A letter to Barack Obama
This is an e-mail I sent today to the White House that commits to not voting for Mr. Obama unless he publicly proclaims he will hold the line on Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. Those on the left need to make clear that they will not support a “Bowles-Simpson” agenda and the only way to do so is to apply pressure. I’m just one person, of course, but consider sending a similar message yourself. It certainly couldn’t hurt. The White House address for emails is here.
Dear Mr. Obama,
At a time of feudal like inequality and ever declining living standards, I take great offense at the fully bi-partisan attack on vital programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The Republican agenda is truly disgusting of course, yet the politics imbedded in Bowles-Simpson is almost equally so and stands a far greater chance of being implemented.
The Bowles-Simpson agenda, produced by a committee you created, calls for the increase in the Medicare eligibility age and other drastic benefit cuts. It slashes “top tier” future Social Security benefits from $34,092 to $24,624 and reduces benefits for everyone outside of the bottom 20%.
It is well known that you offered drastic cuts in your negotiations with congress and they failed only because of Republican refusal to raise taxes. Average workers, it would seem, were saved by the Republicans!
I hereby inform you that I will not vote for you in this upcoming election unless you publicly proclaim you will reject ANY benefit cuts to these vital programs. This, of course, applies to current as well as all future beneficiaries. I will no longer blindly vote for the “lesser evil”.
Social Security can quite easily be “saved” without cutting benefits which, averaging just $1,200 per month, are among the lowest in the OECD. Health care will certainly require going against the many vested interests that cause our health system to be the most expensive by far in the world. But the solution cannot be to reduce care for our parents, grandparents, and, it can’t be forgotten, the younger generations who will eventually need the exact same care. It’s not remotely an issue just for “seniors”.
Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are of course not the only issues we face and I object to many of your other policies – endless war, violations of basic constitutional civil rights, lack of a concerted effort for the environment, and a near absent program for guaranteeing jobs for all, to name but a few.
But inequality is such a danger to our democratic society, I feel it’s necessary now to draw a firm line with these extremely basic programs and demand an unwavering support from any politician for whom I could conceivably cast a vote.