●The more budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.
●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
●To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments.
●Austerity = poverty and leads to civil disorder.
●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
This isn’t news to you. Readers of this blog know the American Association of Retired People (AARP) is a shill for the upper 1% income group.
But I continue to be impressed with the cleverness of their anti-99% message. They pretend to offer a helping hand, while the other hand stabs you in the back. Here’s an example.
According to AARP, Patricia Barry is a “Medicare expert.” Read this direct quote from the AARP website:
Patricia Barry, senior editor of the AARP Bulletin and its online Ms. Medicare columnist, is a recognized authority on Medicare and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. She has written extensively about Medicare and other health care issues for consumers and is author of the book Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage For Dummies (Wiley, 2008).
They even provide a photo of Ms. Barry, a kindly, grandmotherly type.
Really, would this sweet, honest, “Mayberryesque” face ever lie to you?
At What’s in Store for Medicare? gentle Ms. Barry pretends to evaluate several plans meant to “save” Medicare.
She lists the pros and cons of each plan, but these pros and cons are a decoy. They are not the real message. The real message to AARP members is: Medicare will run out of money unless taxes are increased or benefits decreased.
That is the myth with which the upper 1% income group indoctrinates the lower 99%. The purpose: To spread the income gap between the two. The greater the gap, the greater the power the 1% has over the 99%.
In the guise of being helpful, AARP hides the fact that Medicare cannot run out of money unless Congress wants it to run out of money.
Here are a few excerpts from Ms. Barry’s article:
Changing the way Medicare pays for benefits: Under the Ryan plan — known as “premium support” to its proponents and as a “voucher system” to its critics — the government would allow you a certain sum of money to buy coverage from competing private plans or from a revised version of traditional Medicare.
This would put Medicare on a budget to hold down spending and reduce the tax burden on future generations.
Of course, no Medicare plan can “reduce the tax burden on future generations,” simply because there is no relationship between Medicare benefits and Medicare taxes. Medicare taxes could be zero, and Medicare still could continue as always — even increase benefits.
In a Monetarily Sovereign government like ours, federal taxes do not pay for federal spending. The government actually creates dollars by spending.
But the upper 1%, with AARP’s connivance, want you to believe the 99% must sacrifice for the sake of “future generations.” (Never mind that cutting benefits is guaranteed to burden future generations.)
And then there’s this:
Raising Medicare eligibility age to 67: Eligibility for Medicare has always been at age 65, except for younger people with disabilities. This proposal aims to gradually bring Medicare in line with Social Security, where full retirement age is now 66 and set to rise to 67 by 2027.
With more Americans living longer, and health spending on older people rising, we can’t afford Medicare at age 65.
Oh, kindly Ms. Barry, who is the “we” who can’t afford Medicare at age 65? Surely you don’t mean our federal government, which being Monetarily Sovereign, has the unlimited ability to create dollars.
And note the subtle message — “bring Medicare in line with Social Security.” See, it really isn’t a benefit reduction; it just brings Medicare “in line.” Doesn’t everyone want things to be “in line”?
Raising Medicare premiums for higher-income people: Most people pay monthly premiums for Part B, which covers doctors’ services and outpatient care, and for Part D prescription drug coverage. People with incomes over a certain level — those whose tax returns show a modified adjusted gross income of $85,000 for a single person or $170,000 for a married couple — pay higher premiums.
For: The easiest way to bring in more money for Medicare would be to raise the premiums even more for higher income people — so that the wealthiest older people pay the full cost and receive no taxpayer-funded subsidy. Another option is to lower the income level at which the higher premium charge kicks in, so that more people have to pay it.
By pretending the tax hits “wealthiest older people,” angelic Ms. Barry neglected to mention two details: Medicare taxes are paid against salaries, not against other forms of income. But for the 1%, salaries are a minor part of income. Raising the tax rate would affect salaried workers — the middle classes, while leaving the upper 1% largely unscathed.
And Medicare costs are a much larger percentage of the 99%’s income than of the upper 1%’s income. Any tax increase or benefit decrease hurts the 99% while barely being noticed by the 1%.
And, of course, there is no need to “bring in more money for Medicare.”
Changing medigap supplemental insurance: About one in six people with Medicare buys private supplemental insurance, also known as medigap. It covers some of their out-of-pocket expenses under traditional Medicare, such as the 20 percent copayments typically required for Part B services. This option would limit medigap coverage, requiring people to bear more out-of-pocket costs.
People buy medigap to limit their out-of-pocket spending in Medicare. But because they pay less, they tend to use more Medicare services, increasing the burden for taxpayers.
Ms. Barry suggests another clever way to cut Medicare benefits: Make benefits more expensive. Force people to pay more out of their own savings, a true burden on the 99%, though meaningless for the upper 1%.
Adding copays for some services: Medicare does not charge copays for home health care, the first 20 days in a skilled nursing facility — rehab after surgery, for example — or for laboratory services such as blood work and diagnostic tests. Several proposals would require copays for one or all of these.
Added copays would discourage unnecessary use of these services. Over 10 years, copays could save Medicare up to $40 billion for home health, $21 billion for stays in skilled nursing facilities and $16 billion for lab tests.
Subtle and clever, too — discourage “unnecessary” use. Of course, it would discourage necessary use, too, further burdening the 99%.
At no time has Ms. Barry or any voice of AARP expressed even the slightest skepticism about the need for increasing taxes or cutting benefits. Rather, by various “helpful” means, AARP spreads the myth that the 99% must sacrifice more.
This is what we see happening in Europe, with ever more future austerity being promoted as the solution to . . . well, to current austerity. Europe is the model for America’s 1%, where the middle- and lower-classes are being subjugated by the upper 1% class.
AARP, a private organization run by wealthy people, is a perfect propaganda arm for the upper 1%, in that it masquerades as an ally of the 99%. It’s like having your own grandma steal from your retirement plan, while she tells you how much she loves you.
Anyway, the real solution for Medicare is this: The federal government should eliminate FICA and provide free Medicare to every man, woman and child in America. Period.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption + Net exports