Elder Women and Underpants
Boney Butt Syndrome

Romney Plan Would Balance Budget...

category_bug_politics.gif ...on the backs of elders. So what else is new.

In a speech last Friday at a gathering of the Koch brothers' organization, Americans for Prosperity, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney laid out his plan to cut government spending and reduce the federal deficit.

Romney's is very much like the draconian Paul Ryan plan from last year with a tweak or two. In fact, it is so close to Ryan's that Ryan himself is ecstatic, according to a Washington Post reporter:

"...Ryan was downright effusive about the contents of the plan. Ryan told me, 'Look at what he put out! This is a great development. It shows that the elusive adult conversation is taking place, but all on one side.'"

One of the reasons conservatives keep winning the war of words over the direction of the nation is that they relentlessly repeat the same talking points until, like repetitive advertising, it comes to seem to be the truth and then they repeat them some more.

A big one that seems to be winning no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, is that cutting Social Security and Medicare will solve all the debt and deficit problems – if you believe there are any. (You can read the plan at Romney's website.)

Although there are the usual Republican talking points contained in Romney's Medicare proposals (less coverage; higher price), today, let's concentrate on the other one – Social Security – that is crucial to elders:

• Raise the Social Security retirement age to reflect increases in longevity.

Don't any of these Republicans so eager for elders to work longer know that the age for full benefits is already being raised to 67? For example, I was not eligible for full benefits until I was 65 and ten months. Romney does not say how much more he wants to raise the Social Security retirement age.

Secondly, increase in longevity is due almost entirely to improved infant mortality over the past hundred years. We don't live much longer than those of our parents' and grandparents' generations who survived infancy; the statistic increases because fewer babies die in infancy and childhood now.

Both points leave one to wonder if Romney and other conservatives who spout this nonsense are stupid or if they think we are.

Like every other conservative whose usually unstated, long-term goal is to privatize or eliminate Social Security, Mr. Romney states that “tax hikes cannot be on the table” and that no one currently retired or near retirement will be affected by the changes he wants to make.

The nasty assumption in that final point from Romney gives me major heartburn every time I hear it (and they all use it) from Republicans. These people think you and I are willing to throw our children and grandchildren under the bus as long as our benefit is untouched. Personally, I think that says more about their values than ours.

Last week, reporter Lori Montgomery raised a storm among liberals and progressives when, in the Washington Post, she concocted a phony Social Security crisis by erroneously reporting that the program has gone “cash negative” and is “sucking money from the treasury.”

More rational and informed writers all over the media set the record straight (although the WaPo ombudsman continued to support her false contention). But the best response came from Gene Lyons of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, writing in Salon.

Lyons clearly and succinctly explains the Social Security trust fund. It is inexplicable that no one on the political right understands this:

"Again, this is the beneficiaries’ money, invested by the Social Security trustees in U.S. Treasury bonds drawn upon 'the full faith and credit of the United States.'

“Far from being 'meaningless IOUs' as right-wing cant has it, they represent the same legally binding promise between the U.S. government and its people that it makes with Wall Street banks and the Chinese government, which also hold Treasury Bonds.”

It is that simple and anyone who says otherwise is stupid or lying.

So many of you sent me the link to Lyons' column that I can't list you all. Everyone else: be sure to read it and keep it close for future reference. It's gonna be a hard fight to keep those conservatives from slashing Social Security. This would be ho-hum stuff except that they never, ever let up and so neither can we.

* * *

I can't resist mentioning that later today, a gigantic asteroid will pass closer to Earth than even the moon does. The experts, who are excited to have the chance to see a heavenly body – named YU 55 - so up close and personal, say there is no chance it will collide with either Earth or the moon.

The closest encounter of the asteroid will take place at 6:28PM eastern U.S. time today. You'll need a fairly good telescope to see it, but I'll bet there will be plenty of photos online tomorrow. You can read more here.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Johna Ferguson: Roses


I was glad to see the Chicago Occupy demonstration of elders demanding no cuts in Social Security and Medicaid.

As someone whose writing is set in the era of the man who first gave us Social Security, I'm amazed that this post is the first place I've seen that makes the point about "longevity" being due to less infant mortality. Two suggestions: (1)Let Rachel Maddow know about that; she's so bright. and (2) If Elizabeth Warren gets elected, she'll be one of our best friends in the Senate.

Congress pays into the federal retirement system and purchases health insurance through the federal employees plan. Of course, if we had a universal health plan, we would all be eligible and equal. I worry more about all their lobby money and perks. The Kansas City Star joined the Washington Post in bashing seniors' Social Security. They feel we add to the country's economic woes even though the trust fund is fully funded. Interesting that yesterday the numbers of elder persons living in poverty had doubled.

Yes, the better medical care has
indeed provided for greater longevity, which increases population. Additionally, those who advocate for what they call "Pro-Life" which is more honestly, "Anti-Choice" would abolish abortion world wide, also increases population.
The Gene Lyons article dealing with Social Security is excellent.
"Class Warfare Since 197l" by Bill Moyers, is the best synopsis I have read regarding the takeover of our Govt. by the 1%. Google for the article, it is an informative read.

The lack of respect Republican leaders have for the intelligence and ability to use logic of their own voters is amazing. And they seem to be right.

I wish I had as much faith in the intelligence of the voters as you have, but the last election proves that the relentless lies told by the 'right wing' influences more people that all the logic in the world.

We must continue to speak the truth to counter the lies from the right wing. We have Progressives have to learn how the game is played and beat the Republicans at their own strategy.

Raising the age limit works against poorer, low-income people whose health and lack of health care prevent them from reaching these increased retirement ages.

So after all those years of contributing to the trust fund, they die before they get a chance to collect anything from it compared to richer seniors who have been able to afford good health care all of their lives.

David Brooks had many good things to say about the Romney plan in today's NY Times. Apparently, it is not like the Ryan plan, but more like the plan laid out by Pete Dominici a few years back.

Thanks to Gaea Yudron for comment on Chicago seniors. Was able to find a video link to post on my blog --1,000 of them marched with Occupy, some arrested.

Regarding David Brooks' column today about Romney's plan, please do read the estimable Steve Benen's response to Brooks and/or about a dozen others around the web who take issue with him.

I'm a registered Democrat. Ideally, I wish that more could have been done to preserve the middle class during the past 3 years. However, I'm horrified at the prospect that one of the current assortment of right-wing Republican candidates might actually win the Presidency next year.

The hypocrisy of these guys is not to be believed! They're ranting about "small government" and putting forth huge cuts to programs millions of Americans depend on. Yet, they just can't wait to impose their control over women's bodies--i.e., the so-called "personhood amendment" in Mississippi. Whether or not a woman chooses to reproduce is between her, her family and her doctor. The government has NO PLACE in this picture. In that respect, I'm for small government, too--the smaller the better!

And what happens to those people who lose their jobs before age 67 or 68 or 72? They will have little or no income with which to pay for health insurance, assuming they could find any company willing to insure them. I took early retirement Social Security since I could not find a job after the company I worked for was sold to a competitor and I immediately became redundant. I'm currently insured with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, but the deductible is $5K, so it's really only catastrophic health insurance. Luckily we have some savings, because the $803.00 I get from SS does not even cover my medications, let alone living expenses. I am the 99%...

Arkansan Gene Lyons makes so much sense, our state paper, the Right-leaning Democrat-Gazette, saw fit to drop his column altogether. However, he was picked up by the Arkansas Times.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)