Tom Brokaw, who mouths the corporate-approved news for NBC and at last count was paid about $ 16 million a year to do so, thinks that, at $ 14,000 per annum, Social Security recipients make too much money. He publicly urged President Obama to “get tough” on old folks and cut benefits while requiring Grampy and Granny to work, or if unemployed, survive an additional two years before riding the Social Security gravy train.
Flat-worlder Tom Friedman readily chimes in protesting that the rich have been sorely chastised by Wall Street’s current White House occupant, and argues that Democrats better give in on entitlements if they know what’s good for them. As noted in an earlier post, the DISSENTING DEMOCRAT attended high school with Tommy Boy and knew him to be a regular candidate for swirlies in the boy’s lavatory. Now we only wished we had joined in the fun (if we are ever gifted with the opportunity again, we would not be negligent).
The Fix is in and the Corporate Media has issued orders to the independent punditry (barf). The well paid stooges for the Power Elite fall in line and instantly parrot the PR release from the grey towers of Manhattan: entitlement reform in the cause of austerity.
Fact is the public budget is not challenged by any deficit in Social Security. Social Security, unlike the Defense Department, is in the black. Indeed, the country’s oldsters have patriotically been putting their money where their hearts are and have invested Social Security funds into U.S. government bonds. The Government borrows from the nation’s seniors, you would think it would give them a respect equal to that bestowed on China, another one of the Government’s creditors.
And Medicare? Yes, Medicare is in desperate need of rehabilitative therapy but the threats to its health are easily remedied. First, Medicare has to pay premo prices for drugs and is prohibited by law from negotiating for fairer prices based on the huge consumer base. Second, although designed to be a single payer plan cutting out the middleman, through the years private insurers have wormed their way back into the business under the guise of efficiency. The only thing they have contributed is their ever expanding profit margins. Change these practices and the projected shortage could be reversed within years.
Finally, Medicaid. Medicaid is supported by tax revenues. Where Social Security and Medicare are paid for by their participants, Medicaid is paid for by all taxpayers, Why? Medicaid is for poor people because they can’t afford to pay. Medicaid is intended to be supported by general revenues just like the Defense Department, just like Congressional payrolls. So when Congress runs out of money, do they cut Congressional pay? No, they appropriate more money. That is ultimately what can be done for Medicaid.
So now let’s talk about Media Reform. If TV programming expenses are too high then let’s cut the pay for Okies** pretending to be know-it-all policy gurus.
* To the tune of “We’ll hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree”
** Tom Brokaw is from Oklahoma