Dear Mr. President,
How was your weekend? Shall I tell you about mine? It was spent getting my 92-year-old mother-in-law settled in the new digs at the Friends Home. She has just enough income to cover her one spare room. Want to know a secret? If chained CPI for SS were currently in place, she would not be able to afford this luxury.
While helping her move my husband and I slept on the floor of our sons rented home. My son and daughter-in-law work seven days a week in their dry-cleaning business. A couple of years ago they sold their home in hopes of buying something a little bigger three bedrooms instead of two, to fit their growing family. Thats when the market crashed and suddenly, they were not able to get a loan. So, they are renting. Recently, my daughter-in laws mother moved in with them since her job as a mortgage broker dried up and she went broke. Next week she will go into the hospital for a knee replacement and will recuperate on the kids couch while her geriatric gentleman friend (also in poor health) takes her room in order to nurse her back to health. Good times.
My parents are both suffering a variety of ailments that have them constantly in and out of hospitals and I know soon, I will have to deal with their future housing. They are 80 and 85- SS is a big part of their independence. With chained CPI in place they would be running through their savings at an Olympic pace.
When our parents die, they will likely leave very little in inheritance, even though they all worked solid jobs in aeronautics, library science, and retail management. They did not live lavish lifestyles. They just never calculated that living to a ripe old age would impoverish them and their children in turn. Inheritance is what created the middle class and the end of inheritance will wipe it out. Chained CPI means the longer you live the less you get, and likely you will deplete your savings chasing immortality through the miracles of modern science. I am already living that reality.
You often talk about the need for fairness and that everyone should have Skin in the game. Lets explore this notion.
Five years ago, exactly two weeks after the economy hit the fan, my husband was made an offer he could not refuse take a one third cut in salary or hit the bricks. He stayed. There are no jobs for men over 55 unless, of course, you are already at the top of the corporate ladder or in Government, in which case one can apparently fail upwards indefinitely. I am an artist of some little note with two published books under my belt and a wall full of awards. Last year was stellar for me. I made
$12,000.00 selling art. That is the most Ive made in over ten years, Whoo-hoo. We are hanging on by our fingertips, but at least we can still feel them. My husbands sister is not so lucky. In January 2009 her husband murdered her with a single bullet to the head as she slept. He then turned the gun on himself. They were facing foreclosure on their home. They were both highly educated. He had a masters degree from Stamford and worked for the State of California in Minority Contracting. She was okay with the coming change to their lifestyle; he could not handle it and took matters into his own hands. Most of their friends were in DC attending your first Inauguration when the tragedy occurred and we postponed the funeral to accommodate their travel home. So, I guess what Im saying is that I think I already have enough Skin in the game. I dont feel the need to peel off any more.
Mr. President. Im certain you think that getting a GRAND BARGAIN is going to enhance your legacy. I am here to ask,
for whom is this Grand and for whom is this a Bargain? I am a fan. I never stopped defending you during this last election cycle. I am done.
The Republicans may hold that gun to the head of the middle class and they may have loaded the chambers, but it is your finger on the trigger.
Will you be playing golf next weekend? Have fun.