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They’re Coming for Your Social Security

July 5th, 2010 No comments

Sometimes it really feels like the people in power are deliberately robbing the poor to give more money to the rich. Or to put it more accurately, like they’re funneling money from the middle class to pay their rich friends in the military industrial complex, the energy industry, Wall Street, and so on.

Whenever there’s talk of cutting spending, it’s almost always about spending on the middle-class and never about subsidies to giant corporations. A huge case-in-point came last week when House republican leader John Boehner gave an interview in which he made a policy suggestion for how to deal with the deficit:

House Republican Leader John Boehner said in an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review out today that he would back raising the Social Security retirement age to 70 for those who will not retire for another 20 years.

Obviously, we can’t keep paying out social security checks if we want to pay for war in Afghanistan. We’re talking priorities, people.

It might not be as scary if it weren’t for the fact that the talk of cutting entitlement spending weren’t coming from both sides of the aisle. Obama took a lot of heat from his own supporters for creating a bipartisan deficit commission to address the growing problem.

“We’re going to mess with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security because if you take those off the table, you can’t get there,” commission co-chair Erskine Bowles, former Clinton White House chief of staff, said in a March speech. “If we don’t make those choices, America is going to be a second-rate power and I don’t mean in 50 years. I mean in my lifetime.”

They keep talking about how Social Security is in crisis. That it’s going to go bankrupt unless we take drastic measures such as privatization (i.e. handing control of our retirement money to the same people who caused the financial collapse). This is based on the premise that once revenues from payroll taxes fall short of the cost of paying out benefits, it will be broke. But as Paul Krugman explains, this doesn’t take into consideration the last 25 years of surplus in the program. Social Security is just fine. It’s this giant cash-cow that the wealthy interests have had their eyes on for a long time. They can’t wait to raid social security to cover their financial bets, pay for more war, and do whatever else it is they do with our money.

The big misunderstanding comes from the word we use for programs like social security and medicare: “entitlement” programs. Yes, we’re “entitled” to that money because it’s our money. We pay into the system our whole lives with the expectation that when the time comes and we can no longer work or afford our medical bills, the government will be there to help us out. But they’re trying to take that away from us, to take the money we’re entitled to (because it’s ours–not because it’s some kind of gift that they promised us) and use it to pay for war and financial shenanigans.

Cenk Uygur does a great job explaining it in this clip from The Young Turks:

Don’t let them tell you we can’t afford to pay back your money that you’re paying into the system. There are a hell of a lot of other things we can cut, starting with unnecessary and unwinnable wars.

God Hates Tolerance

July 5th, 2010 No comments

Here’s a funny little story. The Family Research Council is holding their second annual “Call2Fall” event in the hopes of saving America from God’s wrath:

FRC is even providing participants and leaders with suggested sermons and prayer targets – targets that just happen to coincide with FRC’s right-wing political agenda, warning that the Obama administration’s embrace of the LBGT community’s “immoral social agenda” is a “threat to us all” because it will cause God to unleash his wrath upon our nation.

Wait, I thought 9/11 was our punishment for being too tolerant of gay people? And didn’t God also send Hurricane Katrina just in case we didn’t get the message…or was that one because of abortion? What about the BP oil spill? Oh, that was for turning against Israel, was it?

How do they figure this stuff out anyway? Does God call these pastors on the phone and explain what each individual catastrophe was a punishment for? Or do they have some kind of chart? God sends terrorist attacks for tolerating homosexuals, natural disasters for allowing abortion, and man-made environmental catastrophes for making foreign policy decisions He disagrees with.

As I’ve written many times before, this God they worship is really a huge asshole. The guy dwarfs all other tyrants in history with His maniacal tyranny, constantly unleashing His wrath and fury on people and animals that bear little or no responsibility for the things He’s angry about.

I suppose, then, that our only recourse is to pray to Him and beg him for mercy. “Oh Lord, please don’t punish us any more for being too liberal. We promise to make up for the tolerance of our fellow citizens by hating gay people extra hard.”

If there’s one thing God hates, it’s love and compassion, especially towards gays. After all, He wouldn’t have made them gay if He didn’t expect us to hate them, would He?