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January 29, 2016     Post-Gazette
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January 29, 2016

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"~'~MIXED ADC 010 16 PAUL JEFFKO SMALL TOWN PAPERS, INC. 217W COTA ST SHELTON WA 9858@2263 THE ITALIAN-AMERICAN VOICE OF MASSACHUSETTS .-~--I (Formerly LA GAZZETTA del MASSACHUSETTS) VOL. 120 - NO. 5 BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, JANUARY 29, 2016 $.35 A COPY TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, I I = "Ne = " I I --Republican Electoral Dysfunction? ] I I I At the moment, both Iowa and New Hampshire are / I ! I on the near horizon and Donald Trump is still in the / I I I lead with Texas Senator Ted Cruz inching up to him. / I I I Third place seems to belong to Florida Senator Marco / I I t Rubio. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is getting / I I I better with his plain talk approach. Poor Dr. Ben / I I 1 Carson is in a free fan and looking pretty critical. As for l I I I the rest, heaven help them all. Florida Governor Jeb t I I I Bush keeps spending cash, and the more he spends, ] I | I the more his poll numbers fall. The rest of the pack / I | ] brings up the rear guard. All of them resemble Lindsay I I | I Graham. When he dropped out of the race, he was in I I I I 14th place in a pack of 13 candidates. I I I I Who can face off against Hillary Clinton in No- [ I I I vember? Can Trump beat her? How about Cruz, the / ] I I ex-natural-born Canadian in the race? [ I | 1 Also, who knows if Bernie Sanders can take out[ | | t Clinton for the Republicans? Or maybe, the FBI and [ I | l the U.S. Justice Department might indict her out of [ [ | I the race? t ] | i The Republican outsiders are going after the rul- I I | Iing Republicans in Washington. They have their own I I | I trump card in Cruz, but Teddy boy is sailing in tough | | I waters at the moment. Lately, I heard Mark Levin on I | ] his weeknight radio show calling Cruz a Canadian [ ] | I first, who is in bed withbig New York banks, of en- [ | | I gaging in "stupidtalk." [ | | I My best bet to defeat the Democrats in November [ | ! I would be a Christie-Rubio ticket. This ticket could [ [ ! I wm big-time in 2016, but only ff all the other OOP ] I | I can. didates get behind these two guys. What do you I I I I think out there? Is it a good idea? Wl~o would you like [ | It to on OOP m tl I r " i t (Continued on Page 13)[. ~he Tom Brady revenge tour carnal'to ~-a end on Sunday at Sports Aue ority Field at Mile High as the D ., er Broncos squeaked by the Patriots 20-'i." Quarterback rival Peyton Manning is headed to Super Bowl 50, while Brady is on the road to recovery after taking hit after hit from a relentless Broncos defense. The loss is disappointing as many (this writer included, see page 13) expected the Patriots to easily weather the sea of orange on their way to Santa Clara, CA. Patriots fans are upset, focus- ing the majority of their anger on placekicker Stephen Gost- kowski for pushing a first quar- ter extra point wide right. That one point would prove costly as the Patriots were required to attempt a game-tying two-point play with 12 seconds to play. We all want, need to vilify mn individual for a failure. Simply put, losing is personal. But to by Christian A. Guarino pin the blame for the loss on Gostkowski is simply unfair. His consistency and accuracy are unrivaled in his profession. Playing the blame game is unfair all round, and the Bron- cos deserve accolades for play- ing superbly in their home stadium. However, as sacrilegious as it may be to say, the loss came in a game where Head Coach Bill Belichick simply was not at his strategic best. If I continuously heap praise upon the man, am I not justi- fied in occasionally pointing out some less-than-stellar play- calling by the hoodie? With 6:03 .on the play clock, and facing a fourth-and-one from the 16-yard line, Belichick decided against a 32-yard field goal attempt, instead going for it on fourth-and-one. Facing the relentless Bronco pass- rush, Brady was forced to loft the ball to Julian Edelman who was tackled for a loss. Turnover on downs. Three points there would have cut the Broncos lead to five. What was curious about the call was the fact that the Bron- cos offense had been stymied by the Patriots defense in the second half. Was Belichick concerned that Manning would morph into his 2006 version, and lead the Broncos on a time- consuming drive? Aside from the opening drive of the game, an 11-play, 83-yard drive capped by a touchdown (where Manning was literally throwing against air as the Patriots pass coverage was giv- ing the Broncos too much cush- ion for my liking), the Broncos failed to put together a drive. Come next season, the Patriots will once again be among the elite teams in the NFL. But don't be fooled, a great opportunity was lost forever in the Mile High air. Why Can't The Public Know the Truth About Social Security? by Allen IV. Smith During the past three decades the American people have been kept in the dark about the true status of the Social Security program. Politicians, from both political parties, give out false and conflicting information on a regular basis, and nobody knows who to believe. At the Republican presidential debate, held in Boulder, Colorado, on the night of October 28, 2015, New Jersey governor Chris Christie shocked a lot of people when he said; "Let me be honest with the people who are watch- ing at home. The government has lied to you and they have stolen from you. They told you that your Social Security money is in a trust fund. All that's in the trust fund is a pile of IOUs for money they spent on some- thing else a long time ago." As an economist who has devoted the past 15 years of my life to researching and writing about Social Security's finan- cial problems, I was not at all shocked by Governor Christie's words. He just told it like it is, just as I have been doing for the past 15 years. There is no ques- tion about the truth of Christie's assertion that the trust fund holds no real assets. Anyone can prove that point by simply checking the annual budgets of the federal government for the years 1984 to 2010, when the surpluses ended. These budgets make it clear that all of the surplus Social Security revenue was spent; none of it was saved. In each year, the government spent all of its general revenue, plus all of the surplus Social Security revenue, and still had to borrow money to make ends meet. Every high-level government official and every member of Congress knows the trust fund is empty, and most of them participated in emptying it. But the truth about the trust fund has been kept from the general public for the past 30 years. It is recognized as a taboo sub- ject by most of the media, and anyone who claims the trust fund is empty is ridiculed. Once Christie broke with tradition by telling the truth about the empty trust fund, he was the victim of verbal assault by both politicians and media outlets. As the government spent the Social Security surplus money, the actual money was replaced with IOUs, which the govern- ment calls "special issues of the Treasury." The public has been led to believe that the IOUs are real bonds, just like the marketable Treasury bonds held by China and our other creditors. But the IOUs are not at all like the marketable Treasury bonds. They cannot be sold or used to pay benefits. They represent only an account- ing record of how much Social Security money has been spent on other things. In 2015, the cost of paying full Social Security benefits was $84 billion more than Social Security revenue and the gap between revenue and benefit costs will become larger and larger in the years ahead. Since there is nothing of value in the trust fund, the government must borrow the needed money from China, or one of our other creditors, to fill the gap between costs and benefits. The ability of the United States government to borrow money is not without limits. If in a future year the government is unable to borrow the money it needs to fill the gap, Social Security benefits will have to be reduced. If the surplus Social Secu- rity revenue generated by the 1983 payroll tax hike had been saved and invested in market- able U.S. Treasury bonds, there would be $2.7 trillion of %ood- as-gold" marketable Treasury (Continued on Page 13) THE POST-GAZETrE SATELLITE OFFICE HAS MOVED TO-343 CHELSEA ST., DAY SQUARE, EAST BOSTON This office is open on Tuesdays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM and Thursdays from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, for the convenience of our East Boston and North Shore clients and contributors Call 617-227-8929 for more information