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Fiscal Cliff and Social Security

For some reason, Republicans want to cut or change Social Security benefits. For years they have been borrowing from the fund and spending the money on pet projects. Now, they claim the system is going broke. Suggestion – instead of cutting benefits, stop borrowing from the fund, reduce SS fraud, and figure out how to increase funding of this important program. Once again, the poor and middle class will suffer if SS benefits are reduced.

It is rumored that President Obama may cave in and eliminate or drastically reduce the Cost of Living increases built into Social Security. Think about who this will affect – not the wealthy who do not depend on Social Security, not members of Congress who do not rely on Social Security – but the poor and middle class that depend on Social Security. A grandmother, living alone, who worked all her life and raised a family retires with very little savings. What savings she has is going to prescription medications. Her main source of income is Social Security which she helped pay for for years. Flash forward 10 years. Her rent has gone up, groceries have gone up, her medications have gone up, gasoline has gone up… but, if Republicans have their way, her small monthly Social Security check will not have gone up. What does she do? She can no longer afford her modest lifestyle. Should she eat less? Stop some of her medications? Move to a shelter?

Our society is better than this. We will spend trillions on a war that gets us nowhere. We will spend billions on pet projects that only benefit a few, but we will cut benefits to our citizens that depend on them to live in dignity… and which they paid into with the understanding they would be taken care of in their twilight years.

Taxing the upper 2% a little more does not even compare to the devastation Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid cuts would cause. Reducing the Pentagon’s bloated budget will not decrease our military superiority – but to reduce Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid would definitely decrease the quality of life of the poor and middle class. Let’s get our priorities straight.

All of congress – Republicans, Democrats and Independents need to stop thinking of their war chests and large contributors and start thinking about the right thing to do for those in our society that are struggling to live with dignity.

Leave Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone. Instead of cutting parts of these programs, find ways to shore them up. Make that a priority and not your special interest projects and contributors.

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