Thursday, July 01, 2010
This has been a primary objective of President Obama since before he took office, and, within the next six to seven months, he will achieve it. Quietly, earlier this year, he appointed a commission, a purported deficit reduction commission, with a sufficient number of members in support of cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Predictably, the commission has adopted such a focus, prioritizing the financing military operations around the world instead of providing for the retirement of millions of Americans. The propaganda effort in support of these measures has been lead by America Speaks, a Pete Peterson funded organization dedicated to eviscerating Social Security and Medicare.
Last weekend, despite being subjected to rigged presentations about the perils of the deficit, attendees at forums organized by America Speaks rejected measures that would result in Social Security and Medicare cuts, opting instead for more government stimulus to spur economic recovery. Perhaps, it was this disasterous outcome that prompted Pelosi to take action today to ensure that the cuts are pushed through Congress before sufficient public momentum can develop to derail them. But what will the commission propose for adoption during the holiday season after the November election?
We have some good, reliable general ideas: an increase in the age for qualifying for full Social Security benefits from 67 to 70, means testing and the implementation of some form of limted investment in the stock market, either by the Social Security Trust Fund itself, or through personal retirement accounts. Meanwhile, as for Medicare, in addition to the successful stealth effort to cut Medicare through health care reform, the commission may find such proposals as increasing co-payments and other disincentives for seeking medicare care appealing. By early 2011, we shall have entered a brave new world, unless there is an unprecendented mass movement to stop the political and economic elites from implementing these policies. To be successful, it may well require civil disobedience on a scale not experienced since the civil rights movement.