Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont is, for my money, one of the few good guys in Washington, and one willing to stand up for social security. While the republicans are grossly steeped in corruption, their fellows across the Isle, their so-called opponent democrats, are little, if any better.
If you’ve been paying attention to politics these last several years, the words ‘The Grand Bargain’ will be familiar to you. The idea that entitlements such as medicare, medicaid, and social security need to be cut, or in doublespeak, made solvent, for future generations, in exchange for an increase of taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans. As time passes, the likelihood of any semblance of balance to such a deal becomes more bleak.
The below excerpt is from an article written by Bernie Sanders at thehill.com:
How many candidates for Congress last year won on the following platform?
1. That Social Security cost-of-living adjustments are too generous. Social Security should be cut over the next two decades by more than $1,000 a year for 85-year-old widows living on $1,200 a month.
2. That benefits earned by disabled veterans as a result of losing their arms, legs or eyesight in Iraq and Afghanistan are too generous. Disabled veterans’ benefits should be cut over the next 15 years by more than $1,400 a year.
3. That working families and the middle class don’t pay enough in taxes. We need to enact an across-the-board tax increase that disproportionately hurts workers making between $30,000 and $40,000 a year.
And yet all of these things will happen if Congress changes the way inflation is calculated by switching to a consumer price index (CPI) designed to lower cost-of-living adjustments.
Is Attacking Social Security Really The Right Direction?
What upsets me about this is that it takes a democrat to diminish social security. Even the Bush/Cheney fiasco couldn’t have accomplished that. No democrats would have gone along with them. But with Obama in office, ever willing to bend across the isle to compromise with those that not only have no intention of compromising back, but strategically refuse to, we end up with this bullshit chain CPI. It sure sounds a lot better than saying ‘we’re going to cut social security’, but that’s what political think tanks do, they spend gross amounts of money learning exactly what language to use to evoke the right – or at least mitigate – emotional response of Americans.
The question is simple, is Washington representing the American people, or their donors? The answer is equally simple, they serve those who write their paychecks and contribute heavily to their campaigns. There is zero altruistic or good spirited intention behind these cuts.
What Do The American People Want?
Actually, there is no division; not among progressives, nor among the American people. The vast majority, left, right and in-between, have repeatedly made it clear that they do not want cuts to either of these vital programs. A CBS News poll conducted last month shows that 80 percent of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, opposed cutting spending on Medicare to reduce the budget deficit, while 79 percent were against cutting Social Security for that reason. [ alternet.org ]
People paid into social security their whole lives, it’s not welfare, it’s a literal entitlement – they’re entitled, because they worked and paid into it, and it had a surplus. Where’d the money go? Defense contractors to sustain perpetual war and tax breaks for the wealthy and for corporations. Thanks for the change Obama, the elderly are going to need every cent of it.
What Can We Do About It?
We need a constitutional amendment enacted through a constitutional convention. Washington isn’t going to pass campaign finance reform that’s going to end the game they’ve been profiteering at. While there are many groups that are working towards this aim, the one i’m most vocal in support of is Wolf-Pac .
Check out Cenk Uygur’s latest speech on April 20th, 2013 at San Francisco State University, ‘The Conference To Restore The Republic’. If you’re not familiar with this movement, checking out the wolf-pac site and watching this video will get you up to speed. Cenk doesn’t waste time mixing words when it comes to this all encompassing issue of campaign finance reform.