Depraved Indifference

Bill Daley to David Gregory:

“People like you and me that have done well in life need to sacrifice a little more.”

Gosh that would be really generous of them to agree to “sacrifice” a little more. I wonder what that “sacrifice” would feel like to them? From what I hear many of them would become so depressed they couldn’t rouse themselves to get out of bed and go to work because it just wouldn’t be worth it to them. And then all of us will suffer because these are the job creators who generously allow us to make them money as long as they don’t have to pay taxes.

I don’t know what that kind of “sacrifice” feels like and I never will. But people who are scheduled to have their Social Security and Medicare benefits cut are required to share in that sacrifice so I have an inkling — everyone has skin in the game and all that.

Here’s a little factoid to think about:

The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker was about $1,177 at the beginning of 2011.

The median yearly income for Americans in retirement is about $30,000 per year.

I have a sneaking suspicion that these millionaires have no idea what this allegedly “equal” sacrifice means to those people. Here’s a little example from the Rude One:

The old lady at the pharmacy counter obviously wore an adult diaper. That tell-tale sharp urine scent half-masked by sweet-smelling chemicals emanated from her, and the Rude Pundit stood right behind her yesterday, waiting to pick up the pills that prevent him from going on a five-state killing spree. She was getting three prescriptions. The total was $6.00. This puzzled the old lady. She had never paid anything before, and even this seemingly small amount was obviously causing her consternation. The cashier checked with the pharmacist, who said that there had been a minor change to her plan, and now she had to pay a little for the scrips, a buck-fifty, three bucks. She apologized and put aside the couple of other things she was going to purchase to pay for the medicine.

The Rude Pundit didn’t know if the change had been to Medicare or to a supplemental plan, but, either way, she was being asked to contribute more than she had before, which she did.

And clearly, she didn’t have it to spare because she had to put back her other items I had an encounter like this recently myself. This “tip” money to wealthy people is the difference between medicine and orange juice to people who have to live on $1100.00 a month.

In a country in which the above exists, it is depraved to cut social insurance and health care programs for people who are old and sick and cannot work. The idea that those people should be asked to “share” in the alleged sacrifice of millionaires who leave more money in the seats of their corporate jets than these people have left over at the end of the month is outrageous..

When that level of wealth inequality exists but the government insists that little old ladies be forced to “pay more” so they’ll be ” more responsible” (and call it shared sacrifice!) something has gone fundamentally wrong. Fix that, we fix the country.

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