Rep. Mick Mulvaney excels at blowing smoke. He blew a lot our way last week in his article in The Herald portraying himself as the reasonable moderate caught between the extreme left (Obama) and the extreme right (Tea Party.) Only the foolish or the politically naive would believe this. Mulvaney is a right-wing extremist. He simply happens to be too smart to openly admit it.
If you are too busy to examine Mulvaney’s voting record in detail, look at his position on Social Security. Last week he joined 50 of the most extreme House Republicans to undermine Social Security. They want cuts in Social Security benefits before the debt ceiling is raised and before government is reopened. No reasonable or moderate politician would resort to this type of political blackmail
The letter Mulvaney’s and his friends sent to House Speaker John Boehner called for:
raising the retirement age
slashing annual cost-of-living adjustments
means testing for Social Security recipients
allowing the wealthy to pay even less into the Social Security trust fund
Cutting benefits for those most in need just to give the very wealthiest Americans another tax break is outrageous enough. Demanding them as a precondition for funding the government and raising the debt ceiling is even more appalling. It is politics at its worse, and it stinks like a dead fish in the sunshine.
Our Social Security system needs to be expanded, not cut. Cost-of-living adjustments do not keep up with the rising costs that seniors face every day. If Mulvaney and his extremist allies get their way, everyone who receives Social Security now – or in the future – will get less and less in return for what they paid in over their lives. These people are Robin Hoods in reverse. They take from the poor and give to the rich.
But I don't want to do a disservice to Robin Hood by associating him with this crowd. Mick and his fanatical pals remind me more of the hostage-taking pirates off the north coast of Africa. Both groups deserve our contempt, and we should never pay ransom to either of them. If you want to see first-hand how they think and act, check out the new movie “Captain Phillips.” I plan to send Mulvaney a ticket as soon as – maybe I should say if – my next Social Security check arrives.