Appearing on This Week, John Boehner sat down with interviewer Martha Raddatz to rattle off the latest Republican talking points. While he gives President Obama credit for engaging in discussion with members of the GOP, Boehner still stands firm against raising taxes on “the American people.” Remember now, anytime we hear him use that phrase, we should automatically amend that to mean “the top 1%” or “my rich benefactors.” Either way, he’s against raising their taxes by even a few percentage points. Nope, he’d rather make cuts to social programs.
“We do not have an immediate debt crisis. But we all know that we have one looming. And we have– one looming– because we have entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form. They’re gonna go bankrupt. Washington has responsibility– to our seniors and our near seniors– that we firm up these programs so that they’re there for the long term. Because if we don’t do it, not only will they not get benefits, we will have a debt crisis right around the corner. We have time to solve our problems. But we need to do it now.” (Source)
In GOP-speak this translates as “We don’t really have a reason to but let’s gut Medicare and Social Security, anyway.” The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Medicare’s hospital insurance fund will be gone in 2024. But let’s take a look at what they said in 1980: oh look, Medicare insolvency will be here in 1994! And in 1990, they said it would be bankrupt by 2003. Well, that’s not how it went, is it? The fact is, the date always keeps moving further down the road. But heck, let’s just make sure and cut benefits anyway. Better safe than sorry, eh? After all, we can’t possibly ask the ultra rich to pay even a teensy bit more, can we?
The goatf**k that is the sequester is starting to make itself known. Once it really gets rolling, it will certainly be more noticeable to the average American. With a figure of $85 billion in cuts, how can we not be feeling the pinch soon? But the Republicans insist on their ideological stand of no taxes on those who are doing the best in this economy and cutting benefits of those who need them the most. And we are on track to lose 3/4 of a million jobs if the cuts remain in place through September. Which means that more people will need the social safety net that the GOP wants to shred.
While we’re here, let’s take a moment to trample the idea that Social Security and Medicare are entitlements. Though the Republicans love to make it sound like these are government largesse, they are not. We have earned them. We have paid into them. And we refuse to let the party that has despised these programs from the day that they were passed – something they fought hard against for both programs – take them away. They will continue to attempt to kill them and we must keep fighting them.
T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…