What do the looters want next?
Are you surprised that these programs are under attack? The same forces that went after the unions in the 1980s, that relentlessly pushed free-trade agreements while manufacturing jobs evaporated, and that destroyed housing values in the 2000s– they’re on the prowl again. If Social Security and Medicare are cut, finance and insurance companies will skim the cream–the wealthier, healthier participants–while leaving everyone else to fend for themselves. Social Security and Medicare, they think, are easy prey, once we’ve been softened up by scare stories about how they’re on the “brink of bankruptcy” and we “can’t afford them.”
It isn’t true, of course. Social Security and Medicare can’t go bankrupt, just as the Pentagon can’t. They’re not in some separate bank account or lockbox–they’re government programs that we either choose to pay for or don’t. And not only can we afford them, they’re a bargain, providing modest comfort and decent care to people who would otherwise financially burden their families–or die.</em>