5 Ways the Tea Party Agenda Screws Tea Party Supporters
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The growth of the federal debt and deficit require a drastic cutback in federal spending, Bachmann said. "Spending comes first, so we have to cut it first," she explained, speaking of her plan to devastate Social Security. "And in my opinion, it'll take us about a long weekend to get that done, and then we'll be fine."
For those between the ages of 55 and 65 at the time Bachmann's Kill Social Security Plan hypothetically passes into law, there would be a means-tested program for "those who truly need it -- the truly disadvantaged, those who truly can't go forward." For everybody else, there would be unspecified "alternatives and adjustments." Those under the age of 55 would apparently be squat out of luck, regardless of how truly disadvantaged they are. From the assembled Tea Partiers, not a discouraging word was heard, even as Bachmann outlined a plan to essentially rob them of the money they've been putting into the system all their lives.
According to a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted in April, 46 percent of Tea Party supporters fall into the 45-64 age group. (Untouched by the Bachmann plan would be the 29 percent of Tea Party supporters the poll cited as being over the age of 64.) The same survey revealed that among 47 percent of self-identified Tea Party supporters, either they or a member of their household was receiving Social Security retirement benefits. When asked whether the outlay for programs such as Social Security and Medicare are worth the taxpayer expense, 62 percent said they were.
What to do with all those freed-up dollars? Why not give them back to the corporations and wealthy individuals who bankroll the Tea Party movement? Segueing out of her nuking of the social safety net for the nation's elderly -- and stealing the payroll taxes of all those Americans who paid into Social Security over the course of their lifetimes but would never see a dime of their contributions come back to them under her plan -- Bachmann launched into a pitch for a corporatist agenda that began with her call for a roll-back of the corporate tax from its current 34 percent to 9 percent, which, according to Bachmann, would make it "one of the lowest in the industrialized world."
Actually, make that possibly the lowest in the world (excluding the handful of mostly broken nations that have none), never mind "industrialized." I mean, even Kazakhstan and Burkina Faso have higher corporate tax rates than 9 percent. And India, where all the good jobs are said to be going? Try 43 percent.
Bachmann also called for zeroing out the estate tax -- even for the very wealthiest Americans -- and repeal of the Sarbanes-Oxley law, a bill passed in the wake of the Enron scandal that sets standards for corporate accountability. What would that mean for Americans under the age of 64 whose retirement savings would be entirely invested in the private sector after the demolishing of Social Security? That the same kinds of accounting tricks and corruption that destroyed the retirement savings of thousands in the Enron caper would become standard operating procedure. Sorry, Tea Partiers -- you're screwed.
2. Ending Medicare: See No. #1, Ending Social Security. "Within seven [years], Medicare is dead, bankrupt, broke -- broke," Bachmann told the Tea Partiers. Her solution? End it for everybody but "the truly needy and the truly disabled." (I shudder to think what constitutes "truly needy" in the Bachmann moral universe.) Her solution? You can buy your own health insurance policy on the private market with pre-tax dollars. Sure, you're 70 years old: How much do you think an insurance company is going to charge you for your coverage? Pre-taxed or not, you're going to need a whole lotta dollars to make that one work for you.