Monday, January 14, 2013

Cut Military Spending, Not Grandma's Social Security and Medicare.

The Republican Party has long wanted to slash Social Security and Medicare benefits that are literally the difference between homelessness and/or sickness and death for: the elderly, the disabled and the sick. So, now that our economy is still slow, they are seeking to cut those benefits to lower our debt. There are other ways of saving money, but I'll get into that a little further into the post.

I was declared legally disabled by a federal court because of a severe psychiatric disorder called, schizoaffective disorder, which is essentially a chemical imbalance in the brain that creates symptoms of both bipolar and schizophrenia. The unpredictability of the symptoms combined with their severity makes it impossible to consistently hold down a job. Thus, I am on Medicare, so that I can afford the 6 heavy medications needed to give me a basic level of stability. This pills are by no means a cure--I still endure symptoms despite the medications but the medications help somewhat.

I receive social security payments (that I earned when I was able to work) to help pay for the Medicare. If Congress (Republicans) cut my social security then I may not be able to afford my medications, which means my condition worsens and I risk suicide or hospitalization. I couldn't afford hospitalization, so that would be payed by the tax-payers, which is a lot more expensive than simply continuing Medicare paying for the medications I take to keep me out of the hospital. If Medicare was slashed then there would be increased hospitalizations of the psychologically disabled, and long-term care in a government hospital is much costlier than supporting subsided medical care for the most vulnerable (people on medicare and medicaid).

The US spends more on its military than any other country, by far. We could reduce our military spending immensely and still have the biggest, most powerful military in the world. The Pentagon, even, has called for cuts to their spending but Republicans refuse to take them up on the offer. So, why continue paying for military weapons that we don't need? Well, a lot of Republicans want to shield the corporations that make money off weapons of war, and war itself. Why? Because those corporations fill the pockets of a lot of Republican politicians. In the end, it's about priorities--ending the Afghanistan war alone would help a lot. Then we don’t have to cut grandma’s social security and Medicare.

You have to question the morals of a society that would rather spend its money on weapons of war than healing the sick and caring for the disabled and elderly. I would ask Christian Republicans, "What would Jesus do?" Do you think he'd rather help the most vulnerable members of society or spend that money on weapons of war that our military doesn't even need?

I believe we can save money in Social Security and Medicare by further means-testing. In other words, people who make millions of dollars don't need these benefits. These programs should be limited to the most vulnerable, which would reduce the burden on the system. There are several ways to solve a problem.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Gerrymandering Is to Blame for Dysfunctional Congress.

One of the biggest threats to American democracy is gerrymandered districts. They isolate districts to areas that favor one party over another. Therefore, they don't truly represent the diversity of America. This is why we see so much political extremism in Congress today. Since they are gerrymandered districts, they become "safe seats" that essentially eliminate competition (from the other party) for the congress-members representing those districts. The way to end grid-lock in Congress is to reform congressional representation allocation. I realize it's not as "fun" or "exciting" as sports, or t.v., but it truly is the foundation to why we have a dysfunctional Congress.

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