The elderly will face another double-digit rise in their Medicare premiums next year, resulting in monthly payments of nearly $100. The monthly premiums for supplementary medical insurance will rise from $88.50 to at least $98.40, the Bush administration projected Tuesday. That's an 11.2 percent increase, and it's possible the amount will be slightly higher.
The House voted Tuesday to forbid the use of credit cards to settle online bets, an effort to halt mushrooming interest in Internet gambling. Opponents said it wouldn't work and decried exceptions for state-run lotteries and a horse racing industry that has powerful patrons in Congress. The vote was 317-93. "The House has acted very strongly on this measure," said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, [R-Va], one of the bill's lead sponsors. "I think that should send a strong signal that we need for the Senate to act."
At least our Congress has their priorities straight. How about a "strong signal" that the elderly can afford health care, which is pretty much the only thing they can count on using at some time. As a point of reference, last year Social Security benefits increased 4.1%, putting our old folks 7% behind. Not to mention the skyrocketing costs of gasoline, property taxes and life in general; the old-timers will have to barricade themselves inside their homes. Don't get old, gang; or if you plan on it, save those soon-to-be worthless pennies.
But the good news is, we're putting the clamps on that Internet gambling thing. How did that even become an issue? Do you think there might be a few other things our Congress should be addressing other than people who like to gamble on-line? Such as:
Developing alternative-fueled vehicles
Finding a way to lower the federal budget deficit
Getting our troops the Hell out of the Middle East
Figuring out how to make higher education more affordable
Protecting our environment
Working on a plan to have honest, reliable elections
You get the idea. Not to mention the Senate's failure to pass an increase to the federal minimum wage, which has been $5.15 since 1997. That's 9 years, at $10,300 a year. Do we see a trend here? Continued suppression of both the low-end of the economic scale and the elderly. If you are in the middle somewhere, count your blessings, because they will soon come for you, too. All that will be left are George Bush, his family, friends, the heirs of Dick Cheney - and all the people just like them. You know, the ones who like to make it so that there is a huge difference between them and the rest of us.
It's all part of the federal government's Cradle-to-the-Grave Poverty Plan, or as the Bush Administration would phrase it, "The Grey Skies Initiative".
So far, it is a rousing success.
Excuse me, while I kiss my ass goodbye.