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Voter ID: Screw The Elderly, But Minorities Die Before They Grow Old

QuestionguyFor those of you out there following the voter identification issue, wrap your arms around this logic, courtesy of the BRAD BLOG:

"It's probably true that among those who don't [have Photo ID], it's primarily elderly persons. And that's a shame. Of course...our society is such that minorities don't become elderly. The way that white people do. They die first."

- John Tanner, Chief of Civil Rights Section, Voting Unit, U.S. DoJ

So, basically, it's cool to inconvenience the elderly, but it's not illegal to do so because protected minority voters don't have a chance to become elderly: They just die.

Not to belabor the point, but this guy is in charge of voting rights for the U.S. Department of Justice? Holy judicial insanity, Batman.

Don't believe the quote? Watch it for yourself:


Let me try another angle: If we're going to take $3,000 from a 25-year-old earning $25,000-- let's say a head-of-household (married or single) with one child-- it better be for some incredible reason.

In my mind, saying thanks and "we'll get that back to you in 40 years at a 1% rate of return" with Social Security does not qualify as a sufficiently good answer.

(We could also talk about Indiana's income taxes on the working poor-- a much smaller but still significant issue.)

I'm going to start a cross-post on the economics of this on SchansBlog.com if anyone is interested.

That would be an improvement. Now if we can get more politicians to talk about this-- rather than simply demagoguing it for political gain.


If it is supposed to be a safety net, I'd keep in safe investments.

"We could mandate that people take the same monies and put them into a range of acceptable investment vehicles"

That sounds alot like giving more of our money to Wall Street Weasels. Now, our economy is already bi-polar. Little if any of the money being made in the market is "tricklin down" to the working people. I don't see how giving Wall Street more money helps.

I'll meet you half way though, there's an idea floating around called "Trustee Controlled Investment". The Social Security Trustess would control a percentage of the SS Trust and invest it in the market. This would increase the rate of return to the people and eliminate any personal risk. it would also put more money in the market.

Sound like a reasonable compromise?

Chris, that's a great question!

We could mandate that people take the same monies and put them into a range of acceptable investment vehicles. ("Mandate" and "acceptable" are required to make it politically viable-- since the public will not accept a system where people could sink themselves.) They'd get a (far) higher rate of return-- and a point we haven't emphasized, they would control/own it as an asset!

"SS is guaranteed to be there." It's guaranteed by the govt to be there. But it cannot be there in anything close to its present form in the relatively near future.

"One more thing, you repeat SS ONLY gives a 1% return. May I remind you it was not meant to perform like a 401K." Agreed, but that doesn't excuse the reality. The fact is that we're taking thousands of dollars from the working poor every year and then dribbling it back to them with a pathetic rate of return. (And don't forget the negative rate of return for African-Americans.)

The status quo simply does not line up with any reasonable/progressive/liberal standard of justice.

What would you suggest then Eric? Social Security has flaws, but what has anyone else done for working people?

The "free market" has done NOTHING. Pensions disappear on the whim of a CEO, reduced access to unions have stripped many minority workers of ANY benefits, much less retirement. At the very least SS is guaranteed to be there.

One more thing, you repeat SS ONLY gives a 1% return. May I remind you it was not meant to perform like a 401K.

Finally to Say Again, please don't think I "judge" people on SS benefits. Believe me, I know how hard Eric's "free market" is on working people. I helped people get SS benefits for about 4 years. And, the retired people in my family survive on SS and Veteran's benefits. So I'm with you, trust me.

oops, i forgot "east chicago" when compiling my glossary. you can guess what it means.

Same IP address, huh? One of the other personalities she channels, must be typing on her keyboard at odd times. Sic her, Jen.

Damn, the dominatrix market must be slow this week.

I'm thinking about being Melyssa for Halloween. Scary.

I'd show up with a whip, big leather boots, pouty "I've been abused by the city" eyes and a devil's tail. Carrying one of those "For Sale Due to Taxes" signs, and a bullhorn.

I doubt I'd have to explain my costume to very many folks.

Voter ID might deter some of the "vote early, vote often" crowd, but the more sophisticated political machinists know that the real way to make sure an election goes a particular way is to use the "East Chicago method" (Pabey v. Pastrick) and just have 2000 or so absentee ballots show up. I don't think the guys and gals collecting the absentee ballots check IDs.

She posted her "complaint" from the same IP address from whence the prior offensive comment came, but I'll give her one free pass.

Then, gone.

Chris, I agree with you that "SS is a SAFETY NET-- and nothing more". The problem is that SS is a very expensive and inefficient SAFETY NET, especially for the working poor, the middle class, and African-Americans.

Why do you want to take so much money from the working poor and then dribble it back to them for an average rate of return of 1%? Why do you want a system where blacks put more in than they get out? Can't we do better?

One can only look silly in trying to defend such an unjust system...

oh yeah, about Melyssa: stay on her, Jen. I smell a rat.

I have researched the originating statutes which defined Social Security, for a paper in college. It is a muddled mess of Congressional intent. So, Chris, you're both right and wrong.

Over the decades, SS has been redefined and demonized/worshipped by just about every potential wing of each political party, and more. It's shameful because it uses older Americans as pawns.

Whatever SS was to be, it has become the primary retirement vehicle for over two-thirds of the approaching baby boomers. And it's also become more expensive as folks love longer. Please don't judge those of us who are going to use SS as the primary retirement vehicle. It's not your right, and it's mean.

And whatever the statutory authority, originating regulations, or current federal idealogues say about SS, I prefer to look to another book for guidance on how to take care of all of us (paraphrased):

"To whom much is given, much is expected."

In other words, the exact opposite of most of Georgue W. Bush's economic policies.

Why is it Eric and the other anti-anything-government types always make SS out to be something it isn't.

SS is a SAFETY NET, nothing more. It is not and was not designed to be the only source of retirement funding. It was designed to keep about 50% of our elderly population out of poverty, which it is doing right now.

Please explain to us how plunging 50% of our elderly population into poverty helps the country.

Forgive me if I take issue with the post above that said 76 was getting to be elderly. Doc Councilman swam the English Channel at 70, Jack LaLanne is still kicking up a storm in his 90's. Grandma Moses didn't even start to paint until she was 70 and Tasha Tudor is still at it at somewhere around 100. Just because someone chooses to sit on his or her fat ass eating cheeseburgers and fries, don't expect me to feel sorry for them when they can't walk at 75!

my logic prof said anything can be cocluded from a false premise so maybe this is off base

rich folk invest in stocks and bonds to get their retirement
poor/lower mid class folk live paycheck to paycheck so many rely on ss as their retirement
stock prices are driven by qtrly reports to investors (ie rich folk)
one of the keys to a good report is earnings and a good way to increase earnings is to reduce expenditures
one of the biggest expenditures in any entity is payroll so we hold back benefits, outsource etc which affects the worker (poor low/mid class folk)

whose income is being redistributed here? forgive me if I'd rather see those with so little gain from those with so much rather than the other way round

Thank you.

If someone is posting on here as Melyssa, knock it off.

You don't have to put words in her mouth to make her look silly.

(I'll delete your name off the comment posted earlier on this thread, but if I find out you're fibbing to make yourself look better, you'll lose your TDW privileges.)

Someone is writing and using my name on here. I never said anything!

I just watched the piece. This guy Tanner is obviously both a political hack and uninformed fool. And to think he's in charge of protecting voting rights in this country. He never did respond to the gentleman's question about why photo ID laws are needed in the first place, given the lack of any evidence that imposter voting has occurred with any more regularity than the odds of me winning the $200 million super lotto jackpot.

Well, Tanner's attitude didn't come out of nowhere. An interesting article about his career and performance since his apppointment can be found here:


Heckuva job, Tannie!

TypePad's a jerk like that.

G-r-r-r. My "Name" disappeared again.

Signed, 4:39

Removing the cap would make the SS tax a flat tax rather than regressive. And removing the cap would make SS slightly more solvent-- although additional reforms would still be needed.

But removing the cap does come with some baggage: proponents of Social Security would have to admit that SS is income redistribution rather than continuing to pretend that it's a retirement system.

Moreover, it doesn't deal with the underlying issue: taking more money from rich people won't increase the rate of return for anyone-- including the groups I mentioned: the working poor, the middle class, or African-Americans.

So, are y'all for preserving an unjust status quo or a major, progressive step forward in terms of justice?

Well Jen, I have saved my serious comments for a serious posting, elsewhere.

But for you? I'd like to posit that like too many politicians and political hacks, they are simply too lazy and/or too cheap to find any occurrences. Current blogger excepted, of course.

If Republicans were smart, they'd hire me as a incredibly overpaid consultant and we might begin to get answers, one way or the other (oh, say over the next year or twelve... or so).

Lucky then, that they tend to be too lazy or too cheap. ;)

Raja, I bet you don't have the guts to say that the face of a minority you racist azz-whole. Melyssa, it sounds like your pimp Wayne Brady needs to give you a taste of his backhand. Do you smell their "fear" right before you swallow it???

Memo is linked here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/16/AR2005111602504.html

When asked on the floor of the Indiana House whether they could provide any real-life examples of voter fraud, Republican lawmakers stared blankly at a spot on the wall and collectively wondered if it was time for their dinner break yet.

Whether this guy's comments were idiotic or not has nothing to do with the merits of the voter ID law.

I mean, is that the attempted point here -- "Because this official sounds like a bigot or an idiot (or both), we should therefore abolish the voter ID law?"

That's a rather dramatic stretch ... especially since, after filing their federal lawsuit, the Indiana Democrats and their buds couldn't produce a single person whom the voter ID law would prevent from voting.

The other unstated point is that this inane remark -- and the restated TDW comment that "protected minority voters don't have a chance to become elderly" -- isn't even accurate.

Yes, American blacks' life expectancy is shorter than whites', but the gap has been narrowing since 1993 (JAMA's words, not mine). The 2003 life expectancies were as follows: black male, 69.0; white male, 75.3; black female, 76.1; white female, 80.5.

So black females are living longer than white males. And I don't know about you, but 76.1 years old sure fits my definition of "becoming elderly."

This concludes another session of Mythbusting 101.

Oh, you were finished? Well allow me to retort:

-Great-grandmother #1: died at 87
-Great-Grandmother #2: still kickin at 82
-Grandmother #1: 80 (and still smoking a pack a day)
-Grandmother #2: 67
-A whole host of great-uncles and aunts in their 60's and 70's.

Downside is that I'll live long enough to pay for all the damage that I'm doing to my body now...

What about the circus show last night at the city county council??? Jen, why don't you report something about that? I don't agree with what this guy said, but we have corruption in this city and none of the democrats are calling there party on task for this......oh and by the way.....Melissa.....what????

I may be missing something but I don't get Melyssa's comment.

Now, I usually get them. I don't agree with them often, but I get them.

This one...just seems really mean or really stupid.

Can someone help out? Seriously. I don't get it.

Oh yeah, and if that clown from the USDOJ is getting one cent of my tax money I want it all back. What a complete effing moron.

On the other hand--turn him loose. Give him airtime all over the US. Make sure he gets on all the nutjob rightwing radio and TV shows. Expose the hell out of him. Join him at the hip, to Field Marshall Rokita. Make them defend the Voter ID in every corner of the land witih that logic.

Now back to Melyssa's comment...

Well any time conservatives want to start making the wealthy pay their way (removing the $90,000 cap) let us know.

The fact that minorities die earlier than average is a key reason why Social Security-- as currently structured-- is so unjust. Not only does SS provide an average 1% rate-of-return-- after the govt has nailed the working poor and middle class with payroll taxes their entire life. Not only is this typically their primary or only nest egg. But African-Americans actually earn a negative rate-of-return because of their shorter lifespans. How can any "liberal" or "progressive" defend such a system that imposes such a burden on the working poor and middle class?

he refers to a leaked memo in Georgia. Does anyone know more about this memo or a link to the memo.

But there was no one in the restaurant screaming, "More iced tea, mother f-er!"

For all of you who don't see racism among the local political wingnuts, I direct your attention to Exhibits A and B, the first two comments on this thread.

I can smell their fear on them.

They may grow old but most stay stupid or we wouldn't have people like Pea Shake, Carson and many others elected just because of the color of their skin.

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