To The [decision makers}
I am a 58-year old woman who is fighting liver disease and cannot work. My husband is a disabled Viet Nam vet with 3 purple hearts (he was a medic).
With his social security, VA benefits (100% disabled) and a small annuity from the Post Office (out of which Medicare premium is automatically deducted), we manage to live a somewhat skewed version of the American Dream. What I mean is we are holding on with teeth and toenails to lower middle class status.
My husband and I have worked since our teens and were never given a choice about the social security deducted from our paychecks. Neither were our employers given any choice about paying for 1/2 of the social security tax..
If we do not get any money on the 1st or 3rd of next month, we will be living out of our 17 year old truck in a month or so. First, we will go through the IRAs that I managed to deposit as a single parent.. At the end of 3 months, I will be dead because I cannot afford the drugs to fight my disease without the VA insurance.
Do you know that there are WWII and Korean vets still living? I see them at the VA Hospital in San Antonio. They are proud Americans and I hate to think that they will not be getting their medicines, groceries and rent money. It is hard to be homeless in a non-motorized wheelchair. None of them are rich! They are old, ill and defenseless.
There are also tens of thousands of Viet Nam vets that had their health destroyed by being exposed to Agent Orange. They take medicine for diabetes, enlarged hearts, damaged livers and lungs. These vets were betrayed when they came home to be called baby killers,to be spit upon and to be beaten. Throughout the years, some of the damage has been healed. I always cry when I see one Viet Nam vet say to another, "Welcome, home." No one ever welcomed them home!. Many are homeless and some are mentally ill or addicted to substances. They beg for a living and wonder what happened to their life. It is a brutal picture, but it is the truth.
Now, what are you going to do? Cut their Social Security and Medicare? Will you take their VA disability as well? How are they to survive?
What about Supplement Social Security, the last safety net for people with mental and physical handicaps too severe to allow them to work in a regular job?
One more person, I wish to discuss. My husband's mother is 89 years old. She is bedridden and is cared for at home by the family because there is not money for frivolous expenditures, like physical therapy, rehabilitation or nursing home. When the check does not come on the 3rd, this 89- year old women will not understand. Her family will try to explain it to her. At least I will try. To tell you the truth, I do not understand.
The Social Security fund was never to have been part of the Federal Budget. Due to moves, which probably were illegal, the surplus has been robbed from the fund. Even so, the fund can continue, as it does today, until 2038. Then benefits will be reduced to 75%.of their benefit level.
If mass extinction of the old, ill and defenseless is the answer to this budget crunch--to all the money wasted on oil and gas subsidies, corporate loopholes, wars and foreign aid, there are more humane ways to eliminate us. I would prefer a head shot without warning.
AARP is not standing still on this one. Please visit their site to take action. Take action before they take away everything for which we have worked our entire lives.
While you are visiting AARP, try to Balance the Deficit,. This is not rocket science. The first time I tried it I took ten minutes, the second time, I only took five. Politicians take note!