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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/13/13

"The Horror, the Horror"

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(Article changed on April 13, 2013 at 13:36)

(Article changed on April 13, 2013 at 13:30)

.Yrolg Dlo.
.Yrolg Dlo.
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.Yrolg Dlo. by Marta Steele

.Yrolg Dlo. by Marta Steele

.Yrolg Dlo. by Marta Steele

"All the attention, so far, has gone to the Social Security change. Obama has been offering this deal to Republican leaders for ages. . . . they [the GOP] walked out expressing amazement that he was open to such a thing"--Gail Collins, New York Times , 13 April 2013


I thought I was hallucinating when it was announced that our president had put our social security earnings on the table, the "chained cpi," in his budget discussions with the GOP. Was he taking his clue from the bank account skimming in Cyprus? No, perhaps they took their clue from him, chronologically. Our president also skimmed 10 percent off of his salary, as a gesture. Perhaps those saved funds can be added back to our social security stash?

He did snicker with McCain, I believe, that neither was on welfare during their first debate, didn't he? He certainly snickered with someone who had written a book with a huge up-front and New York Times-bestseller status for weeks. Dreams from his father?

   For the GOP to walk out in amazement that our president, as Collins reported, so betrayed his constituency may make history. It's as if our president walked out on them for taking social security off the table, which they just might have done. Or walked out on them for raising taxes on the rich of their own free will. Did they just walk out when the dinner was over, or abandon their entrees, Ms. Collins?

  Oh, wow, will shockers never cease? And since when are our new extremists so holier than our president?

  Next point: social security is an insurance policy we've paid for all of our working lives. It's not the charity the GOP treats it as. It doesn't come out of their oversized wallets. They collect it too. It's been proposed that all those billionaires refuse it. If so, the rest of us ragtag rabble would not have to worry or storm Washington en masse. And that would be a huge crowd, believe me, and not just doddering seniors.

  But another suggestion by Ms. Collins is a bit off: "I'd trade a dramatic new commitment to funding quality early childhood education for a change in the way cost-of-living increases are computed for Social Security, as long as the oldest and neediest of the recipients are protected."

  What's the cut-off age, Ms. Collins? The expanding cadre of centenarians--now so increased that they no longer earn a small square on front pages?

  Our promising kiddies will someday get old, too. Statistics suggest they won't live as long as this burden on society we are, and education is hideously, frightfully neglected and way past "at risk," but why take money from us beautifully educated elders, banned from the workplace not only because we have this extra income but because we may be talking over the heads of our posterity, not to mention suffering from other forms of ageism?

  Young people are prettier, let's face it, especially when they can write a grammatical sentence. And, let's face it again, soon maybe posterity won't know how to, or even know that they don't.

  Let's lift some sanctions off of food sent to North Koreans--they're already half a head shorter, on average, then their cousins south of the barbed-wire border.

  And let's lift some other sanctions from our own youth, who cannot afford higher education anymore--will our president put Pell grants onto the bargaining table next? Let's throw out some of those nukes sprawling over thousands of acres somewhere in the Midwest and plant food there, if it won't be radioactive. Let's cut the defense budget even more.

  Now that we're living longer, let the government, instead of lowering our soc sec securities, start a hire-a-senior program, so that we won't be such a drain on society. Seems like, when we're forced back to work because of drained portfolios and pensions, we're more often sweeping floors than sitting in offices with windows. I'd take one without windows.

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Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

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