Feinstein: Don’t Rip the Heart Out of Social Security!
Or Medicare! Or Other Social Programs!
SF Gray Panthers joined the California Alliance for Retired Americans in CARA’S Valentine’s Day demonstration at Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office, opening up a new round of struggle to preserve healthcare and income for retirees, disabled people, and orphaned children. The attack on Social Security and Medicare is happening in the context of massive cuts in all social programs, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Housing, Education, Nutrition, you name it.
Sen. Feinstein is co-sponsoring a bill that would clear the way for massive cuts in Social Security, Medicare and other so-called entitilement programs, whether by privatization, direct benefit cuts, contracting out services, or raising the retirement age.
Feinstein’s Social Security and Medicare Solvency Commission
Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein and Republican Senator Pete Domenici are co-sponsoring dangerous new legislation, S-355, that would create a permanent bi-partisan “Social Security and Medicare Solvency Commission” to drastically reduce Medicare, Social Security, and other social programs over coming decades.
The rulers have learned from the fiasco of Bush’s 2005 plan to privatize Social Security. Back then, they revealed the entire plan at once. There was no long-term program. There was no bi-partisan support. And there was no legislative mechanism to ram the plan through over popular opposition.
Feinstein and Domenici’s commission aims to solve many of these problems. Its plans are unknown. The commission would last forever. Its members would be half presidential appointees and half Republican and Democratic members of the Senate and House committees that oversee these social programs. And its findings would be legislation that Congress would have to act on as first priority.
We can’t anticipate the Commission’s proposals, but whether it’s privatization, contracting out, massive benefit cuts, or increasing the retirement age, it’s bound to hurt retirees, disabled people, and children. We are going to have to be more vigilant than in the past, particularly as these programs to cut entitlements are being promoted as saving them.
70 million baby-boomers will reach retirement age in the next ten years, after working for decades, and paying into systems to provide our retirement years with income and health care. Business and government say it’s more important to fight wars over oil and give tax cuts to the rich. Business and government, Democrats and Republicans, they all say they can’t afford to fund Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the other social programs that we and our parents fought for and won. Indeed, they say even current level of social spending threatens the market economy. If the market economy cannot afford to give us a decent life and medical care after we’ve worked all our lives, then it doesn’t deserve to exist.