Monday, October 7, 2013

John Kass Better Hope He Never Gets Old

Chicago Trib hack John Kass has shot another round to try to launch an inter-generational war with his piece 'Geezer Zombies, Soon to be a Reality' (Denver Post, Oct. 6, p. 5D) While comparing Senate "geezers" (let's recall the Senate is the biggest, most elite millionaires' club in the country) John McCain and Dick Durbin to zombies and even extending the comparison to "the old woman crawling across the ceiling in the hokey horror film 'Legion') he then loses his way entirely by conflating the example with ordinary seniors.

According to Kass:

"The prospect of McCain and Durbin scurrying on the ceiling followed by Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid is horror indeed. So it's a guaranteed money-maker. And that hit will prompt others like 'You Better Kill Everyone Over 30 Before They Drink Your Blood'.

Really, Kass? Why everyone over 30? I can think of select subsets right now that - with stakes driven into their hearts - would make this nation a whole lot better, but you neatly skirt the issue. But you expose your crappy hand when you claim "the real conflict isn't partisan, but inter-generational" then add this claptrap:

"Establishment pols continue bickering over crumbs while refusing to do much about those fiscally ravenous and unsustainable entitlement programs like Medicare, Social Security and Obamacare"

And thereby he places himself in the same category of other Neoliberal rats trying to make us believe seniors can easily do without essential social insurance - thank you very much - while turning a blind eye to the military -industrial- spy complex which is gobbling up massive chunks of the treasury each year.  This Military malignancy has already drained us of over $4 trillion via 2 unpaid for occupations  and it may well be much more, when all the medical needs of the returned Iraq and Afghanistan vets are tended to, as well as their future disability benefits finally paid for.

But does Kass even try to impute the defense -spy state nuts? Oh no, that's off base. But let's take aim instead at ordinary seniors who can end up destitute with one fall, or god forbid, Alzheimers. Instead, Kass piles it on even more, scribbling:

"Unfortunately, the unsustainable federal spending ...will drain today's teenagers and 20-somethings of vital nutrients like cash and jobs. Among the young unemployment rages, job prospects are poor and many figure they will never own a home. Young people know this, or at least feel it as Washington continues to print money."

While Kass appears obsessed with the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing policy ("printing money") he takes his eyes off the real ''ball': vast defense contracts (for toys like the F-35 at $600m each, to build 2,400 of them) and a surveillance state whose budget has now grown to a half trillion a year, including to pay thousands of private contractors to compile meta-data on Americans, and with black budgets.

How can any columnist be so patently blind? Perhaps he willingly does so and wants an inter-generational war on top of the new Civil War brewing now between Southern Tea Party types and northern style liberal governance where all get a piece of the pie.  To confirm this he goes on to spew nonsense about the "baby boomer undead and the teenage zombie hunters" then - to make sure we know he's as crazy as shit house rat, he writes:

"Less than 50 years ago, nearly 30 percent of America's elderly lived below the poverty line. No more. They've switched places with the young and the young don't get it yet. But they will. And if that's not a recipe for conflict, I don't know what is."

So wait, Kass,  you really want to return us to the era of thirty percent elderly poverty?

In fact, the poverty rates for those over 65 and the younger set (21- 34) are nearly exactly the same: 15.6% vs. 15.4% (according to 2012 Census stats) so it's not as if they've "switched places".   Kass' narrative is that greedy seniors are robbing the young blind, but the truth is that the military-industrial spy state is robbing both blind. Rather than put the tail on the military-surveillance expansion it's much easier not to rock the boat of the Neolib paymasters - and blame oldsters instead. Never mind, whatever the predicament of the Millennials now they are much more resilient than the elderly. They have much more TIME and opportunity to bounce back from a setback - economic or physical (especially if they have the sense to sign up for the ACA) than the elderly do. They aren't looking at a prolonged death from Alzheimers, after all, or being confined to a nursing home after a fall. (Or paying more than $4,000 a month to stay under nursing home care!)

Given this, we need to be aware of how the entrenched Neoliberal political Elite continues to make up lies as it attempts to destroy our social insurance infrastructure. If you want to see the real swine behind it go to )

The next time Kass or any other overpaid, self-important hack thinks of playing the "generational war" card they need to be reminded of the following:

Seven million children currently live with grandparents - who depend on Social Security to care for them

- 8.5 million other children (including college kids that find themselves jobless and live at home) who live with elder parents that depend on Social Security to make do.

- The tens of millions of 50-plus Americans who, through their tax dollars and Social Security monies, pensions, provide voluntary contributions to support public schools, child health programs, grandparent guardianship programs as well as other charities that care for homeless kids (e.g. Covenant House).

 Concocting war between the generations, pitting young against old, therefore serves no useful or moral purpose. It is merely a cheap, malicious tactic to take attention from the REAL problem: the malignant growth of the Military Industrial Complex to the detriment of all of us outside it!

Meanwhile, the best strategy for right thinking Americans is to fight on for a single payer, Medicare- for- all system, which ultimately would save us at least a trillion over ten years, and eliminate the 120 Americans per day who perish for lack of health insurance. 'Socialized medicine' ? Not any more than the healthcare provided by the VA! 

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