Hands Off Social Security and Medicare!

July 22, 2010

The Democratic and Republican politicians, along with the monopoly-controlled media, are engaged in a big campaign to prepare public opinion for dramatic cutbacks in Medicare and Social Security.

Recommendations for cutbacks are being prepared by a "deficit commission" established by the Obama administration. The politicians and media keep trying to create a real hysteria about the so-called impending "insolvency" of the Medicare and Social Security Trust Funds. And all the proposals being considered include some combination of cutting benefits, increasing taxes, raising the eligibility age and privatizing Medicare and Social Security.

No one should be fooled by the government crying "poverty." Everyone knows that our country has more than enough resources to guarantee the livelihoods and health of retired workers, whose life-time of labor have brought our country to its present stage of development. Everyone knows that the government itself soaks up a large part of these resources by taxing the working people to the bone. The real issue is not that our country cannot afford Medicare and Social Security but that the rich are demanding that all the public funds and resources of the country be put at their disposal – be turned over to the Wall Street bankers, the Pentagon arms merchants and other big capitalists.

The attacks on Medicare and Social Security are a real measure of the out-and-out barbarism of the monopoly capitalist class. Already Medicare and Social Security are severely underfunded, condemning millions of retired people to live in poverty and forcing them to pay up to 25% of their incomes for vitally needed health services. Over the last few years, the government has already raised the retirement age for Social Security benefits and repeatedly increased Medicare co-payments. With more cutbacks being proposed, the capitalists aim to force workers to labor for years past the point of exhaustion and after using them up completely leave them to fend for themselves or die.

The working class and people cannot sit by idly as monopoly capital prepares new attacks on Social Security and Medicare. We must not only unite our ranks and resist these attacks but come into the political arena with our own pro-social agenda that demands ironclad guarantees for the health of the population as well as income-security in old age, loss of capacity to work, etc. The starting point of such an agenda is to demand that the government Stop Paying the Rich and make all the investments needed in vital social programs.