HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Sunday, August 1, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RENEE! AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME SHARE

Last night I was blessed with the opportunity to do my comedy as a surprise guest at the lovely Ms. Renee Owens' 40th birthday, hired by her husband Jim, whose dad I had been a teacher with for a number of years.

They were a great audience and we all had a great deal of fun together. It took me a while to "come down" after the performance, it was that much fun. So today I want to say thank you to Jim for thinking of me and giving me an opportunity to do my thing.

On the way home I thought to myself how much I needed to have had a good show. In fact I told the audience about mid-show when they were really into it, that I really needed this tonight. When the economy is this way and I work so little any more, doubts in my own abilities as a comedian start to creep in.

Later that same night, after returning home, I caught a special on HBO about comedians and why they do what they do and I found much to agree with in comments of the famous.

We do it for the tremendous amount of satisfaction it gives us. We do it because it is what we do!

I do it because if I don't perform for quite a while, it is like I have lost a part of my soul and being.

And here's the thing. I have worked in front of two thousand people. I have worked in front of 20 - like last night. And last night's show was more valuable to me than a lot of much bigger gigs because there was an intimacy reached between us that is sometimes not there.

I am very proud of my occupation and my skills. There. I said it.

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There is a really cool thing going on just outside my office/desk window this morning. A mother cardinal is teaching her daughter how to use a feeder!

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Top 5 Social Security Myths

Myth #1: Social Security is going broke.

Reality: There is no Social Security crisis. By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.6 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a 'T'). It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it'll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits—and again, that's without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers' retirement decades ago.2 Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.

Myth #2: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.

Reality: This is a red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than they did 70 years ago.3 What's more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly—since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4 But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut.

Myth #3: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security.

Reality: Social Security doesn't need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here's a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share. If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6 But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.

Myth #4: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs

Reality: Not even close to true. The Social Security Trust Fund isn't full of IOUs, it's full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market—which would have been disastrous—but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.

Myth #5: Social Security adds to the deficit

Reality: It's not just wrong—it's impossible! By law, Social Security's funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can't add one penny to the deficit.8

Defeating these myths is the first step to stopping Social Security cuts. Can you share this list now?

This is just an attempt by the lying Republicans to get at your money - their greed is incomprehensible. remember when King George want to dispense with Social Security during his "administration"?

1."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89703&id=22140-8091839-0Crbh3x&t=4

2. "The Straight Facts on Social Security," Economic Opportunity Institute, September 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89704&id=22140-8091839-0Crbh3x&t=5

3. "Social Security and the Age of Retirement," Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89705&id=22140-8091839-0Crbh3x&t=6

4. "More on raising the retirement age," Washington Post, July 8, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89706&id=22140-8091839-0Crbh3x&t=7

5. "Social Security is sustainable," Economic and Policy Institute, May 27, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89707&id=22140-8091839-0Crbh3x&t=8

6. "Maximum wage contribution and the amount for a credit in 2010," Social Security Administration, April 23, 2010
http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/240

7. "Trust Fund FAQs," Social Security Administration, February 18, 2010
http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/fundFAQ.html

8."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89703&id=22140-8091839-0Crbh3x&t=9

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