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January 8, 2018

 


By Dr. Glenn Mollette

Millions of Americans in states like California, Illinois and Kentucky are already in peril because of the horrendous government mismanagement of teacher's and state worker's retirement money.

Americans are in further peril because we will face severe hardship in this country if the long-term path of our Social Security program continues. Our government leaders must take steps to resolve the road Social Security is on. We must pay back what has been borrowed from the fund and stop buying trillions of dollars in Treasury securities that we cannot pay back to ourselves.

We are the biggest owners of our National Debt.

America owes $20 trillion dollars.

Our Social Security Trust Fund or our retirement money owns a big chunk of the national debt.

Our U.S. Treasury manages the U.S. debt through its Bureau of Public Debt. The debt falls into two categories: Debt Held by the Public and Intra-governmental holdings. The Intra-governmental is the portion of the federal debt owed to 230 other federal agencies. It totals about 5.6 trillion dollars. Why would the government owe money to itself? Some agencies like the Social Security Trust Fund, take in more revenue from taxes than they want to set aside and invest. Rather than saving the money, these agencies buy U.S. Treasurys with it. They do this because our federal government is so strapped for cash for the general fund. Someone will say our country is investing our Social Security money. It's not an investment to loan money to someone who already owes $20 Trillion dollars.

By owning Treasurys, they transfer their excess cash to the general fund, where it is spent. One day they will redeem their treasury notes for cash - it is hoped. The federal government at that time will either need to raise taxes or issue more debt to give the agencies the money they will need and the agency will be desperate for it because it owns Treasurys. It's sort of like robbing Peter to pay Paul. The day will come when the financial crisis is so great that it will be very difficult to raise the payroll tax more and more to cover the demand to pay retirees.

Which agencies own the most treasurys? Social Security.

- Social Security Trust Fund and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund $2.8 Trillion
- Office of Personnel Management Retirement - $888 Billion
- Military Retirement Fund - $670 Billion
- Medicare - $294 Billion
- Cash on hand to fund federal government operations $580 Billion

Here are the holders of public debt as of December 2016.


- Foreign $6.004 Trillion
- Federal Reserve $2.465 Trillion
- Mutual Funds $1.671 Trillion
- State and local government including their pension funds $553 Billion
- Banks $663 Billion
- Insurance Companies $347 Billion
- U.S. Savings Bonds $166 Billion
- Other (brokers, bank personal trusts, individuals, government sponsored enterprises, corporate and non-corporate investors and other enterprises $1.662 Trillion

If you add up the debt held by Social Security and all the retirement and pension funds nearly half of the U.S. Treasury debt is held in trust for your retirement.

If the United States defaults on it's debt, China, Japan and Ireland would be very upset, but current and future American retirees would be hurt the most.

In October 2017 China owned $1.2 trillion dollars of U.S. debt. Japan owned $1.1 trillion. Ireland is third holding $312 billion. Brazil holds $270 billion. The Cayman Islands owns $269 billion. Luxembourg is $218 billion and Belgium $116 billion. Switzerland, The UK, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and India hold between $141 billion and $254 billion. (Sources: Treasury Bulletin, Monthly Treasury Statement, and Table 6. Schedule D Investments of Federal Government Accounts in Federal Securities, U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 2016. "Treasury Bulletin, Table OFS-2 Ownership of Federal Securities" U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 2016.)

The numbers are always changing of course when it comes to our national debt. The numbers above don't add up to exactly what our current debt is because the numbers are always changing.

We have to reduce the size of government.

We must reduce spending money we do not have.

We must stop spending trillions of dollars on Iraq, Afghanistan and other foreign countries.

Reducing our financial support of the United Nations is a good move.

Reducing our financial support to other countries is imperative.

Especially the countries who now for years have burned our flag and demonstrated hate toward America.

We have to get our own house in order.

At the current trend a lot of our young Americans are going to be very hurt down the road.

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Sources: Treasury Bulletin, Monthly Treasury Statement. Kimberly Amadeo

Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His syndicated column is read in all 50 states.

READ HIS NEW BOOK - UNCOMMON SENSE

Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

January 7, 2018

 

Editorial...

Dozens of families in the cold with no power and no water!

 

With all the messages on social media about people in Lawrence and Martin Counties without power and/or water it seems to us that the local EMS and/or the county governments need to set up a temporary shelter for those affected by the extremely frigid weather.

Another storm is headed our way loaded with ice and snow. If you have never been without power and water for an extended time, you don't really know how miserable it is.

There is no excuse for the lack of effort to get our people some refuge from the storm. The power companies should help fund shelters immediately and on every occasion in the future when the temperatures go below a certain level.

We are citizens and deserve proper services.

Granted, warmer weather is on the way in a few days but taxpayers in Lawrence, Martin, and Wayne Counties should have a safe place to go in case of these type situations, EVERY TIME, EVERY YEAR...

 

It's like we are from Puerto Rico or something!

###

Here is what the Lawrence Co. EMS has on its website as far as weather emergency goes:

 

Lawrence County, KY EMA
8 hrs ·

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO 2 PM EST
MONDAY... #KYWX

 

* WHAT...Mixed precipitation expected. The ice will result in
difficult travel conditions, including during the morning
commute on Monday. Total snow accumulations of up to one inch
and ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch are
expected.

* WHERE...Portions of southeast Ohio and northeast Kentucky.

* WHEN...From 4 AM to 2 PM EST Monday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Icy road conditions are likely even after
air temperatures rise above freezing on Monday due to the below
freezing road surfaces. Motorists can expect slick spots into
Monday afternoon, especially on roads left untreated.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or
freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for
slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while
driving. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling
from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

 

 

January 6, 2018

 

Dan Johnson's widow says legalizing medical marijuana will stop Kentucky's opioid crisis

 

 "I want the politicians to put their big boy pants on and free up marijuana to do what it can do to help our people," Rebecca Johnson said in a statement. "I want the politicians to put their big boy pants on and free up marijuana to do what it can do to help our people," Rebecca Johnson said in a statement.

GOP nominee Rebecca Johnson said medical marijuana will stop Kentucky's opioid epidemic, one of her first statements in a special election campaign for the 49th House District seat left vacant by her husband, Dan Johnson, who died by suicide last month.

"I want the politicians to put their big boy pants on and free up marijuana to do what it can do to help our people," Rebecca Johnson said in a statement. 

"Reversing the opioid crisis in Kentucky starts with marijuana," she said. 

Johnson is challenging Linda Belcher, a Shepherdsville Democrat and retired school teacher, who lost the seat in 2016 to Dan Johnson. 

"My opponent has been a long-time profile in cowardice on this and many other issues," Johnson said in the statement. "That failure is what this campaign will be about until she loses again."

Belcher said she has never had the opportunity to vote on a medical marijuana bill and that legalizing medical marijuana is an important part of her campaign.

"For the last couple of weeks I've been asking constituents about those issues," Belcher said. "I feel like it's something that the people of Shepherdsville want, and I'm listening." 

Recently, Belcher said she posted a poll on her Facebook asking what people in Bullitt County thought about medical marijuana legalization, and it was overwhelmingly positive. 

"I'm sorry she feels like name-calling is a part of this campaign," Belcher said.

Rebecca Johnson's comments on medical marijuana come after the Justice Department announced Thursday that it would rescind Obama administration policies not to interfere with state laws allowing people to use pot for medical and recreational use. 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said it was a "return to the rule of law" in a memo outlining the change, according to USA TODAY.

Johnson said Sessions is removing states' rights when it comes to legalizing medical marijuana. 

"With his odd administrative move against states on cannabis rights, Jeff Sessions has turned himself into Darth Vader," she said in the statement. "President Trump should send him back to Alabama now."

Research on how medical marijuana affects opioid use is unclear.

People who use marijuana are more likely than non-users to use other drugs and develop problems, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. But in studies that compared states' mortality rates from opioid overdose, researchers found lower mortality rates in states where medical marijuana was legal. 

Rebecca Johnson was nominated last month to be the GOP candidate in the special election, which is set for Feb. 20.

Dan Johnson died Dec. 13, days after he said he would not resign his House seat over an allegation that he had sexually abused a teenage girl at the Fern Creek church where he was a pastor.

 

By Thomas Novelly
Courier-Journal