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Remember that 47% nonsense? The suggestion that 47% of all

by Ziks511 / December 6, 2012 10:25 AM PST

Americans were dependent on the Federal Government, and that there were only 53% of the American people who were "real taxpaying Americans"?

Well aside from my own demolishing of that statistic by pointing out that it excluded neither those retired on Social Security, Disability or those who paid Payroll Deduction Taxes, it turns out the Center for Public Policy and Budget, a non-partisan group affiliated with the Brookings Institute, have taken the same look.


"A new CBPP analysis of budget and Census data, however, shows that more than 90 percent of the benefit dollars that entitlement and other mandatory programs[1] spend go to assist people who are elderly, seriously disabled, or members of working householdsnot to able-bodied, working-age Americans who choose not to work. (See Figure 1.) This figure has changed little in the past few years." (Emphasis added)

So what is the figure? Less than 10%. Of the American population? No, 10% of people receiving assistance.

If you reduce the 47% by the percentage who pay taxes though Payroll Deduction, you come up with a figure of around 20%. 10% of 20% is 2%. So those filthy Welfare Addicted Able Bodied lay abouts constitute about 2% or less of the population.

No wonder the US is in the state it's in. It's not the Bush Tax Cuts, or the two Wars on a credit card, nor is it the stinking bailout to all those bankers, it's the lousy 2% who won't get off their @$$es and find a job.

As if ...


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Somehow you find a way to twist the info again
by TONI H / December 6, 2012 5:23 PM PST

If 47M people are on foodstamps, even in households of WORKING families, it's because they are now below the $22K total income level and qualify. Are foodstamps, heating assistance, education assistance for retraining, college tuition for themselves or their kids, medical coverage (medicare or medicaid), and housing (Section 8), and those on extended unemployment benefits NOT considered to be 'entitlements' to you?

I don't know of anyone, including Romney, who has ever said that they sit on their a$$es and don't look for work....but there are 23M who have lost their full time jobs so they are either unemployed or under-employed or have chosen to go into early retirement and are all essentially on government entitlement programs now.

YOU count payroll deductions (it's called FICA)........however, there has been a moratorium on the EMPLOYEE end of those payroll deductions for nearly four years now (even BUSH didn't do that........it's ALL on BO), so there hasn't BEEN any revenue coming from that direction.

I think you would be surprised to find out that on our Federal Income Tax forms, there is a box to fill out in the 'income received' area to fill in the amount you receive from Unemployment Benefits as well as box for income received from Social Security (whether it's retirement or disability, it makes no difference). You have to claim both as income.......and after you fill in your deductions, if you have a tax liability and owe because there are other incomes (pensions, working part-time, rental properties, or you own a small business and file on a personal tax level), your social security and/or unemployment benefits ARE taxed as well.

Granted, there are many elderly on Social Security benefits that depend solely on that check as their only income; however, there are many, many more who DON'T because they have prepared for their 'old age' and that check is a 'supplement' to OTHER incomes. That crap of 'throw granny over the cliff' was and continues to be political garbage to sway votes because there are many of us who wouldn't need that check....in fact, there are many who would love to see the system 'means tested' and have their own personal checks either vastly reduced or done away with completely in order to save the system. But ANY talk of reforming Social Security is immediately seen as a red flag politically and has Democrats/liberals insane and ready for straight-jackets.

How many of those elite money rock star types that BO hangs with are over 65 and collecting a social security check while they have millions in personal wealth? Would any one of them give up that check? I can rattle off three names immediately of well-knowns who refuse to accept a check and have not even applied or have no intention of applying for it....can you do the same?

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Romney said pretty much exactly that, Toni
by Josh K / December 6, 2012 9:39 PM PST

That's why he got so much heat for his remarks. Then he tried to back off them, and then he doubled down on them after he lost the election.

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No...what he said
by TONI H / December 6, 2012 10:10 PM PST

was that 47% of the population depends on government in some way, shape, or form......and he was right. He never said that they were all lazy a$$es who won't look for work.

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Sure he did
by Josh K / December 6, 2012 10:32 PM PST
In reply to: No...what he said

Listen again, to the entire thing. First he claims that everyone who pays no income tax will vote for Obama (wrong), because they all want free stuff (again wrong). He goes on to say they refuse to take personal responsibility for their lives (wrong yet again). That's another way of calling them lazy a$$es.
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I have listened to it numerous times
by TONI H / December 6, 2012 10:45 PM PST
In reply to: Sure he did

And the majority of the people who pay no income taxes DID vote for BO.......but a good number of them are the same people who don't pay income taxes because of BUSH NOT BO and the tax credits BUSH gave to them. But they are also low income people who qualified for those tax cuts (credits) and ALSO qualify for the FREE STUFF that BO gave away during the campaign (by Exec Orders......lowering the requirements for food stamps and Medicaid, and the Dream Act crap, etc). As for not taking personal responsibility for their lives, he was right again........look at the large number of social security recipients who never looked towards their own future and saved any money to SUPPLEMENT that social security check. They depend on the checks as their sole non-livable income........and thus are dependent again on the government for supplemental medicaid, section 8 housing, food stamps, etc.

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You and Romney.....
by Josh K / December 6, 2012 11:44 PM PST

.....appear to be living in the same fantasy world. I suppose Romney won all those Red states with the "rich" vote only? LOL

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The 47% which you appear to vigorously defend is a Lie.
by Ziks511 / December 7, 2012 12:14 PM PST

27% of people have taxes deducted from their payroll. That reduced the number of people to receive benefits to 20%. And that 20% breaks down into Pensioners 53%, Disability 20% Working but not making enough to make ends meet and therefore receiving social assistance or Food Stamps 18%. To pursue this as you do, repeating a discredited lie over and over again suggests that you have an agenda. Who are you trying to persuade. Obviously people too stupid to do the research.

But you are perpetuating a Lie on which you have been called 3 times (plus a second one in this Thread). Four times and I denounce you to the mods for deliberate publishing falsehoods, because I have all the evidence I need to prove you a Liar.


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And you didn't figure into that
by James Denison / December 7, 2012 2:33 PM PST

the number of people who paid into SS and never received a penny of it back because they died before retirement age.

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and the people who paid almost nothing
by Roger NC / December 7, 2012 9:36 PM PST

and drew for 10 to 15 years?

I'm actually not begruding them, but let's not ignore that part of the SS spending up to now has been on people that barely paid in, particularly non-income generating spouses of the older generation.

That group is actually probably about gone. I know of only half dozen at most right now as far as people I know or their family.

I wonder what the balence is between those that drew nothing and those that drew 10 years or more on the minimum payment required to qualify when social security started. Of course, though some disagree, many acknowledge social security when enacted was of aimed at widows. Not that many of the income producing men live very long past 65.

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No it isn't Toni. Maybe your handlers tell you that, but
by Ziks511 / December 7, 2012 12:02 PM PST

it isn't true. People who collect government assistance fall in the lowest 20%, pulling them right out of the 47%. It is minimum wage jobs which lead people to need Food Stamps and little bits of Social Assistance. They are not entirely dependent on it but it helps. If you were to go to the site more than 53% of that bottom 1/5th are pensioners over the age of 65, and lots of those have 401ks and Private Pension plans and Company Pension plans. Another 20 % are the severely Disabled who need Federal support. Then there is assistance to the working poor which applies to 18% of the American Population. Leaving 9% unenumerated. but the study showed that only 10% of the 20% are the classic Republican bogey men, the 10% of the 20% equals 2 percent as the lazy SOB's who won't work. If you applied the Felony database to that 2% I'd say you've figured out what the 2% do in the intervals between Welfare Checks.

The one place we agree is collecting Social Security should be means tested. But if you have savings or a private pension which is half of the Social Security one, they shouldn't claw the Social Security back so people only get what Social Security offers. There should be a soft claw back, keep the first 50%, but decreasing to nothing when your Pension situation is double the Social Security.


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Have you figured up
by James Denison / December 7, 2012 2:37 PM PST

how many women with children by multiple worthless boyfriends, or how many children "born out of wedlock" are supported by welfare checks? Don't see any connection there? Any social problems beyond having money tossed at it which needs addressing? A continual perpetuating situation? You just look at tossing good money after bad and doing little to change the social situation as solving the problem?

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You are not taking into consideration
by TONI H / December 7, 2012 8:07 PM PST

the huge number of children who also collect a social security check every month. For instance......When my first husband passed away at age 29, we had three children under the age of 7 at the time. Although I was working and didn't receive a 'widow' benefit, social security figured out how much John WOULD have earned in his working lifetime and determined that EACH of my children should receive a check for over $500 PER MONTH and that I should receive a check for half of one of those checks until my youngest turned 16. THEIR checks would continue until they were age 23 if they were still in school (college). When Reagan was President, he stopped the extended college benefit and dropped the 'stop check' age down to 18 or until they graduated from high school (if, because of their birthdate, they didn't graduate until age 19 or because they were dumb as rocks and failed a number of times, they could have kept on collecting until they got their finally got their diploma). That move alone saved the social security billions of dollars, but the amounts children receive is staggering.

I was able to keep on working and paying my piddly amount each paycheck into the system, but it was a dribble compared to the tremendous amounts that kids as recipients of a death or disability benefit actually collect over very long periods of time.

When Derek's father died, he was only 8 years old. I was already on social security disability when he died and Derek was already receiving HALF of MY check because of how it's set up. When Jim died, social security decided, again in its infinite wisdom of checks and balances (mostly checks), that the death benefit should kick in because it was more than double what Derek was already receiving based on what JIM'S working record WOULD HAVE BEEN had he lived, so we were again able to collect a check for Derek until he was 19 and graduated from high school (based on his birthdate) and I collected my own disability benefit (that has now changed to a retirement benefit because of my age).

My grandson Tommy had a stroke when he was 7 months old........he is disabled but functional after many years of therapy and a couple of surgeries to ease seizures and to allow the muscles in his leg to stretch and grow with him so he can walk even with a limp. He has been getting a social security check each month (he's 12 now) since the stroke based upon his father's contributions. My daughter doesn't receive a check but because she is and has been his primary care-giver and trained to do so by the hospital since the stroke, she is on government assistance for their housing and food and medical and utilities.

So now that most of my personal history with social security is known by all here, perhaps you will have a better understanding of how many people are actually in the system that are included but not contributing until way later in their lives and they will never work long enough to not match the amounts they actually collect from it. Seniors who wait until they retire to collect still end up collecting far more than they have paid in, same with Medicare........CHILDREN collect more than TEN TIMES what they will pay into it in their lifetime.

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by TONI H / December 7, 2012 9:58 PM PST

the $500+ per child that I received for the daughters of John was in 1977......Derek's began in 1989......I can't even begin to imagine what those benefits would have been had they been figured at 2012 values instead.

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certainly that's a cost on social security
by Roger NC / December 7, 2012 10:16 PM PST

and one not originally included I don't think.

But I doubt it would be better for society if we didn't offer than help to survivors. Surely you agree that many in such situations desperately need the help.

Now I do find it a bit bothersome when those same benefits are paid to kids with inheritance trust funds larger than a most of our lifetime earnings.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. We should be honest enough with ourselves to not worry so much about the separate fund that is suppose to be social security. We should face the truth and decide how much who should get and pay it, and pay the taxes to support it. The debate should be about how much, or how little, we're willing to give as aid for retirement and old age. Argue about means testing or entitement because you paid in, negotiate over the age for retirement and medicare, etc.

If we don't want to give the money we should be bold enough to say we won't (not can't) help you, and accept the consequences.

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I think
by TONI H / December 7, 2012 11:37 PM PST

that there would be more incentive for workers to save for their retirement if they knew ahead of time that the only funds they would receive from Social Security was the total amount they actually paid into it during their working lifetime....and raise the percentage of their pay from 6%+ to a higher amount. They can opt later on to take it all as one lump sum or spread out in payments until they died.

I also don't think that survivor's benefits should be determined by what the dead father/mother would have earned in their lifetime but rather what they would have earned during the CHILD's age from the time the parent actually died and when the child could no longer be eligible (18 or out of high school...even if he/she drops out), because those are the only years that the parent would have been responsible for their support. To base the total received on a parent's lifetime potential earned income inflates too heavily the amount the child receives for a short period of time.

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should the child SS benefit be based on income at all?
by Roger NC / December 8, 2012 1:05 AM PST
In reply to: I think

should we not decide what we thought was needed and that be the payout for all, not less for a farm laborer's child and more for a engineer's kid?

Granted, the kid of poor alive parents has less, but shouldn't we set the same support price for all? why should a social benefit paid by all of us be determined by how much the parent may have earned.

And think how this penalizes a family that the income earner lost a high paid career and took a lower position for a few years to get by while still trying to move back up.

The difference in lifetime income and income the few years before retirement is why social security retirement was changed. Many earn less the last 2 to 10 years before 65-67, that is why now SS is based on lifetime not the last 5 years earnings.

As far as basing SS retirement on what was paid in, then do away with it. Let them save their money in tax excluded accounts. SS retirement, disability, survivors amount should be set by what our society recognizes as a fair aid from society to the elderly, disabled, and orphaned. Then we should shut up and pay for it. That doesn't mean not being viligant over abuse. But we need to quit whining we can't afford to pay the next generation what everyone up until now has gotten and they need to take care of themselves without being willing to face head on the consequences and accepting that as a society we are willing to abandon those that can't make it for health or other reasons on what society decides it's willing to pay.

We can be Dickison and adopt the attitude of let them die and decrease the surplus population. Or would that be Darwin? the stepchild of Scrooge and Darwin?

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and if everyone was limited to what they paid in
by Roger NC / December 8, 2012 5:12 AM PST
In reply to: I think

many of our grand parents and even some of our parents wouldn't have had enough to buy groceries, much less power and/or gas. And just forget it if they didn't have a house paid for before retirement, if they had rented as so many should be doing instead of buying according to many talking heads.

Retirement planning use to recommend the 3 legged stool, a very stable item by the way since 3 points determine a plane geometrically.

Social Security, pension, and savings.

Pensions are disappearing, even before the last 4 years. I'll agree the decline in fixed pensions are accelerating, how much to which part of the current situation I'm not sure. My own company, under union contracts by the way, is eliminating fixed pension for all new hires. For current employees over 55 or those who's age plus years of service add up to 70 there is a choice between remaining in the fixed pension plan or going with the enhanced 401K play. For all other current employees, their fixed pension is froze at amount for service time as of 12/31/2012. I did a fairly close calculation. Even with the larger match amount, I'd be at a disadvantage after 11 years of retirement if I choose to leave the fixed pension plan. Of course, there is the advantage that after the match goes into your 401K plan it's forever out of reach of the company, just subject to the dangers of investments. Fixed pension plans can be changed at any time, even after you retire on faith that you will get what you were promised for decades of service with the company.

Now there is howling to reduce SS, or even eliminate it (privatizing is basically eliminating SS in favor of tax deferred savings). So that moves SS to the savings leg.

So from a supposedly stable 3 point support we're standing on one leg with a pair of wobbly, weak crutches to keep our balence.

One thing I think is absolutely corrupt and immoral is changing retirement payout after someone retires, be it the government or a corporation. That individual may have been prudent and careful and planned well based on his best information and contracts made with him by employer and society.

How will you like it, how would deal with it now, if your SS is cut 10 to 20 % and your medicare premiums and copays both increased?

Most retired folks would either have to go to work again, move in with family (if they have any that will take them in) or just sink deeper into poverty until they give up and die.

Sin insurance cost (as kin to sin taxes) are increasing for those that smoke. Don't know why they haven't added a medicare tax on top of the other tax on cigerettes and alcohol yet. Interesting enough, obesity is the current tax and insurance premium target, not alcohol or ever drug use.

Oh well, if pot gets legallized widely enough, maybe we can just smoke ourselfs into a coma then death we won't have to deal with it. Can you overdose on pot? if not there is always 151 rum shooters and alcohol poisoning.

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You need to factor in buying power at the time
by James Denison / December 8, 2012 6:01 AM PST

Better to compare to some standard item of worth or gold or silver to adjust for inflation which makes it seem those earlier paid less. For instance I remember we rented a home for $50 a month in a good neighborhood in the early 60's, but that same home now would cost someone, at least in this area, probably $2000 per month. What was that rental price in the 30's when SS began collections? Less I'm sure.

To simply look at a dollar amount, without taking into the failure of our govt to protect the value of that dollar is simplistic, and wrong. I figured it up once and the value of our dollar today is equal to about 3 cents then. If you just take the price of gold which was at $20 an ounce before Roosevelt stole it and then devalued the dollars he gave in exchange for it, and today's price at $1700 per ounce, then our current dollar is the same as 1.18 cents then.

To be even more fair, one would have to take the amount paid, give it the going interest rate of that day which could be gained from savings, compounded yearly, and having adjusted for inflation noted above, adding back in those who never collected on SS payments due to an early death, and you'll discover this country for years have owed SS recipients a lot more than they've ever been paid.

I once sat down and did all the math on it and discovered only those like George Burns and others who lived to near 100 or over managed to get back all that was supposed to be coming to them in retirement.

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so you're supporting COLA's?
by Roger NC / December 8, 2012 7:55 AM PST

The calculation could probably be improved, but any type of support would have to figure in cost of liing increases.

Of course, that is an option for cutting back too, just freeze current benefits and people have to make up the inflation difference somehow themselves.

Often inflation isn't even though. Cost of living increase may be 5%, but if over half of that is cost of food, it's a lot harder for someone to deal with the increase if living on limited income.

In your calculations, how are figuring in everyone that was near retirement when SS started and collected till their death, 10 to 20 years, after paying in for less than 10 years.

Am I reading your implication correctly that you figure that SS has made the US government lots of cash that they are hiding from the public?

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The biggest holder of US debt even now
by James Denison / December 8, 2012 1:18 PM PST

is what is owed to the SS fund.

Which agencies own the most Treasuries? Social Security, by a long shot. Here's the detailed breakdown:

Social Security (Social Security Trust Fund and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund) - $2.4 trillion
Office of Personnel Management (Federal Employees Retirement, Life Insurance, Hospital Insurance Trust Funds, including Postal Service Fund) - $1.09 trillion
Dept. of Health and Human Services (Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund) - $77.3 billion

I don't know if there was a non eligible period at the start of SS or not. You are aware that even today, benefits are based on what one paid into the fund during their life, or as a widow or widower, that of a spouse, whichever is higher.

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I can't remember the details
by Roger NC / December 8, 2012 10:35 PM PST

but when SS started, those that were already a certain age only had to pay in a minimalistic amount to qualify for SS payments.

There is the fact that all those are dead now, it would have been my grandmother's generation, perhaps even those a bit older. I remember reading when I was looking up some history on SS on a previous debate here, but don't remember the details.

Now SS is based on lifetime, but even when I started working the payout was based on just a few years before you started to draw. That allowed workers in their 50's when SS began to qualify for as much as someone who started paying in much earlier. I think it was around 1980 that changed to lifetime earnings but I'm not sure. It was changed after a recognition that many workers earned less in their last decade of work than they did before because of changing jobs. Some had to take less demanding physically jobs, some changed jobs to move to where they intended to retire (often back to home communities), some couldn't even work or couldnt work full time because of health issues as they aged.

People who for years had earned at a rate that would have qualified them for higher SS ended up with less because of reduced earnings the last few years of their life. So the system was modified so that SS payout was based on lifetime earnings.

That is my understanding anyway.

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(NT) FYI, re all dead now, my grandmother died at 101+
by Roger NC / December 8, 2012 10:58 PM PST
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Re gold and silver as a standard item
by Roger NC / December 8, 2012 10:53 PM PST

the last 20 years those prices have swung as drastically as big stocks, so I don't see how they would provide stability.

Now it may be true their inflation % is higher than general inflatrion %, if so they would provide a hedge against inflation.

If you're insisting on the savings rate be applied, again aren't you just calling for tax deferred savings accounts under a different name, with government mandated contributions of course vs voluntary.

Actually given some of your views on government vs private, I would have thought you'd be in favor of the privatizing of SS and letting the individual choose investments and be responsible for his own reward and risk.

Perhaps government mandated contributions to individual IRA like plans should be discussed, as long as we acknowledge we are leaving each to hisself with no safety net.

Not very advanced society IMO, nor acknowledging socially the example of the Good Samaritan, but it may fit well with some belief in the government should be minimal and the individual is solely responsible for his/her well being. In this line, help and aid should be only at the individual or at the most local group level and only for those that someone recognizes the need, chooses to provide it, and can afford themselves to provide it.

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Your last paragraph
by TONI H / December 8, 2012 11:10 PM PST

describes perfectly what this country actually used to be like......people and churches who helped neighbors and didn't rely on government help......much like what has actually occurred in those areas hit by Sandy recently. Neighbors and perfect strangers were helping much more than FEMA or even local governments/agencies. People were complaining that even the Red Cross was a joke, providing crackers or cookies instead of blankets and water in the beginning, and that if it wasn't for neighbors and strangers, they would have gone hungry and cold. People were bringing in generators.......volunteer electricians from other states were being called scabs by union electricians that were local, etc. FEMA trailers are still sitting in Pennsylvania rather than being brought in to house people from the cold. Government STILL can't efficiently handle a crisis and haven't learned a thing from Katrina........but PEOPLE can. BO, with all his expertise as a community organizer, has failed miserably at organizing anything.

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has failed miserably at organizing anything.
by JP Bill / December 8, 2012 11:14 PM PST
In reply to: Your last paragraph

He got elected.

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He didn't do the organizing
by TONI H / December 8, 2012 11:19 PM PST

in order to achieve that.........he used Chicago thuggery, intimidation, and smears.....his PARTY did the organizing.

And he has no desire to negotiate........he only wants to win.....using the same Chicago tactics mentioned above.

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(NT) He got elected.
by JP Bill / December 8, 2012 11:28 PM PST
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An example, please.....
by Josh K / December 9, 2012 9:34 PM PST

.....of the "Chicago thuggery" that affected the outcome of this election.

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Examples, Josh
by TONI H / December 9, 2012 10:09 PM PST

take just about any ad that was shown during the campaign, beginning last February before the Rep primaries even began.....and the theme of 'kill Romney' was already taking shape.

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That's "thuggery?"
by Josh K / December 9, 2012 10:13 PM PST


Romney lost, Toni, and aside from your rantings there have been NO claims of fraud or "thuggery" anywhere. Deal with it.

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