Republicans on the warpath, the time to fight back is now!

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan have made a lot of big claims lately  from McConnell telling the media that democrats would be obstructing congress if they blocked a SCOTUS nomination, to Ryan claiming he’s going to dismantle Social Security and Medicare. The list is long and I’m sure they have every intention of going through with it.

Let’s start with SCOTUS. On February 12 or 13th of 2016 Antonin Scalia passed away in his sleep. Shortly thereafter President Obama nominated Federal Judge Merrick Garland to succeed him on the Supreme Court. Republicans shouted this down saying that Obama could not appoint a new justice in an election year, and the people should decide who gets to nominate a new justice.

Let’s break that down shall we? The first part of that was already debunked, in case you didn’t know I’ll explain it briefly. In June of 1987 before many of my readers were probably even born, Justice Lewis Powell retired leaving a vacant position. On November 11th of ’87 President Ronald Reagan nominated his successor, Anthony Kennedy. Following the traditions of the US Senate, the democratically led Senate took up hearings and confirmed him on February 3rd of 1988 by a margin of 97-0. 1988 was in fact the final year of Reagan’s presidency. Did democrats in the Senate like him? Probably not on an ideological level, but they did their jobs none the less. On the second part, the people had already decided that President Obama could appoint justices to SCOTUS in 2 separate landslide elections. Yet Senate republicans still refused to allow even a hearing on Merrick Garland. Had the roles been reversed and democrats done this to a sitting republican president, republicans would have lost their mind.

So Mitch, in his infinite wisdom decided that he would obstruct the sitting presidents constitutionally mandated right to appoint a new SCOTUS Justice. Senators Ted Cruz and John McCain said similarly that there is not constitutional requirement to have 9 justices on SCOTUS. While this may in fact be true, the real reason is they didn’t want to lose the ability to have their crap laws ruled unconstitutional. See republicans are only fond of judges when they rule in their favor. When they don’t its called legislating from the bench. There is a theme here in case you haven’t noticed.

Speaker Paul Ryan wants to cut Social Security benefits, and reduce or eliminate Medicare\Medicaid in an effort to balance the budget. Republican voters eat this up because for years they’ve been lied to by Fox so-called-news and are incapable of independent thought. Here’s the real truth. Social Security and Medicare are paid for solely by the FICA deduction you see on your pay stub every week. No money for either program comes from public tax revenue. There is an estimated 2.6 TRILLION dollars in the Social Security trust fund. What republicans don’t tell you is that for years they have been “borrowing” money from that fund, and in an effort to not have to pay it back they want to reduce payments from the system so it will remain solvent. If they were to divvy up those funds and distribute them to every man woman and child in America equally we’d all get a check for a little over $8,000 bucks. Of course that’s not how the system works so don’t get your hopes up. I’m simply making reference to explain just how much money that is.

At the current average payout of $1,348, without adding in the amount taken in every year, that would make the trust fund last for 43 years. This of course doesn’t matter because we all pay into this system every time we get paid. The kicker is that right now we have a cap on SS tax of $118,000. In other words people who make more than $118k per annum only pays FICA on that first $118k and none on the rest. We also don’t means test Social Security.  So those millionaires and billionaires get a Social Security check too.

Social Security won’t be going anywhere anytime soon so long as republicans keep their grubby little fingers out of it. The system is in no danger of failing. And it has zero impact on our national debt. We can go and round on a number of issues, but let adult for a little while shall we? -MW

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