I never thought life’s turns would make a hostage of me. Not in free America. When you are young and doing what you love to do, the future is not of much concern. During my Army years, I saw the promise of a meager Army pension as a bit of earned security. In the event of hard times, it was something that would always be there for my family. For service rendered, my country guaranteed it. It was viewed as money to replace what we could never save while raising a family on enlisted pay and moving lock stock a barrel across the country or around the world every couple of years. I have simply lost trust in our current governing body and the electorate that put them and keep them in power to fulfill that promise or any.
From the time I was a teenager, I invested my money into Social Security and Medicare. Thinking rather naively that the Washington ruling classes, those who rather than serving feel they should be served, would protect my investment. It was logical to believe that since I was forced into a scheme that given other options I may not have picked.
Sadly, money properly belonging to millions of Americans was squandered through crony capitalism, self-admiring monuments, and the funding of government and social institutions that provide no value to freedom or prosperity. Rather, they hinder both. That and dumping it into failed governments and failed societies that hate us to the core. Countries in which we somehow believed through our benevolence and superior intellect a cultural change toward a free society might be orchestrated. They gladly take our cash and then spit in our faces. Thousands year old cultures are as ingrained, if not more, than freedom is in the hearts of God fearing Americans.
So in the twilight, here I sit having spent my life believing I was doing what was honorable and good and expecting only good things to come of that. It is a sad realization when one moves from serving a government to becoming a hostage of it. Some see that as progress. I see it as smothering. Sucking the last breath of freedom away from a person and changing the country people loved into a divided and hate filled cesspool. Wow. What an achievement.
America is the place where people have allowed themselves to be trapped into government dependence. Trapped because of misplaced trust in men and women that view themselves as a superior ruling class and whose professed life’s purpose is to care for the little people. That vaunted American middle class – the American backbone – from which too few of them hail and to which the remainder view as the ignorant unwashed masses. Once these pretenders ride their tidal wave of hollow promises to Washington, the little people and their problems are quickly forgotten. They are replaced by sycophantic rear end kissers who know how to endear themselves to narcissists and egomaniacs. Their constituencies become lobbyists and whichever media has kind things to write or speak about them. It is certainly a Faustian arrangement.
Military retirees are only a tiny percentage of the American population. Veterans disabled from their service, another small percentage. Those dependent solely on Social Security and Medicare is larger and growing. Are these people important to their Washington overseers? Sadly, only as a political weapon. A bludgeon for their political opponents and a voting block to frighten into falling for more false promises. Promises America on her current track can never fulfill.
As far back as I can recall, the left has lamented the cost or the military retired pay system. The Department of Defense has cried to the high heavens that meeting a national obligation to a finite number of people is simply breaking the bank. Health care for retirees was the first hit. It simply cannot be afforded they cried. Some of those crony deals for defense contractors could be at stake. Military retirees do not complain much and they are a small voting bloc. Any system can undergo some reform and modernization, but military retirement is an enticement for professional people to spend a lifetime in service while those who used “a little blow whenever they could get it” become politicians and go to Washington. The military retirement system in any recognizable form cannot survive these people.
Seniors on Social Security and Medicare are threatened every election cycle. No cost of living raises and now Medicare covered patients being turned away from cancer clinics because Medicare does not sufficiently cover the cost of that care. Can you say death panel? Here is a news flash, Medicare does not cover the costs of lots of things and the advent of Obamacare will reduce it even further. These programs that Americans were forced to contribute to must be reformed, but if it was a working sustainable system a powerful political weapon would be gone – and the politicians know that. So they hold our senior citizens hostage while the possibility of fulfilling the promise to them grows smaller each passing day.
And, just when you thought your retirement was set, the little bit of cash you squirreled away in your retirement account? The President wants to decide for you how much is enough and when all of the wealthy folks move theirs to a place where the government cannot touch it, guess whose bank account is next little people?
Standing by for them to issue me my communist gray suit of clothes that looks like everyone else’s suit, my Kim Jung-un haircut, and my instructions on to which labor camp I must report. Or maybe concentration camp for us extremist Christians.