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How do you pose as a dead person

Bondi Beach

OK, I get it. This election, you know which one I'm talking about, is no joke, and emotions are strong on both sides.

But this gem from Rudy Giuliani is too good to pass up, no matter which side you're on (emphasis added):

"And the Post's Phil Rucker tweeted that "Giuliani just predicted Dems will 'steal' the election in Pennsylvania by busing in people from out of state to pose as dead people to cast ballots.''

bb

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Bondi Beach

It's fairly simple.

They aren't posing as zombies or something like that.

It's a form of identity theft and it's one of the more common forms of voter fraud. Basically, you are using the name, address, voter registration, and possibly the social security number of a deceased person to vote as if you are that person.

It's less likely to be detected in the short term than stealing the identity of a living person for voter fraud as you don't have to worry about the real person showing up to vote.

Chicago has a reputation for this sort of voter fraud.

Replies:   Bondi Beach  Not_a_ID
Ernest Bywater

@Bondi Beach

often people who recently died are still on the voting rolls, so someone who claims to be the deceased can then vote again. This is why updating the rolls is so important. There's a classic tale from the 1960s where the loser of a major US federal said he lost because the other candidate's supporters were better at voting the cemeteries than his were.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Bondi Beach

@Dominions Son

They aren't posing as zombies or something like that.


And another joke of mine falls flat.

It all turns on one's definition of "dead," of course. They aren't posing as dead people; they're posing as voters who are dead.

I just made a bad joke worse. Sorry. The debate last night rotted what little was left of my brain.

bb

sejintenej

We had a well-known Member of Parliament who was wanted by the police. He went to the office in London, looked for someone born at about the same time as him but who was dead. From that he got a birth certificate for that person and applied for a passport. The application also requires a statement by a professional person or member of parliament.
He was found several years later, I think in Australia.
There are now rules to restrict that and other potentially embarrassing practices but they are not always followed as I found out myself

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@sejintenej

He went to the office in London, looked for someone born at about the same time as him but who was dead.


Was he at a corner desk where no-one noticed him?


He was found several years later, I think in Australia.


Yup. That's where they all end up.

bb

Ernest Bywater

@Bondi Beach

Yup. That's where they all end up.


Yeah, Australia or Brazil or the Bahamas.

samuelmichaels
Updated:

@Bondi Beach


Bondi Beach

He was found several years later, I think in Australia.

Yup. That's where they all end up.


Good observation, Mr. Bondi Beach.

samuelmichaels

@Bondi Beach

''...to pose as dead people to cast ballots.''


Well, if it's right after Halloween, they could still have their zombie costumes on...

Wheezer

Despite what the Republican Party & their candidate would have you believe, voter fraud in the US is insignificant, and the tiny percentage that does occur is limited to a few local elections and has no impact on the national results:

http://journalistsresource.org/studies/politics/elections/voter-fraud-perceptions-political-spin

Dominions Son

@Wheezer

Contrary to your claims, all your link shows is that there is no reliable data on the frequency of voter fraud one way or the other.

In 2016, Loyola Law School Professor Justin Levitt wrote in the Washington Post that he had found 31 credible allegations of fraud among some 1 billion ballots cast between 2000 and 2014


That doesn't say anything about the true frequency of voter fraud unless you assume that voter fraud is easy to detect and that the majority of cases are in fact detected. That would be an untested, and likely untestable assumption.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, in a September 2014 report to Congress, noted that without a central data source for fraud reporting, it cannot make valid conclusions about the frequency of fraud. It did add, though, that the Department of Justice had noted "no apparent cases of in-person voter impersonation […] anywhere in the United States, from 2004 through July 3, 2014."


Again, without the assumption that most cases of voter fraud are detected/detectable, that doesn't say anything meaningful.

Personally, I don't think voter fraud is anywhere near as common as those pushing for voter ID laws think it is. However, at the same time, I don't think it is anywhere near a rare as some would like to believe.

Ernest Bywater

@Wheezer

voter fraud in the US is insignificant,


I suspect what you really mean is "Proven voter fraud in the US is insignificant." Because if the fraud is well done it isn't even noticed. However, a large part of the perception is due to historical evidence of fraud by both parties in past elections. Legislation and changes in the past decade or so should have made voter fraud a lot harder to carryout.

However, with most of the media being either pro-Republican or pro-Democrat, you can expect any news to be partisan one way or the other, and thus little truth in there on anything related to the parties.

Mind you, I'd rather see a party leader who lies about the probability of election fraud elected than one who lies about everything they get involved with.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

. Legislation and changes in the past decade or so should have made voter fraud a lot harder to carryout.


There have been no changes in US law in recent decades that would make voter fraud harder to carryout.

A few states have enacted voter ID requirements, but most have been blocked by the federal courts following Voting Rights Act challenges.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Wheezer
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

There have been no changes in US law in recent decades that would make voter fraud harder to carryout.


In doing some research on US Voting Fraud an article mentioned several laws changes, one federal law change had a lot to do with the administration and management of elections. The article mentioned the changes being put in place due to that law eliminated some forms of election fraud and made most others harder to do. It did also mention some state laws on voter ID being challenged.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Wheezer

@Ernest Bywater

Proving a negative is impossible and unscientific. Like every other claim, the burden of proof lies with the claimant. There are a lot of allegations of voter fraud, but evidence of actual fraud is a minute percentage. The ones claiming fraud are always the ones on the losing side. Since the last eight US elections have gone republican, republican, democrat, democrat, republican, republican, democrat, democrat, I would suggest that voter fraud is either insignificant (as the evidence suggests) or played equally by both sides.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Wheezer

@Dominions Son


A few states have enacted voter ID requirements, but most have been blocked by the federal courts following Voting Rights Act challenges.


That's because those voter ID laws give lip service to preventing fraud while actually making it harder for the poor & minority US citizens from exercising their right to vote. Those people usually vote Democrat. These restrictive ID laws are pushed into law by Conservative controlled state legislatures.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

In doing some research on US Voting Fraud an article mentioned several laws changes, one federal law change had a lot to do with the administration and management of elections.


There are two distinct types of election fraud.

Back room ballot box stuffing by people involved in the election process.

And

Voter Fraud, which is election fraud committed in person by individual voters. This is either ineligible persons voting (non-citizens, felons), or individual voters engaging in voter impersonation in order to vote multiple times.

The law to which you are referring deals with ballot stuffing issues, not voter fraud issues. It didn't do anything to make voter fraud harder. In fact, a couple of other changes arguably make voter fraud (particularly voting by ineligible persons) easier.

It did also mention some state laws on voter ID being challenged.


Every voter ID law in every state that passed one has been challenged. A couple have been up held, a few have been over turned, the rest are still pending appeals.

Getting voter ID as a general prospect to SCOTUS will be difficult, because the district and circuit court decisions in both directions have been fact intensive considering breadth of forms of ID allowed, ease/difficulty of obtaining an ID for the poor, and a states history of voting rights abuses.

Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

It's a form of identity theft and it's one of the more common forms of voter fraud. Basically, you are using the name, address, voter registration, and possibly the social security number of a deceased person to vote as if you are that person.

It's less likely to be detected in the short term than stealing the identity of a living person for voter fraud as you don't have to worry about the real person showing up to vote.


This. In many cases, all you need is a piece of addressed mail(utility bills are preferred) to "prove your identity" and register/vote in many locations. No need to prove citizenship, no photo ID required, you're ready to roll. (Which is why Voter ID is such a big thing for some people)

Also in the mix is that voter registration rolls aren't tightly controlled, so it isn't just "election officials" practicing a two (political) party variation of "two person integrity." They can, and do, find their way "into the wild."

So in the past a very easy game to play was monitor the Voter registration list from the last election and monitor for deaths. Then on subsequent election cycles, you send someone in to continue voting in their name to "keep it active" and on the rolls. Historically, the people handling voter registration don't monitor for deaths, so the dead remain registered voters until they fail to vote in ___ consecutive general elections.

Another group that sees little monitoring are voters who move. Short of them taking the extraordinary step of reporting their leaving the area, they're likely to remain on the Voter registration rolls for that community for years after they left. Which likewise makes them good candidates for voter fraud.

In many cases, I understand it's possible for people to often vote (as someone else) just by brazening their way through. Even in the event of challenge, something as weak as a "Company ID" or "College ID" (of completely unknown provenance) with that person's name on it(your picture on it is optional, but would strengthen the claim) will get you through a challenge to "your identity" that isn't coming from some who knows the real person.

Which goes back to voter Identification in the United States is exceedingly weak, and modern technology makes it trivially easy for a halfway competent person to create all of the "relevant documentation," including fake mail, to go in, register, and vote as people who never existed. Never mind the people who did or do exist and have their identities stolen to do the same.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Not_a_ID

@Ernest Bywater

There's a classic tale from the 1960s where the loser of a major US federal said he lost because the other candidate's supporters were better at voting the cemeteries than his were.


In the run-up to the Civil War, the voting in Kansas as to it becoming a "free" or "slave holding" territory was particularly infamous for entire cemeteries full of people turning up to vote.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

This. In many cases, all you need is a piece of addressed mail(utility bills are preferred) to "prove your identity" and register/vote in many locations.


My home state of Wisconsin was even worse than that, before they passed voter ID, but our voter ID is still in the courts.

1. You can register at the voting location on election day.

2. You didn't even need the addressed bill, all you had to do was sign an affidavit that, on penalty of perjury, you are who you say you are.

I don't think voter ID solves the big problem in voter fraud. The big problem is ineligible voters. A couple of decades back the Feds passed the Motor Voter which requires states to register people to vote at the DMV when they apply for and/or renew a drivers license.

Since most states will grant drivers licenses to non-citizens (at least the legal ones) and felons, there is a potentially huge pool of ineligible voters who are registered to vote.

Ernest Bywater

@Wheezer

or played equally by both sides.


There's an interview with a 1960s US federal politician made many years after he left office where he talks about winning one election, and he said he only won because his supporters were able to get out there and vote bigger cemeteries than his opposition. He was quite open about it. Wish i could remember who it was, but he had everyone in the live audience at the TV interview stunned with the revelation about voter fraud in the 1950s and 1960s. he was also quite clear that both sides did it, and he spoke of a time when he saw an argument where two people turned up to vote for the same deceased person.

How wide spread is it: damned hard to tell, because if they do a good job you can't detect it, if they don't they get caught quick.

rustyken

I find it difficult to understand the objections to showing an ID when voting. Don't you have to show an ID to get government aid? Don't you have to show ID to do many other financial transactions?

I know from working in the polls that seeing an ID makes it much easier to find the name in the registration book. This is because pronouncation often differs from spelling.

Cheers

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

In the run-up to the Civil War


There was one district in 2012 that had twice as many ballots counted as they had registered voters. That was a back end process issue that may have been unintentional rather than ballot stuffing.

They did some heavy testing of their ballot machines ahead of the actual election and then didn't clear them out first. I the end, there was no evidence that it was intentional.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@rustyken


I find it difficult to understand the objections to showing an ID when voting. Don't you have to show an ID to get government aid?


Generally, no. A lot of poor people don't have IDs.

Don't you have to show ID to do many other financial transactions?


How many people receiving food stamps are conducting financial transactions that require IDs.

A couple of states have used voter id requirements as a ham handed effort to block poor/minority voters.

Take Texas as an example. Texas passed one of the most restrictive (in terms of acceptable forms of ID) voter ID requirements. At the same time, they scaled back the number of DMV service centers to a point where some people would have to travel as much as two hours one way.

Now imagine living on the poverty line in Texas.

You don't have a drivers license, because you can't afford a car.

You don't have a non-driver state ID because you can't afford the $50 fee.

Now, you have to get an ID to vote.

However, it will take you at least a half a day even if you can scrape up the money to get there, pay for the ID and get home. You don't get paid time off work and you taking a day without pay may mean your entire family misses a meal, assuming your boss will let you have an unpaid day off without firing you.

Voter ID requirements don't have to be a significant obstacle to voting, but they can be.

Capt Zapp

@Wheezer

... actually making it harder for the poor & minority US citizens from exercising their right to vote.


Since you have to have an ID to do just about anything including drawing unemployment, applying for public assistance, and receiving medical benefits; how is it 'making it harder for the poor & minority' to have to show one to vote?

Ross at Play

This entire discussion will be irrelevant this election - Clinton's winning margin will be so huge that any post-election claims of fraud affecting the outcome will be dismissed as complete rubbish.

I do not look at polls or pundits for predictions of election outcomes, I look at betting odds offered by English bookmakers. All polls and pundits have some sort of bias or wishful thinking built in. Bookmakers base their prices on people willing to risk real money. They become dispassionate when real money is at stake, so the "wisdom of the crowd" then makes their markets very reliable predictors.

Before the last election they assessed the outcome in 49 states as "very probable" - with an implied probability of winning over 75% for their favourite. They correctly predicted the winner in all of those 49 states. The only state without a strong favourite was Florida. They assessed it as favouring Romney by 60:40%. It was still too close to call by the end of counting on election night and Obama ended up winning it narrowly.

English bookmakers currently assess 44 states as "very probable", including enough electoral college votes (273) already locked in" for Clinton to win the election.

The other six states and their implied probabilities of Clinton winning them is currently:
Florida (29) 74%
North Carolina (15) 72%
Ohio (18) 67%
Iowa (6) 58%
Arizona (11) 56%
Georgia (16) 34%

Conclusion: She will almost certainly win by a greater margin than Obama over Romney, which was 332 to 206. The most likely result is 352 to 186.

Capt Zapp

@Ross at Play

English bookmakers currently assess 44 states as "very probable", including enough electoral college votes (273) already locked in" for Clinton to win the election.


Damn. Sounds like they are going to be out a lot of money.

Bondi Beach

@rustyken

I find it difficult to understand the objections to showing an ID when voting. Don't you have to show an ID to get government aid? Don't you have to show ID to do many other financial transactions?


(1) Voting is the most fundamental right there is in the U.S. Cashing a check or getting Social Security are not fundamental constitutional rights.

(2) Despite the pious declarations of countering voter fraud, the measures taken in North Carolina, for example, were carefully calculated to suppress voting by African-American citizens. The legislature even said so in requesting breakdowns by race.

There is no evidence dead black citizens vote more often than dead white citizens.

That's why "Voter ID" is such a big deal.

bb

Replies:   rustyken
Bondi Beach

@Ross at Play

This entire discussion will be irrelevant this election - Clinton's winning margin will be so huge that any post-election claims of fraud affecting the outcome will be dismissed as complete rubbish.


You heard it here first from me: This election will be in Bush v. Gore territory, i.e., so close it will require recounts and all the other stuff, if not actual lawsuits.

And I so very much look forward to being proven totally wrong and you being proven totally right.

bb

Replies:   Dominions Son  Not_a_ID
Ross at Play

Adding to my previous post ... Trump is not even certain of winning all the electoral college votes I was counting for him in that post.
There is a quite a good chance Evan McMullin, a Republican running as an Independent, will win the six votes from Utah.
Also, Clinton might even win one vote of the five electoral college votes from Nebraska!? Yes! You did read correctly, and neither you nor I are going insane! There is an real possibility Clinton will get more votes than Trump in one of the Congressional Districts from Nebraska - Nebraska! For fuck's sake!

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Bondi Beach

Trump and Clinton both have very high negatives in their polling.

I am kind of hoping that Greg Johnson and Jill Stein both manage to pick up a couple of electors and the election gets thrown to congress due to a lack of a majority in the electoral college.

Ross at Play

@ Bondi Beach

You heard it here first from me: This election will be ... so close it will require recounts ... other stuff [lawsuits?]

@ Dominion's Son

I am kind of hoping ... the election gets thrown to congress due to a lack of a majority in the electoral college.

If I believed what either of you wrote I would probably be planning a trip to the UK - just so that it would be legal for me to place bets with English bookmakers. The states I would be looking at betting on would be: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, and Iowa.
Perhaps you could try to make yourself a small fortune at these websites: www.bovada.lv or www.betonline.ag?
As I understand it, it is legal (in their countries) for US citizens to bet with them, but if I was an American I would carefully check the US laws first.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Trump and Clinton both have very high negatives in their polling.

IF ONLY ...
If only it were possible for a voter to cast a negative vote - I do not care who else wins, I just want my vote to count by reducing their total by one!
Think of what the turnout might be then!

sejintenej

@Ernest Bywater

I suspect what you really mean is "Proven voter fraud in the US is insignificant." Because if the fraud is well done it isn't even noticed. However, a large part of the perception is due to historical evidence of fraud by both parties in past elections. Legislation and changes in the past decade or so should have made voter fraud a lot harder to carryout.

Define fraud in this case; we had the situation in Florida where blacks were simply prevented from voting based on the false accusation that they had previous convictions (which was not the case)

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

I suspect the election will be closer than pundits and bookmakers are predicting. Clinton is an anaemic candidate, and people are unlikely to be highly motivated to go and vote for her, especially if they're expecting an easy win. On the other hand, Trump is a very divisive candidate and I reckon his supporters will be highly motivated to vote.

AJ

Replies:   Bondi Beach
docholladay

This is the one election where just about everyone wishes there was a third candidate running for the office. The so-called independent candidates as has happened a few times in the past.

This time around given the present choices, that independent would probably win.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@docholladay

There are two Independent candidates. Neither has more than a few percent of the voters. Our Electoral College system does not function well with more than two candidates. The likelihood increases sharply with a strong third-party candidate that the winner of the Electoral vote will have way less than a majority of the popular vote because 48 of 50 states have a 'winner take all' rule for Electoral delegates.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Wheezer

Then I will definitely vote for one of the independents, since I can not stand either one of the major candidates.

Ross at Play

@sejintenej

Define fraud in this case; we had the situation in Florida where blacks were simply prevented from voting based on the false accusation that they had previous convictions (which was not the case)

That's not 'fraud' - if it's the Government doing it, it's called 'administration'.

Dominions Son

@sejintenej

Define fraud in this case; we had the situation in Florida where blacks were simply prevented from voting based on the false accusation that they had previous convictions (which was not the case)


That was a voting rights violation, however it was not fraud and it was especially not voter fraud.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Define fraud in this case; we had the situation in Florida where blacks were simply prevented from voting based on the false accusation that they had previous convictions (which was not the case)

That was a voting rights violation, however it was not fraud and it was especially not voter fraud.


I much prefer Ross at Play answer:

That's not 'fraud' - if it's the Government doing it, it's called 'administration'


As I recall it was the local bigwig (not "the Administration" since it seemed a family matter) ensuring that his brother became POTUS. Isn't that defrauding the people of the USA, denying them the President that most of them might have wanted?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@sejintenej

Isn't that defrauding the people of the USA, denying them the President that most of them might have wanted?


No, it's not, at least not the way election fraud is defined by the law. And Voter fraud is fraud committed by voters, not against voters.

Besides which, you made a vastly oversimplified summary of what happened.

Felons are legally bared from voting under US law. Removing felons from voter registration lists is perfectly legitimate in general.

While the incident you mention did end up improperly removing the voter registrations of a significant number of non-felons, it is not true that all the people removed were non-felons.

Most of the non-felons removed had names that were similar to actual felons. A few had relatives that were felons

In point of fact when the lawsuit over the incident was over, the decision by the court was that it was a Voting Rights Act violation, but that this was a matter of negligence and not taking due care in verifying people's status, but it was not deliberate.

Replies:   sejintenej  Ross at Play
sejintenej

@Dominions Son

Felons are legally bared from voting under US law. Removing felons from voter registration lists is perfectly legitimate in general.

Understood and accepted

While the incident you mention did end up improperly removing the voter registrations of a significant number of non-felons, it is not true that all the people removed were non-felons.


It was not a question of removing names from the registers but simply using the police to block groups of people from getting to the polling stations without ascertaining who they were (as is alleged by victims and on-the-spot reporters).

Most of the non-felons removed had names that were similar to actual felons. A few had relatives that were felons

Having the same name as some felon or even being related to one is no excuse - I am damned sure that there are felons in the USA called Clinton and Bush - what you are saying is that it is perfectly OK to make the mistake of preventing Presidents voting simply because of their names. (Given his record is Trump allowed to vote?)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


On the other hand, Trump is a very divisive candidate and I reckon his supporters will be highly motivated to vote.


The second half of Clinton's "deplorables" remark---one of the most inartfully expressed thoughts of this campaign---hasn't got the attention it deserved: there are a hell of a lot of people in the U.S. today, many but not all Trump supporters, who are getting the short end of the stick economically through no fault of their own, and who are worried---no, frightened---by social and cultural changes. People who don't look like them, people who speak English with an accent or don't speak it at all, men marrying men, etc., etc., etc. (And news flash, by the way: they aren't all gardeners. Some are doctors and lawyers and bankers and IT folks, and and and ...)

What we need is someone to guide us through this by acknowledging the fear and the challenges we face and by appealing not just to our better natures but with concrete measures to answer these legitimate fears.

Trump is not the answer. Hillary may or may not be, but she's the only real alternative.

And anyone who in the 2000 election said there's no difference between the two major party candidates and voted for Ralph Nader, thanks a lot, dudes. Most of us live in the real world. (Well, not when we're writing, perhaps.)

bb

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Dominions Son

@sejintenej

It was not a question of removing names from the registers but simply using the police to block groups of people from getting to the polling stations without ascertaining who they were (as is alleged by victims and on-the-spot reporters).


That is a different incident and had nothing at all to do with the police suspecting that they were felons.

Because Florida had previously repealed their mandatory vehicle inspection program, prior to 2000 the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), the Florida state police, had started setting up vehicle inspection checkpoints at various times and locations. On election day in 2000, they set up several vehicle inspection checkpoints near voting locations in several minority areas.

what you are saying is that it is perfectly OK to make the mistake of preventing Presidents voting simply because of their names. (Given his record is Trump allowed to vote?)


No, I'm not saying it's okay. What I am saying is that there is a difference in terms of seriousness between negligence and/or error in doing something otherwise legitimate and deliberately preventing people from voting.

richardshagrin
Updated:

Voting the cemeteries: Lyndon B. Johnson was called "Landslide Lyndon" because his victory in a Senate race primary was by less than a hundred votes, with hundreds or more added to his totals after his opponent's totals were determined. Both candidates had votes from beyond the grave, Lyndon's were applied after his handlers decided how many were needed to gain victory.

From Wikipedia on Lyndon B. Johnson and his 1948 Senate race (primary election.)

"The runoff count took a week, handled by the Democratic State Central Committee (because this was a party primary). Johnson was finally announced the winner by 87 votes out of 988,295 cast. The Committee voted to certify Johnson's nomination by a majority of one (29–28), with the last vote cast on Johnson's behalf by Temple, Texas, publisher Frank W. Mayborn. There were many allegations of voter fraud; one writer alleges that Johnson's campaign manager, future Texas governor John B. Connally, was connected with 202 ballots in Precinct 13 in Jim Wells County where the names had curiously been listed in alphabetical order with the same pen and handwriting, just at the close of polling. Some of these voters insisted that they had not voted that day.[31] Robert Caro argued in his 1989 book that Johnson had thus stolen the election in Jim Wells County, and that 10,000 ballots were also rigged in Bexar County alone.[32] Election judge Luis Salas said in 1977 that he had certified 202 fraudulent ballots for Johnson.[33] The state Democratic convention upheld Johnson. Stevenson went to court, but Johnson prevailed—with timely help from his friend Abe Fortas. He soundly defeated Republican Jack Porter in the general election in November and went to Washington, permanently dubbed "Landslide Lyndon." Johnson, dismissive of his critics, happily adopted the nickname.[34]"

Capt Zapp

@Bondi Beach

Hillary may or may not be, but she's the only real alternative.


Hillary is definitely NOT the answer, and not a real alternative. I don't trust Trump as far as I can throw him, but I trust Hillary about af far as I can throw an elephant.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Capt Zapp

Hillary is definitely NOT the answer, and not a real alternative. I don't trust Trump as far as I can throw him, but I trust Hillary about af far as I can throw an elephant.


"A case [against Hillary Clinton] so strong that, against any of a dozen possible GOP candidates, voting for her opponent would be a no-brainer. Against Donald Trump, however, it's a dilemma. I will not vote for Hillary Clinton. But, as I've explained in these columns, I could never vote for Donald Trump.

The only question is whose name I'm going to write in. With Albert Schweitzer doubly unavailable (noncitizen, dead), I'm down to Paul Ryan or Ben Sasse. Two weeks to decide."

--- Charles Krauthammer, conservative opinion writer for the Washington Post.

Nice for your conscience, and he's not alone, but still a cop-out.

bb

Replies:   awnlee jawking
rustyken

@Bondi Beach

I would suggest that getting food stamps and other forms of government aid requires some form of identification. If not then the number of false claims must very high.

To me the lack of identification required at polls when requesting your ballot stems from the past when the poll workers knew virtually everyone voting.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@rustyken


To me the lack of identification required at polls when requesting your ballot stems from the past when the poll workers knew virtually everyone voting.


Partly true, at least in smaller towns, but the real reason is the only way to make an ID system work is to have a Federally controlled issuance to everyone who can prove citizenship (the same way you prove it to get a passport, with a birth or naturalization certificate and proof of identity). Oh, and the card would have to be (a) issued at no cost to the citizen and (b) easy to apply for, i.e., at every post office, for starters. Remember, we're talking constitutional right here, not some kind of government benefit.

What's the result? Boom: a national ID card. Not a popular idea in the USA.

And since we already see the principal reason for voter ID is voter suppression, there is no compelling need for a voter ID.

(Inability to prove the absence of voter fraud is not a justification for "anti-fraud" measures, especially ones that are designed to make it harder to vote.)

Reducing polling stations, reducing hours, reducing advance voting, are all measures designed to suppress voting, not prevent fraud.

bb

awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Bondi Beach

I'm not familiar with the mechanics of the US voting system, but I'm surprised that no-one has initiated a non-partisan protest at the quality of the two candidates. Don't Americans believe in social media campaigns? ;)

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

Don't Americans believe in social media campaigns? ;)


Only when the partisan media tell them to!

Bondi Beach

@awnlee jawking

I'm not familiar with the mechanics of the US voting system, but I'm surprised that no-one has initiated a non-partisan protest at the quality of the two candidates. Don't Americans believe in social media campaigns? ;)


See above---Mr. Krauthammer is certainly a partisan, but he protests both candidates. As for social media, Trump, meet Twitter. Twitter, meet Trump.

The Donald has used social media in a way no other candidate has.

bb

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

I'm not familiar with the mechanics of the US voting system, but I'm surprised that no-one has initiated a non-partisan protest at the quality of the two candidates. Don't Americans believe in social media campaigns? ;)


The problem is not a lack of belief in social media campaigns.

The problem is that the "two party system" is so heavily fixed in our culture that too few people are willing to question it, much less try to challenge it.

This is true despite the fact that our constitution says nothing about political parties and several prominent figures from the founding era are on record as considering political parties as inherently anti-democratic.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  rustyken
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

The problem is that the "two party system" is so heavily fixed in our culture that too few people are willing to question it, much less try to challenge it.


Another problem is so many who are prepared to vote the party line because they always vote the party line, regardless of what the policies or the candidates are like. So many would vote for a resurrected Hitler if he was their party's candidate.

Not_a_ID

@Bondi Beach

You heard it here first from me: This election will be in Bush v. Gore territory, i.e., so close it will require recounts and all the other stuff, if not actual lawsuits.


I'm inclined to think it'll be an electoral landslide for Clinton. The margin is questionable. I suspect turnout will pretty low(outside of urban areas. Fraud and legitimate "Get out the vote" efforts are easier in high population areas, one because of more identities to steal, the other because you can get to more people while covering less ground).

The winning candidate will have fewer votes cast for them than any Losing major party candidate in the past 20 years or more.

rustyken

@Dominions Son

The media propelled Trump forward as a candidate by the intense coverage and now it seems they don't want him. But I guess they thought ratings were more important than news.

If there was balanced media coverage we would likely have neither candidate but it is what it is.

Cheers

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@rustyken


The media propelled Trump forward as a candidate by the intense coverage and now it seems they don't want him. But I guess they thought ratings were more important than news.

If there was balanced media coverage we would likely have neither candidate but it is what it is.


There's no question the Donald got an incredible amount of coverage from the beginning and he played the media for all he was worth---and as a seasoned (albeit cheesy) showman the coverage was worth a lot. The media let itself be played for ratings, also no question.

That said, over time (and with the exception of Fox News and especially their opinion heads) the coverage overall turned negative. Sure, he got a lot of coverage but the "lamestream media" so "biased" against him appeared that way to him and his supporters because the media (perhaps too slowly) began to call him out for the liar and nincompoop he is.

(Yes, Hillary has her faults. Lots of them. Serious ones. So sue me. Or her. But to pretend there's any sort of equivalency between them is a reflection of life in an alternate universe.)

Many people, because the media coverage has been what it is, would rather vote for "None of the above." Hard to blame them, except you gotta vote for someone and you might as well make your vote count.

I'm having a hard time imagining any reason to vote for Trump except:

(a) you really want to blow (or him to blow) things up, in which case you'd better think hard about getting what you wish for; or

(b) you think his whole campaign has been an act and if elected he would somehow become something close to "normal." That is a delusion. There isn't a shred of evidence that he'd be any different the day after the election than the day before.

EDIT TO ADD:

(c) you cannot bring yourself to vote for Hillary Clinton, for whatever reason. In that case you're really voting for (a) or (b) above, because otherwise the only rational, even ethical choice, would be to abstain.

bb

Ross at Play

Unless of course, T opens his mouth again. :)

I am expecting quite a lot of intentionally inflammatory comments by T over the next few weeks, as opposed to his everyday off-the-cuff musings - the political equivalent of a Hail Mary in football.
That could reduce his popular vote be a few points more, but it's almost impossible for him to drop below 186 electoral college votes. That is the number he would get from the states in which Romney beat Obama by more than 7%, i.e. the reddest of red states that nobody thinks could even turn purple!

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

this (the incorrect removal of names from voter registration lists) was a matter of negligence and not taking due care in verifying people's status, but it was not deliberate.
On election day in 2000, they set up several vehicle inspection checkpoints near voting locations in several minority areas.

Surely you can see why many believe these actions were intentional - with the intention of affecting the outcome of an election - and therefore would have been criminal acts of electoral fraud.
Their intentions may never be known, and they could never be proven to the satisfaction of any jury, but many will always believe that Jeb Bush and others committed criminal acts of electoral fraud which changed the outcome of the 2000 election.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

Surely you can see why many believe these actions were intentional - with the intention of affecting the outcome of an election


Yes, I can see why some believe that.

In fact, the checkpoints was almost certainly intentional. There is no plausible innocent reason for them to have checkpoints in those locations on that day.

and therefore would have been criminal acts of electoral fraud.


No. Yes, it would have been a violation of the Voting Rights Act, that does not necessarily mean it was criminal in a legal sense.

but many will always believe that Jeb Bush and others committed criminal acts of electoral fraud which changed the outcome of the 2000 election.


Any many will always believe that the Earth is flat or that the moon landing was faked.

There is precisely zero evidence to tie Jeb Bush to any of it.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

In fact, the checkpoints was almost certainly intentional.

If we agree on that, I think we can agree to disagree on the rest.
I suspect my perceptions are tainted by decades as a cynical observer of politics, and yours by applying the standards of your profession.

Ernest Bywater

@Bondi Beach

How do you pose as a dead person


Getting to the real nitty-gritty of the question in the title, there are two ways:

1. Lie absolutely still while staring at the ceiling, or

2. Wander around with wide open eyes and a blank expression while doing a good zombie impersonation.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Not_a_ID

@Bondi Beach

There's no question the Donald got an incredible amount of coverage from the beginning and he played the media for all he was worth---and as a seasoned (albeit cheesy) showman the coverage was worth a lot. The media let itself be played for ratings, also no question.


I strongly suspect there was a lot of complicity in the Media in regards to just how much attention Trump received from the media. After all, some of the forensics done on the 2012 Race of Romney vs Obama found that in some "key demographics" Romney was grievously damaged due to positions and statements made during the Primary Campaign -- In direct response to Donald Trump.

As such, for a left-leaning media, he was the perfect "Republican Candidate" to concentrate attention on, because they knew he was controversial, and they also knew he had a proven track record of pulling other Republicans into "harmful political positions" so the longer they could keep him relevant in 2016, the more damage he could do to the Republicans. Mission accomplished.

Also note, going back to the Republican Primary Campaign, a lot of the time, the only way for a Republican to get any meaningful Press Coverage on the national level was to well, talk about Donald Trump. If you weren't "playing the game" with Trump, you weren't worth the air time. It doesn't hurt that raitings, ratings, RATINGS, makes for a great cover story for it as well.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Not_a_ID

@Bondi Beach

(a) you really want to blow (or him to blow) things up, in which case you'd better think hard about getting what you wish for; or

(b) you think his whole campaign has been an act and if elected he would somehow become something close to "normal." That is a delusion. There isn't a shred of evidence that he'd be any different the day after the election than the day before.

EDIT TO ADD:

(c) you cannot bring yourself to vote for Hillary Clinton, for whatever reason. In that case you're really voting for (a) or (b) above, because otherwise the only rational, even ethical choice, would be to abstain.


On (A) it is plainly evident to any reasonably sane person that we NEED to find some kind of reset button in the American Political Process, this year just seriously underscores how badly broken the entire thing is.

On (B) I actually suspect Trump is a centrist or even somewhat left of the American Political center. What we've seen is Donald Trump acting as the "celebrity and chief" on the campaign trail. His performance as a public persona, which largely derives its importance by the attention it receives, has little relevance on that.

"Right-wing" positions are controversial, and poorly stated or phrased ones are even more so(and such mistakes are even easier to make if you don't fully understand or believe in what you're saying). So talking that kind of talk works well for getting lots of media attention, in ways that assuming an extreme left-wing position would not. Because well spoken leftists are a dime a dozen in academia and outside of it as well(because of academia). (That and Louis Farakhan and Jessie Jackson among others have locks on most of the rest of it) The other factor is going too far to the extreme left puts him in territory that directly conflicts with his business model, so he couldn't go that way. Which means to get media attention and better maintain a celebrity status to push the "Trump" brand, his public persona went Right.

As to (C) you don't fully understand the electoral process in the US, an Abstention just means you don't matter. For the Presidential Electoral college, depending on your state, going for a third party/protest vote isn't likely to change the outcome in any meaningful way except for the total vote tally the talking heads will yammer on about in regards to the Popular Vote. My home state at present remains a "lock" for Trump, but I don't support Hillary, and I don't want to see some freak occurrence happen causing my state to go for her because everyone else thought it'd be a great protest option(as I also don't want my vote to count as an endorsement of her). So my choice is to abstain(and not matter), support Trump(which I don't want to endorse either), or vote for someone else and put on record that I do care, I'm a voter they want to continue to try to court, and that I didn't like either option presented by the major parties.

The Electoral College for my state will doubtlessly go to Trump, but I'd be much happier seeing him carry it away with much less than 50% of the total vote from my state(and would love to see Hillary in the 30th percentile range or lower, but I highly doubt that). I'd be even happier if both Presidential candidates fail to obtain clear majorities in most states, and just happen to be holders of the largest plurality in those respective states.

This is certainly the election for people to either break for third party of write-in, I'll probably be doing a write-in myself. Certainly that is a far superior option to just not voting. Yes, low voter turnout is an indicator they look at, but they don't concern themselves much with it. People who don't vote major party are of much more interest (and concern) to them, so having a sizable number of people break that mold in any given cycle is a wakeup call for the major parties even if the vote itself is "Wasted."

The only vote that truly gets wasted in an election cycle is the one that doesn't get cast.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

On (A) it is plainly evident to any reasonably sane person that we NEED to find some kind of reset button in the American Political Process, this year just seriously underscores how badly broken the entire thing is.


I agree, which is why I am hoping that the Green Party and Libertarian candidates manage to win a few electors, preventing a majority in the electoral college and throwing the election to Congress.

That would provide a solid shock to the notion of a "two party system" which could lead to the needed reset.

Bondi Beach

@Ernest Bywater

Getting to the real nitty-gritty of the question in the title, there are two ways:

1. Lie absolutely still while staring at the ceiling, or


Called the corpse pose in yoga, it's the favorite part of the practice for many, coming as it usually does at the end and perfect for meditation / relaxation.


2. Wander around with wide open eyes and a blank expression while doing a good zombie impersonation.


There was a stupid movie a few years ago where the girl was a zombie, sort of, and her boyfriend had to act like one. "Not so much," she told him when his zombie impersonation was overdone. (Well, the trailer was kind of funny. Never saw the movie.)

bb

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


As to (C) you don't fully understand the electoral process in the US, an Abstention just means you don't matter.


Tell that to Al Gore. Florida was razor-thin. Abstentions meant a vote not counted, which is why the parties make every effort to get every voter to the polls.

Yes, I understand the difference between the popular vote and the Electoral College vote, but the only reason abstention matters is in a close race, which is the subject of this discussion.

In 1964 your abstention or vote for George Wallace or whoever the hell else was running didn't matter. In 2000, it mattered a lot. I think it's going to matter this year as well, although I hope I'm wrong and we do a 1964 repeat.

For those who persist in their third-party or write-in delusions, I repeat the obvious: Ralph Nader 2000. Voting for a third-party candidate may make one feel good, but it's a vote wasted just like one not cast.

Conservative Republicans, by the way, are the first ones who pointed out the Donald isn't a conservative. Ted Cruz bleated that all the way to the end. Here's a shocker: except for some social issues---forcing everyone to pray in public, prohibiting abortion, providing guns to everyone to carry everywhere---the so-called Republican base doesn't give a hoot about "limited government." Beyond Beltway conservative think tanks, no one---I repeat, no one---favors limiting entitlement benefits like Medicare and Social Security.

So-called "welfare" programs is another story, because supposedly they only benefit those "other" (AKA African-American, latino, etc.) people. Only it turns out a hell of a lot of people, in Appalachia for example, mostly white, depend on those benefits.

bb

Replies:   Dominions Son  rustyken
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


I strongly suspect there was a lot of complicity in the Media in regards to just how much attention Trump received from the media. After all, some of the forensics done on the 2012 Race of Romney vs Obama found that in some "key demographics" Romney was grievously damaged due to positions and statements made during the Primary Campaign -- In direct response to Donald Trump.

As such, for a left-leaning media, he was the perfect "Republican Candidate" to concentrate attention on, because they knew he was controversial, and they also knew he had a proven track record of pulling other Republicans into "harmful political positions" so the longer they could keep him relevant in 2016, the more damage he could do to the Republicans. Mission accomplished.


You are kidding here, right? Covering Trump in 2016 was a secret Media plot because those stupid Republicans didn't know what they were doing when they turned out by the [EDIT: tens of] thousands to the Donald's rallies? The only ones who didn't understand what was happening---what the genuine rage and frustration and despair expressed by supporting Trump---were traditional Republican "establishment." Not that Donald gave a damn about the rage and frustration and despair either, but he knew how to use it to his own advantage.

As for the so-called left-leaning media, if you refer to the real newspapers in this country---NYT, Washington Post, LA Times, Boston Globe, WSJ (reporting, not editorial) etc., etc.---the only ones who consider them "left-leaning" are Republicans. By any reasonable traditional standard they [EDIT: mostly] trend liberal, yes, but "left-leaning" in the traditional sense of Left, hardly. That's a Republican/Fox fiction. A convenient one for them, too. EDIT: Ask Bernie Sanders who is "left" and who isn't.

In college I heard "to be educated is to be liberal." I was "liberal," so that sounded pretty good, although even in my foolishness I recognized how smarmy, patronizing and smug, not to mention silly, the phrase was.

I also hadn't yet heard genuine reasoned conservative arguments, but as soon as I did I realized there were indeed well-founded arguments for effective limited government, personal responsibility, and individual initiative.

None of which are found in the present-day Republican Party, by the way. Sadly. They could provide a serious alternative if they (a) accepted real science (global warming / climate change, anyone?) and (b) recognized the government's responsibility for creating the conditions for people to compete fairly.

Oh, and break up the big banks, for good measure. (OK, I'm kidding on that last one. Sort of.)

bb

Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

eyond Beltway conservative think tanks, no one---I repeat, no one---favors limiting entitlement benefits like Medicare and Social Security.


You are dead wrong. I favor limiting entitlement benefits like medicare and Social Security. I am not a member of a think tank, and I don't live in the beltway.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Dominions Son

You are dead wrong. I favor limiting entitlement benefits like medicare and Social Security. I am not a member of a think tank, and I don't live in the beltway.



OK, I stand corrected, thank you. There is at least one person who favors limiting entitlement benefits.

bb

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

OK, I stand corrected, thank you. There is at least one person who favors limiting entitlement benefits.


I'm also not the only one, though there aren't really enough of us to have a significant impact on US elections. Try researching libertarian thinking.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Dominions Son

I'm also not the only one, though there aren't really enough of us to have a significant impact on US elections. Try researching libertarian thinking.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism


I've read enough about it to be very grateful Libertarianism is unlikely to ever become a dominant force in the U.S. It would be a much crueler world than the one we have now.

Not bad at all for the Peter Thiel types---lots of things are attractive when you're a billionaire---but a different story for the rest of us.

For about 15 minutes I thought Atlas Shrugged was really cool. Latecomer to old Ayn---I was a sophomore in college at the time. She made as much sense as the "to be educated is to be liberal" folks.

bb

rustyken

@Bondi Beach

Since when did social security become an entitlement?

Dominions Son

@rustyken

Since when did social security become an entitlement?


When it was created in the 1930s. The whole "old age" social insurance line that was used to sell the program is and always has been a lie.

Social Security is and always has been a pay as you go entitlement program. Current SS payroll taxes fund the payments to current beneficiaries.

You SS taxes don't fund your retirement, they fund your parent's and grandparents retirements.

Replies:   Ross at Play
douglurie

@rustyken

Since when did social security become an entitlement?


Absolutely! I paid into SS for 27 years until my heart made me stop working at a regular job. Were it not for SS, my wife and I would be starving to death! Don't knock it if you are just quoting some asshole who has more money per year than I have made in a lifetime.

As for Medicare--I would be dead were it not for Medicare because I could never have paid for three separate heart operations.

Now, tell me that both should be limited or curtailed.

sejintenej

@Not_a_ID

So my choice is to abstain(and not matter), support Trump(which I don't want to endorse either), or vote for someone else and put on record that I do care, I'm a voter they want to continue to try to court, and that I didn't like either option presented by the major parties.

and when Trump claims that "the people of [whatever state] support him" the fact that only 30% voted for him and 15% for Cliton he will prove he is a liar.

What worries me was his question as to why the USA had not used nuclear weapons after WWII. By the sound of it, as soon as he is inaugurated and got his mitts on the trigger the world would be on the way and I would be an innocent who he would involve. Can't say I think much of Clinton either - thank goodness I will not be voting.

awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Bondi Beach

(c) you cannot bring yourself to vote for Hillary Clinton, for whatever reason. In that case you're really voting for (a) or (b) above, because otherwise the only rational, even ethical choice, would be to abstain.


I know I'm repeating myself but there's a real opportunity for some bright spark to initiate a social
media campaign for people to eg write 'none of the above' (if that's even possible). A few million of those might give the political elite pause for thought.

AJ

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@awnlee jawking

A few million of those might give the political elite pause for thought.

whilst they are raking in the dosh and dinners? When they lose getting the dosh then they would, perhaps

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@rustyken


Since when did social security become an entitlement?


See the responses by Dominions Son and douglurie.

I used "entitlement" (which it is by any definition of the word because it is a benefit conferred by law) to distinguish it from a right guaranteed under the Constitution, which cannot be rescinded short of an amendment to the Constitution.

For what it's worth, other than Wall Street weenies and conservative think tankers, there is no---OK, I concede, DS is right, very little---support for limiting Social Security or Medicare and proposals to do so have gone nowhere.

Remember W standing in West Virginia or wherever the hell he was a few years ago and waving "IOUs" around and saying, "Hey people, see, there's no real money in the Social Security Trust Fund, it's all IOUs, so we better do sumpin' really fast"? (Not an exact quote.)

Well, news flash W old boy, there's a thing called the full faith and credit of the USG which heretofore has meant something. Billions [EDIT: Trillions] of $$ from all over the world believe in it, so those IOUs are pretty good.

Key word: heretofore. We'll see what the future brings. And, finally, for all those fat cats who also get Social Security because they paid into it, there are plenty of people like douglurie who depend on it. A lot.

bb

Replies:   Dominions Son  Wheezer
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Bondi Beach


Well, news flash W old boy, there's a thing called the full faith and credit of the USG which heretofore has meant something. Billions [EDIT: Trillions] of $$ from all over the world believe in it, so those IOUs are pretty good.


A couple of problems with this. SSA can't spend the treasury bonds in the trust fund, and they can't sell them on the open market. They can only be redeemed by the Treasury using funds from the US government's general fund.

However, there isn't enough money in the general funds. That means that the Treasury has to issue new bonds to cover the SSA Trust fund Bonds, but this process has overhead costs and compounding interest to deal with. This means that the Treasury has to take on $1.25 to $1.50 in new debt for every $1.00 spent from the trust fund.

ETA: By law (going back to the original creation of Social Security) The SSA can only pay benefits up to current tax collections plus the balance of the trust fund.

That means that if the trust fund runs out before the baby boomers die off SSA will be forced to make an immediate and across the board cut in benefits of somewhere between 30% and 50%.

The big problem with Social Security is that the ratio of workers paying social security taxes to beneficiaries receiving social security payments has dropped from more than 20:1 to less than 3:1.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Dominions Son

That means that if the trust fund runs out before the baby boomers die off SSA will be forced to make an immediate and across the board cut in benefits of somewhere between 30% and 50%


Not going to happen. Not even in the fondest of the Sovereign Investor's fever dreams. Assuming your analysis is correct, Congress will make the changes necessary to keep benefits at their then-current levels. Promise.

bb

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

Congress will make the changes necessary to keep benefits at their then-current levels. Promise.


Don't bet on it. The trust fund was originally only intended to balance out short term imbalances between tax receipts and benefit payments.

However, back in the 80s, the government had already realized what was going to happen to SS when the baby boomers started to retire. They could have made the kind of change you are suggesting. Instead, they doubled the SS tax rates to try and build up a massive balance in the trust fund to try and carry the system over.

They could have made that change in any of the dozens of efforts to tweak SS to "save" it over the last almost 4 decades, but they haven't

They will let SS crash and burn rather than admit to the lie that SS is "retirement insurance" rather than a traditional welfare style entitlement program.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Wheezer
Updated:

@Bondi Beach


Key word: heretofore. We'll see what the future brings. And, finally, for all those fat cats who also get Social Security because they paid into it, there are plenty of people like douglurie who depend on it. A lot.


Plenty of us depend on SS & Medicare. I paid into that program out of every check I've earned since 1969 - and I spent very little time unemployed from then until 2010 when I became disabled. People like me (and millions of others) do not like the term 'entitlement.' 'Entitlement' suggests that it is some sort of handout. FUCK THAT! We earned it. That's OUR money. Congress has raided billions of dollars from the Social Security fund under the guise of a loan and never repaid a dime. The Republicans can take their plans to reduce SS benefits and stick them up their worthless fat asses. Pay back what you stole from SS first!

Dominions Son: SS=welfare? Kiss my ass, motherfucker!

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

They will let SS crash and burn rather than admit to the lie that SS is "retirement insurance" rather than a traditional welfare style entitlement program.


Yeah, personally, I'm not expecting to see a dime of the money I've paid into Social Security, or am continuing to pay into it. Nobody in my family has reasonable expectations of collecting it either. Parents are Baby Boomers, retired now, but they retired with the full expectation that at some point they were going to lose their SSI check. So they're at least prepared for it, and they're happier with each year they continue to see something come back from what they paid in.

I doubt there are many Millenials who expect to see anything from SSI at this point either.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Wheezer

The Republicans can take their plans to reduce SS benefits and stick them up their worthless fat asses. Pay back what you stole from SS first!


They will, at least until the "Trust Fund" itself runs out. Although they may try to slow the bleeding by not increasing the SSI payouts as quickly as inflation increases. (Current depletion of the main SSI trust is projected for 2034; the disability fund runs out by 2022)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


The Republicans can take their plans to reduce SS benefits and stick them up their worthless fat asses. Pay back what you stole from SS first!



They will, at least until the "Trust Fund" itself runs out.


No politician in living memory has stolen anything from SS. There is nothing in the trust fund to steal and never has been.

The law that created SS in the first place requires that every dollar above and beyond what is needed to pay that year's benefits due must be placed in the trust fund and that every dollar in the trust fund must be invested in US sovereign debt or investments at least as safe as US sovereign debt.

Since no government bureaucrat will ever see any private investment as being as safe as sovereign debt, it's all invested in US Treasury bonds.

So where did the money used to buy those treasury bonds go? The government's general fund, just like the money used to buy any other treasury bond.

However, it's not the Republicans that set the SS trust fund up that way, it was FDR and the Democratic congress he worked with to create SS.

So, if money was "stolen" from SS it was "stolen" by FDR.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Dominions Son

No politician in living memory has stolen anything from SS. There is nothing in the trust fund to steal and never has been.


I didn't call anybody a thief. Although I would be inclined to agree with you assessment of FDR and the Democratic Congress that enacted it in the first place, which was a true Entitlement at the onset. IIRC, they had one person pay into it ONCE before retirement, and then collected benefits for years thereafter. She got her money's worth out of it. :)

The people who were already adults when it was implemented are all pretty much dead now. They certainly saw a decent enough return on it, even if it wasn't a lot for those in the lower brackets.

But yeah, the people looking at retirement anytime soon(or later) has to seriously consider the prospect that they're going to outlive the programs ability to pay them.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Dominions Son


You SS taxes don't fund your retirement, they fund your parent's and grandparents retirements.


AND ... Old people vote, therefore the Trust Fund will not run out.

AND ... Old people vote, therefore most of the difference will be from increased contribution rates, not reductions in payments.

The solution will be put off as long as possible, so tomorrow's politicians take the blame, but it will happen.

There is a rational solution: start gradually raising the age of entitlement now from 65 to 70.

BTW, the crunch time is not 2034 (or whatever the current projected date the trust fund runs out), but about 2050 when the ratio of retirees to workers will peak.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Dominions Son
Not_a_ID

@Ross at Play

BTW, the crunch time is not 2034 (or whatever the current projected date the trust fund runs out), but about 2050 when the ratio of retirees to workers will peak.


Yeah, 2034 is projected based on status quo, and things progressing as projected.

Reality is that at some point before then there will be a change(increase) to the "upper limit" on income that can be taxed for SSI, if the upper limit is not outright eliminated.

They'll probably cap the top end of benefit payouts at the same time before that can open another, different can of worms. Although I'd expect the cap to be lowered relative to even current payouts being received.

The tax rate for SSI will be increased.

They'll also continue to keep the COLA adjustments just a little bit behind the real cost of living, so the benefit will become increasingly worthless as time moves on.

And of course, as you mentioned, the retirement age will be increased. Reality is that when SSI was implemented, they expected most retirees to only collect benefits for 5 to 6 years on average. These days, it's closer to 15 to 20 years.

So raising the SSI retirement age, and increasing the SSI tax rate are logical ways to offset that differential. It increases the amount people pay in, and decreases the amount of time the government has to "pay out" which increases the odds that the government will "come out ahead" on any given person on average.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

AND ... Old people vote, therefore the Trust Fund will not run out.


Sorry, but this one is just magical thinking. The Trust Fund contains a finite amount of money and current benefit payments are more than current tax receipts, so the fund is already being drawn down and no new money is coming into the fund.

Old people vote, therefore most of the difference will be from increased contribution rates, not reductions in payments.


There are practical limits to how far they can raise the SS tax rates. Go too far and people stop working or work under the table.

This might be a practical solution if the ratio of contributors to beneficiaries was still in the 20:1 range, but at 3:1 it's not.

There is a rational solution: start gradually raising the age of entitlement now from 65 to 70.


They would have to start now, but that isn't going to happen.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


Reality is that at some point before then there will be a change(increase) to the "upper limit" on income that can be taxed for SSI, if the upper limit is not outright eliminated.


SSI isn't funded from income taxes, it's funded from payroll taxes. Only wages are taxable. Beyond a certain point, around $1,000,000, most income is from non wage sources.

Yes, there is a cap on the amount of wages subject to SS taxes, but there are too few people making more than that for raising the limit to make much of a difference.

And of course, as you mentioned, the retirement age will be increased.


They've already tried several times. There aren't enough votes in Congress to do this. There is too much political opposition from groups like AARP.

Nothing that will make any real difference will happen before it's too late.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

My: AND ... Old people vote, therefore the Trust Fund will not run out.
Your: Sorry, but this one is just magical thinking.

Not magical thinking, just, allowing it to run out is not an option because old people vote. The politicians will put it off as long as possible, but it will be kept afloat somehow - the alternative is unthinkable politically.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

Not magical thinking, just, allowing it to run out is not an option because old people vote. The politicians will put it off as long as possible, but it will be kept afloat somehow - the alternative is unthinkable politically.


It is magical thinking, because there is nowhere for the extra money to come from. The trust fund will be depleted. It is inevitable, unstoppable. There is no mechanism to add money to it and even if there were, there is no money to add to it.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

There is a rational solution: start gradually raising the age of entitlement now from 65 to 70.

They would have to start now, but that isn't going to happen.


It's currently at 66, not 65. And they should definitely raise the age. When SS was created, I believe the average number of years people collected was 2 or 3. Now people can collect for 30 years.

Also, Congress "borrowed" (actually stole) money from SS when it was doing well. No one mentions that, but if they pay it back (with interest) SS wouldn't be in trouble.

sejintenej

@Switch Blayde

There is a rational solution: start gradually raising the age of entitlement now from 65 to 70.

They would have to start now, but that isn't going to happen.

When SS was created, I believe the average number of years people collected was 2 or 3. Now people can collect for 30 years.

In the UK and Germany (at least) the minimum age has already been increased but in the UK your benefit depends on how many years you contributed "full stamp" - you needed 40 years to get the full entitlement.
On top of that, (and I don't know the details) certain professionals could retire before 65 or whatever. Professional athletes used to be allowed at I think 40, those in high stress jobs a little older and this seemed to affect their tax situation and also negatively affected what private pension they could draw.

Amazingly the increase in the minimum state pension age did not attract too much palaver in the UK - of course the usual suspects waved the odd banner but my several experiences have been that demonstrations are purely for TV

Replies:   awnlee jawking  solitude
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Also, Congress "borrowed" (actually stole) money from SS when it was doing well. No one mentions that, but if they pay it back (with interest) SS wouldn't be in trouble.


This is false. All they did was use accounting tricks (basically counting the trust fund as an asset rather than a liability) to hide budget deficits in the general budge and pretend that there was a balanced budget.

Bondi Beach

@Switch Blayde

It's currently at 66, not 65. And they should definitely raise the age. When SS was created, I believe the average number of years people collected was 2 or 3. Now people can collect for 30 years.


People live longer, and for office dwellers it wouldn't make much difference.Folks in construction and other lines of work that require physical stamina and fitness would be seriously disadvantaged by making the retirement age later.

bb

sharkjcw
Updated:

They have made another change to the way social security is calculated. It use to be base on your 3 highest earning years, now it is based on the last three years before you start drawing social security.

So if you were working for a company and making $100,000 a year for say 10 years and left or started working for another company making $50,000 a year than your social security is now based on the $50,000 not the $100,000 . I ran in to this when I retired at 55 from where I was working my social security estimate dropped by almost 2/3rds. Called social security and asked why. I was told my social security estimate was now based on my retirement income not my salary when I was working.

Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

It's currently at 66,


Wrong, the youngest person who could retire at 66 and get full benefit from Social Security was born in 1955 (so they're 5 years from retirement at most).

Then it increments in 66 + fraction of a year for 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, until you get to 1960 and later who cannot retire with full benefits until they turn 67.

Unless the Social Security Administration doesn't know what they're talking about.
https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/ageincrease.html

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Dominions Son

SSI isn't funded from income taxes, it's funded from payroll taxes. Only wages are taxable. Beyond a certain point, around $1,000,000, most income is from non wage sources.


Wrong:

https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/colafacts2016.html

Maximum taxable income under Social Security FICA in 2015 and 2016 was $118,500 anything a person earns above that limit in wages or what would otherwise be FICA taxable income is exempt from further payments into the Social Security trust fund. Luckily, it seems the number is indexed, but it's indexed to the previously mentioned COLA at present.

Yes, there is a cap on the amount of wages subject to SS taxes, but there are too few people making more than that for raising the limit to make much of a difference.


Uh, the 4th highest earning Quintile (ranked between 60 and 80% of the population) earned an average of (before tax income) $103,700 in 2013. The top Quintile, the top 20% averaged in at $265,000. So you're looking at something on the order of the top 25% of wage earning housholds or individuals(many homes are admittedly dual income) "max out" on their contributions to Social Security already.

Source: Congressional Budget Office

https://www.cbo.gov/publication/51361

I'd hardly call 20-ish percent of the nations population "insignificant."

awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

you needed 40 years to get the full entitlement.


Labour cut it to 30 but the Tories increased it again to 35.

There has been quite a lot of media coverage on how the pension age for women is increasing from 60 to match that of men. There are a lot of women whose retirement planning has been trashed by that move.

AJ

Replies:   sejintenej
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Wrong:


Not wrong, FICA is a payroll tax, it is automatically deducted from your pay check. Those self employed must pay on their work earnings, but you pay nothing at all on investment income.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

The top Quintile, the top 20% averaged in at $265,000. So you're looking at something on the order of the top 25% of wage earning housholds or individuals(many homes are admittedly dual income) "max out" on their contributions to Social Security already.


They are still paying FICA on the first $118K, so you would only be adding marginal taxes for what is left.

I'm not saying raising the limit shouldn't be done, but it won't be half enough to fix the imbalance between FICA tax revenues and SS Benefits being paid.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

It is magical thinking, because there is nowhere for the extra money to come from. The trust fund will be depleted. It is inevitable, unstoppable. There is no mechanism to add money to it and even if there were, there is no money to add to it.

TAXES will be added to it, whatever they are called, taxes will be raised to keep the fund afloat.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

TAXES will be added to it, whatever they are called, taxes will be raised to keep the fund afloat.


To do that, they have to admit that it is just another welfare program instead of "old age insurance". They won't, they can't do that. That admission would have seniors up in arms.

Replies:   Capt Zapp  Not_a_ID
Capt Zapp

@Dominions Son

That admission would have seniors up in arms


As if they give a rat's ass about us anyway.

Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

Not wrong, FICA is a payroll tax, it is automatically deducted from your pay check. Those self employed must pay on their work earnings, but you pay nothing at all on investment income.


Last I checked, money earned by way of wages, or payroll, is "income" it may be a specific type of income, but income it is. Forrest, meet trees.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

They are still paying FICA on the first $118K, so you would only be adding marginal taxes for what is left.

I'm not saying raising the limit shouldn't be done, but it won't be half enough to fix the imbalance between FICA tax revenues and SS Benefits being paid.


I'm saying it is the most likely thing to be included in any change to FICA. The rhetoric of "paying their 'fair share'" will see to it. That they're a comparative minority(albeit the most politically influential one) just further seals it. (And it does generate more money for Social Security)

If you go back, I outlined four steps that would happen, that was just one of them. I'd expect the general rate for FICA to be increased, although a progressive scale like on the general income tax wouldn't surprise me. (More money in)

I also expect them to devalue the benefit by pacing the COLA adjustments below the real COLA increase rate(reducing the money out side), as well as hiking the retirement age again. Which gives them more time to collect money from those workers(more money in), and slightly more time before they too start withdrawing from the fund(less money out).

Although they also can borrow a page from the Highway Trust Fund in recent years and just raid the General Fund to pay for it all.

Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

To do that, they have to admit that it is just another welfare program instead of "old age insurance". They won't, they can't do that. That admission would have seniors up in arms.


Incorrect. It isn't a welfare program. It's a Government Entitlement Program, Military Types in particular are more than familiar with the concept. The problem is, that as usual with government since it's ultimately run by politicians. They over promise, and under deliver.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

Last I checked, money earned by way of wages, or payroll, is "income" it may be a specific type of income, but income it is. Forrest, meet trees.


The point is that not all types of income are subject to FICA taxes. Non-wage income such as interest and capital gains are not subject to payroll taxes.

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

It isn't a welfare program. It's a Government Entitlement Program


A distinction without a difference.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Dominions Son


A distinction without a difference.


"Welfare" programs almost always have an income test and often an employment test. In contrast, Social Security has only an age test plus a minimum number of quarters worked.

Pay into the program for long enough, live long enough, and you receive benefits. That's it. The whole "it's not really an insurance program" thing may offer some intellectual solace to those opposed to Social Security, but it doesn't really matter to the rest of us.

Calling it "welfare" only conflates it with other programs targeted at populations identified by employment, income, and for some programs, family status. In doing so it applies a what has become a pejorative term in an effort to somehow tarnish Social Security.

One should not speculate on motives, but I have no problem doing so: the unspoken truth behind opposition to "welfare" is that the benefits accrue to lazy bums of assorted minority groups [pick whichever one you like] and in doing so suck the earnings of hard-working folks "like us" [heretofore usually white, but not so much in recent years with the meth and opioids epidemic] and give them to people who don't deserve it.

Just saying.

Laid-off workers (I was one at one point) eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) were told over and over again UI is not welfare, to remove any reluctance to collect. Unlike Social Security, UI is a true insurance program.

bb

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

"Welfare" programs almost always have an income test and often an employment test. In contrast, Social Security has only an age test plus a minimum number of quarters worked.


No, Social Security has an employment test as well.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Dominions Son


No, Social Security has an employment test as well.


As I pointed out, the Social Security "employment test" is having worked a minimum number of quarters, unlike a welfare program, where the test is usually whether one is employed at all, or whether one earns over a set amount.

Once you meet the minimum quarters requirement, there is no employment test* at all, and how long you receive benefits is equal exactly to the period of time between your first benefit eligibility and your death.

*There is an upper limit on salaried income once you receive benefits, and a proportionate reduction in benefits once you earn more than that limit.

EDIT TO ADD: Forgot to note that eligibility for Social Security is dependent on having contributed, i.e., paid into, the program. "Welfare" is not.

bb

sejintenej

@awnlee jawking

There has been quite a lot of media coverage on how the pension age for women is increasing from 60 to match that of men. There are a lot of women whose retirement planning has been trashed by that move.

Two sides to that:
-women wanted equality and got it
- women can't get to 35 years contributions so easily because of childbirth etc.

I don't have an answer

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

I don't have an answer


Me neither.

Actually I think it was more a case of being forced by EU equality laws rather than women demanding it. But the whole question of equality is subjective. Even retiring at the same age as men, women can expect more retirement years of enjoyable good health, leading to the question of whether men shouldn't be retiring earlier than women.

AJ

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@awnlee jawking

Even retiring at the same age as men, women can expect more retirement years of enjoyable good health, leading to the question of whether men shouldn't be retiring earlier than women

Over here it wouldn't have worked that way. Company pensions were based on how many years you had worked for the company and your final salary (or a calculated approximation - perhaps the average of final 3 years). By losing years and not getting the raises you would have got then you would have lost a lot of annual company pension. However the company was responsible for ensuring that there was sufficient money ringfenced to pay all such pensions.

A lot of companies have changed their arrangements and now pay into a fund administered outside the company. However they only pay whilst the employee remains with them and it is a percentage of salary. Pensions are thus uncertain, being tied partially to how long the person has actually worked, the stock market's ups and downs, the economy, the decisions of those administering the fund, their charges and other factors. Many years ago such an administration company went bust and all those expecting pensions got nothing though a trickle is now emerging only if you are still alive.

Ross at Play

@Ross at Play

English bookmakers currently assess 44 states as "very probable", including enough electoral college votes (273) already locked in for Clinton to win the election.

I posted that about two weeks ago. There have been substantial shifts in the betting markets towards Trump since then - but only in the states that were then considered in doubt.
Clinton is currently rated a 75% or better chance to win in states with 274 electoral college votes.
Trump is currently rated a 70% or better chance to win in states with 215 electoral college votes. This includes three states that he is not certain of winning, but that now appears very likely: Ohio (18), Arizona (11), and Iowa (6).
The only states where the result seems in any real doubt are: New Hampshire (4) is likely for Clinton, Florida (29) still leans to her, and North Carolina (15) is a toss-up.
***
The result will probably appear to be in doubt for a long time on election night, but you can be confident Clinton will have secured enough states before the night is over to be declared the winner.

Not_a_ID

It will be interesting to see what a Feminist President, who is female, gets up to. Even more so on which "wave" of feminism she decides to support, the Millennial one, or her own generations?

If she goes the Millennial route, that could get weird. Although that kind of gender equality provides much fodder for the erotica and pornography crowd. Free The Nipple with support from the Federal Government? That's almost Twilight Zone fodder, and something only a female chief executive could pursue at present.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@Not_a_ID

If she gets elected, women's rights won't matter because all the muslims 'refugees' pouring through her open borders will demand sharia law resulting in women not having any rights at all.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@Capt Zapp

If she gets elected, women's rights won't matter because all the muslims 'refugees' pouring through her open borders will demand sharia law resulting in women not having any rights at all.

Fearmonger much?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Wheezer

Unofficial Sharia Courts, dedicated to the suppression of women's rights, are proliferating throughout the UK. But I can't see the USA having the same immigration problems as we have.

AJ

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@awnlee jawking

Unofficial Sharia Courts, dedicated to the suppression of women's rights, are proliferating throughout the UK. But I can't see the USA having the same immigration problems as we have.


I'm sure if this had been stated before it happened, it would have been branded 'fearmongering' as well. Now that it is happening, it's a case of 'You were warned'

It hasn't happened in the USA yet.

Replies:   Bondi Beach  Not_a_ID
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Capt Zapp


@awnlee jawking

Unofficial Sharia Courts, dedicated to the suppression of women's rights, are proliferating throughout the UK. But I can't see the USA having the same immigration problems as we have.

I'm sure if this had been stated before it happened, it would have been branded 'fearmongering' as well. Now that it is happening, it's a case of 'You were warned'

It hasn't happened in the USA yet.


Except that it has happened, if by "it" you mean religious courts. Jewish courts, Islamic courts, Catholic courts, Protestant [insert denomination here] courts all interpret religious law for their believers.

Civil courts do not always accept the results, but if you're going to ban so-called "Sharia" law, you're going to have to ban a whole bunch of other folks, too.

Oh, almost forgot the Amish. They have their own courts, too.

And if you're going to target Islam for its treatment of women (conservative Islam, that is, not shared by the majority of Muslims in the U.S., by the way), you'll have to take a look at Orthodox Judaism and their Ultra brothers, as well as conservative Protestant denominations as well.

Women have not fared well in traditional interpretations by People of the Book. EDIT TO ADD: But us guys have done pretty well, don't you think?

bb

awnlee jawking

@Bondi Beach

The UK has 'official' Sharia Courts, which are supposed to stay within the boundaries of British law, but undercover reporters found widespread abuse.

A recent poll reported that 80% of Brits find the burkha offensive, but the government is too cowardly to consider banning it.

A newspaper report last week mentioned a branch of Islam whose followers even forbid their wives from learning English.

We don't (AFAIK) have Amish here, but the others you mention have at least integrated to the point of interacting with the rest of the population.

Yes, women have had a raw deal from pretty much every religion, but the steps taken towards equality thus far are being rolled back as a celebration of 'diversity', whether the majority of the population like it or not.

AJ

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@awnlee jawking

Yes, women have had a raw deal from pretty much every religion, but the steps taken towards equality thus far are being rolled back as a celebration of 'diversity', whether the majority of the population like it or not.


I think you're right about that, at least in some cases, and if not in the name of diversity then certainly in the name of "conscience."

I think the effort (to roll things back or impose religious views) will fail, albeit not without a lot of pain and anger and dispute.

Just as the current attempts in the U.S. to suppress the non-white (especially African-American) vote will fail as well, again not without a fight.

Forgot to add that in the U.S. one must agree to have the dispute judged in a religious court, there is no mandatory jurisdiction, and there is always appeal to the civil court system.

bb

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Bondi Beach

in the U.S. one must agree to have the dispute judged in a religious court


Here too. But if you don't speak English, and your family and everyone associated with the only culture you've ever known make it clear you'll be ostracised or even killed for dishonouring your family if you refuse, it takes a very strong person to resist.

AJ

Not_a_ID

@Capt Zapp

I'm sure if this had been stated before it happened, it would have been branded 'fearmongering' as well. Now that it is happening, it's a case of 'You were warned'

It hasn't happened in the USA yet.


....IIRC, Florida already has such a system in place.

Most of the "Christian options" are pretty informal at best(not binding) anyhow, but if you're devoutly religious, they're a BIG DEAL all the same. The Muslims aren't unique in it, the Mormons have a "Church Court" option as well, but it's almost never used, and can't impose any legally binding decisions. I guess they could excommunicate you, but that's not going to be very scary for a "heathen" in the first place.

Capt Zapp

@Bondi Beach

Out of all the groups you mentioned, only Sharia Law claims to be above and not subject to the US Constitution.

Replies:   Wheezer  Bondi Beach
Wheezer
Updated:

@Capt Zapp


Out of all the groups you mentioned, only Sharia Law claims to be above and not subject to the US Constitution.


I have far more to fear from the Christian extremists already here who believe their so-called God's Law is above the US Constitution, and that their God's Law should BE the US Constitution. I'll worry about the imposition of Sharia law when and IF those yet to arrive Muslim extremists ever become a political power in the US. I have far more to worry about with the clear & present dangers to democracy coming from the irrational, hate-filled, fear-mongering bigots and religious nuts pandered to by one of the candidates currently on the ballot in our national election.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@Wheezer

... when and IF those yet to arrive Muslim extremists ever become a political power ...


Check the news. They are already here and becoming a political power.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@Capt Zapp

Check the news. They are already here and becoming a political power.


I don't watch Fox news.

1. It isn't real news.
2. I have a 3-digit IQ. (140)

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Bondi Beach

@Capt Zapp

Out of all the groups you mentioned, only Sharia Law claims to be above and not subject to the US Constitution.


"I'm a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order ..."

---Mike Pence, 2016 Vice Presidential candidate of the Republican Party.

bb

Capt Zapp

@Bondi Beach


"I'm a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order ..."

---Mike Pence, 2016 Vice Presidential candidate of the Republican Party.

bb


Nowhere does he claim that any of them are above the Constitution.

Replies:   Wheezer
Capt Zapp

@Wheezer

I don't watch Fox news.


Neither do I.

2. I have a 3-digit IQ. (140)


So do I. Your point?

Replies:   Wheezer
awnlee jawking

@Bondi Beach

That's scary. His top priority should be the citizens of the United States.

AJ

Wheezer

@Capt Zapp

So do I. Your point?

I use the IQ I was born with, thus the difference.

Wheezer
Updated:

@Capt Zapp


Nowhere does he claim that any of them are above the Constitution.


What part of "in that order" do you not understand?

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Capt Zapp
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Wheezer

What part of "in that order" do you not understand?


Well, if he was Mormon(although that would make the "Christian" part debatable for many), they view the U.S. Constitution as "inspired by God." To the point of "whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil."

For them, the following might as well be part of the New Testament, it's a matter of scripture (doctrine) for them.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/98.5-7?lang=eng#5

D&C 98:5-7

5 And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

6 Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;

7 And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.


https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/101.77-80?lang=eng#77

D&C 101:77-80

77 According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;

78 That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.

79 Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.

80 And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.


But going back to D&C 98 and the news reports centered around Utah and McMullin...

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/98.8-10?lang=eng#8

D&C 98:8-10

8 I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free.

9 Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn.

10 Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@Not_a_ID

Supporting your position by quoting scripture? Not sure what you are trying to say here. It's scripture. By definition it does not make sense.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Wheezer


Supporting your position by quoting scripture? Not sure what you are trying to say here. It's scripture. By definition it does not make sense.


Well, in the specific case of the Mormons, adherence to the U.S. Constitution is an implicit thing. But they're reasonably unique in that respect. Those scriptures are the reason why it is implied when they(Mormons) invoke something like Pence's statement. But as Pence isn't Mormon, that's moot.

Of course, Mormons get wiggle room for shenanigans with the whole "just and holy principles" clause. So long as they're able to interpret something as "not holy" they can fight it, and consider themselves "just" for doing so.

Although they're limited by the not being able to visit retribution for the sins of one upon another, or hold others "in bondage"(generally interpreted as slavery). As well as the directive that any protections granted apply to everyone("all flesh"), not just selected groups. (Although they could, and often do, try to wiggle around that on the grounds of "not holy")

Edit to add: And it is where the line between "holy," "not holy," or even "unholy" is drawn where things often become irrational.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@Not_a_ID

But as Pence isn't Mormon, that's moot.


Exactly, he's not Mormon and is not constrained by any of their beliefs. He's repeatedly said that he puts his religion first above all else. So, when he pledges to defend the Constitution, he is effectively saying under his breath, "except where my religion (opinion) says it is wrong." The man is vile. His running mate is vile. Their supporters are either ignorant, gullible fools or belong in that basket HRC was talking about.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Wheezer

Which is why Utah specifically may go third party this year. Mostly from voters who'd otherwise go Republican, as many (Republican voting) Mormons (which is most of them; but hey, they're the faith that gives you Harry Reid on one hand, and Mike Lee on the other) view the Clinton's in a very bad light as well. Which means they won't vote for either major party candidate this time around.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@Not_a_ID

Which means they won't vote for either major party candidate this time around.

Well, even Mormons have some who don't go with the majority of their faith. I have friends in SLC who are firm supporters of HRC and actively working toward getting her elected. Enough to carry Utah? Probably not. I live in a Red state too, but I at least have the satisfaction of knowing my county will probably go Blue.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Capt Zapp

@Wheezer

What part of "in that order" do you not understand?


So which one does he place above the Constitution?

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Capt Zapp


So which one does he place above the Constitution?


The Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court is, by definition, the supreme law of the land. Many Christians including, for example, the Catholic order Little Sisters of the Poor, argue that their Christian beliefs do not permit them to honor the requirements of the Affordable Care Act relating to the provision of birth control.

By any interpretation that is putting one's religion above the Constitution. By calling himself a Christian first, I'm pretty sure Mike Pence supports their stand.

bb

EDITS: Goddam commas are never where they're supposed to be. They move when you're not looking.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Bondi Beach

@Wheezer

I live in a Red state too, but I at least have the satisfaction of knowing my county will probably go Blue.


Hmm. Austin, perhaps?

bb

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@Bondi Beach

Hmm. Austin, perhaps?


Somewhat north of there... ;)

Not_a_ID

@Bondi Beach

By any interpretation that is putting one's religion above the Constitution. By calling himself a Christian first, I'm pretty sure Mike Pence supports their stand.


Statutory Law != Constitutional Law

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Not_a_ID

Statutory Law != Constitutional Law


How many times did the Supreme Court affirm the Affordable Care Act? I'd say that makes it "constitutional" by most measures.

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Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Bondi Beach


How many times did the Supreme Court affirm the Affordable Care Act? I'd say that makes it "constitutional" by most measures.


The fact that the Supreme Court decided that the ACA does not violate the constitution does not make the ACA part of the constitution.

ETA: If that did make the ACA part of the constitution, it would also make the RFRA part of the constitution.

The RFRA says that sincere religious objectors should be given exemptions/accommodations to generally applicable laws.

If the ACA is part of the constitution, then so is the RFRA and the Little Sisters are still not putting their religion ahead of the constitution.

By the way, the Administration has never disputed that the Little Sisters are entitled to an accommodation under the RFRA, they only argument as to the Little Sisters has been about how much/what kind of accommodation.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Dominions Son


The fact that the Supreme Court decided that the ACA does not violate the constitution does not make the ACA part of the constitution.


I said it made the ACA "constitutional." The distinction between the Constitution itself and legislation that conforms to the Constitution is irrelevant to the discussion.

By definition, an action, including exercising a right based on religious belief to an exemption from the requirements of the law that is provided within the law itself, is not putting one's belief ahead of the Constitution.


The RFRA says that sincere religious objectors should be given exemptions/accommodations to generally applicable laws.


You omitted the other part of that phrase that permits the exemption only if doing so it does not unduly impinge on the rights of others, or words to that effect.


By the way, the Administration has never disputed that the Little Sisters are entitled to an accommodation under the RFRA, they only argument as to the Little Sisters has been about how much/what kind of accommodation."


Exactly. If there's a provision for accommodation then exercising one's right to that is not putting religious beliefs ahead of the [constitutional] law.

And we'll see if the Little Sisters accept the accommodation when and if one is reached. That will answer the question of which comes first for them: religious belief or civil law.

Then we can go on to talk about:

--- court clerks who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples,

--- to state supreme court judges who issue orders (while denying they are doing so) to state officials that contradict a Supreme Court ruling, and,

--- to put icing on the cake, so to speak, Christian bakers who won't bake a cake for a same-sex couple and thereby violate anti-discrimination laws based on their religious beliefs.

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Replies:   Dominions Son
Wheezer
Updated:

re: RFRA

I think the worst thing (ok, one of the worst) to happen in this country was when the Supreme Court only struck down part of the RFRA in 1997. This country does not need the RFRA, period. I do not think any person should be able to use the excuse of 'religious freedom' to circumvent civil law. That's a damned dangerous and slippery slope - and we've been sliding down it for too many years, and people cannot see the precipice looming at the end of it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Wheezer

I think the worst thing (ok, one of the worst) to happen in this country was when the Supreme Court only struck down part of the RFRA in 1997.


Except prior to a Supreme Court decision shortly before the RFRA was enacted, what the RFRA requires was considered to be required by the free exercise clause of the first amendment.

RFRA was passed with broad bipartisan support to restore the prior case law.

Replies:   Wheezer
Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach


You omitted the other part of that phrase that permits the exemption only if doing so it does not unduly impinge on the rights of others, or words to that effect.


True, but giving the Little Sisters a complete pass on the contraceptive requirement burdens no one else's rights.

Replies:   Joe_Bondi_Beach
Wheezer

@Dominions Son

Except prior to a Supreme Court decision shortly before the RFRA was enacted, what the RFRA requires was considered to be required by the free exercise clause of the first amendment.


All sorts of vile, evil things have been hidden behind that "free expression" argument:

Slavery
Discrimination of minorities
Oppression of women
Persecution of LGBT people
Persecution of other religions
Persecution & discrimination against Atheists
Child abuse

It's a long list. Boiled down, it usually involves the persecution & discrimination against anyone who does not fit the narrow religious views of the persons screaming to be allowed their "religious freedom."

I've never heard of a single instance of anyone using the "religious freedom" argument to be allowed to act kinder, gentler, and more accepting of others around them than the law allows.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Wheezer

I've never heard of a single instance of anyone using the "religious freedom" argument to be allowed to act kinder, gentler, and more accepting of others around them than the law allows.


The use of peyote(not sure of the correct spelling) in Native American religious ceremonies.

Replies:   Wheezer
Joe_Bondi_Beach

@Dominions Son

True, but giving the Little Sisters a complete pass on the contraceptive requirement burdens no one else's rights.


I think the women employees who have a right to contraceptive coverage---if not directly through their employer then through a seamless---handoff, which of course requires the employee to know about it, might disagree with you there.

It will be interesting to see how the Little Sisters' claim that even telling employees they can get it, even *requesting* the exemption was a violation of their religious freedom rights.

The term "balance" rarely seems to figure highly in discussions with zealots.

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Replies:   Wheezer  Dominions Son
Wheezer

@Dominions Son

The use of peyote(not sure of the correct spelling) in Native American religious ceremonies.

It was just my luck to marry a Native American woman whose tribe does not use peyote. ;)

I used to hang with some NA guys who would get into their Grandpa's ceremonial stash and get high just for shits & grins.

Wheezer

@Joe_Bondi_Beach

The term "balance" rarely seems to figure highly in discussions with zealots.

Those using the "religious freedom" argument are less concerned with how they practice their own religion, but more about forcing others to comply with their beliefs. Denying contraceptive care to employees who do not share their beliefs is one (Hobby Lobby did this.) Attempting to deny marriage licenses to gay couples by that County Clerk in Kentucky is another. The peyote use example is a case of the exception that proves the rule.

Dominions Son

@Joe_Bondi_Beach

I think the women employees who have a right to contraceptive coverage---if not directly through their employer then through a seamless---handoff, which of course requires the employee to know about it, might disagree with you there.


1. As a religious organization, The little Sisters are exempt from prohibitions on religious discrimination in employment. They could employ only women who agree with their stance on contraceptives.

2. I may agree that women have a right to contraceptives, but I don't agree that they have a right to contraceptives at zero out of pocket cost. Nothing in the Little Sisters stance on the issue would prevent any of their employees from purchasing the contraceptives of their choice out of pocket.

Replies:   Bondi Beach  Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Dominions Son

2. I may agree that women have a right to contraceptives, but I don't agree that they have a right to contraceptives at zero out of pocket cost. Nothing in the Little Sisters stance on the issue would prevent any of their employees from purchasing the contraceptives of their choice out of pocket.


Why, no, it doesn't. So what would be the point of insurance coverage after all? You are kidding, right? Your view or mine on whether the coverage should have been included in the law is irrelevant. Ditto for the the view of the Little Sisters.

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Replies:   Dominions Son
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Dominions Son


1. As a religious organization, The little Sisters are exempt from prohibitions on religious discrimination in employment. They could employ only women who agree with their stance on contraceptives.


Good luck on finding them. Only about 2% of U.S. catholic women of childbearing age EDIT: do *not* use birth control.

But even that is irrelevant. The Little Sisters aren't arguing that none of their employees need or want birth control. They're arguing they don't have to provide it at all, whether anyone wants it or not.

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Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

The Little Sisters aren't arguing that none of their employees need or want birth control.


And the government never claimed that any actual employee of the Little Sisters needed or wanted birth control.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

Why, no, it doesn't. So what would be the point of insurance coverage after all?


Insurance (not just health) is for risks, uncertain events.

Once you start covering routine expenses, that is no longer insurance.

By the way, the contraceptive mandate isn't in the ACA, it was a regulatory decision and that does not create a right. Nor does it overcome the requirements of the RFRA.

You may not like the RFRA, but it is as much the law as the ACA is.

Replies:   Wheezer  Bondi Beach
Wheezer
Updated:

@Dominions Son


You may not like the RFRA, but it is as much the law as the ACA is.


...and the Conservatives have been foaming at the mouth to repeal ACA since it was made law. I think those who think religious extremism and the RFRA are bad for this country have the same right to try to bury RFRA in the garbage bin of history. IMO, the best way to prevent Sharia Law (both Christian & Muslim versions) in this country is to remove RFRA.

Ernest Bywater

@Wheezer

religious extremism


The American Colonies and the USA have had an issue with religious extremism, in one form or another, since that bunch landed at Plymouth Rock.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@Ernest Bywater


The American Colonies and the USA have had an issue with religious extremism, in one form or another, since that bunch landed at Plymouth Rock.

Pretty much. :( I stand with Thomas Jefferson on the matter.

Dominions Son

@Wheezer

...and the Conservatives have been foaming at the mouth to repeal ACA since it was made law.


It's a bad law, passed in haste without understanding what was in it, just to get something, anything passed before the Democrats lost control of the house.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Dominions Son


It's a bad law, passed in haste without understanding what was in it, just to get something, anything passed before the Democrats lost control of the house.


...and under their internal rules for bills under "reconciliation" after they lost Kennedy and Brown gained his seat in the Senate.

Bondi Beach

@Dominions Son

And the government never claimed that any actual employee of the Little Sisters needed or wanted birth control.


Totally irrelevant again. The law requires the option to be offered. Period. There's no requirement for demonstrated demand.

bb

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

The law requires the option to be offered. Period. There's no requirement for demonstrated demand.


And a different law, RFRA, requires that religious objectors be accommodated.

Bondi Beach

@Dominions Son

Insurance (not just health) is for risks, uncertain events.

Once you start covering routine expenses, that is no longer insurance.

By the way, the contraceptive mandate isn't in the ACA, it was a regulatory decision and that does not create a right. Nor does it overcome the requirements of the RFRA.


If an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy isn't an uncertain event or a risk, I can't imagine what would be such.

There's a public health argument, I'd say imperative, in preventing unplanned pregnancies and all the attendant ills—hospital costs, women with children who require public support, blah blah blah, that makes contraception a public health requirement.

One can disagree, but spare me the abstinence and personal responsibility arguments, please. Abstinence education is crap. Personal responsibility is important, but it's not the only criteria.

As Jesus is reported to have said, the poor are always going to be with you, dudes (paraphrasing here). He didn't say, "And it's their own fault they're poor."

Whether the mandate contravenes or overcomes the requirements of the RFRA is exactly the issue. We'll find out eventually.

bb

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Bondi Beach


If an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy isn't an uncertain event or a risk, I can't imagine what would be such.


Yes, but it's not the unplanned pregnancy that you are talking about covering, but birth control, which is a regular 100% predictable expense.

There's a public health argument, I'd say imperative, in preventing unplanned pregnancies and all the attendant ills—hospital costs, women with children who require public support, blah blah blah, that makes contraception a public health requirement.


That still doesn't make covering regular expenses "insurance".

One can disagree, but spare me the abstinence and personal responsibility arguments, please. Abstinence education is crap.


I haven't made any of those arguments.

Whether the mandate contravenes or overcomes the requirements of the RFRA is exactly the issue. We'll find out eventually.


We already have and the courts all the way up to SCOTUS have ruled that RFRA accomodation is required. The only remaining arguments are over the nature of the accommodations and precisely who is entitled to them. The Little Sisters are not an edge case.

Hobby Lobby was an edge case, but there, the burden on the employees was even less than with the Little Sisters. The ACA mandates coverage for 16 different forms of birth control. Hobby Lobby's owners only objected to providing coverage for 4 of them (1 type of IUD, and three different types of "morning after" pills.)

ETA:

By the way, in the Little Sisters case, the administration out right admitted that if the Little Sisters were self insured or had a plan provided by one of several religious non profits that provide health coverage for other religious organizations, the mandate could not be enforced against them at all. It is only because they have a "normal" health plan that they need accommodation at all.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Dominions Son

If an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy isn't an uncertain event or a risk, I can't imagine what would be such.

Yes, but it's not the unplanned pregnancy that you are talking about covering, but birth control, which is a regular 100% predictable expense.


There's a direct causal connection, which means the action you take to reduce or eliminate the risk is an insurable act.

If for whatever reason it's important to you to regard it as a benefit rather than insurance, that's fine with me.


The only remaining arguments are over the nature of the accommodations and precisely who is entitled to them.


I kind of thought we had established that as the issue, but perhaps not.

The nature of the accommodation once reached whether through agreement or litigation and the response to it will inform us as to whether the religious party puts its beliefs above the Constitution and its constitutional laws or not, which was the original point of this discussion.

bb

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

The nature of the accommodation once reached whether through agreement or litigation and the response to it will inform us as to whether the religious party puts its beliefs above the Constitution and its constitutional laws or not, which was the original point of this discussion.


No. They are not putting their beliefs above the Constitution itself in any case.

Statutory laws, even if constitutional are not at the same level as the Constitution.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Dominions Son

Statutory laws, even if constitutional are not at the same level as the Constitution.


OK, one more time.

For the purposes of this discussion, the distinction between the Constitution itself and legislation which has been found to be "constitutional," i.e. in accord with the relevant provisions of the Constitution, is a distinction without a difference.

The key point is we are discussing legislation which derives its authority from the Constitution, which by definition has no legitimacy other than that it derives from the Constitution.

That's why a failure to observe the requirements of a statute found to be constitutional, should such an event come to pass at the end of litigation or compromise, and this also by definition includes whether an exemption or waiver provided by law applies in the present case, is an act of putting one's religious belief above the Constitution.

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Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

For the purposes of this discussion, the distinction between the Constitution itself and legislation which has been found to be "constitutional," i.e. in accord with the relevant provisions of the Constitution, is a distinction without a difference.


You are dead flat wrong on this point.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

That's why a failure to observe the requirements of a statute found to be constitutional, should such an event come to pass at the end of litigation or compromise,


Again, this is not true. A law can be constitutional on it's face, and still be unconstitutional as applied to a particular person and circumstance.

http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1168&context=wmborj

Bondi Beach

@Dominions Son

You are dead flat wrong on this point.


Eppure si muove, he said as he walked away. For myself, I think I'll leave it at that.

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solitude

@sejintenej

In the UK and Germany (at least) the minimum age has already been increased but in the UK your benefit depends on how many years you contributed "full stamp" - you needed 40 years to get the full entitlement.


Minor correction: the UK state pension rules used to say you had to have had contributed for 30 years for the full pension; from April this year there is a revised scheme that pushes this up to 35 years. The transitional rules try to seem fair, and are complex!)

Replies:   sejintenej
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Bondi Beach

For the purposes of this discussion, the distinction between the Constitution itself and legislation which has been found to be "constitutional," i.e. in accord with the relevant provisions of the Constitution, is a distinction without a difference.


Except the Constitutional Law, rather than a law that is constitutional, cannot be overruled by any other law, short of a Constitutional Amendment. An override which would require ratification by the States.

While that law "which is constitutional" can be amended, overruled(as happened to the ACA when up against the RFRA), overturned by courts, or simply removed from statutory law by acts of Congress.

Now yes, "functionally speaking" for the average person on the street, there is no meaningful difference between statutory law (which is constitutional) and Constitutional Law as it pertains to them personally most of the time. But there still remains a difference between the two.

It's almost like you're saying Civil Law and Criminal Law must be the same thing because they both can be used to incite court cases before a Judge.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Not_a_ID

Now yes, "functionally speaking" for the average person on the street, there is no meaningful difference between statutory law (which is constitutional) and Constitutional Law as it pertains to them personally most of the time. But there still remains a difference between the two.


I have no idea what "functionally speaking" means, but I did not argue that the Constitution and a statute found constitutional are identical. They aren't.

I argued that for purposes of the original issue in this discussion, which is whether religious groups in the U.S. put their beliefs above the Constitution, the difference between language found in the Constitution and language found in a statute found to be constitutional by the highest authority we have, i.e., the Supreme Court, is unimportant.

Why is it unimportant? Because putting one's religious beliefs above the requirements of a law which derives its authority from the Constitution, which has been tested and found to be in accordance with the Constitution, is effectively putting one's belief above the Constitution.

How could it be otherwise since all laws derive their authority ultimately from the Constitution? That how the law is amended differs from how the Constitution is amended is irrelevant. If one or the other is changed (depending on how it is changed, of course,) the issue disappears. And if I had wheels I'd be a tea cart.

But I'm not arguing hypotheticals or what ifs. As I said earlier in this thread I think I've gone about as far as I can go with it, so I'll bow out and let others take it wherever they choose.

bb

sejintenej
Updated:

@solitude


in the UK your benefit depends on how many years you contributed "full stamp" - you needed 40 years to get the full entitlement.

Minor correction: the UK state pension rules used to say you had to have had contributed for 30 years for the full pension; from April this year there is a revised scheme that pushes this up to 35 years. The transitional rules try to seem fair, and are complex!)

That is why I used the past tense - 40 years is what it used to be before the comparatively recent reduction and then increase.
Although I benefit IMHO the reduction is stupid; we have an aging population whose pensions have to be supplied by a reducing proportion of those in work so, to increase the number of full pensions in this way (it affects women who had maternity /growing children time off plus those not in permanent employment) seems self defeating

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

With 38yo Afghans claiming asylum as children (ie under 18), and anticipating the retirement age to increase to 68, that means said Afghans won't be able to retire until they're 88 ;)

AJ

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Bondi Beach

And if I had wheels I'd be a tea cart.

Surely there must be other options. Wheelbarrow, bicycle, tricycle, automobile, even one of those big tractor/trailer rigs called 18 wheelers. Or you could be a railroad train and have more wheels than you could count.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
richardshagrin

@awnlee jawking

Afghans won't be able to retire until they're 88 ;)


Working forty years from age 38 would make them 78. Or do afghans have to work longer since they are a kind of rug or carpet?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

Trump has won the election and the Republicans still have control of both houses of Congress.

Kiss the ACA goodbye.

Note: I voted for Gary Johnson.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
awnlee jawking

@richardshagrin

They're claiming to be under 18. So to retire on a state pension at 68, they'd have to work for 50 years. And since they're really 38, that means their actual state pension age would 88.

AJ

Capt Zapp

@Dominions Son

Kiss the ACA goodbye.


Good. I couldn't afford it anyway.

awnlee jawking

@Bondi Beach

Obviously they wouldn't be SOL authors because 'dead men tell no tales'. :)

AJ

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@awnlee jawking

Obviously they wouldn't be SOL authors because 'dead men tell no tales'. :)


Although they often have the more interesting stories. ;)

Bondi Beach

@richardshagrin

Or you could be a railroad train and have more wheels than you could count.


I like it. One of those big old mountain-hauling cab-forward things that used to come through town on their way to the Sierras.

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