Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Obama makes a U-turn on Social Security while he fudges on gun control. A slap in the face to every senior citizen and parent of young children who voted for him.

It didn’t take long for Barack Obama to revert to character – the waffling, bargain-with-himself, give-in-to-Republicans, screw-his-own-base equivocator that he was during his first term.

The irony is, hanging tough with Republicans had started to work. They were in a panic. They agreed to at least some revenue enhancements. They were freaked out. They were caving in.

Whereupon the President said, in effect, “nevermind.”

"Chainsaw Barack" takes
an axe to Social Security.

Take Social Security. The president has agreed to take a chainsaw to the incomes of older Americans by offering to give the Republicans something called “Chained CPI.” You can find an explanation for it here, if you want it.

But what it boils down to is, it reduces the maximum Social Security by a small percentage one year, and then reduces that percentage by a small percentage the next year, and so on. All the while, medical costs will keep rising. So in the end, maximum benefits will be half of what they are today, and the very first to suffer will be the oldest and weakest of Social Security recipients.

But that will free up money to hand over to the very-well-off in the form of fewer tax cuts. Money that has already been earmarked for Social Security.

Shame on you, Mr. Obama. Shame!

They're shooting little kids in school?
Hey, let's form a committee!

Then there’s the matter of gun control. The nation is ready to rise up and slap significant controls tomorrow morning on an industry that makes a buck by selling rapid fire assault weapons that are used in this country mainly to murder people on colleger campuses, movie theaters, shopping malls, and kindergarten classes.

And what has the President proposed?

He has organized a “panel” to study the matter and make proposals for him to consider. In other words, he has formed a committee, the classic ploy of politicians who want to run out the clock. 

He’s asked for “proposals” by January. But by January, the worst of the shock will be over. The movement to take assault weapons off the streets will have lost some of its momentum. And the Republican supporters of the NRA will have likely gotten their watered down budget and tax bill that will slowly strangle seniors to make live cushier for people who make up to $999,999.99 a year.

Double shame, Mr. Obama. Double shame!

Oh, and while I've got your attention, you might want to read this letter I received from Firedog Lake and act accordingly:

Call the House and Senate: "Cut Benefits and I won't support you"
Dear Crank,
President Obama and Speaker Boehner may be close to reaching a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" - and the details are not good.
The president is reportedly willing to cut Social Security benefits for current and future retirees by reducing the cost of living adjustment (COLA) and make $400 billion in unspecified cuts to Medicare in exchange for a modest increase in tax rates on the wealthy, $50 billion in infrastructure spending and an extension of unemployment benefits.1
Calculating COLA payments with a "Chained-CPI" would essentially reduce seniors income over time as their medical costs skyrocket.2We must let our elected officials know that even benefit cuts hidden behind statistical manipulations like the Chained-CPI are unacceptable and that we will not support anyone who facilitates cuts to Social Security, Medicare of Medicaid.

Can you please call your representatives in the House and Senate and let them know Chained-CPIU is unacceptable and that you have pledged not to support anyone who facilitates cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Meicaid benefits?

Predictably, Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi have already started falling in line behind this awful proposal.3 But recent polls indicate 60% of Americans oppose the Chained-CPI benefit cut, and even the AARP has come out strongly against it.4
That's because most people understand that, at a time when 15.1% of seniors are living in poverty, cutting Social Security benefits — which represent the primary source of income for many retirees — would only increase their suffering. If anything, our nation's strongest anti-poverty program needs to be expanded, not contracted. The reality is that seniors have a larger share of income devoted to medical expenses, and therefore are subject to higher rates of inflation than the general population.5
By using a chained CPI, Social Security benefits will become increasingly insufficient as an individual ages6 — forcing severe austerity upon retirees as 401ks, pensions and home equity continue to dry up.Using this method is both cruel and manipulative and does little to strengthen Social Security or address the so-called deficit crisis.
Obama and Boehner need to hear our opposition to this now while they are still negotiating the bargain, and our representatives in the House and Senate must know that if they vote for any plan that include benefit cuts they will forfeit our support.
Call your representative in the House and Senate and let them know you have pledged not to support anyone who facilitates cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits.
Thanks for your support.
In solidarity,
Brian Sonenstein
Campaign Director,

1 comment:

Patricia said...

I wonder, while all the shock and trauma is going on from the terrible tragedy, what will be rammed down our throats while we are distracted from the fiscal nonsense?