Last Sunday the WaPo did what many moderates thought was a hot piece on Social Security. Rather than admit they were just plain wrong they have doubled down with ombudsman Patrick B. Pexton defending the piece. He says he talked to everyone across the political spectrum with liberals not liking the story, conservative wing-nuts thinking it was absolutely correct and an economist described as centrist who also thought the piece was mostly correct. Here we go again with the rational people say earth is a rounded pear shape while flat earthers disagree approach to journalism. Sometimes there is not a difference of opinion. There are facts and then there is spin. Economist Dean Baker writes – WAPO Ombudsman Defends Hit Job on Social Security
Social Security has not gone “cash negative” in the sense that the trust fund is still growing. While current benefit payments exceed designated Social Security tax revenue, the income to the system, which includes interest on its holdings of government bonds, still exceeds benefit payments.
In this sense it is simply wrong to say that the system is cash negative. More money is still coming into the system than is going out. Obviously the Post meant to say that benefit payments exceed tax revenue, but tax revenue is only part of the income for the program. It is a serious failure by the Post to ignore the income stream from interest payments, which is compounded by the failure of the ombudsman to recognize this failure.
This is really not something that is arguable — Social Security has a stream of income from the interest on its bonds. The Post and its ombudsman may not like this fact, but it is nonetheless true.
The ombudsman also chose to ignore several misleading or false claims that the Post used to advance its Social Security crisis story. For example, the original piece told readers that “the payroll tax holiday is depriving the system of revenue.” This is not true. Under the law, the Social Security system is fully reimbursed for the money not collected as a result of the payroll tax holiday.
The piece also claimed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was wrong when he claimed that Social Security was not contributing to the budget deficit. In fact, under the law Social Security has a separate budget that is not part of the on-budget budget. The program can only spend money from its own trust fund, which is money raised through designated taxes or the bonds purchased with this tax revenue. For this reason, it cannot legally contribute to the budget deficit.
The urban myth that there is no Social Security trust fund has been a favorite of the black helicopter crowd for years. They can’t win the argument on the merits so pull whatever they can out of their backsides and insist in all caps that they are right. They’ve been watching too much Bill O’Reilly. Just because you repeat the same lies louder does not magically make them true. One other head spinning tactic is to tie Social Security to the general deficit – as done by this arrogant delusional conservative at Parapundit – Americans In Denial About Medicare And Social Security. Throwing Medicare and Social Security funding issues together also further muddies the water. His commenters join in with a lot of regulated myths about Social Security, Medicare and the deficit. It’s similar to pigs wallowing in mud, these prefer lies that reassure themselves their wacky cardboard house of misinformation is as sturdy as a rock.
For every American conservative, not once but whenever he wants it, it’s always the evening of November 4, 1980, the instant when we knew Ronald Reagan, the man who gave the speech in the lost cause of 1964, leader of the movement since 1966, derided by liberal elites and despised by the Republican establishment, the moment when we knew—he’d won, we’d won, the impossible dream was possible, the desperate gamble of modern conservatism might pay off, conservatism had a chance, America had a chance.
This would be the same Regan who had the government seize the savings and loans after they tanked. If President Obama had done the same thing with the too big to fail banks conservatives would have called him a communist. Obama did not seize the banks and break them into smaller competitive enterprises, but the Right calls him a commie anyway. This was the Reagan who gave us the HUD scandal where conservatives took government contracts to build housing for the poor and fell all over themselves cheating tax payers and the poor. This the same Reagan who said government was not the answer and increased the the size of government more percentage wise than either Carter or Clinton or Obama. This is the Reagan who saw deficits increasing so raised taxes four times. Kristol is looking forward to the 2012 elections with the same foggy clarity he sees Reagan – who in economic terms was probably slightly to the left of Obama,
These other models for conservative success in 2012 need to be studied for their lessons and adapted to our times. Reversing Obama’s weakness abroad, repealing Obamacare, restoring solvency and prosperity and limiting government at home, these are tasks too important not to be achieved because of our nostalgic disappointment that we will not, in 2012, replay a moment that is not to be again—and that perhaps never truly was.
Still, for every conservative of a certain age, there is the instant when it’s Election Day 1980, and the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out.. .
Just looking at Obama’s foreign policy through a right-wing lens – Obama has killed or captured multiple top-level terrorist including Bin Laden. has helped Egypt and Libya become at slightly more democratic nations without losing a single solder’s life. Repealing health care reform would increase the federal deficit by almost a quarter of $1 trillion over the next 10 years and more than $1 trillion more over the following decade.
As for the guns ready and the fake patriots laying in wait. Only a conservative proto-fascist like Kristol can get away with that kind of language.
No, there is no way Herman Cain is just another corrupt right-wing loon. He’s different. He’s an outsider – Koch-backed group confirms financial ties to Cain campaign manager
One of those groups, Prosperity USA, paid for $37,000 in expenses, including iPads, charter flights and items, for Cain’s presidential campaign, according to financial documents disclosed this week by the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
Non-profits are barred by law from paying for campaign expenses, and when the allegations first surfaced this week — at the same time as the sexual harassment charges against the presidential candidate — Cain said he would order an investigation of whether there were improper campaign violations.
I am shocked and disappointed to find that The Hermanator, the master of business and economics did not know before hand that having your sugar daddies launder money through a non-profit was illegal.
The Gothamist gets how populist movements are so easily undermined – Alleged Occupy Wall Street Protester Had McDonald’s Meltdown
According to the NY Post, an Occupy Wall Street protester had a temper tantrum in the McDonald’s near Zuccotti Park yesterday, after employees allegedly refused to give him free food. Fisika Bezabeh, 27, allegedly ripped a credit-card reader from a counter and threw it at workers just after 2 a.m. last night (could he have an relation to boxer Fasika Bezabeh?). However, the Post specifies that Bezabeh was only “seen hanging out” with protesters, so it’s unclear whether he actually is part of OWS, or just one of a growing number of rabble rousers who have descended upon Zuccotti to stir up trouble and inspire some fun headlines for the rag.
After all, the Post hasn’t exactly been Occupy Wall Street’s biggest fan since its inception—but their contempt for OWS has blossomed this week into an all-out hit job, with catty cover headlines (“Zoo-Cotti!”), bitter editorials, and lots of exclusives about “protesters”—or you know, anyone hanging out in lower Manhattan, regardless of associations—behaving badly.
To that end, they also report today that, as their misleading headline put it, “‘Occupy’ bum busted for peeing on cop car.” But in the story itself, they clarify that 26-year-old Edgar Rivera is a drunken man who has “been crashing with the Occupy Wall Street protesters” was arrested for urinating on an NYPD van parked next to Zuccotti Park. But hey, this is a newspaper who labels a photo of a WWII veteran struck and killed by an NYPD car as “geezerkilled”.
yet another vet has been battered by police – Brew Pub Owner/Vet Oakland Cops Almost Killed+Video of Beating & Sister’s interview (UPDATEDx3)
UPDATE: Local El Cerrito newspaper where Sabeghi’s Brew Pub, Elevation 66 is located has a story with a photo of Mr. Sabeghi in the sidebar.
Kayvan Sabeghi, one of the three main [partners] who started the popular Elevation 66 brewpub in El Cerrito, suffered a lacerated spleen and other injuries in a beating by Oakland police on duty for the Occupy Oakland protests Wednesday night, according to the UK Guardian newspaper and one of his Sabeghi’s partners. […]Brian Kelly, another partner at Elevation 66, told Patch this afternoon (Friday) that he had talked to Sabeghi Thursday.
“He was walking down 14th (14th Street in Oakland) away from the protest,” Kelly said. “He walking to his house. He got beaten by police. He’s got a lacerated spleen, maybe a couple of broken ribs too.”
This seems to be the best write-up of the protester hit by a car and the police failing ti further investigate or charge anyone – Car Hits Three Protesters at Occupy DC Rally, Driver Held (VIDEO)
There is the counter assertion flocked by the far Right Daily caller and echoed by conservative bloggers that Occupy DC protesters knocked down an elderly woman while protesting the Koch brothers circle jerk of Bill Krsitol’s elite friends – Occupy protest turns violent outside Washington Convention Center. I watched the video twice. It’s actually two different women who were attending the event who either fell or were knocked down somehow as they left the event. What is clear is that no protester is shown knocking them down. If The DC has video that shows that they need to produce it rather than claiming this video shows such an assault. Because of all the pushing and shoving, the general jostling of the crowd that could have led to the women falling. I think it is terrible that even that might be the cause. But it is an important distinction to make that they seemed to have fallen because of the combination of behavior by the protesters, the police and the participants rather than a protester singling them out and shoving them to the ground. Wing-nut Robert Stacey McCain states as an absolute certainty the older woman was shoved by protesters even though the video shows no such thing. #OWS Protesters Attempt to Storm AFP Defending the American Dream Summit and adds,
UPDATE IV: Welcome, Instapundit readers! It’s stuff like this that makes you nostalgic for the Good Old Days of real police brutality.(emphasis mine)
Having been awaken from their caves by all the “smelly hippies” McCain commenters chime in,
Be safe down there, those people are animals, Barack Obama has allowed his degenerates to destroy ANY attempt at comity in this Country, it is indeed WAR!
As Ann Coulter once observed, this kind of nonsense suddenly stopped after some of them got shot up and killed at Kent State.
Time to start meeting mob violence with lawful deadly force. Then it won’t be so fun.
That s the general drift of the Wuss Keyboard Brigade that brought us the Iraq debacle, crashed the economy and ran government like The Right-Wing Mob.