Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An Open Letter to President Obama

Mr. President:

I am a 46 year-old male who understands that if a couple of Presidents like you should succeed you, I will not retire at 65, nor probably at 70. Most likely, I will not retire in the United States; if I have enough to retire on anywhere else, I will have to leave, my money with me.

If you are really thinking of raising the eligibility age for Medicare and of cutting Social Security Benefits in your desire to be re-elected or to appear as an adult who is capable of striking political compromise with unrelenting opponents, then know this: you are a traitor.

If you think that traitor is too strong a word, please consider this: In doing what you propose, why even in simply proposing it, you are betraying the promise that past generations have made to future ones, that they would get what they had been promised, when they were due to get it.

Worse, you are choosing to cut benefits (because a delayed benefit or a smaller benefit are cuts) instead of going to get the money we'd need to keep things intact where you should be looking for it: reducing the size and the budget of the military, which are ridiculously bloated; going after corporations who export not only profits (to tropical tax havens), but American jobs (read "lives); taxing the truly rich at rates that would be higher than they have been since President Clinton left office, but still lower than the rates the rich have paid, even for most of the Reagan presidency. Those, may I suggest, are a few things that a progressive President would have fought for. Instead, you are ready to sacrifice the futures of people who have already sacrificed much and have little left to look forward but the hope of relative tranquility in retirement. In essence, you are saying to them that seniors have it too good, and that delaying their life-saving benefits for two years would be a step in the right direction.

If that is not betrayal, Mr. President, I don't know what is.

Moreover, the message you are sending to those who would vote for you or any other Democrat is this: Why bother? If electing a Democrat means that things will get worse just a little slower than under a Republican, and not better, than you are giving your party's potential electors a good reason not to bother. In fact, perhaps it would be better if the country went to hell faster, under a series of Republicans. That way we'll find out quicker where rock bottom is, and what will happen when we hit it.

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