Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gen. George Washington, Democrats Support Medicare, Republicans Want Safety Net Cuts

In 1790, . . .

. . . General George Washington fully realized the American People's deep-seated suspicions of government.  He was faced with a losing war for independence and a Continental Congress with no authority to meet the dangers of war AND WITH LITTLE WILL to exercise centralized governmental power.  The General cared little for political questions or ideology; a man of action, he understood the practicality of what needed to be done.

He wrote: "unless Congress speaks in a more decisive tone; unless they are vested with powers by the several States competent to the great purpose of War, or assume them as a matter of right ... that our Cause is lost.  We can no longer drudge on in the old way."  (page 127, His Excellency George Washington, Joseph J. Ellis)

Today, we cannot continue to drudge on in the same way that we have been.  With the economic dangers we face, with high unemployment, with an immoral income disparity between rich and poor, with so many economic dangers to our American way of life, it's time for Republicans to support employment, to support economic opportunity, to support equitable taxation, to support income and health security in retirement or if disabled, to support common-sense, American fairness.

Perhaps -- one day -- I will write more about this.  But for now, I remember that the General was in despair more than once.  I also remember that the Congress realized that the power of the central government was necessary in times of urgency to protect and defend the People of the United States of America.  Now is such a time to PROTECT AND DEFEND THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES and particularly those among us who are the most vulnerable.

Democrats On Offense

"The Democratic Party will begin a campaign on Wednesday to attack Republican lawmakers for pushing cuts to Medicare benefits during the latest round of failed federal deficit talks, a new turn in a drama that not long ago featured top Democrats expressing a willingness to tinker with the popular entitlement program.  The strategy underscores the full-circle nature of the policy fight that has gripped Washington for the past year, as early calls for bipartisan solutions have turned into trench warfare in the wake of last week’s collapse of the debt-reduction 'supercommittee.'  GOP officials are girding for the Medicare attacks, which they concede come with a history of success for Democrats."

All of us -- where ever we live -- should be contacting our Senators and Congressperson to remind them again that we support Medicare (and Social Security and Medicaid).

Intransigent Republicans

"Senate Republicans have proposed wringing cost savings out of the federal work force and safety net programs to pay for an extension of the current payroll tax cut.  In a further sign that the debate had shifted to how to, instead of whether, to extend payroll tax relief, Senate Republicans would take a page from President Obama’s own fiscal commission and freeze salaries for federal civilian employees for three years.  That would amount to a five-year pay freeze in total, given that a two-year policy is already in effect."

"Republicans also incorporated means testing for a host of federal programs in their proposal, including for food stamps, unemployment benefits and Medicare."

It never ends.  And our well-earned, pre-paid public benefit programs continue to be under attack.  Medicare and Social Security remain targets of destruction.  We need to do our best to have a serious and thoughtful conversation with our conservative friends to better understand how they fail to understand the basic necessity of the common good (or how we fail to communicate that necessity).

For Your Information

The Republican Reality-Free Zone


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