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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Dear AMAC Member, Now is the time for an American revival.
Over two million AMAC members believe that freedom is guided by the laws of nature and Nature’s God. As we look to our past, we discover that we have learned so much and should never forget the many morally defining moments in American history (see page 26). Our nation’s founding paved a way for men and women yearning to be free, making our nation the greatest place to live, raise a family, grow old, and eventually die. We acknowledge that our freedom is not granted to us by man, but rather, that we are a people created by God and inherently born to live free, to pursue happiness. We have not forgotten that it is imposed on “we, the people” to ensure the American govern- ment does not forget that government was put in place by and for the people. Not the other way around. We understand how the radical left is attempting to destroy our culture in order to impose a new one a culture that embraces the Marxist concept of dividing people by class. Today’s radical left preys on people’s goodness. They want to destroy merit and create their own score card, using us as pawns in their power game. We all have friends and perhaps some close family members who fall prey to this new culture that attempts to blur the lines between right and wrong, male and female, good and evil. US cities are on the verge of collapse under democratic control (see page 8), and an entire generation of Americans have abandoned faith in God, choosing the wider road, lined with false trappings that encourage and celebrate abortion, gender mutilation, sexualization of children, and the “health of the planet.” So how do we fix things? Perhaps we can learn from AMAC’s man of the year, Ron DeSantis (see page 20). We must be unafraid to charge into the culture war and create an American revival that is rooted in God’s Word. We do this by reminding our friends, family, and those who will listen that woke ideology and hostility toward traditional expressions of faith, particularly the Christian faith, have no place in America. It is on this generation to step up and do better than any other generation has ever done before. This will take the courage of individuals like you to save our country. This is AMAC’s call. Your membership helps us deliver our message to the halls of Congress. Please consider giving the gift of AMAC membership to a friend. And check out page 46 for AMAC Action legislative wins! May we all be reminded that we, people of faith, can and will, with God’s grace, live out our mission to be the salt and light in American life. God bless you always, Rebecca Weber
Chief Executive Officer, Association of Mature American Citizens
Publisher AMAC, Inc.
Managing Editor Pamela Smith Creative Director Emily Z.
Editor in Chief Rebecca Weber Associate Editor Alexa Astuto
Cover Artist Paul Partlow
Senior Contributing Writers
Alex Ayers Bob Carlstrom Robert B. Charles Stephen Fauer, CFA
Gerry Hafer Andrew Mangione Palmer Schoening D.J. Wilson
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PLEASE NOTE: This issue of the AMAC Magazine went to print on March 7, 2023.
VOLUME 17 ISSUE 1 CORRIGENDUM Please note our added correction in Volume 17 Issue 1. Page 32 - The bill’s main sponsor, Virginia Foxx (R- NC ), who will now [ . . . ] Page 34 - Calvin Coolidge was not president in 1919. His presidency was from 1923-1929.
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VOL. 17 ISS. 2
26 CENTERFOLD TEN MORALLY DEFINING MOMENTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY
Democrat-Run Cities on the Verge of Collapse
AMAC’s 2022 Man of the Year: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Proliferation of Faith-Based Films: A Promising Sign for America’s Future
AMAC Benefit Highlight
Wisdom Is With the Aged . . . 18
A Return to Yesteryear
Who is Generation Z? . . . 30
Member Benefits Directory
Just for Fun Solutions on page 12
AMAC in Action
THE CONTENTS OF AMAC MAGAZINE MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE PUBLISHER’S WRITTEN CONSENT. AMAC MAGAZINE PROVIDES INFORMATION OF A GENERAL NATURE WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT NEITHER AMAC NOR ITS AFFILIATES ARE ENGAGED IN RENDERING MEDICAL OR LEGAL ADVICE. INFORMATION PROVIDED SHOULD NOT BE CON- SIDERED A SUBSTITUTE FOR A CONSULTATION WITH A LICENSED PHYSICIAN, ATTORNEY, ACCOUNTANT, OR FINANCIAL ADVISOR. AMAC MAGAZINE (USPS 12240) IS PUBLISHED BIMONTHLY FEB, APR, JUN, AUG, OCT, AND DEC, BY THE ASSOCIATION OF MATURE AMERICAN CITIZENS, 5 ORVILLE DRIVE, SUITE 400, BOHEMIA, NY 11716. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT BOHEMIA, NY 11716 AND AT ADDITIONAL MAILING OFFICES. ONE MEMBERSHIP INCLUDES SPOUSE/PARTNER. ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES ARE $16, INCLUDING $4.02 FOR AN ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION TO AMAC MAGAZINE. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO: AMAC ADVANTAGE, 5 ORVILLE DRIVE, SUITE 400, BOHEMIA, NY 11716
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Democrat-Run Cities on the Verge of
I n today’s post-pandemic world, American cities are undergoing a transformation. Metropolitan trans- formation is nothing new. In fact, it’s a natural and expected cycle of life and the evolution of society. Looking at the history of the Middle East, Europe, and mankind’s migration West, there are several transformative eras of human history. In early to mid-20th century Amer- ica, people rushed to make it in “the city,” where they could find more opportunities, better-paying jobs, and an upgraded lifestyle. Then, near the end of the 20th century, we witnessed another urban shift, as suburban community living took root in America and blossomed from coast to coast. Big city residents began moving to the outskirts, away from
the hustle and bustle, and away from rising urban crime. Many Americans chose to raise their families in safer, less densely populated communities. As America’s population surpassed 300 million people in the early 21 st century, metropolitan areas have grown to the point that today they are merging geographically, bring- ing forward new pressure points in American society. The spike in violent crimes, homicide rates, human traf- ficking and illicit drug use began in 2016. It was boosted by flashpoints such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the death of George Floyd in May 2020. However, these turning points also revealed the consequences of putting in place socialist political theories pushed by elite billionaire Democrats. Here’s how and why US
cities run by Democrats are on the verge of collapse. A report released last year from the Heritage Foundation entitled “The Blue City Murder Problem” lists the top 30 cities with the highest homi- cide rates as of June 2022. Unsurpris- ingly, they found that 27 of the 30 deadliest cities in America had Demo- crat mayors, two were Republican and one was Independent. Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York City were the deadliest places in America last year, all run by Democrats, of course. Interestingly, the Heritage report found that within those 30 cities, there are at least 14 rogue prosecu- tors backed or inspired by billionaire Democrat donor and global socialist George Soros.
continued on page 10
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There are several ways that the radi- cal Left is wreaking havoc in the cities where they have implemented ‘woke,’ so-called social justice policies. According to Heritage’s report, these policies include but are not limited to: • Refusing to prosecute entire cate- gories of misdemeanor crimes, including theft, drug posses- sion, shoplifting, receiving stolen property, breaking and entering, destruction of property, disturb- ing the peace, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and more. • Forbidding prosecutors from including sentencing enhance- ments or allegations of prior convictions or special circum- stances for egregious crimes or actions. • Forbidding prosecutors from seek- ing the death penalty in any case. • Forbidding prosecutors from seek- ing life without parole sentences for any crime. • Refusing to prosecute violent teenagers in adult court for such crimes as murder, child abuse, and rape. • Requiring prosecutors to ask for the release of duly convicted violent felons, whose appeals have been denied, after these felons have served at least 15 years of a longer sentence. • Prohibiting or limiting prosecutors from asking for bail and/or taking into consideration the defendant’s prior criminal record as ways to
ensure the presence of the defen- dant at the next court hearing. “There were 2,554 homicides in those 30 cities through June 2022. In the 14 cities with Soros-backed rogue pros- ecutors, there were 1,752 homicides, representing 68% of homicides in the 30 top homicide cities in the United States,” the report said. These are essentially people who are not only refusing to do their job but are empowering criminals and weak- ening the rule of law. It is a dereliction of duty at best. Labeling Democrats as hypocritical for proclaiming to be champions of democracy while simul- taneously advocating for policies that break down the very democratic institutions they claim to defend is an understatement. The American people can’t and won’t fall for this deceitful practice as their cities burn around them. A separate analysis of “Cities with the biggest homicide rate problems” by WalletHub looked at Q4 2022 data compared to Q4 2021 and Q4 2020. They found the following cities had a growing homicide problem: 1. Atlanta, GA 2. Baltimore, MD 3. Detroit, MI 4. Las Vegas, NV
This list correlates closely with the trends identified in the Heritage report and lists some of the same cities. In fact, seven out of ten cities previously listed have Democrat mayors, with two being Republi- can and one Independent (formerly Dem). In 2020, it was reported that twelve major cities broke their homi- cide records. All twelve were run by Democrat mayors. Another telling statistic in the collapse of America’s Democrat-run cities is the dangerous rise of human trafficking, of which the vast majority of the victims are sexually exploited (approximately 79%). A list of the top ten cities with the most human trafficking, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline Report (12/7/2007-12/31/2016), which ranks all major US cities by the number of reported telephone calls, per capita, includes: 1. Washington, DC
2. Atlanta, GA 3. Orlando, FL 4. Miami, FL 5. Las Vegas, NV 6. Sacramento, CA 7. St. Louis, MO 8. Baton Rouge, LA
9. Columbus, OH 10. Richmond, VA
5. Kansas City, MO 6. Chesapeake, VA 7. Chicago, IL 8. Memphis, TN 9. Jacksonville, FL 10. Denver, CO
For the years covered in the report, eight out of ten cities had all Demo- crat mayors. The two exceptions being Miami, FL, which had a Demo- crat and a Republican mayor during those years, and Las Vegas, whose
continued on page 12
10 • AMAC Magazine
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from those states, you get a much lower number that Democrats don’t want you to see. Defund the Police protests. Antifa riots. Smash and grab theft rings. Gangs ransacking department stores and small businesses. The burning down of police departments by angry mobs. The random but targeted kill- ings of police officers. Empty city streets in parts of town where side- walks are filled with open drug use. Women being assaulted and children trafficked. Many of us have read the headlines, seen the videos online, and heard the stories. Democrat-run cities in America are on the verge of collapsing. Some have already plunged into the abyss. Republican leadership, maturity, and discipline are needed now more than ever. If Republicans don’t fight for our cities, or worse, flee altogether, we risk a dangerous transformation where we leave our children with a world that is worse off than we entered it. We can’t let that happen. Palmer Schoening Palmer Schoening is part of AMAC Action’s advocacy team in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of Hillsdale College and George Mason University’s School of Public Policy.
Democrat mayor switched parties and became an Independent (as did his wife who succeeded him in office). Another sign of collapsing cities is the rise in homelessness. According to Security.org’s latest report cover- ing 2014-2018, among the list of top 10 cities with the biggest homeless- ness problem, seven had Democrat mayors, one had an Independent, and two had a Democrat and Republican mayor during that time. Of the top 10 major cities with the highest home- lessness, four are in California. Another barometer that reveals the corroding effect of Democrat lead- ership is fiscal discipline, or lack thereof. In 2013, the Democrat-run City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy, the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history. One city that encapsulates all of the problems of Democrat rule and that really symbolizes the dysfunction you get from following a persistently progressive agenda, is San Fran- cisco, California. A December 2022 report from the DailyMail.UK high- lighted San Francisco’s woes, such as rampant homelessness due to its widely promoted ‘Sanctuary City’
status, open-air drug use, vacant office buildings, a teetering econ- omy, rising crime, declining popula- tion, and a $728 million budget deficit. The overall crime rate in the city was up 3.9% year over year in 2022, led by increases in larceny thefts (9.6%), assaults (7.6%), robberies (4.9%), and rape (2.8%). Things got so bad in San Francisco that even the Soros- backed socialist District Attorney, who widely pledged not to enforce the law, was successfully recalled by voters. While the media is only now really focusing on the disastrous effects of having Democrats run cities, a 2010 report from the National Review covered ‘America’s 17-most bank- rupt cities,’ which consisted of cities with leadership by two Republicans, two Independents, and twelve Demo- crats, meaning Democrats led 70% of America’s most-bankrupt cities at the time — including one city “so bank- rupt that it [was] in state receivership.” We all know that Democrats lie about their track records and try to spin the news story by saying “Crime is up in Red States,” but when you extract the death and destruction left behind by Democrat-run cities and counties
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Octogenarian Asks About Wife’s Spousal and Survivor Benets
wife’s case, she is now (while you are both living) receiving her own earned Social Security benefit plus a “spousal boost” to make her payment equal to what she’s due as your spouse. Your wife’s spousal boost was not taken from your benefit payment you still get your own retirement benefit but her spousal boost amount was computed by compar- ing the amount she was entitled to at her full retirement age (FRA) to 50 percent of your FRA benefit amount and then reducing her spousal boost amount because she claimed at age 62 (all Social Security benefits, except disability benefits, taken before FRA are reduced). Regarding your wife’s benefit as your survivor, since her own SS retirement benefit is smaller, if you die first, the added “spousal boost” amount your wife now gets will stop and be replaced by a higher supple- ment that brings her total payment up to what she is entitled to as your surviving widow. As your spouse while you are still living, the most your wife could have gotten was 50 percent of the benefit amount you were entitled to at your full retirement age (FRA) of 66, but she gets less than that because she claimed at age 62. However, if you
die, your wife will get a higher total amount consisting of her personally earned age-62 benefit, plus a supple- mental amount to make her payment equal to 100 percent of the amount you were receiving when you died. In fact, her benefit amount at your death may even be more than you were getting when you died, because she will get at least 82.5 percent of your “primary insurance amount” or “PIA”, which is the benefit you were due at age 66 (your FRA). Think of it this way as your surviv- ing spouse, your wife’s total benefit payment amount will be either 100 percent of the benefit you were receiving when you died or 82.5 percent of the benefit you were enti- tled to at age 66, whichever amount is higher. And that will replace the smaller amount your wife is now getting as your spouse while you are both living. Of course, your wife will need to notify Social Security of your death and should do so in a timely manner to get the higher benefit she is entitled to as your surviving spouse flowing as soon as possible. Signed, Russell Gloor This article presents the opinions of the AMAC Foundation Staff and is intended for informa- tion purposes only. It does not represent legal or financial guidance.
Dear Rusty, I am now 80 and my wife is 76, and we both took early Social Security benefits at age 62. When my wife took her Social Security, it was a lot smaller than mine, so they took a portion of mine and added it to hers. How does that work? Also, when I die, will my wife get all of mine Dear Curious, Social Security’s standard process is to pay a beneficiary’s personally earned retirement benefit first and then add an additional amount as necessary to bring the payment up to what they are entitled to as a spouse or as a surviving spouse. So, in your or just a percentage? Signed, Curious Senior
Have a Social Security question? Contact us at SSAdvisor@AMACFoundation.org or 888-750-2622
16 • AMAC Magazine
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WISDOM is with the aged
I am 52 years old and thankful for the experience and confidence that comes with age. I think more clearly, trust my intuition, and take time to appreciate the small things in life. My greatest joy is my family. I became a mother just one month before my 21 st birthday and worked through the usual ups and downs of young parenthood. I sometimes struggled, like when paying for childcare, so that I could work to help bring in a little extra (childcare took nearly half of my earnings). And I’m not complain- ing — I’m thankful for that struggle. I came out stronger and with a deeper connection to my faith.
And then, just four short years ago, God blessed me with the first of two beautiful granddaughters. When she arrived in this world, I considered myself young at 48 years old. (That really made me smile!) I was so grate- ful that God had blessed me with grandparenthood, and I embraced it with my entire being. I was elated to be blessed a second time. As days unfold and become years and the years become decades, I’m keenly aware that I’m drawing nearer to what we call “the golden years.” But golly, how our life experiences over time sure do build us and prepare us for the sanctification of God’s divine plan.
I’m convinced there is no college or university that can teach and prepare us for life the same way as “the school of hard knocks.” The natural matur- ing that happens when we make our first rent payment, buy our first home, or lease our first car, accept the job, commit, and sacrifice for our loved ones, protect, and nurture our babies — nothing prepares us better for life than life itself. Sacrificing oneself to prioritize the needs of others is the very decision that pays the greatest rewards. With each year that passes, my state of gratitude increases, and the personal relationship that God invites us all to have with him grows deeper still.
18 • AMAC Magazine
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” PROVERBS 31:25
Yes, we feel the necessary price we pay for making those sacrifices, but God always rewards those who are faithful, trusting, and steadfast. It takes patience. It takes learning. It takes faith. And at the proper time, you will reap a harvest. So, when celebrating your next birth- day, look at your age in a whole new
way. I don’t know about you, but I surely don’t want to live through my youth again. And while I occasionally find myself feeling nostalgic for days of old, I remember the words of my wise grandmother, “Our bodies grow old, but our spirit is renewed daily by the loving grace of God.”
Wisdom, a gift from the Holy Spirit, is a beautiful thing. I am thankful to God for each birthday He blesses me with and will rejoice in each of them until he calls me home!
Rebecca Weber Chief Executive Officer, AMAC
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Volume 17 Issue 2 • 19
AMAC’S 2022 MAN OF THE YEAR
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
August 14, 2022 Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at a “Unite & Win Rally” at Arizona Financial Theatre in Phoenix, AZ. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore
W ith a stunning landslide victory in his reelection bid and a slate of major policy wins, 2022 was already a banner year for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Now, he can add one more accom- plishment to that list: AMAC’s Man of the Year award. An “America First” Success Story In a poll of AMAC members, the 44-year-old DeSantis edged out
former President Donald Trump and entrepreneur Elon Musk for the honor of Man of the Year. Trump was the most recent person to take home the prize, winning it for his effective leadership and decisive action in his final year in office, even with nearly every political and cultural institution arrayed against him. Governor DeSantis, who has himself repeatedly drawn the ire of the political and cultural establishment, embodies many of those same traits
that make President Trump such a revolutionary leader perhaps unsurprising given that the governor has also styled himself as a populist Republican unafraid to wade into the Culture War. DeSantis has repeatedly faced down the cancel culture mob, defiantly declaring that “Florida is where the woke goes to die.” Much to the chagrin of the Demo- cratic Party and the mainstream media, the more conservatively DeSantis governs whether calling
continued on page 22
20 • AMAC Magazine
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out Disney’s woke excesses, banning Critical Race Theory in schools and workplaces, or defending parents’ rights — the more popular he seems to become. After winning the gover- norship by a mere 0.4 percent of the vote in 2018, many on the left believed that his constant sparring with the media and fiery rhetoric would lead to his ouster in 2022. But Sunshine State voters instead responded by handing DeSantis a 20-point victory last November, one of the biggest wins for Republicans anywhere in the country. Even many who have never cast a vote for DeSantis have expressed their support for his policies in the clearest way possible: moving to his state. Florida ranked as the number one state for net migration in 2020 and 2021, and was in the top five for 2022. Many of those moving to Florida are fleeing liberal states; according to one report, nearly 10,000 people switched their residency from New York or California to Florida in August of 2022 alone.
The young DeSantis matched his athletic success with high marks in the classroom, eventually earning admission to Yale and a spot on the school’s baseball team. As a senior in 1991, the future governor was selected as a captain and led the squad with a .336 batting average. After graduating from Yale with a degree in history, DeSantis taught for a brief time before attending Harvard Law School. During his second year at Harvard in 2004, he was commis- sioned as an officer in the US Navy as part of the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) program. He would eventually deploy to Iraq with SEAL Team 1 in 2007, and later earn a Bronze Star for his service.
analysts at the time credited Trump’s strong support for boosting DeSantis over the top. In campaign ads, DeSan- tis himself leaned hard into his asso- ciation with Trump, becoming one of the early examples of Trump’s “king- making” abilities within the Republi- can Party.
The Anti-Woke Governor
Since winning the governor’s man- sion, however, DeSantis has developed a reputation uniquely his own as an effective executive — particularly when it comes to battling woke influences in government and society. In another blow against the hard left, DeSantis famously led an effort last year to revoke Disney’s special tax status over the company’s embrace of far-left ideologies and public criticism of the state’s paren- tal rights law. Part of DeSantis’s “Stop WOKE Act” prohibits businesses from teaching employees to feel “guilt, anguish, or any form of psychologi- cal stress” due to their race, gender, or sexuality. Perhaps DeSantis’s biggest moment as governor came during the pandemic, when he became one of the first state leaders to lift restric- tions, proving that states could reopen and still protect vulnerable populations. Once Biden took office, DeSantis became a loud opponent of the Biden administration’s mandates and draconian COVID-19 policies. DeSantis has also distinguished himself through his education poli- cies, becoming one of the leading proponents of parents’ rights and removing left-wing ideologies from schools while also boosting teacher
Rise to Political Stardom
DeSantis’s political career began in 2012 when he announced that he would run for Florida’s 6 th Congres- sional District, which stretches from Jacksonville to Daytona Beach. He easily won the primary and then the general election and was reelected by wide margins in 2014 and 2016. In Congress, DeSantis was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and developed a reputation as one of the most conservative members of the House. He was an early supporter of then-candidate Trump in 2016 and a staunch defender of the president throughout his tenure, even introduc- ing legislation to end funding for the ill-fated Mueller Investigation in 2017. One year later, Congressman DeSantis announced his candidacy for Florida governor to replace the term-limited Rick Scott. Many
A Lifelong Winner
DeSantis was born on Septem- ber 14, 1978, into a middle-class family in Jacksonville, Florida. His mother, Karen, was a nurse, and his father, Ronald, installed Nielsen TV ratings boxes. The DeSantis family eventually settled near Tampa, where Ron soon became a standout on the baseball diamond. His Little League team made it all the way to the Little League World Series in Williamsport before falling in the quarterfinals.
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