A person who is callous is someone showing insensitive and cruel disregard for others, and a sane human being would certainly consider a hardened-criminal callous. Unless one has been comatose for the past six years, a sane human being would also likely consider that Republicans are innately callous human beings based on their barbaric and cruel political agendas; particularly towards other Americans.
It would be futile to search for any Republican legislation, policy, or crusade over the past six years that did not focus on taking something away from the American people whether it is robbing women of their right to choose their own reproductive health, stealing food from hungry children in poverty, or denying retirees their pensions. Now, a Republican aspiring to be the party’s presidential nominee has shown his, and the party’s, callousness by telling an elderly person he wants to slash their Social Security retirement benefits and they will just “have to get over it.”
Republicans have dreamt of eliminating Social Security since its inception, and since the Koch brothers who demand the government retirement program be abolished took control of the GOP, “reforming” (slashing) Social Security “entitlements” has become a primary goal of Republicans. Over the weekend while campaigning in New Hampshire, Ohio governor and callous Republican John Kasich promoted his plan to slash Social Security. If any current or future benefit recipient does not like it, they have to get over it because Kasich is on a mission and he could not care less whether or not the elderly are adversely affected by his “entitlement reforms.”
When the Ohio Republican was queried about his proposed entitlement reform in New Hampshire on Friday, he said it was something that he definitely would get done because denying retirees their Social Security benefits is too important to Republicans. Kasich mocked Democrats who said they were opposed to touching Social Security entitlements and said, “We can’t balance a budget without entitlement reform. What are we, kidding?” Kasich went on to say he drove the Medicare and Medicaid reform movement of the 1990s, and that he already has plans in place to slash Social Security benefits in order to balance the budget.
Now, besides being callous, Kasich is either a typical Republican liar or a complete and ignorant fool. By now, everyone knows that Social Security is forbidden by its charter to add to, or take one penny from, the budget, the debt, or the deficit; even Republican demigod Ronald Reagan admitted that point. Likely, Kasich knows that is the case and it is why his justification for proposing retirement benefit cuts is all the more callous. After lying to the gathered crowd that unless Social Security is ravaged the nation will crumble and fail, Kasich asked audience members to raise their hands if they were receiving Social Security, and if they would be bothered if their benefits were slashed for the good of the country. Only one brave person said, “Yes, it will be a problem” and Kasich fired back that “well, you’d get over it, and you’re going to have to get over it.”
According to Kasich, his callous disregard for the plight of seniors barely surviving on their meager Social Security benefits is borne of a nasty Republican lie that the Trust is broke and dying, adding to the debt and deficit. Subsequently, Kasich says it falls on Americans who paid into the Trust their entire working lives to forfeit their benefits for the “good of the country.” However, Social Security is not broke, or dying, and if Kasich is remotely interested in guaranteeing the senior retirement system is flush with money into perpetuity his “reform” plan would entail the only guaranteed and simple reform; eliminate, not just raise, the cap on earnings to make the system fair and solvent forever.
As it stands now, all Americans earning up to $118,500 annually pay the same rate of Social Security payroll tax, but after that figure the rate drops substantially. As an aside, with the median income hovering somewhere around $43,500 annually, earnings over $118,500 would be regarded as “rich” to most Americans. In fact, according to a new survey, most Americans, over 70 percent, favor phasing out the salary cap on Social Security as the only plan to ensure the popular program’s long-term viability. The vice president for Income Security Policy at the National Academy of Social Insurance, Virginia Reno, noted that
“At a time when the nation seems deeply divided about the proper size and role of government, Americans show remarkably widespread agreement on Social Security. Over seventy percent of survey participants prefer a proposal that eliminates Social Security’s long-term financing gap without cutting benefits.”
Too bad, says callous Kasich and every other Republican. Conservatives beholden to the rich will never raise, much less eliminate, the cap for any reason; under Republicans the elderly will take the benefit cuts, and “have to get over it” like it or not even if it is their retirement savings.
The Ohio governor did not say how much he would cut Social Security benefits, but he did note that his cuts will start with baby boomers and that people would see “a lot lower benefit” than they were promised or planned for. When Kasich was criticized for his callous disregard for seniors barely making ends meet with Social Security retirement, he dismissed the criticism as “silly” and said “difficult” changes are necessary in order to stabilize Social Security. He also blamed Democrats for “allowing the program to go bankrupt” and condemned them for failing to focus on “Republican” proposals to fix the problem. Proposals that always entail slashing benefits and raising the retirement age instead of eliminating the unfair income cap.
Every time a Republican says the word reform, it means drastic cuts. It does not matter if it is corporate tax reform, regulatory reform, or the GOP’s favorite “entitlement reform,” as if Medicare and Social Security are free handouts or welfare. Every working American pays into Medicare and Social Security and they expect to receive the benefits they paid for and are “entitled to” whether Republicans like it or not.
Social Security was enacted to give Americans who toiled and helped build America “security in their old age,” but like anything meant to benefit the people of this country, Republicans exist to take it and give it to the rich. There is precious little attention given when Republican “reforms” take food, housing assistance, and healthcare away from poor children, but even less attention for their crusade to take retirement and healthcare benefits away from the elderly; likely because Republican callousness is infecting the entire population.
If Kasich was not a typical lying Republican, one might overlook his apparent callousness and possibly believe his “entitlement reform” interest is preserving Social Security long into the future. But he is a lying Republican and his only proposition to “preserve” the Trust is cutting benefits and telling seniors to “get over it” instead of eliminating the cap. This shows he has nothing but cruel disregard for Americans hoping they have a secure old age, something Republicans have spent 80 years trying to eliminate.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.