"Never has the political class or the mainstream media that covers them been more out of touch with the American people than they are today."
Seventy-eight million baby boomers were reaching retirementage, many without enough to retire on, all facingmounting health care costs … all while the availability andquality of medical services declined.With these facts in front of them, and with everyoneexcept the top 10 percent of the population down the tubesor feeling the squeeze, the Republicans launched an all-outcampaign to alienate the other 90 percent.To balance the budget, cuts had to be made and nationaldebt levels reduced.The Republican final solution was to reduce and/oreliminate “entitlements” – a word that had taken on a pejorativemeaning. How dare people who’ve worked all theirlives, acted responsibly and paid their taxes, feel entitled toanything from their government? Health care, elder care …Republicans were running on a “we don’t care” platform.And, if they got their way, any care the people did receivewould be less than what they got before and would comefrom the private sector; the health industry that gives generouscampaign contributions (i.e., bribes and payoffs) topoliticians for passing legislation that will further enrichthem.Another main Republican plank was to reform SocialSecurity. Under a complex partial privatization plan craftedby Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan (Roadmap ForAmerica’s Future), Social Security and Medicare benefitswould be cut, cost-of-living increases trimmed, and the retirementage for those under 55 would be “modernized” toeventually reach 70. At the same time, the Social Securityagency itself would be significantly downsized to a level of predictable inefficiency.The end result of their“Roadmap” would be to steeras much tax money as possibleaway from the public sector andinto the private sector. It was passionately held GOP Gospelthat corporations operated more efficiently than governmentbureaucracy. While perhaps attractive in principle,in practice there was ample evidence demonstrating thatprivatization had its limits. (“Private Prisons Found to OfferLittle in Savings,” NYT, 18 May 2011)
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