MOVE QUIETLY

While the Donald the Unready throws enough tantrums to keep everyone variously entertained and horrified, House Republicans are introducing one regressive piece of legislation after another. Most will go nowhere. Some will add to the pile of problems we have to fix down the road. One target that is moving into focus is their decades-long dream of cutting Social Security. FreedomWorks (Remember them? 2010 was fun!) is starting to spam the usual suspect publications with disingenuous op-eds, which is a safe sign that a bill (like the one mentioned in the link) is more a question of "when" rather than "if."

George Carlin was right – They want your fuckin' retirement money, and they want it bad. This really is the final boss of Reagan-era conservative politics. It's the only thing that has been a true third rail for them; no matter how hard they've tried to weasel-word their way into making cuts while claiming that they're not making cuts, people over 50 vote and they scream bloody murder anytime someone tries to touch their benefit. The only way to fix the long-term potential issues with the system without cutting benefits is to lift the cap on the payroll tax, currently set at $117,000. Since tax increases are not even a thing that exists for Republicans, this allows them to claim with a straight face that there is "no choice" but to cut benefits.

This is not a difficult problem to fix. Lift the cap and the dire prophecies of shortfalls disappear. Something tells me that the people earning over $117,000 per year, with the dozens of other loopholes available to reduce their tax burden, will find a way to survive without this one. Since that obvious solution is a non-starter because Freedom and benefit cuts are a political death trap given how senior voters will react, expect Congress to do what is politically expedient and use Trump for cover. They'll grandfather everyone currently over 55 – they do love that "born before 1960" phrase in all of their "fixes" – into the current benefit levels and then ream everyone younger than 55.

To me, Social Security is a strange issue. I have strong feelings about the politics of the issue and the way the system is run, but I also take it as a given that I'll never see a dime of it. I'm 38, or approximately halfway to the point at which I could derive any benefits from Social Security. And since the late 1990s when conservatives first began beating the drum to replace it with the lotto of the stock market, I knew there was no chance that the system as we know it today would survive (at that time) 40-50 years of these people trying to F with it. Like every other part of the government that Baby Boomers grew up with, they've realized that the most profitable course of action is to benefit from it for their entire lives and then dismantle it for future generations to give themselves (another) tax cut.

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149 Responses to “MOVE QUIETLY”

  1. Andrew Laurence Says:

    I'm all for removing the cap even though it benefits me. People whose WAGES EXCERD $117K per year for one person typically have sources of passive income that ate not subject to Social Secutiry taxes. I'd actually prefer eliminating Social Security and Medicare taxes and funding these programs (including Medicare for all) through sharply progressive income taxes, but that will probably never happen.

  2. Well paid socialist Says:

    My wages exceed the SS cap, and I have very little passive income (< 3% of my total).

    Remember that increasing the SS tax to 7.65% was a commission chaired by Greenspan to close the funding gap. Then, the SS surplus gets spent in an orgy of Reagan deficits, so we have to cut benefits now!

    I thought part of the bargain with the SS tax was that the SS cap was supposed to cover 90% of the wages in the economy, and that as the top of the income scale has pulled away, it has covered less and less of the wages.

    At any rate, I'm in favor of lifting the cap. And also stringing up any Republican who says that some people don't pay income tax, because I don't know WTF to call a payroll tax, since it's by definition … on income.

  3. scott Says:

    I remember my parents tell me that there was no way they'd ever see a dime of Social Security. I was 12 at the time, so that was 35 years ago. They've been collecting it for 20+ years now.

    Here's a monkey wrench I don't think anyone—GOP or people born before 1960 are counting on: if they get rid of Social Security for people born after 1960, folks like me and my wife, who have been paying into it for nearly 30 years now, are going to find a way to simply fucking stop doing so. You want Social Security to go belly-up instantly? Try telling folks like me, or my older brothers and sisters, who've been paying in even longer, that they've been taken for a ride. Third rail? It'll be like tossing gasoline and baby kittens on the third rail: the explosion and screams will be audible from Jupiter.

  4. Deborah Says:

    And rightfully so you have made me ashamed of being a boomer. We really were the worst generation, weren't we?

  5. jharp Says:

    "to me, Social Security is a strange issue. I have strong feelings about the politics of the issue and the way the system is run, but I also take it as a given that I'll never see a dime of it. I'm 38"

    You need to get off of that shit right now.

    You've paid in. You deserve what was promised. Period.

  6. mago Says:

    Breaking self imposed cliche ban to say, "Baby, you ain't seen nothing yet . . ."

    And just to interject some apropos to nothing trivia, which is the most repeated word in pop music?

    a) no
    b) yeah
    c) baby
    d) all of the above

    If you guessed "c" congratulations.
    Got that info on the internet back in the 80's before it existed.

  7. R E G Says:

    What Jharp said. You've paid in. Why would you walk away quietly if they break a contract they have had with you since your very first pay cheque?

    Also – Do we want to live in a world where grannies get to spend their final few years as bag ladies? I have always felt this was just a scam to move responsibility for supporting the elderly to another level of government. Social Security at least forces those with the least impulse control and disposable income to make previsions for the future.

  8. Robin Says:

    Like every other part of the government that Baby Boomers grew up with, they've realized that the most profitable course of action is to benefit from it for their entire lives and then dismantle it for future generations to give themselves (another) tax cut.

    you had me till here. Sweeping statements condemning entire groups of people, are crap and lazy. It's like my saying Gen X or Millennial's are lazy whiny spoiled brats.

    I've voted for exactly one republican in in my life. I believe in Social programs that feed and cloth people and give them healthcare. I have auto gives to the charities that help do these things and I'm sure I'm not the only one in my demographic. But go ahead take your cheap shots.

  9. Noskilz Says:

    I recently caught most of a phone town hall of Diane Black ( who, gallingly, is on the Ways and Mean and Health committees) – and the tack she seemed to take for it was to assure current Social Security recipients that nothing would change for them – those other, later recipients would have to deal with those sorts of problems, but not current recipients. Those lucky souls might have to contend with later enrollment (because people were increasingly "choosing" to stay in the workforce longer) or benefits being contingent of how much money you had coming in(seemed to be very careful to avoid using the phrase "means testing.")

    And on the ACA matter she assured the questioners that pre-existing conditions were part of all the options – no particular details of any sort, of course. And that somehow their coverage would be preserved and improved.

    But mostly the questioners seemed to be really keen on punishing sanctuary cities and planned parenthood, and not pressing for any clarification of her vague promises.

    So I did get the impression that things like Social Security and Medicare are on the minds of even her audience, but at least in this town hall, it seemed they were perfectly willing to accept that they'd get theirs and some future people they didn't seem to be overly curious about would have to take that hit. I do not know if "you'll get yours; anyone else, up theirs" is the official strategy but that's the general tone I seemed to be hearing.

    I don't recall hearing any background crowd noise( I got the phone invitation because contacting her office gets you on their mailing and phone notification list), so I have no idea if it was just phone questioners and questions from facebook(that was listed as the source of a few questions), or if it also had a conventional town hall meeting component. If there was no general public access beyond screened calls and questions, then the apparent indifference of most of the questioners might be misleading. Or maybe there are a lot of confused older people who can't wait to sign on to a empty promises and missing details as long as they're told people they don't know will take the hit. We'll just have to see.

  10. Tim H. Says:

    People don't really understand how insurance works, the premiums you pay in don't sit until you have a claim, it's a somewhat socialist thing, and only works as long as premiums come in. If the half-assed libertarians give younger generations a serious reason to evade paying in, the benefits end for current recipients. Anyone have an idea as to why human suffering is so attractive to these people?

  11. Barkus Annointo Says:

    My impression of all this is that social security & the constitution itself belong to the category of 'things we all thought were A, but the people voted in to office recently consider to be B, so they are now B'. Also in that category: ways that presidents ought to behave, qualifications for cabinet posts, core American values, &c. &c.

  12. HoosierPoli Says:

    The only thing saving us right now is that the Republican government majority is a writhing morass of collective action problems. The issues they were elected to tackle are, by and large, totally imaginary, so doing nothing is an acceptable strategy, and whoever takes the lead on things so politically toxic as SS reform will take all of the flak without actually reaping any rewards at all. The White House has a lot of energy but zero strategic leadership, so there's no way Trump will provide the kind of sustained push to do anything. The budget will be vicious and ugly, and the executive branch will be a zombie, but beyond that I don't see the Republicans doing much of anything at all.

  13. Eric the Infrequent Says:

    Dear Robin:
    #notallboomers

  14. RosiesDad Says:

    The current cap is actually $127200 up from $118000 last year.

    Also, what Robin said. I'll be 60 in a few days, have paid the max into Social Security for over 20 years (and paid my fair share for about 20 years before that) and will be entitled to my benefits once I start to collect them. But I also only support political candidates who are committed to preserving the social safety net, even if my tax bill increases as it did substantially when the ACA was signed into law. I want these programs here when my kids reach retirement age.

    And yes, I am also a monthly donor to a number of social support organizations because even though I am a (dickish) Baby Boomer, those things are important to me too.

  15. Jestbill Says:

    Yeah, just keep repeating the Republican mantra that Social Security won't be there for you. Go ahead and turn it into a self fulfilling prophesy.

    Much that should be impossible has been made possible by that sort of off-hand, redefinition of terms. Yeah, it's all the fault of the Boomers. HaH! It's you.

    Claims that getting rid of SS will bring out the pitchforks and torches misread our tribal political situation. Libruls would be blamed. (Jill Stein blamed Democrats for confirming DeVos.)

    We got SS because we had a Great Depression. As a rule, people who are one paycheck away from bankruptcy don't raise their voices. All they do is vote to preserve what few crumbs they currently receive assuming that it's "Every man for himself; Devil take the hindmost."

  16. Buckyblue Says:

    I teach HS seniors this and they've already been brainwashed into the 'it won't be there for me' mantra. I explain the fixes and how SS only recently switched over to paying out more than is paying in. How there should be about a 3T surplus laying around someplace (despite W's antics). They look at me like I have tentacles coming out of my head because it's exactly opposite what their parents have told them.

  17. Malcolm6033 Says:

    Yeah, we need to cut benefits now because, if the dire forecasts pan out, in two or three decades, the amount the SS tax is predicted to take in will not be enough to cover the predicted payout, which would require…benefit cuts.
    The "Social Security is Doomed" meme is the textbook exemplar of a zombie lie. We kill it, drive a stake through its heart, bury it at a crossroads, and five or six years later, here it comes, shambling up to your front door again. What is it going to take to kill this thing once and for all?

  18. Robin Says:

    One more thing: Paul Ryan isn't a Boomer, He's one of yours!

  19. anotherbozo Says:

    Stop scapegoating boomers, Ed. This is not a generational issue; It's not even an ideological one for most of the plutocratic mouthpieces we call congressmen. Carlin didn't put too fine a point on it, I believe—it's a matter of the greed brigade of the owners of America wanting it ALL. Show them a government-managed fund meant for the commonweal and their eyes narrow, schemes blossom. I'm sure you could find young congressmen with (R) after their names who are just as determined to speed the giveaway as the old farts.

    I think of the real sickness behind some of the more obscene fortunes of recent years. H.L. Hunt forced his sons to brown-bag it to work. J. Paul Getty had a pay phone in his English castle for his guests to make long-distance calls. Rich is never rich enough.

  20. Skipper Says:

    I'm with anotherbozo. Why this vendetta against boomers? These are the people who marched in Selma. These are the people who were in the streets against the Vietnam war. These are the people who marched for LBGT rights. Why not aim your vitriol at the 30-somethings who tap out a few words on the Internet and think they've actually taken some kind of political action.

    Boomers aren't the reason Trump is in the White House. Trump is there because of the arrogance and ineptitude of the Democratic Party establishment. Hillary should have wiped the floor with Trump and she blew it — pure hubris. The critical difference in the election was her loss of support among women, African Americans, and young people.

    Never mind boomers, if millennials had voted instead of sitting home oiling their ironic beards, polishing their even more ironic suspenders, and tweeting out their deepest thoughts — 140 characters at a time — Hillary would be in office today. Of course, the Clintonists would be setting their sights on Social Security too, as they did in 1996 with the Clinton-Gingrich plan to turn it over to Wall Street. And they might just have gotten away with it.

  21. Fiddlin Bill Says:

    The myth that "I'll never see a dime of SS" has been a part of the right wing lie for decades. I was listening to Limbaugh say that in 1989. Now I'm surviving on SS, age 74. Time do fly. People who think they won't get SS are actually making the actualization of that terrible event more likely. SS is quite reparable, and millions and millions of Americans will sorely need it.

  22. Nick Says:

    Some defensive Boomers up in here. Real talk, guys–Ed is right. Yes, yes, #notallboomers, but just as my participation in BLM protests and the Women's March doesn't absolve straight white men of the responsibility for socio-political attacks on women and people of color, individual Boomers being not assholes doesn't mean that the Boomers as a generation aren't responsible for the Republican Party's current mission statement of "I got mine, so fuck you."

  23. Tim H. Says:

    Nick, just because it gives you a picture of the world in easy to swallow bites doesn't mean you have an accurate measure of a diverse age cohort. Anyway, you might look into the way FDR's enemies guided the careers of economists who could be used as "Anti-Keynes", to promote wealth-friendly policies.

  24. Robin Says:

    I repeat Paul Ryan isn't a boomer!

  25. lol nah Says:

    "Here's a monkey wrench I don't think anyone—GOP or people born before 1960 are counting on: if they get rid of Social Security for people born after 1960, folks like me and my wife, who have been paying into it for nearly 30 years now, are going to find a way to simply fucking stop doing so."

    how exactly do you think that the irs and payroll deductions work?

    And to the baby boomers:

    SHUT UP.

  26. Redleg Says:

    I am in my early 50s and I have heard the story about SS not being there for my retirement for nearly my whole life. It's not a new meme but it is perhaps more powerful now than it was then. I think those of us on the left need to stop repeating this meme and using the right-wing framing about these issues. SS is not an entitlement, it's an obligation that the Fed Govt. has toward its citizens. We need to stop calling it an entitlement- we pay into it and expect to get something reasonable out of it.

    I agree about raising the cap to some reasonable amount. I don't think we need to raise the retirement age or decrease the size of payments as the GOP has suggested.

    I don't agree entirely that the baby boomers created the mess we're in. The Democrats, at least as long as I can recall, have wanted to preserve and improve SS while the Republicans have wanted to privatize it. Perhaps the Dems haven't been vociferous enough at times in defense of SS.

  27. Kaleberg Says:

    I'm a boomer, and I could tell we were going to eat our young. Sure, boomers and their parents did a lot of good things in making ours a better society, but if you look at our legacy, it doesn't look pretty.

    There's another generational issue though. I was recently reading an article on homelessness and near homelessness in Oakland, and how the baby boomers are actually two generations. Early baby boomers, and I'm on the tail cusp of that, are doing fine. Their parent's generation, depression survivors, saw to that, but the latter half of the baby boom, those born around 1960 or later, have a totally different story. They have spent their adult lives close to the edge. The typical story, according to social workers in Oakland, is that they are doing fine, they own a house, they can even afford some extras, then there is a divorce, a truck breaks down, they get laid off, they have a health problem, and they spiral down and wind up living on the streets with a broad variety of health problems.

    I think someone at the National Lampoon summed this up in the late 70s. The early baby boomers graduated from high school or college, then went on to be solid middle class earners and some even "titans of industry". (Look at the end of Animal House.) The later baby boomers got the crumbs and were working like dogs and just scraping by. At the time, it looked like a joke. The former cohort was older, so one would expect them to be doing better than those just entering the workforce. It wasn't a joke. The latter cohort never caught up.

  28. mothra Says:

    Well, no one has made this point, so I will: people born in 1960 are over 55. Just over, but over. I would also like to point out that we are NOT Boomers. Yes, we are called Boomers, but we were 8 in 1968. We didn't march on Selma or protest the Vietnam War. We drank Tang and watched "The Partridge Family." And also got royally FUCKED by Ronnie Raygun. We were the first group of college grads to get out of school, look around and realize there were no jobs because Ronnie had declared it was Morning in America. We were the first crew to start to be worried we would not, in fact, ever get Social Security because, as Well Paid Socialist points out, the R's really sharpened their knives and started feasting on the SS pot of gold during the Ronnie years.

    Anyway, as others point out, the thing is not to just shrug and say "oh, we're fucked." Oh hell no. Fight like hell. If you've got Republican representatives, call them every fucking day and scream. If you've got Democratic representatives, call them every day and scream at them that they must not accept anything other than a raise on the cap to "fix" SS–and that they must be the party that defends SS. Write letters to the editor. Do what you can.

    And here's a question for lol nah: yeah, they can keep up with the deductions, but how do they tell the 55 and under crew that all the money they've paid in to date is just gone. Just. Fucking. Gone. You really think people will take that shit sitting down?

  29. mothra Says:

    Oh, and I would add that Bill Clinton is the poster child for the boomers Ed complains about. He is a god to the early boomers Kaleberg describes. Hillary was, too. Not so much for us late boomers. We didn't get rich when Bill was president. We just got further screwed.

  30. other bill Says:

    My father is a boomer. He told me plainly when I was about 14 (20 years ago) that his generation sold THEMSELVES out so badly, that my generation would be essentially ignored and totally fucked, and we should never listen to a goddamn word they have to say.

    He was spot-the-fuck-on. Best advice I've ever gotten from the ol' man.

  31. Marcion Says:

    Grannies voted for Trump. They deserve all the cat food they can eat.

  32. Marcion Says:

    Maybe death through malnutrition will solve Medicare cost-growth. Cutting SS is win-win!

  33. Old White Person Says:

    Jeebus, people, while the Left is arguing over whose fault it is, the Right is screwing us.
    Paul Ryan's wet dream is to get rid of medicare and social security. Our job is to stop him. Quit crapping on each other and call your representatives.
    And get off my lawn.

  34. Robin Says:

    And to the baby boomers:
    SHUT UP.

    Steve? Bannon is that you?

  35. Robin Says:

    Jeebus, people, while the Left is arguing over whose fault it is, the Right is screwing us.
    Paul Ryan’s wet dream is to get rid of medicare and social security. Our job is to stop him. Quit crapping on each other and call your representatives.
    And get off my lawn.

    sigh. Point well taken

  36. Skipper Says:

    The main problem is the "Boomer" is a such a broad term — as others have pointed out — and encompasses so many age groups that trying to say anything meaningful about Boomers fails coming out of the gate. Blaming Boomers is like blaming "men" or "women" or "Americans" or "liberals" or "college professors" as if they were some monolithic group that all thinks and acts alike. These are very complex populations and don't lend themselves to being painted with even a very broad brush.

  37. Katydid Says:

    @Kaleberg and Mothra: even the tail-end Boomers got to benefit from the society benefits post WWII. For those of us on the bleeding edge of GenX, we were told constantly we were the "all-used-up" and "not-for-YOU" generation. The money spent on public education after Sputnik? All gone. We had broken chairs, filmstrips from 1958, and outdated textbooks. Enrichment field trips? No way–the Boomers smoked pot on the buses when they were taken on field trips, so no field trips for GenX. We also watched shows like The Patridge Family and The Brady Bunch like little anthropologists, because the psychadelic era was before our time and we were younger than even the youngest Brady. Our cartoons were reruns of the same ones the Boomers watched; Scooby Doo episodes from 1962, Penelope Pitstop, etc. Why are we cynical? Because we've been shown our whole lives that we're just not valued as a generation…and now that we're approaching retirement age ourselves and permanantly shut out of upper management positions because the Boomers are still in them, we're expected to shelter and coddle their children, the Millenials, so that they can be promoted over top of us.

  38. Katydid Says:

    @Kaleberg; another aspect to homelessness is this: many people are now supporting multiple generations in addition to themselves. Plenty of late Boomers and Gen X are supporting elderly parents and also college-aged kids. I know in my case, my early-Boomer parents are no longer safe to live in their own home, but they continually outspend their (considerable) income and have been teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. Ideally, they should be in a nursing home but I sure as hell can't afford it, so I've been footing the bill for a part-time health aide at the same time I'm covering a major part of grad school and undergrad educations for my kids. I'm one car wreck away from homelessness.

  39. Aurora S Says:

    Until I quit hearing Boomers' cane-shaking demands for Millennials to stay off their collective lawn, I will continue to point out that those houses you all live in are made of glass. Perhaps shutting down the gaslighting and entitlement accusations when your fellow brethren make them would be a start, if you truly want to convince anyone that #notallboomers . Or is this yet another example of the habitual silencing of legitimate concerns?

    I was pretty sure that was too old to be a Millennial, but apparently I qualify, just ask anyone over 55 that doesn't like looking in the mirror when presented with the sweet gift of self-awareness. Tell me again how following the formula of "get good grades, go to college, get a degree, and you'll be set!" that Millennials have been conditioned by their Boomer parents to believe since junior high, then being preyed upon and saddled with massive student loans to get a bachelor's degree that *may* get you that unpaid internship and a second interview at Staples–in an economy that took a massive shit due to the greedy actions of the aforementioned generation—is actually the Millennials' fault. They're "entitled" because they deign to say, "Umm…wtf? We did what you told us to do and you dicked us."

    And let's not even get into the extremely fucked up bit where kids were (are?) given "participation trophies" by their parents so they can feel like good parents for having such great kids, then the parents turn around and blame them, calling them "special snowflakes" for receiving them. 8 year olds don't sign themselves up for Little League and drive themselves to practice…their parents were (are?) essentially giving trophies to themselves and ridiculing their kids for it. There's something very, very wrong with that. But please, tell me more about how I'm "triggered" or "need a safe space" for pointing that out.

    Unless the response is, "Yes, those are actually good points worthy of consideration, I will proceed by shutting the fuck up now," continuing to tell Millennials that their perceptions are wrong and lecturing about how the Boomers are the true guardians of the Truth and Common Sense is not warranted or welcome.

  40. someofparts Says:

    Hey look, I'm ancient, already getting social security.

    No way I want people younger than me cut off.

    And a pox on anybody my age who does.

  41. Robin Says:

    When I started this bitch fest all I was doing was pointing out that painting everyone with the same brush is bull****. Is everyone in my generation pristine and wonderful, hell no.

    I will fight just as hard to keep SS, Medicare and all the rest for everyone, not just myself but that doesn't seem to matter because from the vibe I'm getting, no matter what we do, we're all the same, we're all the problem.

    One more thing to think about. The reason the GOP will more than likely make that cut off at 1960 is because guess what, we Fing VOTE and we will eat them for lunch. Can you all say the same about your generations? My guess is no, or they wouldn't dare take it from you either.

  42. mothra Says:

    Katydid: Scooby Do didn't appear until 1969. Penelope Pitstop first appeared in a Hanna Barbera in the fall of 1968, and then was in a spinoff in 1969. Never even saw that one or heard of Penelope. I sure as fuck wasn't smoking dope when I was in elementary school on field trips. The psychedelic era was going on, but all I got were warning films about the evils of drugs.

    I suspect you and I have far more in common than I have in common with the typical early Boomer.

    However, Old White Person is right. It is best not to point fingers at each other, but rather link elbows to fight the fuckers trying to screw everyone, young and old. We need each other. Yep, that sounds like it came off of an inspirational poster, but it is true.

  43. Kevin Says:

    I have not read all the comments.. but there are a few points that should not be overlooked. The FIRST thing to do is to redeem the bonds in the trust fund. Almost three Trillion of our dollars was taken and invested and now it is time to cash them in.

    Before we raise any rates or cut any benefits we need to reduce the fund to a few hundred billion. Then we can talk.

    NEXT, we need to raise wages. if wages had kept pace with productivity we would be looking at surpluses for years more.

    FOLLOW the plan. we collected the taxes for this time, now it is time to cash them in…

  44. Kevin Says:

    If we increase the cap, we should increase the payout at the top level. Social Security is not a welfare program or a wealth transfer program. It is an insurance program and should have a mostly even payout.

    sure we can extend benefits on the lower end and trim them on the upper.. but only by payouts, not by means testing. It will be the kiss of death if SS is seen as a welfare program.

  45. Skwerlhugger Says:

    They're not going to cut benefits, directly at least, they're going to scare the shit out of everyone, then grandly offer to privatize as a "compromise". The amount of wealth Wall Street can siphon off is simply too much for this not to at least be attempted.

  46. Katydid Says:

    Hi, Mothra! Maybe it wasn't Scooby Doo and Penelope Pitstop that came out in the late 1950s/early 1960s? I fully believe you if you say it's true. I do remember watching Saturday morning cartoons with my aunt (17 years older than I am) when I was in pre-school and her telling me she used to watch the exact same cartoons when she was my age. Could have been the ones I mentioned, or maybe not.

    I do agree that we should be linking arms. I do suspect we have a lot in common and I didn't mean to imply that *you* were smoking dope on your field trips. :-) Clearly someone was, though, and it wasn't 6-year-old me (the first time I heard that excuse was in the first grade).

    Tell me, did you face the "you're not worth shit because you didn't go to Woodstock?" arrogance?

    Aurora S. you need to link arms with us. Like you, Gen X'ers did what we were told to do, went to college, worked unpaid internships and dozens of crappy McJobs to get through school, then graduated into St. Ronnie Raygun's recession. When we were FINALLY able to break in on the bottom rung of the ladder, we were ridiculed for not going backpacking through India (who has money for that?) and being money-hungry (because we were trying to pay the rent on incomes that were barely above minimum wage!). If we wore casual clothes to work, we were derided as slackers. If we dressed up, we were derided as Yuppies.

  47. lol nah Says:

    February 9th, 2017 at 3:47 pm
    And to the baby boomers:
    SHUT UP.

    Steve? Bannon is that you?

    shove your participation trophy up your ass.

    Robin Says:
    February 9th, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    I will fight just as hard to keep SS, Medicare and all the rest for everyone, not just myself but that doesn't seem to matter because from the vibe I'm getting, no matter what we do, we're all the same, we're all the problem.

    One more thing to think about. The reason the GOP will more than likely make that cut off at 1960 is because guess what, we Fing VOTE and we will eat them for lunch. Can you all say the same about your generations? My guess is no, or they wouldn't dare take it from you either.

    maybe stop voting for people who want to make it illegal for us to vote because we have to move so fucking often because you assholes made it illegal to build enough houses for the population. You NIMBY shitbirds were like, "my house is my investment! If it doesn't go up 100% in resale price every year, it's worse than the holocaust!" So, we have to crowd into shared houses with strangers from craigslist and move every time we can't stand them anymore or need to chase another temporary job, and whoops, the first week of June or November came around and we hadn't updated or drivers licenses. And what's this? Some shitfuck baby boomers got together and passed a voter ID law.

    fuck you. die already.

  48. Andrew Laurence Says:

    Why not redeem the bonds as needed to pay benefits and allow interest to accrue in the meantime?

  49. lol nah Says:

    like, the problem is that you have zero self-awareness or humility.

    You literally think that you caused Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, when you were four years old. You literally think that you were on the Freedom Rides when you were 14.

    After getting excellent public schools (with art, music, and vocational training!), free college, and a free brand new house, the first things baby boomers did with actual power were to elect Reagan, do a tax revolt, and loot the Savings and Loans. Then came 1994. And, we've been fighting a 15-year war of vengeance on all the Middle East because you had to wait in line for gas once back in 1978.

    Can you just fucking shut up for once? Or at least think of your great grandchildren the next time you vote?

  50. Robin Says:

    maybe stop voting for people who want to make it illegal for us to vote because we have to move so fucking often because you assholes made it illegal to build enough houses for the population. You NIMBY shitbirds were like, “my house is my investment! If it doesn’t go up 100% in resale price every year, it’s worse than the holocaust!” So, we have to crowd into shared houses with strangers from craigslist and move every time we can’t stand them anymore or need to chase another temporary job, and whoops, the first week of June or November came around and we hadn’t updated or drivers licenses. And what’s this? Some shitfuck baby boomers got together and passed a voter ID law.
    fuck you. die already.

    I don't know where you live but we are knee deep in houses/apartments and condos. All the do is built shit here.

    The license thing, not a problem where I live. We vote by mail. If you have a nontraditional address, such as a motor home or transitional housing, your voting residence is the physical location at the time you register to vote. You may list a different address for your mailing address. We try to get people to vote in this state. So again blaming your troubles on all of us is bullshit.

    As for die already. Nope. With that kind of rage you'll go first.

  51. Kevin Says:

    "Why not redeem the bonds as needed to pay benefits and allow interest to accrue in the meantime?"

    Right now SS is cash flow positive. FICA taxes plus interest on the ~3Trillion is more than the payouts. That will change after a while and yes then we need to cash in the bonds.

    Follow the plan. It is the job of the Congress to set fiscal policy so that the bonds are retired, or the job of the Treasury to convert them from inter-agency debt to external debt.

    Good plan to start would be a much larger estate tax, higher taxes at upper brackets and a 30% capital gains tax over $10,000 per year.

  52. templar Says:

    This escalated quickly. Everyone stop cursing at one another. We're all friends here except carrstone. Calm down, let's get a plan, and go kick the hell out of the other team rather than each other. Shit, but this should be obvious.

  53. ConcernedCitizen Says:

    @ Tim H.

    Anyone have an idea as to why human suffering is so attractive to these people?

    Not sure. Though I have been toying around with defining an ideology that encompasses it. I call it Americanism. It combines the fearful self-righteousness of a conservative Christian with the sociopathic quest for profits that the robber barons enjoyed.

    Not to disparage Christians or robber barons though. This ideology actually tracked pretty well with reality for most of American history, because for most of American history we had an open frontier. Now, a century or so after its closing, we're trying to figure out how to integrate a large and culturally diverse nation that no longer has anywhere to expand.

    Unsurprisingly, it's not going well.

  54. Andrew Laurence Says:

    I suspect there's more than one bond. I still think cashing them out as needed to pay benefits is the way to go.

  55. Deggjr Says:

    President Carter led the passage of a 1977 law to increase the Social Security taxable rate and wage base over time. The goal was to fund future Social Security benefits. The 1977 tax rate was 4.95% of pay (x2 for employer). It is now 6.2% of pay (x2 for employer). The 1977 wage base was $16,500. The current wage base is $127,200.

    The tax rate/wage base increases generated a considerable surplus. The current Federal Old-Age And Survivors Insurance Trust Fund is 2.811 trillion dollars. That amount went up last month. The trust fund amounts can be tracked here: https://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/mspd/mspd.htm

    It’s my understanding the OASI funds are invested in Treasury Bonds which fund Federal Government operations. It will require federal tax revenue to redeem those bonds and the Republicans don’t want incur the expense. Hence all the propaganda about no money, won’t be there, etc.

    Anyone who relies on/will rely on Social Security benefits will need to link arms, Democrats and Republicans. Why would anyone passively accept the propaganda after paying so much?

    Note that the Medicare wage base was uncapped in 1994. Also note that if the Republicans grandfather older people, it also creates a window in which the changes can be overturned if enough people vote the right way.

  56. Aurora S Says:

    In the interest of fairness, I'm going to take this opportunity to rip into those didactic-ass Millennials who think they're iconoclasts by voting for third parties and lecturing the rest of us on how stupid we are for participating in the K'rupt Duopoly. You're not smarter and better than everyone else because you're railing against the "popular thing" by refusing to participate in reality. Learn how the game is played, son. (And–this is purely observational–the Venn diagram of "Didactic-Ass Third Party Millenial Motherfuckers" and "Those Who Parrot The Stupid 'Entitled Snowflake' Accusations That Their Parents Created" is a single overlapping circle.)

    I will relent, though, to some degree–if we have any hope of defeating the vampiric "Boner Pills and Reverse Mortgages" subset of the population that appears to want to punish us for being young and wanting a chance at the same things they had, we're going to have to fuck ideological purity and infighting and unite against them.

  57. Aurora S Says:

    AND QUIT FUCKING USING "LITERALLY" WHEN YOU MEAN "FIGURATIVELY". Goddamn.

  58. Aurora S Says:

    OR "CONVERSATE" WHEN YOU MEAN "CONVERSE".

    Ahem.

  59. democommie Says:

    You know where they can start cutting benefits? They can be put on the same shitty insurance plans as the majority of people get. They can be paid a third of what they're currently getting and make it illegal for them to speak publicly for fees for the period they serve and for 10 years after their service ends. They can lose THEIR fucking gummint funded retirement.

    And for those who say this is an academic argumen–these mothrerfuckers have screamed like the crybabies they are when any sort of belt tightening was asked of them.

    I'm so fucking sick of these lying, hypocritical cocksuckers.

    And as for Trumpligula; just remember, you can't spell PotUS without P.O.S.

  60. democommie Says:

    "Jill Stein blamed Democrats for confirming DeVos."

    Here's a "third way" for you, Jill. Go fuck yourself, moron.

  61. other bill Says:

    Shit gettin buck in here today. My kind o' party. Love it, love y'all.

    It's worth mentioning that Millenials do know how the game works, to be clear. Certainly tried the damnedest to get a viable candidate into the "real" system.

    Boom gen gotta talk to the neighbors and get together and stop voting for complete fuckwads. Both "sides." Please don't blame your kids for the fences you built, and the consequences thereof. (Am aware that this varies by region. Still, overall.)

  62. Tim H. Says:

    Deggjr, yes, that's exactly it, the GOP wants to avoid redeeming those bonds, and don't care how much damage it does. That is the reason I have doubts about collecting much of Social Security. Another angle, the .001% would rather see most of the country pauperized then risk the Keynesian dream of a post-scarcity society, for how would they have self affirmation without a highly visible underclass? Not thinking that for many people, sufficiency is a thing.

  63. Jesse B Says:

    I WISH that I could take credit for this, but the best description of Jill Stein I have heard in the pas couple of days is "Tofu Palin". You're welcome.

  64. Old White Person Says:

    @lol nah
    You really need to find an outlet for your rage. I suggest letters and phone calls to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. And your representatives, who sound like they might be Republicans.
    Some Baby Boomers (who, may I remind you, didn't pick their birth year), some Millenials and some Gen Xers are part of the problem. All of us on this list (except Carrstone) would like to be part of the solution.
    Now play nice or I will tell your mother.

  65. Lless Says:

    I love your posts but bend over the spanking is about to come. How can you possibly be this fucking dumb? We support every tax cut, the F 35 and every outrageous boondoggle that political contributions can buy on printed money. Now we abate the promise of contributions to retirement because we can't print money for a promise that everyone of these cocksuckers ran on. The difference between you weenie whiners and my Boomer generation is that we will blow their ass up if that promise is a lie. If you make them pay up, the inflation that results will be far more progressive than we "get it all, and fuck you." They will tax themselves when printing money hurts.

  66. Mo Says:

    Old White Person – At first I thought you were being ironic:

    I suggest letters and phone calls to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. And your representatives, who sound like they might be Republicans.

    As if.

    Playing nice? In the words of my aged mother, "Can it, gramps."

  67. lol nah Says:

    AND QUIT FUCKING USING "LITERALLY" WHEN YOU MEAN "FIGURATIVELY". Goddamn.

    I know what literally means, but you've never actually seen the baby boomers' auto-hagiography.

  68. Mo Says:

    Maw, quick, get the shotgun! It's an inflation hawk!

  69. Mike's Blog Round Up - Liberal Progressive Democrat News Says:

    […] Gin and Tacos : Destroying Social Security in Congress. […]

  70. Lalo Khezia Says:

    Does anyone remember Warden Wombat?

  71. Jestbill Says:

    Democrats supported thr KKK and Republicans got rid of slavery.

    If changes in voting registration since JFK are never mentioned, you'll never understand anything about anything.

    If you don't notice that votes in rural areas are worth more than urban ones and that life is very different in the two, then you'll never notice exactly how you're being screwed.

  72. Safety Man! Says:

    I think I'm going to have to repost this every day:

    Midterm turnout is so low a few hundred surprise votes can turn the difference, even in gerrymandered districts. If we can flip some House seats both Parties will pay attention.

    Seriously need to nix the infighting you guys.

  73. Mo Says:

    Jestbill – Rude Pundit has something to say to you

    But thanks for the reminder that it's time to ditch the Electoral College.

  74. Michael Says:

    We gotta stop repeating Conservative frames.

    Social Security will be there for us if we win, so let's win.

  75. cromartie Says:

    I also take it as a given that I'll never see a dime of it.

    And your fatalism on this issue is the core of the problem. Get off your ass and fight for it.

    And I say this also as someone who has the good fortune to exceed the cap. Lift the cap. Solve the problem.

  76. John M. Burt Says:

    Noskilz, that's diabolical: Cut our wages so that we "choose" to work into our seventies, then increase the retirement age since we're going to be working later anyway….

  77. Duke of Clay Says:

    "I also take it as a given that I'll never see a dime of it."

    I think you have bought into some Republican disinformation here. This was taken as a given for my cohort in 1974. I've been getting SS for three years now.

    I think we all have to fight like hell, but I don't thing the Rs will ever get rid of it. Much of what I hear from my cohort today is "We aren't going to let them throw our children and grandchildren under the bus."

  78. Duke of Clay Says:

    "We're all friends here except carrstone." Words to live by.

  79. mothra Says:

    Tell me, did you face the "you're not worth shit because you didn't go to Woodstock?" arrogance?

    Well, I was 8 in 1969, so no, I sure didn't.

  80. Robert Walker-Smith Says:

    My eldest sibling was born in '48, and the youngest in '62. The seven of us span almost the entire Boom. It seems appropriate, as our father was a WWII veteran and our mother worked in a defense plant during the war.
    My husband and I have two sons, one born in '97 and the other in '01. I don't really know how the generations are supposed to go, but I feel sure that neither of them are millenials.
    As far as my siblings and I go, the ones with some degree of economic stability are also the ones who went to college and refrained from procreating. I feel sure that there's a connection.

    When I remember that my dad was the age I am now in '76, and what the following fifteen years were like, I'm not filled with boundless optimism for the future. At least I didn't get sent to war and shot in the chest.

  81. Nunya Says:

    How are these cuts not covered by the equal protection clause?

    I'm still pissed that the retirement age was raised to 67 before I could vote.

    Why is it that the Boomers feel absolutely no sense of posterity? They fucked over the next generation when they agreed to two tiered wage scales, pensions vs. 401Ks, increased Social Security taxes at the end of their careers, and the decimation of state support for public universities.

    My own "very liberal" in-laws refused to vote for a transit measure with the rationale that they would never benefit from it.

    MOTHERFUCKERS! Your kids and grandchildren are sitting right here!

    I have no idea how it became acceptable to so openly and wantonly fuck over your own kids in order to make a few more check marks on your bucket list.

    Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.

  82. fastEddie Says:

    "I also take it as a given that I'll never see a dime of it."

    Fully agree that this is complete bullsh*t. Propaganda from the right so you don't expect it. I am 52 and have been paying 13% ( the matching part paid by your employer would have gone to you in it's absence ) on every penny earned since 1984. My taxes paid were likely blown on weapons systems ( $75 MILLION Osprey lostthe other day ) – Those I do not expect to get back – but SS & Medicare? That's not going away. It would only go away if we let it.

  83. Mike R Says:

    Nunya, so your position is that the Boomers came out in mass and voted in lock step to fuck you? They didn't even know you and it is a certainty they they didn't get to vote on it. You do realize that even boomers born in 1946 had their retirement age raised to 66 and was raised incrementally for those born at later dates, those later dates also including boomers. So your contention is the boomers voted themselves a cut in social security to what cause you grief. Do you know what the greenspan commision was, it wasn't put on the ballot as referendum. It was passed by the 98th congress, in which the house was controlled by the democrats and the senate by the republicans. My guess is the members of the House and Senate were composed of few boomers. A quick review of the ages of members of congress leads me to think the boomers didn't control shit. So yeah yelling fuck you at people on the internet is fun, mostly because their are no real consequences and it feels good. It also appears your in laws aren't all that liberal.

  84. Deggjr Says:

    Social Security will be there for us if we win, so let's win.

    This. Social Security is worth fighting for. From the retirement perspective, it enables old parents and their children to live separately. No matter your current situation that is an important goal.

    Social Security provides disability benefits for those covered for 10 years. Social Security provides survivors benefits. Paul Ryan received Social Security survivor benefits and used the money for college expenses.

    Most of the rank and file Republicans support Social Security and Medicare. They don't yet believe their leadership will take away their benefits, just those of the undeserving. This is a winnable fight.

  85. Nunya Says:

    Mike R,

    Thanks for the education on the increase in the retirement age for Social Security. The fact remains that the Boomers and the Silent Generation still elected to provide a worse deal for subsequent generations than they were willing to accept for themselves. Never in the history of this country were parents willing to ensure a lower standard of living for their progeny than they, themselves enjoyed.

    My parents got a free education at the University of California, funding was gradually and increasingly cut AFTER they walked away debt-free and began amassing savings. My generation (Gen X) had to take on debt but not the crippling debt that the Millenials are burdened by.

    In no way can this mentality be supported by and amount of appealing to Selma, Woodstock or draft dodging. Whether or not you supported it personally, no one protested the active screwing of the younger generation and your cohort has been found guilty.

  86. Katydid Says:

    @Nunya; my parents also both went to college tuition-free, in New York City. I disagree that the Millenials are paying a much steeper price for college than GenX–I've done the math (many times). Tuition at my world-rated state university is actually cheaper now than it was when I went there. If a Millenial wants to go to a $70k/year school like Tufts, then sure, it's expensive, but state schools are quite a bargain.

    My father joined the military right after graduating college, and he and my mother (and later their kids) travelled the world. My mother never worked a day in her life, but often we were stationed in countries where they could afford a housekeeper and gardener on my father's salary.

    Today my mother collects Social Security based on my father's earnings, and they also have his pension from his post-military career *and* the proceeds from his 401k, plus lifelong health care through the military for a couple of hundred dollars a year. Despite that, they're on the verge of bankruptcy and considering a reverse mortgage to get themselves out of debt from their numerous yearly cruises and other crazy spending habits. I've had to have the talk with them that I can no longer fund their lavish lifestyle because I'm one car wreck away from homelessness as I support my own children and pay my own bills. And yeah, they took that with all the petulance and pouting you'd expect from a pair of Boomers.

    Over the holidays, I was asked to float a loan to an aunt and uncle (another Boomer pair) who are completely into the "peace, dope, skip a rope" lifestyle of their teenage years, but not-so-much into paying their electric bill. The other side of the family tree is looking for a family bailout to send their 25-year-old daughter to Europe this summer because she'll simply DIEEEE if she doesn't get to go, because after all, both her parents got to go when they were her age.

  87. Mike R Says:

    Oh noes judged and convicted, oh woe is me. Self righteous little snowflake aren't you.

  88. democommie Says:

    It's not the under 50's who are to blame for 40 years of Rapepublicanism–just the ones who voted for fucking Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Ralph Nader and other unelectable candidates or just decided to not get involved in the general election because they got Berned (yeah, it's MY fault that Bernie decided in 2016 that he wanted to use one of two parties he'd been dissing for about 40 years to get a nomination–fuck him and, especially, fuck his campaign people).

    I don't have kids, so no grandkids. LOTTA grand neieces and nephews–some of whom have reasonably sensible parents, others not. I am NOT responsible for their welfare nor are they responsible for mine. Their parents, who are decent folks, need to do the necessary due diligence on their political choices, just as they do on investments, college selections, the new ride and alla that other shit.

    I do care about what happens to a lot of people, but it's not my fucking job to fix the world–I didn't fuck it up for them.

    People that want to be smug about us oldsters being out of touch–I read a fuckton of stuff that doesn't involve anybody who's currently trending–are too busy to know who the hell Dwight D. Eisenhower was–true story.

    That old saw about not learning from history is as true now as it was when it was first uttered–and it's not clear if it was George Santanyana, Edmund Burke or someone further back.

    If you want change, work for it BETWEEN elections.

  89. Gerald McGrew Says:

    GenX'er here.

    Regarding the Boomers, I worked with a Woodstock-era Boomer a while back, and I asked her why that generation, which was known for hippies and activism, ended up giving us yuppies and Reagan. She pointed out that most people don't appreciate just how big the post-WWII generation is. She said something like "For every Boomer at Woodstock, there were at least 3 more at home with mom and dad, stuffing envelopes for Nixon".

    Also, if all Boomers are to be held accountable for Reagan, Clinton, and Trump, then by the same measure every GenX'er owns Paul Ryan and all his fellow Ayn Rand worshipers. (hint: I'm saying neither is fair)

    Finally, I've been getting annual letters from SS that basically say "Here's how much you'll get each month if you retire right now". If that changes, couldn't I sue for breach of contract or something? Basically, the federal government will have been directly lying to me for my entire adult life.

  90. Nunya Says:

    Mike R,

    Such a powerful retort from a generation of draft dodging, self-serving, chicken hawks. I expected nothing less.

    History will not be kind.

  91. Nunya Says:

    @Katydid,

    Yeah, the reverse mortgage is yet another way to make sure that the next generation gets nothing. I'm sure your parents (and mine) got a decent inheritance but they'll make sure they leave the Xers with nothing but bills from the retirement home.

    But hey, Freedom Rock, Man! That's their gift to the next generation.

  92. Robin Says:

    I'm sorry so many of you seemed to have been raised by wolves.

  93. Brian M Says:

    There is an interesting discussion at Slate Star Codex,

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/02/09/considerations-on-cost-disease/

    a site with an excellent owner (and a sometimes…questionable
    …commentariate) that discusses some of the underlying issues we are touching on here- namely, "Cost Disease". Nefarious Boomers cutting State government support for universities is not enough of an explanation for the massive increase in cost. He concludes that he does not know "the" answer, but his summary is certainly interesting. Here is an excerpt:

    II.

    So, to summarize: in the past fifty years, education costs have doubled, college costs have dectupled, health insurance costs have dectupled, subway costs have at least dectupled, and housing costs have increased by about fifty percent. US health care costs about four times as much as equivalent health care in other First World countries; US subways cost about eight times as much as equivalent subways in other First World countries.

    I worry that people don’t appreciate how weird this is. I didn’t appreciate it for a long time. I guess I just figured that Grandpa used to talk about how back in his day movie tickets only cost a nickel; that was just the way of the world. But all of the numbers above are inflation-adjusted. These things have dectupled in cost even after you adjust for movies costing a nickel in Grandpa’s day. They have really, genuinely dectupled in cost, no economic trickery involved.

    And this is especially strange because we expect that improving technology and globalization ought to cut costs. In 1983, the first mobile phone cost $4,000 – about $10,000 in today’s dollars. It was also a gigantic piece of crap. Today you can get a much better phone for $100. This is the right and proper way of the universe. It’s why we fund scientists, and pay businesspeople the big bucks.

    But things like college and health care have still had their prices dectuple. Patients can now schedule their appointments online; doctors can send prescriptions through the fax, pharmacies can keep track of medication histories on centralized computer systems that interface with the cloud, nurses get automatic reminders when they’re giving two drugs with a potential interaction, insurance companies accept payment through credit cards – and all of this costs ten times as much as it did in the days of punch cards and secretaries who did calculations by hand.

    It’s actually even worse than this, because we take so many opportunities to save money that were unavailable in past generations. Underpaid foreign nurses immigrate to America and work for a song. Doctors’ notes are sent to India overnight where they’re transcribed by sweatshop-style labor for pennies an hour. Medical equipment gets manufactured in goodness-only-knows which obscure Third World country. And it still costs ten times as much as when this was all made in the USA – and that back when minimum wages were proportionally higher than today.

    And it’s actually even worse than this. A lot of these services have decreased in quality, presumably as an attempt to cut costs even further. Doctors used to make house calls; even when I was young in the ’80s my father would still go to the houses of difficult patients who were too sick to come to his office. This study notes that for women who give birth in the hospital, “the standard length of stay was 8 to 14 days in the 1950s but declined to less than 2 days in the mid-1990s”. The doctors I talk to say this isn’t because modern women are healthier, it’s because they kick them out as soon as it’s safe to free up beds for the next person. Historic records of hospital care generally describe leisurely convalescence periods and making sure somebody felt absolutely well before letting them go; this seems bizarre to anyone who has participated in a modern hospital, where the mantra is to kick people out as soon as they’re “stable” ie not in acute crisis.

    ____________

    I did not have a chance yet to read the comments, but his conclusion is that simple explanations for education, for college education, for health care, are not enough…especially given declines (by some metrics) in quality.

  94. Brian M Says:

    Robin: The stereotyping, group blame, and self pity is amazing here.

  95. Robin Says:

    I haven't spent a lot of time here. This sight was a recommendation I thought I'd take a look. It's so bad I wonder if these are regular commentators and if it's always like this or if it's trolling.

    I keep hearing about free college. WTF My husband was in the Air Force and went to college on the GI Bill at a reduced rate but not free and I went much later and it wasn't free and I only went to Community College.

    I seem to recall California had free College until Reagan was governor and he sure as hell wasn't a boomer.

    I don't know what to say to them. I wonder how many of them voted for Trump to stick it to the rest of us. The anger and bitter resentment towards people they don't even know, that they assume did every thing they could to fuck them over just for the fun of it is mind boggling.

    I'm going to keep watch on this thread just to see how it goes but my guess is I most likely won't be back. The Ed probably feels the same as the commentators since he's the one who started it with the swipe at Boomers and I don't need the angst.

  96. Nunya Says:

    Brian and Robin,

    I'm sure neither of you get out much but the dissatisfaction with the Boomers isn't exactly a new phenomenon. Both of your inability to look at the havoc your generation generated without at least a bit of introspection speaks volumes.

    You'll walk away just fine. Your kids will pick up after you, as usual.

  97. Robin Says:

    I took a informal pole of my coworkers before the last election half of the younger people, weren't even registered ( I asked, to encourage them to get registered, none were interested.) FFS you don't even have to leave your house to vote in this state. But again tell me how it's my fucking fault.

    You don't like the way things are? Then get out and change them. At last count there are more of you, then they're are of us (we've started to do as you wish and die off) and I'm sure more than one or two of us would vote with you.

    My grandmother was a staunch old time conservative who brought a tradition of voting to the family. Neither of us ever agreed on anything but voting. She would come out of her grave and bitch slap me if I didn't vote and she didn't care one whit that I voted Dem against her GOP, all she cared about was that I voted.

    When my son was growing up and we still went to the local voting place to vote, he went with us every time we voted. EVERY. TIME. From the time he was born. I would vote and then hand him off to my husband and then he would vote. When he was little the nice voting ladies would give him his own ballot to punch out because they watched him grow up from election to election. Guess what? My son is a Millennial and he votes.

    My kid is never going to have to pick after me. My husband had a good paying job until he retired, I wont deny that, but he worked his ass off for 35yr so maybe that should count for something. I work for peanuts but I work. We don't have a new car every year or now that I think about it, ever, and we don't go on exotic vacations, what we do, is pay our house payment, which is a small three bedroom affair not some McMansion. We have one outstanding credit card. With any luck this house will stand long enough that my ONLY child will inherit it. We don't live over our heads so don't purport to know who is going to be picking up after me.

    One of the men I work with is 60yrs old and he is so proud because he just bought his FIRST home. One my other coworking boomers rents a one room apartment but she pays her bills. Oh and they both vote. How come they didn't get into this great gravy train you keep talking about?

    I never said the Boomers are perfect or that we don't bear responsibility for some of the crap, fine things are fucked up. My point is and always has been that you can't blame every single monolithic one of us for every damn thing that is wrong with this country. It just doesn't work that way unless you are simple.

    I wouldn't be throwing stones about lack of introspection if I were you.

    If it works for you then I guess I can decide that all you whiny little shits that are too special to work your asses off to get ahead, must be too fucking stupid to make in the tough old world, because your parents didn't coddle you and give you every fucking thing you wanted. Doesn't feel good does it? Your first response is probably well that's not me. Guess what, your preconceived notions of people who you don't know aren't right about me either.

  98. democommie Says:

    Dear Robin:

    Fuck off.

    To any of you other dickwads that seem to think that you've been fucked by the people who raised you. fuck

  99. democommie Says:

    off.

  100. democommie Says:

    "Such a powerful retort from a generation of draft dodging, self-serving, chicken hawks. I expected nothing less"

    Fuck you, all by yourself, you piece of shit.

    I served, I hated the fucking Nixonian bullshit, but I still served. Fuck you, asshole.

  101. Justicia Says:

    Divide and conquer: Boomers are the enemy. No, it's the Millennials. No, blame the Gen-Xers (whoever they are).

    Get real, folks. This is nothing more than a left wing, circular firing squad. For every "greedy geezer" out there you can find a 30 something libertarian who wants to burn the social contract. So, turn around and aim at the real enemies of the social safety net — Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and those 3rd Way Democrat quislings.

  102. Robin Says:

    Justicia You're right. We've got more important enemies than the dem across the table from us.

  103. jcdenton Says:

    I know I'm late to the party, but if you guys need some reassuring facts, let's look at the age breakdown of the 2016 election:

    18-29: Clinton 55%
    30-44: Clinton: 50%
    45+: Trump 53%

    While this may initially seem like a "fuck boomers" argument, it's really not. The margins are slim, really slim. A tiny sliver of the majority of Millennials supported Hillary, and and a tiny sliver of the majority of Boomers supported Trump. There are enough great and terrible people on either side of the divide. Given how people typically become more conservative as they age (for a variety of reasons), this gap actually isn't that unnatural.

    If you're a Boomer, the best thing you can do is try to understand and support your side in the modern conflicts. Pass down any knowledge and money you have lying around. If you're a Millennial, understand that you're not the first person to deal with the social order breaking down… you just haven't had a chance to burn out on it yet. Every generation has its crimes, you're just not old enough to have committed any.

    We can all spend a great deal of time blaming ourselves. But we're all the victim here. We're the ones getting fucked by people with no compassion and no long-term interest in the public good. We must support each other, or die alone.

  104. Katydid Says:

    @Nunya; all four of my grandparents were immigrants to the US; three of them didn't even speak English when they arrived. The men joined the military and fought in WWII. Their (male) kids went into the military. In my generation, many of us also went into the military. While my parents didn't inherit all that much from their parents, the sheer amount they've received in their lifetimes is staggering–from the brand-new homes in brand-new suburbs to the brand-new schools built *just for them* and funded to the hilt, to the popular culture, games, and toys aimed at their interests, the still-free college educations, the wide-open job fields, and the pensions and generous Social Security in their waning years. Talk about white privilege–there is absolutely Boomer privilege.

  105. Mike R Says:

    Oh Nunya, you are a simple little guy/gal aren't you. Chickhawk, really, will match my dd 214 against yours any day if you have one. My time 1966 to 1969 in the USMC, with 15 months in country. So Fuck off you are really one whinny little milk suck.

  106. Tim H. Says:

    Many of us boomers have execrable political taste, but this economy has been done to us also, and it's been in the works since FDR, by those who despised the "New Deal", just took a few decades to establish a fork of economic science as justification for what they wanted to do anyway. I repeat, this has been rolling our way since before the first boomer soiled a diaper.

  107. Jestbill Says:

    @Mo: Reading comprehension is hard.

  108. Aurora S Says:

    Justicia is right. We need to shut the fuck up and lay this bullshit squarely in the lap of those whom are actually responsible for the complete degradation of social progress–the Republicans…from Nixon forward, though this turd has been rolling down Shit Mountain at ever increasing speeds, becoming larger and larger as time goes on and flattening everything in its path.

    Yeah, so a lot of them are old. And loud. And white. And entitled as fuck. My friend calls it being "old-people stupid", which essentially describes the lion's share of Faux News's base. They think they're part of the oligarchical club because it feels good to ascribe to the same backwards-ass social views that the oligarchs bark about on teevee, and they physically look the same. Keith Olbermann (damn I miss that guy) used to call them the "Something For Nothing Crowd" when they were all teabaggers. They showed up to town hall meetings screaming about not wanting to pay taxes for anything, but "keep your government hands off my Medicare!"

    Which brings me to why it's possible that Medicare and Social Security may disappear by the time we're old enough to collect it. These motherfuckers are greedy assholes who believe they "deserve" Medicare and Social Security because they're superior to them coloreds/women/immigrants/young people who back-sass them, and would happily accept it all for themselves while making sure the Others didn't see a dime. Republicans love to kiss their asses.

    @Robin:

    I have never actually seen us be this shitty to each other. lol…nah appears to be a troll, I've never seen the guy before that I can remember. Carrstone is probably reading this thread and beating off right now, though he has been blissfully absent these days, so he may have given up on us. We're uncharacteristically degrading into "You little shits have no respect for your elders!" vs. "Blow it out your ass, grandpa!"

    Can we also cut the "snowflake" bullshit? "Snowflake" is a term used by self-righteous conservative assholes who accuse progressives of being "too sensitive", while they get bent out of shape over saying "Happy Holdays" and the color of coffee cups.

  109. Aurora S Says:

    The "snowflake" request was for everyone, not just @Robin.

  110. Robin Says:

    I suspected Troll and I am usually far better at not taking the bait but this presidency has got my wires crossed. I thought I was disappointed in the American voting public when they re-elected W, but this….this is just seven levels of crazy.

  111. RobW Says:

    My father used to believe he would never see a dime of Social Security. Back in the '80s, he said this. He's 72 now.

    "Social Security won't be their when you get old" is a story I've been hearing from Republicans for the last 30 years. It's only ever been true if we let them get their hands on it.

  112. mago Says:

    As ignorant as the next person, me.

    However, had some premonition of the ensuing shit show that erupted here
    like the cliched festering boil.

    That's why like a year ago I posted an early comment on this thread with a multiple choice trivia question. Hit a dark void as is my humor's wont.

    Not trying to exonerate anything here.

    Just another disenfranchised boomer pissing in the dark.

    Grateful to be fed well and wearing white skin while sleeping in a warm bed.

    Even if I'll never get laid again.

    Is that enough?

  113. quixote Says:

    There was a comment upthread about why don't Boomers think at all for the future and posterity.

    To the extent that's true, I think there's a fairly direct explanation. The US and the Soviet Union had enough nuclear bombs, — each — , to destroy the whole world, the entire planet, several times over. It could all be launched in minutes. For decades there was always in the background the rolling thunder that you never knew which day would be your last.

    I know. That sounds hysterical now. And if you thought that way now, it would be hysterical because the world (pre Agent Orange anyway) was in a different place. The Cuban Missile Crisis was just the most widely publicized we-could-all-die-now situation.

    So there was a deep-seated live for now attitude. Plus, many people of all ages tend to try to grab everything in sight. It doesn't seem hard to understand. What's hard is figuring out how to cure it.

  114. Heisenberg Says:

    Sorry to @Robin et al. for our invective here. We're usually more on the same page, so obvously this is a sensitive issue.

    I agree that the anti-Boomer position paints with too broad a brush… however, this is still a thought-provoking (and frustrating) point:

    "The fact remains that the Boomers and the Silent Generation still elected to provide a worse deal for subsequent generations than they were willing to accept for themselves. Never in the history of this country were parents willing to ensure a lower standard of living for their progeny than they, themselves enjoyed."

  115. Katydid Says:

    @Quixote; The front part of Gen X also grew up with the idea of nuclear annhiliation at any moment. It was certainly in the media we were bombarded with, from War Games (Russian computers think the USA is attacking Russia, Russia prepares to retaliate), The Day After (the bedraggled survivors of a nuclear attack against the USA slowly die off), 99 Luftballoons (computers mistake children's toy balloons for nukes and retaliate, causing world destruction)…and if it weren't nukes, it was a takeover of the USA (the laughably horrible Red Dawn, which somehow managed to terrify many people). We didn't have duck-and-cover drills only because what would the point be? The Berlin wall didn't come down until '89; the oldest X'ers were already out of college (and many of us were in the military fighting the Cold War).

  116. geoff Says:

    @AuroraS, "Carrstone is probably reading this thread and beating off right now…"

    Thanks for the morning lol : ) Solidarity, Comrades!

  117. X-RWU Says:

    This is now the THIRD (3rd) comment I've tried posting for this article. Why is it that none of mine are getting through, but everyone else's is?

  118. X-RWU Says:

    Oh, so THAT one went through. I don't know why the other 2 didn't. Is it because I tried including links to articles and websites?

    Hello again, everyone; sorry I haven't been around in a while, but I just wanted to throw in my own 2 cents about Baby Boomer hypocrisy (my TL;DR version: they ruined so much for the rest of us, particularly with making us go to college for what would end up being useless college degrees, and now they want to blame it all on us).
    Aurora S pretty much nailed it earlier: Unless these disingenuous and shortsighted Boomers want to stop blaming and scapegoating us younger folks and start being productive in striving for solutions, **** them. Most hypocritical and shortsighted generation ever. Appropriate punishment in hell: Being retail slaves for demonic customers for all eternity.

  119. democommie Says:

    @Quixote:

    "I know. That sounds hysterical now."

    Actually, it DID, until about 9:00 PM EST on November 8, 2016–only 1385 more days, give or take.

    @ X_RWU:

    'cuz we HATEZ U! Nah, it's more likely that across the brazillion or so electroneuronical synapses that comprise teh intertoobz, there was some sort of failure. I only say this because if I'm getting through there's a pretty low bar.

    FWIW, one of mine–posted last night amidst a birthday party for someone in a bar while I was trying to have a quiet moment–also went missing. Fortunately, it was more nonsense. Otoh, it did have a grain of truth.

    For all of the non-boomers who hate on their parents? How many of you have had your parents pay for your schooling because taxes were cut, aid to colleges reduced and tuition's raised by people who didn't fight in WWII, Korea or Vietnam? And how many continued to live at home (or still do) well past their 21st birthday? I only ask because the cost of raising a child to age 17 is nothing compared to that of taking care of an adult who needs a fuckton more shit.

  120. X-RWU Says:

    @democommie: sorry if I came across as particularly angry and mean-spirited. Just so sick to death of being blamed for what isn't my/our fault. (Also, sorry if I don't understand your comment, I don't quite get what you're getting at.)

    No one appreciates being made the victim and being blamed for it. There are lots of ways we got screwed, but higher education seems to have been the worst and most painful, closely followed by "no more jobs" and "jobs which don't pay nearly enough to live on"… let me put it this way: Consider their attitudes before and after the economic crash which led to our current situation (here's my take on it)–
    BEFORE: "You MUST go to college! You absolutely must or you will be a miserable failure for the rest of your life! It doesn't even matter what field you pick or what your GPA is, employers only want to see the degree! Don't worry about taking out loans, it's totally worth it! What, you want to end up flipping burgers for the rest of your life!?"
    AFTER: "Don't complain, you HAD to go to college! What else were you going to do with your life? If you can't get a job with your art history degree and 2.9 GPA, then maybe you should have picked a different major and gotten better grades! Now go find any job you can find to pay off those loans, show some personal responsibility! What, you think you're too good to take a job flipping burgers!?"

    See what I mean?

  121. Aurora S Says:

    It should be noted that not only has college become absurdly expensive and just not possible for a good portion of the population, but it is now considered necessary to have a college degree, when the same wasn't true for the Boomers. Your kids didn't make the rules, so don't blame them for it.

  122. Aurora S Says:

    @X-RWU–

    Exactly.

  123. Katydid Says:

    @demo; not hating on the parents, just reflecting back the generational differences.

    I went to college on my own dime–"Nobody paid for OUR college, so why should we help you pay for yours?" (Gee, maybe because you went FOR FREE?). GenX, especially the forefront, were expected to get the hell out of the house at 18–job, school, military…didn't matter, we just had to get out. There was no "moving back with the parents". At 18, we were out on our own to sink or swim. A lot of my generation went to college simply because those predatory school loans had a slightly-lower interest rate than payday loans, hoping against hope that a degree would let us get a "real" job.

  124. Khaled Says:

    College costs are a bubble created by easy credit and predatory lenders, combined with optimism and an inability to look at an investment rationally.

    Stop me if you're heard this before.

    College costs are increasing at a rate that often doubles or triples inflation and several times higher than the rise in mean household income. So what gives? Unlike any other type of debt, student loan debt CANNOT be expunged in bankruptcy, which means those loans that someone took out when they were 18 years old will literally never go away. And why else would a bank give 100k+ loans to someone with no credit?

    The growth of student loans is tied directly to the regulation being changed. It was sold as a way to expand the number of people getting non-government loans and let lower and middle income kids go to college, but in practice has led to a boom in college costs (as suddenly the supply of money and supply of people able to "afford" higher tuition costs exploded) and a boom in for-profit colleges, which exist to separate loan money from gullible students and parents.

    I would expect that if you did a simple return on investment analysis on expensive universities and the difference in cost to a lower cost state university, the logic of taking on loans for additional 100k+ in debt will seem dubious. While the Ivy Leagues may result in higher incomes for graduates, a lot of that has to do with the people and the families that send their kids there. The average middle or lower income kid would be better served by going to a in-state university or a lower-cost out of state university than swinging for the fences by trying to go to Stanford or the Ivies.

    Looking at median incomes of graduates between a state school and an expensive private university, I would expect to find that taking into account the amount of money that a person would pay over the life of a loan, it makes no sense to spend the extra money to get a "bump" of maybe 5-10k in yearly income in the future. But since everyone (and their parents) believe that they are "above-average" and will believe that they will make way more than the median income of graduates or will look at the propaganda put forth by the schools "Johnny got a degree in anthropology and now he's the CEO of a tech firm and makes billions! This could be you! Never mind the rest of his cohort that are teaching for peanuts as adjunct professors or are running retail stores or went to law school, got more debt and work for peanuts as well!" and believe it. Hence the optimism.

    So basically, we have a similar case of every bubble ever, where people believe that math and rules don't apply until everything comes crashing down around them, meanwhile the people who loan the money will makes millions while everyone else loses their shirts, lifesavings, or in the case of students, all of their future income that will go to banks instead of investing in houses, capital markets, etc.

    So you want to make college more affordable? Shut off the easy credit! Let student loan debt be expunged by bankruptcy (to make it so someone doesn't just declare bankruptcy the day after they graduate, give it a period of like 10 years or something that you can't expunge it) and have the federal government or state governments provide low-cost loans to students. Second, have those schools that spend a lot of money on administration (so like all of them) justify those expenses to regulators before they get that sweet student loan cash. Third, teach parents and students to look at the ROI on expensive non-Ivy league schools and let them realize that going to a state school will likely result in a similar outcome. Not to pick on any school here, but I would imagine that kids who go to Xavier and Miami University (the one in Ohio) will have similar outcomes in future employment, but Xavier is likely three times as expensive.

  125. X-RWU Says:

    @Aurora: Thanks for the vote of confidence. Also, no, I don't think the Boomers tried screwing over their successors (us) on purpose, but now that it's happened, they're not really doing anything to try and fix it. It seems more like they're just trying to wash their hands clean of it… if anything, it looks like they would rather eat broken glass and roll around in it naked rather than admit that any of the fault lies with them.
    Oh, and that's another thing: I truly HATE the so-called "lack of alternatives" excuse, i.e. "What else are you going to do with your life?" Or "You've got to do SOMETHING!" Here's some good wisdom for ya: Doing nothing is better than doing something stupid. And there were alternatives, the Boomer elders just didn't want to consider them, such as going to college in another country where it doesn't cost so damn much (try anywhere in Europe) or skipping college altogether and getting jobs in the trades. I guess the Boomer elders would rather see their children live in the basement with their useless college degrees than move out and buy nice houses and cars with a job involving manual labor. The mindset of "white collar good, blue collar bad" has led to this problem as well.

    @Katy: Sorry to hear about your own woes. I had know idea that GenX had it that bad in their own day; I thought it was only the GenY & Millennials who got really screwed with the loans and bad economy.

    Also, if I may share a personal theory as to why Millennial-bashing by Boomers is so prevalent and popular? Not so long ago, when Obama was still President, I theorized that the reason why Boomers loved to bash Millennials is because they were the only "safe" group left to attack. Consider: The majority of Boomers seem to be older white people and conservatives. While Obama was in charge for 8 years, they needed someone to blame… but they couldn't attack and blame blacks & other ethnic minorities, immigrants, women, LGBT, etc., for fear of getting branded as racist or sexist or homophobic. So who did that leave? Young people! I would often see conservative and Right-leaning writers print articles like "Why won't all these groups (blacks, women, gays, etc.) vote for us?" But mention young people being screwed over by the bad economy, and the attitude was all, "Ha ha, serves you right for voting for Obummer!" It was like all the hatred which they had for all those groups was reserved solely for that one group: young people.
    Of course, I could be wrong; it's only a theory…

  126. X-RWU Says:

    @Khaled- I didn't see your post until I posted mine, but you're totally right: This crisis was created by greedy institutions taking advantage of debt which can't be discharged in bankruptcy (as opposed to loans for housing, cars, or even friggin' GAMBLING). If the student loan spigot got shut off today, lots of schools would cease to exist in very short order.
    We've seen several years' worth of college graduates get dumped into this crappy economy since it crashed a decade ago, and still millions more go every year (no doubt pushed into it by their families with the aforementiomed pressure and brainwashing)… maybe they think it can't happen to them, maybe they're hoping and praying the economy will improve by the time they graduate, etc.

    Oh, BTW, I don't know if I ever mentioned this before, but I actually found this blog through the law school scamblog movement; one of those blogs posted an article which quoted one of Ed's posts.

  127. Mo Says:

    Khaled – having watched this movie during its first run, the repressive student loan thing seems to be the result of reactionaries (lookin' at you, Republicans, in particular) resentful of those who took advantage of low-cost student loans and then declared bankruptcy to avoid re-payment. Getting an education for "free!" Can't have that.

    Banksters then milked the privatize-everything sentiment to gin up interest rates so all those pension funds would see a safe level of returns, amirite?

    The US is awash in credit, but do we invest in education, research, and implementing non-fossil fuel energy technology? Hell no.

    I have come to believe that half the Boomer generation is a giant, festering resentful tumor dragging down the other half.

  128. Robin Says:

    Heisenberg,

    Fine, I give up. It's my fault.

    But think about this, I only voted for 1 president before the GenXers were old enough to start voting with me.

    GenXers have been voting since the the early '80s and the bulk of you have been eligible since '88. It's 2017. That's close to 30yrs. Since I know from my voting record that not all Boomers voted for republicans, then if you all voted, and didn't vote for republicans or idiots (democrats with crappy voting records) and you add in those of us who voted with you, we must have had the numbers to make things better in the last 30yrs? Hell even Millennials started being eligible to vote in '95. That's 22 years ago. So how come things aren't better?

    You've known they've been going to shit for quite some time.

    In 2010 when we could have really used the help to stop the gerrymandering only about 1/3 of you showed up to vote. In 2012 only 27% of 30 – 44yr olds voted. On the other hand 38% of Boomers voted which is still abysmal but beats out GenXers by 11%. I know we still had the numbers on you but it will never matter if you don't show up.

    The average age of a congress critter is 57 and the senate 61. Don't like it, get out and run. You've been eligible to hold office an awful long time. It takes money but in the age of the internet President Obama showed that it can be done.

    Sure Trump is a Boomer but so was President Obama and so is Bernie Sanders…oh wait he's not, he's part of the Silent generation. Yea, Hillary is one of ours but you know what, if it's a pick between her and Trump I'll take her any day.

    Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan and Jason Chaffetz are GenXers which means my gen has to take the blame for the repugnant Mich McConnell and the equally nasty Mike Pence.

    All in all I'd like to vote for younger people because I want people who understand the tech and who's idea of stock market investment isn't RJReynolds, the Oil companies and Kraft, but alternative energy, like solar and wind. The median age of tech workers is 30 so somebody in your age range is working.

    As for Trump, he won with people 45 and older which means some of you GenXers voted for him, he won with men, which I'm not one of, and he won with whites which I am. So, you can only give me 2/3rd of the blame for Trump and if your an white guy over 45….. Again doesn't seem fair. I know a lot of white guys who didn't vote for Trump but then I live in a blue state so maybe it's a bubble.

    In this last election 90 million eligible voters didn't show up.

    I could point out, that while a long way from perfect, some people did get leg up because of the Boomer polices. POC and women have a better lot than they did in previous generations. I guess the argument can be made that if job opportunities are better for women and POC then it must be white men who have taken the hit by having to finally compete with more than each other.

    As for jobs that use to be had but didn't need college how much of that can be racked up to technological advancements? The days of cradle to grave employment died before I came along. We don't have telephone operators, more and more of what's left of factory jobs, mill jobs, are being done by robots.

    I'll tell you where a lot of jobs have disappeared from is the government. The employment at state and federal levels is way down from past years. The longest employed people I know, were government employees and they had great bennies. Let's see who is it that is always trying to shrink the government? Republicans tell you the government doesn't work than go about proving it. They are also the kings of deregulation which is how you get a government who allows predatory lending, legal loan sharking as far as I can tell. We use to have usury laws that meant something. Look what they've done to the Post Office. It's a crime.

    As for this free college I keep hearing we went to. The only state that I can find in that data range that had free college for instate residents is California until the 70s. There were a few colleges here and there but not enough to account for the "you all went to college for free" Lots of us didn't live in California. My husband went on the GI bill at a reduced rate. A lot of the boomer middle class came off the GI Bill. I went much later to Community College and it wasn't free. Was it cheaper? Yes, much. Until I started writing this I thought my son was a Millennial he's not he came along late he's a GenZ. I would have loved to have been able to talk him into being an electrician or a plumber, but no. I couldn't believe what it cost us to get him through school and he didn't go to a big school. Does it frustrate me that we paid that money and he still doesn't have a great job, you bet. Do I blame him no.

    Again, I'm sorry so many of you were raised by wolves.

    One last thing, the reason republicans feel like they have to have a cut off for SS and Medicare screwing is, Boomers vote. At last count there are more of you than there are of us. If you don't want to lose your chance at benefits, if you want to force them to fix the colleges and the rate you pay for loans then make them afraid of you by showing up and voting.

    Many of you won't bother to read this tl;dr or you'll say I'm not taking responsibility for my generation. Fine. We messed it up, but it won't be fixed by us alone so maybe you could start showing up to help out.

    Bet you didn't think I could make a long post without saying Fuck at least once. :)

  129. democommie Says:

    Fuck.

    Just wanted to make sure that I did that in case there was a contest, later.

    I AM a cranky old fucker. I used to be younger and cranky but I have not mellowed nor improved with age. I do have what passes for wisdom with some younger people because I did that shit they're contemplating and I KNOW it's a bad idea.

    Having said that, I think that the single largest problem in this country is a lack of involvement in things that are hard to be involved in. Not sure how that's fixed except by being exceedingly blunt with some folks and genuinely concerned and supportive with others. I actually try to NOT alienate people I am around in meatspace unless/until they make it clear that what's in their skulls may look like a brain but it's as undifferentiated as a box jellyfish and just as toxic.

    "but it is now considered necessary to have a college degree, when the same wasn't true for the Boomers."

    I'm 67 and when I got out of the USAF back in 1972 almost everybody I know who wasn't hooked up with a union, an honest family business or some form of nepotism (Union Pacific, Northwest Bell, Northern Natural Gas–later to be Enron–and then bankrupt) was trying to get a degree in the sciences or education. I had zero interest in going to school–the undiagnosed ADHD may have played a part) but I found out over the last 45 years that a lot of really not bright people got to be bosses–at least middle range–from getting degrees.

    Now, then, to anyone whom I might have offended* (who the fuck do I think I'm kidding?) with my intemperate, profane or ill-considered, spittle-flecked, batshit rants please cut and paste this along with my blanket, heartfelt and abject apology** and my promise to never do it again until at least tomorrow–into your wallet or somewhere safe.

    I need to go harass some genuine dicks, elsewhere.

    * With the exception of a punchbowl surfing turd–you know who you are.

    ** I always loved a german phrase:"entschuldigung, es tut mir leid". I've heard it used on two occassions by a german. In both instances it was an apology for egregiously bad social gagffe.

    I love this, from a translation website:

    " So if you want to sincerely apologise for running over someone's cat or daughter, make it "Es tut mir Leid", whereas to say sorry just for being silly, "Sorry" would be enough.".

  130. April Says:

    For the record….boomer (right in the middle), had free college due to scholarships, have never voted repug in my life, and have ALWAYS voted.

    This shit is not my fault.

  131. Kevin Says:

    "It will require federal tax revenue to redeem those bonds"

    not really.. they can just be rolled over into external debt. or look at it that the money spent on the military, say $700 billion, is borrowed and the other money is used to pay off the bonds.

  132. Barry Says:

    "They'll grandfather everyone currently over 55 – they do love that "born before 1960" phrase in all of their "fixes" – into the current benefit levels and then ream everyone younger than 55."

    The cruel joke is that if they succeed in doing that, then with the next election cycle, we'll see the old 'you don't have it, why should they?' from the right. The only way that the benefits of over-55's survive the Ryan plan is if they die before the next wave of cuts.

  133. Robin Says:

    Charlie Pierce doesn't call Paul Ryan Zombie Eyed Granny Starver for nothing.

  134. quixote Says:

    Katydid, not sure if you thought I was saying that Boomers were somehow special in fearing nuclear holocaust. Not what I meant at all. Anybody with two synapses to connect would see the problem.

    As for giving a poorer world to posterity, we're doing it right now. Except this time it's for sure, not just "oh gee whiz I was assuming it wouldn't get this bad." Climate change is going to give us an increasingly poor future for centuries. Have you seen the data out of the Arctic? It's all over but the shouting.

    Sure, a world war-type mobilization to change over to sustainability would still avert the worst, but I see no sign of the necessary effort. Some effort, yes. Enough effort, no. So those of us wondering how the boomers could just try to make the best of their lives at such terrible cost, we can look at ourselves and think about what it would take for us to set the whole world's economic system on a better path that cost future generations less.

  135. Katydid Says:

    @quixote; sorry if I gave the impression I was arguing with you–I'm not. I'm absolutely furious and depressed and terrified for my own kids that the planet is collapsing under us all. Yes, I'm closely following the news about the Artic. I have no words; just a feral howl of outrage.

    @Robin; also got no beef with you. Except for the voting thing–GenX is approximately 1964 – 1984, meaning the bulk of us couldn't vote in 1988 (I did, but my younger siblings weren't yet old enough). I've voted a straight Dem ticket for national elections–for about a minute, I considered voting for McCain in 2000, but he was pushed right out.

  136. Robin Says:

    @Katydid the info I saw said GenX was '65 to '76

    Millenials '77 to '95

    If I'm wrong on that, I'll take the hit. You're right though my math is off. If the first of you were 18 in 83 that means I voted twice before the first of you could join me.

    As you can guess I was born at the tail end of the Boomer Generation in '58.

    In August the last of my husband's cobra will run out, he's retired and gets both, and I won't have healthcare and I'm still too young for SS or Medicare so the ACA gutting is important to me. I'll fall under the 1960 deadline, if they don't kill it before I get there.

    I didn't get to vote the first time until '76 and only because I was born early enough in the year. One more month later and I would have had to wait for '80.

    I'm scared to death for my kid too.

  137. quixote Says:

    @katydid "I'm absolutely furious and depressed and terrified for my own kids that the planet is collapsing under us all."

    Too true.

    A few years back I had a real downer of a realization: I don't envy the young.

    That's just *wrong*. I mean a good kind of envy of course. That feeling that they've got great years of love and laughter ahead of them and wouldn't it be fun to see it all. Realizing that it just ain't so was horrible. Still is horrible.

    Still, as others here have said, we shouldn't go gently into that night. Fight like hell. You never know what's in the future. I was 100% convinced as a 25 year old that we'd all die in a nuclear war. I didn't know things could sometimes, when we work at it, turn out better than expected.

  138. democommie Says:

    @ Barry:

    "they do love that "born before 1960" phrase in all of their "fixes""

    Back in the Pol Pot Khmer Rouge era, anyone with eyeglasses or dental work was deemed "unreliable". If Ryan and his cutthroat fuck of a congress have their way, anybody who can remember 1970 is in deep shit.

    @ Quixote:

    "Sure, a world war-type mobilization to change over to sustainability would still avert the worst, but I see no sign of the necessary effort. Some effort,
    yes. Enough effort, no.

    The modern GOP (Greedy Old Pricks) is more concerned about making sure that they have a nice bison steak than where it comes from.

  139. Katydid Says:

    @democommie; I have relatives born in 1950 who don't remember 1970, LOL.

    @Robin, I am sincerely sorry your husband's COBRA is running out and will leave you without insurance. We as a country can do so much better than this and it's infuriating that we don't.

    I have former-clients, now-friends in Holland. Back in the mid-2000s, I got an email from his company that my then-client would be out of work for at least a month due a car accident, but in the meantime, So-and-So would handle the work. I emailed the client's wife and asked if they were okay; she didn't understand the question. If you're injured in Holland, your doctor calls your company and tells them when you will be back, and the company pays your salary. There's none of the edge-of-the-seat craziness like we have here.

  140. Robin Says:

    @Katydid

    thanks. What scares me is some lame fix by republicans that leaves insurance companies to do as they please. As it stands now if I went with a regular plan we wouldn't get financial help. We aren't rich but we're above the cutoff for help. That's fine, I don't mind paying my way.

    What scares me is the republicans doing just enough tinkering that the premiums they keep saying are too high skyrocket for people like me with pre-existing conditions. My only hope is we live in a blue state and I could see them finding a way to do as Massachusetts has done for years and giving everyone healthcare if it comes to it falling apart.

    My husband's niece was on vacation in France and needed to go to a doctor. When they were done she asked for a bill or whatever so she'd know what she owed. They just shrugged and told her there was no bill. To be fair her husband was a French national at the time but still, they don't even bother with billing. Can you imagine the freedom that would afford a whole society?

  141. Katydid Says:

    @Robin; I completely believe your story about healthcare in France. I was a teenage military dependent in England when the on-base dentist determined I'd need my wisdom teeth pulled. The military in 1980 didn't cover wisdom teeth for dependents and I'd have to pay $2500 to have them pulled. Long story short, I got them pulled by a British dentist at no charge because a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend had a father who was a dentist who was appalled at the state of American dental care.

    Another Holland story; on one of my trips over there, my client invited me to join his wife and kids and him on a long weekend on an island in the Nordzee. They had a little rental cottage. We were there 10 minutes when one of the kids fell off the porch and hurt her ankle. They called the med center and a doctor said she'd come look at it after work so we wouldn't have to figure out how to get there. She brought a portable x-ray and her own toddler, and we watched the baby while she examined the ankle, which turned out not to be broken after all. The cost of that was all covered by their taxes, which really aren't any higher than ours.

    I understand about preexisting conditions and it infuriates me that people are denied care because of them. If you live long enough, you will have a preexisting condition. Some are minor (like a history of sinus infections) and some are dire (heart problems, diabetes, etc.). Insurance companies rake in the money.

    A couple of jobs ago, I had employer-provided healthcare that was horrific. $2200/month for family coverage, $5k deductible before insurance even kicked in. For a medical expense to count toward the deductible, we had to mail (not fax, not email) our bills and medical notes to a company in Florida (warning, warning!) which then ruled on whether or not the bill was "legitimate". Wouldn't you know it, their out was that they "weren't a medical company" so they could deny your claims all they wanted and claim ignorance until you spent months jumping through hoops and violating HIPAA by mailing them your personal medical notes to prove that your doctor visit and antibiotics to clear up a sinus infection was actually coverable under their rules. I have no idea how this was even legal–in three years, I never hit the $5k deductible, yet I was paying more than $25,000/year to the insurance company for coverage.

  142. Katydid Says:

    Sorry–hit "send" before I finished the thought–the owner of that company was completely against "Obamacare" because the free market would take care of us all.

  143. Robin Says:

    @Katydid

    I just shake my head at the stupidity and greed that goes on in the health insurance market. When JBE was running for governor of Louisiana I sent him money. Why do you ask would a person living clear across the country, that's never been to the south, send money to a pro-life democrat? Because he said if he got elected he would expand Medicare for the poor in that state.

    Can you imagine trying to treat Breast Cancer or any other type of cancer out a emergency room? Won't happen, but republicans don't care if people die as long as they don't cost them money.

    When my husband had his heart attack if we had not had insurance we'd of been wiped out financially. We'd of lost it all. Oh, and now I believe you can't file for bankruptcy for medical bills.

  144. Heisenberg Says:

    @Robin I think you're taking this the wrong way. We're not saying it's YOUR fault personally. We were talking in broad terms about generations and the sweep of history. Your personal history of voting for liberals, while admirable, doesn't really refute that.

  145. democommie Says:

    "I got them pulled by a British dentist at no charge because a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend had a father who was a dentist who was appalled at the state of American dental care."

    But, but, but…all brits have terrible teeth (chuckles democommie, and then his denture shoots out of his mouth and lands on the floor, where Buddy the Wonderdog "cleans" it for him! Yikes, did I just type that out loud!?") except the ones I meet or see on any video or film footage. Why do they hide all of their problems from the world?/s

    I am in the "sweet spot" of qualifying for both VA and Medicare healthcare without eating dogfood, yet.

  146. Katydid Says:

    @democommie; LOL at your teeth story! What a lot of people don't know about England is that their economy was pretty much wiped out after WWII and people actually went hungry. I think it was Ed who told us that they owed the USA money for helping them in the war until the 1980s. Add to that their fondness for sugary tea (quite a luxury in the war years, still a luxury in a nation that thinks a 50-degree house is "heated") and you can see why an entire generation had bad teeth. However, I've noticed too that their movie stars have great teeth. Also, you'd be surprised at the state of the average British person's teeth in the 21st century.

    Know who has horrible teeth? My American-born, American-raised spouse, who desperately needed braces as a kid but never got them because his parents didn't have any money. Both kids got his teeth–both had braces in middle school, and the difference in what proper dental care can do is astounding.

  147. Robin Says:

    @Heisenberg

    rrriiiiggghhhttt

  148. Jeff B. Says:

    Here we go again, blaming the Boomers for everything. If conservatives have been trying to cut Social Security for *that long*, well, obviously many of them making the effort are older than Boomers.

    And with some Boomers retired and the rest not *too* far from it, why would they cut it *now*? Why wouldn't they keep it going all through their lives and then let someone else cut it–someone younger then them, naturally?

    And why would "benefit cuts" mean you'll "never see a dime", anyway? No one is saying the system will completely fall apart–that's just something the people trying to make cuts encourage you to think, even if they don't come out and say it because they know there's no justification for saying so. But you, like a good GenXer, COMPLETELY BUY IT and then congratulate yourself on your hard-headed, savvy realism.

    THIS, folks, is why we're in the fix we're in.

  149. Jeff B. Says:

    More to the point, since we know this is all a CONSERVATIVE project, why blame ALL Boomers for it?

    Boomer-bashing was essentially invented by the conservative movement in order to deflect blame. They knew they'd have a ready, eager audience of GenXers and punks who'd swallow the bait, because after all, the Boomers gave us DIRTY HIPPIEZZ, and what punk can resist beating up on DIRTY HIPPIEZZ so Paul Ryan won't have to?