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Republican neocons long yearned to end progressive New Deal and Great Society programs, especially Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security by privatizing them, handing them to Wall Street as lucrative investment opportunities, harming beneficiaries in the process.
The tax cut heist they hope to present to Trump for a signing ceremony before Christmas is much more than transferring more wealth from ordinary Americans to corporate predators and super-rich ones.
A complementary goal is eroding social justice more than already, ultimately wanting it eliminated altogether, returning America to 19th century harshness – class warfare worse than now.
The scheme includes cutting, then ending welfare for impoverished households, restricting then eliminating food stamps and housing assistance, destroying the remnants of collective bargaining, turning workplaces into sweatshops, paying workers poverty wages, abolishing benefits, allowing child labor, agricultural and other slave labor more than already, along with other dystopian aims.
Neocon House Speaker Paul Ryan said “(w)e’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” adding:
“Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements – because that’s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking.”
Medicare and Social Security aren’t entitlements. They’re federal insurance programs, not welfare, funded by worker-employer payroll tax deductions – contractual government obligations to eligible recipients.
Ryan and other congressional hardliners want maximum federal revenues freed up for militarism, warmaking, and tax cuts for the rich, the nation’s most vulnerable left increasingly on their own, the middle class fast disappearing, poverty America’s leading growth industry.
In 2009, the Wall Street Journal claimed Medicare would be “depleted by 2017,” Social Security by “2037.”
Neither program is endangered, both fiscally sound, needing only modest adjustments at times, threatened only by congressional hardliners wanting them weakened and ended.
Candidate Trump pledged no cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The GOP tax cut heist takes dead aim at the first two, slashing them, the latter one coming later.
Following passage of the Senate tax cut bill, Trump urged Congress to cut welfare spending. He wants it ended, deep cuts coming next year.
Welfare benefits already are minimal, way below what’s needed. Further cuts will cause more harm than already to America’s most vulnerable.
Senate Finance Committee chairman Orin Hatch wants “liberal programs” for the poor ended, saying:
“We’re spending ourselves into bankruptcy. Now, let’s just be honest about it. We’re in trouble. This country is in deep debt.”
“You don’t help the poor by not solving the problems of debt, and you don’t help the poor by continually pushing more and more liberal programs through.”
Ryan deplorably claimed welfare “trap(s) people in poverty and effectively pay(s) people not to work.”
Real unemployment is 22%, not the phony Labor Department’s 4.1%. Millions of Americans can’t employment. Most available jobs are rotten ones, millions of others offshored to low-wage countries, not coming back as Trump claimed he’d do.
Protracted Main Street Depression conditions exist for ordinary Americans while rich ones never had things better, the nation transformed into a banana republic run by dark forces and oligarchs.
GOP hardliners favor policies making things tougher than already, calling for deficit reduction on the backs of ordinary people, harming them while deficit spending increases.
Things ahead look bleak for the nation’s most vulnerable – so its privileged class can benefit more than already.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”