Saturday, November 12, 2011

Not Quite Surprising News

According to the Republican presidential candidates, it's time to cut Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. The programs are too expensive and too poorly run to keep in their present form. That isn't all that surprising. Wall Street doesn't like all that money tied up in government programs when it could be all tied up in the banksters' and streeters' ledgers. And the Tea Partiers have made it clear that they want a smaller government and less money flowing from their pockets into the government coffers. The candidates, along with a lot of congress critters, have a mandate from the voters.

Or do they?

Perhaps not, according to a recent poll taken of Republican voters in Florida.

Florida Republican voters have a clear feeling about cuts to Medicare and Social Security: Don’t do it, according to a new poll by the AARP.

By wide margins, the survey shows that Republicans of all kinds — whether they’re Hispanic, moderates or in the tea party — would rather fix the nation’s budget by withdrawing from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, eliminating foreign aid or eliminating so-called tax loopholes. ...

The issues are particularly important in Florida, which has the largest number of retirees in the nation. The poll shows that 60 percent of the Republican primary voters in Florida are retired, and that 87 percent of all respondents say Social Security benefits are or will be important to their retirement. Nearly 45 percent say they rely on Medicare for health insurance.

If you think about it, this isn't all that surprising, either. It's a form, I guess, of NIMBYism. "Cut, but not those programs which are important to me." And the numbers are pretty dramatic:

But even modest changes to benefits for future retirees are opposed by 66 percent of voters, the poll shows. Only 27 percent favor future reductions, which could include raising the retirement age, though the poll didn’t specifically address that issue.

Asked if they favored or opposed reducing Medicare benefits to help reduce the deficit, only 22 percent liked the idea. About 70 percent didn’t.

When given predetermined choices to cut the deficit, most voters wanted to “eliminate tax loopholes” (40 percent), cut foreign aid (34 percent) or reduce involvement in foreign wars (18 percent).
[Emphasis added]

Quite a disconnect with the voters, there. And it just leaves Wall Street as wanting those government programs switched to the market place, which also is not all that surprising. After all, there has to be a reason why even some Democrats in Congress are willing to go after these programs in some grand attempt at reducing the deficit without hurting the feelings of our owners.

So the voters, regardless of party affiliation, have some work to do. One place to start is with the current crop of elected officials. Rep. John Conyers has an idea that I think is a good one. Click on over to his web site and join him in "co-sponsoring" a bill which will leave these programs in place. Let Congress know what the 99%, those who actually do the electing, think of shredding the safety net.

Like I said, it's a good place to start.

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Blogger Florence said...

Thanks for the link. I am now a co-sponsor. It just boggles my miond when I see older people in their walkers at Tea Party rallies. Where are their minds???

8:35 AM  

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