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Old 05-22-2012, 11:37 AM   #239
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At the time it was started, everyone as in both sides of the aisle, thought it to be true that Saddam was going to develop nuclear weapons. There was a vote in Congress which overwhelming sent us in. It is ONLY with hindsight we found out he was bluffing because he was afraid of Iran.
As I recall, the vote from Congress came after the start of the invasion.

There never was any compelling evidence that Iraq had any Weapons of Mass Destructions, including nuclear, before or after we invaded. There had been plenty of inspections from both U.N and U.S. teams that came up negative. Iran does have nuclear capability yet we are not invading them. After Kuwait, Hussein was never a threat, just noisy. The only reason we even became involved with Kuwiat is we are allied with Kuwait.

As much as I love the U.S., I still have to face the fact that we have been in many wars we had no business being in, such as the War of 1812 (that was probably the stupidest act we ever committed), the Spanish/American War, and Vietnam. Even our involvement in the Mexican/American war was questionable. Iraq is another war in the list we never should have gotten into, especially since we were already involved in Afghanistan, a country even the Russians were unable to defeat.

We have a bad habit of not learning from history, such as the folly of fighting on two fronts (lessons we should have learned from Napoleon and Hitler). The main reason Britain didn't "win" the War of 1812 and take us back is a fellow named Bonaparte was keeping them busy and the Brits were wise enough not to fight two wars at the same time (another reason was it wasn't economically sound). In the case of Iraq, beside being a waste of resources and lives (ours and their's), it delayed us from finding Bin Ladin.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:54 AM   #240
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I'm with the people who think the SS cap should be removed.
Removing the cap does not affect the money problems of SS. You are paid according to the money you put in. If you remove the cap, (now $106,000)then you must increase the benefits for those who would be paying more when they retire. It is a wash money wise except for a short initial period. It would be unfair and unamerican to charge additional premiums without increasing the benefits for them. This is called stealing or redistribution of wealth.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:48 PM   #241
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Bin Laden was tracked down to Afghanistan, not Iraq. Iraq was never a terrorist threat, even when it invaded Kuwait. We simply had no business going into Iraq. If we had put the effort we put into Iraq into finding Bin Ladin, he would have been found a lot sooner and that war would be long since finished.
I agree with you that Iraq was never a threat. We had weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq for years. Our own weapons inspector Ritter said to congress and the U.N. that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction and with inspectors on the ground and carrying out UNs special order to surrender all WMD there was no possibility of Saddam reconstituting those programs. He also stated that if war breaks out and unfetterd access becomes impossible, Saddam could reestablish those WMD programs in a matter of months. He resigned his position with the UN security counsel when Bush invaded shouting to the world that Bushs claim was false and he could prove it. We went in anyway and history has proved that Bush misled (lied) to us all.

I am prepared to take issue with the statement that if OBL had been found sooner the war on terror would end sooner. We found him and we are still at war. Wars only purpose is to serve itself and war is simply a brutal extension of political objectives as written by Prussian philosopher Carl Von Clausewitz. Those objectives were set forth and neatly outlined by the so called Bush doctrine. Sun Tzu and his Chinese philosophy of the art of war states that wars are actually fought and won in the temples (Political arena or in todays world, the U.N.) before they are ever decided by combat and we needn't fear anything but fear itself. We now are fighting a war of fear. It will not stop until we conquer fear. These wars, and their cost, has bankrupt this nation. Social security is easily fixed if we wish to but the third rail metaphor is too true. It's political suicide for anyone who tries. Politicians are only interested in only one thing. Reelection... not in doing the right thing.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:53 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by Lindsay Richards

Removing the cap does not affect the money problems of SS. You are paid according to the money you put in. If you remove the cap, (now $106,000)then you must increase the benefits for those who would be paying more when they retire. It is a wash money wise except for a short initial period. It would be unfair and unamerican to charge additional premiums without increasing the benefits for them. This is called stealing or redistribution of wealth.
If you bought a $2,000,000 Prevost in Fl and paid $120,000 in State Tax and I bought a $50,000 Motorhome and paid $3,000 in State Tax is that stealing or redistribution? Just asking.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:59 PM   #243
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If you bought a $2,000,000 Prevost in Fl and paid $120,000 in State Tax and I bought a $50,000 Motorhome and paid $3,000 in State Tax is that stealing or redistribution? Just asking.
Florida sales tax is capped at around $3,000 (depends on the county option sales tax.). You will have to come up with another silly example.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:10 PM   #244
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The amount that anyone draws from SS is not proportionate based on the money contributed to the system. The person who pays to the cap now ($110,100) will receive proportionately less in benefits than the person who makes half of that amount. The person at $110,100 may draw the max of $2531, but the person who had a wage of $55,000 may be receiving somewhere in the neighborhood of $1600 rather than half of the cap person's benefit.

One other major factor here is the spousal benefit. The spouse earning $10,000 per year while their husband or wife was earning $110,000 per year will draw about half of what their higher earning spouses benefit will be, not their own much lower benefit. If there is an ex-spouse in the mix they will also draw half.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:13 PM   #245
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Lindsay, I think you completely missed the point. Also, using the word "silly" is a flame and does nothing to advance this discussion.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:20 PM   #246
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Florida sales tax is capped at around $3,000 (depends on the county option sales tax.). You will have to come up with another silly example.
Could not find a Floirda sales tax cap except for boats at $18,000 tax. We have never been capped on our RV puchases.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:24 PM   #247
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Thanks Dick and Dave. You both beat me to it. My MH was not a Prevost but I paid a lot more than $3000. Guess I'm due a refund
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:24 PM   #248
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People who pay more in premiums receive more in benefits. It would be unfair to charge premiums beyond the cap when there were to be no additional benefits received for this extra payment. This is my opinion only, but I think it is wide spread by those who0 understand the system. I was surprised to find out that SS had all of my contributions going back to when I was 13 years old.

Sorry, you thought the word "silly" was flaming. What word would you prefer and I will go back and edit it out to your choice of word or phrase?
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:38 PM   #249
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Originally Posted by Lindsay Richards
People who pay more in premiums receive more in benefits. It would be unfair to charge premiums beyond the cap when there were to be no additional benefits received for this extra payment. This is my opinion only, but I think it is wide spread by those who0 understand the system. I was surprised to find out that SS had all of my contributions going back to when I was 13 years old.

Sorry, you thought the word "silly" was flaming. What word would you prefer and I will go back and edit it out to your choice of word or phrase?
Words don't usually bother me. A little more research on your part would suffice.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:23 PM   #250
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A little more research? You are very kind sir.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:24 PM   #251
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As I recall, the vote from Congress came after the start of the invasion.
From CNN website: "
October 11, 2002

In a major victory for the White House, the Senate early Friday voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein refuses to give up weapons of mass destruction as required by U.N. resolutions.
Hours earlier, the House approved an identical resolution, 296-133.
The president praised the congressional action, declaring "America speaks with one voice."
"The Congress has spoken clearly to the international community and the United Nations Security Council," Bush said in a statement. "Saddam Hussein and his outlaw regime pose a grave threat to the region, the world and the United States. Inaction is not an option, disarmament is a must."



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There never was any compelling evidence that Iraq had any Weapons of Mass Destructions, including nuclear, before or after we invaded.
Actually Saddam had quite a bit of history in the WMD area. He used a lot of chemical weapons during the Iran/Iraq War, and later used them against Iraqis, the last time being March of 1991 (Iraqi chemical weapons program - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). The weapons he used on his own people included sarin gas and mustard gas. Sarin is a nerve agent, a really nasty way to die. Mustard has it's roots back in WWI, most of the survivors of that particular agent were debilitated for some time. And in at least one interview after the invasion, one of Saddam's own generals stated that even his commanders thought that the Iraqi military possessed WMD up to the time of the invasion.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:30 PM   #252
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IMHO, Haller and Fitz, and a few others, have made cogent arguments, but 95% of the posters (again, IMHO) are missing the point, staying mired in their belief that some form of taxation or funding overhaul is the only way to save Social Security.

The argument needs to move away from "fixing" SS by changing the tax code or levels of premiums, or reducing benefits, or any other financial tools that could directly alter SS financing. Yes, these tools would be very useful to tweak a poorly managed program, and I am also weary of deadbeats who cheat the system.... but there is a better and more fundamental way -- shifting our spending priorities so that we CAN properly fund our 'people' programs.

And any discussion of SS going away or benefits being reduced for lack of funding while the 'boomers' are still here is absurd, it will not happen, the votes will never be there. No way, dream on.... So, there has to be another way.

The discussion about "fixes" should be focused more on our nation's spending priorities. If caring for our elderly was a priority, SS would be working smoothly and it would be amply funded, without reservations or doubts. But that is not our priority, is it?

It's not easy fighting two wars with 'credit cards' (i.e., Chinese financing) and also have strong, functioning and "honored" domestic programs for your own citizens. (And since I am getting into the 'wastage of unnecessary wars', before anybody jumps on me, let me clarify at this point, I was a platoon leader in a combat zone) As LadyFitz illustrated, a country should choose its wars (given the option, of course) very carefully - wars are good business for a while, as they plump up domestic production and they create a lot of individual wealth and power for some; but then they destroy many, many lives and billions of dollars of materials far from home which will never be recovered, a very real economic disincentive which we have ignored. We have exported hundreds of billions of war materials to the Midddle-East, and it has been utterly destroyed. Wasted money, and wasted lives with nothing much to show for it.... But, it's where we have chosen to squander a lot of our national wealth and credit. What if we spent it on our elderly instead? What if we determined, as a people, to spend it to make SS whole again? Or funded police and fire? Or better education? Or whatever? It's ALL about spending priorities. Every politician will tell you there is never enough money to go around, never enough to fund everyone's project. And that's true. So, it absolutely comes down to priorities in spending OUR money.

It's hard to police the rest of the world militarily, give all that foreign aid to all those who have commodities or strategic locations we need, spend zillions to subvert those countries we 'need' to convert to our own form of democracy, contribute more than our share to world power organizations like the World Bank, IMF, the UN, etc., and on and on.... It takes a lot of our wealth to maintain control.

Instead of spending billions tearing up someone else's country halfway around the world, and then spending more hundreds of billions rebuilding their country, we need to fund our own programs for our own people right here in the good ol' USA. This would include proper funding for SS. Again, IMHO.

It might be my turn for the asbestos suit....
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