So the solution? What we need is a new third party: the Medicare and Social Security Action Party (MASS Action Party)
Here's a single issue party idea that could really catch fire. There are 53 million people receiving Social Security right now, and another 75 million Boomers about to start receiving it. There are 48 million people receiving Medicare, and another 75 million who are about to start entering the program. Most of these people vote, and can be expected to vote to defend their benefits, which they paid for over their working lives. Younger people too will support such a party, because first of all, they all have parents and grandparents who depend on these programs, and I've never met anyone who thought his or her parents or grandparents got too much in Social Security benefits or Medicare assistance. Besides, young people want to know that they will have Social Security and Medicare someday too, They've seen how corrupt the stock market is, and don't buy the snake oil being sold by the privatizers.
A MASS Action Party would inherently be anti-war, because it is clear that the easiest way to find the funds to improve programs like Social Security and Medicare, to make the former a real living retirement program, and the latter a health care program for all Americans, not just people who make it to 65, is to take it from the Pentagon, which currently eats up 53 cents of every tax dollar.
It's probably too late, because of the roadblocks always put in the way of getting new parties on the ballot, to start a national MASS Action Party this year, but we could kick it off by starting a campaign to say nobody should support or vote for any candidate of either party who doesn't publicly commit to no privatization or benefit cuts in Social Security, and to no FICA tax increases for those earning less than $110,100, and who doesn't openly call for ending the cap on income subject to FICA taxes and for a adding tax on rapid stock trades. Likewise, support and votes should be withheld from any candidate who calls for privatizing or cutting Medicare benefits.
Next year, we can organize the actual party and take it for a road test in the 2014 Congressional elections, with candidates contesting every seat in the House, and all the Senate seats being contested.
DAVE LINDORFF is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper. His work, and that of colleagues JOHN GRANT, LORI SPENCER, LINN WASHINGTON, JR. and CHARLES M. YOUNG, can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net