This is the new blog...CONFESSION ZERO


irony from a to zinc

i told a nice young man at the social security office here in town that i found it ironic that folks are penalized for not wanting to be in the system. you know- the big bureaucratic system that exists solely to perpetuate itself and make jobs for folks. i didn't tell him that though- he is still young and idealistic. what do i mean penalized? well, anyone remember those bush-era 'medicare reforms?' the ones that happened under a completely republican dominated congress and white house? it's ok- i'll bring you up to speed- it's important that folks realize certain things- and indeed, i did know about them but let me weave the story...

my mom and dad are still married but do not reside together. he took early retirement at 62 years old because he simply could not work anymore. he has a pension through his former union that supplements his income but mom doesn't have any access to that. so, the idea is- she collects from his social security as she was a homemaker and didn't earn her own. now, everyone knows early retirement is 62 years old and 65 years has always been the standard for actual retirement. i have a feeling many folks forgot the reagan tinkering in 1983 that raised the age to 67 years old. yes, you heard correctly, 67 years old- which is how old my mother is.

everywhere i have gone to ask questions- the people always seem startled and blurt out "why hasn't she signed up already?" it's pretty obvious to me- she wasn't 67 years old and...... would have taken a cut in monthly payment amounts. yes, it's true, the money that you are forced to take out of your check when you are working- that goes for social security and medicare and is your money- well, you get cut out of if you start drawing it out early. no one can give me a good answer as to where the money you get screwed out of goes. hmmmm.....

so, the retirement age has been raised to 67 years old- guess what happened to medicare in 2003? oh, come on guess... yep, you have to enroll in medicare plan B starting at age...... 65 years old or you get 10% penalties for every year afterwards that you don't sign up. so, my mother is up to 20% in penalties as of right now. i find it completely ironic that a woman who attempted to use benefits when she needed them- back when we were kids and she was basically a single parent- was denied because her name was on the deed of a shack of a house- and now is penalized for not applying and getting into a system she didn't want to be in. not feeling the zinc though.

so, the solution to the issue of how to pay the close to $100 a month for medicare services she doesn't want to ever use- apply for ssi and let the state pick up the rest of the tab. i just looked at the nice man because it isn't his fault. look, the system was supposed to be for people like my mom- people who worked their whole lives and still didn't have a pot to piss in. but why not make life easier in the first place- no, i'll stop right there because you all know where i am going and it ain't gonna happen.

movin' on....

and now, the current health care debacle in the congress.... well, the blue dogs and rethugs are pushing for MANDATORY health insurance for every man, woman and child in america- and it looks like obama is going to say yes and sign the name on the dotted line. what does that mean? well, it means that you have to pay for some sort of health care be it private or government sponsored. you are forced to pay for something you may not want to. what does that mean for folks like my mom? she has to sign up for medicare- and she happens to be 67 years old. see where i am going here? baby boomers are getting older and they may want to wait until they are 67 or so to sign up in order to get paid their full amount of social security but also want medicare...........

is there really a difference between democrats and republicans? no, i think not. it was tip o'neill who worked with reagan to pass their legislation and it's blue dogs today who are working hand in fist with the red dogs to get their legislation passed. and nowhere- for the last almost 30 years- is there any outrage. folks, this is why i have stepped away from politics and from trying to change anything. there should be people pounding on the doors to capital hill right now railing against this bill. instead, we have one lone man standing outside his car at the courthouse with a hand drawn picture of obama and another that said 'vote them out to save usa' with the names 'shumer, hinchey, obama' above.

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