It is unbelievable but true that in these times of social unrest and ever widening income disparity, the Democrats still buy into the conservative ideology that programs to further enrich the wealthy must always be paid for by our country's most vulnerable citizens. And even more egregiously in this particular case, it's tax breaks for tax cheats!
From Talking Points Memo's Brian Beutler, here's how the latest proposed social safety net slashing will work:
The government uses a measure known as Modified Adjusted Gross Income to determine Medicaid eligibility. Currently, though, it only incorporates the taxable portion of Social Security income in that calculation. Under this proposal, it would factor in all Social Security benefits. That means some seniors who currently qualify for Medicaid would no longer be eligible. Doing this would save about $14.6 billion over 10 years — more than the cost of repealing the 3 percent withholding compliance measure.This stinks of more corrupt collusion between the Democrats and Republicans, two barely distinguishable factions of the same oligarchic uniparty. And to think we were under the illusion that the OccupyWallStreet movement would strike fear into their venal withered hearts. They actually have no hearts. The Washington Post has all the sordid details here.
In sum: make it easier for big contractors to cheat on their taxes, and covering the cost by limiting Medicaid eligibility for sick old people.
Obama himself was schmoozing at one of his endless series of $35,000-a-plate fundraisers just across the bay from Oakland the other night as riot police attacked peaceful protesters, lobbing tear gas and shooting rubber bullets into their encampment. Earlier yesterday, he joked with Jay Leno on the "Tonight" show before heading to yet another soiree at the home of Hollywood stars Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith.
The usual Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, will make their usual aggrieved noises over the latest Obama betrayal. Nancy Pelosi will remain stonily silent in her passive-aggressive way, but the deal most likely will go through. These deals always do, not in small part because Obama is the Earner in Chief, holding the key to an expected billion dollar Democratic war chest. Those who don't fall in line run the risk of having their careers redistricted out of existence.
|While Occupy Oakland Burns|
** Update 10/27: The House voted to move forward with both bills last night, with just a few Democrats making a noise against the deal. New rules designed to keep the more affluent poor off Medicaid will not take effect until 2014, when all of us will be magically under the thrall of the private insurance companies, and Obamacare theoretically swings into full gear. So if you're currently receiving Social Security plus Medicaid, you're okay for a few more years. Of course, who knows what other goodies the super-secretive Super Committee has up its sleeve to balance the budget?