The Port Arthur News
Beware all you folks like me, retirees, I mean. Also you future retirees better look out. There's a rumor I read about, going around in Washington, D.C., which may very well be more than just a rumor, I fear, because it was discussed fully by an article in the “Washington Post”.
And, if all that is correct, for the plot to succeed it may not make a damned bit of difference who is elected President of the United States.
The report is that Corporate America's paramount chiefs — CEOs, that is — are together plotting to put together a federal budget package which aims to severely decrease Social Security and Medicare.
This, of course, is another result of “Citizens United”, which will — or already did — allow Corporate America's CEOs to buy the US Congress. So, as can be plainly seen, if they — Corporate CEOs — can achieve that, my vote and yours are becoming absolutely immaterial.
One of the major facets they want to cut in Social Security is the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) by 0.3 percentage points.
Doesn't sound like much does it? Pretty much insignificant you think?
Well, lets go ahead and do the math...After 10 years, it's 3%. Twenty years go by and it's 6%. Then, after 30 years, it would be 9%.
“Not a big deal,” say the CEOs, “only 3% can't hurt much.”
“Really?” I would have to ask them. “Then why the hell are all of you yelling and howling about President Obama's increase of that same, 'tawdry' 3% on your income tax?”
The same CEO's of Corporate America are also planning to raise the normal Social Security retirement age to 69. Yes, and they also wish to cut the benefit formula for those with “high incomes”.
Okay, you probably won't believe it, but would you guess that their definition of “high income” is $40,000 a year?
Hell, the top 2% make more than $40,000 in a week! Do the math — $40,000 x 52 weeks = $2,080,000. Pocket change for them.
Yeah, and they want to raise the age of eligibility for Medicare to 67. It's now 65. Any of you folks over 65 tried to buy any reasonable health insurance?
Our private health care system in the USA actually costs twice as much per individual than any other economically equal country in the world.
The following is a quote from the “Progressive Populist” news...by Dean Baker.
“We're all paying for their campaign to take away our Social Security and Medicare. We do this through several different channels.
“First, many of these CEO and honcho types come from Wall Street. For example, Erskine Bowles, the co-chair of President Obama's deficit commission, is a director of Morgan Stanley in one of his day jobs. Had it not been for taxpayers' generosity, the bank that Mr. Bowles directs would have died in 2008, so it would not be around to pay his six figure stipend.
“The other way we are paying for this corporate effort to cut our Social Security and Medicare is by virtue of the fact that we allow the CEOs to pay for their campaign with pre-tax dollars. If most of us want to give $100 to a political candidate or political cause, we first have to pay taxes on our income and then make the campaign contribution out of what we have left.
“However, if you are a CEO who wants to cut Social Security and Medicare, the Supreme Court says you can make your contributions in pre-tax dollars, in effect deducting this contribution as if you were giving money to a charity...the CEOs 'charitable' contributions for cutting Social Security and Medicare will be on the order of $278 million.”
So there you pretty well have it. And I have a hard time understanding the reasoning behind it, when they aver that it's going to help the economy and the country.
How the hell can cutting the amount of money that average, middle class or lower, people have to spend help the economy? Who's gonna buy all that Walmart crap when everybody's half broke?
Then there's our nationwide “elected” Congress. Elected? It's more like they're appointed in each congressional district whenever it's decided which one is the biggest, easiest bought, whore.
Seems to me like they all have one and the same primary interest — be they Democrat or Republican — which is getting re-elected.
And how do they do that?
By selling themselves to the highest bidder, which is Corporate America.
It — the Supreme Court's “Citizens United” decision — is turning the US Congress into a cathouse.
Neal Morgan of Nederland is a retired educator. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.