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Grappling with Health Issues

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 5:56 pm - March 28, 2013.
Filed under: 2014 Elections,Carolina News

I realize that this whole “almost ran for Senate” thing is going to get old and I’m the last one to beat a dead horse.  But someone suggested today that I write some stuff about the experience that might be interesting for other people to read.  And there are some things I touched on (a bit) during the radio show that I didn’t include in the “official” blog post.  Also, need I remind anyone, a blog is supposed to be for crap like this.

 


GayPatriot Report – March 27 edition

One of the other big reasons for not tackling the Senate campaign is my health; the majority of which deals with my decade-long struggle with clinical depression.  Again, this isn’t breaking news — I’ve discussed it on the blog here in the past. 

However, everyone of a certain age still remembers how mental health issues derailed the Vice Presidential candidacy of Thomas Eagleton. (And no, I haven’t had electric shock treatments!).  More recently, former US Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. seems to have dealt with depression to some extent – as well as criminal legal problems.

The fact of the matter is — I’m not sure I will ever be “cured” of my depression.  I had a really bad turn in 2010 which resulted in my life changing in ways I couldn’t imagine.  This is very personal stuff to discuss, folks, and not fodder for a political campaign — in my opinion.

Anyway, despite having my medication adjusted in 2010 — I still have bad days.  Well, I’d have to imagine one cannot have a “bad day” if one is running for public office.  And my brain doesn’t cooperate with me now — Lord only knows what it would have had in store for me.  And what people would have thought about those “bad days.”

As I mentioned on The GayPatriot Report last night, our mental healthcare system is a total mess.  Since I’m not running for public office, I can even call it a clusterfuck.  Thankfully, I have only had to personally be involved at a primary care level — but my previous corporate job (also mentioned on the radio) involved obtaining an in-depth knowledge of the mental health system in the USA.  Did I mention it SUCKS?

Read this book: Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness.  It involves a much more serious case of mental health than I could ever imagine dealing with.  But I witnessed glimpses of this in my job.  We treat our seriously mentally ill citizens in this country in our prison systems.  That’s messed up.

I also mentioned last night on the radio show my struggles with back pain.  There probably isn’t a day where I can sit in a chair longer than 20 minutes without being in pain the rest of the day.  I have worsening arthritis in my lower spine.  And yeah, that also sucks.

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The Obama Economy: Rearranging the Deck Chairs

Over the summer of 2012 and during the last few months of the presidential campaign, a number of us watched the changing employment numbers and labor statistics with an increasing sense of skepticism.  The lamestream press would dutifully report the administration’s numbers and note that the unemployment number was going down slightly, but anyone who looked into the numbers quickly realized that the only reason the numbers ever went down was that with each successive report, the number of people in the workforce kept shrinking.  And so things have continued throughout the first few months of 2013.

Tuesday on his Twitter feed, Bruce linked to this article by Mortimer Zuckerman in the Wall Street Journal, which once again confirms what many of us have come to believe about the Obama economy:

The Great Recession is an apt name for America’s current stagnation, but the present phase might also be called the Grand Illusion—because the happy talk and statistics that go with it, especially regarding jobs, give a rosier picture than the facts justify.

The country isn’t really advancing. By comparison with earlier recessions, it is going backward. Despite the most stimulative fiscal policy in American history and a trillion-dollar expansion to the money supply, the economy over the last three years has been declining. After 2.4% annual growth rates in gross domestic product in 2010 and 2011, the economy slowed to 1.5% growth in 2012. Cumulative growth for the past 12 quarters was just 6.3%, the slowest of all 11 recessions since World War II.

And last year’s anemic growth looks likely to continue. Sequestration will take $600 billion of government expenditures out of the economy over the next 10 years, including $85 billion this year alone. The 2% increase in payroll taxes will hit about 160 million workers and drain $110 billion from their disposable incomes. The Obama health-care tax will be a drag of more than $30 billion. The recent 50-cent surge in gasoline prices represents another $65 billion drag on consumer cash flow.

And that’s just the beginning of the article.  Read the whole thing if you want to feel even more depressed about the state of the economy than you felt already.

But that’s not even the whole story.  Tuesday when I was driving to lunch, I heard Tom Sullivan discussing “America’s Disability Scam Crisis.”  The facts of the disability crisis are alarming enough as it is, but even more surprising was that the facts which inspired the discussion on the Tom Sullivan show were first reported by NPR.   Scott Johnson at Powerline noticed and wrote up a post about it entitled “NPR goes Rogue.”

The NPR story linked above is quite long, but it focuses largely on the fact that since Clinton signed “welfare reform” into law, more and more people have been going on to disability and the disability rolls have grown to unsustainable levels.  It also mentions  the fact that many lawyers and doctors have found a lucrative business focusing on disability cases.

And it gets even worse.  As the NPR story reports: “signing up for disability benefits is an excellent way to stay hidden in one key way: People on disability are not counted among the unemployed.”  The story continues: (more…)