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Midterm Elections: It Is All About Social Securty

2014 Midterm Elections: It Is All About Social Security
By UAW Region 8 Webmaster John Davis
October 3, 2014

2014 midterm elections are looming large on the horizon. The midterms are always a difficult cycle to get a true grasp on America’s concerns due to lower voter turnout in the absence of a presidential election. However, we often lose sight of the fact that the House and Senate actually pass the laws that affect us day to day. Since the Supreme Court decided that corporations are people in 2010, money funneled from the wealthy have impacted our elections by flooding the airwaves with ads designed to muddy the issues around candidates and confuse America’s voters into voting for candidates whose agenda is to promote the wealthy.

This year there are all types of issues being floated through the airwaves to scare voters. Common core, health care, immigration, gun control and gay marriage all are headlines that candidates use to pull support at rallies and speaking engagements. However, the single greatest issue that America’s working class needs to be concerned with this cycle is their Social Security. Since 2010 the House has been held by Republicans and the Senate by Democrats. With Senators running every six years rather than every two for the House, control of the Senate is often determined by who is up for election in a particular cycle. Of the 36 Senate seats up this year, 21 are held by Democrats. Should the Republicans gain control of the Senate that would allow their benefactors Charles and David Koch an opportunity to accomplish a thirty year goal of theirs, ending Social Security.

The Koch Brothers are the money behind the Tea Party, with a bankroll of over 46 billion dollars to accomplish their goals. In 1980 David Koch ran for president on the Libertarian Party with a platform of dismantling the federal government. The Kochs own oil wells, coal mines and paper mills and are the largest polluters in the country. The want to end public education, environmental protections and reduce taxes on the wealthy, but their greatest wish is to end Social Security. They have many puppets in Washington, with Wisconsin Congressman and 2012 Vice-President candidate Paul Ryan being one of their top players. Ryan crafted the rejected Republican Budget that called for ending Social Security and replacing it with a “privatized model” that would turn the money YOU are owed over to Wall Street for them to play with.

Social Security is one of America’s greatest achievements. Since its beginning in 1935, Social Security has provided benefits for millions of Americans. Workers pay Social Security payments that are used to cover the retirement payments to current retirees. From the beginning more was paid in to Social Security than was paid out, building the Social Security Trust Fund. This fund was meant to be used to get Social Security through the “baby boomer years”, which would see a spike in the number of people receiving benefits. In theory it sounded good, but that was before the Social Security Trust Fund was robbed.

Al Gore ran for President on a platform of stopping the Federal Government from borrowing from the trust fund. However, George Bush was elected President and the deficit soared. Wars and tax cuts that weren’t paid for through the federal budget were covered with money from the Social Security Trust Fund. Today the federal government owes 2.7 trillion dollars to Social Security. This is money “borrowed” to pay for wars and tax cuts to the wealthy. The money for the wars is gone; the only way to repay the money the Federal Government owes is to eliminate the tax cuts to the wealthy.

Should the Republicans gain control of the Senate from the $125,000,000 the Koch Brothers are pumping into this election, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will become the Senate Leader. This is the same one that has stated the “Koch Brothers are great Americans.” McConnell has said if he becomes the Chair of the Senate taxes and Social Security are his top priorities. He has no interest in repaying the Social Security money that has been used to finance tax cuts for his wealthy benefactors. He does however plan on cutting taxes even further to the wealthy. If this country ends up with a Republican House and Senate the middle class is in deep trouble. The last time that happened Wall Street was deregulated, leading to a collapse in the financial markets and the current recession we are still climbing out of. Giving both Chambers back to the Koch Brothers and their friends will be a return to the same policies that ended with the economic collapse of 2008.

In 2012 there were more than 500,000 more votes to Democratic Congressional candidates than to Republicans. However, the redistricting that occurred in 2010 stacked the deck to guarantee a Republican majority. With that in mind, it is the Senate that American middle class families have to hang their hopes on for representation. This year the bad luck of two thirds of the senate seats being up for election being held by the Democrats make this a crucial election - particularly if you are not in the top one percent of wealthy Americans and depend on Social Security to get you through your golden years. With vested pension plans becoming a thing of the past, working class Americans need to be able to depend on the Social Security they have paid for during their entire working life.

Senate races in Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia could determine the balance of power in the Senate. This is no year to sit out the elections. While there are many other issues in this campaign cycle, nothing is at greater risk than Social Security. People like McConnell and Paul Ryan are trying to convince Americans that Social Security is a budget issue. Yet they don’t point out that Social Security doesn’t occupy a line item on the Federal Budget. It is true that 18% of the federal deficient is Social Security but it is money owed to Social Security. That 2.7 trillion is money that is owed to YOU – but politicians in the pocket of the Koch Brothers such as McConnell want working class Americans to suffer this loss rather than ending tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent.

Be certain this year that you vote for a senate candidate who thinks your hard earned Social Security money should be returned to you--the rightful owner--rather than given to billionaires to further their financing of the political system.

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