Our Own Worst Enemy

The Republicans say we cannot afford to continue some of our programs.  They’ve even tossed about the idea of cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits, but quickly backtracked when their own constituents started raising ten kinds of hell.  Now they are focusing on cutting environmental regulations, public health (such as CDC), education, job training, rental housing assistance, and economic security and social services programs.  They are against raising the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts – the kind that would cut into the pockets of those most in need, not the pockets that are already overflowing like the wealthy corporate executives.

But WAIT!!!  I’m confused.  Okay, so the old person who worked 40 or 50 years of her life, gets approximately $1,500 per month from Social Security – a program she paid into with every hour she worked throughout her life.  Her rent is $1,200 per month, electricity/gas costs her $225 per month, her medications cost around $300 per month, and … well, she better have a 401(k) to draw from for food, fuel for the car, cleaning supplies, and any other essentials.  She’s not exactly living high on the hog, is she?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch … members of Congress are pulling down a minimum monthly salary of $14,500 … nearly ten times that of the elderly retired person … and they aren’t doing anything that we elected them to do!!!  They’re slacking!  They are ‘investigating’ non-issues from the past rather than figure out how to make ends meet in the future.  (Perhaps the answer is to cut their pay in half!!!)  They are making media appearances right and left to keep their loud, foul mouths front and center in our attention, rather than putting their noses to the grindstone to do the work of the people.

The solution to balancing the budget, reducing the debt and eliminating the deficit is relatively simple.  If every person pays his/her fair share of taxes, if corporations pay a flat rate on every dime of profit they see, the same rate you or I would pay if we had six-or-seven figure salaries, then guess what???  We could meet our debt obligations, continue the Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid programs, and still have a surplus at the end of the year!  It has been done before, y’know.  And the icing on the cake is it would reduce the horrible wealth inequality … only slightly, but still better than it is now. And can you just imagine how much better off the next generation of retirees would be if we actually … gasp … raised the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to the proposed $15 per hour?  Why, people might be able to pay their bills, have a little extra for such things as a night out at the movies or to buy a new book, and still manage to save for their old age!

So why isn’t this happening?  Why haven’t the loopholes enjoyed by the wealthy been closed, why has the government continually lowered corporate tax rates rather than raising them?  Because, my friends, our ‘honourable’ members of Congress are being paid a nice sum by those corporations to keep us under their thumbs.  Period.  And yet, we keep voting them into office.

Why is it so hard for some to see that they are their own worst enemy?

36 thoughts on “Our Own Worst Enemy

  1. something tells me that, even if that were done, you still would not be satisfied because of the wealth inequality. let’s face it, you don’t like rich people and you’d love it if they were all as poor as you are. am I not speaking the truth here?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, Scott, you are both right and wrong. I don’t dislike rich people per se. However, I don’t see a purpose in such great wealth that one can live a life of luxury, wanting for nothing, and still have millions or billions in the bank. Why? What pleasure does that give anyone? And then, to realize how many people in this country alone are homeless, or are putting their children to bed hungry at night … I have no use for rich people who do not use their wealth to help those in need. No, I never said, nor do I think that I want everyone to be as poor as I am. However, just think … if all the money in the country were equally divided, NOBODY would be poor and EVERYBODY would have enough to live in a decent home and have enough food to keep their bellies full. Is there something wrong with that vision?


  2. Well said Jill. So sad and frustrating such a wealthy country treating their elderly so shabbily and some of the “Christian “ conservatives would eliminate all programs that aid the less fortunate. SS and Medicare are not entitlement programs as the Republicans like to call them. They are paid by deductions for them from every working soul’s hard earned paycheck.
    Florida’s own con man Rick Scott pushed the plan to cut Medicare and SS when as a child he and his family were forced to live on welfare. As a corporate ceo he defrauded Medicare and got away with it. It’s shameful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, I well remember Rick Scott’s “11 point plan” I believe it was called, and I wrote about it a time or two. No wonder I have nightmares, eh? This nation needs a reset, and soon! The religious right has cherry-picked their religion, interpreted it to suit their own needs/whims, and now are trying to shove it down everyone’s throats, by coercion or force. I did start a piece on Rick Scott and his own fraud when he was with HCA, but I never finished it. Hmmmm … perhaps I should do that soon! He is one of many who do NOT have the interests of the country and the people at heart, but rather are focused on their own financial gain. We need to rid ourselves of the vermin!


  3. We should be calling them the RRHP (instead of GOP). That’s the “Reverse Robin Hood Party”. They want to take from the poor and give it to the rich. They repeatedly cut taxes on the wealthy, and want to cut social security for the poor to pay for it.

    Many of them claim to be Christian. The Bible must have changed since I last read it. I distinctly remember where Jesus told the rich man to give to the poor. But Christians today seem to have reversed that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am 100% in agreement there! In fact, I have used “Reverse Robin Hood” in a few of my posts! Rob from the poor, give to the rich. Christians, or at least some, have cherry picked their bible and interpret it in ways that run parallel to what they want their lives to be. It always puzzles me, though, when I hear somebody who is in the lower income range supporting tax cuts for the wealthy, or supporting rolling back regulations on wealthy corporations. Do they not understand that they are acting against their own best interests???

      Liked by 2 people

  4. But, the thing about social security is that those who are, paying into it, are supporting those who are, aging and had, stopped working, and, seeing how we are living longer by the generations, the money’s bound to, run out, and, with the decline in birth rate, as the younger generations, when they begin their, working careers, they already have debts, up to their necks, for the college loans, etc., etc., etc., and, overall, this world just, isn’t, safe enough, for children to, grow up in, and, all of these factors, contribute to the problems of how social security is almost, spent up completely, since when it first, began. There’s, just, no simple solution to this, problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make some good points here, points that have no easy solutions. However, I can think of a dozen ways in less than a minute that the government could continue to fund Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid without reducing the standard of living in this country. We spend far too much on military hardware, we give tax breaks and cuts to the wealthiest, we fund unlimited travel for members of Congress …. and the list goes on. No, there is no simple solution, but we really need to take a deeper look at everything the government is spending money on, rather than trying to kill off people!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill, while we do need cuts, we also need tax increases. BOTH must be done according to the non-partisan Committee on a Responsible Federal Budget. I encourage folks to check their website out. Yet, the time to discuss this is not holding the debt ceiling hostage, as not paying bills is not a conservative ideal. I go back to if the debt is so important, why did Republicans do worse than nothing when they controlled both houses and the White House for two years in 2017-2018? They actually made it worse by increasing the debt by $2 trillion with a tax cut largely for the wealthy and corporations. Let me say this plainly – any politician can pass a tax cut, but sadly that is not what is needed AND unlike it is sold, tax cuts DO NOT pay for themselves. That is hubris. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sure we need cuts, but not at the cost of human life. There are many … MANY areas where cuts could be made without decreasing the value of a person’s life. But to simply focus on cuts and ignore the fact that corporations and wealthy people are paying less in taxes than you and I … is unconscionable. I agree, though, that to hold the debt ceiling hostage is poor planning, poor management, and not a solution to anything. We already owe those debts, whether external or internal, and they MUST be paid. This is yet another political game … at the cost of the nation’s respectability and the lives of its people.


      • Jill, true. but the more we have waited, the bigger cuts needed. There is an exercise on resolving Social Security funding concerns I have participated in (developed by a group called Fix the Debt) where cost savings on about thirty ideas are presented to a Rotary club or book club table of regular people. They can solve as a group the Social Security funding problem in about 45 minutes. I do not exaggerate. We are talking about a series of modest benefit changes and revenue increases. If these elected officials are serious, they truly could tackle several issues like this. No lobbyists allowed as that is when it gets screwed up. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Just the term “modest benefit changes” strikes fear in my heart. My views have changed dramatically since I heavily rely on my monthly Social Security check and on Medicare, without which I would not still be alive. Thirty years ago, I probably would have looked at it from a distance and agreed that some changes to benefits would be prudent, but today … we’re talking about people’s ability to survive, and I’m a little less flexible. However, I am old and in the eyes of some, us oldsters have little value, don’t contribute much overall. Sigh. I fully agree with your last sentence … NO LOBBYISTS ALLOWED … their goals are not the common goals at all, not the well-being of people, but the well-being of certain bank accounts.


          • Jill, the changes that could be put in place for just Social Security could include things like increasing the taxable wage base, which will draw in more FICA taxes from the employer and employee, while increasing benefits at a lesser rate. Please remember, Social Security provides larger percentage of pay benefits (90% for the first tranche of earnings, 32% for the next tranche and only 15% for the highest tranche, so increasing the taxable wage base only impacts benefits at a 15% rate of pay increase. Also, if the retirement age is delayed to age 70, leaving early retirement at age 62, that would produce more savings. And, if the COLA is recalculated then that would do more savings as well. When armed with a list of 30 or so of these ideas and cost savings or revenue increases, regular people could solve this nut in about 45 minutes. Keith

            Liked by 1 person

            • Hmmmm … those are all viable ideas and ones that I think make good sense. I might quibble about raising the retirement age to 70, for I know that by age 70 I would not have been physically able to work 50-60 hours a week as my profession demanded, and I still think a person should have a few years to kick back and enjoy life before he/she dies, but all the other things I am in full agreement with! Thanks, Keith … now, when will you declare your candidacy??? You’d have my vote!


              • Jill, these are examples. The list has about thirty items with cost savings, so each table in the exercise will come up with different combinations of changes. So, your table may not choose to use the age 70 retirement. To me, if these legislators sat in a similar room with a facilitator, they could come up with a workable solution. Of course, they have to show up. Keith

                Liked by 1 person

  6. The old story. Played out yet again. The wealthy wanting more. Only this time the Republican players can mask it in their version of re-set to Year Zero. Remove all the rights won so hard for minorities and for women. Shred up the gradual acceptance that The State has a responsibility for not just the security but the well-being of the individual. Roll back the years, claim a blasphemy as being Doing God’s Work. Blame all the mismanagement on Fairness, Tolerance and Compassion. Claim that the dysentery of Death By Gun can be cured by the emetic of more guns.
    Morally bankruptcy is ‘Going Back To Old Values. And Protecting The Children’. Like walking blindfolded near a cliff ever worked.
    Look Eastwards and see the mire Russia has found in Ukraine.
    Look inwards and see The Republicans stumbling into their own version as in their blind arrogance they threaten the structure of the USA.
    And this stage I should end with a quote out of the ages by some person of stature.
    I got a a more basic one from ‘The Ages’
    ‘Not again!’

    Liked by 3 people

  7. If you allow people to live a somewhat comfortable lifestyle, they will have enough time to think about what is being done to them. Keeping wages low, and costs high, is designed to keep people from having time to think about anything other than their own circumstances.
    Republicans especially profit from having uncomfortable supporters.
    This is basic human nature.

    Liked by 4 people

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