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Archive for the 'Love, Sex & Relationships' Category

Wonderful Women Of The World

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 12th October 2014

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Good morning!

 Speaking of  ”tax on women…”

Sarah Silverman says it best - This is hilarious! You go girl.

 

Sarah Silverman Fronts a Drastic New Campaign for Wage Equality

She’s not going to stop at anything to make sure she gets equal pay. Which means that this video includes a prosthetic penis, just FYI.

Sarah Silverman helps launch the Equal Payback Project this morning with a video proving she’ll stop at nothing to make sure she’s paid the same as a man — and yes, that means gender reassignment. She’s picking herself out a nice “European” penis that goes nicely with her favorite boots, and then waving the floppy prosthetic peen around a bit, because what else is there to do with it? (Don’t worry though, this is just satire; Sarah still has all her ladyparts.)

“Every year the average woman loses around $11,000 to the wage gap,” Sarah explains in the video. “Over the course of her working life, that’s almost $500,000. That’s a $500,000 vagina tax.” So the Equal Payback Project is looking to crowdfund that amount — times every woman across the United States. That’s a fundraising total of $29,811,746,430,000, which the Project explains is ” a ludicrous goal, to be sure, but one highlighting the real* numbers.”

If the campaign reaches its multi-trillion dollar goal, every American woman (or “vagina owner,” if you’d prefer that on the “payable to” line) will be sent a check canceling out their vagina tax. Otherwise, the donations will be given to the National Women’s Law Center, a nonprofit focused on educating the public about the wage gap and advocating for equal pay. “The wage gap is stubborn, it’s persistent, and it’s outrageous,” the National Women’s Law Center’s co-president said. “We’re thrilled that Sarah Silverman is bringing her prodigious talents and brand of irreverent humor to bear on a very serious issue for women and their families. We hope she opens hearts and minds – and a few pocketbooks – to provide the resources to close the wage gap once and for all.”

Read more about the campaign at EqualPaybackProject.com.

*It’s a figure calculated by multiplying the nearly 69 million working women by the $435,049 a typical woman loses to the wage gap over the course of her career (assuming she works full-time, year-round for 40 years).

*****

Readers: The wage gap is no joke, but perhaps presented this way, people will listen and take it more seriously.

Hey, Mike, TM: Like everyone else, I too am looking forward to what you’re going to report.

Penny: Sorry you had trouble posting – that is the way it is sometimes. Thanks for your concern and for sticking around anyway, but no blog management problems at all.

Phillip: Ahh…you must be a Newbie – welcome! It seems that you haven’t been reading here long enough to know that I personally don’t censor or limit how many people can comment. As far as people “getting in,” it is the luck of the draw. No one gets priority over anyone else – that wouldn’t be fair now would it? As you can see Zen Lill had the same issue posting as you and Louis.

So no, it’s no unique way to increase my blog numbers. It is enough work blogging every day. I certainly don’t have time to be selective on who gets in and who doesn’t. You can thank those that oppose for any issue happening here.

Thanks for being here! I appreciate all of the readers who comment here in spite of how frustrating it may be sometime!

HaPPY SUNday EveryONE!

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

If you love my blog and my writes, please make a donation via PayPal, credit card, or e-check, please click the “Donate” button below. (Please only donations from those readers within the United States. – International readers please see my “Donate” page)

Or if you would like to send a check via snail mail, please make checks payable to “Michelle Moquin”, and send to:

Michelle Moquin PO Box 29235 San Francisco, Ca. 94129

Thank you for your loyal support!

All content on this site are property of Michelle Moquin © copyright 2008-2014

me

“Though she be but little, she be fierce.” – William Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream 

" Politics, god, Life, News, Music, Family, Personal, Travel, Random, Photography, Religion, Aliens, Art, Entertainment, Food, Books, Thoughts, Media, Culture, Love, Sex, Poetry, Prose, Friends, Technology, Humor, Health, Writing, Events, Movies, Sports, Video, Christianity, Atheist, Blogging, History, Work, Education, Business, Fashion, Barack Obama, People, Internet, Relationships, Faith, Photos, Videos, Hillary Clinton, School, Reviews, God, TV, Philosophy, Fun, Science, Environment, Design, The Page, Rants, Pictures, Church, Blog, Nature, Marketing, Television, Democrats, Parenting, Miscellaneous, Current Events, Film, Spirituality, Obama, Musings, Home, Human Rights, Society, Comedy, Me, Random Thoughts, Research, Government, Election 2008, Baseball, Opinion, Recipes, Children, Iraq, Funny, Women, Economics, America, Misc, Commentary, John McCain, Reflections, All, Celebrities, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Theology, Linux, Kids, Games, World, India, Literature, China, Ramblings, Fitness, Money, Review, War, Articles, Economy, Journal, Quotes, NBA, Crime, Anime, Islam, 2008, Stories, Prayer, Diary, Jesus, Buddha, Muslim, Israel, Europe, Links, Marriage, Fiction, American Idol, Software, Leadership, Pop culture, Rants, Video Games, Republicans, Updates, Political, Football, Healing, Blogs, Shopping, USA, Class, Matrix, Course, Work, Web 2.0, My Life, Psychology, Gay, Happiness, Advertising, Field Hockey, Hip-hop, sex, fucking, ass, Soccer, sox"

Posted in Bitch Badinage, Entertainment & Laughter, Good Reads and Good See'ds, Human Rights and Equality, Love, Sex & Relationships, Style, Wonderful Women Of The World | 31 Comments »

Wonderful Women Of The World

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 4th October 2014


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Good afternoon!

I know…I know…a very late evening last night, hence a very late post this afternoon. :)

I decided recently that I wanted to have better relationships in my life, especially the one with myself, so I have been working with a relationship coach, an amazing woman. The work is illuminating, challenging, and highly emotional and revealing. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I am grateful for the work and for becoming more aware of my relationship patterns, how we assume things or make things up about people when we really don’t know, how our world view can differ from others, listening skills, self talk and limitations, recognizing worthiness and success, defining our values, vulnerability and connection with others and self, etc.

It was one of the most wonderful things I could have ever done for myself, and my relationships. I am excited for the possibilities and for what I am creating in all of my relationships.

Like most things that I commit to doing, I go in big – this coaching was no different. Success, and the meaning of, was something I have been looking at on a deeper level. What does “Success” mean to me and to others? During this coaching process I found myself consciously relating and connecting with people in a more vulnerable way…and asking the question, “What is success to you?”

Most people did not say that “success” was all about the money. Yes, that was part of it. Answers ranged from people wanting to make money to have more freedom to do what they wanted to do, to being self -sufficient, and in addition on a more personal level, “success” meant doing work they loved and were passionate about, having great relationships with others, others seeing them in a positive light, being able to give back – wanting to have a positive impact on others through work, with their community…the world.

I found this write on Zainab Salbi, the founder of Women for Women International. She talks honestly about “success,” walking the talk, and how you can take baby steps for activism. I resonated with her words.  I thought you would enjoy it as well.

From Refinary29.

This Inspiring Woman Redefines Success

 image

What would you say to someone who feels like they can’t be an activist because they might not have the resources or they might not be that selfless? What are the baby steps? 
“The advice I have for anybody is to live your truth! If you’re attached to the categorization of ‘activist’ or ‘success,’ then you’re attached to the categorization. I never trust anybody whose goal in life is to be rich and famous. That may sound extreme, but I would never want anything to do with this person because being rich and famous is a byproduct. You’re going about it in the wrong way. Your goal should be to live your truth. Your goal should be to do something that’s meaningful for you. Your goal should be doing something that fills your heart and makes you feel good. So, if you want to help another person, I don’t believe you need to sacrifice all of your life for it. Do something in your community — something in your life. Activism doesn’t have to be grandiose.”

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from the women you work with, across the world? 
“Is it Gandhi who said ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’? Yeah. Well, it took me a long time, but I do believe that. I started my journey thinking this was all about advocating for and helping these other women. So, it was always about them. I, on the other hand, was not really there. It was like I was hiding. But, they are the ones who helped me realize that I have to own my story in order to really be worthy of staying and working with them. Helping them is patronizing, but meeting them is respectful. If you come to me and need help, there are two different ways of addressing it: I can save you, which is patronizing. Or, I can associate with you and acknowledge you, and it becomes a mutual experience.”

It’s the opposite of being a missionary. 
“Totally! Totally. I realized that I can’t preach about women speaking up, breaking their silence, and being independent if I don’t do it myself. But, they were the ones who helped me do that. It’s the poorest women, the most marginalized, the most illiterate who helped me live in truth to myself.”

What was it about your relationship with these women that allowed you to evolve like that? 
“They were much more honest about it than I was. They were much more insightful. I think all of us hide because we give so much attention to our appearances. When you’re in utter poverty and utter vulnerability, your masks gets thrown off. You don’t care. I realized I couldn’t be in service to others if I don’t claim who I am. I’ve learned to be very transparent about things. If my heart is broken, I say my heart is broken. If I am happy, I say I am happy. When I break my silence, I might open another window for perhaps another woman, you know? Then, she breaks her silence and it becomes a ‘we’ story. When we realize this violence, this discrimination, this prejudice goes beyond any one woman, it becomes a collective story. Thus, it takes a collective action to break it.”

*****

Readers: How do you define Success? – What does it mean to you to be successful? Blog me.

Peace & Love. 

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

If you love my blog and my writes, please make a donation via PayPal, credit card, or e-check, please click the “Donate” button below. (Please only donations from those readers within the United States. – International readers please see my “Donate” page)

Or if you would like to send a check via snail mail, please make checks payable to “Michelle Moquin”, and send to:

Michelle Moquin PO Box 29235 San Francisco, Ca. 94129

Thank you for your loyal support!

All content on this site are property of Michelle Moquin © copyright 2008-2014

me

“Though she be but little, she be fierce.” – William Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream 

" Politics, god, Life, News, Music, Family, Personal, Travel, Random, Photography, Religion, Aliens, Art, Entertainment, Food, Books, Thoughts, Media, Culture, Love, Sex, Poetry, Prose, Friends, Technology, Humor, Health, Writing, Events, Movies, Sports, Video, Christianity, Atheist, Blogging, History, Work, Education, Business, Fashion, Barack Obama, People, Internet, Relationships, Faith, Photos, Videos, Hillary Clinton, School, Reviews, God, TV, Philosophy, Fun, Science, Environment, Design, The Page, Rants, Pictures, Church, Blog, Nature, Marketing, Television, Democrats, Parenting, Miscellaneous, Current Events, Film, Spirituality, Obama, Musings, Home, Human Rights, Society, Comedy, Me, Random Thoughts, Research, Government, Election 2008, Baseball, Opinion, Recipes, Children, Iraq, Funny, Women, Economics, America, Misc, Commentary, John McCain, Reflections, All, Celebrities, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Theology, Linux, Kids, Games, World, India, Literature, China, Ramblings, Fitness, Money, Review, War, Articles, Economy, Journal, Quotes, NBA, Crime, Anime, Islam, 2008, Stories, Prayer, Diary, Jesus, Buddha, Muslim, Israel, Europe, Links, Marriage, Fiction, American Idol, Software, Leadership, Pop culture, Rants, Video Games, Republicans, Updates, Political, Football, Healing, Blogs, Shopping, USA, Class, Matrix, Course, Work, Web 2.0, My Life, Psychology, Gay, Happiness, Advertising, Field Hockey, Hip-hop, sex, fucking, ass, Soccer, sox"

Posted in Good Reads and Good See'ds, Love, Sex & Relationships, Style, Wonderful Women Of The World | 4 Comments »

Republicans Unanimously Block Equal Pay Bill

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 18th September 2014


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Good morning!

Republicans Unanimously Block Equal Pay Bill

Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, John Thune, John Barrasso

CREDIT: AP

After allowing the Paycheck Fairness Act to move forward last week, Senate Republicans turned around on Monday evening and unanimously voted to block the bill, which would ban salary secrecy and tighten rules to try to narrow the gender wage gap.

The vote came weeks after the Republican National Committee claimed that “All Republicans support equal pay.” Senate Republicans have unanimouslyshot the bill down multiple times over the past four years.

The bill includes a number of provisions aimed at preventing the gender wage gap in the first place, which currently means a woman who works full time, year round makes 77 percent of what a similar man makes and hasn’t budged in a decade.

It would ban salary secrecy, in which employers prohibit or strongly discourage employees from discussing pay with each other, thus making it difficult for women to discover unequal practices. While it’s illegal to tell workers they can’t talk about wages with each other without a business justification, since it infringes on the right to engage in concerted activities for mutual aid, it’s still widespread: about half of private sector workers say they can’t talk about pay at work. But in workplaces without this practice, the wage gap shrinks. Among the federal workforce, where pay scales are usually transparent, the wage gap has fallen significantly over the past 20 years. It’s also falling among unionized workers, who similarly tend to have wage transparency.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would also narrow the definitions of what is considered a legitimate business-related justification for pay disparities between a man and a woman with the same skills, responsibilities, and working conditions, while increasing penalties for those who are found to have no reason for gaps. It’s meant to discourage unequal pay scales so that women don’t have to remedy situations by bringing lawsuits, which are time consuming, costly, and increasingly difficult to win.

Republicans say they are in favor of equal pay for women’s work, but they haven’t articulated their alternatives to the Democrats’ bill. Instead they say women are already protected and argue that the gap isn’t as big as the statistics say. But while it’s true that many factors go into the gender wage gap, it can’t be explained away and discrimination is likely at least partly to blame.

*****

Readers: I really don’t get it. I am so sick of the repubs claiming one thing and their actions don’t backup their claims. What woman in her right mind would vote for men who block a bill that would narrow the gender wage gap? If that language is too confusing for you, please tell me why you would vote for men who are not in favor of equal pay for women’s work. Really…I want to know. Blog me.

Speaking of women…

Let me address the NFL and the player’s abuse of women. Fifty Six players have been arrested for domestic violence since Roger Goodell became the commissioner.  And of the fifty six arrested only 13 were suspended from games in total. Some of the players didn’t get any penalties…some only got fines. This is really disgusting.

In my opinion, if we are going to take a hard stance on domestic violence, these players need to be suspended from the NFL indefinitely. The ramifications need to be strict enough that they won’t even consider raising a hand…and the way to hit ‘em hard is in their wallet – take their million dollar contracts away and perhaps they’ll limit the beating up of others where there is a level playing field. (no pun intended.)

Goodell has basically given these players a license to abuse when there are hardly any consequences for acts of domestic violence. Rep. Jackie Speier calls on Goodell to resign, and I couldn’t agree with her more. But he won’t. He made a cool 44 million last year. There is no way he s going to give up that pay.

As Rep Jackie Spier said, “It is really all about money.” Yep. Again, I couldn’t agree more. Meanwhile women’s lives are in danger because the dollar is more important than the well-being of women. That’s what their actions are saying when domestic violence is prevalent, and nothing is being done to stop it.  How many more women need to be abused before this is taken seriously?

John:  Perhaps before you address the article you should actually read the article. The couple you are referring to is not the couple that is in the write that I posted. Just saying…

And even if it was, who cares? Lots of people have sex in the open. If it was between two white people we wouldn’t be having this conversation and you wouldn’t come to the assumption that the woman was a prostitute. It is because the sex is happening between a white man and a black woman, that you say “…it’s not out of normal thinking to assumeshe might have been a prostitute.“ What you’re assuming, and what you think is “normal” to assume, is that no white man would have sex with a black woman unless she was a prostitute. You’re racist. Just saying.

I guess I am not the only only thinking this as I just read Morris’ comment. 

Done for the day. Your turn. Blog me. 

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

If you love my blog and my writes, please make a donation via PayPal, credit card, or e-check, please click the “Donate” button below. (Please only donations from those readers within the United States. – International readers please see my “Donate” page)

Or if you would like to send a check via snail mail, please make checks payable to “Michelle Moquin”, and send to:

Michelle Moquin PO Box 29235 San Francisco, Ca. 94129

Thank you for your loyal support!

All content on this site are property of Michelle Moquin © copyright 2008-2014

me

“Though she be but little, she be fierce.” – William Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream 

" Politics, god, Life, News, Music, Family, Personal, Travel, Random, Photography, Religion, Aliens, Art, Entertainment, Food, Books, Thoughts, Media, Culture, Love, Sex, Poetry, Prose, Friends, Technology, Humor, Health, Writing, Events, Movies, Sports, Video, Christianity, Atheist, Blogging, History, Work, Education, Business, Fashion, Barack Obama, People, Internet, Relationships, Faith, Photos, Videos, Hillary Clinton, School, Reviews, God, TV, Philosophy, Fun, Science, Environment, Design, The Page, Rants, Pictures, Church, Blog, Nature, Marketing, Television, Democrats, Parenting, Miscellaneous, Current Events, Film, Spirituality, Obama, Musings, Home, Human Rights, Society, Comedy, Me, Random Thoughts, Research, Government, Election 2008, Baseball, Opinion, Recipes, Children, Iraq, Funny, Women, Economics, America, Misc, Commentary, John McCain, Reflections, All, Celebrities, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Theology, Linux, Kids, Games, World, India, Literature, China, Ramblings, Fitness, Money, Review, War, Articles, Economy, Journal, Quotes, NBA, Crime, Anime, Islam, 2008, Stories, Prayer, Diary, Jesus, Buddha, Muslim, Israel, Europe, Links, Marriage, Fiction, American Idol, Software, Leadership, Pop culture, Rants, Video Games, Republicans, Updates, Political, Football, Healing, Blogs, Shopping, USA, Class, Matrix, Course, Work, Web 2.0, My Life, Psychology, Gay, Happiness, Advertising, Field Hockey, Hip-hop, sex, fucking, ass, Soccer, sox"

Posted in Health & Well Being, Human Rights and Equality, Journeys within, Love, Sex & Relationships | 27 Comments »

Not Just Ray Rice

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 16th September 2014


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Good morning!

A few days ago on the 13th of September, VAWA celebrated its 20th anniversary. Football season is here. And yet, it seems there is more talk about the abusive players, and how the NFL is handling them,  than there is about the actual games.

A write from Think Progress.

The Progress Report Banner

Not Just Ray Rice

 

On The 20th Anniversary Of VAWA, Important Stories On Domestic Violence

Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – the landmark legislation that was signed into law by President Clinton to provide more institutional resources for domestic violence victims. The anniversary comes at a time when the country is engaged in a national conversation about NFL player Ray Rice, his wife Janay, and the NFL’s responsibility to adequately respond to incidences of domestic abuse within their ranks.

Here’s a rundown of stories related to this issue that you don’t want to miss:

BOTTOM LINE: It shouldn’t have taken a video leaked to the world to make the NFL finally take strong action against Ray Rice. It shouldn’t be forgotten, either, that domestic violence is a problem that extends far beyond the headlines: more than 31 percent of women in the United States have been physically abused by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. And 20 years after the Violence Against Women Act passed Congress, it shouldn’t be forgotten that there is still much more we can do to protect all women from abuse.

*****

Readers: What is going on? The only way that this abuse is going to stop is when women’s health and safety is made a priority and the consequences of the perp’s actions are serious. How much more leeway are men going to get before this is stopped? It’s so simple. Make the laws so detrimental for the dirty deed doers that they will not even consider raising a hand.

But first we need to get politicians in office that will support women. That is the big push. Because as long as the repubs are in control you can kiss that idea goodbye. They have no intention of supporting women.

Ugh…this is so frustrating that our future lies in our own hands and we aren’t taking control. I sure HOPE women get a clue, support their sisters, and do the right thing when the time comes, or this is going to be a never ending conversation and battle to boot.

I know I am not the only one who is sickened by all of this. What’s your thoughts on all that is going on? Blog me.

Robert I: Are you around? It’s been awhile. I HOPE you’re doing good.

Lucy, ST:  I saw the photo and read the write. :)

Gwen, Lacy: So sorry to hear about your mother, and sister. So devastating. “Yes, he looked liked such a nice church-going man. He always gave to the community. Never said anything bad about anyone…always kept to his own business…blah blah blah.” THAT should be the profile to be suspect of. Wishing you and your families peace.

Carol: Yes, Health Info usually gave out great info. I can’t say I know what happened to them but perhaps now that they have been requested, they will come back and post. (hint hint)

Peace out. 

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

If you love my blog and my writes, please make a donation via PayPal, credit card, or e-check, please click the “Donate” button below. (Please only donations from those readers within the United States. – International readers please see my “Donate” page)

Or if you would like to send a check via snail mail, please make checks payable to “Michelle Moquin”, and send to:

Michelle Moquin PO Box 29235 San Francisco, Ca. 94129

Thank you for your loyal support!

All content on this site are property of Michelle Moquin © copyright 2008-2014

me

“Though she be but little, she be fierce.” – William Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream 

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Posted in Health & Well Being, Human Rights and Equality, Journeys within, Love, Sex & Relationships, Political Powwow | 17 Comments »

Money Matters

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 15th September 2014

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Good morning!

From the Huff Po.

Seniors Forced Into Poverty As Education Department Demands Payment

The Education Department is demanding so much money from seniors with defaulted student loans that it’s forcing tens of thousands of them into poverty, according to agovernment audit.

At least 22,000 Americans aged 65 and older had a part of their Social Security benefits garnished last year to the point that their monthly benefits were below federal poverty thresholds, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Education Department-initiated collections on defaulted federal student loans left at least another 83,000 Americans aged 64 and younger with poverty-level Social Security payments, GAO data show. Federal auditors cautioned that the number of Americans forced to accept poverty-level benefits because of past defaults on federal student loans are surely higher.

More than half, or 54 percent, of federal student loans held by borrowers at least 75 years old are in default, according to the federal watchdog. About 27 percent of loans held by borrowers aged 65 to 74 are in default. Among borrowers aged 50 to 64, 19 percent of their loans are in default. The Education Department generally defines a default as being at least 360 days past due.

As unpaid student debt approaches $1.3 trillion, the federal watchdog’s findings underscore the consequences of increased student debt burdens and the risk they’ll wreak havoc on households in the coming years if U.S. workers continue to see little increase in their paychecks, the economy barely grows, and the Education Department’s contractors keep borrowers in the dark on repayment options.

“This GAO report strikes me as a kind of canary in a coal mine,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Wednesday during a hearing prompted by the report held by the Senate Special Committee on Aging. “What it says to me is, look at this narrow slice of the Baby Boom generation that now has debt [and] look at its impact … which is, if anything, more pernicious and insidious than it is for younger people.

“This age group is not only affected in more serious ways, but it is also going to grow,” Blumenthal continued. “In other words, this report says: Look out, the cliff is ahead, or the avalanche, [or] maybe it’s a tsunami, of older student debt.”

Struggling borrowers are rarely able to discharge federal student loans by declaring bankruptcy. As a result, federal auditors noted, their student debts follow them into retirement.

As the increase in average college tuitions outpaces federal borrowing limits for undergraduates, more parents are taking out federal student loans to pay for their children’s education. But GAO auditors said the vast majority of loan balances held by older Americans is for their own educations. Among borrowers aged 50 to 64, about 73 percent of their federal student loan debt was for their own schooling. For borrowers aged 65 and older, more than 82 percent of their debts was for their own education.

Some 40 million Americans have student debt, according to the Federal Reserve and the Education Department. The average recipient of federal student loans owed 28 percent more in 2013 than in 2007, after adjusting for inflation, according to Education Department data.

Meanwhile, the typical holder of a bachelor’s degree working full time experienced a 0.08 percent decrease in weekly earnings during that same period. Among workers with advanced degrees, median wages increased just 0.02 percent, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With student loan debt rising and inflation-adjusted wages falling, borrowers with student loans are reducing their spending to make their loan payments, according toa Federal Reserve survey. Nearly half of Americans said they had to curb their spending last year in order to make monthly payments on student loans.

Some 35 percent of survey respondents who are paying back student loans said they had to reduce their spending by “a little” over the past year to keep up with student debt payments. Another 11 percent said they had to cut back their spending by “a lot.”

With consumer spending powering much of the economy, any reduction in household expenditures is likely to dampen growth.

Some 12 percent of federal student loans held by borrowers aged 25 to 49 were in default, according to the GAO.

“One out of every eight student loans held by this group is in default,” said Charles Jeszeck, director of education, workforce, and income security issues at the GAO. “That’s a lot of loans!”

Rising student loan debt also risks leaving Americans with less money for their retirement, as ever bigger chunks of workers’ paychecks are devoted to repaying education loans.

“The presence of student loan debt for those nearing retirement can also affect retirement security as it may keep individuals from saving for retirement,” Jeszeck’s team said in their report.

According to the GAO, student debt already is affecting older Americans’ financial security.

Nearly 155,000 Americans had their Social Security benefits reduced last year as a result of past defaults on their federal student loans, a five-fold increase from the 31,000 borrowers whose benefits were cut in 2002. Of the 155,000 borrowers in 2013, about 36,000 of them were at least 65 years old, according to the GAO.

Part of the reason why the Education Department is putting older Americans into poverty is federal law. Existing rules governing Social Security garnishment specify that the federal government cannot seize more than 15 percent of monthly benefits or take anything that would leave Americans with checks of less than $750.

But the rules, crafted in the late 1990s, have not been adjusted for inflation. The $750 limit was above the poverty level in 1998. Had policymakers raised the garnishment level to keep up with inflation, the level last year would have been $1,073, according to the accountability office. Defaulted federal student loan borrowers with monthly checks below that limit wouldn’t have had their benefits garnished.

The Education Department refers defaulted borrowers for Social Security garnishments after the department’s collection agencies fail to recoup on the soured debt. Earlier this month, the National Consumer Law Center criticized the department for effectively turning a blind eye to allegations that its debt collectors routinely misled distressed borrowers or provided them false information.

Last year, Education Department-initiated collections of Social Security benefits caused Americans to receive $150 million less than they otherwise would have absent garnishment. The average borrower lost more than $130 every month. The average recipient of old age, survivor and disability insurance, or Social Security, received about $1,182 a month last year, according to the Social Security Administration.

The problem is likely to get worse, the GAO cautioned.

“As the baby boomers continue to move into retirement, the number of older Americans with defaulted loans will only continue to increase. This creates the potential for an unpleasant surprise for some, as their benefits are offset and they face the possibility of a less secure retirement.”

The Education Department is demanding so much money from seniors with defaulted student loans that it’s forcing tens of thousands of them into poverty, according to agovernment audit.

At least 22,000 Americans aged 65 and older had a part of their Social Security benefits garnished last year to the point that their monthly benefits were below federal poverty thresholds, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Education Department-initiated collections on defaulted federal student loans left at least another 83,000 Americans aged 64 and younger with poverty-level Social Security payments, GAO data show. Federal auditors cautioned that the number of Americans forced to accept poverty-level benefits because of past defaults on federal student loans are surely higher.

More than half, or 54 percent, of federal student loans held by borrowers at least 75 years old are in default, according to the federal watchdog. About 27 percent of loans held by borrowers aged 65 to 74 are in default. Among borrowers aged 50 to 64, 19 percent of their loans are in default. The Education Department generally defines a default as being at least 360 days past due.

As unpaid student debt approaches $1.3 trillion, the federal watchdog’s findings underscore the consequences of increased student debt burdens and the risk they’ll wreak havoc on households in the coming years if U.S. workers continue to see little increase in their paychecks, the economy barely grows, and the Education Department’s contractors keep borrowers in the dark on repayment options.

“This GAO report strikes me as a kind of canary in a coal mine,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Wednesday during a hearing prompted by the report held by the Senate Special Committee on Aging. “What it says to me is, look at this narrow slice of the Baby Boom generation that now has debt [and] look at its impact … which is, if anything, more pernicious and insidious than it is for younger people.

“This age group is not only affected in more serious ways, but it is also going to grow,” Blumenthal continued. “In other words, this report says: Look out, the cliff is ahead, or the avalanche, [or] maybe it’s a tsunami, of older student debt.”

Struggling borrowers are rarely able to discharge federal student loans by declaring bankruptcy. As a result, federal auditors noted, their student debts follow them into retirement.

As the increase in average college tuitions outpaces federal borrowing limits for undergraduates, more parents are taking out federal student loans to pay for their children’s education. But GAO auditors said the vast majority of loan balances held by older Americans is for their own educations. Among borrowers aged 50 to 64, about 73 percent of their federal student loan debt was for their own schooling. For borrowers aged 65 and older, more than 82 percent of their debts was for their own education.

Some 40 million Americans have student debt, according to the Federal Reserve and the Education Department. The average recipient of federal student loans owed 28 percent more in 2013 than in 2007, after adjusting for inflation, according to Education Department data.

Meanwhile, the typical holder of a bachelor’s degree working full time experienced a 0.08 percent decrease in weekly earnings during that same period. Among workers with advanced degrees, median wages increased just 0.02 percent, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With student loan debt rising and inflation-adjusted wages falling, borrowers with student loans are reducing their spending to make their loan payments, according to a Federal Reserve survey. Nearly half of Americans said they had to curb their spending last year in order to make monthly payments on student loans.

Some 35 percent of survey respondents who are paying back student loans said they had to reduce their spending by “a little” over the past year to keep up with student debt payments. Another 11 percent said they had to cut back their spending by “a lot.”

With consumer spending powering much of the economy, any reduction in household expenditures is likely to dampen growth.

Some 12 percent of federal student loans held by borrowers aged 25 to 49 were in default, according to the GAO.

“One out of every eight student loans held by this group is in default,” said Charles Jeszeck, director of education, workforce, and income security issues at the GAO. “That’s a lot of loans!”

Rising student loan debt also risks leaving Americans with less money for their retirement, as ever bigger chunks of workers’ paychecks are devoted to repaying education loans.

“The presence of student loan debt for those nearing retirement can also affect retirement security as it may keep individuals from saving for retirement,” Jeszeck’s team said in their report.

According to the GAO, student debt already is affecting older Americans’ financial security.

Nearly 155,000 Americans had their Social Security benefits reduced last year as a result of past defaults on their federal student loans, a five-fold increase from the 31,000 borrowers whose benefits were cut in 2002. Of the 155,000 borrowers in 2013, about 36,000 of them were at least 65 years old, according to the GAO.

Part of the reason why the Education Department is putting older Americans into poverty is federal law. Existing rules governing Social Security garnishment specify that the federal government cannot seize more than 15 percent of monthly benefits or take anything that would leave Americans with checks of less than $750.

But the rules, crafted in the late 1990s, have not been adjusted for inflation. The $750 limit was above the poverty level in 1998. Had policymakers raised the garnishment level to keep up with inflation, the level last year would have been $1,073, according to the accountability office. Defaulted federal student loan borrowers with monthly checks below that limit wouldn’t have had their benefits garnished.

The Education Department refers defaulted borrowers for Social Security garnishments after the department’s collection agencies fail to recoup on the soured debt. Earlier this month, the National Consumer Law Center criticized the department for effectively turning a blind eye to allegations that its debt collectors routinely misled distressed borrowers or provided them false information.

Last year, Education Department-initiated collections of Social Security benefits caused Americans to receive $150 million less than they otherwise would have absent garnishment. The average borrower lost more than $130 every month. The average recipient of old age, survivor and disability insurance, or Social Security, received about $1,182 a month last year, according to the Social Security Administration.

The problem is likely to get worse, the GAO cautioned.

“As the baby boomers continue to move into retirement, the number of older Americans with defaulted loans will only continue to increase. This creates the potential for an unpleasant surprise for some, as their benefits are offset and they face the possibility of a less secure retirement.”

*****

Readers: Whether it’s the loans taken out by the Baby Boomers or their kids, it’s a mess. Instead of lowering student loan rates, they’re making money on Americans…and that is simply criminal. It only makes it more challenging for Baby Boomer parents in the retirement years, as well as their kids, to pay off these loans.  Plus we have student loan debt rising, add in the fact that loans are at higher rates + inflation-adjusted wages are falling – it isn’t exactly a recipe for success.

These kids are getting left with lots of high rate debt (their own) and possibly having to take care of their impoverished parents because of their loan debt, when they should be focusing on their careers, living their own lives, and starting their own families.

You can thank the repubs Back in June of this year for blocking Senator Elizabeth Warren’s student loan refinancing bill. (I blogged about this back then.) As usual, the repubs are protecting the wealthiest Americans from having to pay higher taxes, instead of supporting our youth who are our future, and the elderly in their retirement years.

Thoughts? Rants? What should be done? Blog me. 

Thanks Owen: I’m pretty partial to them myself. :) Seriously, though, I do have a little help.

Tucker, George, Xena: My pleasure. I thought it was pretty awesome too.

Jay: Spectacular!

Peace & Love…

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

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me

“Though she be but little, she be fierce.” – William Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream 

" Politics, god, Life, News, Music, Family, Personal, Travel, Random, Photography, Religion, Aliens, Art, Entertainment, Food, Books, Thoughts, Media, Culture, Love, Sex, Poetry, Prose, Friends, Technology, Humor, Health, Writing, Events, Movies, Sports, Video, Christianity, Atheist, Blogging, History, Work, Education, Business, Fashion, Barack Obama, People, Internet, Relationships, Faith, Photos, Videos, Hillary Clinton, School, Reviews, God, TV, Philosophy, Fun, Science, Environment, Design, The Page, Rants, Pictures, Church, Blog, Nature, Marketing, Television, Democrats, Parenting, Miscellaneous, Current Events, Film, Spirituality, Obama, Musings, Home, Human Rights, Society, Comedy, Me, Random Thoughts, Research, Government, Election 2008, Baseball, Opinion, Recipes, Children, Iraq, Funny, Women, Economics, America, Misc, Commentary, John McCain, Reflections, All, Celebrities, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Theology, Linux, Kids, Games, World, India, Literature, China, Ramblings, Fitness, Money, Review, War, Articles, Economy, Journal, Quotes, NBA, Crime, Anime, Islam, 2008, Stories, Prayer, Diary, Jesus, Buddha, Muslim, Israel, Europe, Links, Marriage, Fiction, American Idol, Software, Leadership, Pop culture, Rants, Video Games, Republicans, Updates, Political, Football, Healing, Blogs, Shopping, USA, Class, Matrix, Course, Work, Web 2.0, My Life, Psychology, Gay, Happiness, Advertising, Field Hockey, Hip-hop, sex, fucking, ass, Soccer, sox"

Posted in Health & Well Being, Love, Sex & Relationships | 11 Comments »