The first issue is the ECONOMY… the “crumbling” economy.
A major myth propagated by the Republicans for years is that “The Democrats are the party of big spenders”.
Well, a picture is worth a thousand words! In the last 35 years, it is the Republicans who did the spending. While Clinton continually reduced and even eliminated the debt, Reagan and both Bush administrations raised it dramatically. Incidentally, the last Bush bar which is already off the chart does not include any of the Wall Street Bailout in 2008. So who are the 'big spenders' now?Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Public Debt
Then, there is the myth that “we can cut the deficit by reducing spending for social programs.”
This chart was prepared by the: Congressional Budget Office It shows that 48% of the deficit can be attributed to the Bush tax cut. 35% of the deficit is military expense. Entitlements and discretionary spending only account for a total of 17%.How much of the deficit can we reduce by targeting social programs? If you were charged with cutting the deficit, what would you target?
Conservatives perpetuate the myth that “Bush’s tax cuts benefited everyone … or, as many of us remember the term: 'put a chicken in every pot'”.
That would be true if ‘everyone’ was in the top 2%. In fact, the lowest income individuals got a tax cut of less than 1% and gained about $20 during Bush’s administration. Middle income individuals got a 2.3% tax cut and gained about $740. The wealthiest got a 7.5% tax cut and amassed about $120,000. Is $20 over a period of 8 years a benefit? Perhaps it would be enough to buy a few chickens to pay a doctor's bill
Here is another view from MoveOn.org: It shows that fire fighters, teachers, police officers paid taxes at a rate of approximately 25% of their income and doctors 28% … while the top hedge fund managers paid less than 15%.
Another myth is that “tax cuts boost the economy.”
But, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities compared the economic indicators from 2001-2008 to other post World War II economies. Only 'corporate profits' were above average (and considerably so). Other aspects of the economy (GDP, consumption, investment, net worth, wages and salaries, and employment) were all below average.
The mantra of conservatives is "cut taxes", "cut taxes", "cut taxes" and manybelieve that "Obama will raise taxes".
Frankly, we can't say that Obama will never raise taxes. However, the fact is that he is not proposing a new bill to "raise" taxes. The Bush Tax Cuts of 2001 elapse automatically on December 31st of this year. President Obama would like to let the tax cuts on the wealthy expire. This would only affect people whose annual incomes are greater then $250,000. He would like to extend the tax cut for the 95% of individuals with annual incomes less than $250,000. There is also talk of further cutting the taxes on that 95%. But first it has to get through Congress and the Republicans have already said that they are unwilling to support any cuts unless they apply to the upper income bracket as well.
Here's a chart showing what the tax rate on the wealthy used to be: 94% during the Roosevelt administration, 70% during Nixon's administration, 28% under Reagan, 39% under Clinton and 33% under Bush. Letting the Bush tax cut elapse would simply bring back the Clinton tax rate. Neither the Reagan nor the Bush tax cuts paid for themselves as "supply side economics" predicts. Many economists speculate that any tax rate lower than 40% is on the wrong side of the Laffer curve. I would submit that, given the deficit history, the tax rate on high income individuals should be considerably greater than 40% … however, there is little likelihood of going back there now!
Then, the Americans for Prosperity (and other conservative groups) give the impression that “almost everyone has to pay death taxes" and urge their constituents to lobby Congress for getting rid of the estate tax.”
Little do those constituents know that the so-called "death tax" has absolutely no impact on them.According to the IRS, only the wealthiest 2% pay estate taxes and most of them have their estates set up so that the average actually paid in 2008 was not the official 45% rate … but only 17%.
This chart just shows that when Clinton left office, the estate tax exemption was $675,000 and the rate was 55%. Bush raised the exemption to $1 million and then to $3.5 million while reducing the rate to 45% … then he completely did away with the estate tax. If you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to die this year, there is no estate tax but next year it resumes for estates greater than $1 million and at a rate of 55%.
The myth is that “global warming is a hoax”.
Independent scientists consistently paint a picture of a rapidlywarming world. They arrived at these conclusions from scientific measurements … including: Surface Temperature Atmospheric Temperature Sea Level Ice Cores Tree Rings Coral Reefs
The planet has just come through: the warmest decade the warmest 12 months the warmest 6 months, and the warmest 3 months ON RECORD.Several nations have already set their all-time temperature records in 2010: Notice Pakistan at the bottom of the list with a temperature of 130 degrees.111 degrees – Russia117 degrees - Chad118 degrees – Niger121 degrees – Sudan126 degrees – Saudi Arabia126 degrees – Iraq127 degrees - Kuwait130 degrees – PakistanAside from the highest temperatures experienced world wide, there are the devastating floods in Pakistan … the worst in their recorded history. Russia, too, has had more fires and drought then ever before, forcing them to declare that the country will not be able to exporting wheat this year.
There is also a myth that “global warming is not caused by C02 emissions”.
The fact is that 3 factors affect the earth's temperature:1. the Sun2. Earth's reflectivity3. Greenhouse gases (primarily CO2 and increasingly methane.)Scientists are saying the changes both in the sun and the planet's reflectivityactually point to a cooling period… not a warming one. So we must conclude that greenhouse gasses are to blame for the increasing rise in temperature.
And this is why! For the last 800,000 years, the temperature of earth has followed in an almost exact pattern as CO2. The level of CO2 has ranged from 180 to 300 parts per million (that’s the blue line) and the temperature (that’s the red line) has followed closely behind. Today, the green house gas levels have reached 390 parts per million (by far the highest in the last 800,000 years) and the temperature of the earth is rising accordingly. Currently, the earth average temperature is 58.1 degrees.
There is a myth that “global warming doesn’t really have much effect”.
Actually, it has and will have a tremendous effect on each of us: 1. Glaciers are melting at an increasingly alarming rate. 2. Sea levels are rising 3. Land areas are becoming uninhabitable 4. Large populations are being forced to relocate 5. Territorial wars have developed over water rights, food 6. Oceans are becoming more acidic 7. Sea life is dying 8. Weather patterns are changing; there are more storms, droughts, fires and floods) 9. Food production is disrupted10. And as warm weather moves north, diseases spread.
Many believe that the “Florida Solar Energy Incentive program is ‘dead in the water’”
The fact is that on August 13, last month, The Florida Energy and Climate Commission agreed to use $13 million in stimulus funds to pay for solar electric panels. This is only a portion of the $52 million owed to the 15,000 homeowners who have already installed and paid for their solar panels and are awaiting reimbursement. The $13 million will be paid to those who submitted their applications before June 2009.
And, The Public Service Commission just announced that the five investor-owned utilities in Florida will start offering an incentive program to encourage users to install solar hot water heaters and photovoltaic panels. SECO, the major supplier of electricity is not a part of the program because it is not investor-owned Progress Energy, however, also serves some residents in this area. Progress Energy will receive more than $1 million a year for the next 5 years to rebate its customers $550 for a solar hot water heater and/or $2.00 per watt for a new photovoltaic system up to $20,000.
It’s the end of the world as we know it! When public schools were legislated in 1790, people cried “socialism”. It was the same for public water systems, public highways and public parks. Certainly Social Security in 1935 and other programs brought out the "socialist" naysayers. Now it is the end of the world as we know it because of healthcare.
Among the many myths we heard last summer was that “medical care will be rationed”.
Of course, we know that medical care is already rationed … and not by those who care about us.
Last year, the largest health insurance company profits rose 56% over the previous year and 250% during Bush’s administration … that is 10 times the rate of inflation. The man in the cartoon saying “Nobody is going to pull the plug on me except my insurance company! You got that?” is just a reflection of the misinformation deliberately propogated by those very insurance companies and their allies.
Another myth we heard was that “medicare would be cut.”
The fact is that Medicare Advantage will be cut but regular Medicare will not. Medicare Advantage is now subsidized by the government at a rate of 14%. This 14% will be withdrawn and those currently on Medicare Advantage program will have the same coverage as everyone else.
Some people believe that “we won’t see any change in healthcare until 2014”.
The New York Times listed just a few of the changes that will occur this year or before 2014: Children can remain on their parents’ policy until they are 26. Children cannot be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
Adults who are denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition can get high-risk coverage provided by the government. Small businesses can qualify for credits to offset health premiums. Insurance companies cannot set lifetime limits on coverage or cancel a policy once someone gets sick … that's a really important one!
The doughnut hole is gradually phased out:In 2010, those falling in the doughnut hole will get a check for $250In 2011, that check will increase to $500 + discounts on many drugs.In 2013, there will be further drug price reductionsAnd in 2020, the doughnut hole will be eliminated
This cartoon says it all: “Can you get me some huddled masses yearning to bust their butts for $5 an hour?” The immigration debate is a “hot” issue because there are so many misconceptions.In the interest of time, I am going to combine several myths about immigration:
One is that “Illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes”,
… another that they “come to the U.S. for welfare”.
that they “abuse the health care system” and
that they “are more likely to commit a crime.”
The fact is that, illegal immigrants pay the same taxes we do. They certainly pay sales tax and, employers deduct the federal and state tax just like any other employee. The National Immigration Forum estimates that 84% pay income taxes and none file a return or receive a tax refund.
The fact is that the U.S. government makes approximately $80,000 on each illegal immigrant over a lifetime because they pay income taxes, social security, medicare and other taxes … and they cannot get their money back.
U.S. law strictly prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving welfare, food stamps or other assistance. And, illegal immigrants pay $50 billion a year into Social Security but are not eligible to receive any benefit.
The fact is that illegal immigrants are not entitled to any taxpayer funded health care. … except emergency treatment. And, many undocumented workers have health insurance through their employers. The Rand Corporation finds that “the foreign born, (especially the undocumented) use proportionately fewer medical facilities and contribute less to health care costs in relation to their population share.”
The fact is that numerous studies show the crime problem in the U.S. is not caused or aggravated by immigrants. Illegal immigrants, in fact, have a very high incentive not to break the law. The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that in the border stateswhere most illegal immigrants live (Arizona, Texas, California, New Mexico), the crime rate has dropped dramatically and is the lowest it has been in 4 decades. In the past decade, as the number of illegal immigrants in Arizonagrew rapidly, the violent crime rate dropped by 23 percent, the property crime rate by 28 percent.
And this picture reiterates the point that illegal immigrants are here to work … not commit crimes!
Over and over again, you hear that “illegal immigrants should apply to legally enter the U.S. … or get in the back of the line”
Well, that is easier said than done. The demand for low-skilled workers in the U.S. is 500,000 a year.The current immigration quota for low-skilled workers is 5,000. “If you are a Mexican wanting to get a visa to work in a low-skilled job in the U.S., you would be dead before you get your visa.”
Then we come to the infamous fence: Many believe fervently that “a fence between the U.S. and Mexico would solve the problem.”
We all know that fences don’t make good neighbors and neither do they work “For every 15-foot fence, there is a 16-foot ladder to climb over or a shovel to dig underneath.” And consider that: 40% of the undocumented came here legally but overstayed their visas. And only 57% of the undocumented come from Mexico. So how many illegal immigrants are we going to stop with that fence? Incidentally, the fence we are building now on our Mexican border isonly one of two fences in the world separating states: the other one is the Israeli-Palestine wall.
This cartoon shows the American Indians building a fence to keep the pilgrams out. The pilgram says “they say they’re building a wall because too many of us enter illegally and won’t learn their language or assimilate into their culture”. Perhaps the Indians should have constructed that fence!
How many times have you heard that “Obama is a Muslim”.
This poll is probably old … but very distressing.While only 18% of the people belleve that Obama is a Muslim, 48% don’t know what his religion is.Of course, his religion should not even be an issue.
Obama was not raised in any particular faith. He did attend a Catholic and a public Muslim school while he was in Indonesia … but not for political training.He joined a Christian church in his 20s, the Trinity United Church of Christ, and continues to attend Christian churches, carries a Bible and states that he is a Christian.
Opponents of same-sex marriage claim that “marriage has always been between one man and one woman”.
The fact is that, throughout history, various cultures have condoned marriage-like relationships between members of the same sex. The Ming dynasty and other Chinese dynasties recognized same-sex unions as did the Romans. Even Emperor Nero married a man. And for about 1,000 years, the Catholic Church conducted ceremonies for same-sex couples that were very much like those for opposite-sex couples. How have they managed to keep that a secret all these years?
Some believe that “civil unions and domestic partnerships are the same as marriage.”
The fact is that Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions do not provide the benefits and protections of marriage. 1. They can cost thousands of dollars in legal fees … whereas a simple marriage license usually costs less than $100.2. They can be challenged in court.3. They are not universally recognized by physicians, judges and other states or countries.
More importantly, the Federal Government provides at least 1,049 benefits and protections for marriedcouples not provided to domestic partners or persons in civil unions: survivor benefits through Social Security sick leave to care for ailing partner tax breaks veterans benefits insurance breaks family discounts family insurance through an employer visiting a spouse in the hospital making medical decisions
Every conservative seems to believe (or want you to believe) that “Social Security is going broke!”
That is simply not true! The fact is that for the last quarter century Social Security has run a surplus.By 2023, Social Security will have a surplus of $4.3 trillion. It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next 25 years with no changes whatsoever.After 2037, it can still pay 75% of the scheduled benefits … without any changes.
Another myth conservatives like to reiterate is that “Social Security adds to the deficit”.
The fact is that not one penny of the deficit can be attributed to Social Security.By law, Social Security funds are separate from the budget and it must pay its own way.
Then, there is the rumor that “the Social Security Trush Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs.”
The fact is that the Social Security Fund is full of U. S. Treasury bonds.It could be worse! Remember that George Bush wanted to put Social Security funds into the stock market. That would have been a disaster!Not only has the market fallen but brokerage fees alone would have taken a 15% bite out of worker’s retirement investment. Luckily, the Bush plan failed but we need to remind people that Social Security has been one of the most effiicent government agencies. The administration cost of Social Security is less the 1%!
However, those IOUs (in the form of Treasury bonds) are part of the $10.7 trillion debt.It is money the U.S. borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund to spend on other programs.In fact, the U.S. government owes 40% of its debt to Social Security! That is our money!And the U.S. Government owes Social Security $4.3 trillion, which is 40% of the U.S. debt. That is money borrowed from Social security and it is Ower Money!
The newly formed Deficit Commission is charged with finding a way to cut the debt and guess what the members are targeting: Social Security! Co-chair, Alan Simpson, crassly expressed his view of Social Security when he sent an e-mail to the Executive Director of theNational Older Women's League. He compared Social Security to "a milk cow with 310 million tits". James, Roosevelt, Jr., grandson of Franklin Roosevelt defended Social Security: "Social Security should be out of the reach of the Budget Deficit Commission because it is not part of the Federal budget. Since Social Security has not contributed in any way to the deficit, it makes no sense to consider it part of the solution."
As we said before,The U.S. government owes Social Security $4.3 trillion, 40% of its debt, more than any other lender..>>Under the law today, the Social Security payroll tax is levied only on earnings up to $106,800 a year.That means milllionaires and billionaires pay nothing on all their income ABOVE that amount towards SS. In other words, an individual who earns up to $106,800 a year pays the same SS tax as a millionaaire. Senator Bernie Sanders has said …that applying the Social Security payroll tax on those with the most income, say over $250,000 a year, would correct this enequality. According to the Congressional Budget Office, applying the tax to all income would provide all the money SS would need for the forseeable future….
Many people believe that “the Tea Party is a “grassroots” organization”
The fact is that the Tea Party is an “Astroturf” organization
The Tea Party is a professionally coordinated corporate political tool. It was founded and is funded primarily by the Koch brothers of Koch Industries … with support from Exxon/Mobile, Massey Energy and others.The money is funneled through conservative organizations such as Dick Armey's Freedom Works or Americans for Prosperity.
Koch Industries is a privately-owned $100 billion a year conglomerate.Their business activities are in: petroleum, chemicals, energy, Asphalt, natural gas, plastics, fibers, minerals, fertilizers, ranching, pulp and paper, finance and commodities trading.The Koch brothers have kept a very low profile (until now) but play an incredibly important role in financially and ideologically supporting and directing the effort to undermine the Obama administration and the Democratic ideals.
In 2008, the Koch foundations gave money to 34 political and policy organizations, some of which they founded and several they direct. These are just a few of the more well-known:The Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The Koch Industries founder (the father) was active in the Birch Society and both brothers (Charles and David) who are now managing the business are rabid Libertarians. They strongly oppose taxes and any form of government regulation. It is not surprising that Koch Industries advocates for the coal, oil and tobacco industries and campaigns against climate change and health care reform.Of course, they want much less oversight of industry and fewer environmental regulations … that means more profit for Koch Industries.
Koch Industries is one of the top polluters in the U.S. and has been the source of various spills for which it has paid fines.It is known for injecting millions of dollars into advertising that denies global warming and promotes the countries dependence on non-renewable energy. The Koch brothers are also responsible for playing a decisive role in several Federal elections by running attack advertising against the more moderate candidate.
Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity, warned that: “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money.The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”And, a scathing article appears in the August 30th edition of the NEW YORKER magazine. This article finally "outs" Koch Industries and the Koch brothers.
Many believethat “the Tea Party participation is spontaneous … people just turn up there”
The fact is that the Tea Party is professionally managed and choreographed. It is no accident that all the banners and slogans look alike or that the participants all say the same thing or do the same thing. The PR firm calling the shots is the very conservative King Media Group whose slogan is "the art of persuasion … the science of media" A memo leaked from Freedom Works details how members should conduct themselves in town hall meetings and rallies … they are mere puppets of Koch and friends!
Conservatives complain about welfare believing that “it is only for the poor.”
The fact is that a large portion of welfare is directed towards the wealthy:WALL STREET: Bailouts BANKS: Goldman Sacks, Bank of America, Citigroup, and other heavy hitters received cheap money through TARP. AIRLINES: The Small Business Administration (SBA) awarded contracts to the 13 largest government contractors rather than to “small businesses." AGRI-BUSINESS : 72% of agricultural price supportsare distributed to the top farmers, not the family farmer. And Congress rejected a cap of $250,000 per recipient. AUTO: Takeover of General Motors HEALTHCARE: Pharmaceutical companies are subsidized for developing drugs for profit. OIL: Oil companies receive subsidies and tax breaks for drilling..
Unfortunately, some people have taken Adolf Hitler's words toheart when he said:“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”Underneath those “truths” you hear are many, many lies.
Presented By: Eleanor Strickland<br /> Sue Michalson<br />
MYTH<br />DEMOCRATS ARE <br />THE PARTY OF<br /> “BIG SPENDERS”<br />
INCREASES IN THE NATIONAL DEBT<br />The RED and BLUE bars tell the story. in the last 35 years, Republicans have run up huge debts while Democrats have held debt steady or reduced it. <br />FACT<br />
MYTH<br />WE CAN CUT THE DEFICIT BY REDUCING SPENDING FOR SOCIAL PROGRAMS<br />
BUSH’S TAX CUTS ACCOUNT FOR <br />48% OF THE DEFICIT.<br />FACT<br />
MYTH<br />TAX CUTS THE ECONOMY<br />“The main reason for our growing economy is that we cut taxes and left more money in the hands of families and workers and small business owners.” — President Bush, November 4, 2006<br />BOOST<br />
FACT<br />WHAT GROWING ECONOMY?<br />2001-2007 ECONOMY WAS WEAKER THAN AVERAGE<br />ONLY CORPORATE PROFITS GREW RAPIDLY!<br />Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities<br />
FACT<br />OBAMA IS NOT PROPOSING TO “RAISE” TAXES <br />Obama wants to allow the tax cuts on the wealthy to expire. This would only affect people whose annual incomes are greater than $250,000. The rates would return to the 2000 rate of 39% - 40%. <br />Obama wants to extend the tax cut for the 95%<br />of individuals with annual incomes less than<br />$250,000<br />(MORE)<br />Source: NY Daily Times Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Interview<br />
TAX RATE<br />Prohibitive Range<br />Neither the Reagan or Bush cuts paid <br />for themselves by generating revenue<br /> … perhaps because the tax rate was<br />too low.<br />REVENUE<br />Source: Arthur B. Laffer<br />
THE “DEATH TAX” APPLIES ONLY TO <br />THE WEALTHIEST 2%<br />FACT<br />There are many legitimate deductions and the wealthy know how to structure their estates to avoid the estate tax!<br />In 2008, the estate tax rate was <br />45%. However, the average<br />estate paid only 17%.<br />Surviving spouses are not <br />taxed. <br />Source: irs.gov (MORE)<br />
the warmest 3 months on record</li></ul>Several nations have already set their all-time temperature records in 2010: <br />111 degrees – Russia<br />117 degrees - Chad<br />118 degrees – Niger<br />121 degrees – Sudan<br />126 degrees – Saudi Arabia<br />126 degrees – Iraq<br />127 degrees - Kuwait<br />130 degrees - Pakistan<br />Source: National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration<br />
MYTH<br />GLOBAL WARMING IS NOT CAUSED BY CO2 EMISSIONS<br />
FACT<br />THREE FACTORS AFFECT THE EARTH’S TEMPERATURE: <br />THE SUN<br />EARTH’S REFLECTIVITY<br />GREENHOUSE GAS (primarily CO2)<br />The changes both in the SUN and the planet’s EARTH’S REFLECTIVITY point to a cooling period … not a warming one.<br />What is left? CO2!<br />(MORE)<br />Source: Environmental Defense Fund<br />
TEMPERATURE FOLLOWS CO2<br />For 800,000 years, CO2 has ranged from 180 to 300 ppmand the temperature trend has followed closely behind.<br />Today, CO2 is around390 ppm and the temperature is rising accordingly.<br />CO2<br />TEMPERATURE<br />Current Temperature is 58.1<br />400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0<br />THOUSANDs OF YEARS AGO<br />Source: Environmental Defense Fund<br />
FACT<br />1. Glaciers melt<br /> 2. Ocean levels rise<br /> 3. Land areas become uninhabitable<br /> 4. Large populations have to relocate<br /> 5. Territorial wars develop<br /> 6. Oceans become more acidic<br /> 7. Sea creatures die<br /> 8. Weather patterns change (more<br /> storms, droughts, fires, floods)<br /> 9. Food production is disrupted<br />10. Diseases spread<br />Source: 350.org<br />
MYTH<br />THE FLORIDA SOLAR ENERGY INCENTIVE PROGRAM IS “DEAD IN THE WATER”<br />
FACT<br />$13 MILLION IS NOW <br />AVAILABLE TO REIMBURSE<br />HOMEOWNERS FOR<br /> SOLAR PANELS<br />On August 13, The Florida Energy and Climate<br />Commission agreed to use $13 million in stimulus<br />funds to pay for solar electric panels. <br />The Florida Solar Energy Incentive Program was originally intended <br />to pay up to $20,000 per home. However, the program received no<br />funds from the legislature after 2008.<br />The backlog is $52.7 million (more than 15,000 households)<br />The $13 million will be paid to those submitting their applications<br />before June 2009. (MORE)<br />Source: Florida Energy and Climate Commission<br />
… AND JUST ANNOUNCED<br />The Public Service Commission requires the five investor-owned utilities in Florida to offer renewable solar hot water and photovoltaic programs through the Energy Conservation Cost Recovery Clause.<br />SECO is not investor-owned but Progress Energy is. <br />Progress Energy will receive more than $1 million per year and will offer its customers:<br /><ul><li> $550 rebate for a solar hot water</li></ul> heater<br /><ul><li> $2.00 per watt for a new photo-</li></ul> voltaic system (limit $20,000).<br />
MYTH<br />UNDER HEALTH CARE REFORM, MEDICAL CARE WILL BE RATIONED<br />
FACT<br />THE INSURANCE COMPANIES ALREADY RATION HEALTH CARE<br /> – AND FOR A PROFIT<br />Consumer protections in the new legislation would prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition or revoking coverage when someone gets really sick.<br />(MORE)<br />
In 2009,the 5 largest health insurance companies took in combined profits of<br />$12.2 billion, up 56 % over 2008.<br />Profits for the 10 largest insurance companies increased 250 % from 2000 to 2009, 10 times faster than inflation. <br />Source: AOL Daily Finance<br />
MYTH<br />UNDER HEALTH CARE REFORM, MEDICARE BENEFITS WILL BE CUT<br />
FACT<br />CUTS APPLY ONLY TO MEDICARE ADVANTAGEPROGRAMS … <br />CUTS WILL NOT AFFECT 75% OF RECIPIENTS<br />Medicare Advantage is more akin to private insurance because it's administered by a private company, yet subsidized by the government. <br />That subsidy costs the government an additional 14% per person <br />compared to a person with traditional Medicare. <br />The Medicare Advantage users will receive the exact same care as those in traditional Medicare.<br />Source: Kaiser Health Service.<br />
MYTH<br />UNDER HEALTH CARE REFORM, WE WON’T SEE CHANGE UNTIL 2014<br />
FACT<br />These are but a few of the changes we'll see before the complete health reform goes into effect in 2014.<br />Childrencan remain on their parents’ health plans until the <br />age of 26.<br />Children can no longer<br /> bedenied coverage for<br /> pre-existing conditions.<br />(MORE)<br />Source: New York Times<br />
4. Small businesses<br /> can qualifyfor tax<br /> credits to offset the <br />cost ofhealthpremiums.<br />5. Insurance companies<br /> cannotsetlifetime limits onhealth<br /> carecoverage or cancel apolicy<br /> once someonegets sick. <br />Adults denied coverage for pre-existing conditionswill have access tohigh-risk insurance programs provided by the government. <br />(MORE)<br />Source: New York Times<br />
6. The Medicare doughnut<br /> hole gradually phases out:<br />2010: Persons falling into doughnut hole will receive a<br /> $250 rebate<br />2011: Persons falling into doughnut hole will receive a <br /> $500 rebate, a 7% reduction on <br /> generic drugs and a 50%<br /> reduction on brand-name drugs.<br />2013: Drug prices will be reduced<br />2020: The doughnut hole is GONE!<br />The doughnut hole occurs when<br />a Medicare Part D patient has <br />spent $2830 a year for prescriptions.<br />Medicare does not cover any other<br />prescriptions until the total reaches $4550.<br />Source: New York Times<br />
CAN <br />CAN YOU GET ME SOME HUDDLED <br />MASSES YEARNING TO BUST THEIR BUTTS FOR $5 AN HOUR?<br />IMMIGRATION<br />
MYTH<br />ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS COME TO THE U.S. FOR WELFARE<br />
MYTH<br />ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ABUSE THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM<br />
MYTH<br />ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS <br />ARE MORE LIKELY TO COMMIT <br />CRIMES<br />
FACT<br />ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS PAY THE SAME TAXES AS YOU AND I PAY <br />Employers of undocumented <br />workers deductall the federal <br />income and other taxes from<br />all employees -- legal and<br />illegal. <br />84% pay income tax and 0% file a return<br />Source: National Immigration Forum<br />
FACT<br />THE U.S. MAKES A PROFIT ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS …<br />This is because so many illegal immigrants pay taxes, Social Security and Medicare … without being able to retrieve any of that money or benefits.<br />(average $80,000 in a lifetime) <br />(MORE)<br />Source: National Immigration Forum<br />
U.S. law prohibits those here illegally from obtaining welfare, food stamps or any other type of public assistance.<br />Studies show that only 2% of Mexican immigrants have ever used welfare or social security and only 3% have ever used food stamps.<br />Illegal immigrants pay >$50 billion every year in Social Security … none of which they can claim. <br />Source: National Immigration Forum<br />
FACT<br />UNDOCUMENTED PERSONS ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ANY TAXPAYER- PROVIDED HEALTH CARE EXCEPT<br />EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT.<br />A recent RAND Corp. study states:<br />"The foreign born (especially undocumented) use disproportionately fewer medical services and contribute less to health care costs in relation to their population share."<br />Source: National Immigration Forum<br />
FACT<br />IN LARGEST IMMIGRANT AREAS, CRIME RATE IS LOWEST IN 4 DECADES<br />Numerous reputable studies <br />have shown that regardless <br />of their legal status, immigrants <br />are not the source of substantial <br />crime.<br />Undocumented individuals have a very high incentive not to break the law. <br />Source: National Immigration Forum, Bureau of Justice Statistics<br />(MORE)<br />
MYTH<br />IMMIGRANTS SHOULD APPLY TO LEGALLY ENTER THE U.S.<br />
FACT<br />THE DEMAND FOR LOW-SKILLED <br /> WORKERS IN THE U.S. LABOR MARKET<br /> IS 500,000 A YEAR <br />THE CURRENT U.S. IMMIGRATION<br /> QUOTA IS 5,000 FOR THAT CATEGORY<br />"If you are a Mexican wanting to get a legal visa to work in a low-skilled job in the U.S., you would be dead before you get your visa.''<br />Source: National Immigration Forum<br />
MYTH<br />A FENCE BETWEEN THE U.S. AND MEXICO WOULD SOLVE THE PROBLEM<br />
FACT<br />First: “For every 15-foot fence there is a 16-foot<br />ladder or a shovel to dig underneath.”<br />Second: 40% of those undocumented<br />in the U.S. entered legally and <br />overstayed their visas<br />Third: Only57% of all illegal immigrants arrive from Mexico.<br />(The fence we are building now on our Mexican border is<br /> only one of two fences in the world separating states: the<br /> other one is the Israeli-Palestine wall.)<br />Sources: www.politifact.com, Urban Institute<br />(MORE)<br />
INDIANS<br />PLYMOUTH ROCK <br />PILGRAMS<br />“They say they’re building a wall because too many of us enter illegally and won’t learn their language or assimilate into their culture.”<br />
48% don’t know his religion</li></ul>SO WHO CARES? THIS IS AMERICA …<br /> ”FREEDOM OF RELIGION”<br />Source: politifact.com<br />(MORE)<br />
OBAMA IS NOT A MUSLIM<br /><ul><li> Obama attended both Catholic and public </li></ul> Muslim schools in Indonesia (but not for<br /> religious training). <br /><ul><li>Although Obama was not raised in any </li></ul> particular faith. He became a Christian and <br /> joined the Trinity United Church of Christ when<br /> he was in his 20s.<br /><ul><li> Obama continues to attend Christian churches,</li></ul> carries a Bible and states that he is a Christian.<br />Source: politifact.com<br />
MYTH<br />MARRIAGE HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT<br />ONE MANAND <br />ONE WOMAN<br />
FACT<br />Through the Ming dynasty in China, both females and males bound themselves in contracts with persons of the same gender.<br />During the Roman Empire, same sex marriages were common … even Emperor Nero himself married a man. <br />From the 5th to the 14th centuries, the Roman Catholic Church conducted ceremonies to bless same-sex unions which were almost identical to those for heterosexual unions. <br /> <br />Source: The Marriage of Likeness: Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe, John Boswell<br />
MYTH<br />CIVIL UNIONS <br />AND DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS <br />ARE THE SAME AS MARRIAGE<br />
DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS AND CIVIL UNIONS DO NOT PROVIDE THE BENEFITS AND PROTECTIONS OF MARRIAGE<br />FACT<br />THEY:<br />1. Can cost thousands of dollars in legal feeswhereas a simple marriage license usually costs less than $100.<br />2. Can be challenged in court.In the case of wills, legal spouses always have more legal power than any other family member.<br />3. Are not universally recognized. Marriage laws are universal.Physicians, judges, etc. may not recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships.<br />(MORE)<br />Source: lesbianlife.about.com<br />
The Federal Government provides at least 1,049benefitsandprotectionsformarriedcouplesnot provided to domestic partners or persons in civil unions:<br /><ul><li>survivor benefits through Social Security
AUGUST 14, 1935: <br />PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT SIGNS <br />THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT<br />
MYTH<br />SOCIAL SECURITY<br /> IS GOING BROKE<br />
BY 2023, SOCIAL SECURITY WILL HAVE A SURPLUS OF<br />FACT<br />$4.3 TRILLION<br />It can pay out all scheduled benefitsforthenext 25 years with no changes whatsoever. <br />After 2037, it'll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits--and again, that's withoutany changes.<br />Source: National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare<br />
MYTH<br />SOCIAL SECURITY<br />ADDS TO THE DEFICIT<br />
FACT<br />NOT ONE PENNY OF THE DEFICIT CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO SOCIAL SECURITY<br />By law, Social Security funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. <br />Source: National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare<br />
MYTH<br />iou<br />THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND HAS BEEN RAIDED AND IS FULL OF “IOU”S<br />
FACT<br />THE SOCIAL SECURITY ISN’T FULL OF IOUs … IT’S FULL OF U.S. TREASURY BONDS<br />President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market (which would have been disastrous)but luckily, he failed. <br />(MORE)<br />Source: National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare<br />
HOWEVER,THOSE TREASURY BONDS<br />ARE PART OF THE $10.7 TRILLION DEBT<br />WE OWE<br />Social Security<br />40%<br />of the U.S. debt is money borrowed from Social Security … that is our money!<br />(MORE)<br />
DEFICIT COMMISSION<br />The newly appointed deficit commission is charged with finding a way to CUT THE DEBT! And guess where the members of that committee plan to go <br />for cuts … SOCIAL SECURITY! <br />Co-chair, Alan Simpson, expressed his view of<br />Social Security when he sent an e-mail to the<br />National Older Women's League Executive<br />Director comparing Social Security to "a milk <br /> cow with 310 million tits!"<br /> James Roosevelt, Jr. defended Social Security: <br /> “Social Security should be out of the reach of <br /> the Budget Deficit Commission because it is <br /> not part of the Federal budget. <br />Since Social Security has not contributed in any<br /> way to the deficit, it makes no sense to consider it as part of the solution.”<br />(MORE)<br />Source: Nationional Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare; politify.com<br />
SOCIAL SECURTY PAYROLL TAX IS LEVIED ONLY ON EARNINGS UP TO $106,800 A YEAR<br />Millionaires and billionaires pay (and receive) the same<br />as an individual earning $106,800<br />“Eliminating the limit on the amount taxed would provide all the money Social Security needs for the foreseeable future.”<br />Congressional Budget Office<br />Senator Bernie Sanders proposed “applying the <br />Social Security payroll tax on those whose<br />incomes exceed $250,000”.<br />Source: Congressional Budget Office<br />
MYTH<br />THE TEA PARTY IS A “GRASSROOTS” ORGANIZATION<br />
FACT<br />THE TEA PARTY IS AN “ASTROTURF” ORGANIZATION<br />(MORE)<br />
THE TEA PARTYIS A PROFESSIONALLY COORDINATED CORPORATE POLITICAL ACTIONTOOL.<br />It was founded and funded primarily by the Koch brothers of Koch Industries … with support from Exxon/Mobile, Massey Energy and others. <br />The money is funneled through conservative think tanks such as Dick Armey’sFreedom Works and Americans for Prosperity.<br />(MORE)<br />Source: Alternet.com<br />
Koch Industries is a privately-owned $100 billion <br />Conglomerate with business activities in:<br /><ul><li> petroleum
finance and commodities trading.</li></ul>Source: Alternet.com<br />(MORE)<br />
It is not suprising that Koch Industries:<br /><ul><li>Advocated for the coal, oil and tobacco industries and
Campaigned against climate change and health care reform.</li></ul>In 2008, the Kochfoundations gave money to 34 political and policy organizations, some of which they founded and several they direct: <br />The founder was active in the Birch Society and both brothers (Charles and David) now managing the business are Libertarians.<br />They oppose taxes and government regulation.Much less oversight of industry and fewer environmental regulations mean more profits for Koch Industries.<br />Source: Alternet.com<br />
The University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries as one of the TOP 10 Air Polluters in the U.S.<br />A Greenpeace report found that Kochhas been a “kingpin of climate science denial,” and “vastly outdid” ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change.<br />The Justice Department charged that Koch Industries was responsible for more than 300 oil spills, which released 300 million gallons of oil into lakes and rivers and, later, leveled a 97-count indictment against Koch for covering up the discharge of 91 tons of the carcinogen, benzine.<br />A Senate committee minority report found that a trust financed by Charles and David Koch “may have played a decisive role in four of<br />six federal races (running attack advertising).”<br />For more information, see the August 30, 2010 issue of the New Yorker.<br />(MORE)<br />Source: Alternet.com<br />
The founder of the Center for Public Integrity, Charles Lewis, told the New Yorker:<br /> “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money.<br />The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. <br />I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”<br />Source: Alternet.com<br />
MYTH<br />TEA PARTY PARTICIPATION IS SPONTANEOUS<br />
FACT<br />THE TEA PARTY IS PROFESSIONALLY MANAGED<br />It is no accident that all the banners<br />and slogans look alike or that the <br />participants all say the same thing.<br />In reality, the Tea Party is managed by<br />the very conservative PR firm,<br />King Media Group, whose slogan is<br />“the art of persuasion … the science of media”.<br />A leaked memo from details exactly how<br />Members should conduct themselves in town hall meetings<br />and rallies … they are mere puppets of Koch and friends.<br />Source: Alternet.com<br />
THE WEALTHY ALSO RECEIVE WELFARE<br />FACT<br />WALL STREET: Bailouts<br />BANKS:Cheap money through TARP to Goldman Sacks, Bank of America, Citigroup and other heavy hitters.<br />AIRLINES:Small Business Administration(SBA) awarded contracts to the 13 largest government contractors rather than to “small” businesses.<br />AGRI-BUSINESS :Agricultural price supports (72%) are distributed to the top farmers, not the family farmer. Congress rejected a cap of $250,000 per recipient.<br />AUTO:Takeover of General Motors<br />HEALTHCARE:Pharmaceutical companies are subsidized for developing drugs for profit.<br />OIL:Oil companies receive subsidies and tax breaks for drilling.<br />(MORE)<br />Source: thefreemanonline.org<br />
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching. It unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. The money powers preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me & the financial institutions at the rear, the latter is my greatest foe. Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed." -Abraham Lincoln, letter to William Elkins, Nov 21, 1864 (after the passage of the debt causing National Bank Act [June 3, 1864]) <br />
“Make the lie big, <br />make it simple, <br />keep saying it,<br />And eventually <br />they will believe it.” <br />Adolf Hitler<br />