Bullies lined up for Chambliss’ Senate seat
by Kevin Foley
January 23, 2014 09:09 PM | 1621 views | 7 7 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bullies prey on the weak and powerless, relentlessly tormenting and humiliating their victims.

We have bullies in politics today. They’re eager to hurt the poor, the disabled, the unemployed, seniors, even children, justifying their nastiness by stereotyping their targets as “takers,” parasites leeching off hard working Americans.

Very few people on the lower rungs of life’s ladder wish to be there.

Most unemployed people hate being jobless. Children never asked to be born into poor families. Disabled folks don’t want to be handicapped. The poor don’t like being trapped in a cycle of poverty. Seniors don’t enjoy getting ill.

But to hear the bullies tell it, every last American who relies on food stamps, unemployment benefits, Medicare, Social Security or any other social safety net program all made lousy life choices and richly deserve their fate.

Three bullies are running for the Senate seat Saxby Chambliss is vacating.

Representatives Paul Broun, Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey all want to kill Medicare, a program that has saved countless American families from financial ruin.

They all supported Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget bill which, according to the Wall Street Journal, “would essentially end Medicare, which now pays for most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.”

Broun proudly told a radio interviewer that he owns the most conservative House voting record of the three Senate candidates. He didn’t mention his support for cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) in half. Food stamps help feed 47 million Americans, nearly half of which are children.

“They (Gingrey and Kingston) want to be Paul Broun,” boasted the congressman.

Ahead of voting for Ryan’s budget, Kingston said, “It’s going to be a tough, serious budget …”

How tough and serious?

“I think we should go back to Social Security, take it off budget, dedicate the funds, put personal accounts on it,” added Kingston. “On Medicare, I think something like vouchers, where people actually have an incentive to save money.”

Here’s the translation of Kingston’s double talk: Social Security would be privatized and handed over to Wall Street, the same awful scheme George W. Bush tried to foist on Americans in 2005.

Medicare would be replaced with a voucher worth a few thousand bucks seniors could use to buy health insurance. Good luck.

Seniors and the disabled aren’t the only ones Kingston picks on. He attracted national attention when he said the children of poor families should sweep school floors in exchange for lunches so they get, “the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch.”

When Gingrey was confronted with his anti-Social Security, anti-Medicare positions during an interview, the congressman lashed out at Democrats who want to repair and strengthen both programs so they continue to serve seniors for decades to come.

“Democrats are doing a pretty good job of continuing to scare seniors,” griped Gingrey.

Cobb County’s 70,000 seniors and those over the age of 40 ought to be very scared — of voting for any of these three in November, according to Jason Barasky, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

“Under Broun, Gingrey, and Kingston’s anti-Medicare plan, seniors would pay more for health care and millions would be forced onto a voucher program when they retire,” said Barasky. “It’s shameful (they) would put an end to Social Security by supporting a plan so dangerous for more than 1.5 million Georgia seniors who depend on these benefits.”

If Broun, Kingston and Gingrey were serious about cutting spending they wouldn’t be going after America’s most vulnerable. They could start with the Pentagon’s obscenely bloated budget.

As with all bullies, however, they know it’s a lot easier to attack the defenseless.

Kevin Foley is an author, writer and public relations executive who lives in Kennesaw.

Comments
(7)
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Don Sullivan
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February 07, 2014
In one paragraph Laura Armstrong did a far better and more accurate job than Kevin Foley did!

Laura Armstrong
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January 27, 2014
Dems new buzzword is obviously "bully" but it's laughable. Who are the bullies? From her luxe vacation destinations, the first lady tells us what we can feed our kids and Dems sign legislation that infringes on our freedoms, outlawing, for example, local school fundraisers because the food involved isn't approved by gov't. The bully in the White House throws generals and advisors under the bus regularly to cover his own tail. A bully said, "They bring a knife, we bring a gun" and refuses to negotiate on sweeping legslation and says, over and over, "You can keep your doctor..." when in reality it was all a lie.

You don't need to explain your version of bully to us, Kevin. We've been watching the real thing since 2008.
Kevin's Nightmare
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January 25, 2014
I have never understood why it is the government's responsibility to take care of the poor, disabled, the seniors and seeing to it that everyone has A health care.

All of this taking care of the needy is done by taking earned money away for workers at gun point to fuel often ineffective and wasteful government programs. The fact that funds for these programs come from coercion by gunpoint makes the whole process immoral. Private and free will charity needs to be given a chance and not immoral extortion by the government.

Rick Z
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January 27, 2014
I'm sure Kevin and I might disagree on the degree of the government's responsibility. But the answer to his basic question is that it's government's responsibility to maintain public order and safety. And our political thinking about the best and most moral way to do that has evolved beyond simply maintaining a punitive police state. Most people understand that providing a social safety net not only offers people a helping hand to improve their quality of life, but it reduces the incentive for them to knock other people over the head and take their property.

If you find paying your taxes coercive, I doubt you'd enjoy a Mad Max alternative.
just sayin
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January 27, 2014
If you think private and free will charity from people such as you can provide for even a tiny percentage of the need in this country, you are nuts. Right wingers claim this country was founded on Christian principals, what's wrong with showing it.
Lib in Cobb
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January 25, 2014
The GOP most recent mantra, "We love you, we want your vote, but, we are going to remove the very necessary lifeline that you currently have, but we love you".

We all know the GOP is opposed to a woman's right to choose, marriage equality for all, voting rights, but now they are willing to throw their elderly parents and grandparents under the bus, not to mention others in need.
Mike H
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January 24, 2014
If every Republican who benefits from Social Security or Medicare, voted for the candidate who wants to strengthen these programs, Georgia would be a solid Blue state.
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