Thursday, April 11, 2013
Now You See It; Now You Don't
For many years before his death I contributed to Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s defense fund. Like many associated with the medical professions I supported his work. Dr. Kevorkian was a fully trained and long practicing pathologist who knew a good deal more about disease than most other doctors. His thesis was simple: when life becomes intolerable because of pain, disease or the crippling debilitation they engender, a sentient human being has the right to decide to end their life.
His ideas and his acting upon them soon ran afoul of this good Christian nation of laws and not men. He was vilified, called Dr. Death and eventually imprisoned. Ostensibly, he endured this because the decision to take one’s life, directly or indirectly, runs contrary to the moral mandate of the Christian faith. It seems to be more ethical, morally correct and honorable to suffer, as the Savior suffered.
The insidiousness of this covert and unspoken ethos has seeped into every area of public policy; albeit, suffering is more noble for the have-nots then for the haves. Thus, it seems to me that the current idea being advanced by a Democratic president and his assorted aids and advocates with regard to Chained CPI boils down to one thing; the older I get the less I need to eat, and this suffering shall be good in the eyes of my government and its god. Verily they say unto me, that the implementation of these cuts to a much maligned and misrepresented “entitlement” will somehow aid in balancing the budget, reducing the deficit, ending our joblessness and allowing the Chicago Cubs to win a World Series after a 104 year dry spell, or at least get the Republicans to end sequestration. In a word I say, crapolla.
From a purely political standpoint I resent the Social Security Trust Fund being used as a pawn in an ideological chess match. First, Social Security is not welfare, or oil company subsidies come to that, and politicians should show enough respect for their elders to stop calling it an entitlement. Secondly, the fund has never, ever impacted the deficit. In any case, the deficit is currently being reduced under this president. It is worth saying that it was not born from the over use of social programs, but rather from a sterling surplus left behind by another Democratic president and summarily squandered – with much more – by his reckless Republican successor in consort with an equally reckless Republican cabal on Capitol Hill.
The loudly touted insolvency of Social Security is either a politically advantageous myth or the greatest slide-of-hand in the history of the con. What is not a myth is that the chiselers on Capitol Hill have been “borrowing” from the Social Security Trust Fund for decades. The understanding was that the money would be paid back with interest. When the government of these United States borrows my money they have a fiduciary responsibility to return it with the interested agreed upon. If the fund is no longer solvent or becoming insolvent where the bloody hell is the interest? If the fund is no longer solvent or becoming insolvent it is not the fault of the investors. The money was taken out of our pay, in a mandatory way; invested, without our consent; borrowed, without our knowledge and apparently has vanished or is vanishing. Incidentally, I am tired of listening to the whining about the size of the Baby Boomer Generation. We didn’t jump up out of a storm drain – we have always been here. We paid a large generation’s Social Security Taxes; so where is the money and where is the interest, and why aren’t we talking about this?
Finally, given the history of retirement funds in the private sector from the corrupt unions of the 50’s to the market meltdown of ’08, Social Security is and always has been the most stable option for Middle Class and Working Poor retirees. If this stability, and the public trust it is founded on, has been broken that is a criminal act. If this stability and public trust have been shattered it is down to a corrupt and criminal government and their enablers, not to a-few-cents-on-the-dollar in cost of living adjustment. Let’s talk about what is really going on, Mr. President.
Since I started this blog by talking about a man I respect for his decency, empathy and desire to end suffering, let me just say that I don’t revere suffering for the same reason I don’t revere disease, air pollution and Rush Limbaugh. The suffering of a Savior is not mitigating, particularly when it is used ever so subtly by so few to relegate the needs of so many to the ashcan. I am a Pagan lady; I don’t need a savior. My Goddess did not dump me in the pit of hell the day I was born. That fell to my government toward the end of my life.