Republican Formula, America’s Elderly Reap The Whirlwind

It is 2012 in America. The Presidential Election will decide which administration will be responsible for the baby boomers.  The divide along political party lines is severe, especially when it comes to “health care”.  Health care is an all inclusive term that covers Americans from birth to death.  Republicans are definite about not wanting the government to be responsible for health care.  They want to privatize it.  Let the elderly and disabled figure out their own survival, if they made the mistake of trusting a private insurer or investment guru. He continues to spread lies that SSA contributes to the deficit.  As long as Americans have jobs, SSA is funded by the payroll tax from the middle and poor class and not the U.S. Treasury.  Social Security has not contributed one nickel to our deficit.  The only ones who get a free ride are those wealthy enough to contribute a minimum and receive the maximum benefit..

Republicans make their case about cutting government spending and reducing taxes by preaching vague generalities about government spending and too much regulation.  Watching political manipulator Grover Norquist today on CNN, confirmed that the entire Republican strategy is a robotic formula that forgets to add the human element.  The only humans that would benefit and thrive are the ones who already have their socioeconomic status secured.  If you watch very closely, Republicans want to limit public education and higher education so that the under privileged, whether they are legal citizens or not, stay out of their way.  Here in Texas, Governor Perry has slashed and burned primary education from the beginning.  Perry wants to keep Texans dumb enough to buy his lies.  Perry’s answer to everything is to cut more funding to education. My stomach turns every time I ask my neighbor children about their schooling.  Reading skills and math skills are terrible in Texas,  The efforts of many non-profits, to encourage reading and most of all, reading comprehension are admirable, but do not reach the numbers to make a definite difference.  The students of today will be responsible for tomorrows elderly.  They will be deciding the quality of life for you and me.  Caretakers, without proper education and bridging the disconnect between today’s emphasis on entertainment technology and living on and with the earth, today’s and tomorrows elderly will be miserable.

Grover Norquist assumes he speaks for the American People!  He says Americans don’t want to pay taxes for the government services they enjoy.  He says Americans want to go it alone and let corporations pay even less taxes with more breaks than regular American’s get.  He wants to reduce government services and the regulations that protect you from corporations gone wild!  Grover has required republican politicians to commit to his formula, because he says that will get them elected … Grover holds all the short hairs … and Americans get screwed!

Republican war on Social Security and Medicare and social support programs will decide what kind of future we will face. Graver Norquist does not talk about people as individuals, he talks about them as he would termites.  The American public is a product of all America’s history of politics, from the beginning.  Every election offers more and more perks to citizens, “if you vote for me”.  You may not remember, but during the presidential campaign of 1928, a circular published by the Republican Party claimed that if Herbert Hoover won there would be “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.”  That was 1928,  does anyone remember what happened in 1929?

Republicans must decide what or who they hate more.  Obama or the Theological Crazies that have kidnapped their political party. American politics is dominated by an urban vs rural dynamic. States with large urban populations vote for Democrats most of the time. States that are mostly rural or small towns vote for Republicans.  Even within states you can see this pattern.  In most maps of recent presidential election results you can see higher percentages of Democrats in counties in which major cities are located and high percentages for the Republican in counties with no cities.

For rural America, the stakes are high.  Big Agri-Conglomerates are buying up their farms and want the small farmer to ‘give it up’.

To emphasize how high the stakes are, TruthHugger is reposting   Boomers Going Bust – Elderly Reap The Whirlwind  from October 5, 2008

What we don’t see a lot of during this age of economic crisis are options to protect the rapidly expanding elderly and disabled population of America.  From an age where Social Security was sufficient to support a modest and frugal lifestyle, this population was confident that they could make ends meet, with dignity, without burdening their families 

Out of options:  Rising prices are forcing elders to make difficult choices with their money

As they field calls from elders anxious about the economy, advocates for the poor fear many of the region’s most vulnerable seniors will face even tougher decisions in the coming months. Buy needed medications, or pay the heating bill? Patch the leaky roof, or pay the mortgage?

Local social service agencies say thousands of seniors are living in fear, worried about how they’ll make ends meet on scant pensions and Social Security checks during the cold weather months ahead.

“We’re getting hundreds of phone calls each month from seniors who need help with medical bills, heating bills, shelter, even clothing,” said RosanneDiStefano, executive director of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley Inc., a nonprofit agency working to help elders remain in their own homes. The agency serves seniors in 23 communities stretching from Dunstable to Amesbury.

“The people we serve are not living off retirement plans,” said DiStefano. “These are people who get by on Social Security and scant savings. Until now, they’ve managed to keep their heads above water, but as the costs of basic necessities continue to escalate, we’re seeing unprecedented levels of fear and anxiety.”

Such fears are driving many seniors back into the labor force. Today, more than 6 million workers are 65 or older, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And over the next decade, the number of 55-and-up workers is expected to rise at more than five times the rate of the overall workforce, the federal agency reported.

People are living longer lives these days than we used to. This means that many adults who themselves are approaching retirement are responsible for the care of elderly parents. There are two major ways in which these adults often have to assist their aging parents: financially and through caregiving.Financially, many elderly people find themselves in a tight position. They don’t have enough money to continue living in their home and paying their bills. They often have to move in with their adult children because they simply can’t pay to support themselves on a fixed income. Alternatively, adults with parents in situations like these may be responsible for assisting parents in figuring out their financial options (such as helping them to get a reverse mortgage loan) or they may need to help pay some of the parents’ bills.

In addition to financial assistance, these adults often have to provide some care for their parents as they age. Some will get caregiver training to care for the parent in the home. Getting some basic caregiver education from a place that is skilled in training in home care providers can greatly assist these adults in figuring out how to appropriately care for aging parents into the later years of life.

The history of how America treated it’s elderly is described in this comprehensive special feature that takes elder care from 1776 to the 1980s.  Today’s Neo-Tea Party Republicans talk a good talk about caring for the elderly and disabled, but from the statistics and first hand experience, they treat their elderly worse than they treat their pets.

History of Long Term Care

Summary  1779: America is a young society, “Old age security” meant having children or wealth, Poorhouses became home to the indigent elderly, The earliest federal welfare and pension programs are developed.
Current US policies for the elderly and infirm.
The Office of Disability, Aging, and Long-Term Care Policy (DALTCP) is charged with developing, analyzing, evaluating, and coordinating HHS policies and programs which support the independence, productivity, health, and long-term care needs of children, working age adults, and older persons with disabilities.

What happens now?  The history of elderly and abandoned is wrought with disparities.  Some manage, some don’t.  The most desperate just go without.  Too many elders become targets of opportunity for exploitation. Forced to trust strangers, elders are a gold rush for crooks. They are also a burden on struggling families who resent the intrusion of a high maintenance family member.  Frustration often escalates into elder abuse.

What is elder abuse?

Elder financial abuse has become a hidden national epidemic

For both rural and urban America, the stakes are very high.  They are urged to vote Republican because:

It is just awful that a black man is president of the United States, ‘git ’em outta there!

But ‘damn’ look what candidates we have to choose from!  A millionaire Massachusetts/ Michigan Mormon, with parents in Mexico, of all places. That scares the hell outta us.  A reformed Catholic that wants to turn us all into religious zombies just like those Islamic suicide bombers.  What’s this all about birth control … I don’t want extra children, and he wants to limit my access to contraception? What does he really expect from me? I want less government intrusion, that’s what they promised.  But, don’t touch my Social Security …  We really like that Ron Paul guy who really wants to get government out of our lives, but he has that crazy kid in the senate and a lot of ‘politically incorrect’ baggage. …

The Presidential election is the looking for the next exit on our freeway.  One looming exit is a big city, urban dwellers with social access to a diverse community.  Another looming exit is rural, agriculture or mining industry with only resources provided by their neighbors and their church.

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