Congress and the federal government are in crisis mode once again, with almost nothing being done to address the growing size and scope of the many massive problems facing working people. Fanatically anti-worker Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives -- and Senate -- have driven Congress to the brink of yet another federal government shutdown, by working feverishly to defund and wreck the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Medicare, as well as Social Security and many other programs, is in jeopardy in the current budget standoff in Washington. In his budget proposals unveiled in April, aimed at reaching a “grand bargain” with Republicans and ending the across-the-board “sequester” cuts, President Obama not only offered to cut Social Security by rigging the cost-of-living formula. He also offered cuts to Medicare through “means testing.”
One of the most effective lines of attack by the opponents of Social Security over the past three decades has been the notion that Social Security faces a catastrophic financial crisis, and therefore cannot survive in its present form. Therefore, they say, benefits will have to be cut, the retirement age raised, or the whole program replaced with private investment accounts.
UE has always been a strong supporter of Social Security and Medicare, and has opposed all attempts to weaken these programs. For the past several years, as the general crises of retirement security and healthcare have worsened, UE has argued not only against cuts to these federal social insurance programs, but for moving in the opposite direction. We’ve been calling for our country’s political leaders to and expand Social Security and Medicare.
In what will probably be remembered as one of the most disgraceful moments of his administration, President Obama on April 10 proposed a budget that cuts Social Security and Medicare.
Many young people have doubts about whether Social Security will be there when they need it. Their fears or misunderstanding are not surprising, because there’s been a relentless propaganda campaign against Social Security over the past 30 years, by corporations, politicians, pro-corporate “think tanks” and the media. The misinformation campaign has been especially aimed at young people, and is intensifying.
The People’s Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan
Published by AK Press, 2012, 818 pages, $27
Why do government spying and surveillance revelations matter to working people? First, let's consider that it is now confirmed that Big Brother -- and Big Business -- routinely spy-on your daily phone and internet activities, and the entire population apparently. The bottom line of the June 6 revelations by the Washington Post newspaper and the U.K.
Disappointment and anger were the responses of many in UE to the news that President Obama will proposed a federal budget that would cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.
The sequester. It's kind of a nonsensical name, and maybe it should be, because the policy now being called "sequestration" or "the sequester" makes no sense at all. It officially went into effect on Friday, March 1, and unless Congress agrees to do something different, it will mean indiscriminate across-the-board cuts in most federal programs, although Social Security, Medicaid, and a few other programs were exempted.