You might as well click OFF if you hate politics, if you think I'm a crazy, unpatriotic communist or if you're a relative that disagrees because I'm not going to engage you directly. That said, here goes:
I agree with Bernie Sanders, the estimable senator from Vermont, when he says:
Our right-wing friends in the House of Representatives have given us an option. What they have said is end Medicare as we know it and force elderly people, many of whom don't have the money, to pay substantially more for their health care. So when you're 70 under their plan and you get sick and you don't have a whole lot of income, we don't know what happens to you. They forget to tell us that if their plan was passed you're going to have to pay a heck of a lot more for the prescription drugs you're getting today. They we're going to throw millions of kids off health insurance. If your mom or dad is in a nursing home and that nursing home bill is paid significantly by Medicaid and Medicaid isn't paying anymore, they forgot to tell us what happens to your mom or dad in that nursing home. What happens?
And what happens today if you are unemployed and you're not able to get unemployment extension? What happens if you are a middle-class family desperately trying to send their kids to college and you make savage cuts to Pell grants and you can't go to college? What does it mean for the nation if we are not bringing forth young people that have the education that they need? They forgot to tell us that. And if you are one of the growing number of senior citizens in this country who are going hungry, they want to cut nutrition programs. And on and on it goes. Every program that has any significance to working families, the sick, the elderly, the children, the poor, they are going to cut in the midst of a recession when real unemployment is already at 15 percent and the middle class is disappearing and poverty is increasing. That's their idea.
Shouldn't the wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations contribute to deficit reduction rather than just the elderly and the sick and working families? They say no. They're going to defend the richest people in this country -- millionaires and billionaires -- and make sure they don't pay a nickel more in taxes. We're going to make sure there is no tax reform so we can continue to lose $100 billion every single year because wealthy people and corporations stash their money in tax havens in the Cayman Islands or Bermuda, and that's just fine. We'll protect those tax breaks while we savage programs for working families.
Those are the choices that our right-wing Republican friends are giving us. Default with horrendous economic consequences for working families in this country and for the entire global economy or massive cuts to programs that working families desperately need.
via Huffington Post
I might add to Mr. Sanders' comments, too, that these cuts also affect the DISABLED, children and adults like Sophie, my daughter, and those who have far greater problems than hers or ours. In fact, government programs for the disabled have already been cut drastically all around the country in many, many states ALREADY because these people HAVE NO VOICE.
Is Bernie posturing? Is it all politics? Well, I'm a middle class sort of person with a disabled child. I can't go out and get a job because I can't afford childcare for my sixteen year old daughter who is severely disabled. I cobble together piecemeal jobs and work from home as I can. The Husband works twelve to eighteen hours a day in his own small business nearly seven days a week. We send our children to public schools because we can't afford otherwise and because we like to support equity in education. We pay for private health insurance and have seen the rates TRIPLE in the last three years. Every single "service" that Sophie received -- state and federal - has been eliminated or cut drastically in the last three years. I read stories almost daily about grotesque atrocities and hideous care in institutional settings for persons like Sophie and don't seriously consider it as an option for our family to place her in one.
I know that millions, if not billions of people live vastly different lives than our own as Americans and that we are, for the most part, a spoiled, lazy people prone to demanding entitlement and the ever-ephemeral happiness, but for god's sake, we are also a country with more wealth than has ever been seen on the face of the earth. One quarter of children in the country should not be living in poverty when one basketball player signs a $55 million dollar contract or one actress pulls in $1 million per episode. That seventy year old grandmother should not be forced to decide between medication or food when my neighbors and friends spend nearly $80,000 a year to send their children to private schools.
I do not know what the answer is other than to exercise my right as an American citizen to not just rant and rave but to vote for representatives that will work toward justice and equality. It appears that we're all getting what we voted for -- a bunch of politicians in Congress who have been bought by wealthy Americans and corporations hell bent on protecting their obscene salaries and misguided notions of what liberty, freedom and justice really are.