With the election now merely weeks away several downticket races deserve noting. One of the worst things that happened for our country in the last several years was the taking of the House by a bunch of extreme, right-wing zealots. Now this year Democrats will be fighting to keep the same thing from happening in the Senate. One race that personifies this effort is in Missouri.
There incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill is fighting against one of the most ignorant and extreme candidates on the board in Congressman Todd Akin. Aside from his ignorance on rape and how a woman's body works Akin is dangerous for many different reasons. First and foremost are his views on Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlement programs.
From his own website Akin is elusive about his plans for entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare:
Entitlement reform is crucial to getting federal spending under control.
Last year, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid entitlements alone accounted for 45 percent of all federal spending. In the coming decade, these programs are expected to consume 51 percent of the federal budget. That level of entitlement spending is simply unsustainable.
Even as the enormity of the entitlement crisis has become indisputable, many in Washington are eager to establish new entitlements and expand existing ones. The Congressman is committed to fighting the growth of entitlement spending and finding viable private choice alternatives to current entitlements.
Yes, without saying as much Akin wants to turn over your retirement and Medicare to the thieves on Wall St. who have already proven they cannot be trusted to put the public well-being ahead of their own greed and profit. Akin would line solidly behind them ahead of Missouri's working families and seniors. His vision?? To end the social safety net Americans enjoy in favor of tax cuts for the very wealthy and the interests of Wall St. bankers.
Claire McCaskill has a very different vision for Social Security and Medicare:
The Missouri Democrat endorsed more financial means testing for Medicare and efforts to create incentives to control costs. She also suggested levying taxes for Social Security on a greater portion of wealthier people's income.
Right now, taxes for Social Security are charged on the first $110,100 of earned income. McCaskill supports levying the taxes on the entire income of those earning at least $250,000 and argues that the additional revenue would help shore up the program's financial footing.
"If we would raise that cap slightly, you get enough additional revenue into the system that it makes the program sound for another 75 years without tinkering with the age of retirement or the size of the benefit," she said.
McCaskill contrasted her approach to Social Security and Medicare with that of Republican opponent, Congressman Todd Akin. During a conference call with reporters Wednesday, McCaskill charged that Akin wants to privatize Social Security and turn Medicare into a program offering vouchers for private insurance coverage.