Sunday, July 30, 2017


Ida May Fuller, the first recipient of a Social Security benefit check in 1940, paid a total of $24.75 into the Social Security fund. Her first monthly S/S check was issued in 1940 was for $22.54, almost as much as she paid in. Over the ensuing 35 years of her life, she collected a total of $22,888. Her case is reminiscent of the early investors of a Ponzi scheme. They get paid off from the investments of future dupes (or victims).

Social Security, a well-meaning program instituted to help seniors during their non-working retirement years, has turned into a financial nightmare for the workers of today (not for the present retirees), who are paying F.I.C.A. taxes and not expecting to collect anything when they retire. The cost of the program has mushroomed over the years from its inception in 1935. Let's take a look.

Social Security benefits paid out over the years are as follows:

1940- $35 million
1950- $961 million
1960- $11.2 billion
1970- $31.9 billion
1980- $120.5 billion
1990- $247.8 billion
2009- $650 billion
2017- $955 billion and rising

You can see from those figures that the the costs of paying benefits are going up precipitously and eventually the system will go broke unless some changes can be made.

The tax rate set in 1935 was 2% (1% by employer and 1% by employee) on the first $3,000 of earnings. Today the rate is $12.4% on the first $127,200 of an employees taxable earnings (6.2% for the employee and 6.2% for the employer). In short, we've gone from a maximum dual contribution of $60.00 per year to a maximum dual contribution of $15,772 (which includes the medicare deduction of 1.45% for the employee and 1.45% by the employer for a total of 15.3%), and it still falls short of the funding liabilities. In 2005, the Social Security trustees estimated that the unfunded liabilities were $8.5 trillion. It is now thought to be (in 2017), $12.3 trillion. It is heading for a Bernie Madoff type financial meltdown as sure as night follows day. The estimated date of insolvency is now projected to be 2033.

In 1935, the average life expectancy was 61.7 years and the retirement age to collect S/S was 65 years old. In 1940, the life expectancy was 62.9 years and 20 workers contributed to fund the retirees. In 1960, the life expectancy was 69.7 years and 5 workers were contributing to support the S/S retirees. In 2005, 3.2 workers were contributing to one retiree and the average life expectancy was then 77.8 years. In 2017, 2 workers were contributing to one retiree and the average life expectancy was now males = 84 years, and females =86 years. So as the “pot” of retirees keep expanding while the supply of investors (workers) keeps on declining.

This year, 10 million more “Baby Boomers” will begin to retire which will cause the senior population to double in the next decades (today there are 62 million people collecting Social Security benefits), while the number of employees paying F.I.C.A taxes will either remain constant or decrease. There will not be enough workers to pay for these new retirees unless we do something and soon. Just like the schemes of Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff, the pool of new investors (workers) will not be enough to pay off the previous investors and the whole thing will come tumbling down like a house of cards.

When the first generation of S/S recipients got back in benefits was far greater than what they themselves paid in, you could say they got something for nothing. The same will not be said for future retirees. They probably will get back next to nothing for something.

That's the way a Ponzi scheme works, with the first wave of “investors” getting paid with the money paid in by the second wave and on and on. And, like Social Security, a Ponzi scheme creates no wealth, but only the illusion that it cannot last. Ponzi and Madoff went to prison, but our lawmakers get re-elected for doing the same thing.

President Bush back in 2005, with the recommendation of two prominent Democrats, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and John Breaux, tried to institute a “partial” privatization of Social Security, but the plan was shot down by the Democrats who demagogued the plan as being “too risky” and a boon to the Wall Street tycoons. The plan simply was that a person paying F.I.C.A. taxes would be able to put aside 4% of his contributions into a private account that he would own and be able to leave for his heirs when he died (today when you die, no more S/S checks will be paid to anyone - with the exception of some reduced benefits to his widow and minor children). The plan, as proposed, was optional and anybody who opted out for the present S/S setup would be able to do so. Any young worker today, with any economic common sense, would jump at the the opportunity, because over the long term, and even with the ups and down of the stock market, to choose a plan that would give him two or three times the amount of retirement benefits that he would receive now under the current benefit schedule, would be a “no-brainer”. Politics won out again, and as of the present time, our Social Security system will be going into bankruptcy in a few short years leaving our children and grandchildren high and dry unless Social Security taxes are precipitously raised to meet the commitment we made to them. What a shame!

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Are We to Believe Anything Coming Out of Washington?

It wasn't that long ago when both political parties were singing a
song of praise to former FBI director James Comey, for having
confidence in him and for his integrity, before the controversial
press conference, where he overstepped the line from investigator
into judge, regarding communications between Hillary Clinton and
staff, using personal unsecured and unauthorized computers and
mishandling classified and secret emails.

The evidence in the investigation showed reason for prosecution,
but Comey took it upon himself to discount this course of action.
Under his direction, other serious activities by the Clinton's, from
Benghazi to the Clinton Foundation and secretive meeting between
Bill Clinton and the then DOJ Loretta Lynch, on an airplane parked
on the apron just before Comey's press conference have been
ignored and omitted from investigation.

Now the ode is being repeated about Special Counsel appointee
Robert Mueller, assigned to investigate the accusations by unnamed
anonymous sources in hope of turning up something from there,
where there was no there.

It appears to be starting as a conflicted investigation, considering the
tight friendship between Mueller and Comey and his investigatory
legal team staff, consisting of three heavy donors to democrats, one
of which has represented the Clinton Foundation in a racketeering
lawsuit and also represented Hillary in a lawsuit seeking access to her
private emails.

Is this going to turn out to be another liberal farce?
Are we expected to believe anything coming out of Washington seriously
when the politics are so obvious?

Conservative column from George Giftos

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Are We a Nation of Addicts?

Yes, we all know the addictive properties of tobacco, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, opioids, and the so-called “harmless drug” marijuana, but we are now encountering quite a few newer and other addictions, many of which have been recently confirmed and that are causing great concern in the medical, and mental health communities.

The addictions listed above are concerns because they are mind-altering drugs and/or health hazards, but the newer addictions, which are not mind-altering per se, but are in some ways equally harmful to the body and to society in general.

Let's take look at some of these other addictions. Just during the past decade, the addiction of using cyber machines have taken the country by storm, namely the use of I-Phones, Twitter accounts, and tablets. Most everyone, both young and old, seem to have one of these cyber contraptions and it seems to becoming an addiction to many of the people using them. Just go the mall and watch the people walk by, most people have their I Phones out in their hands or sticking out of their back pockets (its slimness makes it easy to carry them in your back pocket). It is not only the young people, but many of the adults who are “thumbing” their way through the buttons of their machines. I've even seen youngsters, as young as 4 years old, with determined interest in their I-Phones, thumbing along with the rest of the people, totally oblivious to others around them. This activity can be very dangerous, especially when walking on the sidewalk or when crossing the street, and especially when driving a car. Some states have passed laws banning texting while driving, and a person could be fined for that act.

You wonder if this obsession (or addiction) is a good activity that is just keeping up with the technological changes of life, or is it just a passing fancy that will fade away in the future? I err on the side of addiction now and in the future. (I just returned from 4 weeks in the country of Costa Rica, and it is just like here in the U.S. when it comes to the use of these machines).

Another activity that borders on an addiction is the mindset by many “health nuts” that they will only eat “pure food” and drink. Vegans (or semi-vegans) are seriously into what they claim is the “healthy regimen” of eating only foods that are organic, “cage free” (as in eggs), no sugar, no salt, gluten free, wild caught fish (no farmed fish), and a host of other no-no's that they consider “sinful” if ingested into their bodies. They have a tendency to look down upon others who don't accept their food and drink choices, sometimes bordering on disdain. Is that really a healthy regimen to follow or are they just addicted to their “pure lifestyle”. I believe that they have the right idea about eating healthy foods, but they carry their lifestyle to ridiculous extremes which creates much tension among others who associate with them. Is it an addiction, you make the call?

Another activity that can be addictive, I feel, are the the people who gear their lives to overly trying to be physically fit by exercising to the extreme, sometimes 3 to 4 hours a day (I'm not referring to prize fighters and/or some other athletes who must meet certain physical parameters to excel in their sport). Yes, physical fitness is a good activity to engage in, but when you take that good activity to the extreme, it can be detrimental to your health and well-being. An example of an extreme physical fitness addiction is a woman that comes to the gym I patronize, who must weigh between 80 to 90 pounds and works out on a “Stairmaster” (a very difficult exercise machine), for about an excess of 2 hours a day, plus using other machines. She is all skin and bones, and I presume that she feels that she is overweight (maybe she's even anorexic). To me, this is an addictive behavior just as overeating is addictive to some who become morbidly obese.

I'm sure I could list other addictive behaviors, but I think you get the point I'm trying to make. Most of these behaviors are self-imposed, but in the case of of people with physical problems who become addicted in trying to relieve their pain and discomfort, through no fault of their own, help should be made available to them to rid themselves of their addiction.

Other than the government trying to restrict the mind-altering addictions, the government should not get involved in banning certain other addictive activities, but they should get involved in educating the public as to the dangers of getting addicted to any activity, as they have done in their successful campaign in the past against cigarette smoking.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, July 20, 2017

MORT’s meanderings

The Wall Street Journal headlines that,
“Putin is not America’s Friend”.

Now, if that isn’t Pulitzer Prize journalism, I don’t know what is.
Ya coulda fooled us.  All the smart money was on Putin when the two leaders met in person for the first time, at G20.  Prediction:  poor, naïve, unsophisticated President Trump would be eaten alive by the wily, ex-KGB tough guy. It would be a slam-dunk.
Pres. Trump said that he was ‘honored’ to be meeting with the leader of the former Soviet Union.  Trump says a lot of things, the vast majority of which are astutely calculated to have a particular effect on whomever he is conversing with.  It’s his thing; it’s what he does.
Is anyone so naïve as to think for one split second, that Trump, the world’s most accomplished negotiator, doesn’t know how to read anyone with whom he is negotiating?  With just a fleeting reprise at how this life-long business tycoon decided to run for the Presidency and then plow through all comers, including the Royal Dame of Democrat Corruption, Hillary the Horrible, one is obliged to conclude that this is a narrative about a dominant male who never fails to achieve supremacy.
If there are two people in the room and one of them is Donald Trump – my money is on the Trumpster to take home the prize.
                                                  MORT KUFF        © 7-10-2017

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, July 16, 2017

What is Cranial Rectal Inversion?

Cranial Rectal Inversion (CRI) is a malady (disease) that is mostly contracted by liberals who have their heads so firmly planted up their butts, that it is unlikely that they'll ever have another rational point-of-view. It is in most cases, incurable, and they can transfer it to other liberals whom they intermingle with.

The symptoms are very numerous, but I'll try to enumerate the ideas and policies associated with this malady, which causes them and their fellow liberals to be afflicted with this disease.

First off,. The liberals that are infected are in favor of, open borders and giving amnesty to illegal aliens, the more the better; they favor taking money from the rich and giving handouts to the poor ( free stuff); they favor unfettered abortion up till the time of breech (in other words, late-term abortion); they call Wall Street “evil” while taking in millions of dollars in campaign contributions from those very same financial institutions; they believe in same sex marriage and gender neutral bathrooms and shower rooms; they believe in appeasing our avowed enemies while “dissing” our friends ( like Israel); they want to take away the firearms of law abiding citizens while they, in the past, released thousands of criminals from our jails and prisons; and they turn a blind eye on the corrupt activities of the Clinton's ( ex:the Clinton “Crime” Foundation) and their loyal cronies (a/k/a liberals, Progressives, Democrats, and Socialists), and finally, they can't get over the fact that Queen Hillary (a/k/a Nurse Rachit) Clinton lost the election to political neophyte Donald Trump in a stunning upset.

There are many more symptoms as to why the liberals are infected with CRI, but we don't have time or space to enumerate them all. You could say that they have their heads so far up their butts, they can chew their food on the way down, to add to the earlier definition at the beginning of this Pulitzer prize winning editorial (there's no conceit in my family, I have it all, ha,ha!).

The cases of CRI sort of escalate generally around the time of an election period. To try to counteract this malady, they (the Democrats) trot out the usual verbal garbage their sleazy focus groups tell them to use to try to slime their opponents ( the Republicans) as it has worked very well for them in the past. They say Republicans are anti-woman; anti-black; anti-Hispanic; anti-poor; anti-abortion; anti-gays and lesbians, and the new favored class, transgenders (which make up ½ of one-percent of the population) etc. , but it doesn't seem to help them get cured, in fact, it makes their condition much worse.

Just listen back to the campaign of Hillary Clinton in 2016, which had an advanced case of CRI, and it got worse each and every week she campaigned. By getting the Democrat nomination and losing the general election, her case of CRI is still non-reversible and she will have to bear the agony of being considered terminally irrelevant even after her shocking loss to Pres. Donald Trump, much to the chagrin of Barack Hussein Obama and his flawed legacy and her record of economic and foreign policy failures.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Anonymous Sources Has a Name

Blood sucking elements in the democratic party and fake news
media keep pecking on the scab that divides the country, wanting
to draw blood, keeping the wound open, because they do not want
America to heal for fear they will become extraneous.

They are illusionary, suffering from Yehoodi syndrome. The term I
have coined to describe their anonymous sources, whom they often
cite as the persons they come to for their erroneous accusations.
Yehoodi was exemplified as the little man who wasn't there, in the
old Jack Benny radio shows in the 40's.

While the Trump administration is trying to move the country ahead,
the blood suckers' manic obsession with Russia, sinking their teeth
deep into the fallacy of collusion and not letting it go, no matter how
hard or how many facts are thrown at them, has not offered even
one idea or piece of constructive legislation, preferring to obstruct
and continue their campaign of hate, to topple the present seat of
government. It is incendiary and subversive!

Conservative column from George Giftos

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, July 9, 2017

President Trump's Speech in Poland

President Donald Trump delivers this terrific speech to a crowd in Warsaw, Poland. This speech came ahead of the G20 summit. You will not hear President Trump bad mouth America or apologize for our Country.

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share?

To listen to the Democrats, the next worse thing to ISIS (and to some, climate change), the terrorist Muslims in Syria and Iraq, are the wealthy individuals in the United States of America. They keep harping on the erroneous fact that that the rich don't pay their “fair share” in paying income taxes and that they are greedy besides, and have become rich on the backs of the poor. Is it true that the rich don't pay their “fair share” of income taxes?

As former Democratic candidate for president, Al Smith (1928) once said, “Let's look at the record”. According to the 2010 (which is still valid today) non-partisan Tax Foundation report, the top 1% earns 19% of the gross national income and pays 38% of all federal taxes. The top 5% earns 34% and pays 59%. The top 10% earns 45% and pays 71%. The bottom 50% pays just 3% of federal tax. If that isn't soaking the rich”, I don't know what it is? Shouldn't everyone have a dog in the fight by paying something to the government?

It is true that during the 8 years of the Obama Administration, the rich have gotten richer and the poor and middle-class have remained stagnant or have lost income, mainly due to the run-up of the stock market, which the rich are heavily invested in. The spending policies and the regulatory policies of the Obama Administration, and the low interest rates of the Federal Reserve, have also contributed to this income gap. The only economically sound way to stop this difference in income differential is to get the economy stimulated with policies that will encourage entrepreneurship so that we can produce more jobs, and in return generate more tax revenue to the federal treasury, so that we can reduce the burden of taxation on the upper and middle-class taxpayers. The policies of the Obama Administration did not work for most people, and change was needed (not the hope and change “snake oil” promoted by Obama) to get us back on the right economic track. President Trump, before and after his election, has proposed a reform of our tax system to make it easier for people to pay their taxes and to reduce the rates that all taxpayers now pay. If and when those reforms are passed, our economy will take off upward as it is now doing without the needed reforms in place.

But, the inexperience of former President Obama in economics , and his lack of sound fiscal and administrative knowledge, he seemed to have a “tin ear” as to what was needed to get our economy booming again. The voters had the chance in 2016 to elect a real “money man” of integrity in Donald Trump, and they voted him president.

The semi-Marxist/Socialist plan, espoused by President Obama (and the Democrats), did not get us out of our stagnating economy during his 8 years in office. He preached “income redistribution” by blaming the wealthy of not doing their “fair share” to contribute to the government's revenue. Without the wealthy class paying the vast majority of the income taxes, we'd be in a much greater financial bind than we are in right now, approaching $20 trillion in debt. Even the “evil” Koch Bros., as the Democrats like to call them, have a company that employs over 67,000 workers at better than average wages, yet they are vilified as being un-American by the Democrats, and some have even claimed that they should be jailed for being so “rich”. What, for being successful and wealthy? Are the Democrats that out of touch with reality or what?

We need many more Koch Bros., and other millionaires and billionaires, in order to get our economy moving upward like it should be going. The Democrats and the Liberals should stop demonizing the wealth creators for purely partisan political purposes.

So, the answer to this editorial's headline is - YES - the rich do pay their “fair share” and we do need more people to get a well paying jobs so that we can get out of the economic malaise that the Obama Administration nas kept us in for 8 years. We should all strive to become millionaires and billionaires, as it would be good for our country and to the entire world. Instead of “sharing the wealth” by taking from the rich and giving to the poor (the Robin Hood syndrome) in the form of handouts and financial government “goodies”, in order to gain votes by the recipients of those “goodies” at election time, we should be promoting the “sharing the opportunity” for all to succeed and achieve financial success. That's the American way. A hand up instead of a handout is what will make America great again.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, July 2, 2017

MORT’s meanderings

On July 4, 2017, and on every other
one of the 364 days in a year, here
in the United States of America,
‘we’ celebrate the miracle
of our Independence.

‘We’, refers to those of us who have read, understood and  wholeheartedly agree with the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution in its original intent and the Bill of Rights.

Any individuals who do not accept these sacred documents in their totality, as handed down to us by the Founding Fathers, and who do not believe in what America is all about, will never assimilate therefore - they should voluntarily move out or be forcibly moved out, to take up residence elsewhere.

                                                                       MORT KUFF    © 7-2-2017

Bookmark and Share