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News State of The Union

  1. Feb 2, 2005 #1
    Hey, has anyone seen the applause sign in the congress? :rofl:

    This is more like a pep rally with a string of soundbites!:yuck:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2005 #2

    Hurkyl

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    Ah, so I'm not the only one that found that odd. I've never really watched one before (and I'm not really watching this one either)
     
  4. Feb 2, 2005 #3
    Ditto, I was just thinking "What the morons" 5 minutes ago, he hasn't even said anything except "We know your concerned about all these things and so are we" rhetoric and "We're working on it", but he gets so much applause.
     
  5. Feb 2, 2005 #4
    Historically the SOU address before Congress is always interrupted by applause from both parties with standing ovations from the party in power.
    Dem-leader “…Due to the "somber mood of the nation," Democrats in Congress have called on their Republican colleagues to refrain from all celebratory applause during President George Bush's state of the union speech Wednesday night.


    ..
     
  6. Feb 2, 2005 #5
    Sure, great... but every isn't every 10 words a little much?
     
  7. Feb 2, 2005 #6
    Did Bush see his shadow today, or is he more concerned about his reflection?
     
  8. Feb 2, 2005 #7

    russ_watters

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    Well, that's the way they all go. They actually build-in "applause lines" to the speech with marks on the teleprompter telling the president where to pause for applause. :eek:

    The best part of the speech was when my hippie, knee-jerk reaction liberal roommate got back from his gig, started cursing at the TV before sitting down, let out a 20 second stream of profanities right after sitting down, then got up and left.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2005
  9. Feb 3, 2005 #8

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: I actually listened to this one. You can tell which side of the room each party was on, because the standing ovations were all from one side. Well, surprisingly, this speech didn't completely nauseate me, nor did I get irritated with Bush's usual speech impediments (he was actually really careful with all his words, even if nuk-yoo-lar still sounds like nails on a blackboard to me). This time, I was irritated instead by the Democrats giving their commentary afterward. He actually really had given them the best they might have hoped for in relaxing his stance a bit on HOW to reform Social Security, and instead going with SOMETHING has to be done, and pointed out many suggestions from both sides that should be discussed, but really emphasized the Democratic ideas this time. So, then they were still complaining and saying it couldn't be done and he wasn't telling about all the costs, etc. Well, working out all those details are their job and they were THEIR ideas he was suggesting. :rolleyes: You can't give that many details when covering that many topics in such a short time. We sure didn't need to listen to another long-winded State of the Union like Clinton used to give.

    Oh, but the funniest part was at some totally inappropriate time, someone in the audience started applauding, as if they were just clapping at every pause and not listening to anything. :rofl: I wish the cameras had found that person.
     
  10. Feb 3, 2005 #9

    Gokul43201

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    I too didn't lose my dinner ! :eek: :confused:
     
  11. Feb 3, 2005 #10
    Yeah, I had a bucket ready and everything.
     
  12. Feb 3, 2005 #11

    Bottom line is that the democrats don't want social security to be fixed, at least not while bush is in office. Its basically a political turf war. Whichever party has the president when the reform is accomplished wins a major political coup. Neither side actually ives a rats ass about whats good for the american people. The democrats are very clearly displaying that they just don't care. All they care about is their power. Like i said this is true of both parties, but at the moment its the democrats who are being obstructionist to our detriment.
     
  13. Feb 3, 2005 #12

    Moonbear

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    Sadly, that's usually the case. One of the political analysts I heard after the State of the Union aired commented that there's no incentive for the Democrats to push ahead on Social Security reform because they aren't getting an voter pressure to do it. So, if we started to threaten not to re-elect our Democratic senators and representatives if they don't do something about it this term, then they might have incentive to actually work on the issue rather than being obstructionist.
     
  14. Feb 3, 2005 #13

    I doubt they wou;ld. Bottom line is that tehy don't care about the american people.

    Personally, i'm fully in favor of giving the system one giant enema, flushing all the crap that is washington out and replacing it. I'm sick of all this crap from them.
     
  15. Feb 3, 2005 #14
    From what I'm hearing, the Bush plan wouldn't be an enema of any sort - you'd get less benefits and a relatively small percent of the money would go into a personal account which you could use to invest in one of a few government-approved mutual funds which the Government thinks will make sufficient amounts of money for you. The old system stays in place, just a portion of the money from it is diverted, and the problems Bush is talking about stay with the system.

    And the Democrats offer no alternative plans, because they suck and Howard Dean hasn't taken the chairmansip of the party. Like him or not, you've gotta admit that a Democratic Party controlled by Howard Dean would at least do something.

    As noticed by some bloggers today, the plan the president likes takes your money, keeps half of it, and invests the other half. It certainly doesn't work in the idealized way you describe, and which they are trying to sell you on.

    And the Democrats have several plans. In fact some of the key Republicans in congress are starting to warm up to some of those plans. It's going to be interesting to see how it plays out. There's still a possibility that it's a presidential rope-a-dope.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2005
  16. Feb 3, 2005 #15
    Drag the country into a rotting cesspool of socialist idiocy is not what i would prefer,

    I despise bush. But i despised kerry more.

    when i speak of enema, i mean getting rid of it all. a metaphorical atomic bomb wiping out washingotn.
     
  17. Feb 3, 2005 #16
    It's the old dilemma - who will unplug the cork from the elephant's arse?
     
  18. Feb 3, 2005 #17

    Moonbear

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    I actually thought the list of suggestions for Social Security, all taken together, which included some of the Democratic suggestions as well, made sense. The main one, which is a small starting place, is to not let people start drawing out early. This makes sense to me. Someone who retires early not only starts taking out money after it has had less time to accrue interest, but also after contributing for fewer years. If you want to retire early, do it the old-fashioned way, get rich while young.

    There was also a suggestion to raise the retirement age. Again, people are living longer, and are productive longer. The retirement age of 65 fits a different generation.

    There was a suggestion to reduce benefits for the wealthy. In other words, make it more like insurance against poverty in retirement, which is really what it was created to do. If someone can afford to live without social security, will they even notice not getting it? If they do outlive their savings, then they will still have the social security for their later years.

    I'm still uneasy about the idea of people investing part of the money (whether you want to call it a personal account or a private account). The reason is that people losing their savings during the Great Depression is why Social Security was considered a necessity in the first place. To put the money into personal funds is much more of a gamble. The other risk is if some of the other plans are implemented, the wealthy, who might not expect to get anything back, or who don't need to get anything out of the SS system if it collapses, are more likely to keep their money out of it and shortchange the system further.

    I remember the griping back when my parents' generation was told the retirement age was being raised from 62 to 65. Nobody wants to tell people they have to wait longer to retire, but the reality is, something that drastic has to happen.

    Does anyone have any better ideas? If you're going to complain that Congress isn't doing anything and doesn't care, is there a great idea you have that they aren't listening to?
     
  19. Feb 3, 2005 #18
    I think the retirement age of 65 is OK, and 70 is too high, if you want to raise it don't raise it too high.
    But it really depends on a persons health wether or not they can retire, as I think is the case when people retire early, they're of too poor health to continue (correct me if im wrong). Really I don't know how social security works in the states but I don't see any reason to change it.
     
  20. Feb 3, 2005 #19

    Evo

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    I think 65 is old enough. Not that many people are living quality lives well past 65. Retirement shouldn't be just before you die.

    The problem with Social Security is the drain upon it from non retirees. It pays out benefits to survivors of people that die long before retirement. It pays out these benefits to millionaires, there is no income cap to those that get death benefits.

    If my ex husband dies, I can get Social Security payments although we are no longer married, even though I am not eligible to receive alimony and we've been divorced for years and he's remarried. Go figure, I can get large monthly checks if he dies. He's worth zero to me alive, he's a cash cow if he dies. I start getting a monthly income when he dies even though I am not financially dependent upon him, so it behooves me to keep tabs on him. :bugeye:

    Then there are the "disability" payments.

    The system needs to be fixed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2005
  21. Feb 4, 2005 #20
    Social Security is intended to allow people a semblance of financial survival and dignity into their old age. Assuming the rich in America to have much more of the former and a modicum of the latter, why would it hurt to reduce somewhat Social Security payments to the wealthy (who have many sources of retirement income) for the working class of their generation? Do any of us know what it is like to work hard (not Bushed-out hard), struggle all of our lives and to end up in stark poverty because of an inequitable government? The destitute can little afford to gamble their future on a stock market biased against either small investors, those unfamiliar with speculating, or those unsustained by the people as a whole.
     
  22. Feb 4, 2005 #21

    russ_watters

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    No. No one in the US knows that because government inequities are always the taking from the rich to give to the poor - not the other way around.

    Cutting benefits for the wealthy would be even more unfair redistribution, but it would have one good point: it would highlight the farce that SS is.

    I'm not wealthy, but I'd be perfectly fine with giving up my SS - on the condition that I don't have to pay into it, of course.
    That's simply an incorrect characterization of the stock market. With mutual funds, any investor can invest with the same power as a billionaire. And the gamble is simply a gamble that in the next 15-50 years we won't have a prolonged great depression. Its not much of a gamble.

    The reason I consider SS a farce is what it is/does: Its a forced savings plan with virtually no growth. No one who is alive today and getting SS would have done worse investing that money in the S&P or even a bond fund. The problem is that people make bad choices and wouldn't save that money if the had the choice.

    If SS is supposed to be welfare, make it welfare - but I suspect the AARP wouldn't like that name change because of what it implies. Its dual-purpose nature means that it doesn't do either particularly well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2005
  23. Feb 4, 2005 #22
    I DO! I'm not quite dead yet but life has not handed me the silver platter like a lot of people. Besides that, I have worked a lot of low end jobs just to get by and try to get 'my edumacation' without going seriously into a debt that I'm not sure I would be able to pay back. I have a friend who went 50k into debt just to teach high school physics that he has to pay back on that salary. I really don't think you should have to go so far into debt just for accreditation and besides that I hate the notion of indentured servitude.

    I think the real problem is these greedy monkeys in DC want that cash in SS fund. They will have no problem ripping anyone off and saying 'it was the mystic market forces at work, sorry charlie' as they laugh their way to the bank!
     
  24. Feb 4, 2005 #23

    Moonbear

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    That's why I think social security needs to be looked at more as insurance than entitlement. If you have the means to support yourself in your retirement (or following death of a spouse, etc), then you don't need a Social Security check, but, if you have to decide between buying food and buying medicine, or are resorting to cat food for dinner, then you've got that insurance that says you put in your years of work and the government can help you out in retirement. Social Security doesn't need to provide you with a luxurious lifestyle, just the minimum so you've got food, shelter, clothing, and don't have to choose between a prescription and groceries. When you keep the payments minimal, it will continue to provide incentive for people to try to save on their own so they don't have to live on the bare minimum in retirement.

    The one idea Bush is promoting that still really bugs me is this notion of giving visa's to people in other countries to fill jobs American's "won't" do. If there are a lot of these jobs around, and as long as we have unemployed, able-bodied people on welfare or receiving unemployment checks, I think it's time to give them an ultimatum. Here's a job that's unfilled and doesn't require learning any new skills; do it or stop mooching off the taxpayers, no excuses, no exceptions. Then, if we still have an excess of jobs and/or have gotten everyone off welfare who is capable of working, that's when we can start allowing workers to cross the border for any unfilled jobs, not because American's "won't" do the job, but because there aren't any left to fill the job. I have no problem helping out someone who is working hard, living frugally, and who still runs into problems making ends meet, but we have too many people sitting on their duffs feeling entitled to other people's tax money and who never intend to get a job or work hard or watch their spending.
     
  25. Feb 4, 2005 #24

    Moonbear

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    Shh, don't say "welfare" around the AARP! :bugeye: I've got a perfectly good word, "insurance." You posted while I was typing, but I think we look at it similarly, just what you're calling welfare, I call insurance, but it's the same outcome.

    I agree, the problem isn't that bond funds aren't better off than social security. Heck, social security is probably negative growth if you really looked into it. It's that if you give people that money in their paycheck, they won't save it, they'll do what they do with the rest of their paycheck, have it spent out in a week.

    The problem is, if Social Security goes broke, people will be no better off than if they did get the money in their paycheck and tossed it down the drain. I'm not counting on ever seeing that money again, so really do wish I could get into my own hands to invest as I want (for that matter, we have a lot of kids in our family, we can even all chip in a little of that money every month and support our parents who didn't plan ahead as well as they should have).
     
  26. Feb 4, 2005 #25

    russ_watters

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    I agree - people can't handle the responsibility (sad), so I'd still make it mandatory (like in the Bush plan). I don't know what fraction of SS is the welfare part, but if its half, you could keep that half paying for the welfare and open up the other half for voluntary investing. And here (imo) is the beautiful part: if you tax the returns like a loaded mutual fund, the program, while a short-term loser for the government, would in maybe a decade become an enormous cash-cow. Eventually, you could make all 15% eligible for investing and the gov't could pay for the welfare portion from the taxes of the earnings in the retirement account portion.

    edit: btw, are you headed to Mardi Gras?
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2005
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