Obama’s Budget. US Heading Toward a Social Explosion. Millions More People to be Thrown into Poverty
By Joseph Kishore
April 12, 2013
The Obama administration’s budget released on Wednesday is a historic milestone. The Democratic Party administration is taking direct aim at the two core federal social programs established in the United States in the 20th Century, Social Security and Medicare.
The consequences of Obama’s proposals are not hard to predict: millions more people, particularly the elderly, will be thrown into poverty or be cut off from life-preserving medical care.
The corporate and financial elite that runs the United States has long complained of the “unreasonable” sums of money spent on preserving the health and well-being of the elderly. In the minds of the Wall Street speculators and corporate executives that control both political parties, broad sections of the population simply live too long.
While the administration and the corporate media have sought to downplay the significance of the attack, the cuts proposed are a significant step in dismantling the programs altogether. The $400 billion in Medicare cuts, when combined with the $500 billion already included as part of the administration’s health care overhaul, add up to 13 percent of total spending on the program over the next decade.
As for Social Security, by modifying the way the government calculates inflation, the program will be cut by $130 billion. According to one analysis, for a worker retiring at the age of 65, this will amount to a loss of $650 a year in benefits by the time the worker reaches 75, and a loss of $1,130 by the time he reaches 85. About 70 percent of seniors depend on the already meager benefits for at least half of their income, with 40 percent depending on it to keep them above the poverty line.