Inside Paul Ryan, Inside the GOP

By Bob Burnett
Friday April 18, 2014 - 10:17:00 AM

After six months attacking Democrats for the alleged faults of Obamacare, Republicans finally went on the offensive with the budget plan developed by Representative Paul Ryan. The Ryan/Republican budget draws a stark contrast between the two parties.

According to the Ryan budget, America’s number one problem is the deficit. Republicans claim their plan “…reduces deficits by $4.6 trillion over the next ten years… By tackling the debt, this budget will help grow our economy today and ensure the next generation inherits a stronger, more prosperous America.” Nonetheless, national Polls have consistently shown that most Americans feel jobs and the economy are the nation’s number one problem; we believe America should do something about the jobs crisis before we tackle deficit reduction. A January Pew Research Poll found that 80 percent of respondents wanted to strengthen the US economy and 74 percent wanted to improve “the job situation.” Only 63 percent of respondents wanted to reduce the budget deficit. However, 80 percent of Republicans felt this should be a top priority; only 40 percent of Democrats agreed.

In 2014, Republicans are championing an austerity budget that has been decried by economists such as Paul Krugman and Harry Stein and Michael Madowitz, who noted; “The Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, projects that [the Ryan] budget will actually shrink the economy for the next three years.” -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Psychotherapists; The Good, The Bad, and The Unworkable

By Jack Bragen
Friday April 18, 2014 - 10:57:00 AM

For many non-afflicted persons and not just those with mental illness, a good psychotherapist with whom you can talk can be an asset. And yet, not all therapists and not all therapy techniques are good for all recipients of therapy.

To begin with, if the therapist's paycheck isn't coming from you and is instead coming from a government affiliated and/or Medicare funded agency, then that therapist isn't necessarily working for you. In these cases, there can be several agendas at work other than just your recovery. -more-

SENIOR POWER: 20% of California adults over age 65 live below the poverty threshold of about $16,000.

By Helen Rippier Wheeler,
Friday April 18, 2014 - 10:30:00 AM

He spent his final years in a low-income, seniors/disabled persons’, rent-subsidized housing project. He was all three: low-income, elderly, and disabled. And he was also alone and without family. Marginal.

His small “studio” reeked. The county provided a “caregiver” who jabbed, pushed and yelled at him. When she wasn’t with him, she was chatting with the building’s staff. While inventorying his possessions during one of his hospital stays, she was overheard to comment, “We can sell this,” possibly referring to his word-processor. When he was asked why he didn’t request a different caregiver, he responded “I’m afraid.” He was no eccentric recluse-- he wanted to be out and about. Weekends, when no building staff were on the premises, he would walk the length of the corridor, leaning on his walker.

What happens when an old person who has no family dies? Who advocates in their behalf? And who cleans up, so to speak? Friends, you say? Don’t count on it or them. -more-