Granny Bird Award: Newt Gingrich
It's time for another Granny Bird Award, an award given in recognition of those misanthropes who adversely affect the rights and interests of the elders, especially if they go out of their way to do so. The latest recipient is Newt Gringrich, formerly Speaker of the House and current Republican candidate for President for his newest edition of the Contract For America.
From McClatchy DC:
Newt Gingrich unveiled a new "Contract With America" on Thursday, a set of proposals he said would lay the groundwork for righting America's fortunes were he to become president. ...
the new contract contains four sections - a set of 10 legislative reforms; a pledge to sign as many as 200 executive orders on the first day in office; a training program about limited government for appointees and transition team members; and using social media to involve citizens in pushing the reforms. (Some of the proposals had previously been suggested by Gingrich.)
The legislative reforms include repealing the federal health care plan and replacing it with a market-based program that includes tax breaks for those who purchase insurance; reducing the corporate tax rate to 12.5 percent; eliminating capitals gains and estate taxes and allowing residents to file under a simplified flat tax option. He would also repeal financial regulations, allow the partial privatizing of Social Security and Medicare, and require the jobless to participate in training programs in order to receive unemployment benefits. [Emphasis added]
Apparently Mr. Gingrich has a short memory. Either that, or he's counting on the American public, especially the elders, to have a short memory. The last time the issue of privatizing Social Security came up (under George W. Bush), the idea went nowhere. Now, after the economy sank under the malfeasance of Wall Street banksters and during a time of upheaval in the markets, Mr. Gingrich wants to go even further in building the bank accounts of stockbrokers than Bush did by bailing them out.
Elders don't have time to wait for the market to stop bouncing up and down like a yo-yo. The uncertainty gives us agida. We want the certainty of the traditional means of funding and guaranteeing our meager safety net, especially since most of us don't have the benefit of employer funded pensions. And we want the next generation to have the same certainty. That was the original intent behind the creation of the program by President Roosevelt who faced even worse economic times.
Mr. Gingrich's retread belongs in the scrap heap of history he dragged it from.