07 April 2011

AARP e-mail asks Americans to tell Congress "Don't kill Medicare"... plus my own rant

I wrote my own letters and e-mails, but this one (See below, after Rant).... provided by AARP, gets the message across as well, and provides a link to their political action website.

I happen to believe that the whole concept of focusing on the deficit right now is an ideological position that is contradicted by decades of economic experience that teaches that cutting public spending during periods of high unemployment and economic stagnation is the worst policy. I also believe that to the extent that the Federal Budget is bloated and needs to be cut (which it does), the primary areas where cuts are needed is in the projection of American military power overseas sphere, and in the unnecessary cold war weapons and military hardware sphere (including ships, planes, missiles, etc., all of which can be scaled back dramatically ... we don't need to have a military larger than all other militaries in the world combined) Infrastructure investment in lieu of some of this spending will return far more per dollar in economic growth, jobs, activity, and, in time, increased Federal revenues, than this kind of spending, as all honest economic studies of the issue acknowledge. Moreover, were we to control health care costs through European style regulation and remove the profit motive from the health care "industry," (as almost all Western democracies did some time ago), that would result in a dramatic cut in the share of GDP spent on health and, as David Cay Johnston has demonstrated by crunching the numbers, eliminate the Federal deficit entirely over time.

But having said all that, and understanding that many will disagree for essentially ideological/philosophical reasons (fine), it is still deeply troubling to me that where many of these same people think we should cut is in the relatively small expenditures that keep food safe, control disease, regulate financial misconduct, etc., and then, since such cuts barely make a dent in Federal spending anyway, in the essential services of health care for the poor and elderly and self-funded minimal retirement security that are the very hallmarks of a civilized society. These are things we cannot afford not to do, since they are essential and necessary for us to do to be able to claim to be a First World nation at all, let alone the "sole Superpower." I'm happy to let the latter go, but not the former.

Even if all you care about is profits for business, I would have thought it would be pretty obvious that if you throw millions of seniors into dire poverty and remove even the most minimal economic security of the poor, you would be greatly reducing (further) consumer demand, which is what drives the U.S. Economy. It just amazes me that Rightists are so damned bound and determined to throw our nation off the cliff by committing economic suicide.


It has been all over the news that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has introduced a budget that would effectively end Medicare as we know it and put the health of millions of older Americans at risk. 

Ryan's proposal would deny future retirees Medicare's promise of secure health coverage, and dramatically increase what they have to pay for health care.

We've got to speak out against these unprecedented changes to Medicare that millions rely on. Will you join me in telling the House to vote NO on the Ryan budget? It's easy - just use the link below to send a message to your representative:



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