News coming out of Washington suggests that Obama is negotiating a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff by offering to negotiate to weaken Social Security and Medicare.
This is unacceptable. The tax cuts on the wealthy must be allowed to return to 39.5%. In addition, tax on capital gains should be raised to at least 20% or more immediately.
Not only was the tax cut temporary, but as I understand it, it was targeted at a reduction in monies that would have gone into the social security trust fund. How stupid is that? Cut contributions to the fund, then claim the fund is being depleted so you have to cut benefits.
Bush and Cheney ran their wars by stealing 1.6 trillion dollars from the Social Security Fund. Much of that money went into the war profiteering activities of their good buddies in the military and private security industry. Billions of dollars went to Iraq and Afghanistan, airlifted as bales of cash, which have simply disappeared and never been accounted for.
Despite that, the Social Security fund has yet to operate in the red, and will not for at least another decade. But the oligarchy are trying to avoid having to pay back the loan by now pretending Social Security and Medicare are welfare “entitlements”. Of course they are entitlements. We paid payroll taxes into them. They are insurance funds. But they are trying to make entitlement a buzz word equivalent to welfare. Now we old folks are all welfare queens wanting to suck off the public teat.
Social Security and Medicare are both savings and insurance programs. Social Security is NOT part of the deficit. It is a trust fund, off the budget. Every time a member of Congress says it is part of the deficit, they reveal themselves as either totally ignorant of how our system works, or they are a liar and tool of the corporate oligarchy. The fact that Congress stole from the trust fund to fund their wars is not my problem. They can just pay the trust fund back.
If you do not save for retirement and health insurance, you don’t get it. But I did pay for it, for over fifty years. I am retired, and even with Social Security and Medicare, I am paying more than ever into insurance premiums in order to have both Medicare and a supplemental insurance, and prescription coverage. It is not a free ride, it is costing me more out of pocket than when I had health insurance through my employer!
Let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire. And let this misdirected payroll reduction expire, too.