The farce that is the so-called Super Committee is lurching in predictable directions. That's to say, we can't possibly tax the rich and end foreign military adventurism, and bring the deficit under control where it spun out of control. Instead, they say, let's do what the private sector has been doing for 30 years: treat commitments to older Americans, to which they have contributed all their lives, as mere scraps of paper.
Let me put one thing on the table. I have no problem with edging up the retirement age. (Mine is 66, not 65, because it's already happened. D'uh.) I see no impediment either to continuing to move up the maximum contribution level, or even (horrors!) eliminating the ceiling. There I differ with AARP, which has rather muddied the distinction between continuing a steady reform process and trashing the whole system. Trouble is, it sounds like all the talk of dumping Social Security and Medicare has infected the Super's deliberations.
" has a longish history, going back to the Vietnam era. Properly stage-managed, it has always been an effective form of protest, typically aimed at wars and such.
My modest proposal is for the generation that began by going out to end war and stuff to check out in the same way. If the Supers effectively eliminate Medicare and Social Security, then let's think. Without Social Security of Medicare, most of us won't be able to afford health care and many of us won't be able to afford food, clothing and shelter. We can't work full-time, or beyond the clerical or retail level, because the age bigots don't want us in the office.
The capitalists and their Republican lapdogs want those of us in this fix to go out and die in the nearest ditch without frightening the horses. Suppose we don't. Suppose we hop a few buses, go to Washington, and die on the Capitol steps. I mean actually die. No too hard. Without health insurance*, if my meds run out suddenly, I have two or three days to live. That's enough time for the bus ride, to get out a press release, and to choose a photogenic spot on Capitol Hill. Time also for a terse, effective sign to explains what's up. Multiply that by 10,000 or so and you have quite a demonstration. Are the Capitol police up to removing 10,000 bodies?
In saner times, one would expect that even the threat of thousands of citizen deaths as a consequence of insane political posturing would cool a few jets.
I'm not betting on it. I think I'll take the train instead of the bus: so far no one has suggested eliminating Amtrak's excellent senior discounts.
If the Committee is indeed Super, somebody needs to get the kryptonite out of the meeting room.
Already, I've discovered that Medicare Part D doesn't cover my dernier resort,
Klonapin. I won't die suddenly when it cuts off: unfortunately.
Labels: die-in, Medicare, protests, Social Security, Super Committee