Congress Needs to Look in the Mirror Before Tinkering with Medicaid & Social Security
Letters to the Editor
From Issue 764
By: Chris Thompson
07th February, 2013
Among the proposals to repay the uncontrolled charges they rang up - including funding two costly wars - myopic Congressmen want a hatchet job on programs essential for retirees and struggling Americans while personally ducking the chopping block.
Congress has eyed slashing senior America's Social Security entitlement. It's funding, built through mandatory worker savings, has been robbed by previous lawmakers and is overdue for repayment, plus interest. Lawmakers want to reduce essential Medicare aid for the elderly. Also under the probable ax is Medicaid, which is critical for jobless Americans left without health coverage when companies were sold overseas in deals that further enriched the well-cared-for rich.
A case in point illustrates Congress' attitude toward citizens: Lawmakers - who already had substantial benefits - gave themselves another raise while delaying financial aid to victims left in the cold long after Hurricane Sandy ruined their homes.
Congressmen owe us an honest look in the mirror. They should cut their considerable compensation before demanding sacrifice from America's retirees, stressed middle class and struggling poor.
Among the initial deficit-reduction steps lawmakers should take is to sever government subsidies to oil companies and slice funds for the “military-industrial complex” that worried President Eisenhower. They should stop bloated bonuses to financial executives whose mismanaged companies were bailed out by taxpayers.
Congress quickly took America from a financial surplus to a massive credit-card deficit. It's responsible for carefully leading us out of the red but owe our financially-besieged citizens true realization of what they already know about sacrifice.
Chris Thompson * Thomas Township
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