By Dave Lindorff
Needed: a 'rout' of wolves to drive a 'stench' of skunks from DC
(Image by ThisCantBeHappening) Permission Details DMCA
The US Congress is such a craven bunch that you really have to turn to Olde English to aptly describe them.
Consider that yesterday, by a vote of 93-7, the Senate approved a National Defense Authorization Bill that effectively defines the US "homeland" as a war zone, and that allows for the indefinite incarceration without trial of anyone, including US citizens and Green Card holders, without trial, in blatant violation of the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution and of fundamental international judicial standards.
These elected representatives, so ready to sell out the people and the nation's heritage, can be best described, using Olde English usage, as a "congress" of baboons, or a "cowardice" of curs, a "sneak" of weasels" or perhaps just a "stench" of skunks.
And it's not over. Both houses of Congress are also considering a proposal by President Obama of a measure that will seriously undermine Social Security -- a further cut in the Social Security 12.4% payroll tax by 3.1% for workers and a matching 3.1% cut in the 40% share of that tax paid by employers--measures which taken together would gut the Social Security Trust Fund by more than $350 billion in one year.
This theft from the public is being deceitfully presented as a tax break, as if Social Security "taxes" were just like the income tax we pay. It's not at all that. First of all, the employer's share of the payroll tax is just like the employer contribution to a worker's pension or 401(k). It's your money they are contributing, because it is used to calculate your retirement benefit amount. The same is true of the payroll tax you see deducted from your paycheck. It might hurt just as much as the income tax that is withheld, but while the income tax mostly ends up to pay for endless wars, for tax giveaways to corporations, and for things like oil-depletion allowance subsidies to the oil companies, the payroll tax is your money and is put into the Trust Fund to calculate your retirement benefit! Cutting the amount deducted from your check may or may not reduce the amount of your benefit (that's unclear), but if Congress does this without compensating for the cut by taking money from some other tax, such as a supplemental tax on the rich, to compensate for the loss of funds in the Trust Fund--and that is what the Republicans in Congress are demanding with their refusal to pass any new taxes on the wealthy--then it just strengthens the hand of those who are claiming that Social Security is going "bankrupt," and that the system needs to be "reformed" by reducing benefits or delaying the retirement age.
This is supposed to be our Congress, but it is close to passing legislation that is a huge preparatory step towards fascism, turning the military into a domestic police force within the country's borders, and returning the US to a pre-Revolutionary era when police and soldiers could grab people, charge them with treason, sedition or terrorism, and just lock them up or even execute them without trial. Indeed, that kind of behavior is why we had a revolution back in 1776!
And this same Congress is stealthily undermining Social Security and Medicare, the two most important legacies of the New Deal and the Great Society eras, and unarguably the two most popular programs run by the federal government.