Saturday, March 19, 2011

GOP, Tea Party Aim to Plunder Social Security

As surely as the sun rises and sets, Republicans scheme to plunder ever more from the American people. As surely as the seasons turn, Republicans proffer their plunder to their wealthy masters.

For thirty years, since the Cowboy President launched the Republican assault on America, tax giveaways to the rich have plundered every facet of Americans' lives.  Lusting for ever more untaxed profits, their cronies have wrung every penny from American industry, buying and merging companies to sell off their assets and move their operations to China, or Indonesia, or anyplace where workers could be most brutally exploited.  They've wrung every penny from American business, slashing payrolls and outsourcing and offshoring and winnowing benefits. 

Republicans have wrung every penny from private sector pensions, slashing and burning and exchanging retirement security for stock vouchers rendered worthless in the next bursting financial bubble.  There used to be many companies where workers organized to provide for their futures, only to be told that management greed and incompetence had left everyone bereft, except for the mismanaging managers who floated away on golden parachutes.

From Wisconsin to Indiana to your home town, Republicans are today wringing every penny from public sector pensions, pillaging retirements that were supposed to be secure, but weren't because Wall Street greed and incompetence had left everyone insolvent, except for the hedge fund managers and financial service CEOs who floated away with billion-dollar compensation packages.

Most of America's wealth has been siphoned into the pockets of the handful of international plutocrats who hold court inside the Washington Beltway. One of the few large caches left of America's wealth lies in our Social Security trust funds.

Republicans covet those monies.  It is anathema to them that money could be put aside for ordinary people to live their sunset years with dignity.  The Republican hates that a grandmother is paying for groceries, or an old uncle is paying for heat during a cold winter, with money that could be used to buy a diamond-studded G-string to adorn the supple hips of some rich GOP contributor's young contracted companion. Republicans want to hand the money in the Social Security trust funds to their plutocrat masters, just as loyal vassals mounted on war horses thundered through peasant villages to scour plunder for their medieval overlords.

Republicans and their corporate media incessantly, unceasingly spout lie after lie that Social Security is broke, and all the money for it must be handed to their big money cronies or the Biblical Apocalypse and the Mayan End of Time and Nostradamus' end of the world will all explode on you all at once.

This is nonsense.  Social Security is solvent for over twenty years if we did nothing at all, and would remain solvent for the foreseeable future with the slightest tweaks in payroll taxes.

That Social Security is in trouble is the Republicans' Big Lie, told over and over again as loudly and with as much venom as possible to make people hand the Social Security trust fund dollars to their Wall Street pals.  Republicans say they must take money away from the Social Security trust funds and Americans must hand their money to Wall Street financiers like AIG, or B of A, or Lehman Brothers - well not Lehman Brothers, as they mismanaged themselves out of existence - or Bear Stearns - well, not Bear Stearns either, as they too mismanaged themselves out of existence - or any of the other financial institutions that writes fat checks to Republican PACs and pays for pricey Republican junkets.

Now, if anyone does want to sink money into exchange traded funds, equities, bonds, commodity futures, or repackaged credit default swaps, he can. If anyone wants to pile stacks of chips onto the Wall Street roulette wheel and bet the farm, he can. Americans can do anything they want with the money they take home in their paychecks, if they're lucky enough to have one. Social Security was meant to be the safety net that each American who has worked all her life could count on when the corporate overseer had stroked his last lash, something held out against the unpredictable vagaries of banks and markets. But the Republican must devour every dollar and leave nothing for the ordinary American.

Having plundered every other cache, the Republican must plunder Social Security, for his insatiable plutocrat master must have every coin to expand his fleet of private jets, to expand his armada of mega-yachts, to expand his harem of private contract service providers. The Big Lie about Social Security is repeated solely for this purpose. The Republican seeks not to secure retirees' futures, but to keep the champagne flowing in the Park Avenue penthouse parties.  The Republican seeks not to strengthen America's finances, but to keep the Biarritz weekends, the Maldives getaways, the Lago di Como idles turning in the datebook.

The big money financiers have used outlandish accounting schemes to buy and sell piles of funny money, repackage pyramids of indefinable exotic instruments, growing fat on financial bubbles of science fiction fantasies that leave everyone else broke when the bubble bursts. From the Dot Com bubble to the Mortgage Meltdown, these snake oil charlatans have scammed every other dollar out of America, and now only the Social Security trust funds are left.

Perfectly on cue, the vultures descend on every Americans' retirement security. Republicans threaten to shut down the government unless they are handed the Social Security trust funds. Republicans threaten Armageddon unless the last cache of ordinary Americans' money is handed to the reckless rich who have already plundered, and blown, every other fortune they could get their hands on.

Social Security is safe, and solvent, and will be able to provide for Americans' needs for generations to come, as long as we don't let Republicans plunder this last, precious resource.

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