Obama-con: States approving huge spikes in health-insurance premiums

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BY ED MORRISSEY

When insurance companies began discussing the necessary premium hikes for the third year of ObamaCare coverage, the White House was quick to dismiss the requests. State auditors would surely force insurers to admit that these requests were overblown. Barack Obama himself told a Nashville audience last month that he couldn’t see why insurers needed to hike premiums by more than a third in Tennessee, the Wall Street Journal recalls:

At a July town hall in Nashville, Tenn., President Barack Obama played down fears of a spike in health insurance premiums in his signature health law’s third year.

“My expectation is that they’ll come in significantly lower than what’s being requested,” he said, saying Tennesseans had to work to ensure the state’s insurance commissioner “does their job in not just passively reviewing the rates, but really asking, ‘OK, what is it that you are looking for here? Why would you need very high premiums?’”

The insurers must have come up with a pretty good explanation. Tennessee approved a 36% hike in premiums for 2016, and they’re hardly alone, as Louise Radnofsky and Stephanie Armour report:

That commissioner, Julie Mix McPeak, answered on Friday by greenlighting the full 36.3% increase sought by the biggest health plan in the state, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. She said the insurer demonstrated the hefty increase for 2016 was needed to cover higher-than-expected claims from sick people who signed up for individual policies in the first two years of the Affordable Care Act.

Several regulators around the country agree with her, and have approved all or most of the big premium increases sought by the largest health plans in their states for the new sign-up season that begins Nov. 1.

Here’s the chart showing proposed and approved rate increases for 2016 over 2015:

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It’s the third year in a row for huge rate hikes, all due to the uncertainties built into the mandate-driven system of ObamaCare. The White House explained the hikes after the first year as an artifact of sudden access to care, but by year three that explanation has worn thin. The cost curve isn’t bending downward in any phase of health care, and it’s not even bending upward any longer. It’s skyrocketing, and insurers are reflecting that in their premium hikes.

At the same time that premiums have escalated, of course, deductibles have expanded almost exponentially for some families. Consumers are paying outrageously high premiums for insurance they will almost certainly never access, thanks to the need to spend thousands more out of pocket on top of these premiums before insurers have to cover anything but wellness checks.

The above chart doesn’t take into account my own state of Minnesota. The state has not yet acted on rate increase requests from its insurers, which have the potential to outstrip anything on the WSJ’s radar. Blue Cross Blue Shield wants an average increase across its plans of fifty-four percent, while Health Partners requested average increases of 23%. In fact, UCare — which had been the low cost option heading into 2016 — has bumped its increase request by more than double this summer:

With the July filing, UCare upped its proposed average rate increase from 12 percent to 27 percent — a bump that’s more in line with increases being sought by other individual market carriers for 2016. …

At the time, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota commanded attention by seeking an average increase of about 54 percent for 179,000 Minnesotans in the market for individuals who buy outside of employer groups.

HealthPartners sought an average increase of 23 percent for 51,860 people. UCare’s proposal applies to about 10,000 current policyholders.

The UCare proposal is just that — regulators are scheduled to release final rates this fall, and proposed increases could be knocked down by the rate review process at the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

They can be “knocked down,” but these insurers can also pack up and leave the ObamaCare system, too. They can stick with employer-based insurance and Medicare Advantage portfolios and leave the individual markets. That’s exactly what BCBS announced today that they will do in New Mexico. If that happens, then Minnesota politicians will be under the gun to explain why their constituents can’t get health insurance any longer, the same as in Tennessee, Oregon, Kentucky, and so on. All Obama will do is ask rhetorical questions and pretend that he knows risk-pool management better than those who operate them … which is exactly how we got the disaster of ObamaCare in the first place.

CBO warns debt becoming unsustainable…

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CBO report forecasts unsustainable debt in long term

BY STEPHEN DINAN

The economy is sluggish but growing and inflation remains low, painting a decidedly mixed picture for the federal government, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday, saying the fiscal situation is improving this year but will snap back by 2018 to swelling deficits and unsustainable debt.

The inflation rate is so low that Social Security beneficiaries probably won’t get a cost-of-living raise after this year, the CBO said. But tax revenue is up and spending has stayed pat, which is helping reduce the pool of red ink in the federal budget.

Combined, those numbers mean the government will run a deficit of $426 billion in fiscal year 2015, down about $60 billion from 2014 and marking the smallest deficit of President Obama’s tenure.


SEE ALSO: Hillary Clinton heads to Ohio to boost slipping poll numbers


The good news will continue for a couple of years as the economy belatedly but fully rebounds from the recession of December 2007 to June 2009. By 2018, though, debt will rise as government spending grows and the economy will cool again, the CBO said.

“The growth in debt is not sustainable,”CBO Director Keith Hall said in presenting the estimates. “At some point, it’s going to get to a very high level. Obviously, you can’t predict tipping points, but at some point this becomes a problem.”

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Democrats saw the short-term outlook as progress and said it’s time to close tax breaks and bring in more revenue for spending on investments such as infrastructure.


SEE ALSO: Old Dominion University fraternity suspended for crude signs: ‘Freshman daughter drop off’


Republicans kept their focus on the longer-term warnings in the CBOreport. They noted that taxes will remain higher than their historic average over the past five decades but deficits will persist because spending will still outpace revenue.

Budget watchdogs pleaded with all sides to go beyond the numbers and talk about solutions to persistent debt.

“I don’t know how anyone can declare victory when trillion-dollar deficits are just on the horizon,” said Judd Gregg, a former senator and a co-chairman of the advocacy group Fix the Debt. “While deficits are down this year, the real story is that they are on the rise and that our national debt is at record-high levels and growing.”

Watchdogs pleaded with presidential candidates to start talking about the national debt in their campaigns.

For the most part, that conversation has been muted. Democrats have called for tax hikes to pay for more spending, and Republicans generally have focused on other issues.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, however, has sparred with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a fellow Republican presidential candidate, over the fate of Social Security. Mr. Christie argues that the program needs benefit adjustments to survive.

The CBO report said Social Security spending will be slightly lower than analysts projected five months ago because fewer people will qualify for disability payments. Still, the $66-billion-a-month payout this year makes Social Security the largest single federal program, which is projected to represent 5.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2025.

Medicare and Medicaid, the government’s health care programs for the elderly and the poor, also are growing quickly and are projected to reach a combined 6.2 percent of GDP within a decade.

Defense and other basic domestic spending, however, continue to dip as a percentage of government spending and the economy, reaching levels not seen in decades.

Democrats say cuts to domestic discretionary programs such as education and infrastructure have gone deep enough and that it’s time to reverse them, and they reject Republican calls for limits on growth in entitlement spending.

The CBO said the economy is recovering, though more slowly than predicted. The GDP, the report said, will grow 2 percent this year and rise to 3.1 percent next year before slowing again.

Mr. Hall said recent turmoil in stock markets has not changed those estimates.

“The economic fundamentals, at least so far, haven’t been changed,” he said.

In a more pressing finding, the CBOsaid the government has room to stave off a debt limit breach through November or December — a longer time frame than projected a few months ago. Mr. Hall credited higher tax receipts this year as the reason.

Debt held by the public will dip this year to 73.8 percent, down from 74 percent in fiscal year 2014, and will fluctuate for a few years before beginning a steady climb by 2020 and nearing 77 percent in 2025. Those are levels unseen since 1950, when the country was getting out from under the burden of World War II.

Report: Every Deported Illegal Household Saves Taxpayers More than $700,000

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BY JULIA HAHN

Advocates for mass-migration are using skewed financial claims to smear Donald Trump’s popular border proposals, which actually would help revive the near-bankrupt Social Security and Medicare programs.

For every illegal migrant household that leaves the United States under Trump’s plan, Americans would recoup nearly three-quarters of a million dollars ($719,350), according to 2010 data collected by Heritage scholar Robert Rector.

The lifetime savings accrued from one deported illegal household would provide funds for 125 low-income inner city students to receive the maximum Pell Grant award in 2015-2016 ($5,775); it could cover the cost of pre-kindergarten for 90 at-risk children (around $8,000 per child); or it could cover the one year cost of Medicaid for 124 enrollees ($5,790 based on FY2011 data).

But business interests want the migrants to stay. That’s because migrants help lower the cost of Americans’ wages, but also because the migrants spend their wages — plus taxpayer aid — at retail stories and rental agencies.

For example, the American Action Forum (AAF), a business-backed pro-amnesty group, claims that legal costs and forced migration would spike the cost of Trump’s plan up to $300 billion to arrest and remove all illegal immigrants living in the United States. The AAF was founded by Fred Malek, who co-founded and chairs a hospitality investment company whose hotels employ many low skilled migrants.

AAF’s cost projections have been trumpeted by many in the mainstream media such as NBC and Fox News.

In reality, “a modest increase in enforcement (such as E-verify or visa tracking) would cause significant attrition in the illegal population– sending millions of illegals home on their own at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer.” said Jessica Vaughan, policy director at the non-partisan Center for Immigration Studies.

There’s good evidence for Vaughan’s argument. “Arizona’s population of unauthorized immigrants of working age fell by about 17 percent” in the course of a single year, after the state began to enforce E-verify, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

The claim from Malek’s AAF also ignores the financial savings caused by the return of migrants to their home countries.

Illegal migrants cost U.S. taxpayers a net total of nearly $100 billion annually, concluded a 2010 investigation by the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

The 2010 report calculated the total contributions (mainly taxes) generated by the illegal migrants, and then subtracted the cost of taxpayer aid to those migrants. The aid includes education, subsidized housing, food stamps, tax credits, medical expenses. Overall, the report found illegal migrants cost taxpayers a total of $113 billion a year. The report then “accounts for taxes paid by illegal aliens [which is] about $13 billion a year, resulting in a net cost to taxpayers of about $100 billion.”

Under the Trump plan, that spending could be used to reduce taxpayer spending. The resulting savings could fund the entire federal cost of major proposals by liberal Democrats, such as a Universal Pre-Kindergarten program. President Obama’s original 2013 proposal was projected to cost $75 billion over a decade.

Or the government could allocate 60 percent more resources and benefits for returning American soldiers and veterans (increasing the President’s 2016 budget request for the VA from its current $168.8 billion to $268.8 billion)

Alternatively, public schools could have the funds to employ an additional 1.9 million elementary school teachers to help teach young Americans in already-overcrowded schools.

State and local governments could employ 1.6 million more police officers in to reduce crime in gang-besieged neighborhoods.

These savings could the expand the government’s allotment for Emergency Shelter Grants, which provide support for the homeless or victims of domestic violence, by than 400 times its 2014 budget ($250 million).

Upon first hearing the costs illegal migrants impose upon U.S. taxpayers, many find the figure difficult to believe, says Heritage’s Robert Rector:

“The debate about the fiscal consequences of unlawful and low-skill immigration is hampered by a number of misconceptions. Few lawmakers really understand the current size of government and the scope of redistribution… Unlawful immigrants, on average, are always tax consumers; they never once generate a ‘fiscal surplus’ that can be used to pay for government benefits elsewhere in society.”

Nations that are more serious about enforcing their immigration laws, however, are aware of the fiscal burdens mass migration places on its citizenry and have taken measures to combat economic strains. Israel, for example, has begun offering migrants $3,500 in cash and a one-way airplane ticket home in order to encourage repatriation.

Tech firms post want ads: foreign workers only…

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A post-graduate student-visa program is just another scheme to displace American technology workers.

BY IAN SMITH

American technology workers won a big victory in the federal courts this month. The D.C. District Court ruled that a STEM-related visa program created by the Department of Homeland Security was potentially damaging to the domestic labor market and also in violation of federal rule-making procedure. For the plaintiffs in the case, the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, however, the fight against BigTech lobbyists and Homeland Security has only just begun. DHS’s so-called Optional Practical Training (OPT) program allows foreign nationals to live and work in the U.S. on a student visa even after graduation. In a rule promulgated by DHS in 2008, foreigners graduating in a STEM field at a U.S. school had these authorizations extended to nearly two and a half years after their graduation. U.S. employers love this because, on top of the longer work period, they have a greater chance to transition them into the H-1B program, a “professional specialty worker” visa that can last up to an additional six years. Also, employers receive a tax benefit for hiring OPT participants over Americans, as they do not have to pay Medicare and Social Security taxes for aliens on student visas. Plaintiffs’ counsel, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (which I work for), argued in court that the OPT extension, created not by statute but entirely by DHS, was really just a way to circumvent the existing H-1B cap of 65,000 annual visa grants set down by Congress years before. Helpfully for us, DHS had already admitted that this was the purpose for the extension. As it explained in the agency rule creating the extension, “the H-1B category is greatly oversubscribed,” which, as a result, has “adversely affected the ability of US employers to recruit and retain skilled workers.” With the H-1B cap having been held up by Congress over the last few years, DHS did the next best thing. As H-1B guru Norm Matloff describes in a blog post discussing our case, the agency simply went ahead and created “a de facto expansion of H-1B.” Let me digress for a moment on the H-1B lottery and the “oversubscription” issue. Unlike other visas, the fees for H-1B applications are refundable; there is no penalty for oversubscribing. As a consequence, heavy H-1B users, such as the outsourcing firms that supply BigTech companies as well as BigTech companies themselves, always apply for more visas than they really want in order to get close to their target. David North at the Center for Immigration Studies explains the process here. So when you hear in the press and elsewhere that “petitions have outstripped slots yet again by two-to-one,” the numbers are merely a reflection of companies’ trying to game the lottery system. RELATED: The H-1B Visa Program Gives American Workers a Raw Deal As Matloff explains, OPT is “just as harmful as H-1B.” The two programs are now similar in size, and the benefits to BigTech are also similar. Like H-1B holders, OPTs are younger than most American technology workers, and therefore cheaper. Citing the “prevailing wage” rules that technically exist for H-1Bs, Matloff notes that “the legal wage floors for H-1Bs depend on experience” (the worker’s age, in other words), “so hiring young H-1Bs in lieu of older Americans is legal.” As he says with cases such as SoCal Edison and Disney, “age was the key factor underlying the wage savings accrued by hiring H-1Bs.” See this link for information on a similar suit against Google based on age discrimination (which the company has since settled).

In the case of OPTs, however, this “wage floor” isn’t even available; being recent graduates, they’re all young (and cheap). Further, OPT participants are even cheaper to employ because, as stated earlier, aliens on student visas are exempted from Social Security and Medicare. Fundamentally, the OPT program, like H-1B, allows BigTech firms to flood the labor market, creating artificial competition and pressuring the standard of living we’ve earned through decades of hard-fought democratic and labor reforms. The cost savings, meanwhile, get siphoned up by private technology firms, many of which grew out of taxpayer-funded military programs. Thankfully, much of this wasn’t lost on the judge. DHS had asserted that our plaintiffs didn’t have standing to sue because (a) they couldn’t prove an OPT participant actually took one of their jobs (an impossible and unfair demand) and, in the alternative, (b) the plaintiffs were currently employed and so couldn’t show any injury — all are employed, mostly in contract positions. The judge knocked down both arguments by pointing out that “an influx of OPT computer programmers would increase the labor supply, which is likely to depress plaintiff’s members’ wages and threaten their job security, even if they remain employed” (emphasis added). RELATED: ’You’re Fired — Now Train Your Replacement’ More concrete evidence was also offered. Plaintiffs showed examples of job advertisements where only OPT participants were requested to apply. As Matloff likes to note, these companies are not just using H-1Bs and OPT participants to replace American workers, as in the SoCal Edison and Disney cases; they’re also hiring them instead of American workers. And many times, it isn’t “highly skilled” types that are being imported but simply “ordinary people, doing ordinary work.” The benefits of circumventing the H-1B program are apparently big. Arguing that DHS’s chosen 29-month extension period was an arbitrary and therefore invalid decision, plaintiffs showed the court that industry lobbyists CompeteAmerica, lobbyists from Microsoft and the Chamber of Commerce, and others had all been in contact with DHS requesting the same 29-month extension. And showing just how eager it was to comply, DHS implemented the rule without going through the statutorily mandated notice-and-comment period, a window of time in which the public can criticize agency action. GET FREE EXCLUSIVE NR CONTENT DHS tried to argue in court that skipping the process was necessitated by a looming “fiscal emergency” in the U.S. economy that could be ameliorated only by letting “tens of thousands of OPT workers” join the tech industry. Whose economic analysis did DHS cite to back this up? Studies from the technology industry itself. Ultimately, although the court knocked down the OPT extension on procedural grounds, the victory is only temporary. DHS can open up the rule to notice-and-comment and try again. MORE IMMIGRATION DID FACEBOOK INTENTIONALLY BLOCK POSTS FROM CONSERVATIVE IMMIGRATION THINK TANK? ON IMMIGRATION, SANTORUM ADDS SUBSTANCE WE CAN APPLY THE 14TH AMENDMENT WHILE ALSO REFORMING BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP Further, the judge rejected our argument that the program violates the law on other, more substantive (and less procedural) grounds. According to congressionally made statute (Immigration and Naturalization Act § 1101(a)(15)(F)(i)), student visas cannot be allocated for working purposes and may be allocated only to “bona fide students . . . solely for the purpose of pursuing such a course of study . . . at an established . . . academic institution” (emphasis added). But again, OPT, entirely a DHS creation, purports to let student-visa holders join the workforce. By ignoring the stipulations of Congress, the program exceeds DHS’s statutory authority. By giving DHS the authority to redefine what a “student” is, the court is allowing the agency to set the duration and conditions of a student’s stay, potentially letting them occupy the labor market for years upon years. Good for the foreign “student,” good for the trillion-dollar tech industry, but bad for the American worker.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422943/technology-industry-foreign-workers

USA To Issue More New Green Cards In Next Ten Years Than Populations of IA, NH and SC – COMBINED…

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Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) 80%

Breitbart News has exclusively obtained text and a chart from the Senate’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, chaired by Alabama Republican

The overwhelming majority of immigration to the United States is the result of our visa policies. Each year, millions of visas are issued to temporary workers, foreign students, refugees, asylees, and permanent immigrants for admission into the United States. The lion’s share of these visas are for lesser-skilled and lower-paid workers and their dependents who, because they are here on work-authorized visas, are added directly to the same labor pool occupied by current unemployed jobseekers. Expressly because they arrive on legal immigrant visas, most will be able to draw a wide range of taxpayer-funded benefits, and corporations will be allowed to directly substitute these workers for Americans. Improved border security would have no effect on the continued arrival of these foreign workers, refugees, and permanent immigrants—because they are all invited here by the federal government.

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The most significant of all immigration documents issued by the U.S. is, by far, the “green card.” When a foreign citizen is issued a green card it guarantees them the following benefits inside the United States: lifetime work authorization, access to federal welfare, access to Social Security and Medicare, the ability to obtain citizenship and voting privileges, and the immigration of their family members and elderly relatives.

Under current federal policy, the U.S. issues green cards to approximately 1 million new Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) every single year. For instance, Department of Homeland Security statistics show that the U.S. issued 5.25 million green cards in the last five years, for an average of 1.05 million new legal permanent immigrants annually.

These ongoing visa issuances are the result of federal law, and their number can be adjusted at any time. However, unlike other autopilot policies—such as tax rates or spending programs—there is virtually no national discussion or media coverage over how many visas we issue, to whom we issue them and on what basis, or how the issuance of these visas to individuals living in foreign countries impacts the interests of people already living in this country.

If Congress does not pass legislation to reduce the number of green cards issued each year, the U.S. will legally add 10 million or more new permanent immigrants over the next 10 years—a bloc of new permanent residents larger than populations of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina combined.

This has substantial economic implications.

The post-World War II boom decades of the 1950s and 1960s averaged together less than 3 million green cards per decade—or about 285,000 annually. Due to lower immigration rates, the total foreign-born population in the United States dropped from about 10.8 million in 1945 to 9.7 million in 1960 and 9.6 million in 1970.  

These lower midcentury immigration levels were the product of a federal policy change: after the last period of large-scale immigration that had begun in roughly 1880, immigration rates were lowered to reduce admissions. The foreign-born share of the U.S. population fell for six consecutive decades, from 1910 through 1960.

Legislation enacted in 1965, among other factors, substantially increased low-skilled immigration. Since 1970, the foreign-born population in the United States has increased more than four-fold—to a record 42.1 million today. The foreign-born share of the population has risen from fewer than 1 in 21 in 1970, to presently approaching 1 in 7. As the supply of available labor has increased, so too has downward pressure on wages.

Georgetown and Hebrew University economics professor Eric Gould has observed that “the last four decades have witnessed a dramatic change in the wage and employment structure in the United States… The overall evidence suggests that the manufacturing and immigration trends have hollowed-out the overall demand for middle-skilled workers in all sectors, while increasing the supply of workers in lower skilled jobs. Both phenomena are producing downward pressure on the relative wages of workers at the low end of the income distribution.”

During the low-immigration period from 1948-1973, real median compensation for U.S. workers increased more than 90 percent. By contrast, real average hourly wages were lower in 2014 than they were in 1973, four decades earlier. Harvard Economist George Borjas also documented the effects of high immigration rates on African-American workers, writing that “a 10 percent immigration-induced increase in the supply of workers in a particular skill group reduced the black wage of that group by 2.5 percent.” Past immigrants are additionally among those most economically impacted by the arrival of large numbers of new workers brought in to compete for the same jobs. In Los Angeles County, for example, 1 in 3 recent immigrants are living below the poverty line.  And this federal policy of new large-scale admissions continues unaltered at a time when automation is reducing hiring, and when a record share of our own workers here in America are not employed.

President Coolidge articulated how a slowing of immigration would benefit both U.S.-born and immigrant-workers: “We want to keep wages and living conditions good for everyone who is now here or who may come here. As a nation, our first duty must be to those who are already our inhabitants, whether native or immigrants. To them we owe an especial and a weighty obligation.”

It is worth observing that the 10 million grants of new permanent residency under current law is not an estimate of total immigration. In fact, the increased distribution of legal immigrant visas tend to correlate with increased flows of immigration illegally: the former helps provide networks and pull factors for the latter. Most of the countries who send the largest numbers of citizens with green cards are also the countries who send the most citizens illegally. The Census Bureau estimates 13 million new immigrants will arrive, on net, between now and 2024—hurtling the U.S. past all recorded figures in terms of the foreign-born share of total population, quickly eclipsing the watermark recorded 105 years ago during the 1880–1920 immigration wave before immigration rates were lowered. Absent new legislation to reduce unprecedented levels of future immigration, the Census Bureau projects immigration as a share of population will continue setting new records each year, for all time.

Yet the immigration “reform” considered by Congress most recently—the 2013 Senate “Gang of Eight” comprehensive immigration bill—would have tripled the number of green cards issued over the next 10 years. Instead of issuing 10 million green cards, the Gang of Eight proposal would have issued at least 30 million green cards during the next decade (or more than 11 times the population of the City of Chicago).

Polling from Gallup and Fox shows that Americans want lawmakers to reduce, not increase, immigration rates by a stark 2:1 margin. Reuters puts it at a 3:1 margin. And polling from GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway shows that by the huge margin of nearly 10:1 people of all backgrounds are united in their belief that U.S. companies seeking workers should raise wages for those already living here—instead of bringing in new labor from abroad.

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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMIN: Cuts coming…

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Did You Ever Notice the Asterisk on Your Social Security Statement?

While engaging in the mundane task of gathering financial statements for a “secure retirement” meeting with my husband’s and my adviser, this Baby Boomer stumbled upon documented proof that our nation does not have the guts to confront one of its most serious economic problems. The realization came when I pulled from my files a document statement innocently titled, “Your Social Security Statement.” At first glance, the statement did not appear menacing. I was told I could expect to receive a benefit of “about $2,136 a month” upon reaching age 70 — which certainly seems like good news. But immediately I thought of a parallel of President Obama’s infamous Obamacare promise: “If you like your Social Security, you can keep your Social Security.”  Then, as if on cue, I saw an asterisk with the following message:  The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2033, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 77 percent of scheduled benefits. My full form:

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I could not believe I was seeing the equivalent of what I was just thinking, but with a new twist, “If I like my Social Security, I can keep 77 percent of it.” With an asterisk, my beloved government was informing me that they will be unable to fulfill their part of a financial arrangement into which, as their statement attested, I had been making mandatory contributions starting in 1971 at age 16.   RELATED: Marco Rubio on Saving Social Security and Medicare This impending “benefit rationing,” reducing my future financial “security” by $492 a month, may, in fact, not be the worst of it. Sitting in the back of my Social Security file was an earlier statement dated March 10, 2009. Again, followed by an asterisk was a sentence that read exactly like my 2015 statement except for two major differences (emphasis added): The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2041, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 78 percent of your scheduled benefits.

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Clearly, in 2009, the government’s prediction — that Social Security would have to be cut to 78 percent of benefits come 2041 — was overly optimistic. Now, in 2015, they are projecting 2033, eight years earlier, with one percentage point less of my projected benefits. The projections have steadily worsened over the past few years, helped by a much weaker economy than the federal government expected. Does anyone really expect these numbers to get better? The skepticism I felt when I saw my initial monthly benefit was entirely justified. There are just too many Baby Boomers and too many financial promises with elected leaders too afraid to inflict the necessary pain of real reform. RELATED: Eight Reasons We Shouldn’t Raise the Cap on Social Security Taxes  But the pain will be much, much greater when monthly Social Security benefits are rationed. Now is the time for Baby Boomers to force their elected leaders to confront this issue and take action. The planned benefit reduction should be a major talking point for every 2016 presidential candidate, but somehow it is not. Why? Politicians fear confronting the truth, and they fear Americans can’t handle it. Meanwhile, here is the truth, as stated by the Social Security Administration in its annual Trustees Report from 2014: Social Security is not sustainable over the long term at current benefit and tax rates. In 2010, the program paid more in benefits and expenses than it collected in taxes and other noninterest income, and the 2014 Trustees Report projects this pattern to continue for the next 75 years. The old cliché “demographics is destiny” has never been more applicable. In January 2011, the first 1946-born Baby Boomers began turning age 65, at the rate of 10,000 a day. This gray-haired evolution continues for 19 straight years — until the end of 2029 — when the youngest crop of Baby Boomers, born in 1964, finally turn 65. That adds up to just over 69 million former hipsters who changed America at every stage of their lives (though, of course, some of them have died). Now, many equipped with artificial hips and knees, they’re expecting generous automated deposits from the government at the first of each month. (With many millions of them over time eventually receiving far greater amounts than what they initially contributed.)

Keep in mind that those millions of surviving Baby Boomers do not include all the immigrants, also aging, who came to America in the past decades. The official total is 74.9 million Boomers native and foreign-born. Here is more truth (and pain) from the Social Security Administration: The population of retirees is projected to double in about 50 years. People are also living longer, and the birth rate is low. Baby Boomers can expect to live longer than any previous generation, which compounds the problem, and on the other side of the equation, we have the low national birth rate. Combined, the Social Security actuaries put it this way: Trustees project that the ratio of 2.8 workers paying Social Security taxes to each person collecting benefits in 2013 will fall to 2.1 to 1 in 2032. Like it or not, the worker shortage is a key reason why our government is importing immigrants (both legal and illegal). Don’t buy it? See this 50th anniversary video commemorating President Johnson’s signing Medicare into law, produced by a group promoting immigration reform — clearly implying more immigration is what’s keeping Social Security and Medicare afloat: The Social Security trustees go on to warn that “if no changes are made to the program,” they project that “assets will be sufficient to allow for full payment of scheduled benefits through 2032” — hence the most recent warning on my Social Security statement. Don’t you just love understated government language explaining what will soon become a Baby Boomer revolt? My favorite phrase: “If no changes are made to the program.” Let’s face it. Congress is never going to make changes to the program. It won’t happen, or certainly won’t happen any time soon, because (surprise) Baby Boomers themselves are against changing the benefit formulas. RELATED: The Price of the Americans with Disabilities Act So, barring some positive developments, in 18 years — or less — Washington, D.C., will be filled with aging protesters, many using walkers, wheelchairs, or scooters. They will carry signs reading, “Give me my full benefits” and “It’s my money.” Old men wearing Vietnam veteran caps will be demanding, “100 percent and no less.” By that time, it will be too late. What comes to mind is a classic 1965 song by The Who, “My Generation.” If you are of a certain age you know the famous lyrics, “I hope I die before I get old.” Now, since the Baby Boomer generation is already redefining what it means to be “old,” it’s time to rewrite the lyrics:  “I hope I die before the government goes broke.”    As things are going right now, you won’t, but it will.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421790/social-security-bankruptcy-statement-baby-boomers

VIDEO: Mark Levin Warns America About Obama’s Strategy To Demolish Our Children

Mark Levin’s latest book, Plunder and Deceit: Big Government’s Exploitation of Young People and The Future, hits bookshelves on August 4; and already, it is generating buzz.

Its premise is that the “ruling generation” is robbing the “rising generation’s” present and future.

Topics: The National Debt, Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare, Education, Immigration, Environment, Minimum Wage, National Security, and the Constitution.

Fellow former Reagan administration official Peter Ferrara highlights that Plunder and Deceit chronicles how today’s younger people are:

the first [generation] in modern history to have higher levels of poverty and unemployment and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations at the same ages. Instead of growing up and starting their own homes and families, record numbers are moving back in with mom and dad after “graduating” from college.

Watch this video where Levin reads some of his books:

“The challenge is formidable and the outcome uncertain, as is the case with most momentous causes, but there is no alternative…” write