SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

October 18, 2012

Soc Sec increase may not be felt

COST OF LIVING

Social Security rising $21 amonth

By Rachelle Younglai REUTERS

WASHINGTON — Social Security retirement benefits for nearly 62 million Americans will go up 1.7 percent next year, the Social Security Administration said yesterday, a small increase that might not cover rising premiums for Medicare, the health-insurance program for the elderly.

The average Social Security benefit will rise about $21 a month to a total of $1,261 per month starting in January, the Social Security administrator said. That amounts to $15,132 per year.

The administrator warned that for some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase might be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.

“While this modest increase will help, much of the (cost-of-living adjustment) will be consumed by health-care and prescription costs, which continually outpace inflation,” said the AARP, an advocacy group for the elderly.

Benefits are recalculated annually based on the third quarter’s rate of consumer inflation. Government data released yesterday showed that U.S. consumer prices increased 0.6 percent in September because of higher gasoline costs.

The cost-of-living adjustment will also push up the maximum amount of annual wages subject to Social Security tax to $113,700 from $110,100, according to the administrator.

The scheduled increase in Social Security benefits likely will do little to spur reforms for the retirement program, which is on track to start running out of funds in 2033.

With $600 billion worth of tax increases and budget cuts set to take effect at the end of the year, Washington is scurrying to figure out how to protect the U.S. economy from a series of financial shocks.

Tax cuts for all Americans that were enacted under the previous Bush administration are due to expire Dec. 31 and across-the-board budget cuts are slated to start in January.

  • In addition, the payroll tax cut that funds the Social Security program is set to revert to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent at the end of the year.

That tax break for 160 million Americans was funded by increasing the fees the government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge lenders to guarantee new loans over a 10-year period.

Talk of extending the payroll tax cut worries the elderly advocacy groups, which say Social Security could be undermined if it relies on general government revenues instead of a separate, dedicated funding stream.

(Jan’s comment:    Aim to show that we don’t need to spend so much on doctoring and meds.

It is of course, my great hope that Smokinchoices,  Dr Mercola etal,  Kevin Gianni of Renegade Health , Matt Monarch of Raw Food World,   Barbara Lowe Fisher of NVIC, and most of the people in my blogroll plus the excellent articles posted here from a literal who’s who amongst the modern, “Alternative Doctors”  – – yes all of these, even tho the list goes on and on, have been blessed to be able to reach out and inform people that we have choices even tho we live in a more heavily polluted world now  – – we can still effectively take charge of our lives and bring our health into harmony with our intentions of expressing robust good health.   

The drive must come from self.  Without that desire, we can’t get our rocket off the ground.   With the passion to do and a bit of applied effort in learning what your body is needing and trying to tell you,  you can regain your balance and health while discarding the need for medicines (pharmaceuticals which always carry multiple side effects that are sometimes worse than the problems one is trying to fix).   The goal is to eat the best food possible (whole, fresh and organic) rather than prepared anything in boxes, packages or cans.  

As I see it, the methods to get to your goal of good health can be achieved by so many paths or ways, that the very diversity of  choices can be off-putting and confusing.  What is best?   Paleo?  Plant foods?  Raw foods?  Juicing?  Do I need supplements? What about Dr McDougall saying “you don’t need vitamins”?  What about the Cordain advice not to eat grains because they aren’t compatible with the human capacity to properly digest?   And Dr McDougall says we are starchivores and Need our grains and beans and potatoes?    Well,  life’s a bitch sometimes.  Here is where our own uniqueness and individuality comes in      

No two of us are alike.  And I’m kinda willing to say they are all RIGHT! I have to choose what’s right for me and you do too.  I spent almost ten years with Dr McDougall’s plans and it seemed to work for me.  Plant based foods seemed to end Arthritis pain and I needed that.  I was not strict vegan at all.  Used butter and eggs and Olive oil and so on.  Occasional meat and fowl  and fish.  I was raising my granddaughters so there was more to consider than just my own needs.   I’m such a blabbermouth, Ive bored you with all this before many, many times.  So skipping over lengthy details, after immersing into Paleo Diet (thank you, dear Son Jeff) my world (and mind) widened.  After the years with McDougall, I couldn’t just leap into a lot of meat – nor could I afford to – the cost of grass raised is costly for my budget.  Paleo however is not about just gorging on proteins.  Our ancestors foraged on plants, etc.   I truly like the science of how the body received and handled the various foods we ingest.    Much of what we do in our current time assaults our body and forces it to labor needlessly to rid itself of non-food (unacceptable) “stuff”.   Yet, sadly, we are also (mostly) not providing the essentials the body DOES  need.  Like minerals which come only from the plant world.  

If I may digress here, I have often referred to David Wolf’s article on Aging as superior information and it is.  But equally important and perhaps even more useful on a daily basis is one nearby (9-3-10), called “Missing Link for Longevity”.  Once you get there, you find a down-loadable booklet with a pretty floral cover entitled Beauty through Mineralization Program. It’s great value is in discussing the properties of the minerals and why we need them and what for and where we can find them from the foods we eat. That is something you can use!  So from Dr McDougall, we learned we don’t need calcium nor do we need dairy in order to maintain our bony structure beautifully.  And that’s a fact.   It’s decades since I tried to swallow a calcium tablet (which was always hard for me).  

My son Jeff who is knowledgeable regarding the health and conditioning of the body tells me that for all his years of working with his clientele, he has found that people really want to know what to eat for various purposes (losing weight, bulking up, slimming down etc), and they have always requested that kind of help.  People tell him  “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.”   He may be right. . .but I maintain that free-will and personal choice must dominate.   There is something innate about our right to choose and it should not be violated, because to do so would risk among other things, eventual rebellion due to being coerced (says I of the rebel consciousness).  

What do I know?  It is my opinion that one must choose some path which sounds plausible and within the parameters of what one has learned and is in agreement.  Give it an honest go.   If a need for  change surfaces,  choose again, go with it and when a comfortable decision has been reached,  there will be a happiness and satisfaction with it.  There will be energy and full function barring serious physical flaw or damage. There will seldom be a reason or need to see a doctor and no medicines are needed.  And that, my friends is how we can fix this well meaning but out-of-control medical system in America.  You get well and tell your friends about it and soon there are more well people than suffering patients.  These hopes are why I get up in the morning.  Good nite,   . . . . .  .   Jan)

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