Granny Rant
Saturday, March 06, 2004
::: Baby Boomers Slimed By Conservatives :::
::: We Don't Want Something For Nothing :::

Ok, Granny is very weary of hearing Rebuplican conservatives refer to Social
Security as an "entitlement" program ... where the word entitlement is used
in the context of shiftless people expecting something for nothing.

Correct me if I am wrong, but do we not PAY for it with our payroll taxes
each and every week. I know they must be doing something with that
money ... cause I am sure not getting it.

Plus, it angers me mightily to hear conservatives claim Social Security is going
broke when they know that is a LIE. I have worked all my life and
paid all the required payroll taxes and resent the implication that I am a
deadbeat ... and that is always the tone used.

Utterances From the Right

"Oh ... those ... the entitlement programs."

"Yes wer are in deficit, but it is not because of the tax cuts, it is all the
entitlement programs the Democrats love so much."

"We have to fix Social Security or it will bankrupt this country."

"These entitlement programs are a vicious circle. With one generation
working and paying for the last generation, there simply won't be
enough to support the hoards, millions of 'Baby Boomers.' due to
retire in the very near future."

Even the phrase Baby Boomers has begun to take on a sinister note,
as though we somehow hatched ourselves as well as a plan to bankrupt this
country. Yes, of course, it is all our fault. The fact that some of the
very people in office today were the parents of the heathern hoard of Boomers,
seems to escape their notice. At the least, if they intend to mark us as the
destruction of America, they should accept responsibility for making us arrive
on this planet.

Then there is this: Krugman vs Greenspan on Social Security

Krugman speaks plain on Social Security. He says due to the system taking in far
more than it pays out, it is currently funded through 2042. Is this a lie? For some
strange reason, I tend to believe Paul Krugman over Alan Greenspan and Bush's,
roundtable of thieves, masters of deceit, the most secretive administration we
have seen in America.

Last week Mr. Greenspan warned of the dangers posed by budget deficits. But even though the main cause of deficits is plunging revenue ... the federal government's tax take is now at its lowest level as a share of the economy since 1950 ... he opposes any effort to restore recent revenue losses. Instead, he supports the Bush administration's plan to make its tax cuts permanent, and calls for cuts in Social Security benefits.

Yet three years ago Mr. Greenspan urged Congress to cut taxes, warning that otherwise the federal government would run excessive surpluses. He assured Congress that those tax cuts would not endanger future Social Security benefits. And last year he declined to stand in the way of another round of deficit-creating tax cuts.

But wait ... it gets worse.

You see, although the rest of the government is running huge deficits ... and never did run much of a surplus ... the Social Security system is currently taking in much more money than it spends. Thanks to those surpluses, the program is fully financed at least through 2042. The cost of securing the program's future for many decades after that would be modest — a small fraction of the revenue that will be lost if the Bush tax cuts are made permanent.

So, in the 1980s Greenspan decided we would have to raise payroll taxes
to pay for Social Security ... and we the people said ... ok, we will pay it.

As Krugman says, if anyone detailed the agenda honestly to the people ...

"Let's raise taxes and cut benefits for working families so we can give big tax cuts to the rich!"

... voters would have been outraged. Nope, the ole bait-and-switch works better.

There are three lessons in this tale.

First, "starving the beast" is no longer a hypothetical scenario ... it's happening as we speak. For decades, conservatives have sought tax cuts, not because they're affordable, but because they aren't. Tax cuts lead to budget deficits, and deficits offer an excuse to squeeze government spending.

Second, squeezing spending doesn't mean cutting back on wasteful programs nobody wants. Social Security and Medicare are the targets because that's where the money is. We might add that ideologues on the right have never given up on their hope of doing away with Social Security altogether. If Mr. Bush wins in November, we can be sure that they will move forward on privatization ... the creation of personal retirement accounts. These will be sold as a way to "save" Social Security (from a nonexistent crisis), but will, in fact, undermine its finances. And that, of course, is the point.

Finally, the right-wing corruption of our government system ... the partisan takeover of institutions that are supposed to be nonpolitical ... continues, and even extends to the Federal Reserve.

So, there you have it ... Granny holding forth on the sleaze oozing from Washington.

Knock it off, guys, we are not only tired, but are sick and tired and you
know what that leads to non-existent health care benefits.


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