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The Future of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid Is on the Ballot This November

The Future of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid Is on the Ballot This November

Nancy J. Altman

Everyone who cares about their Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid needs to vote on November 6. If Republican politicians and the donors who own them retain full control of Congress, they are determined to finally succeed in their longstanding goal of ending all three programs.

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Well, I’ll still vote. I voted Green in 2016 mostly for their peace platform. Yeah, I dream a lot. It gives me hope. But I think you’re right about the mass civil disobedience. The problem is, it should be happening now and how do you get the masses motivated?

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Altman sez: “By being undisciplined enough to announce, immediately before an election, their plans for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid cuts, McConnell and the others have made the choice for voters crystal clear.”

McTurtle is a lot of things, but an undisciplined propagandist is not one of them. That he would unleash this message, at this time, suggests he knows something most of the rest of us do not. Which is a disturbing thought.

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Brand D: the party of pre-emptive capitulation.

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The way evolution invites mass motivation is to kill a few unmotivated members by selection. Natural Selection,

We’ve got a party pulling out all the stops to make sure voters it doesn’t like can’t get to the polls or vote, a President who seems to be waving off a murdered journalist, and real-life third world type corruption happening on an unprecedented level, yet we are still finding reasons to not to vote to put a check on Republicans. Such is modern progressivism, I guess.

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If Republicans try to wipe out earned benefits, they are going to be subjected to a world of hurt. For instance: Medicare/Medicaid. Too many people receive these benefits, and huge numbers of entities would fall like dominoes if such a move were enacted: hospitals, clinics, doctors in all fields, dentists, nurses, lab technicians, physical and respiratory therapists (to name only two), pharmacies, laboratories, hospices, manufacturers of medical instruments, aids (crutches, etc.), hospital furnishings, drug manufacturers, plus more. The stock market would plummet, and many would lose their life-savings.

Maybe the only ones to benefit would be funeral directors.

And Social Security? Everything that is purchasable is bought by people on SS: food, clothing, automobiles, mortgages, rents, etc.

I don’t think McConnell has thought this through at all.

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So keep Republicans and Trump in power unchecked. Got it. In the meantime, in real-life, this is what is happening:

The moralism of modern progressivism is the most specious and vacuous sort ever if it’s what you present.

Fight your dumb fight and let the Right win. Being a righteous victim is what you clearly want to be.

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Good for you. Enjoy the administration you are helping retain power then. All the progressive democrats that won primaries—keep them in the minority in Congress. Wouldn’t want Bernie chairing the Budget Committee in the Senate or Nadler chairing the Judiciary in the House either.

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Mass non-violent civil disobedience will never happen until the millions of well meaning, sheeple that support the Democratic Party realize they have had the wool pulled over their eyes!

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Trump says the November 6th Election is not about him.

He lied again.

It’s about retaining some semblance of our fading Democracy, our identity as a world leader, our Freedoms.

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And I saw that he believes he can work with the left if the right loses in November.

Yeah, right… The left is eager with work with him, not.

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KC, whatever being progressive actually is, it isn’t playing extremely weak defense against the far right, election after election, going back decades, while things continue to get progressively worse. It also isn’t progressive to fail to propose alternatives, then failing to organize around those alternatives. If the Democrats get power, what will they do with that power? What is the plan, beyond winning the next election? What solutions do they offer to our problems? We know that most of our problems now will not be solved by moderate tinkering around the edges, so a medium to long term strategy on policy is needed (and is lacking), and a means of getting from here to there is also lacking. People are fed up with the fact that this simply doesn’t change, and nothing on the horizon promises to change this situation. It also isn’t progressive to have Pelosi commit her own damn party to austerity if they win, and for her to have bought into a really right wing framing in regards to deficits and public debt. Continuing to give her power isn’t progressive, and her going on TV and bragging about how good she is at bringing in bribes from big money donors isn’t just regressive, it’s really tone deaf. Schumer isn’t any better on most of anything, although he seems to be about 5% less tone deaf than she is.

In economics, we realize that when a private entity, or a small handful of private entities, rig a market, that it has negative societal repercussions. That is why we have anti-trust legislation, not that we actually use it much anymore. Well, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are both private entities, and they have gotten together to make it so that, within our political system (which they don’t own), no other private entities can emerge. How is that any more justifiable than in regards to the economy? We need something like political anti-trust legislation, a process not created by the private entities themselves that are set to benefit from the particular way it is structured. And if isn’t as if these two parties have even used that power to improve the lives of people, our society and our democracy. Like what we see in the economic sphere, those that have controlled the political system have increasingly done what is in the interest in those parties, and those parties (like private monopolies and oligopolies) are internally hierarchical and pretty damn un-dermocratic. I think many progressives are looking at this because it needs to be addressed, and they aren’t getting any real answers, and things are going to shit. And if the Democrats get power, that will likely continue to be the case. Make the case that we should vote defensively, but be honest about what that means and what you are asking of people that know that things will continue to get worse. At some point, you really are asking too much of the victims of this system and your party’s massive failures, and not enough of your party.

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You’re too pessimistic with the “things will continue to get worse” stuff. Far more people have health insurance now than they did a few years ago. That is a wonderful thing. The whole world has far less extreme poverty now than practically forever. Better things happen when democrats are in power, and like it or not, we’ve only got the 2 choices. So, howl at the moon or push democrats to always do better. I’m sure most of your thoughts on economics, along with Ellen Brown’s, are very good, but unlikely to become policy any time soon. To nitpick on another of your posts, I think QE was more designed to prop up asset prices than to produce mild inflation.

Let’s be honest, we are voting one again to play defense. There is no alternative vision or set of policies to go on the offense with. We are voting to defend stuff largely created decades ago, and we will not bat 1.000. I hope the Republicans are least lose power, but let’s say that things go as well as they possibly can go for Democrats. As I have asked you before, then what? What is the plan, not just the plan in regards to winning the next election. All the things that will require a long-term strategy, all of the structural changes that will not happen overnight, all the things that aren’t possible in the short-term. What’s the plan to get from here to there? Where is the evidence that the Democrats on the whole (not the left flank within the party that does have a vision but is almost entirely opposed by those running it and has very little power within that party) even want that? There isn’t one at all, certainly if you asked the average American, they would have no clue what it is. Kind of a problem, and one that never goes away.

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I’m with the folks who were on this bus to try and get people into office who will protect their voting rights:

Guess you, and all the progressive “victims,” aren’t. That’s too bad.

Really, it’s too bad you don’t want Bernie chairing the Budget Committee in the Senate, Nadler chairing the House Judiciary Committee, Maxine Waters chairing Finance in the House, or Sherrod Brown running Banking in the Senate. Oh well. Clinton did something in the 90s so progressives have to teach people a lesson, right?

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Please contact Adam Brett at the Jefferson County Commission as he is responsible, I got through and actually talked to a real person: 478-625-3332

Too pessimistic?! Wages for most haven’t grown since the 1970’s. Inequality has been growing exponentially for decades now, and the rich have monopolized all of the benefits since the crash. The costs of housing, education and healthcare have been far outpacing wage growth for decades. The ACA made it moderately better, but that remained the case with it too. We have a massive infrastructure gap and a D- grade by the American Society of Engineers. Private debt is massive, kind of a problem. We have a massive environmental crisis, and the Democrats offer 1% of what is needed. Is that better than what the Republicans offer? Sure, but it also means that things continue to get worse, just at a slower pace. There is literally no data at all that things have gotten progressively better in any way for decades now economically. None, and its absurd at this point to deny that leading Democrats haven’t pushed for the very policies that have caused this mess. Clinton put in place a large number of policies that have been outright disastrous for this country, many were huge contributors to the crash in 2007/2008, and it is a fact that he was extremely close to putting forward a plan to privatize Social Security. He and Gingrich were working on a plan and the only thing that saved us from that was the Lewinski affair breaking. Obama was open to cutting Medicare and Social Security, supported the mass privatizations of education, put in place policies that protected banks but did next to nothing in regards to debt write downs, breaking the banks up, etc. He and most of the Democrats are also fully on board with this particular globalization, which is undermining democracy, and our ability to put in place strong environmental, labor and financial regulations.

“I’m sure most of your thoughts on economics, along with Ellen Brown’s, are very good, but unlikely to become policy any time soon.”

How did you miss that this was exactly my damn point? Again, you will not reverse the situation I am describing (which cannot be denied) unless you have a plan on how to solve our damn problems. Whatever that plan is, it will not happen in a year from now, it will require getting people willing to put that plan in place in office. Hence the need for an actual long term plan, a vision, a set of policies that you can organize around, not just a discussion about playing defense forever and a discussion that always revolves around the next election. Hence the need for solutions, actual alternatives. The lack of that means that things will continue to get progressively worse. If you want me to give you long-term macroeconomic data, I can.

“To nitpick on another of your posts, I think QE was more designed to prop up asset prices than to produce mild inflation.”

Well, I don’t think QE was one or two things. For example, I think one thing it has done is to transfer tons of financial junk onto the public sector’s balance sheet. I also think that finance’s share of domestic profits is much higher now than, say, when Reagan took over, and I think there are underlying structural reasons for this. Finance is increasingly used as a means of accumulation because the capitalist system is sick and it is increasingly difficult to make big profits by making actual things.

“Far more people have health insurance now than they did a few years ago. That is a wonderful thing”

It was, but it is being dismantled, had no price controls, and it wasn’t really sustainable for a number of reasons. The best part of the ACA was the pre-existing protections and the fact that more people were added to the public, and far more efficient, part of our healthcare system. Both of those things are also under attack. But even with the ACA, something would have needed to eventually replace it as well.

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KC, why don’t you stop putting words in my mouth, like you do everyone else, and just deal with what I said? I realize that it is easier to argue against your own straw man argument than to argue against me, but it is also manipulative and horribly dishonest.

“I’m with the folks who were on this bus to try and get people into office who will protect their voting rights…Guess you, and all the progressive “victims,” aren’t. That’s too bad.”

What a pathetic thing to say. How in the hell would you conclude this based upon what I said? You know, Palast, the person most responsible for bringing to light what is going on in Georgia, has said that white Democrats have done very little about protecting the voting rights of African Americans, going back decades. He said that right now, most white Democrats do not speak up about this in any meaningful way. He is, of course, correct. For you to hide behind them and to attach what you said there to me is really pathetic. How does my critique of your party mean I don’t care about African-Americans? Just so you know, my partner is African-American and my children are bi-racial. Despicable!

“Really, it’s too bad you don’t want Bernie chairing the Budget Committee in the Senate, Nadler chairing the House Judiciary Committee, Maxine Waters chairing Finance in the House, or Sherrod Brown running Banking in the Senate. Oh well. Clinton did something in the 90s so progressives have to teach people a lesson, right?”

!!! Even assuming this happens, who could conclude that I am doing anything more than dealing with the reality of the situation. People are going to vote defensively, to keep the right from making things worse. There is no plan at all, no alternatives, to rally around and fight for. I support voting against the Republicans, but I am pointing out the reality of what that means beyond playing defense. You aren’t willing to put any thought into that. In a thread recently, when I posted data on a third of Democrats voting for the Republican governor in Maryland, did you demonize those people, attack them individually? Did you chastise them for voting that way, which will result in a Republican winning? Did you get angry at the lack of party unity? No, you did an analysis and tried to understand why that was happening. You refuse to do that to people to your left. Says a lot about you.

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