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Obama's War on Social America
Obama's War on Social America
by Stephen Lendman
Obama, Republicans and most democrats are in lockstep. They claim Medicare and Social Security are going broke. They lie saying so. When properly administered, both programs are sound. Modest adjustments only are needed to assure it.
They're federally mandated. They're not entitlements. They're contractual obligations. They're for eligible recipients who qualify. Payroll taxes fund them.
Social Security provides retirement, disability, survivorship, and death benefits. It's America's most effective poverty reduction program. It's worked remarkably well since inception.
It provides secure inflation-adjusted retirement or disability income. Personal savings aren't risked. It's not going bankrupt.
The same holds for Medicare.
It's America's largest health insurance program. Payroll deductions defray costs. Tens of millions rely on it. It covers eligible recipients aged 65 or older, some disabled ones under age 65, and people of all ages with end-stage renal disease.
Duplicitous scaremongering claims both programs face bankruptcy. They're on the chopping block for elimination. Obama's on board. Corporate and imperial priorities matter most.
Straightaway in office, he prioritized cutting healthcare costs. He called it "restoring fiscal discipline."
"The big problem is Medicare," he said. Its cost is "unsustainable."
"Let's not kid ourselves and suggest that we can solve this problem by trimming a few earmarks."
The "biggest cost drivers in our budget are entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, all of which get more and more expensive every year."
"If we want to get serious about fiscal discipline - and I do - we will have to get serious about entitlement reform."
He lied. He's a serial liar. He wants social America destroyed. He's doing it on the backs of ordinary people and others most disadvantaged. They need it most. He's facilitating the greatest wealth transfer scheme in human history.
Vital needs don't matter. He's spurning them on his watch. He's force-feeding pain and suffering. He's got four more years to continue what he began. He's heading America for third world status. It’s half way there. It's close to full-blown tyranny.
He's in lockstep with Republicans. Budget proposals include deep social program cuts. Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, public pensions and other vital programs are targeted.
A sequestered $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years is agreed on. It's only for starters. Privately, both parties agreed on trillions more.
Bush era tax cuts remain policy. A permanent alternative minimum tax fix was enacted. Its impact on middle income families was reduced. Generous inheritance benefits were agreed. They exceed what Bush endorsed.
Token tax hikes affect rich elites. Clever lawyers and accountants let them avoid them. Progressive ones aren't discussed. Military spending increases annually. So do corporate handouts.
Reform reflects doublespeak duplicity. Obama favors means testing Medicare. Doing so revokes its mandate. It violates a contractual federal obligation.
Social Security comes next. Privatizations loom. Doing so assures gutting both programs. Republicans never wanted them in the first place. Most Democrats now agree.
Obama's plan to "strengthen Medicare for the future" is wrecking it. He's unapologetic. He's duplicitous. He wants Social Security COLA adjustments enacted, means testing, and raising the eligibility age.
He's amenable to hundreds of billions more Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid cuts. White House spokesman Jay Carney said his "budget reflects his priorities within a budget world that is not ideal."
"It requires compromise, negotiation, and a willingness to accept that you won't get 100 percent of what you want."
He's in lockstep with Republicans. Draconian cuts are coming. Most Americans oppose them. They have no say. Obama calls Medicare "the main cause of deficits." He lied saying so.
He favors Simpson-Bowles recommendations. They include a new Medicare Parts A and B $550 annual deductible. It urges cutting Part A's 100% coverage to 80%.
Doing so requires either paying up to $300 monthly in private insurance fees to defray the difference, or have a similar amount deducted from Social Security benefits. They average around $1,100 a month. Cutting them at all is unconscionable. Cutting them substantially is grand theft.
Beneficiaries have two choices. They can either pay more for current benefits or accept considerably less. There's no in between.
Obamacare rationed healthcare. Targeting Medicare does the same thing. Retirees and other eligible recipients are affected. They'll get less when they most need it.
Obama reflects right-wing extremism. At the same time, he announced higher Medicare provider payments.
Obamacare funds Medicaid 100% until 2016. Thereafter, it's 90%. Federal funding once required state participation. No longer. Governors can opt out. Millions will be harmed. Many will be left out entirely. They'll be denied treatment altogether.
At the same time, expect more corporate tax cuts. They're coming. They'll include cutting the top rate. Tax forgiveness on trillions sheltered overseas is planned.
Grand bargain betrayal is policy. Bankers, war profiteers, other corporate favorites and privileged elites alone matter. Ordinary Americans increasingly on their own. They're hung out to dry.
Bipartisan complicity makes things worse. Social America's on the chopping block for elimination. Agreed on cuts will conceal their severity when announced.
Neither party worries about deficits or debt. Saying so is red meat for constituents. It's duplicitous deception. Obama, most Democrats, and Republicans want corporate friends and super-rich elites protected.
Working Americans and seniors will bear the burden. Cuts affecting them were agreed on last year. Details remain to be decided.
Obama's a corporate hardliner. His rhetoric belies his policy. Straightaway in office, he sold out his constituents. He's done it ever since. He never looked back. He's unapologetic.
He's got lots more ripping off to do. Stealing from ordinary people to enrich corporate favorites and rich elites is policy. Only a Democrat would do what Republicans on their own wouldn't dare.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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