Thursday, 14 February 2013
Valentine's Day, Social Security and Darlene Costner
As many of you are aware, Darlene Costner is a reliable supplier of terrific items for Saturday's Interesting Stuff posts and she often comments here at TGB, at The Elder Storytelling Place and on other elderblogs. (Until last August, she also kept a blog – Darlene's Hodgepodge – which she may yet return to.) Many of us consider Darlene close friend.
However, for awhile you may not see her name so frequently. Not long ago, her son suffered a terrible accident resulting in serious burns to his face, hands and arms that will take a good while to heal.
He was released from the hospital a few days ago and on Saturday, Darlene traveled from her home in Arizona to California to care for him until he further recovers and is able to drive again.
At first, Darlene was led to believe her son's care would involve several months of full-time nursing from her. Fortunately, that is not so. He is doing well and Darlene will mostly be lending emotional and motherly support for a much shorter period of time. Let's wish her well and wish her son a speedy recovery.
SOTU AND SOCIAL SECURITY
Did you see the State of the Union address on Tuesday evening? Because President Barack Obama so frequently waffles on whether he supports the chained CPI to calculate COLAs (lately the answer is, unfortunately, yes), I was paying special attention for mentions of Social Security and there was one although it was not planned.
Thanks to digby at Hullabaloo, we know the president inserted an “apparently spontaneous” departure from the original text:
After all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and Medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? How is that fair? How does that promote growth?
After all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and Medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? How is that fair? Why is that deficit reduction is a big emergency justifying cuts in Social Security benefits, but not closing some loopholes? How does that promote growth?”
As Digby comments:
”...we know that cutting SS and Medicare in exchange for some illusory tax reform is the president's patented 'balanced approach.' It's telling, however, that he put Social Security in the speech when it wasn't in the text.
“I'd have to guess that they had haggled over whether it was smart to include it and he changed his mind at the last minute. Maybe that indicates some tension among his advisers about this. I hope so.”
Roger Hickey at Campaign for America's Future gives us this note on the SOTU (god I love when all these other good people do my work for me and all I have to is quote them):
”The President reminded his State of the Union audience that he has put forward proposals for 'entitlement reform' in his quest for a 'grand bargain' to achieve that $1.5 trillion target of additional deficit reduction.
“The fact is that President Obama has never taken off the table his very draconian offers: to impose the so-called chained CPI that would cut the benefits of current and future Social Security recipients...
“Tonight the President talked in general terms about reforming Medicare – including some good reforms, like reducing 'taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies.' But also still on Obama’s table is his proposal to raise the eligibility age for receiving Medicare from 65 to 67. (He hasn’t talked much about this lately, but he hasn’t repudiated it either.)
“And tonight he mentioned the possibility of 'asking more of the wealthiest seniors,' a phrase that is usually cover for reducing Medicare benefits that middle class retirees really need.”
There are only a few weeks until the deadline for the “sequestration” otherwise known as devastating cuts across the board. I'll get back to you before then on all of this.
Meanwhile, it is also Valentine's Day and I send loads of love and appreciation to all Time Goes By readers for your continuing support for this blog. You have no idea how much it means to me every day.
Since it's hard to pass out roses and chocolates via the internet, here is a charming little video of 25 tykes answering questions about love, marriage, dating, kissing and where babies come from produced by the Small Fry blog.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Marie Campbell: Mothers – Unsung Heroes