Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Abby Huntsman: Is She A Moron - Or Does She Just Play One On 'The Cycle'?

Once more the question is elicited as to whether Abby Huntsman is a born 'n bred moron, or just plays one in her assorted tube appearances - now mainly on MSNBC's 'The Cycle'. It's one thing to emulate or be a moron in a 'one off' as I pointed out in a post last April, referencing her appearance on Bill Maher's 'Real Time' and  having to be schooled by Sen. Bernie Sanders on Social Security, i.e.why cuts to that program hurt millions of seniors.  But it's another to be a moron 5 days a week and especially to repeat the mistakes she did last year on Social Security.

This time Abby was publicly 'spanked' by long time Social Security expert, Michael Hiltzik in the LA Times, e.g.

He therein referenced  how Huntsman went on an extended rant about Social Security last Thursday on MSNBC's "The Cycle."

As usual, the little uninformed dope got almost everything wrong, which makes me wonder why one of her co-hosts didn't shut her up or change the subject earlier, instead of letting her babble on confirming her moron I.Q.  and her incompetence as a political or economic commentator. One of her first howlers was claiming Social Security is "going bankrupt" which shows she doesn't know what bankrupt means, or the law as it applies to Social Security. In fact, if the little moron knew anything she'd know Social Security has NO creditors, hence cannot go 'bankrupt'. Au contraire,  it is Social Security which is a creditor to the   GOVERNMENT  - which has borrowed from it relentlessly over the past forty years.

 The following data shows how much has been raided each year from 2000 through 2011, the data from the same Trust Fund sources and GAO:

Year:  ................Amount raided

2011.................$67.0 billion

2010.................$87.0 billion

2009...............$137.0 billion

2008...............$180.2 billion

2007...............$186.0 billion

2006...............$185.5 billion

2005..............$173.5 billion

2004..............$151.1 billion

2003.............$155.6 billion

2002.............$159.0 billion

2001.............$163.0 billion

2000.............$151.8 billion

TOTAL:  $1.79 TRILLION  (and $2.63 TRILLION since 1990)

Now, any person with more than a minimal number of neurons would realize that it doesn't matter if you fill a one gallon bucket with a cup every day (equal to 6 oz.) if there are massive holes in the bottom that let out 5 oz. in the same time! 

Also evident from this is that the  low worker-to -beneficiary ratio is a red herring meant to deflect attention from the REAL problem which is the yearly raids on monies received from payroll taxes and intended to go to future beneficiaries! So long as these raids continue unabated, NO solution or "re-tooling" of the program will work, including Abby's brilliant "solution" of increasing the retirement age -- by as much as 10 years -- because life expectancies are about 20 years longer than they were in 1935.

First, Abby ought to be forced to read the Sunday NY Times Business section and the main story on the gap in longevity between the upper class rich in a Virginia suburb, and the poverty stricken in McDowell, West Virginia. The latter, on average, live ten years LESS than the former.   This resonates with the point made by Hiltzik that  "life expectancies are very sensitive to social and economic status".  But, if Ms. Butt Brain has her way, virtually none of the poverty stricken seniors would see a single dime.

Second, one doesn't even have to delve into the senior poverty demographic to see what the elderly are still up against.  That is, because of the widespread practice of age-ism by companies (often letting workers go at age 50-55 before they can amass sufficient savings)  the senior American is faced with a yawning gulf between what he needs in any retirement scenario and what he actually has.

The AARP Magazine (March, 2014, p. 49) referenced this and noted, for example, that even in an ideal condition, a 55 or older American who's successfully saved via  his 401k will have about $269,500 total put away. However, though this sounds like a hefty sum one must bear in mind that $220,000 of that will be "needed to cover medical expenses for a 65-year old couple entering retirement." That leaves roughly $49,500 to live off another 25-30 years and we aren't even including possible nursing home stays - say if the senior falls and fractures a hip. In other words, if Abby's genius idea of adding ten more years to collect benefits was realized the couple would be in the shitter.  They'd likely have to use the money saved for living expenses, and - if they got seriously ill - have to beg, borrow or whatever from their kids to get help. Don't forget here that Medicare, which idiots call an "entitlement",  actually only pays a fraction of medical expenses. For major operations it's only 80% and it pays nada, not one dime, for dental work - which is no mere "luxury" when one is older. (Poor nutrition exacerbates many existing health problems and creates others.)

But according to The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (ibid.), the typical account size for a worker now nearing retirement is  only $42,000. Worse, 55% of current workers have no employment based saving at all, usually because they have been stuck in low wage scut jobs that pay minimal wage only and haven't been able to escape.  AARP's own analysis found that three fourths of Americans between 55 and 64 have less than $30,000 socked away. According to the article:

"It all adds up to a $6.6 trillion gap between what we have and what we need."

In other words, if Social Security doesn't help to fill that gap, millions of seniors will be in penury. Indeed, the effects will even rebound on Huntsman's own Millennial generation if her nutso ideas are adopted.  Her idiotic claim that we need to cut Social Security, or else there will be "nothing left when it comes time for millennials to retire" is the most blatant exposure of her stupidity. In truth, we need to EXPAND Social Security benefits. (The best way is simply to increase the FICA payroll tax threshold, say to $650,000.)

But even if we don't,  the truth is that Social Security as it is can pay out full benefits through 2033, and 75 percent of benefits through 2087.  In other words, even when Abby is a doddering old lady of 104 she will be able to collect 75% of what seniors do today.

Little Miss Abby whines and whines about "all the spending" but if she pulled her head out of her ass long enough she'd grasp and see that the federal budget game isn't stacking her Gen Y bunch against my Boomers, but rather BOTH our groups against the Military Industrial Complex, which is sucking us all dry. See e.g.

She believes the enemy of her Millennials getting their S.S. due is greedy seniors, but in fact it is the Military -defense contractor budget that insists on propping up an empire with 4,400 bases scattered across the globe.  These fools seemingly don't understand it wasn't so much barbarians that brought down the Roman Empire but military overstretch.

The next time Abby or any other overpaid, blabbering bimbo thinks of playing the "generational war" meme they need to be reminded of the following:

- Seven million children currently live with grandparents - who depend on Social Security to care for them

- 8.5 million other children (including college kids that find themselves jobless and live at home) who live with elder parents that depend on Social Security to make do.

- The tens of millions of 50-plus Americans who, through their tax dollars and Social Security monies, pensions, provide voluntary contributions to support public schools, child health programs, grandparent guardianship programs as well as other charities that care for homeless kids (e.g. Covenant House).

 Concocting war between the generations, pitting young against old, therefore serves no useful or moral purpose. It is merely a cheap, malicious tactic to deflect attention from the REAL problem: the malignant growth of the Military Industrial Complex to the detriment of all of us outside it!

If Abby  Huntsman can't finally get this into her hard head, maybe NBC- MSNBC needs to find another more appropriate venue for her.  Say like hosting Saturday morning kiddie cartoons!

See also:

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