It wasn't just white working-class Americans who recently voted against their own best economic interests in the 2014 mid-term elections, but seniors did as well. According to ABC News, seniors had voted Republican by 56-43 percent, and there are many more of them than young voters. This group has grown by 7 percent, making seniors 24 percent of the electorate, up from 17 percent in 2012.
Now this is what seniors can expect from the new GOP Congress. The New York Times now reports that Congressional Republicans intend to present a plan to overhaul Medicare, calling for vouchers that they call “premium supports” to steer people 65 and over into buying private health insurance. (In 2010 they were protesting against Obama: "Keep your hands off my Medicare!")
GOP leaders also intend to set up a new commission to study options on Social Security, while relying on what one House Republican aide called “the solid foundation” of the Paul Ryan budget plan.
According to Time magazine, “Retirement policy wasn’t on the ballot in last week’s midterm elections. But the new political landscape could threaten the retirement security of middle-class households.”
So with Republicans holding a majority in both the U.S. House and Senate, efforts to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits are more than likely.
Meanwhile, the disability program will be able to pay full benefits only through 2016. If Congress doesn’t act, 9 million disabled people will see their benefits cut by 20%. And with the additional Republican-controlled statehouses, also expect more efforts to curtail state and local workers’ public sector pension plans.
Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, writes that 55-64 year-olds must rely largely on the wealth they have accumulated for their retirement, and do not have time for an economic turnaround to improve their situation.
“[Dean Baker's] figures drive home the point that cuts to Social Security and Medicare would be untenable to tens of millions of seniors,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “Politicians who think that seniors could easily get by despite cuts are fooling themselves.”
And for younger Republican voters, also expect a big push by your political leaders to raise your age of retirement too. Work until you drop baby! And thanks again for voting against your own best interests!
Recently from Mother Jones -- This is the Left's Confidential $100 Million Plan to Win Back the States
"Beginning in 2015, Republicans will control 68 out of 98 partisan state legislative chambers, the most in the party's history. It will also hold 31 governorships ... and as states go, so often goes Congress—given that states draw the lines for congressional districts ... The [Left’s] goal: To notch more state-level victories and reclaim political power before the next round of congressional redistricting after the 2020 census."
Politico also has a post: The 10 states that could decide the next Senate [in 2016]. “The Republican map may not look so bad after all.” (It might not look bad for Republican politicians, but Republican voters are going to suffer just as much as Democratic voters.)
So I would guess that the Left’s "plan" is no longer "confidential"; but even if it succeeds, we will still have to wait another 6 more years before we can even begin to hope for more “progressive” values being represented in Congress (like saving Social Security and Medicare) — and that’s only IF a Democrat also wins the presidency in 2020 — and only IF someone like Elizabeth Warren were elected.
And who knows how long after 2020 it will take to reverse all the draconian legislation the Tea Party Congress will enact between now and then. There’s not very much “hope and change” to hang a hat on right now. If I were graduating from high school next year, I would be terrified of the direction this country is heading in right now with a GOP-controlled Congress.
For the time being, the funding for Social Security and Medicare is still at risk for many people under 50 — people who have not worked long enough and earned enough for Social Security credits when THEY want to retire. Now, with all the low-wage and part-time jobs (that college graduates are working), what hope in Hell does a high school grad have today of surviving until they’re old enough to retire? Especially if the retirement age is raised even higher, say to 70 or 75? Or if the GOP privatizes it and then we have another financial crash like we had in 2008.
I really feel very sorry for the younger generation (including young Republican voters), those who most likely will have a lifetime of severe financial struggle to look forward to. If they don’t wake up and start voting – and start voting for progressive Democratic candidates instead of Tea Party fanatics — they’re doomed. There might not even be Social Security waiting for them by the time they can retire (not if the GOP has their way).
And sadly, they will blame the Baby Boomers for screwing them, just as the Baby Boomers themselves might also get screwed by the Republicans.
As for all those Tea Party seniors: Now don't you feel real stupid for voting against Obama just because he's...