Even those who are ideologically opposed to "social programs" as confiscatory or "socialist" should find this glaring disparity in treatment highly objectionable. The government policies which most benefit the wealthiest -- the owners of the Government -- continue unabated: endless war, private Surveillance State explosions, Wall Street bailouts, too-big-to-fail banks, perhaps even extending Bush tax cuts, while the programs on which the most vulnernable depend are targeted to pay for all that. There have been some gestures during the Obama presidency to work against this trend -- most notably the increase of health care subsidies for millions of poor people -- but targeting Social Security in order to pay for wars, to feed the private Surveillance State, and to extend Bush tax cuts or the suspension of the estate tax is pernicious no matter one's economic ideology. This isn't about free market capitalism; it's crony capitalism -- oligarchy -- where government policies are constructed to transfer wealth to the same small faction at the top.
In the Post today, Milbank justifies the targeting of Social Security recipients and wounded veterans on the ground that nothing should be "sacrosanct" when considering how to solve America's deficit problem. Leaving aside the fact that Social Security is not really a deficit issue, the true causes of America's debt and deficits are absolutely sacrosanct and will never be attacked by this Commission. Does anyone believe it's even remotely possible that meaningful cuts in America's war and military spending, surveillance and intelligence networks, or even corporate-plundering of America's health care system will be enacted as a result of this Commission process? Of course not. Those genuine debt-causing policies are "sacrosanct" because the people who profit from them own and control Washington (and share common socio-economic interests with the millionaire Commission members targeting social programs and the billionaires who are behind this). It's the people who don't control Washington -- ordinary Americans who need Social Security -- who are being targeted in order to feed even further the fattest, most piggish factions actually in control. That's what makes this process so ugly and odious.
A very concise analysis of the current administration's stealth plan to keep the rich rich and the poor poor, as well as move the middle class out of the middle class and into the poor class. Simpson's outbursts are just the tip of the iceberg in this Social Security "commission" and the eventual gutting of the only program that has kept seniors from being put out into the street.
Gotta love me some Obama ... not. I really hope that after the 2010 election, and everyone forgets to do the job they were voted in to do and start "campaigning" again for 2012, that the netroots really, really, really get going on someone to challenge Obama in the primary for 2012 and show him how we really feel by making him a one term president. That ought to slap a little reality into politics ... or not.
I, for one, have never paid into Social Security (don't ask), and so, I've been aware for most of my adult life I was not going to get anything. I may not be a Republican rich person, but I am definitely hoarding my cash (not putting it in any banks). I didn't have a 401K or any money invested in stocks or bonds, so I didn't see my "portfolio" vanish. I never owned a house, so I didn't end up losing one. I switched to public transit, so I don't have to deal with insurance, gas and vehicle maintenance. I don't get sick and have never had health insurance, and I sure as hell don't miss not having it. The few visits I have to make for check ups cost me less than having insurance premiums to pay, and having the insurance companies decide not to pay for my doctors, anyway. All the things that were once a show of American excellence are now the bane of the average American, and the province of the rich and privileged.
I don't trust corporations and I don't trust our government, local, state or federal. I'm hunkering down and maintaining my lifestyle in a low-key fashion. If corporate America (including our corporate government controlled by corporate "people" thanks to SCOTUS) feels it is necessary to destroy this country, so be it. Just hurry up so we real Americans can start to build it from the bottom up. Only an idiot believes that we have to cut benefits to Americans, and middle class Americans at that, in order to keep paying for Iraq and Afghanistan's rebuilding! America is crumbling and our money is being syphoned by fat cats and foreigners.
At least I have a home in Bejing that I can retire to, and take my money with me. China will probably end up being the new America, anyway.