As a person with a newly diagnosed, chronic and currently incurable disease I have had to change some of my perspectives and become more aware of certain issues that previously I probably would not have worried about before. Not many 24 year olds would ever really stop to think about the possibility that they might not be able to work and that they might have to rely on government assistance in order to get by.
Currently, I am still capable of working and I plan on staying that way as long as possible. But the realities of my situation are such that I will more than likely have to go on disability, it's no guarantee, but there is a high possibility that I will not be able to work full time or at all somewhere down the line. Of course, if things in the political arena don't settle down I might have to continue working longer than what my health will allow, either that or become completely dependent upon the kindness of my parents.
From what I have been told by many of my new acquaintances from the Vasculitis Foundation (many of which rely on Social Security and Disability to live) and from what my own snooping about on the intrawebs has found is that, in order to appease the Republican party President Obama put Social Security cuts on the table in order to have a way to bargain for a raise in the debt ceiling.
In all honesty, he probably explains things better than I and *gasp* he's actually in Washington!
If these cuts were to go through, many of these people will lose any way they had to support themselves. For me, this means that if the time comes where I can no longer work due to my Wegner's then I will not have the option of Social Security or Disability to fall back on.
It saddens me that a program that our citizens pay into so that they can have something, even if it is only a little, to rely on in a time of crisis, is one of the only ways that our President has to bargain with the Republicans. This is not the first time that cuts on Social Security have been used as a bargaining tool and it is always being used in cases where the Republicans are unwillling to work with a Democratic president. I hate the fact that these big time politicians use their citizens' lives, yes, cutting this program would be paramount to executing the people that need it, so flippantly.
For once, can these so called leaders in our country look out for the benefit of the ENTIRE country, not just the richest? Can we not all see that we need to raise the debt ceiling? Can we all not see that it is possible to accomplish this by cutting spending in crap programs? Here's an idea, why don't we close some of the tax loopholes that the richest people in this country take advantage of? Why don't we lower the salaries of the big wigs up in Washington? That would help us get rid of some of our deficit. But no. We have to squeeze the little guy, those people that can't do for themselves, those that need the help the most.
Each time that cuts in Social Security are brought up, it is met with great resistance from the public. One way that you can help resist is by writing your congressman, or senator, or representative. You can also sign this petition http://pol.moveon.org/bad_debt_deal/?rc=bad_debt_deal_letter.fb.v2.g1
Maybe we need to do more than that. Maybe we need to use our powers as the people and vote the whole bunch out. Let's get some people in there who actually want to see life in our country get better for everyone. Remember, the government should fear the power of its public, not the other way around.
In other news, the VF is doing a survey to help improve its website http://vf-survey-july-2011.questionpro.com/ once you complete this survey you can enter to win a years membership to the Vasculitis Foundation or a t-shirt, and who doesn't like t-shirts? If you're a person with one of the 15 types of Vasculitis, a family member or friend of a person, or maybe just that really nosy co-worker or neighbor that looks up odd conditions that their cubicle partner or house next-door-er suffers from. You could even be that person who looks up odd diseases on the internet and then decides that they have them. But the point is, if you've been to the site, take 10-15 minutes to help them improve it.