pay benefits that provide a minimum degree of social security—as a basis upon which the worker, through his own efforts, will have a better chance to provide adequately for his individual security.” — From the Report of the Social Security Board recommending the changes which were embodied in the 1939 Amendments”
    http://www.ssa.gov/history/briefhistory3.html

    I know it’s not Wikipedia, but…..

  47. 47 nedsmithy

    Jez,

    Lets try this again.

    The question was:

    “Am I not correct, that in 1933 the life expectancy was around 60 years of age or less and the age for Socialist Security was 65?”

    For White Males born in 1877 their life expectancy was 42.50 years.
    For white males “born” 1937 their life expectancy was 68.50 years.

    Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States.

    It’s not an essay question. A simple yes or no is the only replied needed?

  48. 48 nedsmithy

    excuse the spelling, meant reply, rather then replied!

  49. 49 jezebel282

    Well, let’s hold on here a minute. How come you don’t have to answer my questions?

    “For white males “born” 1937 their life expectancy was 68.50 years.”

    Really? Are we back to only talking about white males again? Fine. White males are indeed living longer. Maybe because they have Medicare now. And your point will be that there aren’t enough younger taxpayers to support the older ones? Social Security will be inevitably insolvent?

    I’m old enough to remember that threat being made for decades. Perhaps we can lift or eliminate the exemption on income over $114,000? Maybe include unearned income? Or better yet have an economy where everyone can find a job and pay into it?

    But, go ahead, make your point.

  50. 50 nedsmithy

    “Well, let’s hold on here a minute. How come you don’t have to answer my questions?”

    Because I’ve learned from the moderator of this post, that is not required. Spin, shuck, & jive is the reply of choice.

    OK, lets cut to the chase!

    Were not the people ( Male , Female, Trans Gender – White, Black, Green & everything in between) having a plan fostered upon them, that there was no reasonable expectation that they would live long enough to collect? Given the actuarial tables available to the law makers “at the time of passage” of the act? NOT the tables that we have now that have 20/20 hind sight!

    Spin it as you might, it’s a simple question about history and records.

  51. 51 jezebel282

    “no reasonable expectation that they would live long enough to collect?”

    Had you kept reading you would have read that the Social Security Act of 1935 also included disability, unemployment compensation and medical care.

  52. 52 nedsmithy

    “Taxes would first be collected in 1937 and monthly benefits would begin in 1942”

    Okay, we’ll try again with math.
    To be eligible one must be 65.

    1942 minus 65 = 1877 (year of birth)

    Life expectancy for ANYONE born in 1877 was 42.50 years. According to the actuarial tables of 1937 when the act was passed. With that information in hand, would a reasonable person, in 1937, expect that the any great number would be living long enough to make a claim?

    1877 + 42.5 = 1919.5

    That would lead most people to the realization that the vast majority of the people eligible to get payments, had long since died?

    The first time that the tables state that a life expectancy of over 65 years could be expected is the same year benefits started, 1942.

    Given those numbers “at that time”, expectations of any great impact on benefits was 65 years down the road. That gives the government 65 years to collect taxes from every worker, to pay the babies born in 1942, which was the information lawmakers had at the time (1942).

    Then at a later date law makers get to move the finish line (65 years) further down the road, BUT only after they had raided the benefit fund!

    I know you’ll spin this, BUT my main objective is to get the information out here for the people who only read these posts, to see a different side then what you would have them believe.

  53. 53 nedsmithy

    Jez:

    “My edginess comes from the notion that some people believe that because they were lucky enough in the chromosome lottery that they can benefit themselves a few bucks by forcing women to bear an increased cost in premiums. (The “ankles behind the ears” thing didn’t help your argument much.)”

    Lets repost the complete statement to show that I took BOTH parties equally to task for their actions.

    Ned:

    “Actions have consequences! The woman should have thought things out BEFORE she put here ankles behind her ears! Is she not the one that is in control of her body? I’m not saying that the father has no responsibilities either. He also should have been thinking with his big head instead of with his little head. Each one is to be equally held responsible for their actions. I, on the other hand, do not want to be the one paying for their actions. “

  54. 54 jezebel282

    “BOTH parties equally to task for their actions.”

    So why then do you insist that only women pay a premium for maternity care?

  55. 55 nedsmithy

    Where did I say that? Would you please repost the statement that I “insist that only women pay a premium for maternity care”?

    I believe this is my point of view:

    ” Each one is to be equally held responsible for their actions. I, on the other hand, do not want to be the one paying for their actions. “

    To clarify any misgivings. Mrs Ned also doesn’t want to pay for their actions!

    I’d not be surprised if there a several viewers here that would also make the choice to not be forced to pay for someones lack of personal judgement.

  56. 56 jezebel282

    “Where did I say that?”
    “I’m lead to believe that I would have maternity coverage as a mandate?”
    https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/shutdown-who-cares/#comment-21047

    You didn’t seem to be very happy about it.

    Lack of exercise and poor diet are major contributors to diabetes. Definitely a lifestyle choice. (Although poor diet can be debated in some circumstances) Should we charge more in premiums for obese people?

    “Among women and newborns with employer provided Commercial health insurance, average total charges for care with vaginal and cesarean births were $32,093 and $51,125, respectively. Average total Commercial
    insurer payments for all maternal and newborn care with vaginal and cesarean childbirths were $18,329 and $27,866, respectively. In Medicaid, average total maternal and newborn care charges for care with vaginal and cesarean births were $29,800 and $50,373, respectively. Medicaid
    payments for all maternal and newborn care involving vaginal and
    cesarean childbirths were $9,131 and $13,590, respectively. Both Commercial and Medicaid payers paid approximately 50% more for cesarean than vaginal births. For both types of birth, Commercial payers paid approximately 100% more than Medicaid.”
    http://transform.childbirthconnection.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Cost-of-Having-a-Baby1.pdf

    I’m not quite sure what your point is, but it seems that you are saying that unless a woman can pay off $32,093/$51,125 as a consequence of her “lifestyle choice” then she should not consider having a family. Ever.

    Or perhaps you are suggesting that since, barring divine intervention, there is no possibility that you or your spouse will conceive another child, you should be exempt from that coverage. Perhaps you should also consider withholding that portion of your property tax that funds public education.

  57. 57 nedsmithy

    Jez,

  58. 58 nedsmithy

    Jez,

    First & foremost, you will never be able to make your case to us or many other people, that being pregnant is an illness.

    Can there be illness complications? Absolutely.

    “Where did I say that?”
    “I’m lead to believe that I would have maternity coverage as a mandate?”
    https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/shutdown-who-cares/#comment-21047

    Now that is a stretch, even for you. Lets clear that up in a hurry.
    Most people would have seen that my objection is to the “mandate” of paying for a service I’ll never have use for. Point of fact is that the mandate is needed to have those that have no use or need for the coverage to pay into the system to cover the short falls in payments.

    “You didn’t seem to be very happy about it.”
    How observant.

    “I’m not quite sure what your point is, but it seems that you are saying that unless a woman can pay off $32,093/$51,125 as a consequence of her “lifestyle choice” then she should not consider having a family. Ever.”

    First, it is not a “lifestyle choice”. It is a conscious decision to get pregnant. IF she and her “partner” decide to make this decision, then they should also have the fore thought to be aware of their financial abilities and get insurance coverage for the birth.

    “Or perhaps you are suggesting that since, barring divine intervention, there is no possibility that you or your spouse will conceive another child, you should be exempt from that coverage.

    Nowwwwwwwwwww your getting the idea!

    Perhaps you should also consider withholding that portion of your property tax that funds public education.

    Even better idea!!! Maybe even start a senior citizen community that has no children of school age and place it outside the school system tax area? Wow, that’s never been done before, ya think?

    Jez, we never are going to agree! Your mind is set in concrete as well as mine! So be it! I’m the eternal ULTRA Right Wing Separatist.

  59. 59 jezebel282

    “Jez, we never are going to agree!”
    See? There are things we agree about.

    “I’m the eternal ULTRA Right Wing Separatist.”
    Does that mean that being a “centrist” is too liberal?

    My house has never caught fire, but I still have insurance and pay for a Fire Department. Although we pay way too much in Stratford for both. ($12 Million plus overtime/callbacks is a bit much). Nonetheless, I know that my garden hose wouldn’t do the job.

    There are things we can’t do on our own and depend on other people to help (or at least enable) us to do them. When we get sick or injured we tend to need the most help.

  60. 60 nedsmithy

    Jez,

    “I’m the eternal ULTRA Right Wing Separatist.”
    Does that mean that being a “centrist” is too liberal?”

    Absolutely!!!!! If you stand in the middle of the road, the end results are that you get hit by traffic going in both directions!

    “My house has never caught fire, but I still have insurance and pay for a Fire Department.”

    The insurance is ONLY mandated by your mortgage holder. IF you have no mortgage, then it is a personal choice. Just as where you live is a personal choice.

    IF you choose to live in a flood plane, then I don’t want to be forced to subsidize your insurance premiums. Not unlike many communities on the LI Sound! Kind of like moving next to an airport and then wanting the airport or tax payers to foot your bill for noise abatement. Sleep with dogs? Don’t complain about fleas!!!

    “There are things we can’t do on our own and depend on other people to help (or at least enable) us to do them. When we get sick or injured we tend to need the most help.”
    Then it is your personal responsibility, if you want protection from these things, to have insurance to cover your injury or Long Term Health Care Insurance to get you thru those real bad times, when we get old.

    “Jez, we never are going to agree!”
    See? There are things we agree about.
    Gee! Maybe the glass is half full????? 🙂

  61. 61 jezebel282

    “If you stand in the middle of the road, the end results are that you get hit by traffic going in both directions!”
    Spoken like…Sarah Palin. Why am I not surprised?

    “if you want protection from these things, to have insurance to cover”
    And here we are again, back at the beginning.

  62. 62 nedsmithy

    Jez,

    “Spoken like…Sarah Palin. Why am I not surprised?”

    I’ll take that as a compliment. As the sticker says in my 1940 Ford Truck Hot Rod, “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For Palin”!

    But then I also voted for H Ross Perot! As I recall, he did carry the town of Shelton, when I had my shop there.

    “if you want protection from these things, to have insurance to cover”
    And here we are again, back at the beginning.”

    Nice try Jez! You seemed to have left out “Then it is your personal responsibility” ?????? Not in least are we back at the beginning. Simply put, you personally are responsible for your own well being! What is so hard about that concept for Liberals to understand? IF I ever need help, I’ll ask. Until that date & time, STAY OUT OF MY WALLET!

    Maybe it’s just that ole Maine Farmboy lifestyle & up bringing, but when your nearest neighbor is miles, not feet, away, there’s maybe 4 feet of snow on the ground, you learn real quick to be self sufficient.

    There are a couple of television shows that might give you a little insight as to my role models.
    Discovery Channel:
    Alaska The Last Frontier
    (Kilcher family)

    National Geographic:
    Life Below Zero

    Or as my Dad was prone to saying: “To each their own, said the Old Maid, as she kissed the cow”!

  63. 63 jezebel282

    “What is so hard about that concept for Liberals to understand?”

    Liberals do understand that. They also understand that not everyone can survive on their own. If everyone ran up to Maine and shot their own deer so they can bring it back to eat, there wouldn’t be many deer left. Or perhaps the person that was having the cardiac arrest during the last blizzard. I suppose it’s just too bad for him if he couldn’t make it through the 4 feet of snow to the ER. But it seems that EMS, Fire and Public Works managed to get him out and to the hospital.

    “IF I ever need help, I’ll ask.”

    But it won’t be there because the “Liberals” were all wrong and nobody funded it.

  64. 64 nedsmithy

    ” If everyone ran up to Maine and shot their own deer so they can bring it back to eat, there wouldn’t be many deer left.”

    For sure. BUT, there are even more deer in Connecticut and there is no need to go all the way to Maine, and they are very much larger, with more meat, then those Maine deer. They’ve had the easy life in Connecticut for a long time.

    As an aside: How many deer in Connecticut are killed by hunters vs starvation & road kills?

    “But it won’t be there because the “Liberals” were all wrong and nobody funded it.”

    Didn’t say that they are all wrong. Just mostly wrong. ;-/

  65. 65 jezebel282

    Update:

    “Connecticut received $3.3 billion in defense spending in the 2014 budget deal signed by President Barack Obama, enough to keep the 6,566 Sikorsky workers in Stratford on the job and fund Connecticut’s other defense contractors….”This will preserve the workforce we now have,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. “It will keep the workforce here at Sikorsky on the job.””
    http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/New-federal-budget-means-more-work-for-Sikorsky-5163310.php

    Let’s hope there’s a line in there somewhere that keeps Sikorksy from shipping these jobs to Florida or Poland. UTC shareholders will win no matter what.

  66. 66 jezebel282

    Update:
    “Sikorsky Aircraft layoffs hit Stratford plant
    By Stratford Star on February 21, 2014

    Sikorsky Aircraft, with a large helicopter manufacturing plant in Stratford, announced Feb. 21 a workforce reduction of “approximately 600 employees, mostly in Connecticut” due to “the challenging and unstable economic conditions that continue to affect our industry,” according to the company’s spokesman in Stratford Paul Jackson.” http://www.stratfordstar.com/17841/sikorsky-aircraft-layoffs-hit-stratford-plant/

    I guess this means that $3.3 BILLION in Defense funding just didn’t help enough. How much would it have taken to have kept those 600 jobs? Another 2 or 3 BILLION?


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