Monday, February 20, 2012

Beware of The Republican Plans

By Bill Gibbons

Beware of the deception by the Republican leadership to cover up their plans to destroy Medicare and Social Security as we know it and divide the Country along generational lines.

We have observed the Republicans’ attack on workers and their unions and the gradual decline of the middle class. When the obvious decline of the middle class is mentioned, as compared to transfer of wealth to those at the economic top, we are accused of engaging in class warfare.

But now we have the policy makers of the Republican Party and Presidential candidates suggesting or proposing plans to dismantle Medicare and creating generational division. For example, Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) who has prepared a plan to privatize Medicare as part of the GOP budget to be introduced in March provides that; seniors over age 55, when they become Medicare eligible, can get a voucher to cover medical care up to a maximum or keep the current system. Those under 55 will not be eligible for Medicare as we know it.

What’s wrong with this approach is that it would undermine and underfund the current system. Eventually destroying Medicare as we know it. In addition, it is estimated to cost seniors an additional $6,000 per year. Plus it will divide those who are not age 55 from those over 55, thus denying them the benefit that we now have. I don’t know about you but I am not in favor of taking Medicare away from those under 55 when they would otherwise become eligible for Medicare.

These same Republicans would like to privatize all or part of Social Security and make other drastic changes to the Social Security system.

In my opinion this would be nothing less than another effort to destroy great social programs that have and are working and create further division among the American people.  

The 2012 election is going to be the most important in our lifetime. We must be engaged, informed and involved to protect that which we have earned and the future for our children and grandchildren.

Bill Gibbons is the PACE Representative for the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees

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