History Podcasts

Colhoun DD- 85 - History

Colhoun DD- 85 - History

Colhoun
(DD-85: dp. 1,060; 1. 315'5"; b 31'9"; dr. 9'2"; s. 35 k.;
cpl. 100; a. 4 4", 12 21" tt.; cl. Wickes)

The first Colhoun (DD-85) was launched 21 February 1918 by Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass. sponsored by Miss A. Colhoun; commissioned 13 June 1918, Commander B. B. Wygant in command, and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.

From 30 June to 14 September 1918 Colhoun served as convoy escort between New York and European ports. On 10 November 1918 she reported to New London to conduct experiments with sound equipment then under development. On 1 January 1919 she rushed to assist the transport Northern Pacific which was stranded at Fire Island, carrying 194 of her returning troops to Hoboken, N.J.

After operating in the Caribbean and off the east coast, Colhoun was placed in reduced commission at Philadelphia Navy Yard 1 December 1919. Following overhaul at Norfolk Navy Yard and a reserve period at Charleston, S.C., she returned to Philadelphia, where she was decommissioned 28 June 1922.

Towed to Norfolk Navy Yard (5 June 1940) Colhoun underwent conversion to a high-speed transport and was recommissioned as APD-2 on 11 December 1940. She operated between Norfolk and the Caribbean on training exercises until sailing for Noumea, New Caledonia where she arrived 21 July 1942.

She carried units of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion in the initial assault landings on Guadalcanal on 7 August and continued to serve as both transport and antisubmarine Yessel in support of the invasion.

At 1400 on 30 August 1942, while Colhoun was on patrol off Guadalcanal, she was struck in a Japanese air raid. The first hits wrecked the ship's boats and the after davits and started a diesel fire from the boat wreckage. In a second attack, a succession of hits on the starboard side brought down the foremast, blew two 20mm. guns and one 4" gun off the ship, and damaged the engineering spaces. Two more direct hits killed all the men in the after deck house. Tank lighters from Guadalcanal rescued the crew, and Calhoun sank in 09°24' S., 160°01' E. Fifty-one men were killed and 18 wounded in this action.

Colhoun received one battle star for her participation in World War II.


USS Colhoun (DD-85)

USS Colhoun (DD-85/APD-2) là một tàu khu trục thuộc lớp Wickes của Hải quân Hoa Kỳ trong giai đoạn Chiến tranh Thế giới thứ nhất, và tiếp tục phục vụ như một tàu vận chuyển cao tốc với ký hiệu lườn APD-2 trong Chiến tranh Thế giới thứ hai. Nó là chiếc tàu chiến đầu tiên của Hải quân Hoa Kỳ được đặt tên theo Chuẩn đô đốc Edmund Colhoun.

  • 1.154 tấn Anh (1.173 t) (thông thường)
  • 1.247 tấn Anh (1.267 t) (đầy tải)
  • 2 × turbine hơi nước hộp số Parsons [1]
  • 4 × nồi hơi 300 psi (2.100 kPa) [1]
  • 2 × trục
  • công suất 24.610 hp (18.350 kW)
  • 4 × pháo 4 in (100 mm)/50 caliber [1]
  • 1 × pháo 3 in (76 mm)/23 caliber [1]
  • 12 × ống phóng ngư lôi 21 in (530 mm) (4×3) [1]

Basic Science

Melena is the most common presenting symptom of major gastrointestinal hemorrhage. About 90% of quantitatively important gastrointestinal bleeding episodes occur from sites above the ligament of Treitz. Melena usually means bleeding from this location. It takes 50 ml or more of blood in the stomach to turn stools black. One to two liters of blood administered orally will cause bloody or tarry stools for up to 5 days, the first such stool usually appearing within 4 to 20 hours after ingestion. Thus, a melenic stool is indicative of recent hemorrhage but does not indicate the presence or rapidity of bleeding at the time of passage. Administration of blood into the small intestine or cecum can cause melena if the blood remains in the intestine long enough. This makes the hypothesis untenable that melena is caused by the effect of gastric acid and pepsin on blood. Although melena usually means upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage, the small intestine and cecum should be studied if no cause for bleeding is found in the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum.

Hematemesis confirms an upper gastrointestinal location of the bleeding and suggests that the hemorrhage is large. In one small study, all six patients with hematemesis had lost more than a quarter of their red cell volume. The size of the hematemesis gives a further indication of the extent of the hemorrhage. In general, vomiting of red blood is more ominous.

The most important complication of hemorrhage is circulatory impairment with tissue hypoxemia. Melena, hematemesis, or hematochezia indicates that a potentially lethal situation may be developing. A 15% loss of blood volume is usually readily tolerated and compensated by contraction of large veins and recruitment of fluid from extravascular sites. As the volume depletion becomes greater, constriction of arterioles, shunting of cardiac output from nonvital areas such as skin and bone, tachycardia, decreasing cardiac output, and orthostatic hypotension occur. The patient is likely to be thirsty and feel faint when standing. After 40 to 50% depletion of blood volume, complete loss of the ability to compensate occurs with shock, impaired flow of blood to vital organs, tissue hypoxemia, lactic acidosis, and ultimately, death.

Rapid correction of blood volume is essential. In dogs, irreversible changes occur within 4 hours after a phlebotomy that maintains a reduction of 35 mm Hg mean arterial pressure. Earlier transfusion will save most of the animals. The role of many homeostatic mechanisms and pathogenetic mediators in the response to hypovolemic shock is just beginning to be elucidated. These mediators include catecholamines, renin, complement, kinins, and lysosomal enzymes. The goal of therapy is to protect each link in the delivery of oxygen to cells by restoring and maintaining normal blood volume.


What Is the History of the Drummond Ranch in Pawhuska, Oklahoma?

Drummond Ranch, in the Osage County city of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, began through the 1886 settling of Frederick Drummond, and led to the establishment of a trading company before his son, Roy, began ranching in 1913. By the 1980s, the surviving brothers and their descendants owned and managed over 200,000 acres in Oklahoma and parts of Kansas.

The Drummond sons, Roy, Jack and Frederick Jr., all attended college to help write ranching history within the towns of Osage County. After Roy began ranching in 1913, his brother Jack started ranches in Marshall and Osage counties. Following his education at Oklahoma A&M College and Harvard Business School, Frederick Jr. used his skills and advanced education to start two additional cattle ranches in Osage County during the Great Depression. At the time of his death in 1958, these two ranches sprawled across more than 25,000 acres.

Ranch operations were passed down to Frederick Drummond III, who earned degrees in business and banking from Oklahoma State and Stanford universities. A member of the Texas and South Western Cattle Raisers Association since he was seven years old, his life-long farming knowledge and banking experience left him well-equipped to lead and operate the ranch. In 2002, he began training his son, Ford, to lead the fourth generation of Drummond ranchers.


Voter Turnout Rises in the South

Although the Voting Rights Act passed, state and local enforcement of the law was weak, and it often was ignored outright, mainly in the South and in areas where the proportion of Black people in the population was high and their vote threatened the political status quo.

Still, the Voting Rights Act gave African American voters the legal means to challenge voting restrictions and vastly improved voter turnout. In Mississippi alone, voter turnout among Black people increased from 6 percent in 1964 to 59 percent in 1969.

Since its passage, the Voting Rights Act has been amended to include such features as the protection of voting rights for non-English speaking American citizens.


85 Years Ago Today: J. R. R. Tolkien Convinces C. S. Lewis That Christ Is the True Myth

On an early Sunday morning, September 20, 1931, three 30-something English professors took a stroll together on Addison’s Walk in the grounds of Magdalen College at the University of Oxford:

  • 32-year-old C. S. Lewis (Fellow and Tutor of English Literature at Magdalen College, Oxford),
  • 39-year-old J. R. R. Tolkien (Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford), and
  • 35-year-old Hugo Dyson (Tutor and Lecturer at Reading University).

Their time together had begun the evening before at dinner, but their conversation went late into the night.

After Tolkien left around 3 a.m., Lewis and Dyson continued talking until they retired at 4 a.m.

The following Tuesday (September 22), Lewis recounted the scene to his longtime friend and correspondent, Arthur Greeves:

We began on metaphor and myth—interrupted by a rush of wind which came so suddenly on the still, warm evening and sent so many leaves pattering down that we thought it was raining. We all held our breath, the other two appreciating the ecstasy of such a thing almost as you would.

We continued (in my room) on Christianity: a good long satisfying talk in which I learned a lot: then discussed the difference between love and friendship—then finally drifted back to poetry and books.

Later in the letter, discussing the writings of William Morris (a 19th-century English novelist and poet who had greatly influenced Lewis from his youth), Lewis notes:

These hauntingly beautiful lands which somehow never satisfy,—this passion to escape from death plus the certainty that life owes all its charm to mortality—these push you on to the real thing because they fill you with desire and yet prove absolutely clearly that in Morris’s world that desire cannot be satisfied.

The [George] MacDonald conception of death—or, to speak more correctly, St Paul’s—is really the answer to Morris: but I don’t think I should have understood it without going through Morris. He is an unwilling witness to the truth. He shows you just how far you can go without knowing God, and that is far enough to force you . . . to go further.

The following month (October 18), Lewis wrote to Greeves again about their conversation:

Now what Dyson and Tolkien showed me was this: that if I met the idea of sacrifice in a Pagan story I didn’t mind it at all: again, that if I met the idea of a god sacrificing himself to himself . . . I liked it very much and was mysteriously moved by it: again, that the idea of the dying and reviving god (Balder, Adonis, Bacchus) similarly moved me provided I met it anywhere except in the Gospels. The reason was that in Pagan stories I was prepared to feel the myth as profound and suggestive of meanings beyond my grasp even tho’ I could not say in cold prose ‘what it meant’.

Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened.

You can watch below an imaginative reconstruction of their conversation:

Years later Lewis wrote a poem entitled “What the Bird Said Early in the Year,” which not coincidentally is set in Addison’s Walk, and has to do with a spell becoming undone.

I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear:
This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.

Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
This year, nor want of rain destroy the peas.

This year time’s nature will no more defeat you,
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.

This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn, one year older, by the well-worn track.

This year, this year, as all these flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle and undo the spell.

Often deceived, yet open once again your heart,
Quick, quick, quick, quick!—the gates are drawn apart.

Let him who has ears to hear, hear.

Some readers might wonder about the relationship between this event and Lewis’s conversion to theism, and then his actual conversion to Christianity.

Conversion to Theism

In his 1955 memoir, Surprised by Joy, Lewis famously tells his readers that he finally abandoned his resistance to God, becoming “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England,” in the Trinity Term (the eight weeks from late April to late June) in 1929.

That dating would seem to settle the matter. And it did for virtually all Lewis scholars, until Alister McGrath was researching the question for his 2013 biography, C. S. Lewis—A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet. In short, McGrath believes that Lewis was off by one year in his recollection, and that it was actually Trinity Term of 1930 (possibly in mid–June). If McGrath is correct, then the conversation with Tolkien (September 1931) was a little more than a year after Lewis began to believe in God (June 1930).

McGrath came to this conclusion for four reasons:

First, . . . a close and continuous reading of his works— especially his correspondence—reveals no sign of a significant change in tone or mood throughout 1929, and even in early 1930. Between September 1925 and January 1930, Lewis’s writings disclose no hint of any radical change of heart or mind, or even a pending change. If Lewis was converted in 1929, this supposedly pivotal event seems to have made no impact on his writings—including his letters to his closest friends at that time, Owen Barfield and Arthur Greeves.

Second, Lewis’s widowed father died in September 1929. If Lewis’s chronology of his own conversion is accepted, Lewis had come to believe in God at the time of his father’s death. Yet Lewis’s correspondence makes no reference at all to any impact of a belief in God, however emergent, upon his final days spent with his father, his subsequent funeral, and its emotional aftermath. Might, I wondered, the death of Lewis’s father have been a stimulus to him to think about God, rather than something he approached from an existing theistic perspective? If Lewis discovered God in the summer of 1930, his father’s death the previous year might well have marked a turning point in his thinking.

Third, Lewis’s account of the dynamics of his conversion in Surprised by Joy speaks of God closing in on him, taking the initiative, and ultimately overwhelming him. We find echoes of this language in a short letter from Lewis to Owen Barfield, written hastily on 3 February 1930, which speaks of the “spirit” becoming “much more personal,” “taking the offensive” and “behaving just like God.” Lewis asked Barfield to come and see him soon, before he made a rash decision to “enter a monastery.” Barfield was later unequivocal about the significance of this letter for Lewis’s spiritual development: it marked “the beginning of his conversion.” The letter reflects Lewis’s language about the pressures he experienced immediately before his conversion. Yet this conversion is clearly ahead of him, not behind him.

Fourth, Lewis makes it clear that his behaviour changed as a result of his new belief in God. Although still not committed to Christianity, he now began to attend both his local parish church on Sundays, and college chapel on weekdays. Yet Lewis’s correspondence makes no reference to regular attendance at any Oxford church or Magdalen College chapel in 1929, or the first half of 1930.

Yet things change decisively in October 1930. In a letter to his close friend and confidant Arthur Greeves, dated 29 October 1930, Lewis mentions that he now goes to bed earlier than he used, to, as he has now “started going to morning chapel at 8.” This is presented as a new development, a significant change in his routine, dating from the beginning of the academic year 1930–1. The date of this change of habit makes sense if Lewis discovered God in the summer of 1930—perhaps in June 1930, right at the end of the academic year. This would explain Lewis starting to attend college chapel in October 1930. The Oxford academic year resumes in October, thus giving Lewis the opportunity to begin attending college chapel regularly.

McGrath further notes that Lewis was “unreliable when it comes to relating his internal and external world.”

When it comes to dates, months, and days, Lewis gets things muddled. Lewis himself remarked on this failing in 1957, shortly after the publication of Surprised by Joy : he could now, he confessed, “never remember dates.” His older brother Warnie declared that Lewis had a “life-long inability to keep track of dates.” When Lewis became Vice-President of Magdalen College, Oxford in 1941— a fixed-term appointment with essentially administrative responsibilities, which rotated around the fellowship—he was soon found to be incapable of carrying out one of the chief responsibilities of this role: arranging for the booking of rooms for college meetings or private engagements. Lewis simply could not remember dates. Rooms were double-booked—if they were booked at all.

Conversion to Christianity

On September 28, 1931—just nine days after Lewis’s conversation with Tolkien on Christ being the true myth—Lewis took the final step in embracing the divinity of Christ while riding in his older brother’s motorcycle sidecar on the way to the newly opened Whipsnade Park Zoo in Bedfordshire. He recounts:

I know very well when, but not how, the final step was taken.

I was driven to Whipsnade one sunny morning. When we set out I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did.

Yet I had not exactly spent the journey in thought.

Justin Taylor is executive vice president for book publishing and publisher for books at Crossway. He blogs at Between Two Worlds and Evangelical History. You can follow him on Twitter.


What Kind of Character Traits Did Harriet Tubman Exhibit?

Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist known for her role in the Underground Railroad, exhibited the character traits of strength, tenacity and determination as she helped people escape from slavery. Once a slave herself, she ran away to freedom only to return to the South later to help other slaves do the same.

Born into slavery in 1820, Tubman worked both as a field laborer and a house servant. As a young girl, she sustained a head injury at the hands of an overseer when she attempted to protect another slave. This injury caused her to experience pain, seizures and vivid dreams throughout the rest of her life.

She married John Tubman, a free black man, but fears of being sold by her owner motivated her to escape. Leaving Maryland for Pennsylvania, she eventually returned to help family members and others escape to the North. This began her efforts as an Underground Railroad worker during which she helped hundreds of people escape slavery.

She became infamous in the South where slavery advocates offered a sizable bounty for her capture. She continued making dangerous trips into the South to rescue slaves, including her elderly parents.

When the Civil War broke out, she joined forces with the Union and served in various capacities, including as a spy. After the war, she remained an activist in social issues such as women's suffrage until her death in 1913.


Social Security

Since a pair of 1938 Treasury Department Tax Rulings, and another in 1941, Social Security benefits have been explicitly excluded from federal income taxation. (A revision was issued in 1970, but it made no changes in the existing policy.) This changed for the first time with the passage of the 1983 Amendments to the Social Security Act. Beginning in 1984, a portion of Social Security benefits have been subject to federal income taxes.

The three Treasury Rulings (see below) established as tax policy the principle that Social Security benefits were not subject to federal income taxes. This was special treatment for Social Security benefits since most private pensions are partly taxable. In most private pensions, an amount of the pension equal to the contributions made by the worker are tax-free. The amount of such private pensions which exceeds the amount of the worker's contributions, is usually subject to federal income taxes.

A slightly different, and more complicated, way of saying essentially the same thing is that the portion of pension benefits not subject to taxation is that on "after-tax income." For a worker, his entire pay is subject to federal income taxes, including that part that is subject to Social Security payroll taxes, and so, in the sometimes confusing parlance of tax policy, this is said to all be "after-tax income." His employer, however, is allowed to deduct his portion of the Social Security payroll tax from his taxable income. So Social Security payments made by the employer are considered "before-tax income" (and hence, not taxable). So the value of the "before-tax income" received by the beneficiary (i.e., the employer's contribution) is potentially taxable. Or to say it the other way, only that portion of the worker's "after-tax income" on which he paid payroll taxes, is not taxable.

Yet another way of describing this idea is to use "exclusion ratios," which is how the Treasury Department defines the taxable portion of a pension benefit. In all of these ways of describing it, the basic idea is the same: the pension recepient is generally liable for taxes on that portion of his benefits that he did not himself contribute.

Treasury's underlying rationale for not taxing Social Security benefits was that the benefits under the Act could be considered as "gratuities," and since gifts or gratuities were not generally taxable, Social Security benefits were not taxable. It is likely that Treasury took this view owing to the structure of the 1935 Act in which the taxing provisions and the benefit provisions were in separate Titles of the law. Because of this structure, one could argue that the taxes were just a form of revenue-raising, unrelated to the benefits. The benefits themselves could then be seen as a "gratuity" that the federal government paid to certain classes of citizens. Although this was clearly not true in a political and moral sense, it could be construed this way in a legal sense. In the context of public policy, most people would hold the view that the tax contributions created an "earned right" to subsequent benefits. Notwithstanding this common view, the Treasury Department ruled that there was no such necessary connection and hence that Social Security benefits were not taxable.

On the other hand, the fact of the matter is that Social Security beneficiaries do not fully fund their benefits through their payroll taxes. Benefits are funded from three sources: the employee's payroll tax, the employer's matching payroll tax, and interest earned by the Trust Funds. Only one part of this funding could be said to have been directly paid by the beneficiary. Also, technically speaking, benefits are computed based on the workers' earnings, not on the amount of taxes they pay.

So the beneficiary's own contributions do not account for the employer's matching contribution or the interest earned on both. Nor does it account for the benefits received in excess of total contributions. That is, due to the fact that the Social Security program operates in part on the insurance principle, most beneficiaries receive far more in benefits than either they and/or their employers contributed to the system.

If a rigorous effort is made to identify how much of the average beneficiary's benefit was directly paid for by the beneficiary, the general answer is about 15%. Or to say it the other way, about 85% of the average Social Security benefit represents an amount in excess of that contributed to the program by the average worker.


The 1979 Advisory Council and the Greenspan Commission

The 1979 Advisory Council was charged with studying the financing and benefit provisions of the Social Security program. The Council wrote extensively on the issue of taxation of Social Security benefits:

"The present tax treatment of social security was established at a time when both social security benefits and income tax rates were low. In 1941 the Bureau of Internal Revenue ruled that social security benefits were not taxable, most probably because they were viewed as a form of income similar to a gift or gratuity.
The council believes that this ruling was wrong when made and is wrong today. The right to social security benefits is derived from earnings in covered employment just as is the case with private pensions.
The council believes that the current tax treatment of private pensions is a more appropriate model for the tax treatment of social security, Pension benefits from contributory private pension plans (including those for government employees) are now taxed to the extent that the benefits exceed the employee's accumulated contributions to the plan. Cumulative retirement benefits up to the employee's own total contributions are not taxed because the income from which the contributions were paid was taxable. That part of the benefit representing the employer's contribution and interest income on both the employee's and the employer's contributions is taxed when received.
Estimates by the Office of the Actuary of the Social Security Administration indicate that workers now entering covered employment in aggregate will make payroll tax payments totaling no more than 17 percent of the benefits that they can expect to receive. The self-employed will pay no more than 26 percent on average. Therefore, if social security benefits were accorded the same tax treatment as private pensions, only 17 percent of the benefit would be exempt from tax when received, and 83 percent would be taxable. . . Rough Justice would be done, however, if half the benefit (the part commonly if somewhat inaccurately attributed to the employer contribution) were made taxable."

This recommendation by the Advisory Council encountered widespread resistance in the Congress. In an effort to make the idea more palatable, it was suggested that exclusionary thresholds could be added so that beneficiaries of low to moderate incomes would not be affected. This was similar to the procedure in use for the taxation of unemployment compensation benefits, which began in 1978.

Thus, the proposal as it emerged was for 50% of Social Security benefits to be subject to federal income tax, with threshold exclusions set at the same levels as those used for Unemployment Compensation (U.C.).

Following the 1979 Advisory Council, the National Commission on Social Security Reform (informally known as the Greenspan Commission after its Chairman) was appointed by the Congress and the President in 1981 to study and make recommendations regarding the short-term financing crisis that Social Security faced at that time. Estimates were that the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund would run out of money, possibly as early as August 1983. This bipartisan Commission was to make recommendations to Congress on how to solve the problems facing Social Security. Their report, issued in January 1983, was the basis for Congress' consideration of the Social Security reform proposals which ultimately resulted in the 1983 Social Security Amendments.

In its Report, the Commission recommended that Social Security benefits be taxable: " The National Commission recommends that, beginning with 1984, 50% of OASDI benefits should be considered as taxable income for income-tax purposes for persons with Adjusted Gross Income (before including therein any OASDI benefits) of $20,000 if single and $25,000 if married. The proceeds from such taxation, as estimated by the Treasury Department, would be credited to the OASDI Trust Funds under a permanent appropriation. "

This was essentially the Advisory Council recommendation as it had come to be modified in subsequent debate. (With the change that the thresholds are computed before adding in the Social Security benefit--the opposite of the way it was done in U.C.)

The Commission estimated that its proposals would effect only about 10% of Social Security beneficiaries and that it would result in $30 billion in revenue to the Trust Funds in the first seven years.

Congress passed and President Reagan signed into law the 1983 Amendments. Under the '83 Amendments, up to one-half of the value of the Social Security benefit was made potentially taxable income. The specific rules adopted in 1983 were:

If the taxpayer's combined income (total of adjusted gross income, interest on tax-exempt bonds, and 50% of Social Security benefits and Tier I Railroad Retirement Benefits) exceeds a threshold amount ($25,000 for an individual, $32,000 for a married couple filing a joint return, and zero for a married person filing separately), the amount of benefits subject to income tax is the lesser of 50% of benefits or 50% of the excess of the taxpayer's combined income over the threshold amount. The additional income tax revenues resulting from this provision are transferred to the trust funds from which the corresponding benefits were paid. Effective for taxable years beginning after 1983.

When considering the 1983 Amendments, the Report by the House Ways & Means Committee argued as follows: " Your Committee believes that social security benefits are in the nature of benefits received under other retirement systems, which are subject to taxation to the extent they exceed a worker's after-tax contributions and that taxing a portion of social security benefits will improve tax equity by treating more nearly equally all forms of retirement and other income that are designed to replace lost wages. . . "

The Senate Finance Committee Report offered these additional observations: " . . . by taxing social security benefits and appropriating these revenues to the appropriate trust funds, the financial solvency of the social security trust funds will be strengthened. . . . By taxing only a portion of social security and railroad retirement benefits (that is, up to one-half of benefits in excess of a certain base amount), the Committee's bill assures that lower-income individuals . . . will not be taxed on their benefits. The maximum proportion of benefits taxed is one-half in recognition of the fact that social security benefits are partially financed by after-tax employee contributions. "

The Senate Report thus acknowledged that one motivating factor in introducing this change was to raise revenue for the Trust Funds. This was part of a much larger package of program changes designed to address the financial solvency of the program. One might fairly say that cutting benefits and raising revenues was the purpose of the 1983 Amendments, and the adoption of Social Security benefit taxation was simply one provision among many to facilitate these aims. It is also important to note that funds raised under this provision do not go into the General Fund of the Treasury but into the Social Security Trust Funds. This emphasizes again that the purpose of introducting this provision was to raise revenue to help restore Social Security's financial solvency. (The Committees estimated the six-year savings from this provision at $26.6 billion, and estimated that this provision would supply almost 30% of the total additional long-range funding provided by the Amendments.)

We should also take note of the rationale for the exclusionary thresholds in the law. The Congress intended that the taxation provisions should not affect "lower-income individuals." The $25,000 and $32,000 thresholds were included to accomplish this. So the thresholds are not based on any feature of the Social Security program--they are pure tax policy. Since the thresholds in the 1983 law were intentionally not indexed, over time, they would lose some of their threshold effect as increases in real income or in inflation would tend to pull more and more people into tax liability. Indeed, by the time the law was first amended in 1993, about 18% of Social Security beneficiaries had some tax liability (compared to about 10% when the law was originally enacted).

The idea that only one-half of the benefits would be subject to taxation did have some basis in the Social Security program. It was based on the simple notion that the employee had made only one-half the contributions used to fund his benefit (the other half having been paid by the employer). Since in private pensions, benefits in excess of the employee's own contributions are taxable, one could argue that 50% of Social Security benefits should be subject to taxation. As Ways and Means Committee member Wyche Fowler (D-GA) explained the provision on the House floor: " . . . although employees pay income taxes on their income subject to the payroll tax, employers do not because they can claim a business expense deduction for their payroll tax payments. Therefore, it is argued that requiring Social Security beneficiaries to pay taxes on their benefits--the part provided by employer contributions--is appropriate at the time of receipt. "

Even so, this rough-approximation did not really give Social Security benefits the same tax treatment as private pensions--because the real "non-contributed" portion is about 85% of the average benefit, not 50%. During consideration of the bill in the two houses some unsuccessful amendments were advanced to make the Social Security provision more precisely like those governing private pensions, but ultimately the idea of a 50% portion prevailed.

The idea of taxing benefits, like many of the individual features of the omnibus bill, was not universally popular. Some complained that it introduced a form of "means test" in that beneficiaries of lower incomes were not subject to the provision (due to the thresholds). It was also argued that this introduced General Revenue financing into the system, and that it watered-down the equity of those beneficiaries who had to pay taxes.

Ultimately, the 1983 Amendments were passed in the House on the evening of March 9, 1983 by a vote of 282 to 148. On the evening of March 23rd, the Senate passed its version of the bill by a vote of 88 to 9. Both bills contained virtually identical provisions for the taxation of benefits, with only one change in the Senate bill: requiring that tax-free interest income be used in the computation to determine if the thresholds were exceeded. In the Conference, which took place on March 24th, the House accepted the Senate provision. Immediately following the conclusion of the Conference, at 10:25 p.m. that night, the Congress reconvened to consider the Conference Report. The House quickly adopted the Conference Report by a vote of 243 to 102. In the Senate, the debate went on through the night and finally, in the early morning hours of March 25th, the Senate voted 58-14 for final passage. (See detailed Summary of the 1983 Amendments.)

In 1993, as part of Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, the Social Security taxation provision was modified to add a secondary set of thresholds and a higher taxable percentage for beneficiaries who exceeded the secondary thresholds. Specifically, the 1993 did the following:

Modified for a taxpayer with combined income exceeding a secondary threshold amount ($34,000 for an individual, $44,000 for a married couple filing a joint return, and zero for a married person filing separately), so that the amount of benefits subject to income tax is increased to the sum of (1) the smaller of (a) $4,500 for an individual, $6,000 for a married couple filing a joint return, or zero for a married person filing separately, or (b) 50% of the benefit, plus (2) 85% of the excess of the taxpayer's combined income over the secondary threshold. However, no more than 85% of the benefit amount is subject to income tax. The additional income tax revenues resulting from the increase in the taxable percentage from 50% to 85% are transferred to the HI Trust Fund. Effective for taxable years beginning after 1993.

Note that these were secondary thresholds and taxable percentages. Thus they did not increase the number of beneficiaries subject to taxation. Rather, they raised the potential tax liability for a subset of those already subject to the tax (those with higher earnings). Prior to this change, 81.8% of Social Security beneficiaries had no potential tax liability for their Social Security benefits. This was not changed, in any way, by the 1993 law. However, of the 18.2% already subject to potential taxation, 10.6% saw their potential tax liability increase, while the remaing 7.6% suffered no change.

The changes introduced by the 1993 amendments were designed to make the treatment of Social Security benefits more closely approximate private pensions--albeit, only for higher-income beneficiaries. To this end, the taxable percentage was set at 85% for these higher-income beneficiaries. New thresholds were added, but only to differentiate those subject to the higher percentage from those still subject to the 50% figure.

In explaining the rationale for these changes, the House Budget Report stated:

" The committee desires to more closely conform the income tax treatment of Social Security benefits and private pension benefits by increasing the maximum amount of Social Security benefits included in gross income for certain higher-income beneficiaries. Reducing the exclusion for Social Security benefits for these beneficiaries will enhance both the horizontal and vertical equity of the individual income tax system by treating all income in a more similar manner. "

Under the House version of the bill, however, the increased revenues from the new percentage taxable was to go to the General Fund of the Treasury. Under the Senate version, the increased revenues were to go into the Medicare HI Trust Fund. The Senate position prevailed.

Under the House bill, there were no changes in the existing thresholds--everyone with countable income over the 1983 thresholds would be subject to the 85% rate. Under the Senate version, new secondary thresholds were proposed at $32,000 and $40,000--with the old rules applying for those over the old thresholds but under these secondary thresholds. For those over the new thresholds, the 85% figure would come into play. The Senate version prevailed here as well, except that the Conference agreed to boost the secondary thresholds to $34,000 and $44,000.

Thus, under present law, almost all Social Security beneficiaries still enjoy more favorable tax treatment of their benefits than is the case for recipients of private pensions.

Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. Report of the Committee on the Budget, House of Representatives, to Accompany H.R. 2264 . Report 103-111. May 25, 1993. Pgs. 653-654.

Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. Conference Report, to Accompany H.R. 2264 . Report 103-213. August 4, 1993. Pgs. 594-595.

Pattison, David and Harrington, David, "Proposals to Modify the Taxation of Social Security Benefits: Options and Distributional Effects," Social Security Bulletin , Summer 1993. Vol. 56, No. 2, pgs. 3-21.

Social Security Act Amendments of 1983. Report of the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, to Accompany H.R. 1900 . Report 98-25. March 4, 1983.

Social Security Act Amendments of 1983. Report of the Committee on Finance, to Accompany S. 1 . Report 98-23. March 11, 1983.


How is PMDD diagnosed?

Aside from a complete medical history and physical and pelvic exam, there are very few diagnostic tests. Because there are mental health symptoms, your healthcare provider may want you to be evaluated for mental health concerns. In addition, your healthcare provider may ask that you keep a journal or diary of your symptoms for several months. In general, to diagnose PMDD the following symptoms must be present:

  • Over the course of a year, during most menstrual cycles, 5 or more of the following symptoms must be present:
    • Depressed mood
    • Anger or irritability
    • Trouble concentrating
    • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
    • Moodiness
    • Increased appetite
    • Insomnia or the need for more sleep
    • Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
    • Other physical symptoms, the most common being belly bloating, breast tenderness, and headache

    Great Blizzard of ’88 hits East Coast

    On March 11, 1888, one of the worst blizzards in American history strikes the Northeast, killing more than 400 people and dumping as much as 55 inches of snow in some areas. New York City ground to a near halt in the face of massive snow drifts and powerful winds from the storm. At the time, approximately one in every four Americans lived in the area between Washington, D.C. and Maine, the area affected by the Great Blizzard of 1888.

    On March 10, temperatures in the Northeast hovered in the mid-50s. But on March 11, cold Arctic air from Canada collided with Gulf air from the south and temperatures plunged. Rain turned to snow and winds reached hurricane-strength levels. By midnight on March 11, gusts were recorded at 85 miles per hour in New York City. Along with heavy snow, there was a complete whiteout in the city when the residents awoke the next morning.

    Despite drifts that reached the second story of some buildings, many city residents trudged out to New York’s elevated trains to go to work, only to find many of them blocked by snow drifts and unable to move. Up to 15,000 people were stranded on the elevated trains in many areas, enterprising people with ladders offered to rescue the passengers for a small fee. In addition to the trains, telegraph lines, water mains and gas lines were also located above ground. Each was no match for the powerful blizzard, freezing and then becoming inaccessible to repair crews. Simply walking the streets was perilous. In fact, only 30 people out of 1,000 were able to make it to the New York Stock Exchange for work Wall Street was forced to close for three straight days. There were also several instances of people collapsing in snow drifts and dying, including Senator Roscoe Conkling, New York’s Republican Party leader.

    Many New Yorkers camped out in hotel lobbies waiting for the worst of the blizzard to pass. Mark Twain was in New York at the time and was stranded at his hotel for several days. P.T. Barnum entertained some of the stranded at Madison Square Garden. The East River, running between Manhattan and Queens, froze over, an extremely rare occurrence. This inspired some brave souls to cross the river on foot, which proved a terrible mistake when the tides changed and broke up the ice, stranding the adventurers on ice floes. Overall, about 200 people were killed by the blizzard in New York City alone.

    But New York was not the only area to suffer. Along the Atlantic coast, hundreds of boats were sunk in the high winds and heavy waves. The snowfall totals north of New York City were historic: Keene, New Hampshire, received 36 inches New Haven, Connecticut, got 45 inches and Troy, New York, was hit by 55 inches of snow over 3 days. In addition, thousands of wild and farm animals froze to death in the blizzard.

    In the wake of the storm, officials realized the dangers of above-ground telegraph, water and gas lines and moved them below ground. In New York City, a similar determination was made about the trains, and within 10 years, construction began on an underground subway system that is still in use today.


    Watch the video: Raiding as a WW2 Bomber with Star (January 2022).