My wife and I have been stewing the last few weeks since the election. Every time we turn on the TV news (mostly MSNBC) it seems that, although the GOP claimed before the election that President Obama and the Democrats were cutting Medicare, they were actually proposing to cut “entitlements.” Instead of noticing something amiss, almost everyone in the big-media seems to agree that such cuts are “the only way to come to agreement on the budget.”
You might expect the Republicans to be dishonest hypocrites, and that the media would pretend to be clueless, but even some Democrats, like my former governor Ed Rendell, are calling Medicare “entitlements” that should be “on the table.”
I’ve been working for over 30 years in the food industry, and I’ve been watching politics for just as long. I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t some business person, pundit or politician somewhere saying that we need to cut the budget. And often, before they even put a period at the end of their never-ending deficit sermons, they wanted to spend money on something that only helped guys like big defense contractors, pharmaceutical giants, Wall Street, or health insurance companies.
Anyway, I decided to let my representatives in DC know that I, as an American voter, am the boss. And I want them to be clear about my expectations for their job performance. Including how I feel about the latest attempt to put our Medicare money in the pockets of the top 2%...
Of course like any good boss, I also wanted to give encouragement for good performance and since I consider President Obama to be my representative too, I started at the top and sent him the following email:
Dear President Obama-Then feeling feisty, I decided to let my Democratic Senator in PA, Bob Casey know my expectations for his job in the Senate. And I must say, as his boss, I didn’t like the fact I had to leave a voice-mail message for him instead of talking to a real person. Anyway, here is what I said:
Great job on your re-election. You even motivated me to donate to, and volunteer for, your campaign.
Please do not give in to the GOP and raise the age of Medicare. In fact, I want you to lower the age of Medicare. Any smart business person will tell you the more customers you have; the lower the per-person cost of any product or service becomes.
By framing this proposal as a smart business move, which it would be, you could completely change the misimpression that the GOP is better for business. Such a change in Medicare could help the Democratic Party get elected for decades to come.
Thanks for your help.
Your strong supporter.
Please do not even think about raising the age of Medicare. I voted for you because I thought you would protect Medicare and Social Security. I expect you to do your job and stop anyone trying to use these vital programs to balance the budget. You need to show some leadership by standing up to the GOP, and just say no to any cuts that hurt the middle-class.And now on to the fun part of my job; putting the GOP poor-performers on notice that, to paraphrase Mitt Romney, “I like to fire politicians.”
I called my public servant, Pat Toomey, and a pleasant young lady took the following message:
Tell Senator Toomey to not even think about raising the age of Medicare or making other cuts to our benefits, including Social Security. They are not entitlements, they are earned-benefits and I have been working all my life, to pay plenty for those programs with the understanding that they would be there when I retire.The young lady remained cheerful, and with a good sense of humor, replied “Yes sir! I’ll let the Senator know how strongly you feel.”
You better not even consider using that money for foolish things like tax cuts for those who already have plenty of money. Get creative, think outside-the-box and find ways you, and your wealthy base, can cough up some bucks to contribute to our great nation. Let me make this clear; I expect you to make sure my Medicare is ready to work when I turn 65.
On a roll, I then called my Congressman, Todd Platts and a gentleman answered. He stayed quiet while I told him pretty much the same I told Toomey’s receptionist. At several times during the call I could hear him often nervously clearing his throat, trying to interrupt.
But I never gave him the chance, while I laid down the law. Just because Platts is quitting his job at the end of the session, is no reason to let him continue to slack-off like any other short-timer.
The gentleman seemed to accept his duty in the matter and, with a tone of resignation in his voice, took my name and said he would give my message to the congressman.
Now for my fellow bosses here at the Daily Kos, look up your people in DC and let them know how you expect them to do their jobs. You got the power, and besides its fun!