George Graham

“Moderate” Democrats Sneakily Side with the Rich

It seems to me that most Americans regard politics as some kind of game – like football or baseball. They’re fans of one party or the other and vote that way regardless. They treat the whole thing as a professional sport with no real consequences for their lives.

But politics is a matter of life and death. Literally.

The way you vote determines the way you live. Or die.

Never before have I seen this so nakedly on display.

Elected representatives are being asked to choose between two budget proposals for the next decade.

Republican Congressman Paul Ryan’s plan is based on the assumption that the way to economic recovery lies with the rich getting richer. That line of reasoning assumes the rich will spend their (excess) money creating jobs for the rest of the population, that their prosperity will “trickle down.”

To compensate for dramatic tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, Ryan would drastically reduce benefits now enjoyed by Americans – Medicare, for example.

An alternative proposal from President Obama is based on the belief that the best way to curb the unwieldy national debt and staggering annual deficits is to increase taxes on the nation’s top income earners.

You would think that voters would look at the proposed ways forward and decide which way serves them best. If I were in my forties or fifties, for example, I would vigorously oppose any attempt to renege on Social Security, considering how much I’ve contributed to the program over my working life.

And I would scream my head off when anyone suggests raising the admission age for Medicare or reducing its benefits.

Naturally, I would vote accordingly.

But here’s the rub.

These folks might not get a real choice.

Some Democratic members of Congress are sneakily siding with Ryan.

A Senate proposal by Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee and Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri would cap federal spending at 20.6 percent of gross domestic product within the next decade.

That’s the Ryan plan in disguise.

According to an analysis by the Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Corker-McCaskill proposal would require “enormous cuts” in Medicare and Medicaid and other programs, and likely force policy changes to the entitlement programs similar to the ones that Ryan has proposed.

Senator McCaskill is one of those Democrats in Congress who are “conservatives” at heart.

Senate Democrats supporting the Corker-McCaskill proposal include Virginia’s Joe Manchin. And, of course, Joe Lieberman is backing it, too.

You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that these folks are really on the side of the rich.

Today, more than ever before, voters must have their wits about them when they go to the polls. And go to the polls we must!

The way we cast our votes in the primaries as well as in the general elections will determine how we fare in the years ahead – whether we can afford health care, whether we can afford to retire, whether we (and our children, even grandchildren) can live a middle-class life.

This is a critical time for Americans. Elections have consequences in real life.

Click here for a summary of the Ryan plan.

Click here for a summary of the president’s plan.

About the author

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

4 Comments

  • I’M PROUD OF YOU LABOR!. Keep standing up. The lives and health of all the American people and the World are in serious jeopardy.

    Alan Grayson Honors The Dead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TV9TRoYMtjs&feature=player_embedded

    Alan Grayson on Healthcare http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPpQ2MNaSDo&feature=player_embedded

    Ron Sparks HealthCareReform http://youtu.be/kqlBFRJh4Cw

    John Garamendi – The Public Option http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyBTEke68aQ&feature=player_embedded

    I want to commend all of you for working so hard and being so strong at helping the whitehouse and congress begin to address our U.S. and Global healthcare crisis. You have been AWESOME! my fellow Americans and peoples of the World. America and the World is better and safer for it. My greatest pride is the knowledge that I am one of you. And that you really get it. You really understand the importance of it all.

    There are some potentially very good things in the healthcare legislation. Especially with the reconciliation fix’s. The Democrats, Bernie Sanders and the Whitehouse did a GREAT! job of fighting to produce the best healthcare legislation that they could. They have earned all our strong support. And we should give it to them.

    But it was your relentless pressure and hard work that made the difference. Whatever good comes from this healthcare legislation, America and the peoples of the World will have each of you to thank. You were smart, creative, courageous and relentless. You fought together for the best legislation possible. And when you had to, you fought alone. No matter who stumbled and fell you continued to push and forge ahead. Fighting for the lives and health of the American people and the World. YOU SHOULD BE PROUD OF YOUR-SELVES 🙂

    It may come to pass that future generations will look back on us and say that we were ALL Americas Greatest Generations. And that healthcare reform was our finest hour. You should be proud of our leaders President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and the many other Democratic and independent fighters for the people in congress. They proved them-self worthy of the leadership of a GREAT! PEOPLE.

    But we are not done yet. This was just the beginning of healthcare reform, not the end. WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, ARE NOT! divided on healthcare legislation. The vast majority of you have been consistently crystal clear that this legislation does not go far enough. You want a strong Government-run Public Option CHOICE!! available to everyone on day one. And you want it NOW!

    YOU MUST NOT ALLOW AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE TO STAND WITHOUT A STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.

    WE THE PEOPLE have been crystal clear that we want an end to dependence on for-profit healthcare and the for-profit proxies called private for non-profit healthcare. The American people want the CHOICE! of a strong Government-run Public Option to replace their need or dependence on healthcare providers whose primary motivation is profit. Rather than providing the highest quality, easiest accessible and most affordable medically necessary healthcare possible. This is what the rest of the developed World has. And the American people want it too. They want healthcare ASSURANCE! Not, for-profit health insurance. And they want it NOW!

    Now is the time to continue the push for a strong Government-run Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone that wants it on day one. Rationally it’s clear what we have to do to get this done. SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATS that supported you with a Public Option choice, and REMOVE as many republicans as you can. Not one republican in congress was willing to step across the isle to support a strong Government-run Public Option CHOICE!! available to everyone on day one. NOT ONE! Let no candidate prevail this November that does not support a Strong Government-run Public Option.

    47,000 AMERICANS die each year from lack of healthcare. 120,000 die from treatable illness that don’t die in other developed countries. Hundreds of thousands of you are dieing from medical accidents in a rush to profit. And Millions of you are injured. Millions more are driven into bankruptcy. All for the privilege of paying two to three times as much as any other people in the developed world for healthcare. HOGWASH!

    Additionally, tens of thousands of you and your children were killed and millions sickened and injured from a terror attack with H1N1 (swine flu). Released on the American people and the World by the for-profit healthcare industry. All in an attempt to panic and frighten you into accepting the oxymoronic criminal enterprise of private for-profit healthcare (The most costly, deadly, dangerous, and disgraceful product sold in America). H1N1 is still sickening people and killing them. Especially children, the young and the middle aged. And there will be a third wave. These are the terrorist you need to worry about the most. Even the so-called international terrorist would not do something so INSANE! But greed driven medical profiteers would and did.

    Apparently as far as republicans in GOVERNMENT are concerned, YOU! my fellow Americans – CAN JUST DROP DEAD! Including their own family members. Fools!… Hundreds of thousands of you, and possibly millions of you will die from the long-term effects of your infection and poisoning with H1N1.

    So my fellow Human Beings. Rest-up, Take good care of the basics (Balanced nutrition, hydration, exercise, rest and POSITIVE emotional supports). Then wade back into the FIGHT! for a strong Government-run Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. Drug re-importation, Abolishment or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost. You must take back control of your healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. You MUST do it NOW! This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.

    God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings. I’m glad to know of you. And proud to be one of you.

    See you on the battle field.

    Sincerely

    jacksmith – WorkingClass 🙂

  • I’m with you, but considerable consolation lies in the fact that we’re not experiencing the compounded horrors that would have been perpetrated under an on-going right-wing administration, i..e., McCain and (gasp) Palin.

  • Oh come on! You need to understand how big this is. He is doing what he can against tremendous pressure. We the people who voted for him need to fight against the opposition forces as loud and as persistently as they do.
    Here is Obama’s report card, I think he is working toward all his promises. But he promised a lot and can’t change everything at once. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/

  • It truly is NOT President Obama’s fault. Can one human being stem all the outside forces threatening to overwhelm the planet or all the inside forces threatening to destroy him? I am sick of the “blame Obama” chorus! let’s try supporting him and see if he doesn’t become stronger and is better able to fight the good fight!