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Cold Hearted Bastards
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Fifty Senators Just Slapped Grandma In The Face

By James Donahue

After Social Security payments became frozen, President Barack Obama’s proposal to help make up the difference by issuing $250 stimulus payments to the nation’s seniors, veterans and handicapped was rejected 50-47 in the U.S. Senate this week.

The rejection by an ultra conservative pack of both Republican and “Blue Dog” Democrats (conservative wolves posing as Democratic sheep) affects 57 million seniors, veterans and disabled Americans now saddled with fixed incomes that are not keeping pace with their cost of living.

The payments would have added $13 billion to a $108 billion job stimulus issue still pending in the Senate. And the split vote suggests that the rest of the package may also be in jeopardy even though it is to small to be very effective in getting many people back to work. The bill primarily offers tax relief to small businesses.

A $862 billion stimulus package approved last year has been somewhat effective in starting road and bridge construction work, saving teacher’s jobs and launching other construction work that has reportedly helped stave off the dramatic rise in unemployment. But critics say the package was not enough to really help put Americans back to work.

Instead, billions in borrowed stimulus money went to banks, automobile makers, insurance companies and other big business interests considered “too big to fail.” The banks, in turn, have been reluctant to loan badly needed money to small businesses to get the economy moving again after the economy plunged into one of the most serious downturns since the Great Depression. Millions of Americans are now left jobless and a growing number of these also are homeless.

Those stimulus amounts are small potatoes . . . hardly a dent in a national debt that is now growing into the trillions of dollars. Blocking the payments on the pretense of capping runaway government spending now amounts to pure meanness on the part of those 50 senators.

Social Security payments will remain flat this year because annual adjustments are linked to consumer prices. The overall prices of goods and services decreased in the midst of the recession.

Ironically, the cost of the things seniors spend most of their money for have increased. They use medical services and supplies, food and transportation costs. Gasoline, bus and taxi fares have increased as has the price of food and medicine. The cost of doctor and hospital visits has gone through the roof.

While seniors enjoy Medicare coverage, they struggle to meet the yearly deductable payments that must be met before Medicare kicks in. Rumors are spreading that the new proposed Health Care Bill may cut Medicare benefits and possibly increase those deductable payments. Because they can’t afford the deductibles, many seniors avoid seeing a doctor until it is absolutely necessary.

With so many people out of work, many seniors are currently providing food and shelter for their adult, unemployed and homeless siblings, or else doling out a portion of their retirement money to help their children make rent or mortgage payments and feed the grandchildren.

This is why that $250 check would have meant a lot to seniors all over the country during these trying times. That does not seem like a lot of money, but when people are struggling to cover their heat, electric and utility bills, and choosing between medicine and the price of a next meal, that check would make a real difference.

From where we sit, America’s seniors perceive those high paid U.S. Senators, comfortably seated in that ivory tower on Capitol Hill, as a pack of cold hearted bastards. The whole pack of conservatives, no matter what party they claim, should be voted out of office or recalled as soon as possible.

Even if we do that, they will go home to guaranteed retirement benefits nearly as large as the salaries they now receive, plus the best health care insurance avaiilable anywhere. And they do not deserve it. They voted these wonderful benefits for themselves, but now refuse to put a hand out for the constituents who voted them in office.

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