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Posts Tagged ‘Social Security’

It was on his official schedule last night, but today it’s apparently been deleted from his website. Gov. Rick Scott will reportedly be chatting it up with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker today on the phone from 5:15 – 5:45 p.m. (Gosh, I wonder if either of them will try to verify that they’re actually talking to the “real” Gov. first? That might be a wise idea.) Gosh, I wonder what they’ll talk about? Will one of the “real” Koch brothers be on the line with them? After all, the Koch’s do have ties to Gov. Scott and his high-speed rail sabotage plan, who knows what else they might be up to?

Yesterday Gov. Scott said this about unions and collective bargaining:

“My belief is as long as people know what they’re doing, collective bargaining is fine,” Scott said in an interview with Tallahassee’s WFLA FM radio station.

Sure, whatever. Of course if you know anything about Gov. Scott, you can take your chances that he means it, but I for one don’t buy it. Especially when the Florida Legislature is already working on the unions.

Sen. John Thrasher, former state GOP chairman, looks like he has filed a bill (SB830) to starve unions like the Florida Education Association, SEIU, AFL-CIO, firefighters, police unions or AFSCME by banning the Democratic-leaning organizations from using salary deductions for political purposes. The legislation also says any “public employer may not deduct or collect” union dues, etc. Lastly, it says that any public employee who didn’t specifically authorize the use of his money could be entitled to a partial refund.

The bill doesn’t seem to go as far as Wisconsin’s by ending collective bargaining rights in Florida, though in a right-to-work state there’s only so much union bargaining that can take place. Still, the language about union dues sure looks like it’s right out of the playbook of the tea party and Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker (who incidentally is not a high-speed rail fan, either).

Gov. Walker said this about high-speed rail funds in his state last Nov.:

Governor-Elect Scott Walker today released the following statement on high-speed rail:

“Since learning about the state’s agreement with the federal government we have been exploring all legal options to stop the train from moving forward, and we believe this is a step in the right direction.  We are continuing to work with members of congress on redirecting this money to fixing our crumbling roads and bridges.”

Why, that sounds distinctly familiar. That’s kind of what Gov. Scott was expecting to do. But he can’t, because the money must be used toward the high-speed rail project, or it goes elsewhere, and there’s a lot of other states with their hands out just waiting. Scott has until Friday to make a decision.

Meanwhile, back in Tallahassee, now “nationally famous so-called fiscal hero” (we know he is because the media tells us so!) Marco Rubio, the former Tea Party darling, turned U.S. Senator who now shuns Tea Bagger voters who put him in office (but not the Tea Party corporate funders of course), came back to Florida yesterday to talk money with the Florida House. He reportedly spoke with no notes, and no teleprompter, but he really didn’t need to since that speech is burned into his memory. He gives the same one all the time. All he needs is someone to pull his string and he’s off!

“The math is straightforward. The federal government this year, in order to operate, will have to borrow one-and-a-half trillion dollars. – trillion dollars,” Rubio said. “Medicare and Social Security as they currently are structured, is unsustainable,” he said to applause. “They will bankrupt themselves and ultimately bankrupt our country.”

But despite his calls for bipartisan solutions, Rubio gave no specifics and offered standard party-line fare to reduce spending and not raise taxes.

“Apart from all the ideological rhetoric,” he said, “an increase in taxes will destroy the ability of our economy to grow, which will mean less revenue to government. It’s a vicious cycle. They’re starting to doubt about our ability to pay our debt back”

Of course, he gives no specific ideas, but then he never does.

“What I fear most of all is that we have a political process in Washington that is frozen,” he said. “The White House knows this. The congressional leadership knows this. But no one wants to go first because they don’t want to get beaten up about it….

“If we don’t figure this out, none of these politics and elections are going to matter anyway because this country will decline so rapidly that you won’t even recognize it by 20 or 30 years. It’s not going to be a third world country. But it’s not going to be exceptional or unique. Our decline is not inevitable.”

You don’t have to be psychic to see why he was giving this speech, or where he was going with it, but chances are Social Security and Medicare are on Rubio’s mind as well as on the table, but Rubio doesn’t want to “go there first” anymore than he claims other political “chickens” do either, so he didn’t say the words. Wink, wink.
Also from the same article was this:
Prior to his speech, Rubio met privately with Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, all of whom are Republicans. Rubio said he discussed Panamanian and Colombian free-trade issues with Scott and discussed Bondi’s efforts to fight so-called “fake cocaine” sold under the guise as bath salts.
How very secretive of them. Gosh, do you suppose they talked about unions too, along with talking points dolled out by the Koch brothers, and some on health care from the National Federation Of Independent Business, the lobbying group helping to foot the bill for Florida AG Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, AND who gave generously to Bondi’s campaign as well last year and endorsed her?

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi told a state House committee this month that most of the rest is being covered by the National Federation of Independent Business, a group that opposes the law because of what it considers unconstitutional costs and regulations on firms and people.

“They have dedicated a tremendous amount of resources to the lawsuit,” Bondi said Feb. 10. “We’re thrilled, because that’s saving our state money. That’s saving the 25 other states money as well.”

Did they discuss these issues along with other ways to bleed Floridians in addition to Gov. Scott’s already draconian budget plans? Maybe they did discuss such things, maybe not. But we’ll never know, because they’ve taken up Gov. Scott’s habit of meeting secretly with only Republicans. The rest of us are just not privy to their plans until it’s too late.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall during this afternoon’s phone call between Gov. Scott Walker and Rick Scott. If they’re really who they say they are.
Hello?……Hello?

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Allen West (Run-For-Your-Life-FL) actually said these things (From The Sun Sentinel):

On Immigration Reform:

West, unlike most South Florida members of both parties, opposes any path to legal status for those who reside here illegally, including those brought as children. “You’ve got a war going on south of our border. Beheadings. Mass killings. Mexico is starting to resemble Iraq and Afghanistan. And if we don’t secure the boarders and enforce our laws, if we do not make employment verification mandatory all across this country, we will never be serious about tackling the immigration problems we have.”

That’s right. Mexico IS the new Iraq and Afghanistan. Paging Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer: tell us about those headless corpses in the desert again?

On Social Security:

West said Congress should consider further raising the eligibility age for full benefits and possibly apply a means test.“Donald Trump is not going to need Social Security or Medicare in his life,” he said. “We need to make sure that these programs are targeted to people who really do need them, and not just have a blanket policy for everyone.”

Well, if Donald Trump doesn’t need Social Security or Medicare, um, OK. So will Rep. “Bullets for Ballots” West be determining those who are worthy and those who are not?

On Unemployment:

“I don’t believe that unemployment checks are the means by which you stimulate the economy,” he said. “I would say instead of extending unemployment benefits for another 13 months, let’s just extend them through winter. We should take care of the American people through what may be some very hard times in the winter. Coming into the spring, we have got to come up with the right kind of economic policies that spur growth.”

Sing it with me: “The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow…” oh what’s that? You don’t have a bottom dollar? Oh. Bummer.

On Offshore Oil Drilling:

Energy experts say offshore drilling would have little impact on gas prices. But West said more drilling would make the nation less dependent on foreign supplies and no longer compelled to “send money to people [abroad] who want to see us killed.”

He brushed off the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last summer as “an isolated incident.” Rather than push rigs into deeper waters, West wants to bring them close to shore.

“We need to make sure it’s close enough so we don’t have what happened in the Gulf, where [the leaking well] was so deep we couldn’t get out there and take the emergency procedures to rectify that type of spill.”

Yeah! With drilling closer to shore it’s just a matter of a quicker clean-up! That way you can just scrape it off the beach without the wait.

Oh, but wait. If drilling closer to shore makes us less dependent on those who want to see us killed, and those who want to see us killed are now in Mexico as Rep. West now claims, how does that work exactly?

Perhaps these “solutions” of West’s are some of the reason why he is on the list of “vulnerable seats” in the House already after less than one month on the job.

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UPDATE BELOW

Marco Rubio is a busy little fundraising bee and out with a fresh new send me more money e-mail to supporters. So if you’re a supporter and you’re thinking of sending him some of your hard-earned cash, you may want to wait, because if he gets elected, chances are you’re going to need it a LOT more than he will. After all, when someone is funding a campaign, chances are the candidate is going to legislate more in favor of the bigger, deeper pockets, rather than individuals who give them a few little checks here and there, right?

As of today, here’s a glimpse of where he’s getting some of his larger contributions:

Club for Growth Action $35,366.00
National Right to Life $173.00
Republican Majority Campaign $10,566.00
Senate Conservatives Fund $78,532.00

Now take a look at these organizations for a minute.

Club For Growth: $35,366.00

As you’ll recall, Rubio has done a lot of flip-flopping lately on the matter of privatizing Social Security, and I believe as of today he’s saying he’s not in favor of doing that. Really? Because this organization, which has spent $35,366.00 on Rubio, recently left little doubt what their views are on that subject. They’re the “PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY? HELL YEAH!” guys.

They also think the recently released GOP “Pledge To America” doesn’t go far enough with tax cuts for the rich, among the other recycled ideas that brought us to the mess we’re in at the moment.

Today featured on the front page of the website is a blog post cheering on Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-As In Tea BaggeR) latest move: shutting down the Senate. DeMint is also one of Marco Rubio’s biggest fans, and he’s brought him a large share of cash to prove it. Along with Rubio, DeMint is also a big fan of the rest of the right wing-nut Tea Bagger crowd, like Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Joe Miller, and Rand Paul just to name a few.

Also something that might be of interest to Florida voters, Jim DeMint also blocked subpoena power for the oil spill commission back in July, and yes, that oil spill. Rubio is a well-known member of the “Drill, Baby, Drill Club” too, as you’ll probably recall.

National Right To Life $173.00

Granted, they’ve given less, but they gave just the same. Check out their website, if you’re not already familiar with them and see if you don’t have nightmares for a while. They don’t like health care any more than they like abortion, like Rubio.

Republican Majority Campaign $10,566.00

The name of this group speaks for itself, but I suggest you still check out the website if you’re considering a vote for Rubio, or ANY Republican for that matter. They’re a colorful group, but by colorful I mean “colorful ideas.” Among the recent articles from their site:

“Obama Speaks the Language of His Fathers – Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao & Sotero” and “Obama’s DOJ Refuses To Prosecute Black-On-White Cirme.” I told you they were colorful. They’ve got more where those came from, and each idea whackier than the last and just as dangerous. Did I mention that their main goal is to become the majority? Wouldn’t that be a hoot! Getting Rubio elected would certainly help them along.

Had enough yet? Let’s get to the last one, shall we?

Senate Conservatives Fund $78,532.00

Here again, as we’ve learned from watching Marco Rubio and his ilk, conservatives today are NOT what they used to be, in that there’s nothing “conservative” about them. Today “Conservative” translates to “Tea Bagger.” They love money and hate big government (except with matters pertaining to the uterus), health care, and immigrants, but love guns and the unborn. After actual birth, well, you’re on your own. Anything like Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment benefits, to name a few, they don’t care for and so you can’t have them. They’re also quite fond of Sen. Jim DeMint, so much so that they’ve honored with a nice big picture on the front of their website, along with the group of Tea Bagger candidates mentioned above and a few more. Rubio is there too. There’s really not much on their website, it seems to exist just for donations. Here’s a look at some of that, if you’re so inclined.

So there you are. Just  small glimpse into the funding behind Marco Rubio. That we know of.

Who do you suppose he would most represent?

UPDATE:

According to the Miami Herald, there’s an addition to the list above.

We can now add Karl Rove’s “Super PAC” American Crossroads to the tune of nearly $250,000. Details here.

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It's All About Charlie

Well, it’s another day, and another flip-flop, or two, for Charlie Crist. He came out in defense of himself, and his previous selves, yesterday when an ad by one of his two opponents, Kendrick Meek, came out. He claimed that Kendrick Meek was “off the mark” by saying he was the only candidate who was against privatizing Social Security, and the only one who was pro-choice, according to the Palm Beach Post:

“I think it’s off the mark,” Crist said of the ad.

“I’m not advocating privatizing Social Security,” Crist said.

Well, maybe not now. But the 1998 Charlie? Perhaps.

Meek’s campaign says Crist, as a GOP Senate candidate against Democrat Bob Graham in 1998, indicated in a Stuart News questionnaire that he was open to “maybe” privatizing 1 or 2 percent of Social Security.

On the subject of abortion? Well, just try to sort these explanations out. Go on. I dare you.

Charlie, present:

As for Meek’s abortion claim, Crist said, “I’m pro-life, that’s my personal position. But as you know I vetoed a bill this year that would have required an ultrasound that I think was too invasive and didn’t respect women in the way that they should be. So that kind of leaves choice to women.”

Charlie, past:

When he was a Republican seeking the GOP Senate nomination, Crist played up his “pro-life” stance, but qualified it by saying he would “rather change hearts” than change laws.

Charlie, way back:

As a GOP candidate for governor in 2006, Crist told The Palm Beach Post: “I’m pro-life. And I believe in a culture that supports life. But I also obviously am very respectful of those who have a different point of view.  And I’ve said publicly that I think it’s more important to change hearts than change the law and wouldn’t attempt to do so.”

So I guess we’ll just put Charlie down as a “but I….” since he plans to have it both ways. But then that’s the way Charlie rolls, is it not? A little GOP here, a little Democrat there, with a little Independent sprinkled everywhere in between.

Of course, how he stands NOW will likely change should he win his sought after Senate seat. All that really matters is what he does then, but that’s anyone’s guess, right? Well, there may be a little hint about that right here:

Before speaking to about 100 people at today’s lunch, Crist was asked about the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire Dec. 31. President Obama has called for ending the tax break for the wealthiest earners, pushing them into a 39.6 percent bracket instead of the current 35 percent top rate.

“I think we ought to extend the tax cuts to everybody,” Crist said. “I think it’s very important to reduce the tax burden on Florida families, on small businesses throughout the state, give them an opportunity to have of their more money in their pocket so they can hire more people and provide for more jobs.”

Yes, the beloved Republican ideal, tax cuts for the rich folks, and the phantom jobs all those cuts create. I think that’s all we need to hear.

Charlie’s continuing the charade anyway though.

“But I….”

Crist declined to say whether he’d caucus with Republicans or Democrats if he’s elected to the Senate.

“What’s important is to listen to the people of Florida and understand that they’re my boss,” Crist said.

See? Just like it says in his new ad, brought to you by the letters A-M-E-R-I-C-A-N-S:

It’s all about Americans!

Right…..

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Yesterday the new Glenn Beck Fan Club Spokes-nut Michele Bachmann (R-MN) jumped back on her looney-land pulpit to announce that she thinks that Medicare and Social Security should be eliminated. (What, Sarah Palin was gaining too many points on her in the wing-nut polls?)

Yesterday Bachmann proposed this:

“So, what you have to do, is keep faith with the people that are already in the system, that don’t have any other options, we have to keep faith with them. But basically what we have to do is wean everybody else off,” said Bachmann. “And wean everybody off because we have to take those unfunded net liabilities off our bank sheet, we can’t do it. So we just have to be straight with people. So basically, whoever our nominee is, is going to have to have a Glenn Beck chalkboard and explain to everybody this is the way it is.”

(From TPM)

I have a better idea. Why don’t we “wean” Michele off her family farm subsidies?

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