We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, December 30, 2016

Get Ready for an All-Out Assault on Social Security by Washington in 2017

Click here to access article by David Lindorff from his blog This Can't Be Happening

As a recipient of Social Security and Medicare I can report my experience with these two programs. There has been an ongoing surreptitious assault on both programs for at least the last seven years, and it boggles my mind as to the lack of public outcry over this issue. As long as our ruling masters in the capitalist class can get away with their assault on retired people, many of whom are very vulnerable, they will continue to do so. But then that seems to be true of all poor people. The latter are the primary victims on our ruling class's imperial adventures within the USA.

Lindorff writes about how the Social Security should operate according to its rules, but not how it actually functions. For this information I have found one source that I believe is by far the most credible: 
Dr. Allen W. Smith is a Professor of Economics, Emeritus, at Eastern Illinois University. He is the author of seven books and has been researching and writing about Social Security financing for the past ten years. His latest book is Raiding the Trust Fund: Using Social Security Money to Fund Tax Cuts for the Rich. Read other articles by Allen, or visit Allen's website.
In his latest article Smith writes:
The $2.7 trillion in Social Security surplus revenue, generated by the 1983 payroll tax hike is gone. It is not sitting in the trust fund or anywhere else. The money was embezzled as it came in and used to help finance wars. tax cuts, and other programs. As the money was spent, government IOUs were issued to keep track of the money. The IOUs, themselves, have no market value and cannot be sold. They serve as certificates of debt. 
Back in August I calculated my basic living expenses compared to Social Securities "cost-of-living adjustments" each year. My cost of just my living quarters in a one bedroom apartment has increased over the past 10 years by 75.2% while my Social Security benefits have only increased 18.2% for the same period. Now the 2017 property maintenance fees alone on my condo are due to go up by 2.4% while my Social Security adjustment will increase only .3%! Apparently our masters are hoping that with this slow attrition of benefits, nobody will notice; and in the future nobody will be able to retire.

Being forced to give up supplementary health insurance and with only Medicare insurance coverage, I can no longer get a reasonably good physician as my primary provider of medical services. The only option I and others have who don't have supplementary private insurance is a clinic that is run like a charity organization staffed by poorly qualified doctors. This clinic appears to cut corners on their expenses by having nursing personnel make decisions on patient care that a doctor should make.