Tuesday, February 08, 2005

California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley Resigns - Dem Dominance In CA Eroding

On February 4, 2005, California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley resigned from his office two months after an investigative audit found him grossly negligent in handling federal election funds just days before being required to give formal testimony before his peers in Sacramento.

Read this fascinating tale of the fall of 2 California state-wide office holders. The article also delves into how these high-profile losses are eroding the Democratic dominance of California politics.

By Patrick Mallon

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Who Is On Board For Social Security Reform?

Art Linkletter Backs Bush SS Plan - NewsMax.com

Despite the Democrats' insistence that there is no present crisis with Social Security, Art Linkletter says that the time to fix it is now.

"If your doctor told you that the colonoscopy you just had revealed a small cancer which is going to kill you in 25 years, I'll bet you'd consider yourself in crisis right now, wouldn't you?" Linkletter asked Fox host Neil Cavuto, while appearing on his top rated show.

The Legendary broadcaster, now head of USANext, a group supporting President Bush's plans to reform the faltering system added, "The AARP [a big critic of the Bush plan] is probably the largest liberal lobby group in Washington with some 33 million people, while my group, USANext is smaller."

Noting that he has watched the Social Security system from its birth in 1935, Linkletter, 93, said, "It was a great idea, but who could have guessed that there be this many changes in the last 40 years. For instance, when I was born in 1912, I could expect to live to be 47 - today's child can expect to live to be 77," thus collecting benefits for 22 years, a term far longer than the system was planned to handle.

Those changes, he explained, are some of the causes of the current crisis.

Responding to Cavuto's remark that many seniors quibble with the idea that SS needs fixing, Linkletter explained, "The president has already assured them that what is theirs would be theirs under any plan. They don't have to go for any adjustments or changes under the plan that the Republicans are putting forward."

Lionkletter added, "We call our group USANext - who are the next? They are our grandchildren - the are the baby boomers that are coming along right now - 76 million. But the ones who are in it now don't have to make a move. They are perfectly safe. And of course 7 out of 10 of the people who are in the 50 to 60 year group and earlier - in a recent poll that we took - were not so sure that there would be a Social Security program.

"There is no Social Security Trust find. There are only IOUs. We have only the guarantee of the government, which is fine except how is the government going to get the money - cut benefits, extend the eligiboility age? And we have to do something to allow people to get more than 2 percent return on the money they are putting in each year. If this were a private company, the government would be arrested."

Agreeing with Cavuto that the SS system was never meant to be a stand-alone retirement program, Linkletter said that in the early days it was seen as "a kind of safety raft. Now we have millions living on SS."

As for Democrat claims that there is no crisis, he said that even President Clinton admitted back in the 1990s that he thought there was a definite crisis in the system, and "we say the same thing."

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