Tim McMullen's Missives and Tomes

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Don't Let the Cons Con You into Decimating Social Security

We need to stand strong and united. The assaults on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are real, and they come from both sides of the aisle. The excuse for attacking these essential, social safety net programs is the "dreadful deficit," which, of course, was created from a budget SURPLUS and was the direct result of many errant policies.

Though some Democratic Representatives have endorsed a few of these policies, most are the direct result of Republican ideology and policy: unjustified military actions and unnecessary military spending (often on programs and equipment that the military has explicitly said that it does not want or need); huge tax decreases for the wealthiest corporations and individuals; unnecessary and unwarranted subsidies for some of the wealthiest industries; egregiously unfair tax loopholes—available only to the wealthy—that allow many of the wealthiest corporations and individuals to avoid warranted taxes; totally misguided and faulty deregulation of the financial sector that lead to several drastic economic downturns, especially the most recent "great recession"; the "no-strings-attached" economic bailout of those most directly responsible for the economic collapse which has left the worst actors in better shape than before their fraud-induced collapse while leaving most of the country still devastated by economic loss; a completely unrealistic cap on Social Security contributions; six years of political sabotage and stalemate from the minority party outspokenly intent on destroying any chance of significant job recovery or health care reform merely to gain political advantage; and very significantly, a cynical media assault on Social Security, Medicare, and government in general, designed to mislead several generations into believing that there will be nothing for them in the future, that they should abandon all interest in wider society, that privatizing everything gives them a better chance, and that they should care about nothing but their own interests, and, of course, by example, that lying, cheating, and stealing are simply necessary methods for success and that the rules limiting these methods should be loosened or eliminated.

The chained CPI, a method of conscientiously miscalculating downward the needs of retirees so as to significantly reduce their benefits in the future, is actually a drastic, negative change. Before Social Security is touched, before Medicare and Medicaid and a hundred other programs that have already been diminished by political blackmail, extortion, brinkmanship, and disingenuous compromise, we need to rebuild the middle class and our social safety programs by reversing all of the failed policies mentioned above. Only after we have raised the income threshold on Social Security; only after we have reduced our outrageous and unnecessary military spending, including bringing the "Big Brother" surveillance regime under control; only after re-regulating and better regulating the financial sector; only after significantly reducing tax loopholes and subsidies for the wealthiest should we even begin to consider cuts to social programs.

Should we attempt to eliminate fraud in social programs and tax policies? Absolutely. That naturally requires more regulation and regulators, not less as the Republican congress and media echo chamber have advocated and accomplished for many years. Furthermore, we need to bring real criminal charges against those who actually committed or condoned fraud and worse, offering jail time, not just pittance penalties—people have been out of work for years now as a result of this malfeasance, and these criminal corporations are asked to pay only a few days income in fines? There is real injustice here, but many of those in Congress have fought tooth and claw to prevent their financial backers from being held accountable, choosing instead to wreak havoc on women, children, the elderly, workers, immigrants, and the poor. If we all demand that they make other more fair and equitable changes before tampering with the few programs actually designed to benefit the common man, maybe they will listen.

I encourage you to sign the petition from Bernie Sanders whether it comes from Sen. Bernie Sanders, Alliance for Retired Americans, Campaign for America's Future, Campaign for Community Change, DailyKos, Democracy For America, The Other 98%, Progressives United, Social Security Works, USAction or any other organization or politician endorsing the protection of Social Security and Medicare.

"The Greatest Threat to Democracy is Hypocrisy! Seek Truth! Speak Truth!"
Tim McMullen

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