Congress In Secret Talks To Chop Social Security And Medicare To Avoid Apocalyptic Debt Default

Social Security, Medicare & Public Education Now on the U.S. Government Chopping Block As Secret Deals are Made by President Obama & Members of the U.S. Congress In An Attempt To Avoid An Apocalyptic Debt Default.

Editor’s note: This very important information comes to me by way of email with a strong request to get the word out to inform the public of what the media is not reporting. With that caveat, the information is presented while preserving the content of the original format as much as possible.

President Obama and a “Gang of Six” members of the U.S. House and Senate have placed Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid on the chopping block in secret, ongoing debt ceiling negotiations. In these secret negotiations, far away from public enlightenment or debate, deals are being cooked-up to undermine, cut or privatize these important and highly beneficial programs. With a vote on the impending national debt ceiling deadline these programs may be cut at any time in the next few days.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate several times this week. We can support his efforts to protect these vital programs by contacting our elected officials.

His Speech on Social Security and Medicare is on this link:
http://www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/content/bernie-sanders

Take Action Today to Stop immediate cuts to these programs. According to several members of congress the cuts to these programs will begin this year after proposed changes are made to the CPI Consumer Price Index so that no cost of living increases will be made to recipients, only cuts.

(The Toll Free Number for any member of the U.S. House or Senate is: (1866) 220-0044)

The Agriculture Defense coalition writes:

SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE ALERT – 2011
There are currently seventeen bills pending in either the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate that are related to changes in Social Security. This staggering number of Social Security bills, now being considered in various committees, where amendments will be added or the bills changed, shows how determined many elected officials are in either privatizing or killing two of the most beneficial programs to protect the public ever created (with the exception of the U.S. EPA and our Clear Air and Water Act Laws).

President Obama and members of the U.S. House and Senate have placed Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block in ongoing debt ceiling negotiations. In these secret negotiations, far away from public enlightenment or debate, deals are being cooked-up to undermine, cut or privatize these important and highly beneficial programs.

[…]

The drumbeat has been increasing since 2010, to undermine Social Security and Medicare. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been leading the charge since 2007, to make critical changes to these programs claiming that these programs are the key to solving our financial deficit. Chairman Bernanke and President Obama took the first steps in this direction when they gave a tax holiday in December 2010, to those making Social Security tax payments, in a tax deal with Republicans.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders spoke for over 8 hours on the floor of the U.S. Senate and outlined the problems faced with the passage of the tax cut bill for “millionaires and billionaires”, which passed on December 17, 2010, and has now been signed into law by President Obama. (See his U.S. Senate speech below.)

Social Security and Medicare are high on the list of President Obama’s Debt Commission list of recommendations for several cuts as well. All of these recommendations will be at the forefront of U.S. Congressional Actions in 2011. President Obama should not be trusted to protect Social Security in the future because he allowed for its undermining in his tax giveaway to the very rich in December 2010. Our only protection for Social Security and Medicare will be by the people taking action in 2011, to protect these programs.

Instead of making recommendations about funding the U.S. War that continues in Iraq, where 50,000+/- troops are to remain indefinitely, along with thousands of private contractors, and other U.S. employees, the commission seems to be only interested in undermining Social Security and Medicare. With escalating wars in Pakistan and Afghanistan escalating the national debt by $Billions each month along with Pentagon spending, the President’s commission seems unwilling to tackle these costs…instead working on budget cutbacks in social services to overcome ever-increasing deficits.

According to Bloomberg News (April 27, 2010): “…The AARP, the Washington-based advocacy group for the elderly, said yesterday the panel should forswear cutting Social Security, which provides “financial security for millions of older adults — many of whom are kept out of poverty” by it. Roger Hickey, co-director of the Washington-based Campaign for America’s Future, said “deficit hysteria” was being used to clear the way for painful cuts in Medicare…”

With unemployment reaching epidemic levels and the undermining of our pensions, through poor investments and Wall Street Ponzi Schemes, the public is finding that their retirement income is being eroded at an alarming rate. We cannot allow Social Security to be undermined at a time when many older citizens will find that this is their only source of income due to pension losses. In addition, the elderly cannot afford to depend on their children to support them if Social Security and Medicare benefits are cut or undermined, due to ever-increasing low wages and job losses in the U.S.

U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson made the following statement at a Public Meeting in Mendocino County, California on August 19, 2010: “…it’s not true that it’s “broke.” Thompson stated that Social Security is solvent until 2037. “Social Security was a very far-reaching program. It’s the most successful government program there’s ever been,” said Thompson. “It’s responsible for keeping a heck of a lot of people out of poverty; it’s an absolute lifeline for many and important for the economy…”

“…Thompson said the scope of Social Security has greatly expanded since it was signed into law 75 years ago. In Mendocino County alone, Social Security — just the retirement portion — accounts for $207 million in income, he said…In closing, Thompson directed a comment to the senior population. “The senior voice is a very loud voice. You have clout and you should use that,” said Thompson.

408 1 2011 NWV Social Security on the Government Chopping Block by Rosalind June 11 2011.pdf
408 1 PETITION TO PREVENT THE PRIVATIZATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY.pdf
408 1 2010 Social Security Payroll Tax Holiday for 2011 Undermining Social Security Reduced Tax Withhold for SSI DEC 17 2010.pdf
408 1 2011 AARP Letter to the U.S. Congress on Medicare and Social Security April 14 2011.pdf

408 2010 U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke Wants Your Social Security Money Huffington Post OCT 6 2010.pdf

408 2011 U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich Advocating for Single Payer Not for Profit Health Care For All January 19 2011.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. House Bill 1052 Social Security Guarantee Act of 2011 Text of Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. House Bill 1118 Social Security Protection Act of 2011 Text of Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. House Bill 1332 Social Security Fairness Act of 2011 Text of Bill.pdf
408B 2011 U.S. House Bill 149 Social Security Beneficiary Tax Reduction Act of 2011 Text of Bill Do Not Support this Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. House Bill 1538 Social Security Identity Defense Act of 2011 Text of Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. House Bill 160 Social Security Fairness for the Terminally Ill Act of 2011 Text of Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. House Bill 1630 Social Security and Medicare Protection Act of 2011 Text of Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. House Bill 181 Social Security Totalization Agreement Reform Act of 2011 Text of Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. House Bill 219 Social Security Preservation Act of 2011 Text of Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. House Bill 311 Social Security Number Fraudulent Use Notification Act of 2011 Text of Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. House Bill 787 Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act of 2011 Text of Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. House Bill 796 Social Security Protection and Truth in Budgeting Act of 2011 Text of Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. House Bill 797 Social Security No Loopholes in Social Security Taxes Act of 2011 Text of Bill Consider this Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. Senate Bill 123 Social Security Lock Box Act of 2011 Text of Bill Do Not Support this Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. Senate Bill 582 Social Security Protection Act of 2011 Text of Bill Text Support This Bill.pdf
408B 2011 U.S. Senate Bill 804 Social Security Solvency and Sustainability Act of 2011 Text of Bill.pdf

408B 2011 U.S. Senate Bill Social Security Protection Act of 2011 Text of Bill Support This Bill.pdf

408F 2007 Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke on Social Security MSNBC News.pdf
408F 2010 Alan Simpson Co Chairman of Obama Deficit Reduction Commission Mr. Simpson Has a Cow August 27 2010 NYTimes.pdf

408F 2010 Debt Commission Final Report Controversial The Washington Post DEC 1 2010.pdf

408F 2010 Final Report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform December 2010 Note Items on Social Security Medicare.pdf

408F 2010 MSNBC Transcript Countdown With Keith Olbermann on Social Security Debt Commission August 25 2010 Simpson Should Resign from Commission.pdf

408F 2010 MSNBC Transcript Countdown With Keith Olberman on Social Security Debt Commission August 25 2010 Simpson Should Resign from Commission.pdf
408F 2010 National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Recommends Cuts in Social Security Medicare.pdf

408F 2010 U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Wants to Dump Social Security Medicare December 3 2010 Congressional Hearings.pdf

408F 2010 White House Advisers Have Begun Preparing President Obama Next State of Union Address Debt Commission Mentioned DEC 24 2010 The Washington Post.pdf

408H 2010 U.S. Senate Hearing on Social Security October 7 2010 http www.c span.pdf

408K 2011 Ukiah Senior Center Ending Program Offering Food Health Care Companship Ukiah Daily Journal April 18 2011 News.pdf

408M 2011 Governors May Slash Medicaid including California Other States NYTimes JAN 28 2011 Entire Article.pdf
408M 2011 Governors May Slash Medicaid including California Other States NYTimes JAN 28 2011 Page 1.pdf

408M 2011 U.S. Congress Budget Battles New Threat to Medicaid Medicare April 5 2011 NYTimes.pdf

408M 2011 U.S. House Republicans to Launch Quest to Privatize Medicare APNEWS January 28 2011.pdf
408NZ 2011 Social Security Benefits Going Paperless Debit Card or Direct Deposit NYTimes January 28 2011.pdf
408N 2011 Gang of Six in U.S. Senate Seeking a Plan on Debt Social Security Medicare in the Deal April 16 2011 NYTimes.pdf
408Q 2010 December 2010 Obama Tax Deal With Republican Will Kill Social Security The Hill December 2010.pdf

408R 2010 Report Social Security Benefits Would be Cut Under Republican Proposals October 20 2010 The Hill News 50 Percent Cuts Planned.pdf
408V 2011 Social Security Retirement Past and Future of Social Security FEB 22 2011 C SPAN Video.pdf

408X 2010 Gibbs Makes it Official Obama Likely to Seek Re Election DEC 26 2010 Social Security Medicare on Cuts Agenda.pdf

408X 2010 U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders Tax Cut Deal Could Doom Social Security December 14 2010 Huffington Post.pdf

408X 2011 Charlie Rose Interviews Timothy Geithner U.S. Treasury Secretary January 28 2011 http www.charlierose Video.pdf

408X 2011 President Obama to Press Centrist Agenda in State of the Union Address NYTimes January 22 2011 Note Social Security Medicare.pdf

408 1 2010 Social Security Payroll Tax Holiday for 2011 Undermining Social Security Reduced Tax Withhold for SSI DEC 17 2010.pdf

408 1 2011 AARP Letter to the U.S. Congress on Medicare and Social Security April 14 2011.pdf

408 1 2011 NWV Social Security on the Government Chopping Block by Rosalind June 11 2011.pdf

408 2010 U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke Wants Your Social Security Money Huffington Post OCT 6 2010.pdf

408 2011 U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich Advocating for Single Payer Not for Profit Health Care For All January 19 2011.pdf

408F 2010 MSNBC Transcript Countdown With Keith Olberman on Social Security+Debt Commission August 25, 2010 Simpson Should Resign from Commission.pdf

408 1 NWV Protect Social Security June 4, 2009 Article by Rosalind Peterson.pdf

408 2010 Congressman Thompson Talks Turkey August 19, 2010 Ukiah Daily Journal Social Security+Other Issuses.pdf

408 2010 U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke Wants Your Social Security Money Huffington Post OCT 6, 2010.pdf

408A Social Security Alert May 4, 2007 NewsWithViews.pdf

U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson Speech on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005, regarding Social Security. Please note that the Democratic Club of Ukiah and the Democratic Clubs in Lake County, along with other California Democratic Clubs collected nearly 10,000 thousand signatures to prevent the Privatization of Social Security in six weeks in 2005.

The following U.S. House Speech by Congressman Thompson and U.S. Congressman’s Presentation & Q&A in Lake County, California, is presented below for your information:

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The AARP, According to the Washington Post, on June 17, 2011, “…WASHINGTON — AARP, the powerful lobby for older Americans, was hammered Friday by fellow activists for refusing to oppose any and all cuts to Social Security benefits, a position the group says it has long held as a way to extend the life of the massive retirement and disability program…the issue gained major notice Friday as White House and congressional leaders continued to negotiate ways to reduce government red ink. Social Security has not been a part of those talks. Instead, negotiators have focused on potential cuts to Medicare, the government health insurance program for older Americans…In the midst of that, The Wall Street Journal quoted AARP’s longtime policy chief, John Rother, saying that, “…the agency was dropping its longstanding opposition to cutting Social Security benefits…” [10]

Why is the voice of the AARP being silenced? U.S. House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Wally Herger (R-CA) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany, Jr, MD (R-LA) held hearings on Friday, April 1, 2011, on AARP’s current tax status [13]. It is alleged that this threat by congress, to fight AARP’s current tax exempt status, has caused the AARP to back down and not fight the privatization and cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The AARP has denied these allegations, however it is alleged that their powerful voice has diminished in recent months. Since the AARP has been sidelined it is now up to all of us to oppose these cuts to some of our most important programs: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Education, Environment Protection, and public health and safety laws.

The income cap, for example, in Social Security should be increased so that the rich pay their fair tax share of these costs. Instead more payroll tax holidays are planned allowing the rich to escalate their riches by paying less in taxes. Wall Street wants to privatize Social Security because that would give them access to guaranteed sums of money (our payroll tax dollars), enriching their Wall Street coffers and those of private companies who would charge all of us more for this type of coverage to increase their profits.

Medicare and Medicaid are also on the chopping block because it would put our seniors, and others, at the mercy of private insurance companies who would make it too expensive for them to purchase health insurance, as is the case now. Privatization is the buzzword these days…as lobbyists work toward cornering this lucrative market and driving up costs for everyone. Many won’t be able to find or pay for insurance due to job losses and other cost of living increases if most of these bills are passed.

Within the next two weeks, in a rush of deals and bills, our elected officials will vote on these important issues without our knowledge, public debate or consent. They will vote before ink has dried on the minute details of these deals, usually before the legislation is written behind closed doors, taking the American people to the “cleaners” one more time.

There are currently seventeen [8], bills pending in either the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate that are related to changes in Social Security [1-2]. This staggering number of Social Security bills, now being considered in various committees, where amendments will be added or the bills changed, shows how determined many elected officials are in either privatizing or sharply reducing the benefits of several of our most important programs.

(The Toll Free Number for any member of the U.S. House or Senate is: (1866) 220-0044)

U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders, from Vermont, and Sheldon Whitehouse, from Rhode Island, have been two of the few senators speaking out about these important issues. U.S. House Congressmen Mike Thompson (CA), and Dennis Kucinich have also been working to protect Medicare and Social Security. One of the best bills introduced by Senator Sanders, on Social Security which he introduced this year (U.S. Senate Bill 582: Social Security Protection Act of 2011), should be supported by the public. In addition to this bill we need to provide for the future solvency of social security by raising the income cap so that the very rich have to pay their share of the future costs for this program.

Instead of dealing with issues that would reduce the deficit over the long term our elected officials are intent on undermining basic middle class programs in education, health care, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, mental health care, environmental protection, and jobs. The proposed cuts in these areas are staggering in a time when unemployment is high, when wages are decreasing, retirement programs are being cut, and when prices for basics like food, health insurance, regressive sales taxes/fees, and fuels are increasing daily.

If we don’t step up to the plate and protect these vital programs we all lose. Our elected officials can take steps to reduce our war costs and deficits without undermining the middle class or jeopardizing more jobs through unnecessary budget cuts. Instead our elected officials want to reduce the taxes on the wealthiest in the U.S. and continue to allow corporations to pay little or no taxes; in some cases the wealthiest corporations are getting huge subsidies and/or huge tax refunds.

We have choices to make in the near future. We can decide to have our voices heard on these critical issues or we can stand aside and let the corporations and their corporate lobbyists win. Our voices are powerful, our votes are important, and we do have a choice. You can read the proposed Social Security and Medicare bills online at either of the two links below. You can contact your elected officials at the links below [3-4].

If you parents and grandparents have their Social Security and Medicare (or Medicaid), reduced or cut can you afford to pay their medical, food, rent, and utility bills? Are your children earning enough to support you if those benefits are reduced or cut? Do you want to be at the mercy of having to find insurance from a private corporation where their only motive is profit? Do you want to rely on the stock market and futures betting as a replacement for the guarantees that you have now?

Can you now pay for your child’s college education or must they now take out expensive loans (where they may be in debt for the rest of their lives), in order to attend college? Do you want your public schools privatized (charter schools are taking over public education at a great price), where the profit motive becomes the driving force rather than a free K-12th Grade Public Education for every child?

We can no longer remain silent. If the answer is “NO” then take action today! We have powerful voices and we do have a choice to make today. End

Rosalind Peterson

Agriculture Defense Coalition

Post Office Box 499

Redwood Valley, CA 95470

(707) 485-7520

E-Mail: info@californiaskywatch.com

Website: http://www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/?q=social-security

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate several times this week. We can support his efforts to protect these vital programs by contacting our elected officials. His Speech on Social Security and Medicare is on this link:

http://www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/content/bernie-sanders

1, If you want to read current U.S. House or Senate Legislation on Social Security & Medicare visit this website: http://www.govtrack.us/

*Please note that the title of these Bills can be highly misleading and do not reflect the written content of the legislation.

2, Another source of information or to read the complete bill texts on current U.S. House or Senate Legislation visit this website: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php

*More bills will be added to this list as they are introduced (See [1-2] above for full text of these bills, their current status and which committee, and committee members, will be conducting hearings on these bills).

3, U.S. Senate Contact Information:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

4, U.S. House of Representatives Contact Information: http://www.house.gov/representatives/

5, For more information on Social Security & Medicare visit this Website:

http://www.ssa.gov/

6, NewsWithViews Archive of Articles Written by Rosalind Peterson

http://newswithviews.com/Peterson/rosalindA.htm

7, Please visit the following website for a complete listing of all Social Security Bills that were introduced in either the U.S. House or Senate between January 1, 2011, and June 1, 2011. This website also details and links to speeches given on this subject by our elected officials.
http://www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/?q=social-security (Petition Located Here)

8, U.S. Social Security Totalization Agreement Listing and general information:
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/international/status.html
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/factsheets/USandMexico.htm
International Totalization Agreement Information: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/international/

10, The Washington Post – AARP Slammed for NOT Fighting Social Security & Medicare Cuts
June 17, 2011
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/aarp-slammed-for-not-fighting-social-security-cuts/2011/06/17/AGvvkKZH_story.html#

11, This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, June 17th, 2011:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/17/huffpost-hill—aarp-aban_n_879587.html
“…AARP WILLING TO PUSH GRANDMA OFF A CLIFF – A bombshell story from the Wall Street Journal reported this morning that the seniors lobbying powerhouse is now open to cutting Social Security benefits. While this would put the group at odds with progressive organizations, it would align it more closely with the USA, where the practice of abandoning one’s parents once they get old is a time-honored tradition. One progressive member of Congress phoned AARP furious and was told the story was bunk, but the group only put out an odd statement that called the story “misleading,” not denying a word of it. Third Way called it a “watershed moment in American politics.” Republicans in Congress said “hooray”…” [HuffPost] Interestingly enough, abandoning one’s parents is much easier than it used to be thanks largely to Social Security. Back in the old days you either had to take care of ‘em yourself or cart ‘em over to the poorhouse…”

12, Associated Press July 17, 2011: AARP slammed for NOT Fighting Social Security cuts
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER Associated Press
“…WASHINGTON—AARP, the powerful lobby for older Americans, was hammered Friday by fellow activists for refusing to oppose any and all cuts to Social Security benefits, a position the group says it has long held as a way to extend the life of the massive retirement and disability program…The group, which has 37 million Americans as members, adamantly opposes cutting Social Security benefits to help reduce the federal budget deficit, said David Certner, the organization’s director of legislative policy. But for years AARP has acknowledged that cuts to future benefits may be necessary to improve the program’s finances, he said…” What happened to make the simple decision to raise the income cap so that the rich pay their fair share of costs?
http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_18301086?source=commented-

13, Huffington Post April 4, 2011 AARP Tax-Exempt Status Questioned By Republicans in U.S. House Hearings http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/04/aarp-tax-exempt-republicans_n_844545.html
“…WASHINGTON — AARP…Republican lawmakers…called for the IRS to investigate whether the powerful interest group representing older Americans should be stripped of its federal tax exemption…”

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