Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dodgin’ Donald’s Hiding Something in Those Unreleased Tax Returns

Dodgin’ Donald’s Hiding Something in Those Unreleased Tax Returns: Donald Trump scorns traditional presidential candidate standards. The Donald doesn’t do what’s expected. And he certainly doesn’t do what he tells other candidates they must do. If Donald doesn’t feel like debating, he stiffs his...

The Lesser Of Two Evils

The election season is upon us. Therefore, a look at the two leading presidential candidates is in order. On one side, we have a candidate that refuses to release the transcripts of speeches given to bankers and has, in the past, supported bad trade agreements. The other leading candidate has said American worker’s wages are too high and condemns companies that move jobs out of the country; while choosing to have his company make suits and ties that could be made in America, made in China and third world countries.

I believe we, as a country, are getting what we asked for. With continued low voter turnout and allowing unlimited financial contributions, we have put ourselves in a spot where, after years of us saying by voter apathy, that we do not care who gets elected. We have left that decision up to a select group of wealthy individuals.

Do not believe the rhetoric about self-financed campaigns or millions of small contributions. In order to win the presidential election, both sides will spend a BILLION DOLLARS each! One candidate has so far LOANED his campaign most of its money. He will be expecting those loans paid back. The other has had a fundraiser that required a $350K contribution per couple.  Both will need money and those who make big contributions will be expecting a return on their investment.

Until term limits, public financed elections and increased voter participation become a reality, we need to look at the party platform of the two parties and determine which platform has our best interests at heart. Do we think the economy works best from top down or bottom up? Are we better off acting as individuals or as a group?  Should we help out each other when help is needed or let everyone fend for themselves?

Not real tough questions and pretty easy answers. So vote for the lesser of two evils on Election Day. 

Bill Pienta, SOAR President

Monday, May 30, 2016

Primary Season

The presidential primary season is winding down for both parties. Once the anointed candidates leave their perspective conventions, the battle for the White House begins.

With the advent of the 24-hour news cycle and social media, we will be barraged with so much information and misinformation, that it will make our heads spin. Somehow we will have to sift through all of this rhetoric and make the decision on who we believe is the best candidate to move our nation forward. Which candidate will look out for our best interests and enhance the quality of life for average Americans.

Every election we hear that “this election is the most important election of our lifetime.” Unfortunately, I believe this statement is true each and every time we vote for the President of the United States. We live in difficult times. Unrest in the Middle East, ISIS, along with an unstable economy in most of the world, makes for a very volatile situation. Stagnant wages and unfettered trade has decimated the manufacturing sector of our country and has created a downward spiral for the working class. 

The future of Social Security and Medicare, two successful programs that have kept millions of retirees from poverty, are in danger of being cut or privatized. All of these issues and more must be addressed by the next occupant of the Oval Office.

That is why who we elect this November is so critically important. Listen to the debates carefully and make an informed decision. We are faced with an awesome responsibility, one that many across the globe never experienced. Don’t take your role in this election lightly.

Every vote counts! The future of our children and grandchildren depends on us doing the right thing. Let’s not screw it up!

Jim Centner, SOAR Director

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton Supports Letting People Over 50 Buy into Medicare

At a recent campaign stop in Virginia, Hillary Clinton announced a proposal that would let people over the age of 50 buy into Medicare.

Secretary Clinton’s proposal would benefit older adults and employers, who pay the majority of health insurance costs for workers in the 50 age category. Given that many areas of the United States are severely limited in the number of health insurance plans available to them, this would provide another option. An added benefit: since Medicare is more efficient at keeping healthcare costs down, including adults under 65, would help slow the growth of overall healthcare expenditures.

The new proposal will build on what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has achieved so far, making up for the lack of a public option from the ACA.

“While the Affordable Care Act has helped many Americans obtain health insurance coverage for the first time, rising costs are still a major concern,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “We need a president with realistic and specific solutions.”

Source: Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert, May 20, 2016 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Medicare Should Include Dental Benefits

Oral Health America: Medicare Should Include Dental Benefits

On Thursday, Oral Health America (OHA) released a state-by-state report of the oral health of the country's 65 and older population and the success or failure of states to address those needs. The 2016 State of Decay is the 3rd in a series of reports from OHA surveying the state of oral health for older Americans. The report shows that 59 percent of lower income older adults have no dental insurance and that older adults with dental insurance are 2.5 times more likely to visit the dentist on a regular basis. Sadly, 58 percent of lower income older adults have no plan in place to pay for dental care once retired.

The Alliance and OHA both advocate for financially viable Medicare Dental Benefits.

“Fifty-two percent of all older adults are either unsure or don’t know Medicare does not include dental coverage,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “We need to increase awareness so that we can expand Medicare to address this.”

Source: Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert, May 20 2016 issue

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Workers Make, Executives Take

Workers Make, Executives Take: Chief executive officers at S&P 500 companies made on average a whopping 335 times more than ordinary rank-and-file workers in 2015, according to a new AFL-CIO report. The AFL-CIO, the largest federation of labor unions in the United States, found that while working people continued to see stagnating wages...