Sunday, September 05, 2004

Sticking it to senior citizens
Someone has to pay for Bush's spend-happy ways. It's bad enough that massive, record-breaking deficits of 2001-4 will have to be paid for by future generations. Just like we had to spend some of our surplus from the great Clinton economic years tackling the debt piled on us by Reagan and Bush I, future adminstrations will be shackled by our debts. But add to that insult the injury of shifting responsibility for the revenue that is coming in now.

The last month has seen confirmation of just who Bush and Cheney think should be footing the bill--at least that part of it we're paying now--for the wars, the rising health care costs, the tax cuts for the wealthy, the public education initiatives, the business subsidies, and the various safety net programs:

1. The middle class and the working poor should assume the income tax burden.
2. State and local governments should figure it out for themselves how to fund federal mandates and the needs of its citizens, including homeland security.
3. Veterans and active military, who are being asked to pay more of their health care costs, education for their children, are denied the child income tax credit for low-income families, all while being asked to serve longer (or return to service), in more danger. Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan would have also had their pay cut if Bush had his way.

And now we can add to that:
4. Senior Citizens. In a move that defies all election-year political logic, the Bush Administration has decided to show they can win while still pissing off senior citizens. Or maybe they're hoping those on Medicare won't notice that their premiums are going up 17%, the largest increase in the program's history, while the social security checks most seniors depend on for their income will increase less than 3%. Team Bush must be proud because they made the announcement on Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend when the news in Florida was all about the hurricane. The largest Medicare increase ever. Are they out of their minds?

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