|A Great Depression Soup Line|
Are you as confused as I am when you hear about Republican efforts to privatize Social Security? Periodically, I get those little notices in the mail that tell me how much money I will receive when I retire, based on how much I've earned so far. When I look at the amount, I sigh and file the paper away, hoping that one day I'll be able to work more -- which brings me to Sophie, the reason, however worthy, that I am unable to make a more solid contribution to our family's livelihood. Many of us who care for our children with special healthcare needs can't properly enter the workforce and use our education and skills because of the difficulties of finding proper childcare, the expense and quality of that care and/or the instability of our children's medical situations. We navigate all the complex systems of care and file papers and negotiate services only to eventually face catastrophic cuts in these services in the name of "balanced budgets" or, worse, "freedom from government," as the hated (and, yes, I do hate them and know that I've lost readers here because of my stated strong feelings against tea partiers) Tea Party and its supporters call it. As a disabled person, Sophie will qualify for Social Security benefits at eighteen. She currently receives in-home supportive services that enable her to be cared for at home as opposed to an institution, like she might have been many years before we, as a country were enlightened by the notion that it is civilized to care for our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly, the sick, the disabled.
Many of these social safety nets are being decimated, their necessity and humanity all but stifled under rhetoric, fear and political bullshit. And while I understand there is much graft, corruption and misuse of government funds, I firmly believe we can root that out without cutting these programs. Bernie Sanders, the great independent senator from Vermont wrote a beautiful, informative op-Ed piece in today's Los Angeles Times about Social Security that I hope you'll take the time to read, even if you are a tea partier.