Bureaucrat Beat: Social Insecurity, Recession and Health, and TaxDayTeaParty

One of our listeners shared some not so warm and fuzzy information from a social security statement. A brief note on the front of the statement says “In 2017 we will begin paying more in benefits than we collect in taxes. Without changes, by 2041 the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted and there will be enough money to pay only about 78 cents for each dollar of scheduled benefits. Swell.

Shouldn’t this be a major national news flash?!? Not an aside on a mailed out statement? We in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom decided we’re just glad the Bush Administration didn’t invest Social Security funds in the stock market. Yikes! But, sounds like the time has come to shore up the levees, figuratively speaking.

Here’s a sad note on our state of affairs. The Los Angeles Times wrote that more people, even the chronically ill, forgo preventive care. They just can’t afford diagnostic tests. People have lost jobs and health insurance. What can they do?

When times are tough, some say it’s smart to watch your diet and exercise. A growing number of scientists say these two things will keep the doctor away longer. New research says there’s a strong link between exercise and a reduced risk of colon cancer. The study says walk, job, bike or swim to lower risk of cancer by up to 24%. Eating lots of red meat took a hit this week too. The latest major study shows those who ate the most red meat died sooner, mostly from heart disease and cancer.

We know our heads could be handed to us on a stick for saying that in cow country, but it was the National Cancer Institute who conducted the study and released the results.

The result of the near-psychotic spending by the federal government the last 8 years set the tone for a financial free-for-all that threatens to wreck our way of life. As tax day, April 15th draws near, so do hostilities from the populus. Check out TaxDayTeaParty.com. Protests have cropped up all over the country.

In Mammoth Lakes, some of those who take the meaning of the United State to heart, love the flag and registered their complaint about the tattered American and California flags that flapped like rags above Mammoth Town offices. We discovered that many other businesses and public offices manage to honor the flag according to federal code – The Village at Mammoth, the Fire Department, the Chevron Station, Northern Inyo Hospital – to name a few.

What’s up with the Town of Mammoth and the flag thing? Citizens tell us that the Town has neglected the flag in several instances. Seems kinda simple to us in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom. Number one – look up to see if the flags are okay. Number two – mark your calendar when the flags go up on the town streets. Wow. That was easy!!!

Back to health care. At a recent health care summit in Los Angeles, federal, state and local officials talked about the issue. Safeway CEO and founder of the Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform, Steve Burd, urged the President and Congress to deal with the nation’s healthcare crisis as part of an overall plan to get the economy and business climate back on track. Governor Schwarzeneggar hosted the summit.

CEO Burd pointed to the 47 million Americans with no health insurance and the swelling cost of health care that has hit businesses hard, too. Seems Burd introduced an innovate plan for his company. Healthy Incentives Solutions encourages employees to engage in an array of preventive measures. Workers are buying into this and their conditions have improved. Nicely done, Burd.

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.


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