Last month, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor literally said Social Security “cannot exist if we want America to be what we want America to be.”
Then last week, House Budget Committee literally approved the end of Medicare as guaranteed affordable comprehensive health insurance for every retired American. The full House is expected to follow suit this week.
House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan didn't quite suffer the same momentary flash of honesty that his colleague Rep. Cantor did, as his budget still includes something called “Medicare.”
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But as the head of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains, Ryan's attempt to shuttle all seniors into private health insurance plans with limited subsidies would actually create “a two-tier health care system and would effectively result in more rationing on the basis of income.”
Ryan flinched from spelling out in his budget how exactly Republicans would gut Social Security too — though his budget proposal subtly sets the stage for deep cuts
But he, like most Republican congresspeople, have backed Social Security privatization. And Rep. Cantor's recent comments give away that the new conservative agenda to kill Social Security forever isn't any different from the conservative agenda of the last 75 years.
And now the House is prepared to put all its representatives on record for and against this radical budget, seeking to eviscerate the covenants our government has forged with its people to successfully ensure retirement security.
According to Politico, there are a fair amount of “vulnerable” Republican congresspeople who are not very appreciative of their leaders forcing them to choose between Tea Party conservative purists or retired voters … and the rest of sane America who will still hope to be able retire someday.
The vote will be had. The record will be established. And afterwards, it will up to us to show America what that vote means under the surface of intentionally confusing policy jargon: they don't want Social Security and Medicare to exist.
Campaign for America's Future is already shining a harsh light on Rep. Cantor's comment, launching an ad buy in Central Virginia simply making sure his constituents hear his words.
There will be a lot more education to do after this week's budget vote.