WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Open Friday / Weekend Forum

So what's on your mind as we enter the final weekend of 2012?

Are you ready for Saturday's winter storm?

Upstate, have you been hearing excerpts of Carl Kanefsky's long interview with outgoing Wilmington Mayor Jim Baker? (You can also see the video on our website)

The NEWS JOURNAL reports Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher alleges Sussex County Council retaliated after he filed a lawsuit against it. Christopher contends in court papers that Council decided against extending a state contract under which the Sussex County Sheriff's office served subpoenas and other papers on behalf of Family Court. By not continuing the contract, Christopher argues Council - not him - is determining the job description for his office. Christopher's core complaint: Sussex Council wants "to relegate Sheriff Christopher to a county employee who has no powers and who is entirely unable to serve the public that elected him to office." The endless feuding in Sussex County goes on...

From The National Legal & Policy Center (Right-leaning think-tank):


By Paul Chesser, National Leagal & Policy Center, 12/28/2012

"Amidst its ongoing financial problems and search for a 'strategic alliance' that it says is not an attempt to sell the company, Fisker Automotive continues to make its current business partners extremely nervous.

In particular are those 'investors' that represent the taxpayers of Delaware, who foolishly committed $21 Million in public money to the California-based company, in exchange for a promise to take over a former General Motors manufacturing plant to build its next electric car, the Atlantic. But rather than generate thousands of 'green jobs', instead,the factory sits dormant while Gov. Jack Markell and the state's economic development officials stew. And now the state has learned that if Fisker goes belly-up or fails to operate in Delaware, the repayment of funds it has outlaid is subordinate to the rights of other lenders to get their money back, including the U.S. Government."

As of Friday morning, it would appear we're more likely to go over the "fiscal cliff" than not.


"Washington's Democratic and Republican power-brokers have sent the message to the nation that going over the fiscal cliff is a worst-case scenario. But they're not acting that way, not at all.

Instead, many of them have calculated that it's better to go over the cliff -- at least temporarily -- than swallow a raw deal.

For many Republicans, a cliff dive means blaming President Barack Obama for a big tax hike in the short term and then voting to cut taxes for most Americans next month. That's an easier sell back home in Republican-heavy districts than a pre-cliff deal that raises taxes on folks making over $250,000 or $400,000, extends unemployment benefits and does little if anything to curb entitlement spending. If they back a bad deal now, they run the risk of facing primary challengers in two years.

For Democrats, the cliff is better than setting a rich man's cut-off in the million-dollar range -- or worse yet, extending the Bush tax-cuts for all earners -- and slashing Medicare and Social Security to appease Republicans. They, too, see an advantage in negotiating with Republicans who will feel freed from their promise not to vote to raise taxes once the rates have already gone up..."

Does the above make sense to you? Indeed, one wonders if members of Congress made these cynical calculations when they first crafted the fiscal cliff!

Late word Friday: CBS News

"A source very familiar with today's White House meeting on the fiscal cliff tells CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett that Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and John Boehner agreed to extend jobless benefits and agreed income-taxes will go up.

According to the source, the key sticking point now is the income threshold. The source says Mr. Obama opened with $250,000 and the Republicans balked and everything is subject to further negotiations."

C.N.N. host Piers Morgan -- already the target of a petition drive to have him deported after he castigated pro-gun campaigners -- has now declared both The BIBLE & the U.S. Constitution are "inherently flawed" and The BIBLE requires an amendment changing its teaching on same-sex marriage. (Morgan's remarks came during an interview with Pastor Rick Warren.)

The New York City subway system has seen a SECOND murder within a month: A woman shoved a man to his death from the elevated platform of a 7 train in Queens. Witnesses said the woman appeared to wait until the last possible moment before pushing the victim to the tracks. The woman quickly ran away. No controversy this time over the failure of anyone to have attempted a rescue. It all happened in a few seconds.

We would be remiss not to note the passing of retired General Norman Schwarzkopf at the age of 78. Of course, General Schwarzkopf spearheaded the U.S.-led coalition forces against Iraq after that country's invasion of Kuwait. Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called Schwarzkopf "one of the great military giants of the 20th century." President Obama noted the loss of an "American original." Lest we forget, General Schwarzkopf was hardly a household name UNTIL the 1991 Persian Gulf War. On his return to the United States, the general joined thousands of troops for a welcome-home ticker-tape parade in New York City. He received a standing O from Congress. Queen Elizabeth II made him an honorary Knight.

Schwarzkopf received some criticism, of course. People questioned the decision to terminate the ground war that left Saddam Hussein in power. Thomas E. Ricks criticizes Schwarzkopf in the new book, The GENERALS: AMERICAN MILITARY COMMAND for WORLD WAR II to TODAY. That's because Schwarzkopf allowed the Baghdad government to use choppers in the No-Fly zones established after the first war; those choppers helped squash a Shi'ite uprising the United States had encouraged. (Echoes of the Hungarian uprising in 1956: Radio Free Europe gave encouragement to the Hungarian patriots, but Ike wasn't prepared for a confrontation with the Soviet Union, and the simultaneous Suez Crisis preoccupied Britain and France.)

But, Schwarzkopf's analysis of the potential consequences of trying to topple Saddam Hussein proved to be prescient. (But Schwarzkopf did initially support the 2003, U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.)

Early Friday morning has seen a shooting at a police station in south Jersey: Three officers were injured at the Gloucester Township police station in Camden County, New Jersey. According to police, the shooter -- who was being held at the station -- was shot & killed inside the municipal building. Two of the officers suffered graze wounds, were treated, and quickly released. The third suffered a leg injury and underwent surgery.

Revealing: For all the talk about posting an armed guard at EACH school, or arming an administrator or some teachers, it's interesting that even a police station was NOT immune from such an incident.

Posted at 7:07am on December 28, 2012 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Fri, Dec 28, 2012 7:18am
To Mr. Loudell, why does cutting the national debt all focus on Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, raising taxes?

I'm baffled, truly baffled, why neither President Obama nor the House Republicans, even broach the topic of cutting defense spending? Notably, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote an editorial about how the country is spending billions of dollars on weapons that the Pentagon doesn't want.

Cutting one battleship could save a billion dollars, and pay for everbody's health care. Cutting one warplane could save hundreds of millions, and significantly reduce the national debt.

During the fiscal cliff, there's not even a mention of the highest spending item in the federal budget.

It makes no sense.

Allan Loudell
Fri, Dec 28, 2012 7:35am

Politico just yesterday offered a lengthy analysis of how the Pentagon and military-related industry fear a lengthy period of belt-tightening, no matter what happens with the fiscal cliff.

(And don't forget -- if we go off the fiscal cliff -- under sequestration, the military takes a hit immediately. Indeed, military families could be among the first Americans to be impacted.)

Indeed, you have fiscal hawks on the Right who DO want to cut military spending, particularly that which they see as wasteful or redundant. Those fiscal hawks of the Right could make common cause with anti-war folks on the Left. It represents a perfect storm for what Ike called the military-industrial complex.

That said, remember, ever since McGovern, the Dems have been the target of Republican attacks that they're the peaceniks, pinkos, the mommy party, etc. Dems have worked mightily to shed that image. No way do some Dems want to be seen as going "soft".

And, indeed, with Iran looming ever larger; Obama's engagement of Southeast & East Asian countries to "contain" China; America's counter-terrorism efforts in an ever expanding number of sub-Saharan African countries; etc., it's difficult to see how the military budget can sustain significant cuts.

But, at the highest levels, except for Ron Paul and Rand Paul, it's difficult to see a major Republican Presidential prospect for 2016 substantially reversing the G.O.P.'s hawkish approach to the world -- which means military expansion, not contraction.

Allan Loudell

Fri, Dec 28, 2012 10:08am

Spending billions of dollars on something you don't need is not an issue of conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican. It's very much a matter of basic intelligence. Why would we spend billions on something we don't need...at a time when money is tight??? Not smart.

Again, it is inaccurate to label this as a push by "anti war" people. The article calling for defense cuts was written by Brigadier General John Johns:


Allan Loudell
Fri, Dec 28, 2012 10:16am

I'm not saying it's just anti-war people. I'm just saying you have an unusual Right--Left convergence.

And, it's not unheard of for our own military people to oppose some grandiose expenditures, indeed, to oppose additional U.S. military interventions. (Soon, Iran!)

I've posted before how I used to have long conversations with the late General William Odom, who ran the National Security Agency of the United States of America under Ronald Reagan. General Odom opposed U.S. military interventions around the Middle-East, fearing we'd be playing into the hands of al-Qaeda, helping with recruitment. General Odom also strongly opposed the warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens. Yet, he wasn't some dove. To the contrary, during the Cold War, he was a "hawk" when it came to the U.S.S.R.

But those military people don't have to run for office in hawkish, gerrymandered, Congressional districts.

Allan Loudell

Fri, Dec 28, 2012 12:17pm

In a paradoxical type of way, I'm happy that the president and congressional leaders have been so irreponsible about the Fiscal Cliff issue. By going on vacation, by refusing to talk, by taking this crisis in such a non-chalant manner, our nation WILL likely fall of the Fiscal Cliff.

Falling off the cliff will automatically trigger $1.2-trillion in cuts, including $600-billion cut from the Pentagon budget. So, ironically, there will be some "good" that comes out of falling off the cliff.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Dec 28, 2012 1:46pm
Allan's commentary said, "C.N.N. host Piers Morgan -- already the target of a petition drive to have him deported after he castigated pro-gun campaigners -- has now declared both The BIBLE & the U.S. Constitution are 'inherently flawed' and The BIBLE requires an amendment changing its teaching on same-sex marriage. (Morgan's remarks came during an interview with Pastor Rick Warren.)"

Man, is this guy a real knucklehead! However, as wrong as he is about both the US Constitution AND the Bible, he is entitled to his opinions and beliefs, as long as he's not going to try to prevent those of us who do believe what the Bible and US Constitution say from having the SAME freedom to express our opinions and beliefs. With folks like him, THAT is the concern. Extreme libs/progressives seem to have the need to try to keep the rest of us from getting to express our beliefs as they tend to be far more intolerant than the rest of us. THAT's been my experience.

Sat, Dec 29, 2012 2:37am
I really enjoyed the Baker's dozen interviews. I want to throw my two cents on his administration. I think Baker's legacy will be the rebirth of the downtown. If you haven't been down there lately, it is a gem.

12 years is a long time. Over that time from the viaduct of 95, I have seen a barren industrial field around the stadium and Arts Center, grow shops, then' high rises, then AAA building, then Barclays, Childrens and Art museums, have seen the Riverwalk expand, and now, the Dupont Nature Center is parked on the end at the bend of the Christina River. Downtown? I have seen new pubs and restaurants put in along Market Street. The Grand redone. DCAD (Delaware College of Art and Design) The Ships Tavern district is now bright and awesome. ANd it feels safe, with all the yellow jerseys of the parking patrols milling about.

It no longer is a city that rolls up at night. The transformation from what it was to what it is, will be his legacy.

The downside, is with attention being given to the downtown, the neighborhoods did not get the attention they always had before. Crime, most particularly the drug shootings, will be his biggest opportunity lost.

I was skeptical of Dennis Williams at first, but with his choice of police commissioner, I now feel confident that tide will switch back to the neighborhoods, and those areas will see resouces pouring back in.

Either way, it has been a remarkable 12 years. if it has been awhile since you've been downtown, i highly recommend taking the tour....

Sat, Dec 29, 2012 2:55am
In regards to the fiscal cliff, Earl Gray put up an interactive calculator that let you be the one to solve the fiscal debt. When you made choices a graph showed you how much of the deficit you had just filled.

I first tried Romney's plan and laughed and said.. ha ha, thought so. Then I tried Obama's plan and it was not much better. A little, but not much. So I tried the one which reinstated all the Bush Tax Cuts and bingo, what a difference that made.

Since the debt is so huge, the idea of keeping tax cuts for middle America, may have seen it's time expire. The wealthy certainly have to pay more. But because most ot the cuts were paid with credits, withholding remained for the most part, the same amount. Losing the middle tax cuts may not bring immediate harm to the economy after all. The effect of the loss really wouldn't be felt until refund time in 2014. Hopefully our economy would be thriving by then.

Which ironically means the best thing that could happen for America in the long term is no resolution on the cliff's edge, and all go over it together. It it funny sometimes how things work.

It's the sequestration part that will cost jobs. And lost jobs particularly in the defense area, are hard to make up when military spending is down. If you are an fighter jet specialist, and there are no more fighter planes being ordered, finding another job in your field is hard.....

Sat, Dec 29, 2012 9:47am
I have to agree with Kavips about Mayor Baker. If he ran for president, which I wish he would, he would be the only Democrat other than former Cecil County sheriff Rodney Kennedy that I've ever voted for.

Sat, Dec 29, 2012 9:54am
Following is a link to a story which, if it didn't make the top news stories of 2012, it certainly should have:


Mike from Delaware
Sat, Dec 29, 2012 10:24am
Mrpizza: I remember it. Can you somehow down load it to your computer to keep for posterity (if not maybe Allan can arrange for someone at the station to copy it for you onto a disc). You were a news maker in 2012.

Kavips: BEFORE raising all of the middle classes taxes, let's do this in steps, FIRST raise the upper 2% taxes, Second cut all sorts of frills from the Federal government and other non-essential spending such as: no limos for Congress, no free gym, no free hair cuts/beauty shop, cut their staffs, cut THEIR pensions, benefits, and give them the same Obamacare package the rest of us will be stuck with and THEY get to pay for their coverage just as we do. THIRD cut foreign aid other than humanitarian aid for food, medical, and clean water. Also cut funding to PBS/NPR; cut back military around the world; Where we keep military make new deal with host country to pay half the cost, if they say no, the pull out troops and empty base and essentially leave only a runway (they act like they are doing us a favor and I believe they've got that backwards and time to fix that); Go through all departments in FED government and downsize as has been done in industry for decades (its time for the highly unionized federal work force to experience the multitasking, etc, that the rest of us who pay THEIR salaries put up with). After doing ALL of that FIRST, then lets talk about raising the middle class taxes. We the "suckers of the middle class" who've been paying the bills as our salaries have dried up while the fat cat upper 2% have been literally printing money as their tax rates have at the same time dropped to the lowest rate since 1940 deserve all that to be done before getting it put to us once again.

Mike from Delaware
Sat, Dec 29, 2012 12:12pm
Kavips: Obviously Prez Obama doesn't agree with what I wrote above.


Sat, Dec 29, 2012 3:03pm
MFD: You got that one right. We've been downsizing at the post office for the past 5 or so years. Of course, unlike other government agencies, the fed doesn't print money to support us; we have to sell an actual product.

It's also been demonstrated time and again that you can downsize with a minimum of casualties. You may remember all the warnings about the end of the world when the Bell telephone system broke up, but most of the downsizing was done through early retirements. And had it not been for that, you wouldn't have Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc. Proof once again that the private sector can do it better.

As for the news video, it'll be on the website for another 5 or 6 years. I'll try to figure something out between now and then.

Sat, Dec 29, 2012 3:32pm
Here's another big news hit from 2012:


Sun, Dec 30, 2012 3:40am
Mike, just an observation of the cuts you proposed, many of them would cost more to implement those cuts, than the current cost now. For example if you for one, shut the perks you mentioned on Congress, you would have someone on K street sitting in a Barber chair when he got the text to show up for an important vote. It costs more to cloroform the Congressional pool, than it does to keep it open for years. Then there is security. The limos are available so Congress can conduct business while going from A to B.. And what if they drove? How much of a choice target would they be? Would we need security to follow them, an additional expense?

And as for foreign bases, we are there for a reason. Should we move out, let the Chinese move in, then go to a future war at a great disadvantage? Isn't the investment now, which probably will prevent war, or at least, win allies on OUR side if one occurs, the cheaper longterm alternative? And cutting staffs of Congress? Above is the news story of the Hare's Corner Post Office staying open. That would not be so if Carper's office was not fully staffed. Cutting one staff member, would have closed the Post Office here. That is a given.

It appears you are still locked down in the eighties.. Since that time-frame government has gotten lean and mean. Is there waste? Probably but not as much as one finds in any corporation. In fact the discretionary part of the budget minus the military, has stayed at the same percent of GDP since 1981. In fact, I think a couple of weeks ago I posted the link that showed it is now the lowest percent level, since 1981... The only place to cut... is the military. Everything else, costs more to do without then it does to do with... We are on the ground floor.

I recently saw a chart showing the deficit. As you have all heard is will be out of control However the discretionary part is not the issue. The military has fat that could be trimmed. Social Security is a flat line. It is not the issue. The biggest cost is medical. If we control medical we will control the budget.... That and putting up additional revenue... But cuts in government, may make a nice soundbite, until someone point out that removing them will cost us a lot more than keeping them...

Sun, Dec 30, 2012 10:15am
Kavips: Your post above is a mixed bag. It is refreshing to hear somebody on this blog, especially a liberal, argue in favor of keeping overseas bases.

As for the limos, I would doubt the issue there is security, but rather that there's no place in Washington for all these politicians to park their cars. When they're off duty, they drive their personal vehicles anyway, especially if they're back in their home districts.

I consider the notion that Carper had much of anything to do with Hare's Corner post office staying open to be a myth. The final decisions to open or close post offices are made at 475 L'Enfant plaza (postal headquarters), not on Capitol Hill. I also believe my going on-air with Allan Loudell the month before the decision was made had more influence than the politicians. Here's that clip:


Sun, Dec 30, 2012 10:21am
Kavips: One more thing. You're right about health care costs - they are the biggest issue. All the more reason to to get government out of it and turn it over to the private sector where they're better skilled at running it. The Ma Bell breakup worked - so can this.

Mike from Delaware
Sun, Dec 30, 2012 2:38pm
Kavips: I've watched C-SPAN and seen an empty chamber while the Senator or Rep is speaking. Those clowns aren't sitting there listening, they're out somewhere. I've got to believe that for any vote, they've been given the word as to when. Even if they're not and its a last minute thing, how many doctor's have gotten interrupted from their hair cut to have to rush to the hospital, so our "servants" in DC should be able to rush back from K Street for a vote too.

It's such "hard" work sitting in a chair making laws that don't apply to yourself, but stick it to everyone else, YES they must have a swimming pool paid for by us, NOT. Let them join their own gym at their expense like everyone else does. We don't have royalty in America, but Congress sure things they're special and better than everyone else.

Biden didn't have security all those years he traveled via AMTRAK from Wilmington to DC and back each day. I'd think a Limo would make it easier for any terrorist to find the big shots in DC rather than being in a cab or private car.

Somehow I find it rather hard to believe that corporations are the fat with un-needed employees. No one I know would agree, because they've watched as their own company has slashed and slashed jobs like crazy since the 1970's. There's been all sorts of stories in the media verifying this, yet I just don't remember seeing any thing about major cuts in ANY government department. The ONLY unions that are growing are the government public sector unions. The private sector unions have been fading for years, just as non-governmental jobs, union or non-union.

This is sure a convenient excuse to do nothing "Everything else, costs more to do without then it does to do with...". So just as corporations do, the government should take a one time expense to make that change, then after that, we'll reap the benefits of having a much smaller government workforce. Because less salaries, less benefits, less pensions, less buildings to maintain, heat and cool, less government vehicles, gasoline, maintenance, etc, etc.

There may be certain overseas bases that are of strategic importance for the US, keep those, the others, cut. Why shouldn't some of those other wealthy nations help pay the cost since they don't have a standing military? Our men/women take the risks, we pay for everything, what's not for those nations to like about that? Sure they like it, yet how many real allies do we have?? Sure seems like many people and nations hate our guts, so this isn't working all that well in my opinion. As those nations also benefit from the US keeping China from taking over the world, so why shouldn't they help fund that effort since we provide everything else?

I agree that Social Security shouldn't be in the discussion, but the GOP has hated that program since it was created in 1932 by FDR and would love nothing better than to get rid of it, and that is part of their agenda now.

Obama has already said he'll cut future raises in Social Security to appease the GOP. HE's weak and doesn't have the leadership skills to keep the GOP from doing what it wants. He will just throw all of us under the bus. The past two years has shown that to be true as the nation has been in gridlock. So unless Obama lets the GOP have its way, we'll stay in Gridlock, because from the GOP perspective, its better that NONE of Obama's programs happen so doing nothing is exactly what they want. They want to simply starve government out of existence, ie the Grover Norquest no tax pledge.

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 12:24am
Allan, when you wake up tomorrow you may want to check out the FBI released documents showing the coordinated effort to shut down the Occupy Movement, with one letter explaining how they could be taken out with snipers using suppressed rifles.

It is starting to gain traction around midnight, you may have to look it up, and it will probably begin to hit the feeds after 9:00

Here are some links I found...


and here are the raw documents (heavily redacted of course)


My take is the corporate-government interaction is the most newsworthy. Of course, no one knew what to expect and for that, of course plans for the worse were drawn up. The outrage from those protesting is of course understandable, since they were just ordinary citizens, or children of ordinary citizens. But, why the violence was often so excessive, is now probably explained in these documents...

Hats off to Wilmington leadership, and most particularly the new police chief (although not police chief, she was the initial police spokesperson in face-to-face dialog) for not having violence take place here... if there ever was a textbook method for how to handle a legitimate protest, Wilmington needs to write their chapter.

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 12:29am
Mike: I think you're a little harsh on the GOP regarding Social Security. The left wants you to believe they'd put current recipients on the street, but it just ain't true. Also, if you want to cut the excess from departments, the GOP is your only chance of doing so. If you don't believe me, you should hear the fear coming out of the mouths of the union officials that I have to put up with every day. They believe Darrell Issa wants to destroy the post office.

I think you have a better chance of bumping into William Shatner walking the streets of Wilmington than for any of that to happen.

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 12:47am
Another story you might want to check out is the continuation of the one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill that expired in October... talks that they may deal and resolve that today.


I had no idea that Milk was going to shoot up to $7.00 a gallon if this didn't pass. My first shock was that the Federal Government is paying roughly $3.50 per gallon of milk in price supports.

Which, if eradicated as a government cost-measure as the Tea Party is pushing, it shows how the cost is quickly transferred to us, the consumer... It is cheaper for us to use taxes and pay the farmers, than let ourselves pay the price the farmers need... Just another caveat showing how "cutting Government spending" does far more harm than good.

The Republican House is to blame here. The Democratic Senate passed it back in June.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Dec 31, 2012 10:37am
Mrpizza: I've heard various Republicans in Congress make such comments over the years. Social Security is the one government program that did what it was designed to do. For 70+ years it has worked as designed. Yet the GOP calls it a failed program, it isn't.

WHAT's changed is America. In 1932 when FDR's New Deal created Social Security people had larger families, so there were far more younger folks in the work force putting money into the Social Security insurance system (it is an insurance, not an investment plan) than recipients. Back in 1932, abortions were not legal and the moral climate of the nation (more of a Judea/Christian ethic that is frowned on today)looked down on even the idea of thinking about such a thing (yes there were women who still did get illegal abortions, but nothing like today's numbers of abortions).

Since 1972 when Roe v Wade made abortions legal in America, the nation has had over 40 million abortions. That's a lot of younger workers who didn't live and pay Social Security tax into the system. Also, the Congress, on both sides of the isle, being the greedy knuckleheads they are, spent the trust fund money (if that had been done in industry, someone would be in jail, but the laws never apply to our "servants" in Congress so they got away with that massive theft of OUR insurance money.

Also today, besides Abortion, we have smaller families thus contributing even less younger workers to pay the Social Security insurance money into the system. The other thing is we tend to live longer now than in 1932.

So all those things have contributed to the problems that Social Security has today. So GOP'ers, it is NOT a Ponzi scheme, it is NOT a failed program. It has worked as designed by DEMS for over 70+ years.

Bush Jr and his fellow knuckleheads have wanted to eliminate Social Security and put it into the Stock Market. Sure glad THAT didn't happen, most of us have already suffered huge losses with our IRA's. I know of folks who've worked their entire lives, in low paying jobs, so no pension, no IRA's, no savings. ONLY Social Security is there for them in their years of retirement.

Unlike the wealthy, who have sedentary jobs, generally lower wage jobs involve some sort of physical activity. As we age that becomes harder to do. So raising the age for Social Security would stick it to those folks, sure the wealthy get to sit all day and not break a sweat so its no big deal for them if the age is raised.

So sorry, Social Security IS important and does and will make a real difference to many elderly Americans who've worked for over 40 years paying taxes, plus THEIR payment to the Social Security insurance plan.

I'm in my 43rd year of full time employment AND of paying taxes that include my Social Security insurance plan. So I find it very offensive and insulting when GOP'ers call Social Security an entitlement, like its some sort of welfare program for the lazy bums who don't want to work. Romney ticked me and a bunch of other people off when he lumped retired folks into that 47% of folks being on the dole. I believe THAT remark alone, lost him the election.

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 8:49am
Well Mike, it is an entitlement. We paid into it, so we're entitled to it! But I get what you're saying. Some politicians treat it as if it's welfare, but then it's okay for a record number of Americans to be on food stamps.

My chief complaint about social security is that politicians from both parties have raided it, then used it as collateral for more borrowing which now amounts to 16 trillion of debt. Social security has now been branded as an "unfunded liability" because all the funds were spent on government waste. Debt is a very bad thing.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Jan 1, 2013 10:52am
Mrpizza: Using that definition of entitlement, you're correct. But in our world today where words no longer have the same traditional meaning, today entitlement as Republicans typically use it means, the lazy people who are a burden on society, you know that 47% that are the takers. THAT's why I'm against calling Social Security an entitlement. Social Security is NOT Welfare and Food Stamps which is how the GOP paints the very popular and successful Democratic program.

You and I have done our part in paying into the Social Security insurance plan, now the Republicans want to slash Social Security in order to protect the wealthy. I'm sorry, that is just plan wrong and its this type of thing that prevents me from being a Republican. Let granny eat dog food, but we must protect our assets (remember the folks in Congress are a part of that upper 2%) and the assets of the others in OUR class, the wealthy.

You do realize that there have only literally been a few years in our nation's history when we didn't have any debt, even in colonial times. So carrying debt as a nation isn't a bad thing, its the normal thing. Granted too much debt is bad.

America during WWII went into tremendous debt to finance that war, beyond what most of us might think. We didn't just build up our military and supply them, we also did that for the Soviet military, and the British military on a smaller scale. After the war, who was feeding the world? America. The other nations had been devastated so no food, no manufacturing, etc. The Marshall Plan is what saved Europe after the war, guess who paid for that? We did. My point is, we went into debt that was insane in order to win the war against the Germans and Japanese, but also fed and supplied most of the world. Our taxes did go up, especially on the wealthy to pay back down the debt. That is why the taxes on the wealthy today are the lowest they've been since 1941, before we entered WWII, they went up tremendously during the war years and in the 1950's and 60's to pay down that debt, yet the 1950's and 60's were great times of prosperity for America, so lower taxes didn't make those folks job creators, we had high taxes on the wealthy. After we got into the war in 1942 their taxes went through the roof and remained that way for many years after the end of that war.

Bush Jr. got it backwards, he got us into two very expensive wars and then cut all taxes thus making no path to pay for those wars unlike FDR's plan. We'd not be in the situation we're in now IF Bush Jr. had been more like FDR in terms of taxing the wealthy (remember FDR was very wealthy too).

Now hopefully, you'll better understand why I'm totally against the GOP plan on this, because it isn't working, FDR's plan did work and we were in far more debt in terms of % of economy, etc, during FDR's times than we are today. So the wealthy taxes must be raised.

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