Reader Response: How About Going After the Real “Fat Cats” Before Attacking Elders?

This morning I received a comment from Elizabeth Rogers in response to my posts about Senator Alan Simpson, the octagenarian elder-basher who co-chairs Obama’s Deficit Commission. Simpson has been making news with his comments about “fat cat” geezers who cling to their government handouts while younger generations suffer. I want to share it with everyone because Ms. Rogers gets to the heart of the whole entitlements question in a simple and direct way.

There’s a good chance this commission will end up proposing cuts in Medicare, along with steps towards privatizing  parts of Social Security. These have been heartbeat issues for conservatives running all the way back to the creation of Social Security in the New Deal, and has only grown since Congress created Medicare in the 1960s, after some arm twisting by LBJ. Doing away with these entitlement programs has been a cherished conservative idea, right alongside ridding the nation of  ties to the UN, ending the income tax, and abolishing the Department of Education, to name but a few.

In addition to destroying the social safety net, the war on entitlements serves to distract attention from the real causes of the inflated deficit. Elizabeth Rogers suggests some other sources of deficit-reduction that our politicians might want to consider before they start dipping into our Social Security checks. 

Retired Senator Simpson must travel in a very different crowd of older Americans than my husband and I do! We live in a compact 2 BR condo in the Pacific Northwest. Yes, there’s a gate, but our complex is very definitely occupied by middle class workers and retirees like us. At 73 I’m still working part time and thank my lucky stars that I have a job. My husband, now 80, worked until four years ago (he started working at age 14).

Lexuses? I don’t think so. Our small SUVs are over 10 years old and we hope they last as long as we do. Fat cats? Not exactly, although we do have an overweight feline in our family.

Seriously, although we have some additional resources, Social Security is a significant source of income for us, as I suspect it is for most recipients. That said, we get that the nation’s huge budget deficit is a serious problem.

We’d be willing to pay more taxes if the amount is fair and reasonable, but FIRST, how about: (1) pursuing the offshore bank accounts of billionaire tax evaders, (2) allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans to expire, (3) ending the UNfunded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are now costing in the trillions; (4) changing our culture’s views on end-of-life care so that Medicare doesn’t continue to spend huge sums on “heroic” measures to “save” those in their last 6 months of life. I have multiple advance directives in place because I have no desire to fall into the hands of the medical-pharmaceutical complex at the end of my life, but even so, I can’t be certain that I won’t. We need to get real about this issue!

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2 responses to “Reader Response: How About Going After the Real “Fat Cats” Before Attacking Elders?

  1. Seniors and anyone on any “entitlement” program has become the new “Welfare Queen” of the 60’s. That was a hoax, and so is this.

    First of all, SS is not an entitlement. I have been paying into it since I started working. In the 80’s Reagan increased SS taxes because us boomers were going to cost the system more.

  2. I am really sick of the news lately….they can pay ballplayers , ceo’s, and politicians, outregeous pays and bonuses and perks, they can bail out the Crooks on Wall Street, Banks, Conglomerate Businesses, mortgage companies, and auto dealer ships, but they cut the disabled and seniors…sorry this is BAD in my eyes,…if it were not for the SENIORS, these people would not be in the postions they are in to day…trouble is they have all turned GREEDY, and have for gotten the Seniors and Disabled…and soon SENIORS will be the majority…and we are not going to take it any more…this is to the Senators and the Congressmen and the Lobbiests…we pay you….you work for us; Come november you will find out just how we fee.

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