His Roadmap leads only to the castle.
By Jack E. Lohman
Let’s call this what it is. Congressman Paul Ryan (“Critics detour on ‘Roadmap’ to solvency“) wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare, not because it saves money for the taxpayers, but because “private” companies can give campaign contributions and “public” entities can’t. Add in their corporate profits, executive salaries and bonuses and “private” will be more costly and less useful every time.
Taking people off of Social Security and putting them onto food stamps, which is what will occur, is foolish. As is moving people from Medicare to Medicaid and keeping seniors in the workforce taking up jobs.
But I will agree with Ryan that ObamaCare is atrocious; the most cost-effective system would have been to extend Medicare to all. Its 95% ownership by private doctors and hospitals is a winner, and though far from perfect it is better than private insurance and would save our nation over $400 billion in unneeded administrative costs.
And incidentally, would have allowed American companies to better compete with foreign product whose manufacturers do not fund their health care systems. More American jobs would be created and saved.
But I digress. Can you imagine the crash of Social Security two years ago with the rest of the market, had President Bush won SSI privatization in his first term? The taxpayers would again have had to bail out the SSI losses, though by now we have become pushovers.
And understand this: private Medicare already exists as an option, as 20% of seniors have chosen. It’s called Medicare Advantage and costs the taxpayers 17% more than traditional Medicare. I thought private was supposed to be less costly than public, but the Pols defend it because the private companies are very, shall we say, “politically active” with their cash.
But before we touch SSI and Medicare, I want to see congress swap their Cadillac health care and retirement plans to those they propose for us!
Save the Bush tax cuts???
As a former small business owner I can assure you that ZERO of my colleagues were in the top 3% of wage earners that would be affected by letting the Bush tax cuts expire. And if we wanted to expand business and create jobs we’d simply use pre-tax company checks rather than writing a personal after-tax check. Too simple?
Besides, those making over $1M a year are not investing in America. They invest where workers get paid $1 per hour and profits are high and their economies are growing!
The bottom line is that the poor people are not going to pull us out of our recession; only the rich people can. And that will take a repeal of the tax cuts, at least until we get our feet on the ground.
But our core problem is far more serious than all of the above. Taxpayers (and Ryan) have yet to understand that politicians spend money because the special interests WANT them to spend money on pork and other no-bid contracts and giveaways. And these special interests fund the elections so they get what they want. And corporate executives give money because money works. Go figure.
And when state and federal money goes to the Fat Cats instead of to communities in revenue sharing, local taxes must rise to compensate. Fighting taxes at the local level does not change the corruption at the top.
Nothing is going to change until we have public funding of campaigns. If politicians are going to be beholden to their funders, those funders should be the taxpayers. And at $5 per taxpayer per year it would be a bargain.
But Paul Ryan has not lifted a finger to fight the cause; he is too focused on the effect. And moving up the Republican ladder.