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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Scaring the Pants Off Elders – Part 1

category_bug_politics.gif On Monday, I felt my blood pressure rising as President Barack Obama said in his press conference that if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling, the federal government will not be able to pay all its bills including Social Security benefits.

Fiscal cliff, debt ceiling, privitization, chained CPI, raising age of eligibility – one way or another, our elected officials never stop threatening elders. We just finished fighting back against the chained CPI that Republicans in Congress wanted to extract in exchange for their fiscal cliff vote.

Day after day after day, Congress members issue announcements about how they are going to make life miserable for everyone except the one percent. It never stops.

And don't go telling me YOUR Congress person is a good guy. Any Congress person who is not speaking out against these tactics – that is, who is not booking themselves on pundit TV shows, issuing press releases, calling press conferences, making speeches from the floor of Congress, etc. to denounce these threats each and every time they happen - is a bad guy.

Plus, there is no point in trying to distinguish between Democrat and Republican – they all either threaten to reduce Social Security and/or Medicare or give it a pass when others do it.

It says a lot about elected representatives that the only reliable support for elder citizens in that institution year after year, day in and day out is an independent, a declared democratic Socialist.

This week it was the president himself who was hyperventilating against elders and the worst of it is that he is wrong. If Congress does get stupid and refuses to raise the debt ceiling, the possibilities of what does and doesn't get paid are many. As U.S. News and World Report explains,

”It's possible, but not preordained, that Social Security recipients, veterans and beneficiaries of other cherished programs would take a hit. The administration has choices in how to spread the pain.

“Highlighting a threat to the most popular products of the government is a time-honored Washington tactic for turning up the heat on the other side to negotiate and settle.”

From the president on down to the newest freshman in Congress, they all seem to believe first, that old people have way too much money and second, that if they scare the pants off us again and again, we'll go along.

Well, I suppose there is a third possibility: Keep scaring us and maybe a good number will keel over and they'll have more money for the one percent that way.

I am so deeply tired of fighting this battle so many times.

Tomorrow in Part 2, is another attack on elders looming?


At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Dani Ferguson Phillips: Be Someone's Best Friend


Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Politics does seem to have become a game of scare and conquer. I can well believe you have combat fatigue. Thank you for still caring.

I would like to echo Laura's comment. I agree with you, Ronni, this does need to stop and members of Congress need to remember why they are really there. We need a lot of "Mr.Smith's" to go to Washington and stand up for those they are supposed to represent.

I am no longer astounded, just saddened. Where is the AARP in all of this?

Alexandra...
Tune in tomorrow for an update on AARP.

I don't want to say terrified, but this mess has me all but paralyzed. I have a new Congressman in my gerrymandered district and despite my best efforts on the election, I have another damned Republican who will probably be receiving.

In Washington D. C. they call these kind of scare tactics 'games'. Well I, for one of many, am getting fed up with their games. I call them 'dirty politics' uttered by venal politiciams.

The only hope for S. S. and this country is a very loud voice of objection from the victims of their tactics. Keep on writing the letters, calling your representatives and writing about this abuse of power. We either keep fighting or we submit to being victimized. I, too, am suffering from battle fatique, but they don't give up so neither can we

In Was

Yes -- let's keep being loud! And if you want a pretty nuanced glimpse of what motivates these Congresscritters, you might want to look at this from the National Journal. The implication I take from this article is that those of us elders who are white need to work on our age peers to calm down and support people who support us.

In this regard, it is wonderful that our Socialist champion comes from the whitest state -- it doesn't have to work the way it is working now.

And we need to be demanding that all of them get on with raising the income cap on SS payroll taxes, as I always suggest. That's something to go on the offensive about.

I am also very tired of the scare, divide and conquer mode our politicos have been in for way too long. That is why I voted without any enthusiasm. Nobody is on my side. And I am simply disgusted with the complicity of our commercial media. I was fuming this morning as the financial reporters talked about the 'hit' working people are taking as their payroll taxes increased. Nothing was said about the reduction being a 'temporary' measure designed to stimulate the economy. And nothing was said about where the money is supposed to go. To scare, divide and conquer I could (and do) add misinform, obfuscate, and isolate.

I soooooooooooooo agree with You!!!!! Thank You for helping us understand what is going on. You are one very special person!!
Danene Molenaar

I hate being treated like an inanimate pawn in Washington's despicable power games. They (all of them) need to remember that we pawns think and we pawns vote (not that it seems to make any difference).

Social Security has been under attack from the beginning. They are doing their best to label it as welfare. That mindset, if it ever gets entrenched, will be disastrous--it'll get less respect and get kicked around more. I paid into it for years and I'll be taxed again on 85% of it. Double taxation. Chained CPI will, if implemented, be a pay cut. Raising the age, they'll do that and we'll have a bunch of starving 60 somethings. I'm rambling but the threats are constant. So sad for a great program funded by workers. The negative about the later is that the 1% are in their own zone and don't want to pitch in a dime--they'd rather step out or drive out of thier gated community and step over, or drive over (figuratively) the people sleeping on the sidewalks. They urk me.

urk/irk the u for emphasis :)

Being a Canadian and not very well versed in the dispersal of SS - I know it is completely funded by the workers - how is this threatened regularly? Have the foxes plundered this particular henhouse? I thought the funds were inviolate.
XO
WWW

I'm tired of hearing the same news about the Congress flaunting its power and continuously playing the dirty game. I'm fed up that they need to let the people suffer, particularly those who are helpless and solely relying on their Social Security benefits. Threatening the elderly by reducing their benefits through Medicare or Social Security is just making the situation worse. This will cause panic to the elderly and might just worsen their current health condition. I really hope the Congress will have compassion and open their eyes on this issue. If this will continue, then middle-aged individuals better start preparing for their life in the future unless they still trust the Congress with their future.

Ronni--"And don't go telling me YOUR Congress person is a good guy."

No way would I lie to you by telling you that!

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