Read My Lips Mr President

Mr. President,

I read your op-ed in today’s USAToday with great interest. I have been concerned about a number of reports over the last week or so suggesting you might be caving to the GOP and that you have been dealing directly with House Republicans to reach a debt ceiling deal that may include trillions in cuts to Social Security and Medicare without any tax increases.

I would like to make myself very clear here. If you do not stand for Social Security and Medicare, and if you do not raise taxes on the rich and on corporations, I will not stand for you in the next election cycle.

In your op-ed today you say that “in the short term, [your] No. 1 focus is getting our economy back to a place where businesses can grow and hire,” and I agree that is essential. However, protecting Social Security and Medicare are essential as well. As you well know, Social Security is solvent for the next 75 years and adds nothing to the national debt; it should not be on the table as a means of debt reduction. It is shameful to even consider balancing the budget on the backs of seniors, women and people with disabilities. Do not take that road Mr. President. Do not buy into the GOP’s attempts to hold the national debt hostage to their desires to protect the rich and private corporations, our country and the majority of people who live and work here be damned. This is one of those times in our history when we must once again decide what kind of country we wish to be. What are our most sacred values? Do we want to live in a country that cares for those who have spent their lives working to provide for themselves and their families?

Social Security and Medicare are vital programs that Americans pay into with the knowledge that they will receive the rightful services they are entitled to. I will not rehash here the history of Social Security and Medicare; those who wish to learn more about the establishment of and changes to these programs may read the materials provided here.  What I will say is this:

You must stand for these programs Mr. President. You must not agree to raising the age of eligibility, cutting cost of living increases, privatizing, or in any way compromising these programs. If you do, Mr. President, you will lose my support and the support of a majority of Americans. I am certain you do not wish for the destruction of these vital programs to be your legacy, Mr. President.



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