George Graham

Shredding the Safety Net


Bernie Sanders (and others) are sounding the alarm. They see the Republican tax “reform” as the first step in attacking the social safety net.

Here’s how it works.

First, Congress gives the rich and corporations a massive tax cut that sends the national deficit soaring into the trillions. Then they use the deficit as a pretext to slash Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education, food stamps, unemployment benefits, affordable housing – all the programs on which the poor and middle class depend.

Of course these tactics are being condemned by outraged.Americans. Protests are in progress all across the land.

But the Republicans don’t care.

They have long ago abandoned any pretense of representing the people. They openly and shamelessly represent their donors.

Today’s elections are won with diabolically designed propaganda. Mind control professionals are hired to devise messaging that will sway public opinion. Developing and displaying  these messages takes money – lots and lots of money.

So mega-donors like the Mercers, Kochs and Adelsons call the shots when Republicans rule – not the voters. And you know these families didn’t get filthy rich by being kind and compassionate

You might think that a country as sophisticated as America would be immune to political manipulation. But the voting population is largely uninformed – and deliberately misinformed.

With public education declining as funding dries up, voters become increasingly vulnerable.

We are paying the price for disrespecting our democracy. Forgetting the sacrifices  of our forebears, we take our freedoms and rights for granted, even neglecting to vote. Not all of us, of course. Perhaps not most of us. But enough of us to make a significant difference.

In such a dangerous environment, it is more important than ever for those of us who can see the threats we face to make our voices heard.

We must get on the phone to our House and Senate members. Email them. Spread the word to our friends on social media. Talk to our co-workers. Sign petitions. Join a protest in person if possible.

The benefits we enjoy as Americans are being eroded. And there’s worse ahead if we let it happen.

Our rights can be revoked. Our freedoms aren’t free.  As Thomas Jefferson is quoted as  observing:

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

Bernie’s warning

Sign the petition

About the author


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