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McCain Sparks Controversy with Social Security 'Disgrace' Comments

By Jonathan Weisman and Michael D. Shear
John McCain once said economics was not his strong suit. Well, today, Social Security became a problem for the presumptive Republican nominee, too.

In remarks at a town hall meeting in Denver Monday, which are only now catching up to him, the presumptive Republican nominee laid out what he likes to call "a little straight talk."

"Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed," he said.

If that payment system is a disgrace, it has been one since Social Security was created during the Great Depression. For as long as the popular program has existed, today's workers have paid the benefits of today's retirees. Future problems are projected as Baby Boomers retire and the ratio of workers to retirees begins to shrink to levels that may not be able to support the benefits now promised. But the system has not changed since Franklin Delano Roosevelt created it.

Reaction to McCain's statement has been slow to burble, but it is beginning to burst.

"What I don't understand is why reporters don't ask: If Senator McCain doesn't want payroll taxes to fund Social Security (as has long been the case), then how does he propose to pay for it?" asked Reed Hundt, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and a Barack Obama supporter, on the Talking Points Memo blog. Matthew Yglesias, on the Atlantic magazine's blog, said McCain decided that urinating on the third rail of American politics would be a good idea. And the Democratic National Committee convened a conference call with union leaders and liberal economists to blast the Arizona senator's comments.

McCain sought to clarify his remarks this afternoon on the Straight Talk Express. Young people, he said, "are paying so much that they are paying into a system that they won't receive benefits from on its present track that its on, that's the point."

The Social Security trustees "have clearly stated its going to go bankrupt," he said, adding that this is what he meant when he called the system a disgrace. "I don't think that's right," he said. "I don't think it's fair, and I think it's terrible to ask people to pay in to a system that they won't receive benefits from. That's why we have to fix it."

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 9, 2008; 5:36 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , John McCain  
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Comments

Joe, maybe you should look up why social security was created and what it has done to help America. Once you've done that, then you're welcome to come back and make a more intelligent argument.

Posted by: Mark | July 20, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll be graduating and starting work in less than two years and I'm dreading having to pay into social security. Even if payments were absolutely guaranteed for the future, I think I can earn substantially higher rates of return on my own. Ideally, I'd love to see the system eliminated entirely, but since that's not really feasible, privitization sounds good to me.

I've never really understood why social security is a such a golden calf in American politics. It's hideously expensive (social security is over 600 billion and medicare is another 400 billion) and, not only does it provide a bad rate of return for the retirees relative to what they could have earned had they been permitted to keep their money when they were working, but, accepting that the money was taxed, it's a bad rate of return for the nation. It takes money from those who work and gives it to those who previously worked instead of investing it in those who will work in the future. Quite simply, we are investing a trillion dollars a year in the nation's past (the elderly), instead of the nation's future (children).

Posted by: Joe | July 14, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I've been discussing just this subject with members of the largest segment of the population ever to reach retirement age... When these people started working, the government promised to keep the money they paid in social security safe, but instead squandered it away on various special interest projects so they wouldn't have to commit the politically unpopular task of asking for tax money.
Now that these people have reached the precipice and end of their ability to earn any longer, the corrupt pirates who stole from their fund tell them to go and start over to prepare for retirement.
The U.S. is considering or has made reparations for injustices to East Timor, African slaves, victims of sexual abuse, Japanese interned during WW2, ethnic Hawaiians, clean-up of the Bikini atolls, native Americans, injustices committed during wars or warlike actions, aviation businesses closed down by the government edict following 911... anyway, hundreds if not thousands of reparation efforts underway or already settled. But, there's absolutely nothing for the majority middle class working people who footed the bulk of collected taxes the last 50 years... Whose retirement was stolen out from underneath them, leaving a nearly collapsed retirement program which THEY paid for?
It makes you wonder how government could ever in good conscience prosecute labor leaders for stealing from their own member's pension funds. If there ever was any difference between union thugs and politicians, it has surely vaporized?

Posted by: Terrified Citizen | July 13, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused, is McCain a bigamist - or an adulterer?

And how can that be pro-family-values ...

I thought the Mormon lost the Grand Theft Party nomination ...

Posted by: Will in Seattle | July 11, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Read this: McCain' Adultery.
No wonder he is flip flopper. His past speaks for him.
A greedy opportunist, lewd character and not to mention his stupidity.

http://www.nolanchart.com/article2957.html

Posted by: Jeet | July 11, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Vgirl....there are no guarantees in life. Get over it. Stock...the government...it's all risky. I say...let me make my own decisions. I have seen what government can do...
At least people got prosecuted at Enron.
What of SS? Who is getting nailed for that failure?
I think crooked execs need nailed to a tree...how's that sound? I am a conservative..and I'm against the thing that happened at Enron...not for it.
The government is not going to offer you the standard of living you want. You need to be smart...evaluate options...take thoughtful risks...and pray that it works for you. Because with government...you can send your money and pray...but you can't make choices.

Hmm...I thought this country was built on personal accountability, responsibility, and freedoms like choice.

And to the person that says SS needs to have a more progressive tax...easy for you to say. I can just as easily say that you only get what you pay in. So....the $500 a year you're likely contributing isn't gonna mean jack when you retire (at the government's rate of return). Now...$500 over time in the market is a much better opportunity.

By the way...what happens when you invest in the market? Capital is used to do things like GIVE YOU A JOB, buy equipment at companies THAT GIVE YOU A JOB....
Liberals can't make the connection. Always want a government solution.

Posted by: MakeUsProud | July 11, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

McCain doesn't know how Social Security works for all the people because he's never had to use it--he's got a wealthy wife who supports him in the style she's grown up with while spending $750,000 on a shopping spree. He's got his military pension, Congressional pension and healthcare for life! He's shown how little he understands the people of this country who actually work for a living and are the sole support of this country-generation after generation. Bye! Bye! McPain!

Posted by: Shirley | July 11, 2008 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Yes, McCain is old, but he does not need to bury himself before he is dead.

Putting his oily hands on social security is a strategic mistake. Recall the 2004 election where Bush beat Kerry and was at an all time high -- "we have political capital and we intend to spend it". Then he went after social security, which was the beginning of his downfall. America absolutely will not tolerate Republican economics handling social security. And now McCain tries to do the same? It is almost as if he is trying to lose this election.

Posted by: Mark Baity | July 10, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

washingtonpost.com
Posted at 5:36 PM ET on Jul 9, 2008 | Category: John McCain

"Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed,"

All I've got to say where is the money I've paid in for more than 50 years? Paying SS at the or near the max rate since 1958.

Posted by: Carl | July 10, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey caroltate2, have you been to California? You may be surprised, but most of these illegal aliens are making less than minimum wage, and even if they did make minimum wage, that's not enough to live in California because the cost of living is outrageous there. I think you ought to do a little reading and education before you make pronouncements like this. But anyway, I am not surprised to see people who don't understand the various issues voting republican. People like you are the foundation of the Republican party.

Posted by: Don | July 10, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Terry,

It's pretty much a given that McCain doesn't pump his own gas. Late last month he was asked if he knew how much a gallon of gas cost. He said he didn't remember the last time he bought gas, and added "I don't see how it matters."

Posted by: BZ | July 10, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm currently on SSDisability. What I receive each month amounts to about $6/hr. But illegal aliens get minimum wage which in CA is $8/hr. I worked & paid into the SS & Medicare programs for 35 yrs. The government keeps no records of what you pay into the system for either SS or Medicare. The amount you receive for SS is determined on the income you received for the last 7-10yrs you worked. If you don't qualify for Medi-cal they take the medicare payments out of your SS monthly payments. What happened to the money I paid into the system for 35yrs. The System isn't broke, its the people who run the system. I'm just so sick & tired of you bamabots blaming everything on the Republicans for the mess....Your Democrats are just as guilty! I've been a democrat since 1961.....I have left the Dem Party cause instead of doing something for all people of this country all you do is blame everyone else for our problems & have done nothing to solve it! McCain '08

Posted by: caroltate2 | July 10, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Is this all the republicans got?What a disappointment.He doe not understand economist,he wants to bomb bomb Iran, he wants to poison Iran with cigarettes,he wants to stay in Iraq for a hundred years when the Iraqis want us to leave, he knows nothing about the insurance company paying for viagara and not pay for birth control pills.What does he knows?But Mcsame just keep talking, maybe your followers will catch on.

Posted by: Carolyn LeBeauf | July 10, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is nearly as stupid as his good buddy, George W. Bush. I can't believe he is actually running for president. Is this the best person the Grand Oil Party could come up with? Is John McCain just a throw in after the "in the toilet" Bush administration? This guy is shocking.

Posted by: Dave | July 10, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

What the McCain-friendly MSM won't dare to say is that essentially, McCain is opposed to Social Security as we know it. He would undermine the system by allowing younger workers to divert 20 percent of their social security taxes into private accounts that would pay their benefits only. And while he talks vaguely about fiscal responsibility, in 1999, he voted yes on a proposal to fund tax cuts by tapping into the SS surplus.
http://www.ontheissues.org/Economic/John_McCain_Social_Security.htm

Posted by: Patrick | July 10, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

plus.... SS will not be bankrupt. Young people today, like myself, if nothing changes, will be receiving a large chunk (70 to 85%) of what we should be receiving.

That's the shortfall, not a bankrupt SS where young people receive nothing in their retirement.

Right now somebody making $400,000 per year, or even $4 million per year, pay the exact same amount into social security as somebody making $90,000 a year (it might even be lower). How about a more progressive tax system?


For all you tax whiners, taxes are investments into our community that we all benefit from. You're whining now? Do a little research and look at what the tax rates for the rich 10, 20, 30, and 40 years ago. You'll be amazed. Progressive taxation took us out of the Gilded AGe, and into the age of a strong middle class.

Take away the middle class, and you are taking away true democracy.

Posted by: bejugo | July 10, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

SS can be fixed. This is not just another government give away, but is a defined benefit pension plan. Unfortunately, our government officials began using it to spend, offset deficit spending (think about how far in debt the government would be without using surplus SS contributions!). Annual payments to SS should be the same to all no matter the amount of earned income. The reason why this is not supported is that employers do not want the added liability even though it would be in behalf of their highly-compensated management employees.However, they have no problem compensating top management in the millions of dollars. We do continue paying for all earned income into Medicare, so this would not be a new innovation. In addition, when the government takes excess SS contributions and issues Treasuries, they should be paying interest at the current rate at the time they "borrowed" the money. After all, they have to pay current interest rates to other countries who buy our Treasuries (China). I believe at one time it was illegal for the Federal government to pay more than 2% interest to SS, but I do not know if that is still the law.

Last, but not least, the control of SS should be taken out of the hands of the government and be administrated by an independent Board of Trustees who will rule based upon the best interest of the SS Fund, not the government.SSA does have actuaries that can calculate what the impact of these changes would be and probably surprise the American public of the impact.Private placements by individual participants managing their own contributions is not a good idea. However, a Board of Trustees could do this for the overall fund. The risk factor would be much less.

Posted by: leonard | July 10, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

After reading the posts here, a lot of people appear to be missing the point.

The point is not the problem with way Social Security is set up, the point is that McCain is CLUELESS as to how the system works and made comments showing that on Monday and Wednesday.

Apparently Lieberman wasn't there to whisper in his ear.

McCain is clueless about many things and it shows more and more each day:

www.StopThinkVote.com: McCain Quotes

Posted by: DMW, FL | July 10, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

If McSame wants to "fix it" because the "young people" are paying into a system that they will receive nothing from, then why doesn't he champion reform?
His idea of reform is the privatization of retirement accounts through investments etc. This will make Wall St. happy as hell if all of those new accounts are opened up without any guarantee of profit or stability to the investors.
I think that the social security tax should be equal regardless of income. Right now it's capped at $102k and any earnings above that # are not taxable.
If a factory worker is making $50k per year the SS tax is $3,000 per year. A person earning making $100,000 per yr. is taxed $6,000 per yr. But a person making $250,000 is taxed the same as the former, just $6k.
The top 1% of earners pay a pittance of their earned income to SS. If they were required to pay the standard 6% the system might just recover and begin to fill the coffers for the X generations retirement.

Posted by: itstherecit | July 10, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you include in your article one of the primary causes of social security insolvency. Congress under both parties has withdrawn funds from the trust fund to pay for present day expenses.

When you reduce the principle upon which interest is being earned you sacrifice all the future earnings that would have resulted otherwise. I wish some financial expert would go back and add in those withdrawn funds at the time they were withdrawn, calculate the interest those withdrawn funds would have generated and compare that to the current problem in the social security system.

One source puts the figure at nearly $4 trillion dollars. If that $4 trillion were returned today and generated a measly 3% annual return, Social Security benefits could be raised by $2,000 a year and the solvency problem would be solved. Just think how much more would have been generated over time if that $4 trillion dollars was never taken out.

Posted by: William | July 10, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

One more thing. For all of you Republicans who think private accounts are such a great deal to help pay for your retirement, you'd better find a way to end the Enron type scandals your policies helped promote. In turn, you had better find a way to ensure the stock market provides the type of financial floor / minimum you will need as you retire. (You ca be sure that this type of structure will force more and more financial responsibility onto the individual and their private account as the gov't moves further and further away from any support of your retirement over time.) If you can't do that you'd better figure out how to time your retirement during a period when the market has been on the rise for quite a while or you will find yourself unable to retire and working longer, because the bulk of your hoped for funds are not going to be there in the amounts you will need. Further more, you'd better withdraw everything when you retire because you won't have much time to make up for any losses if the market should plunge while you are retired.

Think where you and your private account would be if you had been relying on it as your main retirement hedge over the past year while the market has plunged.

Also, no matter what individual private funding you put in place, there will be those who will not be able to manage such accounts well and you and the gov't will still be forced to find a way to pay for their retirement unless of course with your callous and indifferent selves you figure they can just live in poverty with only themselves to blame.

Privatization is not the answer. It may help the rich and financial savvy but it will surely further hinder the poor and less educated.

Posted by: Vgirl1 | July 10, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Praise for Obama?
But he is just a political science professor who's supposed to know his stuff, Bob.
Having a political science professor for a President is like have your coach playing the quarterback. It is not about him anymore. It is about you, the ordinary players. You are so lame and it is a disgrace/.

Posted by: pete | July 10, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

First as usual, the media has not paid much attention to this gaff and lack of economic understanding by Sen McShame. If Sen Obama had made such a comment the media would have been talking about it every minute of every hour for at least a week, probably a month.

Second, McShame's comment shows more than a lack of understanding. It speaks to his disregard for today's seniors receiving benefits whom he now indirectly disparages for receiving these benefits. His implication is that all of a sudden they are living off others, when in fact these seniors are merely withdrawing monies from a pool into which they paid all of their working lives.

The real problem over time with Soc Sec has not been just that there is an imbalance of workers vs recipients. While that imbalance has occurred, the real problem with Soc Sec is that the government placed Soc Sec funds into the general fund and used it for things other than Soc Sec benefits. Until the gov't really puts Soc Sec into a real "locked box" to keep it from being plundered to pay for other things, we will continue to have the magnitude of the problem we have.

The bad part of this is that the gov't is not being truthful with Americans as to what is really occurring and continues to use scare tactics as a means to try to change the system vs trying to protect the system as it was intended.

Most telling and key though, is that the media has not "called out" McShame on his bungling misconception of this key economic issue as they should have.


Posted by: Vgirl1 | July 10, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Of course it's no revelation that Social Security is a pay as you go system. But that's the problem. Pay as you go is very workable as long as you have a huge pool of workers relative to retirees receiving benefits. But that's not the case anymore. There are far fewer workers supporting each retiree and retirees are living longer. The current system is simply demographically unsustainable without jacking up the payroll taxes, cutting benefits, and raising the retirement age. And exactly how will that benefit me (a Gen Xer)? McCain didn't go far enough in his remarks...the whole Social Security system is a disgrace...a massive fraud and long-running pyramid scheme for post Baby Boomers. I have absolutely no expectation that I'll ever see any benefits by the time I retire. As far as I'm concerned, all the money I've "contributed" in FICA over the years might as well have been flushed down the toilet.

Posted by: joel | July 10, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Frankly most people I know think that Social Security is a broken thing. A woman I know doesn't even get enough to feed herself and pay her bills not only that but her grandson, who is disabled, was given the runaround by social security when he tried to get the benefits that he needed. The people at the social security office treated him like he was a liar and wouldn't even look at the evidence that he had presented. He could have lifted up his shirt and shown them the giant scars that he has to prove it but they wouldn't listen to a thing he says so frankly I do agree that Social Security is broken and anyone who has an idea of how to fix it has my vote!

Posted by: E. | July 10, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Mccains medals

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 27 October to 8 December 1967. His captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.

However, John McCain's actual behavior from October to December 1967 is quite different from the Navy's version of events.

On October 27, 1967, four days after being shot down, McCain called for a North Vietnamese guard. He told the officer, "O.K., I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital." -U.S. News and World Report, May 14, 1973 article written by former POW John McCain

McCain was taken to Gai Lam military hospital. (U.S. government documents) "Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I [McCain] did not cooperate. Eventually, I gave them my ship's name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant." Page 193-194, Faith of My Fathers by John McCain

On Nov. 9, 1967, Hanoi press began quoting the seriously injured McCain giving specific military information.

One report dated read, "To a question of the correspondent, McCain answered: 'My assignment to the Oriskany, I told myself, was due to serious losses in pilots, which were sustained by this aircraft carrier (due to its raids on the North Vietnam territory - VNA) and which necessitated replacements.

"'From 10 to 12 pilots were transferred like me from the Forrestal to the Oriskany.

"'Before I was shot down, we had made several sorties. Altogether, I made about 23 flights over North Vietnam.'"

In that report, McCain was quoted describing the number of aircraft in his flight, information about rescue ships, and the order of which his attack was supposed to take place.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, the U.S. Veteran Dispatch acquired a declassified Department of Defense (DOD) transcript of an interview prominent French television reporter Francois Chalais had with McCain.

Chalais told of his private interview with POW McCain in a series titled Life in Hanoi, which was aired in Europe. In the series, Chalais said his meeting with McCain was "a meeting which will leave its mark on my life."

"My meeting with John Sidney McCain was certainly one of those meetings which will affect me most profoundly for the rest of my life. I had asked the North Vietnamese authorities to allow me to personally interrogate an American prisoner. They authorized me to do so.

"When night fell, they took me---without any precautions or mystery--to a hospital near the Gia Lam airport reserved for the military. (passage omitted) The officer who receives me begins: I ask you not to ask any questions of political nature. If this man replies in a way unfavorable to us, they will not hesitate to speak of 'brainwashing' and conclude that we threatened him.

"'This John Sidney McCain is not an ordinary prisoner. His father is none other than Admiral Edmond John McCain, commander in chief of U.S. naval forces in Europe. (passage omitted)'"

". . . Many visitors came to talk to me [John McCain]. Not all of it was for interrogation. Once a famous North Vietnamese writer-an old man with a Ho Chi Minh beard-came to my room, wanting to know all about Ernest Hemingway . . . Others came to find out about life in the United States.

"They figured because my father had such high military rank that I was of the royalty or governing circle . . . One of the men who came to see me, whose picture I recognized later, was Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, the hero of Dienbienphu." U.S. News and World Report, May 14, 1973 article written by former POW John McCain

December 1967, Vietnamese doctors operate (early December) on McCain's Leg. Later that month, six weeks after he was shot down, McCain was taken from the hospital and delivered to Room No. 11 of "The Plantation" into the hands of two other U.S. POWs, Air Force majors George "Bud" Day and Norris Overly. They helped further nurse him along until he was eventually able to walk by himself. --Faith of My Fathers by John McCain

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"John McCain once said economics was not
his strong suit."

Yes. Senator McCain is doing great: Honesty is the best policy.

Posted by: Premier | July 10, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Even his own party members won't campaign with or for him for fear his stink will rub off. Mccain is just a dime a dozen do nothing politician in Washington. Nothing special, no prospect of greatness, he is nothing, hell, less then nothing

+++++++++
Is there anybody who is really excited about McCain's presidential campaign? I hear lots of attacks from both sides and I also hear praise for Obama, but I haven't heard anybody yet praise McCain.

Posted by: Bob McGee | July 10, 2008 2:10 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Hero, are you F'n kidding me. He was another rich boy hiding in collage to get out of real service to his country. He should have been thrown out of the naval academy and into the regular army if not for his family. He finished almost as low in his class as you could get 894 out of 899. He got into flight school only because of his family, he was completely unqualified and crashed five planes.

He spent most of his time drunk, a fact that has been confirmed by everyone who knew him, not rumors. This lazy SOB never volunteered for anything in his life. He never was a leader or commanded men at all. He has medals that can't even be accounted for he got because of his father. Once out of the service he got into politics with a career bought for him by his rich father-in-law.

I have to say his life is such a complete batch of lies the American people would have to be almost as stupid as Mccain himself to buy it. He is a complete phony, and that is a fact.

He reminds me of RDF in a way. They pretended FDR could walk and everybody went along with the lie. Mccain the hero is such a batch of BS yet everybody pretends it is true and no one calls him on his phony history.

++++++++++
Yes, Bob, there are plenty of people excited about John McCain's candidacy! I feel it is a privilege and an honor to support this great American hero in his run for the Presidency. I'm afraid there is so much more emphasis on Obama because it's like seeing a jackass at a thoroughbred race--you just can't believe what you are seeing!

Posted by: RR/FL | July 10, 2008 8:35 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Funny how the Washington Post strains to try to criticize Sen. McCain when it admits what Sen. McCain said - our Social Security system as it is today and as it has always been will become bankrupt if it isn't changed. Contrary to the quotes from the Obama supporters, Sen. McCain has proposed a system where taxpayers have the option to invest their Social Security taxes which will help address the probelm. And Obama's position is???

Posted by: BrettW | July 10, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

What's a disgrace is that the free press in this country is corporate owned, and thus we don't see the truth. We don't see the dead bodies coming back from Iraq. We don't see out of work families losing their homes, etc.

That truly is disgraceful. Like wiping the entire country's behind with the constitution.

Posted by: jeffp | July 10, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Bob, there are plenty of people excited about John McCain's candidacy! I feel it is a privilege and an honor to support this great American hero in his run for the Presidency. I'm afraid there is so much more emphasis on Obama because it's like seeing a jackass at a thoroughbred race--you just can't believe what you are seeing!

Posted by: RR/FL | July 10, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Bob, there are plenty of people excited about John McCain's candidacy! I feel it is a privilege and an honor to support this great American hero in his run for the Presidency. I'm afraid there is so much more emphasis on Obama because it's like seeing a jackass at a thoroughbred race--you just can't believe what you are seeing!

Posted by: FlaLady | July 10, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

To Jon Weisman and Michael Shear:

Don't you guys read your own newspaper?

Check out your colleague Russell Beland's July 6th piece, "Myths About the Bust That Will Follow the Boom(ers)"

Why are you perpetuating the mis-information of SS brought about by McCain's irresponsible statement! You are as much of the problem as politicians like McCain who are playing to peoples' fears.

Posted by: TP | July 10, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Strong Dollar | July 10, 2008 3:11 AM | Report abuse

Give the poor man a break, he has never needed social security. He doesn't really have to pay for anything. I doubt he even knows how to email or pump his gas using a credit card. ATM machine? He gets the best health care the Senate can provide without the need to worry about being stuck in a VA hospital. All he really knows is how to schmooze the press and be schmoozed by lobbyists. 30 years in Washington? Let us be frank, the man was fossilized last century.

Posted by: Terry | July 10, 2008 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Is there anybody who is really excited about McCain's presidential campaign? I hear lots of attacks from both sides and I also hear praise for Obama, but I haven't heard anybody yet praise McCain.

Posted by: Bob McGee | July 10, 2008 2:10 AM | Report abuse

I keep reading the statement that Social Security has not changed since Franklin Delano Roosevelt created it. That is like saying the automobile has not changed since the Model T.

More benefits have been added, the tax rate has gone up, and the ceiling on income subject to the FICA tax has gone up. Also various ways have been tried to account for Social Security in the budget which has resulted in some less than honest accounting.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 10, 2008 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Xantiphi - while a great reason to overturn this writer's argument, it is incorrect. The original Social Security Act, which included Unemployment Insurance among other welfare programs, enacted payroll taxes on employers and their employees to pay for current retirees. It was a way to supply more jobs to the growing workforce and pay new retirees a living wage. This act was brought about during The Great Depression - do you think our government had the finances to create a "fund"?

McCain's comments show he is just unaware. There is no sin there, because he is a military legislator and we shouldn't expect him to be a constitutional or economic expert. Our real problem is that we expect too much of our Executive in a diversified and complex post-industrialized system.

I am an Obama supporter, but I do not support the nit-picking attacks on McCain's intelligence. Shame on all of you for joining the folly of popularity!

Posted by: gp | July 10, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Re: If that payment system is a disgrace, it has been one since Social Security was created during the Great Depression. For as long as the popular program has existed, today's workers have paid the benefits of today's retirees. Future problems are projected as Baby Boomers retire and the ratio of workers to retirees begins to shrink to levels that may not be able to support the benefits now promised. But the system has not changed since Franklin Delano Roosevelt created it.
_______________________________________
Social security was originally
in a fund all by itself as long as it was left alone there was plenty to pay SS...then the government saw all the money in the SS fund & started borrowing the money and putting in IOU's...until they wiped out the SS fund. and now are dependant on those working to pay SS from current day taxes.

John McCain is right the writer of Article doesn't know anything about Social Security funds.

Posted by: Xantiphi | July 10, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Re: If that payment system is a disgrace, it has been one since Social Security was created during the Great Depression. For as long as the popular program has existed, today's workers have paid the benefits of today's retirees. Future problems are projected as Baby Boomers retire and the ratio of workers to retirees begins to shrink to levels that may not be able to support the benefits now promised. But the system has not changed since Franklin Delano Roosevelt created it.
_______________________________________
Social security was originally
in a fund all by itself as long as it was left alone there was plenty to pay SS...then the government saw all the money in the SS fund & started borrowing the money and putting in IOU's...until they wiped out the SS fund. and now are dependant on those working to pay SS from current day taxes.

John McCain is right the writer of Article doesn't know anything about Social Security funds.

Posted by: Jen | July 10, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Re: If that payment system is a disgrace, it has been one since Social Security was created during the Great Depression. For as long as the popular program has existed, today's workers have paid the benefits of today's retirees. Future problems are projected as Baby Boomers retire and the ratio of workers to retirees begins to shrink to levels that may not be able to support the benefits now promised. But the system has not changed since Franklin Delano Roosevelt created it.
_______________________________________
Social security was originally
in a fund all by itself as long as it was left alone there was plenty to pay SS...then the government saw all the money in the SS fund & started borrowing the money and putting in IOU's...until they wiped out the SS fund. and now are dependant on those working to pay SS from current day taxes.

John McCain is right the writer of Article doesn't know anything about Social Security funds.

Posted by: Jen | July 10, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

The mere thought of John McCain in the white house literally scares the bejeebee's out of me!!!

This country cannot tollerate the antics of another C- legacy admission that's in way way way over his head. Enough macho bravado - I want intelligence leading the country. McCain just doesn't fit the bill.

Posted by: JDB | July 9, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Don | July 9, 2008 11:28 PM

Obama has stated what he will do to fund these programs, such as adding a tax to those who make more than $250,000 per year, ending corporate tax breaks to companies that shift jobs overseas, etc
-----------------------------------------
I somehow doubt that is going to raise enough revenue to fund all the things that Barack Obama has promished particularly since the top fifty percent of wage earners now pay ninety percent of the taxes.

It seems like another talking point that sounds good but does not really address the problem.

At least, John McCain admitted that economics was not his strong point. I assume he has experts to fill him in on economic matters. It seems like Obama needs some economic advisors big time.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 9, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind paying taxes so older people can retire. I'd like social security to be there for me, but if it isn't, then a few dollars a month is a small price to pay so that I don't have to step over senior citizens begging in the streets on my way to work.

Posted by: Judy | July 9, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

danielhancock wrote: "Also how is Barack Obama going to pay for comprehensive health coverage for everyone when we cannot even fund Medicare which is drowning in red ink?"

Unlike Republicans, Obama has stated what he will do to fund these programs, such as adding a tax to those who make more than $250,000 per year, ending corporate tax breaks to companies that shift jobs overseas, etc.... That's the difference between Democrats and Republicans: Republicans promise the world without explaining how they are going to pay for it (which ultimately comes to huge deficits), while Democrats do explain it and ultimately balance budgets. If you, like the Republican politicians think deficits don't matter, then maybe you should look into the weakness of the American dollar and its correlation to oil prices.

Posted by: Don | July 9, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

F U McShame and all his little lambs that support him, No really the next McShame supporter I see I am going to punch in the Face. I hope it is one of you NEO CONS I am done trying to be nice to these people, AS for baby O I will punch one of them in the face, just to pc.

Posted by: RaferJanders | July 9, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

The government has stolen $5 Trillon dollars from the Social Security fund - Bush gave a Trillon dollars of the fund to his the rich in tax cuts! There never was a budget surplus, only a surplus in Social Security funds that should have been invested to pay off future claims against the system. Now that republicans have used up all the surplus, they want to change the rules on payouts!

Posted by: dman | July 9, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Raising the cap on earnings subject to FICA withholding is nowhere near enough. It is like getting a coupon good for five dollars off the purchase of the Trump Tower.

Also how is Barack Obama going to pay for comprehensive health coverage for everyone when we cannot even fund Medicare which is drowning in red ink?

Note: letting the Bush tax cuts expire and savings from the ending the war in Iraq is not enough even if you assume that the economy will not be adversely affected by the sudden increase in the tax rate.

The Obama raising the cap solution is just one that gives the appearance that he is addressing the problem but comes nowhere close to solving it.

More hope, smoke and mirrors.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 9, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

And if you die, your survivors are given the option of assuming your SS account, so while it's true YOU don't collect a cent, being dead and all, benefits can still be paid.

The whole 'social security is doomed' crowd really feeds off people's near-total ignorance of the program. Which is how lawmakers end up calling the system a 'disgrace'.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Republicans never pass up a chance to slice our economy and our way of life into tiny pieces. It's as if they really want our government to self destruct.

Posted by: Don | July 9, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Obama has proposed raising the cap on income subject to the SS payroll tax. Sorry if you missed that.

If you WANT to keep SSA solvent, this approach is a no-brainer, an obvious solution that's been staring Washington in the face for decades. If, as many do, blithely state there's nothing to be done, you're simply saying you don't give a damn if social security will exist for current workers or not.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Then you die and never collect a cent.

+++++++++
I have paid into SS since I started in the work force. Every year but 2 for the past 40 years I have maxed out on SS. I want my money. I don't give a crap about the kids today paying me. Hell, I have been paying me. Give me da money.

Posted by: Daddio on the Paddio | July 9, 2008 10:08 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

McCain said it like it is. Too bad the media and the Obamabots don't get it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I have paid into SS since I started in the work force. Every year but 2 for the past 40 years I have maxed out on SS. I want my money. I don't give a crap about the kids today paying me. Hell, I have been paying me. Give me da money.

Posted by: Daddio on the Paddio | July 9, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

SS is not a retirement policy. Just a little extra. You are expected to be able to take some care of yourself of have a family who can take care of you.

+++++++++++
McCain's not happy with social security? I'm not that thrilled either. Try living on social security; some retirees I know choose between food and medicine every month praying that they'll have enough money to last the month as they live in the cheapest housing they can find. (Not that McCain will ever have to worry about that.) McCain has absolutely no new ideas on the economy or social security, just a rehash of Bush's rhetoric.
Social Security is not so radical as some might think. That vanguard of reactionism Otto von Bismarck (Germann chancellor of during the late 1800s) pushed for the passage of a form of social security. Every modern European nation has a form of social security to provide a safety net.
The Republicans would love for all of us to invest in the stock market (which is tanking right now), put money in IRAs, etc., and slowly get rid of social security.
Many people who work do not work for companies that provide pensions; they work for low wages and barely make ends meet; they do not have the means to stash thousands upon thousands of dollars into IRAs, stocks, bonds, etc.
How a nation treats its disadvantaged, its poor, its elderly speaks to how they view their responsibility to one another. It speaks to the moral compass of a nation.
I have said it before; I say it again: We are our brother's/sister's keeper.

Posted by: abby0802 | July 9, 2008 9:53 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Note the last line of the article:

"Reaction to McCain's statement has been slow to burble, but it is beginning to burst."

That is almost as bad as my writing.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 9, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

So who are you and where do you live and what is your phone number. Everybody is anonymous on here. By the way, I can at least spell anonymous.
+++++++++
Ahh,another anonomous poster

Posted by: | July 9, 2008 9:25 PM

Except he (McCain) has been in washington like 26 years himself. No room to try to sound all knowing now.
--------------------------------
There has always been a conspiracy of silence among both Republicans and Democrats on the hill to avoid the Social Security issue because it is a tough issue and they will be in the crosshairs of the AARP if the propose any changes even if they are necessary. Senior citizens vote in much higher rates that the general voting public.

John McCain is no more guilty of lack of action on Social Security than anyone else and Barack Obama has not been around long enough to become knowledgable of the issue.

You know the game. This is probably part of John McCain's effort to build his straight talk image. But give him some credit for bringing up a critical issue.

Don't expect to hear anything specific from Obama on the issue.
Posted by: danielhancock | July 9, 2008 9:48 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

McCain's not happy with social security? I'm not that thrilled either. Try living on social security; some retirees I know choose between food and medicine every month praying that they'll have enough money to last the month as they live in the cheapest housing they can find. (Not that McCain will ever have to worry about that.) McCain has absolutely no new ideas on the economy or social security, just a rehash of Bush's rhetoric.
Social Security is not so radical as some might think. That vanguard of reactionism Otto von Bismarck (Germann chancellor of during the late 1800s) pushed for the passage of a form of social security. Every modern European nation has a form of social security to provide a safety net.
The Republicans would love for all of us to invest in the stock market (which is tanking right now), put money in IRAs, etc., and slowly get rid of social security.
Many people who work do not work for companies that provide pensions; they work for low wages and barely make ends meet; they do not have the means to stash thousands upon thousands of dollars into IRAs, stocks, bonds, etc.
How a nation treats its disadvantaged, its poor, its elderly speaks to how they view their responsibility to one another. It speaks to the moral compass of a nation.
I have said it before; I say it again: We are our brother's/sister's keeper.

Posted by: abby0802 | July 9, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Can we trust McCain, and should we demand he release those records? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afawZWEtCKc

Posted by: Franklin T. | July 9, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Ahh,another anonomous poster

Posted by: | July 9, 2008 9:25 PM

Except he (McCain) has been in washington like 26 years himself. No room to try to sound all knowing now.
--------------------------------
There has always been a conspiracy of silence among both Republicans and Democrats on the hill to avoid the Social Security issue because it is a tough issue and they will be in the crosshairs of the AARP if the propose any changes even if they are necessary. Senior citizens vote in much higher rates that the general voting public.

John McCain is no more guilty of lack of action on Social Security than anyone else and Barack Obama has not been around long enough to become knowledgable of the issue.

You know the game. This is probably part of John McCain's effort to build his straight talk image. But give him some credit for bringing up a critical issue.

Don't expect to hear anything specific from Obama on the issue.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 9, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

While on the subject of John subsidizing the rich, note that, since gas prices currently reflect the "All the Market Will Bear" pricing strategy of what is left of Consolidated Oil, when gas prices dip for three days and go back ABOVE where they were before John's tax holiday, will he reject reimposing them because that would be a tax increase? All that tax holiday will do is let Big Oil pocket what would have been used to fix roads and bridges as even more excess profit.

If you really want to use tax policy to bring gas prices down, slap a $1.50 additional tax on gas. Use $1 for rebuilding and electrifying the railroads, and $.50 to pay for improvements to mass transit systems, especially electrifying them. That will drop gas prices back to $300 in a big hurry.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | July 9, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Social Security is the biggest Ponzi scheme around. Early participants are paid far in excess of their own contributions with the contributions of the later participants. Like all Ponzi schemes, it eventually collapses. If individuals ran a scheme like SS, they'd be put in jail. Instead, the government is doing it, which will eventually lead to the collapse of the government just like the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Chinese empires when they could no longer sustain the benefits promised to the upper classes.

Get out while you can!

Posted by: Luke | July 9, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Except he has been in washington like 26 years himself. No room to try to sound all knowing now.

++++++++
Social Security has always been actuarily unsound from day one. In the beginning there were many more people paying into the system than there were people drawing benefits. Those paying into the system at that time were paying a one percent payroll tax that was matched by their employer. Since then the rates have gone up as well as the amount of income subject to FICA withholding. The retirement age has been raised as well. The system will exist as long as the current and future crop of wage earners keep paying into the system to support current beneficiaries while facing diminishing returns for themselves.

What is a disgrace is that the problem goes unaddressed and people such as John McCain who point out legitimate faults are
attacked for political purposes by those who offer no solution.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 9, 2008 9:17 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

As a Democrat who seriously has been considering voting for Sen. McCain, I'm deeply concerned about his comments on social security. Someone needs to put a filter on his mouth. He seems to be stumbling quite a lot recently.

Posted by: Wilson | July 9, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Since it is wrong for current youngsters to have to pasy into a system from which they won't receive benefits, how is it that it is OK for the baby boomers, and their predecessors from the WWII era, to lose the taxes THEY paid for the last forty, fifty, or sixty years. (Well, OK, I believe you can't pay into the system after age 70, so fifty five years max).

We paid our taxes. which was our part of the contract. That contract says we are due our proper SS payments. It isn't any kind of gift, it is our investment in the system. That system lent many trillions of dollars to the federal Government, and the Federal Government is obliged, by the Fourteenth Amendment, (United States Obligations are fully guaranteed) to meet those obligations. Of course John is a republican, who believes that constitutional Protections only apply to rich Republicans, so it won't do any good to point that out.

Although I challenge anyone who ever gets the chance to ask him about his party's contempt for the Constitution in General, and this clause in particular. If that question gets asked, John's latent senility will certainly be evident in his response.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | July 9, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I have never seen anything removed. So what the whole thread is gone in a day anyway.

++++++
By the way, why is Mike's "I notice jews wrote this article" post still up?

Posted by: Michael | July 9, 2008 9:15 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Social Security has always been actuarily unsound from day one. In the beginning there were many more people paying into the system than there were people drawing benefits. Those paying into the system at that time were paying a one percent payroll tax that was matched by their employer. Since then the rates have gone up as well as the amount of income subject to FICA withholding. The retirement age has been raised as well. The system will exist as long as the current and future crop of wage earners keep paying into the system to support current beneficiaries while facing diminishing returns for themselves.

What is a disgrace is that the problem goes unaddressed and people such as John McCain who point out legitimate faults are
attacked for political purposes by those who offer no solution.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 9, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

By the way, why is Mike's "I notice jews wrote this article" post still up?

Posted by: Michael | July 9, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

When SS was formed the average contribution was $1.00 a week. Some older people when they got their first check, got more in that one check then they put the system whole time they worked. Then collected to the next 20 years or more.

++++++++++
John McCain is absolutely correct and the reporters' comments are disingenuous.

At the time the Social Security system was created, retirees did not live as long as they do today and there were more workers paying into the system than drawing benefits. I belive the ratio was close to 8 to 1. Today the demographics have shifted dramatically so that the ratio of people drawing benefits to those paying into the system is approaching 1 to 1. In addition, since people live longer, they draw far more benefits than when the system was conceived. My parents could not live on what I pay into the system each year yet this is the direction in which the SS system is headed. In short, the Social Security system is a ponzi scheme and the demographics of our country will break the bank in the next decade or two.

The question is not WHETHER benefits will change but HOW and WHEN they will be changed. Our national leaders MUST address funding of both social security and medicare. There are no easy solutions to this problem. The longer we (America) wait to find a solution, the more disruptive the changes will be.

The press plays an important role in this problem. Rather than trying to incite controversy with incendiary articles such as this one, they should start to educate the American public about the issue.

Nobody is advocating throwing grandma in the ditch but the benefit system will have to change. Our current politicians could blame their predecessors for ignoring this issue and then chart a course to find a reasonable (probably least bad) solution. Who knows, if Congress actually tried to have a reasoned debate its approval rating might actually go up!

The American people will rise to the challenge but right now our political leaders don't even want begin the journey.

Posted by: Keith Wibel | July 9, 2008 8:58 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh, jeez. Somebody just told me he was a POW. Please disregard any criticism. From now on, I'm just like the Times, the Post, and all the media. I have a huge man-crush on him.

Posted by: Michael | July 9, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Good idea, maybe we can have private police. Next time you call because someone was trying to break into your garage they can take your credit and charge you $300. for the police call. How about the fire department. Yea your right we all need to take personal responsibility. And the heck with that employer supplied health care. Everyone go find your own. Pay $1920. a month like my wife and I do. Good idea you may be on to something.

+++++++++++
Hmmmm....Social Security is a disgrace because it's being viewed as and used as something it was never to be....

Benefits for everyone....disabilities that aren't real...those that think SS is supposed to be the best retirement ever....not true. It's a safety net...not luxury...and not worth having as a massive system.

I'd rather invest somewhere else...obviously...40 years of democrat controlled congress along with trillions in $ redistributed haven't proved effective at eliminating poverty or keeping SS solvent. Can I say republicans are better...yup....great - no! But better than the socialist democrats. I want my money...lower taxes...let me choose and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

I am all for a bare bones safety net that keeps the water off your head and food on the plate. After that...get a job.


Posted by: MakeUsProud | July 9, 2008 8:52 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

More evidence, if any was needed, that McBush's economic policy is simply incomprehensible.
Oh, yeah, and his Iraq policy, Iran policy, education policy, fill-in-the-blank policy.

Posted by: Michael | July 9, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I notice jews wrote this article.. that says it all.. too bad Hitler didn't finish what he set out to do, or you wouldn't being seeing the constant Wusification of the the USA by the bleeding heart liberals that wouldn't be around if it wasn't for people like McCain

Posted by: Mike | July 9, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is absolutely correct and the reporters' comments are disingenuous.

At the time the Social Security system was created, retirees did not live as long as they do today and there were more workers paying into the system than drawing benefits. I belive the ratio was close to 8 to 1. Today the demographics have shifted dramatically so that the ratio of people drawing benefits to those paying into the system is approaching 1 to 1. In addition, since people live longer, they draw far more benefits than when the system was conceived. My parents could not live on what I pay into the system each year yet this is the direction in which the SS system is headed. In short, the Social Security system is a ponzi scheme and the demographics of our country will break the bank in the next decade or two.

The question is not WHETHER benefits will change but HOW and WHEN they will be changed. Our national leaders MUST address funding of both social security and medicare. There are no easy solutions to this problem. The longer we (America) wait to find a solution, the more disruptive the changes will be.

The press plays an important role in this problem. Rather than trying to incite controversy with incendiary articles such as this one, they should start to educate the American public about the issue.

Nobody is advocating throwing grandma in the ditch but the benefit system will have to change. Our current politicians could blame their predecessors for ignoring this issue and then chart a course to find a reasonable (probably least bad) solution. Who knows, if Congress actually tried to have a reasoned debate its approval rating might actually go up!

The American people will rise to the challenge but right now our political leaders don't even want begin the journey.

Posted by: Keith Wibel | July 9, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Old Adulterer Songbird Make it a Hundred Traitor War Criminal McBush is no hero. He is just another coward with bombs.

1. Why would a "war hero" hide his Military Records? What is he hiding? Kerry signed the Form 180 waiver and released all of his records. Old McBush refuses to do so.
2. He received numerous demerits at the US Naval Acadamy and graduated 894 out of 899, US Naval Academy, Class of 1958, former astronaut Bruce McCandless was ranked #2. His 4 star Admiral father pulled strings to get him in.
3. Why did the Vietnamese give him the codename Songbird?
4. He killed 167 US sailors on the USS Forrestal and his 4 star Admiral father promptly
transferred him to another ship
5. He admitted to being a War Criminal on 60 Minutes, 1997, CBS News,for bombing innocent women and children
6. Why did the Vietnamese give him the codename Songbird?
7. The POW's said that McCain made 32 propaganda videos for the communist North Vietnamese in which he denounced America for what they were doing in Vietnam.
8. Why did the Vietnamese erect a bust in his honor?
9. All Republicans in Congress voted to release government records of POW/MIA on Vietnam, only 1 person blocked it, Old McBush. Why? (http://www.vvof.org/mccain_hides.htm)
10. Wouldn't the Navy wash his records? His father and grandfather were both 4 star admirals in the Navy.
11. How did he receive medals from the Navy when there were no eyewitnesses when two eyewitnesses are required?
12. How did he get 28 medals in less than 20 hours of combat? Did his 4 star admiral father help him? Some grunts fighting on the ground for 7000 hours received no medals.
13. Yet in McCain's own words just four days after being captured, he admits he violated the U.S. Military Code of Conduct by telling his captors "O.K, I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital."
15. Many say he was never tortured. No one witnessed him being tortured. He received special treatment after informing the Vietnamese that he was the son of the 4 star Admiral who was head of Pacific Operations.
16. It is possible he crashed and was not shot down. He had crashed 4 previous Naval planes. His injuries were mostly sustained when he ejected.
17. He also violated military uniform code of conduct having sexual relations with subordinates, a crime.
18. How was he able to fly planes after doing so poorly at the US Naval Academy?

http://usvetdsp.com/jan08/mccain_military_record.htm


Google these to learn more

McCain Songbird
McCain Adultery
McCain Lobbyists
McCain Charlie Black
McCain USS Forrestal
McCain Temper
McCain Phil Gramm
McCain Enron Loophole
McCain Arizona Mob
McCain Kosovo Muslims
McCain Fortune
McCain Traitor
McCain Flip Flops
McCain Torturers' Lobby

Posted by: Why would a war hero hide his Military Records, Old Songbird Traitor McBush? | July 9, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Now I know why Ron Paul wasn't the republican nominee. Republican voters are too stupid to elect someone who actually understands our government, the problems, and the solutions.

Posted by: Farid | July 9, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Vote for McCain, if you want to end Social Security as the program has existed for over seventy years. He seeks, as recently reported in the news, to probably want to raise the retirement age, reduce benefits and enact a law similar to what Bush advocated a few years ago, to weaken Social Security by allowing workers to have private accounts from some of their current Social Security taxes.

McCain says he will balance federal budget within four years. Sounds as he probably intends to do so on the backs of the elderly and those who need health care, by significant reductions in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Those of you thinking of voting for Bush, sorry McCain, for another four years, were probably looking forward to another war in the Middle East, with $200+ barrel of oil,
keeping the wealthy as rich as possible by maintaining the tax cuts for upper income persons, essentially ignoring the forty-seven million Americans needing health care coverage. You may get all of these and a reduction in your Social Security, as well as Medicare, benefits with a McCain presidency.

Posted by: Independent | July 9, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

No doubt McBush has "privatizing" Social Security in mind. The old "Market Driven" mindset of the GOP-Gas and Oil Party allowing the GOP Wall Street buddies managing the trillion dollar investment account in the style of Enron and Tyco no doubt.

McCain is in denial that the GOP is about to face the biggest landslideloss in thier history all because of the insatiable lust for greed and corruption that has evolved as the calling card of the Republican Party and the working class has had enough.

Posted by: Bob in Kansas City | July 9, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm....Social Security is a disgrace because it's being viewed as and used as something it was never to be....

Benefits for everyone....disabilities that aren't real...those that think SS is supposed to be the best retirement ever....not true. It's a safety net...not luxury...and not worth having as a massive system.

I'd rather invest somewhere else...obviously...40 years of democrat controlled congress along with trillions in $ redistributed haven't proved effective at eliminating poverty or keeping SS solvent. Can I say republicans are better...yup....great - no! But better than the socialist democrats. I want my money...lower taxes...let me choose and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

I am all for a bare bones safety net that keeps the water off your head and food on the plate. After that...get a job.


Posted by: MakeUsProud | July 9, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

First of all, there wouldn't be a problem if Congress and the past 5 presidents didn't borrow money from SS. If they were to pay it back....I don't know exactly how, but let's start by decreasing their salaries and overtime, then by decreasing the amount of money sent to overseas governments and putting that money into the ss till.

Posted by: chris | July 9, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

honestly, you have to hand it to mccain, marrying a 6 foot blond multi- millionaires retirement plan sounds better then Social Security any day of the week.

Posted by: jacade | July 9, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

How about asking John McCain if he has a joke about this, too. If killing civilians in Iran with cigarettes is funny, then impoverished old people could be hilarious. I got an idea: Let's vote for the most serious candidate and avoid having another professional joker running the country for four years.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Let's see now McCain wants cuts in Medicare and Social Security but no Defense Dept. cuts. Can you say"Military/Industrial Complex?

Posted by: Roger | July 9, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

It is becoming a certainty there is something wrong with the man. This may have something to do with the now limited access to the press they announced.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

So this is from the party that thinks deficits don't matter, and they can pull the plug from the funding source of the retired American people and replace their only income with more borrowed morning? Or is he proposing not paying them all, and letting them try to survive on their own?

Honestly, I understand that economics are not his strong point, but doesn't he have any advisers that have the least bit of common sense, or if he does, doesn't he listen to them? Republicans have already lost this election. They screwed up the economy and now their only attempted solutions would just axe it up even more.

Posted by: Mike Azoff | July 9, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

People with AD can't read from a teleprompter, the words will allude them.

=========
How long has this guy been a Senator? And he doesn't get Social Security? What the heck has he been doing the whole time he's been in Washington? That there are going to be problems with SS isn't news. How did he feel about Republicans raiding the S.S. surplus to pay for the Reagan deficit? Time for some new thinking in Washington. Good grief, I thought his handlers were reining him in and feeding him his lines on the teleprompter. They better get busy before he exposes himself as an old fool!

Posted by: thebob.bob | July 9, 2008 7:42 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

How long has this guy been a Senator? And he doesn't get Social Security? What the heck has he been doing the whole time he's been in Washington? That there are going to be problems with SS isn't news. How did he feel about Republicans raiding the S.S. surplus to pay for the Reagan deficit? Time for some new thinking in Washington. Good grief, I thought his handlers were reining him in and feeding him his lines on the teleprompter. They better get busy before he exposes himself as an old fool!

Posted by: thebob.bob | July 9, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Dear John,

Thank you for waking up, but it has been this way since inception. Having paid all my life (so far) for other retirees, now you want to change it now? You are saying it's okay for ME to have paid for you, but now that you have yours, it needs to be...what?

Besides, Medicare is the elephant in the living room, but I don't hear you seeking any solutions to that (or any healthcare issues)...only more of the same.

Posted by: michael4 | July 9, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

off subject
Tom Delay said on Hard Ball tonight we could be at war with Iran in three months. He said he is for it. The republicans are monsters.

Posted by: | July 9, 2008 7:35 PM


I saw that, he said yea, lets go.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

If these two are the best we have, We be in deep doo doo

Posted by: suds | July 9, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

off subject
Tom Delay said on Hard Ball tonight we could be at war with Iran in three months. He said he is for it. The republicans are monsters.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

we should all register as 501 3C's and write off our existence as a charitable entity, and be done with it.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 9, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Republicans need to ask their daddy what he did to fix the problem after all his years of service in the senate. Some of those years spent with a Republican majority in both chambers and in the White House. Hmmm. Useless. Obama isn't any better.

Posted by: Jeff In Illinois | July 9, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

This is amazing. McCain clearly stated in his original comment what he thought was a disgrace: that younger workers are paying for the retirement of current retirees. (Note: McCain is currently receiving social security.) It is clear from what he said that he is for private accounts - that way younger workers wouldn't be paying for current retirees. That is a debate worth having in this election, but McCain is too much of a pu$$y to actually admit what he meant. So much for straight talk.

Posted by: NM Moderate | July 9, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Ya see. McCain got himself a rich beer heiress wife. Why should he care about people on Social Security?

Posted by: Bill R. | July 9, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

John McCain knows zilch about the struggles of ordinary people. And he cares even less. All he has ever been interested in is warwarwar.

Posted by: Jack | July 9, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Sorry jLM. No one, I mean no one, can be worse than Bush. I checked my dictionary today and under "moron" was a picture of that idiot in the White House.

Six and a half months. Keep your fingers crossed till he is gone.

Hey, naming a waste treatment plant after him ,as is proposed in San Fran, is a great idea.

Posted by: dennis e | July 9, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Yea, you have picked a good horse to bet on. In his collage days he would have loved to beat the sh%t out of you, then screw you and throw you out of the room so he can sleep off his drunk. Have you done any research on Mccain at all? He would probably still get a kick out of beating the sh%t out of you even today. Although I doubt he can get it up anymore so you will have to forgo the screwing.

*****************
McCain keeps coming out with "Quotable Quotes" faster than we can keep up!

Go McCain '08!

http://www.womenforjohnmccain.com/
Posted by: Christina West | July 9, 2008 6:11 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

MCCAIN IS A DISGRACE. YOU WOULD THINK HE WOULD BE A BETTER CANDIDATE SINCE HE LOST TO BUSH IN 2000. INSTEAD HE'S WORST. MCCAIN WOULD BE WORST THAN BUSH THATS WHY HE LOST.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t00-iCPxgDk

http://youtube.com/watch?v=mORJyRsPXsk

Posted by: jIM | July 9, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

HOW CAN YOU ELECT A MAN WHO ADMITS HE'S A LIAR. JUDGE FOR YOURSELF:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=u-R5Vh5tOWk

http://youtube.com/watch?v=u-R5Vh5tOWk

Posted by: SM | July 9, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

JUST PROOF THAT MCCAIN ALWAYS GETS A FREE RIDE FROM THE MEDIA. MCCAIN CAN LIE ABOUT OBAMA'S POSITIONS OR THE WAY HE VOTED. FLIP FLOP ON 47 DIFFERENT ISSUES AND STILL NOBODY LISTENS OR CARES WHAT MCCAIN SAYS OR DOES. I BET IF IT WAS OBAMA, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ON THE FRONT PAGE OF NEWSPAPERS AND TALKED ABOUT ALL DAY ON THE NETWORKS. WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO TO GET FAIR COVERAGE? I KNOW MCCAIN HAS 133 LOBBYIST RUNNING HIS CAMPAIGN THAT HE SAID HE WOULDN'T HAVE HOUNDING THE MEDIA TO PORTRAY MCCAIN IN A CERTAIN WAY BUT I THOUGHT REPORTERS JOBS WERE TO REPORT THE NEWS. SO FAR WE GET ALL THE NEWS ABOUT OBAMA AND MCCAIN'S GET SWEPT UNDER THE TABLE.

Posted by: GLENDA M. | July 9, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

McCain keeps coming out with "Quotable Quotes" faster than we can keep up!

Go McCain '08!

http://www.womenforjohnmccain.com/

Posted by: Christina West | July 9, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

He doesn't know himself what he meant to say. It is obvious he didn't really mean it was a disgrace that young people have to pay money that funds SS. His mind can't keep his thoughts straight it seems even on very important points that voters care about. There needs to be some serious thought about his mental stability. This has nothing to do with this issue it has to do with his competence to assume the office of president.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

He'll fix social security the way Bush fixed the economy. The S&P 500 is under water during his seven and a half year term. McCain wants to take social security money and invest in the market. How many people can take a negative return over that period of time. With inflation at 5% you need 5% EACH YEAR to stay even. McCain won't fix it, he will fix us.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 9, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

McCain's campaign is under new management. This piece in politico gives you an idea of the quality of their releases:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0708/11618.html

Posted by: G8tr | July 9, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Why was this not an immediate question for McCain after he said it on Monday? Why does it take chatter on the blogs before mainstream papers pick up the story?

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | July 9, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

McBush McSpoke. He meant to say that he regards it as a disgrace that some people disagree with his contention that the people serve the government, not the other way around.

Posted by: Bob | July 9, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

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