Friday’s House vote showed that if nothing else, the average tax-paying American has become disposable.
Disposable, as in a diaper, which gets filled with crap and then stuffed in a bag and thrown in a landfill. If not disposable, then at the very least, recyclable.
Don’t believe me? Here are some indisputable facts.
- While taxes keep getting lowered for the richest 1% of Americans, the average working schmuck pays more every day in taxes. Income taxes, gasoline taxes, sales taxes, recycling tax; soon there will be a tax on air. Between keeping Bush-era cuts in place and loopholes and breaks for the largest corporations, it is more likely that you pay more in taxes than most CEOs or corporations as a percentage of income.
- The job market, while starting to rebound, will never regain the 7 million jobs that were lost in the recession. This means if you are lucky enough to have a job, chances are you are working harder for less pay, and at the end of the week you are bringing home even less money (see #1). If you aren’t working, you already know there is a jobs shortage. You and the three hundred applicants for that last open position can attest to that. Everyone chants jobs, jobs, jobs when it suits them, but neither side has really rolled up their sleeves and worked at. Why? They already have jobs, jobs, jobs, and only care about getting you one when they have to run again for theirs.
- Public sector unions, the thing that was supposed to ensure that the public sector job that you took that no one else would because the pay was so low, would at least keep your family fed by cost of living increases and affordable health insurance, gone. Find me a teacher who is living high off the hog after years of no cost of living increase, skyrocketing health insurance premiums, and hundreds of dollars a month spent in supplies for her classroom. How is she to blame that people live longer and are able to actually take their benefits and retire? The system is bloated with payments? Then fix the system, don’t punish those who are supposed to educate the next generation.
- Health care reform has been re-reformed. Huh? Wait, there was a plan to reign in the spiraling cost of health care, make everyone accountable for obtaining coverage instead of expecting it for free, and ensuring that the insurance companies couldn’t deny coverage for those with pre-existing conditions? And you did what with that plan?
So now we get back to the vote. The House passed a budget that states anyone filing for Medicare benefits in 10 years, yes that means you Mr. & Mrs. 55-year-old empty nesters will not be enrolled in health care coverage. They will be given a voucher. For what you say? To go obtain coverage on their own.
Now here is the rub. Mr. 55-year-old has been working for the state all these years. He doesn’t have extended health care coverage any more with his union; it was taken away, along with his union card. He has been paying taxes all these years on lower earnings since the guaranteed cola’s went away, and with all the stress of the long hours and decreased benefits, he now has a heart condition.
What will his voucher get him in a system where there isn’t the assurance of being able to obtain an affordable health plan due to his pre-existing condition? Nothing. He won’t be able to afford coverage. He has outlived his usefulness. He is done earning an income, therefore isn’t paying taxes, and the members of the House don’t really care if he can or can’t afford the high insurance rates due to his heart condition. Planned recycling.
All I hear in my head right now is Charlton Heston, “Soylent Green is people!” How about you?