Republicans are holding the economy hostage again, threatening to destroy America’s credit rating so they can get brutal cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Economists now warn that the deep cuts they are seeking could kill our anemic growth.
We’ve seen in poll after poll – and in the NY-26 election – the American Majority repudiates the Republican obsession with dismantling Medicare. But they won’t reward politicians who confuse them by decimating any other part of our retirement security. There’s no reason to cut a bad deal.
Vice-President Joe Biden is leading negotiations, right now, with the Republican hostage-takers. We need to send him a message that if he stands firm against cruel cuts, the American Majority will stand with him.
The best way to reduce deficits is to get Americans working. We shouldn’t make today’s seniors or future retirees pay an unfair price.
Social Security does not add a penny to the federal deficit, so Social Security benefit cuts have no place in any deficit reduction deal. (And changing the index for cost-of-living adjustments or raising the retirement age are benefit cuts.)
Medicare should not be privatized and voucherized. We are already on a path to Medicare reform that saves money without cutting benefits to today’s seniors or future generations.
Medicaid benefits should not be cut. Two-thirds of Medicaid’s costs cover low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Nursing home residents should not be kicked out of their nursing homes.
It is completely unnecessary to even contemplate these cuts in order to cut the deficit, because the American Majority embraces smarter choices to achieve long-term fiscal stability:
· Jobs Now. Grow the economy and create jobs. Turning the unemployed into taxpayers again will reduce the deficit.
· Scrap the tax breaks. End the Bush tax cuts to millionaires and the tax subsidies to Big Oil – and get corporations to pay taxes on all their earnings.
· Curb wasteful military spending. No more paying for wars that don’t make us safer — and stop maintaining a costly weapons systems designed for another era.
With a job-first approach like that, combined with the cost saving reforms in the Affordable Care Act, there is no need to undermine our retirement security to reduce our debt.
If the Vice-President stands strong for the middle class during these negotiations, the middle class will be there for him, and stare down the Republicans trying to hold our economy hostage.