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Congress and the electorate can face up to a funding choice.
The SS fund has two sources of income: 1) the payroll tax and 2) interest income it receives every year on Treasury bonds it acquired when it had lent billions of dollars to the Treasury from surpluses it accumulated. Actuaries figure the fund's outflow will start to exceed its total yearly income around 2025. Over a 75-period, with no adjustments, the shortfall would amount to 0.7% of gross domestic product.
So to redress the shortfall during the 75-year actuarial period would require a dollar amount that's about 0.7% of GDP for the period.
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We would've been ecstatic to welcome ALL of our soldiers back from desert wastelands to our beloved fields of grain and purple mountains majesty.
We could've sighed with relief as those who built the catalyst for financial collapse were brought swiftly and brutally to justice.
But reality got in our way.
In particular, we met a pipsqueak, congressional minority eager to abuse the power of filibuster, a belligerent foe willing to fill the void of a U.S.-less Iraq, a resurgent Taliban, and an economy that would cease to exist without a functioning banking system.
With all that, with all the obstacles, with all the critics (from both sides of the aisle), Obama was still able to fulfill the key promises of his campaign.
Below, I've compiled what I believe to be the presidents most important promises fulfilled.
Top 9 Obama Promises Kept (So Far)
Cell therapy is the medicine of the next century. It's the approach that has the potential to be the most game-changing medical advance since the introduction of antibiotics. George W. Bush's halt to federally funded stem-cell research, delaying progress for nearly a decade, was a crime against humanity. If there is any issue upon which Obama has restored hope, it is here, and we should all be eternally grateful.
Numbers two through eight are after the jump.
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The 2 parties have been trading leads a few times on the generic ballot question ("vote for a Democrat, or a Republican for Congress?") since the late spring, creating suspense and anxiety about the nationwide political landscape.
Recent polls don't settle it. Politico/GW poll: tied (43-43, likely voters); and
Dems show a 1-point lead in the (pdf) PPP survey: D +1 >> PPP: "Democrats have retaken a 45-44 lead in the national generic Congressional ballot, after being down 42-45 in August."
"(The current) Democrats in Congress also still are better liked than their Republican counterparts by 19 points." Even so, the respondents said they believe the GOP will win the House despite their expressed voter preferences. Maybe they've heard the prediction broadcast in their ear. From other surveys: CBS/NYT gives the GOP a 2-point edge. Gallup and AP give Republicans a bigger margin.
The most interesting poll is the one you've never heard of, by the Barna Group, an evangelical polling outfit (Ventura, Calif).
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by Craig Barnes
Millions of Americans are today unemployed because the free market is not working for them. Millions of Americans have lost their homes because the free market did not work for them or for the banks. Before the health care bill passed last January millions could not get health care because the free market worked for them when they were healthy but often did not work at all when they needed care.
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"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress...but then, I repeat myself."~~Mark Twain
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Change is the process by which the future invades our lives~~Alvin Toffler, "Future Shock"Each time it appears that Republicans can't get any nastier, any more bereft of morality, they wrap themselves in the flag, grab their guns and Bibles, and manage once again to hit the bottom of the ethical barrel. A good example is Ben Smith's recent startling revelation in Politico.com, which exposed the dirty tricks Republican National Committee (RNC) operatives were planning to play, not only on Democrats in the upcoming elections -- but on their own donors. Smith writes...
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