Petition to Stop the Entitlement-Cutting “Catfood Commission”

Readers of Unsilent Generation may be interested in a new online petition directed at members of Congress, concerning the work of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility of Reform, which I’ve written about here many times before. Here is the introduction to the petition, which was started by Alternet. You can read the text of the petition, and sign it, here at Change.org

Right-Wing “Deficit Hawks” and their enablers are on a march to destroy the social safety net we built for our seniors and retirees. Shockingly, some of the most notorious advocates are actually in charge of the presidential commission that will soon determine the future of Social Security and Medicare. We need to stop them in their tracks! Join us in calling on Congress to Stop the Catfood Commission.

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has been dubbed by progressives the “Catfood Commission” because its goal appears to be cutting benefits so drastically that retirees will only be able to afford to eat pet food. It’s hard to tell exactly what the commission is planning because its meetings are closed to the public and the press. Based on past statements and the background of its members the proposals are likely to include raising the retirement age to 70, turning large portions of Social Security over to Wall Street, and cutting Medicare benefits.

The commission’s co-chairman Alan Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming, has stated he believes the founders of the Social Security program never expected anyone to actually live to 65 and collect. “People just died,” he has said. “Social Security was never [for] retirement.” Erskine Bowles, the other co-chairman, negotiated a secret but ultimately unsuccessful deal between Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich to cut Social Security benefits. Any chances that the commission would make cuts to the US defense budget in its pursuit of fiscal responsibility seem slim owing to the fact that the CEO of Honeywell, a major defense contractor, is a member of the panel.

We can’t sit back and count on a Democratic-controlled Congress to protect our social safety net. Just a day before the July 4th holiday weekend, the House of Representatives passed a measure that would guarantee an up-or-down vote on the Catfood Commission’s recommendations in the current session of Congress if they pass the Senate. With this measure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi relinquished her power to prevent the vote from coming to the floor.

Your representatives need to hear from you NOW.  Let’s stop the Catfood Commission from raiding the Social Security trust fund and slashing medical benefits for current and future retirees.

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6 responses to “Petition to Stop the Entitlement-Cutting “Catfood Commission”

  1. Social Security is NOT an “entitlement”. We have paid into it during our working lives. It is NOT some sort of “hand out”. It was paid for and earned by us.
    That the clowns who populate the political groups in America want to cut what we paid into is something that should not be allowed.
    Let the Congress critters give up their gold plated health care and retirement packages. Or, better yet, let every citizen have the exact same health care package that they have. After all, they are supposed to be our employees. Yes, an election is basically a job interview, the winner gets the job. So, we, the people should have at least as good a health care plan as our employees have.
    Except they get to vote themselves all sorts of benefits that we, the employers, can never hope to have. This needs to change, and soon.

  2. Marcia Peterzell

    If Congress were to act in the best interests of their own future medical needs and their own families well being, they would not want to destroy social security.
    And the fact that we have been paying into social security for over 50 years, should also be remembered.
    We are collecting on what we saved. And the contributions we made to civil society.

  3. @charlie ehlen
    Have you spent any time looking at the CBO reports on SS (http://www.cbo.gov/publications/bysubject.cfm?cat=11)? You have not ‘paid into it’ like a 401K, to quote from the CBO report “Those benefits are financed primarily by payroll taxes collected on people’s earnings.” Agreed that the CONgressman need to have their packages brought in line with us little people but that is an entirely separate issue.

    The game of ‘kick the can’ has got to stop and I, at 40, volunteer to completely give up everything I’ve paid into SS if they let me out of the system now. Although the libertarian in me cringes at the change.org “protect our social safety net” but if they can show me how they can continue the program without taxing us those of us currently paying and the future generations ad nauseum I’m open to discussion.

  4. congress just had the audicity to give themselves raises while denying uinemploymnt insurANCE TO THOSE THAT NEED IT NOW! ARE THESE THE CHANGES THAT OBAMA IS TALKING ABOUT? VERY
    SAD. HOPEFULLY, STEVEARNOLD

  5. What commisioner Simpson has also acknowledged is that the fed pilfering of the SS trust has left it with IOUs that will not be redeemed. That identifies the essential problem. Every Sunday the Obamas proclaim that the Redeemer liveth. It’s time to get himherorit’s eye on the ball….

  6. To go back on your debt obligations is not a good sign of faith for your other indebted trade partners. We paid for Social Security and it’s just enough to prevent the sick and the elderly from becoming homeless. Any cuts will make it obsolete in the realm of protecting people from living on the street.

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