The Jefferson Tree - A platform for debate and discussion of current events and politics...

Social Protest Lit: Ebenezer Elliot, “The People’s Anthem”

A poem from Ebenezer Elliot entitled The People’s Anthem from Book IV called “Out of The Depths.” This chapter is focused on man’s pursuit of remedy for social injustice: When wilt thou save the people? O God of mercy! when? Not kings and lords, but nations! Flowers of the heart, O God, are they! Let them not pass, like weeds, away! Their heritage a sunless day! God save the people! Shall bring crime for ever, Strength aiding still the strong? Is it thy will, O Father? That man shall toil for wrong? “No!” ...

Stephen Moore’s Ridiculous Anti-Clean Energy Rant

Hard right-winger Stephen Moore took a break from pushing debunked trickle-down economic policies to take a pathetic shot at clean energy.  Let the stupid begin. …radical Greens, one of the most influential political forces in America today… Seriously?  He goes on to mention the famed Sierra Club as one of these forces.  And where did they rank in 2013 on lobbying: 755.  In fact, if we look at the top 50 interest groups giving to members of Congress this year, no sign ...

Anti-Israel Policies/Actions Is Not Anti-Semitsim

There have been growing protests in Europe against the mass murder of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the State of Israel. These actions are in response to the IDF killing 500 Muslims there with the vast majority of them being civilians. But what is troubling about these movements is, according to this article in the NYT, an anti-Semitic tinge has taken place at these protests. The story reads that in France: Several recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Paris have boiled over ...

Warren For President?

Today at the the annual Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, the nation’s largest gathering of liberal activists and organizers, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) reportedly drew an applause that Hillary could only dream of. According to NYT and Politico reports, Warren was a rock-star while Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate for President, was absent. Warren’s populist talking points and her history of taking Wall Street to task (remember that Warren was an early advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial ...

Social Protest Literatue at Sparking The Left

Here at STL we are starting a new feature. In between our political-insight posts, I will start publishing excerpts or entire pieces of great literature that speak to crucial social and political issues which span the centuries. Though almost all in the Western tradition, the subject matters are transcendental. Now first to name my source, I am taking pieces from Upton Sinclair’s selected and edited collection “The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Great Social Protest Literature of All Time.” ...

Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Detained for Being Undocumented

I was first brought aware of Jose Antonio Vargas’ story last week in a piece he penned in Politico. He explained that he was in the Rio Grande Valley, in the city of McAllen, just north of the Mexican border. He was there to see first hand the tens of thousands of undocumented children, most of them from Central America, and observe how they were being treated. The trip was also used for a news conference appearance and vigil organized by United We Dream, ...

GOP Refuses Funding for Border Children Projects

A humanitarian crisis unseen before at our borders is becoming more and more urgent everyday at Rio Grande Valley, TX, and other Southwest locations. And yet the GOP is arguing over numbers. Yesterday President Obama requested an amount of $3.7 billion from Congress to help aid the 57,000 unaccompanied minors who illegally crossed the border from the Mexico side since October. They are mostly from violence-ridden Central American countries, like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (Honduras has the world’s highest murder ...

Problems galore for the new government headed by Mr. Narendra Modi in New Delhi – Imperative for the first time PM and his council of ministers in governance amidst multiple challenges

The phenomenal victory for Mr. Narendra Modi and his party (the BJP) in May 2014 general elections has not only drawn the adulation of people world over but also silenced all its die hard critics at home and abroad. It was so stupendous and stunning that even the American government and its top leaders across party lines acknowledged Mr. Modi as the emerging democratic leader of the world, setting aside their past antagonism as an error of judgment, not based ...

Why Are We So Full Of Hate?

What has happened to human kind?  No matter where you look we find ourselves surrounded by a world filled with hate. What puzzles me is how it's combined with political correctness.  Take this country where so many words are now frowned upon and even forbidden because they are hurtful to certain people.  Redskins, squaw, savage plus a whole lot applying to blacks, orientals and hispanics not to mention middle easterners.  Has it dawned on anyone banning the names has done nothing ...

Has Putin Over Reached Once Too Often?

My, oh my.  We've watched this man make mince meat of Obama over the past several years.  Each time you could see the smirk broaden and the swagger get more pronounced. He and his allies - Iran, China, Syria and North Korea were truly enjoying themselves. But as happens with a lot of bullies, they get over confident and suddenly everything around them collapses. I'm wondering if this is the case with the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet. With the death ...

If Only It WERE The Heat!

What a day.  A passenger plane has been shot down over Ukraine uncomfortably close to the Russian border. Hamas reneged on the humanitarian cease fire so Israel launched their ground offensive. Children still pour across the border while Congress dithers. It's now being reported parents are giving them birth control in case they are raped during the journey. Along that line former member of Congress, Todd Aiken, who once talked about legitimate rape and the idea that women's bodies protected them from becoming ...

Hannity's Histrionics

For a person who doesn't have much faith in the intellect of pundits, I wonder why I watch them so often.  I wonder even more why the cable outlets and networks that employ them don't take more care in who they hire. Many of them get on crusades that bear no resemblance to reality.  Sean Hannity is one of the most prominent. The night before last  he was on his Bowe Bergdahl kick demanding to know why he was returned to ...

Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

If the President could run away from the border mess any faster I'm sure he would. It's being said it's because being seen in the setting of kids crammed into confined spaces with their scabies and lice would reflect badly on him.  It could even be his Katrina.  Well, maybe.  But who's fault is that? It goes to show his handlers aren't as smart as they think they are.  For one, drinking beer and shooting pool in Colorado, a state where ...

The Kids Always Went Home

Watching the immigration mess going full bore brought to mind a lot of things that have involved children from other nations.  The first thing that comes to mind is the Disney song It's a Small World After All that speaks to all we have in common. Hopes, dreams, all the warm fuzzy stuff. We've had exchange student programs where a student from another country lives with a local family to learn not only academics but what life in American and Americans ...

The Militia Is Coming, The Militia Is Coming!

That's all we need! News has it a call has gone out for militia, both unarmed and armed, to gather along the border to help private land owners protect their property in something called Operation Save Our Borders.  Terrific! Remember how well it went when militia turned out to help to  help Cliven Bundy in his fight over Federal grazing rights in Nevada?  It came within a hair's breadth of turning violent. I really feel for the border towns who are the ...

Will Cheney Help Or Hurt The Republicans In The Mid-Terms?

Will the re-emergence of Dick Cheney help or hurt the Republicans in the mid-terms?  There is so much going on about which voters are rightfully incensed my guess he will have little impact. I think it depends, however, on what happens in the middle east over the next couple of months. Those who believe it wouldn't be in the mess it is if it weren't for the Bush/Cheney policies and rush to war will be reminded of just that - the ...

It is comfortable to see the standard of reason at length erected, after so many ages, during which the human mind has been held in vassalage by kings, priests, and nobles; and it is honorable for us to have produced the first legislature who had the courage to declare that the reason of man may be trusted with the formation of his own opinions. Thomas Jefferson
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John Liming - American Liberal Times

America Needs To Dump All Entitlements Now!

America is one place on the face of the Earth where the Rich can get almost as rich as they could ever hope to be and where not every Middle Class Worker or Poor Person can become President.

To hear some people tell it—particularly some people who live on the Right side of the political spectrum, America is top-heavy now with expensive and unsustainable “Entitlement” Programs designed to give assistance to those Citizens who just might not be lucky enough to be independently wealthy.

It looks to me like The Right Wing—Conservatives, Republicans and other Righties—work very hard sometimes to get the message across that America must take immediate and significant action to curtail, cut back or eliminate these “Wasteful” entitlements before all the money runs out and the country goes belly up because of them all.

Is that another way of asking, “If America keeps on paying out all those entitlements, will the time come when the Rich might be hard pressed to find additional sources of income from within the boundaries of The American Social Order?

Some of the less intelligent and more apparently  unaware among the Right Fringers seem to have the idea that if we get rid of all “Them Thar In-Titlements” we can “Git Rid Of The National Deficits” once and for all.

Let us  not forget for a minute  that “Gittin’ Rid” of the entitlements would also mean throwing millions of people who need this kind of help onto what might amount to an allegorical burning brush pile of need, want and despair that would equal that of any undeveloped nation on Earth.

Imagine, if you can, millions of retired elderly people suddenly without their Social Security!  In many cases, that monthly stipend (Which they have contributed to all their working lives) might be the only income they have. Maybe the $l,347.00 or so that some of them get might be the only thing standing between them and starvation or eviction into the streets—or both!

I think it would suddenly become “Cat Food City” for many of them.

I think Social Security is one of the “Entitlements” that the some of the (I am not going to say it)  and their cronies might just as well leave their grasping little mitts off of for awhile yet. America, in my opinion, is not ready to look upon the horrible destitution that could befall a very large segment of our population if Social Security were put on the chopping block.

Privatization of Social Security?  Nonsense!  Hogwash and poppycock!

What happens when Social Security gets privatized and the “Account Managers” administering the individual accounts start sticking their “Fees” to the account holders and what happens when the Money Markets to which privatized Social Security would surely be tied take their very predictable “Dives?”

I think that under those kinds of circumstances, the beneficiary of Social Security might very well see what is now a regular $1,300 check become a $300 check for God only knows how many months.

“But when things are good, the beneficiaries would realize profits!” The Rightie will argue.

What the Rightie isn’t saying is that when there are profits to be gained from a good Money Market, the unregulated financial institutions who administer the privatized accounts would be able to scam the beneficiaries almost any way they would want to and never have to worry about any repercussions. (Just like the Big financial institutions who reportedly do all the gambling with investor funds in their “Derivatives” are alleged to do today—and they get away with it because there is no effectively-enforced regulation in place to make any of it illegal…yet!) That is the way I hear it anyways!

There is no doubt in my mind that Medicare and Medicaid could be safely axed because I can remember the time when neither one of them were anywhere to be found and Senior Citizens were managing to suffer and pass away using whatever resources they could muster under the Conservative ideals of Self-Reliance and Self-Sufficiency—so yeah, we could get rid of both of these “Entitlements” and do a real service to the ultra wealthy by releasing all those “Wasted” funds to new and bigger tax breaks for the upper 1%. 

Yes!  Let’s do Medicare and Medicaid—might be good for private hospitals, nursing homes and mortuaries. It would be good for the Real Estate Business too as people would be forced to sell their family homes to meet their outrageously high medical expenses—just like in those wonderful Retro Years that Rightie wants to take us all back to.

When we are eliminating the “Entitlements,” let us not forget nor forsake the “Wasteful” expenditures on those who have given their utmost in defense of our Freedoms and Liberties—We could save scads of extra money for the National Budget if we could somehow cut out or seriously cut back on all those “Veterans Health Benefits” and the G.I. Bill and all that kind of stuff, couldn’t we? 

Where is it written that once a Veteran has completed his or her tours of duty that the country actually owes them anything more than the monthly paychecks and allowances they earned during their tours of duty? 

I mean, they were paid, weren’t they?  Is it any skin off the National Nose if some of these “Heroes” weren’t savvy enough to save up their money and invest it so they could have something to show for their time in service when it was all said and done?  Yes, the billionaires could reap serious money from the funds that could be saved by eliminating all those Veteran Benefits in my opinion.

I hope this kind of thinking never gets too much traction from the budget whackers in Rightie’s corner of Congress because I am a Veteran and I darned well need my VA Health Care.  I couldn’t make it without it actually!  Losing VA Health Care would be total devastation for me. When I was doing the “Trash Talk” about the VA, I was attempting to mimick what I see as Right Wing thinking and—believe me—I was being totally facetious!

Unemployment Compensation shouldn’t be overlooked here either, friends.  When I look at “Unemployment Insurance” and those long lines of people waiting to sign up for their “Unemployment” I can’t help but wonder silently to myself, “What bunch of legislative nut cases went off the deep end and decided to pay people for not working?”

If we are going to get really serious about saving money for the Gubmint, let us also consider dumping the habit of paying farmers for not tilling their land and for not planting certain crops.

If the land isn’t under cultivation and planting and growing, then no one should be paid money just to keep it that way as far as I am concerned. It should be with farms and crops the same way it should be with people—if no work is being performed and no product being produced, then no pay should be given.  Wouldn’t that be more in line with Conservatist faux thinking?

Let Agricultural Producers compete just like any other business and let the prices for their goods fluctuate with supply and demand just like anything else. 

There is no need for the government to be performing “Price Support”  functions by paying those who live off the soil for not working the soil.

And while we are on the subject of Gubmint Hand Outs and “Welfare” Programs– aren’t all those Public Sector Unions nothing but fancy “Welfare” gimmicks paid for on the backs of the Honest, hard-Working Taxpayers? 

Who needs police when we have all these new concealed carry laws in effect now?

Isn’t there the remotest possibility that the vigilantes who patrol neighborhoods could handle the job at a much cheaper rate? 

If someone had foresight about policing neighborhoods, I think they might want to get into the History Books and ressurect those old gangs of volunteer horse rangers.  They were both effective and cheap! (Bicycles would make a good substitute for horses in my view—or rollerboards—or skates.

America could sell off some of those high-falutin’ monolithic court houses too.  We could do just as well with traveling circuit judges operating out of store fronts at much less expense to the taxpayer.

Too, if people wanted to, they could haul their own garbage off to the dump and they could dig wells in their backyards and do away with the need for all those expensive sanitation departments—and a return to the days of the lime-pitted outhouse could effectively eliminate the need for outrageously expensive, taxpayer-eating sewers and their attendant processing plants too. (They  are much to smelly to begin with.)

Now, if I haven’t been sounding like some wide-eyed Right Wing Extremest for the past few paragraphs, I am sure that the Rightie Troll will soon appear to set me straight.

I hope that people do understand that as I have been railing against “Entitlements” in this argument, I have been doing it with tongue in cheek and as sort of a morbid humor in an attempt to illustrate the absolutely empty-headedness of some of the fiscal positions and attitudes of many of those poor unfortunate souls —those who live on the not-too-bright Right side of American politics today. 

Yes, folks—it is all nothing but a little good old fashioned, tongue in cheek humor here…all harmless…all in good fun…

To sum it all up:  I am darned glad America has had the foresight to incorporate what Rightie likes to call “Entitlements” into Her National Character.  While the doomsayers from the edges of Radical  Conservatism are bemoaning the coming time when all the money is sure to run out for all these programs, I am more inclined to believe that good old American Ingenuity will find a way to sustain them like it always has—because that is how America became great in the first place and that is how She stays great today.

When the chips are down and all is said and done, I am sure that the same America who has always finally agreed on expanding our Freedoms and benefits, will find a way to do it again when it is needed because that is The American Spirit and that is The American Way.  In the end, regardless of the cost, Americans have always come together on the side of Righteousness and done the Right (Not the Rightist) thing for their fellow Citizens.  I do not look for that to change because of a few noisy radicals chanting their mantras of doom and gloom about Liberals, Progressives and Democrats.

Before I leave this subject, I would like to direct your attention to another really great Blog where the author has addressed this very same subject matter:

Posted By John Liming (Political Opinions)

Photo Credit For “Axe Or Scalpel” about discretionary spending on entitlements is from the photostream of ( Boris. Rasin.)

The license used for this photograph is a ( Creative Commons License.)

John Liming - American Liberal Times

Author: John Liming - American Liberal Times

I am an American Man, 72-years-old, and a Veteran of The U.S. Military. I have served honorably in both The United States Army (National Guard) and The United States Air Force for a total of seven years and three months active duty during what is now known as The Vietnam Era. I am a concerned citizen and refer to myself as "A Crazy Left Wing Liberal Nut Case with occasional Right Wing Conservative tendencies. I am particular fearful that we might get to the point, in our internal power struggles where we would be a One Party Nation.

3 comments to America Needs To Dump All Entitlements Now!

  • Oh Sage One,

    Answer me this, when the money runs out ( and it will eventually) how will all those entitlement programs you hold so dear be funded. Why is this all so difficult to understand, even my teenage son knows he can’t spend more than he has in his pocket.

  • Many humble thanks for the mention. The effects of cutting spending is already having drastic affects on the local and State levels. Cutting police, fire, libraries, road work.
    Is the next step to place people, their dignity in retirement, their health cvare on the cutting block?
    When we do, we should then ask ourselves what is America really standing for?

    If it’s not ‘We The People’, then perhaps it’s time for a different Constitution.
    One that eliminates ‘paying it forward’.
    Again many humble thanks.

  • Thank you for your comment and thank you for your part in the continuing battle to save what is best about our beloved country for the generations yet to come. I salute you as a real American Patriot and I am grateful.

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