Remember the GOP budget plan put forward by junior high congressman Paul Ryan? You know, the plan that would effectively gut Medicare by turning it into a voucher system that throws senior citizens to the private health insurance wolves? Yeah, that plan. Well, Mitt Romney agrees with that plan and he wants to add cuts to Social Security to it.
In an interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal earlier this week, Romney pandered to conservatives who are obsessed with killing the federal government and allowing sick and poor people to die. Romney offered a plan strikingly similar to the aforementioned Ryan Plan, except in his plan, Romney would add Social Security cuts on top of destroying Medicare and Medicaid. Romney rejects applying the payroll tax to all income, and instead wants to raise the retirement age and “slow down” benefits.
“Arithmetically, there are probably three ways of making Social Security permanently solvent,” Romney said. “One would be simply raising taxes. I don’t favor that one. Number two would be to increase the retirement age. Number three would be to have a little slower growth in benefits for higher income beneficiaries…. Some combination of those last two is the place we can go in my opinion to solve Social Security for future retirees.”
Romney also praised Paul Ryan’s approach to Medicare, which involves giving senior citizens vouchers to pay for private plans, which are not only more expensive than Medicare, they are also not guaranteed since private companies are notorious for refusing to pay for many medical procedures.
“You have a program like Paul Ryan has proposed which says we’re going to give people vouchers to let them chose among private plans,” Romney said. “I think that has a good deal of merit. I would not at the same time want to remove the option from people to have standard Medicare. But I would probably move toward a more managed care approach even in Medicare itself.”
The reason we have Medicare in the first place is because private insurance companies refused to cover senior citizens. The reason they wouldn’t do so is because the amount of care senior citizens often require would harm the precious profits of the companies. That’s why the federal government created Medicare. So senior citizens would have guaranteed insurance and care backed by the government. But Romney goes further than that. He would turn Medicaid into a block grant program and hand it over to states to make their own plans, phase out 10 percent of federal jobs, and reduce discretionary spending on all other non-defense programs to 2008 levels.
Basically, Romney would end Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as we know them by either handing them over to Wall Street, or weakening them to the point of being useless, or wiping them out altogether. Any way you look at it, Romney is putting hundreds of millions of Americans at risk so that Wall Street can profit. This puts Romney on par with the likes of Rick Perry and other extreme conservatives who think the social safety net should cease to exist. So really it doesn’t matter which GOP candidate wins the nomination. Each and every one of them, even Romney, would throw us all under a speeding bus in the name of profit and keeping the top 1% in their places of power. Romney is just another corporate conservative pawn. The very thought of destroying these crucial programs that millions of Americans need should automatically disqualify Romney from ever becoming President. He is not a defender of the middle class, and he is not the candidate independents should support, especially if you have children and grandparents.
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