"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Friday, January 23, 2015

Republicans vs. The Rest of Us

I know, that could be a title for just about any commentary on Congress or too many state houses in this country. This time, it's a follow-up on this post about Social Security. Josh Marshall has an update/analysis that is nice, tight, and concise. The nut:
Even if you think that severe anxiety disorders and chronic back problems aren't real disabilities, they don't make up anywhere that number of recipients. But the headline isn't really the point. It's the subtext. The score rather than the libretto. The point is that this is taxpayer money for people who don't want to work, people complaining about everyday problems that most of us get by with no problem as an excuse to get a government check.

Every government program, every insurance policy, every industry has fraud. But this shows both a total ignorance of who the program's beneficiaries are and a crystal clear intent to put the program itself on the chopping block. Ahead of that - and here you have the real angle - is a plan to set different classes of Social Security recipients against each other in a zero sum for scarce dollars when in fact the scarcity is manufactured to advance the libertarian - everyone on their own - philosophy of those like Sen. Paul and others involved in the hunt to start slashing away at this program.

He starts off by quoting Rand Paul (R-Fountainhead) spouting the usual lies about freeloaders.

My sister is on disability. She can work, but just barely, and the benefits are meager enough that, even working at what jobs she can handle, she can barely make ends meet. She's hardly a freeloader -- she'd love to be able to work more at a real job, instead of whatever pick-up work she can get, but she can't.

The real issue is that the Republicans are going after Social Security again, using whatever lies they think will play to the base or set one group against another, as Marshall points out. Since most of them are millionaires, at least (Paul's estimated net worth is $2.5 million, with an income of about $300,000 last year), and will have guaranteed pensions from their service in Congress (such as it is), they're not going to feel it.

Frankly, I think one reform we should consider is taking away those government pensions for members of Congress and putting them on Social Security.

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