Was I not just talking about how the only ideas Our Glorious Elites ever offer about Social Security involve cutting your benefits? Well, there was former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson -- whom I used to find profoundly irritating, not knowing how much more irritating future Republican Senators would be! -- on CNBC last week telling us we should raise the retirement age to 69 and calculate inflation to reduce benefits for seniors. Sigh. I'm old enough to remember when punditoids used to go on the TV and say Social Security would be broke by 2016! You might say wait until all the boomers retire, then you'll see! But I'd respond that Social Security will pay off full benefits until 2034 and then three-quarters after that, and we can address that shortfall by lifting the payroll cap on Social Security, since income over $117,000 doesn't get taxed into the system at all. Anyway, since Congress is back to work (or, perhaps more precisely, "work") and needs to pass a budget and lift the debt ceiling, Social Security Works helps you tell your Congressfolk not to use the budget and the debt ceiling to cut Social Security benefits. Because we're not hostages in America. We're free people.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania residents, take note: if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your state Assembly member to reject the bizarro pro-pollution bill HB 542 (printer #2259), then the Sierra Club still helps you do that. As you may recall, HB 542 started out life as a bill addressing internet sales taxes, and that bill passed the House by a wide margin. But then the Senate added all kinds of anti-regulation, pro-pollution riders, like the one letting gas and oil corporations do a lot of their own permitting, and the one letting the legislature veto clean air and clean water regulations coming from the state DEP. Because, after all, what says "we fight corruption" more than letting corporations regulate themselves? And what says "cut bureaucratic red tape" more than making clean air and clean water regulations jump through yet another hurdle before good Pennsylvanians can have clean air and clean water? Thus mutated, HB 542 passed by a narrow 26-24 vote, and now has to go back to the Assembly, because it's been so mutated. The good news? That gives us another chance to stop it. If we can't, it goes to the Governor -- and if he signs it, it very likely goes to the courts.