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Showing posts from December, 2011

Mitch Daniels Shuts out Hoosiers

Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana is limiting access to the State Capital to about 1,000 people at a time.

This will limit the ability of Hoosiers to speak to their legislators and is only a ploy to limit descent on the Republicans efforts to institute a Freeloaders bill in January.

Some Republican Senators have had enough guts to speak out against the Freeloaders bill, otherwise known as the Right to Work for less bill. They have put their thoughts in Hoosier newspapers and I give them credit for that.

Other Republican Representatives and Senators in the Indiana General Assembly, although permitted by their bosses to vote against the legislation because of the districts they represent, are so politically dependent on their leadership that they just can't get up enough courage to speak out for fear of losing  the political perks they're now enjoying.

Politicians who know in their hearts that a piece of legislation is just plain wrong and refuse to speak out against it are bums…

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert December 22, 2011

Capitol Hill Tax Stalemate Hurts Medicare
The congressional deadlock over extending payroll tax cuts – sparked by a revolt of House Tea Party Republicans – will hurt seniors on Medicare unless a resolution is reached quickly.  Seniors with incomes below $15,000 per year are at risk of losing access to critical medical services through the Qualified Individual (QI) program.  The program, which is set to expire on December 31, pays for Medicare Part B premiums that cover physician and other outpatient services, as well as the low income subsidy for Part D prescription drug coverage.  The QI benefit represents an average savings of $5,199 per year for these low-income seniors.  Without an extension of the program by Congress, states would have the right to terminate benefits on January 1.

Also caught in the crossfire are reimbursements to nearly 650,000 doctors who care for Medicare patients.  According to the Associated Press, Medicare sent an alert to doctors to say that they will hold…

Good News - Boehner Surrenders

President Obama, after pressuring Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, was successful in getting House Speaker John Boehner to extent the payroll tax and unemployment compensation for two months.

As I understand it, Boehner will try to get it passed in the House by unanimous consent.

If that fails, he will call the House back into session for a full vote.

This is a real victory for American workers and those who are without jobs.

When the Going Gets Tough, Seniors Must Get Voting

by Barbara J. Easterling

With Social Security and Medicare facing harsh threats from various politicians, retirees must keep a close eye on the 2012 elections.

The recently-deadlocked super committee was the latest in a line of blue-ribbon panels -- preceded by Domenici-Rivlin and Simpson-Bowles -- that have debated, and in two instances recommended, drastic cuts in Social Security and Medicare, landmark programs that have helped generations of seniors stay healthy and out of poverty.

These threats to retirement security will continue unless two pillars of our fiscal debates change: 1) the false but widely-held belief that Social Security increases our deficit, and 2) our fundamentally-flawed tax and spending policies that drain federal coffers to benefit corporations and those in the top one percent of incomes.

The current field of GOP presidential candidates offers little solace to seniors who are worried that their Medicare and Social Security, or that of their kids and grandchildr…

Right to Work Means Death

This is what Republicans and Mitch Daniels are trying to do in Indiana.

Elaine Averill - Pierogi Princess

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert December 16, 2011

Wyden-Ryan Medicare Plan Would Raise Premiums for SeniorsHouse Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), a leader in the fight to privatize Medicare, unveiled a new approach on Thursday in order to save money on the federal health program. According to Politico, the proposal has some key differences from the Ryan blueprint that Republicans had rallied around earlier this year — and which Democrats have criticized as the beginning of the end of Medicare. Working with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), Ryan is developing a framework that would allow seniors to choose between staying in traditional Medicare or opting into new, private plan alternatives. Wyden is the first Democrat on Capitol Hill to so strongly embrace a modification of Ryan’s approach.  Seniors would receive a set amount of money from the government to buy private insurance - vouchers - as they would under the Medicare proposal Ryan included in the budget blueprint that passed the House last year. The new…

Bosma Dead Wrong

It’s time for our state lawmakers to focus on creating good jobs but instead, Speaker Bosma of the Indiana House indicated in the South Bend Tribune's December 10 issue that his number one priority is to pass a so-called “right to work” law that is just another corporate hand out that hurts the middle class.

The last thing we need is for our state politicians to reward their CEO friends by passing laws that will undermine workers’ rights. So called Right to Work is not good for our families and it’s not good for our state.

States with so-called “right to work” laws have higher workplace fatality rates, have fewer people with health insurance and workers make less averaging $5,500 less a year.  We can’t afford a law like this in Indiana.

The only way this kind of law will increase employment is that it will require even more workers to work two jobs to support their families.

Urge your Indiana Senator and Representative to do all he/she can to oppose right to work legislation.

46th Wedding Anniversary

It was 46 years ago today that I married Elaine Adams. We got hitched at the City Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana on December 11th, 1965 with a dinner afterwards at the Hotel Gary.

When I think of how long I’ve known Elaine I really do have to think about it. Let’s see…I met her in 7th grade. We were in the same home-room together. Home-rooms were the first period of the class day and were made up of students according to alphabetical last names.

I remember so well how pretty I thought she was. Although I had my eye on her, she wouldn’t give me the time of day. As a matter of fact, she teased me. She sat a few seats in front of me and I do remember our eyes meeting once and she just batted them at me.

I couldn’t let anyone know I was interested in her because I was on the football team, and we weren’t really supposed to be very interested in girls. Most of the gals dated Freshman boys anyway.

It wasn’t until we were Juniors that we began dating. It was in August at the beginning of …

Jimmy's Peanut Brittle

The following recipe and method for making the world famous “Jimmy’s Peanut Brittle” is being divulged with permission. Jim Chandler has become famous in Northern Indiana for his much loved brittle.

Recipe:

2 cups of sugar
1 cup of light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons of butter
2 cups of raw peanuts
2 teaspoons of baking soda

Method:

First of all, dampen a couple of towels and spread them on a flat surface.Place a cookie sheet on top of the towels and smear butter over the cookie sheet to keep the stuff from sticking.Prepare a glass of water to put the thermometer in later.Measure out the baking soda and have it ready for later.In a 3 quart sauce pan, dump in the sugar, corn syrup and water.Put the pan on the stove top and turn the burner on high.Put a candy thermometer on the side of the pan and make sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan. (use a heat pad whenever you touch the thermometer.)Stir the stuff with a wooden paddle until the sugar dissolves.Keep stirring i…

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert Dec. 9, 2011

Payroll Tax Cut, “Doc Fix” Likely to be Rolled into One Catch-All Package
Elected officials are discussing several competing plans to cut the payroll tax that is used to fund the Social Security Trust Fund. The employee share of the tax is scheduled to go back to 6.2% on January 1, from a current rate of 4.2%, if no legislation is passed, and President Obama wants to lower the tax to 3.1% next year. A Democratic-written bill in the Senate would lower the rate to that 3.1% level. It is financed chiefly by a 1.9% surtax on income over $1 million, a proposal that is almost universally opposed by Republicans, and GOP senators are expected to defeat the measure.

A House bill would drop next year’s payroll tax to 4.2% - this year’s level. It would be financed by extending the current pay freeze on federal workers through 2015 and many other, smaller savings, including charging higher Medicare premiums to higher-earning seniors.

Bipartisan concerns that extending the payroll-tax cut would we…

Hoosiers Reject Right to Work Legislation

Today we've got some big news to share with you.  There is a newly released poll that shows all Hoosiers – including Republicans – are overwhelmingly rejecting the partisan "right to work" legislation and believe their elected officials should focus on jobs and the economy instead of divisive attacks on working family's collective bargaining rights.

The poll, which was commissioned by the AFL-CIO, found that support among Hoosier voters for this controversial, union busting bill is weak, with just 38 percent favoring its passage while 47 percent stand in opposition. The survey also found that 67 percent of Hoosiers disagree with Statehouse Republicans' decision to make "right to work" their top priority and wish they would move on to other issues.

Among self-identified Republicans only 59 percent support the bill, well below the level of support one would expect for their top legislative priority, and considerably weaker than the 72 percent opposition …

Part D Open Enrollment Ends Tomorrow

Open Enrollment Ends December 7

Remember: Medicare Open Enrollment ends earlier this year. You have until December
7 to make sure your health and drug coverage still meets your needs. That's tomorrow.

If you're happy with your current coverage, you don't need to do anything. But
make sure you understand any upcoming changes to your plan's costs or benefits.
If you want to change plans, or if you need help choosing the right plan, visit
www.medicare.gov and get personalized information about plans in your area.

Friday Alert December 2, 2011

With Super Committee Deadline Passed, December Brings More Decisions
The November 23rd deadline for the Super Committee to vote on a legislative proposal that achieves $1.2 - $1.5 trillion in savings has come and gone without producing any type of report. “We dodged a bullet, but we’re not out of the woods. Attempts to cut Social Security and Medicare could come back awfully soon, as Congress and the Administration continue to look for ways to meet deficit reduction goals,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance. Alliance members made more than 2,500 patch-through calls to five Super Committee members who represented them legislatively. Over 240 Alliance members then dialed in for a conference call on Wednesday, November 30th, a national conversation with leaders and advocates about a collective strategy, next steps, and what the month of December should look like.

Employees and employers pay into the Social Security system through a payroll tax, and last year, Congr…