The Obama War on Seniors

A comprehensive but short review of how Seniors face a world of pain because of the Presidency of Barack Obama

 By Attorney Gilbert K. Davis, Fairfax, VA
Keynote Remarks at the Wed., 4/24/13
Freedom Leadership Conference
Sponsored by Secure America Alliance (5,261 words)

 Those of you who are science fiction fans may recall that Mr. Spock liked to say “live long and prosper” to his friends, making some kind of a hand gesture that appears impossible for most of us to emulate.

With all due respect to Spock and the Star Trek fans out there, I’d like to share with you something often overlooked, especially in the more liberal parts of our country – like the White House and the Senate.

“Honor thy Father and mother” is not part of the 10 suggestions, but what Jews and Christians call the 10 Commandments, spelled out in the old Testament.

In fact, your and my well-being really does rest on how well we obey this commandment, for it is the only one with a clear promise.

The words are:

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.”

Only the priority of honoring and worshiping our God has a higher priority in the bible.

And, if you really want to live long and prosper as Spock said, it appears pretty clear to me that this Commandment is telling us that we can best achieve this by honoring our father and mother.

Now I don’t mean to wax religious on you here, but I do accept the idea rejected by all on the left and by most nice liberals, that America was founded by those who believe in Judeo-Christian principles.

Let me put this into perspective.

When I say that our founders were Christians and that their beliefs, call it their philosophy or worldview, shaped the work they did in creating this wonderful Republic of ours, their adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the later adoption of a Constitution, what I mean is this.

If you follow literature, the great plays, speeches, books and the movies that many watch – and all of which influence people’s thinking to some extent, is it so farfetched to say, that those who wrote these were influenced in their writings, by what they believed?

We see this in the great writings of western civilization.

From Homer’s ancient epic poem The Iliad, the later Song of Roland, on to Washington’s Farewell Address, to Lincoln’s Gettysburg address and more recently on June 6, 1984 when President Ronald Reagan honored the U.S. Army Rangers who led the liberation of Europe at Pointe du Hoc, France.

We see how their beliefs shaped their words and the ideas they expressed, in best-selling books and movies like The Lord of the Rings, written by a devout Christian named J.R.R. Tolkien.  His fictional works, like those of his close friend C.S. Lewis, beloved by so many because of his best selling books and movies, The Chronicles of Narnia, were all shaped by his beliefs, his philosophy and his faith.

And today in America, we seem to have forgotten the principles which everyone after Homer, who I mentioned, believed in strongly, ideals spelled out clearly in that book read by the defenders of the Judeo-Christian western world, the Bible.

This is the one commandment that so very specifically tells us we will be prosperous only if we honor our parents, the  Commandment we forget at our peril.

Honoring your father and your mother is not a priority under the reign of President Barack Obama.

No.  We have instead, an “Obama war on seniors.”

Let me tell you about how we go well beyond a simple failure to honor our parents, to the point that we are actually singling them out for hurt, and conducting a war against them.

Candidate for President John McCain four years ago called it “generational warfare.”

My purpose today, my hope, is to stir you to take further action in defense of thy father and mother, to honor and protect America’s senior citizens.

I mentioned speeches and writings which are epic in the history of civilization.

In my judgment, the war on seniors being conducted today, is willful and hurtful, and will make these times, live in infamy, if we do not stop them.

Let me list some of the weapons in this war on seniors, where they are being fleeced like lambs, or perhaps worse, butchered like chickens, with their life savings and even their breath being stolen away from them as Barack Obama spreads their wealth around to favor his preferred voting constituencies.

I did not misspeak when I said that even their very breath is being stolen away from seniors today.

A few years ago Sarah Palin earned a fresh batch of verbal assault and criticism by saying that the proposed Obamacare would produce Death Panels to decide the fate of senior citizens.

She and the conservatives who stood by her, pointed out the truth.

We now have an “Independent Payment Advisory Board” of 15 unelected bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services charged with cutting costs and gutting Medicare spending.

Their word is law and can only be overturned by a supermajority of Congress.

These Obama bureaucrats will directly control what payments are made to doctors and hospitals.

Yes, the death panels have quietly arrived.

When you ration healthcare for senior citizens by using a panel of experts to decide when you will withhold medical care, you are in fact, making a decision to let them die.

Yes they laughed when we said rationing health care for seniors will kill them.

And, Nancy Pelosi told us you had to pass Obamacare to learn what is in it.

Now we are seeing, step by step, this monstrosity taking shape, and we are learning what is in it.

The Wall Street Journal accurately reported, “…rationing health care is central to President Barack Obama’s health plan.”

They will “reduce health care costs by rationing the services that we and future generations of patients will receive.”

Let’s be more blunt about this.

When you ration something that means you hold back medical care for people who need it.  That increases their pain.  It decreases their life.

It kills them painfully, in other words.

Does that sound like “honor thy father and thy mother” to you?

Nobody’s laughing on the left now – instead they simply ignore it and hope nobody notices.

Instead of the inefficiency of the government we should allow some latitude for us to purchase private insurance of our choice.

We should allow competition across state lines to reduce expenses and boost performance.

We should continue private Health Care Savings accounts with tax deductions so that people make their own choices in the future.

If you feel sorry for those who smoke, overeat, don’t exercise, or who came to America illegally, then by all means politicians can set a good example in these areas and give their own money as voluntary donations.

But when your new Obamacare subsidizes the unhealthy activities which put more people into hospitals sooner, you will get more of what is hurting and killing people.

When you help illegal aliens with Obamacare that sure sounds very generous.

But you know what?

All these extra expenses are being paid for by cutting back on the healthcare that senior citizens thought they’d earned by their lifetime contributions into the system.

Now we see all that money they put in, going to somebody else instead of to the people who thought they had earned it.

We can assure improvement in future health care treatment instead of killing the best seniors care and medical system on earth as Obamacare does.

If you want to help a new group of people who need healthcare, let’s be honest about it, go ahead and appropriate the money you want to spend and go ahead and raise taxes on people but don’t steal the money away from seniors by slashing their healthcare to pay for your supposed generosity.

Now I am just getting warmed up as I take aim at this terrible war on seniors.

You know all this extra spending – now over 16 trillion national debt – has to be paid for somehow.

Well, one of the worst and most nefarious taxes is what we call “the death tax.”

When you die, any money you managed to save gets an EXTRA tax.

Now think about this for a moment: you already PAID the tax to have any money you have saved up.

And, every year, whatever money you might earn from your savings, gets taxed again.

Now President Barack Obama proposes boosting the death tax to 45 percent, in effect, yet a third tax.

Nearly half of what you’ve saved over your lifetime and ALREADY PAID TAXES ON TWICE, he wants to just grab to pay for his new spending.

What other group in America faces an EXTRA tax of an EXTRA 50 percent, on top of the 25 to 50% of taxes they already paid on the money they managed to set aside?

And, when you think about it, this SNEAK TAX as I think of it, is aimed at people who have died, believing they would leave something as a legacy for their spouse or children.

How dare the liberals try to steal this money from seniors?

Yes I know I started out today reminding you about that Commandment to “honor thy father and thy mother” but at an even more basic level, who hasn’t heard, “thou shalt not steal?”

So here we have in this Sneak Tax on Seniors who passed on and aren’t here to defend themselves, an Obama tax that would violate TWO commandments for the price of one.

In this one area I suppose we can say President Obama is being economical, giving us two violations of basic common sense, decency and God’s law, for the price of one tax.

We must fight to stop any new and unfair taxes on seniors like this death tax.

It is really unfair, wrong, sneaky and shameful.  It dishonors our seniors.

I pointed to Senator John McCain’s comment – echoed by Mitt Romney in his campaign for President – that spending money today that the next generation is going to be stuck paying for, is inter-generational warfare.

Let’s look a bit more closely at this.

One of the most important things that we who are older can leave to the next generation is an example of how to conduct yourself.

Leading by example is more than just a U.S. Army Infantry slogan.

When you have heroes to admire, you can learn what is good and right from studying their lives.

When you honor and respect those who are senior to you in life and accomplishment, you build a better future for yourself because of what you learn.

But more important to senior citizens is this.

Seniors love nothing more than to help the next generation.  To pass on more than money but a positive example, and their wisdom.

Yet instead today, we see how seniors are horrified as they realize they are passing on instead, an example of over spending, and massive debt, to their children.

No wonder that even in Florida’s senior precincts, even with that hateful image of granny being thrown over the cliff by Vice Presidential candidate, Congressman Paul Ryan, seniors voted against Barack Obama.

Seniors don’t want to see us spending money today, which their children will have to pay for in the future.

Seniors want to live honorably, pass on a good example and some wisdom, not debts and bills that have to be paid by their kids and grandkids.

The idea of overspending today and making their children pay the bill, is repugnant to seniors.  As seniors come to realize what is being done to their descendents, they are horrified.

Now we come to the question of the quality of life, measured in part, by the standard of living.

From 1998 through 2005 the median senior citizen’s net worth grew an average of 11% per year according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

If you subtract the increase from the growth in home prices, then the growth in seniors’ net worth is still 8% increase per year.

They were ahead of inflation in the pre-Obama years.

But that stopped in 2005 as the net worth of seniors declined 2.8% per year.

Yes, I said minus nearly 3 percent per year.

If you count home values then the decline is far worse for seniors.

But what about savings?

Well, consider this.

Because they don’t have as many years left to live as younger people, and because they really do rely on that interest income, a larger percentage of seniors put their money into safe investments, such as savings accounts, certificates of deposit or CD’s, and U.S. savings bonds.

These all pay a lower interest rate but are considered safe for seniors.

But our friend Ben Bernanke and his Federal Reserve, have been holding interest rates at or near zero for so long, that they have forced senior citizens to switch to riskier investments like stocks and mutual funds so that they can pay their monthly bills.

Remember, younger people have more choice in their investments.

They take some losses in some years by investing in riskier growth funds.  They can pull ahead and earn more in later years.

Because they have more time, unlike seniors, younger people can play the odds and the averages and end up OK.

But seniors are relying on the monthly income from their investments right now, rather than looking for long term, capital growth.

So they need to play it safe.

But under the Fed’s low interest rates policy, those safe investments they used to have didn’t pay much anymore.  So, many seniors invested in stocks, bonds and mutual funds, and lost a lot of money.

From 1998 to 2010, the median senior, reduced his investment in U.S. savings bonds by over 11 percent per year, while boosting his stocks and mutual funds by 8 percent per year.

But no matter which choice they made – to invest in riskier stocks and bonds or to stick with the safe savings accounts and CD’s, Seniors really took a beating in their standard of living in the Obama economy.

Why did the Fed force this terrible choice on Seniors?

The national debt and the continuing excessive government spending that have put us $16 trillion in debt.

By forcing low interest rates, the Fed enables the U.S. government to pay a much smaller interest rate on that debt.

Which means, our own federal government is taking money from seniors to pay the national debt.  And they figure, seniors will never figure it out.

Let’s summarize that: the Federal Reserve forces low interest rates, saving many billions of dollars for the federal government.

Seniors lose billions because of this policy, because they either do not earn much now on their safe CD and savings investments, or because they lose playing the stock market.

Barack Obama’s federal government has in effect, created a hidden tax on seniors, to pay for their overspending.

It is little noticed and you won’t easily find any reference to this sneaky Obama tax on seniors.

But we are still not done.

Jack Kemp many years ago said, you get less of what you punish and more of what you reward.  He observed that we tax savings and give very little interest for it, and so those punishments, mean we have less savings.

On the other hand, we give a tax break for debt.  So of course, we have more debt.

Today 38 million senior citizens in retirement get a small social security retirement check.  Many no longer have enough in savings to make ends meet, as I just explained.

So, these seniors look for part time jobs.  Did you know that the government penalizes such extra work, by cutting back on their social security check?

So your savings and investments are penalized, your extra work is penalized.  Senior citizens are squeezed either way.

It sure doesn’t seem fair to me to cut back the small social security check we send to a senior, if they want to do some extra work.  Especially if you realize that it is the government’s policies that caused their problem.

And before I leave this topic, remember that the government itself buys a lot of the national debt with paper money, driving UP the demand for government securities and decreasing the value of the dollar bills in circulation.

You know it is a terrible thing in a tight economy, to see what a tax increase does to make it even worse.  It means people who own businesses simply cut back on hiring, cut back on pay raises for their employees, cut back on any business expansion.

The Obamacare taxes on businesses which hire more than 50 people, on employees who work 30 hours or more, simply means less hiring, and less hours of work.

And that really kills the economy.

But do you know what those extra taxes do to senior citizens who live on fixed income, and are not able to find extra work to make up the losses imposed on them by cutbacks of benefits and increases in taxes?

The new tax of nearly $1 trillion proposed by President Obama is going to hurt senior citizens more than anybody else in our society.

In contrast, conservatives in the House and the Senate have proposed to balance the budget over the next ten years by less spending and by giving business the chance to grow and increase our tax base.

When President’s John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan each did a tax cut, it increased the amount of money collected by the federal government.

If you decrease regulations and taxes you get more money to the government because more people are working, and business is making more money they can tax.

If you go in the other direction, as President Obama keeps doing, then government gets less money, our standard of living goes down.

And who gets a totally unfair percentage of the pain and the hurt and the cost under the Obama economy?  Well, it is seniors of course, and why my talk is called “The Obama War on Seniors.”

Price controls always produce long lines and less supply of the product or service you are regulating.  Whether it is the gas lines of the 1970’s or the Medicaid and Medicare of the future under ObamaCare, the result of so-called price controls is to simply limit availability to those who want the product or service.

As some of you may not yet realize, Medicaid is a social welfare program for seniors who cannot afford health care.  But typical of the liberals, they are very generous with OTHER people’s money.

They limit how much a doctor can earn and call it their gift to poor seniors.

But the truth is, more and more doctors refuse to work for so little and instead say “we don’t take Medicaid patients here.”  How does that help seniors when they cannot find a doctor?

Medicare – particularly Part D – has had some notable success in providing much needed drug coverage while lowering the cost of hospital stays, while preserving some market competition and some control of their own healthcare by seniors.

Instead of leaving this Medicare part D system alone – after its free market mechanisms produced spending that was 45% less than projected – bet you can guess what President Obama has in store for seniors.

Yes, more government is on the way – price controls and tax increases on health care providers and then higher taxes on seniors via another sneak method – increasingly higher premiums and co-pays taking more of their fixed income away.

This past January, 55 million Social Security beneficiaries got an increase of 3.6%.

But then, there was a jump in the premium cost that Seniors pay for Medicare Part B benefits.  How much of a jump?

Well, many retires are already paying 10% or more of the $1,000 plus they may get each month.  They can’t afford t to lose more of that.

Wall Street Journal quoted Pete Morelli, age 80, about this recent cost of living increase and then the increase in the tax he has to pay under President Obama, “They are going to give us a little extra money and then raise our insurance.  That’s ridiculous.”

Mr. Morelli spent his life as a mechanic and a bus driver in New York, and his situation is the same as so many other retirees.

They are figuring out that President Obama is playing a shell game with them, loudly proclaiming his generosity in sending them a small cost of living increase in social security, while boosting their taxes and causing doctors to quit their practice or refuse to take Medicaid patients.

And by the way, when we talk about retirees remember that there are nearly 2 million retired members of the military in that group.

They devoted their lives to the defense of America.

Letting Barack Obama cut their standard of living is a lousy way to say “thank you for your service,” don’t you think?

Finally, let me run through a quick checklist of other techniques being used by Barack Obama and his liberal allies to wage war on seniors.

This is an anti-energy President, who uses over regulation and pretenses to concern about the environment, to delay, stifle or outright suppress energy production in the United States, with shale energy as well as offshore oil resources for example.

In states which have fought back the economy has boomed.  In states like New York where Obama’s allies have outright banned shale energy development – called Fracking – the economy is down.

Making it even simpler, if a state is red- voted Republican in recent years – the economy is up.

But, the bluer – or more Democrat voting – the state is, the worse is their economy.

Blue means a world of hurt for seniors.

Red means life and a better standard of living for seniors.

Not a partisan statement, but a statement of truth.

You may have heard Obama boast that energy production is up during his presidency.  Two things he forgot to mention.

The demand for energy far outpaces the limited development he allows, such as the continued hold up of the pipeline to Canadian energy sources, which Communist China will end up with instead.

Second, President Obama doesn’t mention that since 2007, we have seen a 40% increase in oil and gas production from state and private lands, while his federal government has managed to CUT energy production on federal lands where his Department of the Interior holds sway.

Next, I will focus a moment on foreign policy.  But, again we are also speaking about energy policy again here.

The President has a foreign policy which almost appears designed to minimize America’s chance to get the energy resources needed for our industry and enhance Communist China’s chances.

All of this makes energy more expensive on the world market and far more expensive in the USA than it needs to be.  Living on fixed or even declining incomes, seniors bear the largest share of the pain with such energy cost increases under the Obama anti-energy policy.

Those who were paying attention during history classes may recall the war with Mexico before World War II.  It was a result of cross border raids from Mexico by Pancho Villa, who killed and robbed Americans then ran back over the border to safe sanctuary.

Today we have a new raid underway from Mexico, something called a “Totalization” Agreement already signed with between them and the USA.

The proposed agreement – not yet law – gives special rights to illegal aliens from Mexico.

Very simply, those illegal aliens who worked here illegally for 10 quarters get social security benefit checks sent to them when they retire to Mexico.

How stupid are we?

Now, the fact is, $1,000 goes a lot further in Mexico than it does in America, so those who worked a much shorter time in America as illegals, are going to get money from our Social Security Trust Fund, faster than Americans do.

More important, they will help bankrupt the Trust Fund, which simply doesn’t have enough money to pay them and also keep the promises made to America’s senior citizens who worked 30, 40 and even 50 years to get their retirement pay, not the much shorter time that will be allowed for illegals from Mexico.

Once again, we see this President and his liberal allies stealing from senior citizens what they earned, and giving it to a favored constituency as their reward for voting for him in such large numbers.

This Totalization Agreement is not yet approved as law and Congress can still stop it.

Speaking out for seniors in behalf of the Secure America Alliance, I hope they will.

The cost of over regulation of business – growing as never before under Obama, is really another sneak tax on senior citizens.

When you drive the cost of doing business up, two things immediately happen.

First, business passes the cost on to the consumers.

Second, business cuts back on expansion – such as new equipment, new employees hired, to pay the extra costs imposed on them.

The effect on seniors of these rising costs and less chance for part time employment are catastrophic.

We have barely touched on Obamacare because all by itself, this is the single worst part of the Obama war on seniors, and the one which comes closest to my assertion today, that we are letting them painfully kill our senior citizens by not stopping these policies.

Part of the problem with healthcare for seniors really started with liberal policies before President Obama even took office.  The idea of the federal government paying for everything and pushing private industry out, always pushes UP the prices that seniors have to pay, just as it has done with college tuition costs.

Attempts to control health care costs by rationing, just increases the pain and the death rate for seniors.

Trying to force doctors to work at a lower pay scale simply makes more and more doctors leave their field, take early retirement or avoid Medicaid altogether if they remain in practice.

This point is central to our criticism of Obamacare government versus private healthcare alternatives.

Consider this from Forbes:

“…more people… save money for their own health expenses using health savings accounts. It’s when you pay for something directly that you are most likely to make sure that you’re paying for value.

“When other people pay on your behalf—whether that third party is a private-sector insurer or the government—you’re not going to shop for value. The examples of Singapore and Switzerland show that paying directly for one’s own care makes a big difference.

“Obamacare’s central flaw is that the law makes it harder for us to do so.”

In summary, eliminating Healthcare Savings Accounts or HAS’s will drive up the cost of healthcare, with the largest impact on our senior citizens.

You know that after the Obama forces showed that despicable TV commercial with Paul Ryan throwing Granny over the cliff to her death, they actually cut $716 billion out of Medicare for seniors, to “spread the wealth around” to pay for their Obamacare.

They do it by further lowering the amount that doctors and hospitals are allowed to charge.  Since they already charge below their costs, this simply means more doctors and hospitals go out of business or refuse any Medicare patients.

After the election went by, another $200 billion has been chopped from the Medicare Advantage program which affects seniors.

Most of you have heard and know about the Obama war on faith and our churches.

Of course Obama has criticized the Bill of Rights, calling it a “Negative Bill of rights” because it constrains government and he doesn’t like it.

Obama as we have seen, doesn’t like the prohibition on the government against regulating and controlling Churches and what they teach.

His Obamacare is a direct threat to people of faith and their churches.  How does this affect seniors, you ask?

Well, the biggest consumer, if you want to call it that, of the church product in America, is the elderly.

There is something about coming closer and closer to the end of your life that really focuses you on issues of faith and questions of where you will spend eternity, and whether you wish to accept a personal Savior in your life or not.

Consider this.  When they attack churches as they have done, when they ignore the clear admonition to leave your hands off religious practices, it is the elderly who are affected more than any other segment of our society.

Lest you think I exaggerate this, the Catholic Church, which has come under the most attack in the past year, has been forced to withdraw some of their charitable services in San Francisco, Washington DC and Boston, Massachusetts.

It will get much worse under Obama, before it gets better.

I know a few of you may have heard of the movie starring Andy Garcia, called For Greater Glory, which tells the true story of the government persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico many years ago.

The government didn’t like being criticized so they just killed the priests and burned down their churches.

Some fear we are going in that direction in America.

In a very real way, Obama’s war on people of faith in America, is especially a war on senior citizens.

I am telling you truthfully, all of what I have described, is but the tip of the iceberg in Obama’s War on Seniors.

The Heritage Foundation details 160 provisions which hurt Seniors by increasing government control over their Medicare and boosting their costs while limiting their healthcare choices.

There are cuts scheduled in funding to nursing homes, in-home therapy and many other health care services which the difference at best of a pain free and comfortable life, or at worst are life and death matters for senior citizens.

In conclusion we urgently need your help.

We need more people to get active and stay active in the loyal opposition to the policies of this government.

If you are attending this Freedom Leadership Conference or watching this video then you have made a really splendid start.

But I hope you keep going and get more active and stand with us.

I am here today in behalf of the Secure America Alliance and speaking at this Freedom Leadership Conference, and I urge you to make a commitment to help both of them carry on this fight.

Attending every monthly meeting if you live here in Northern Virginia would be a big help.  Making a donation of your time or your money would also be a big help.

And I know that there are many other really fine organizations, candidates for office you can support, many ways you can tell Obama, keep the change, I want what works best for America, and stop this war on seniors.

The people throwing granny off the cliff are President Barack Obama and his liberal allies.

If I was Joe Biden I suppose I could say “Obama is literally throwing Granny off the Cliff.”

Obama and his liberal allies violate one of our most sacred commandments given to us by the Almighty, to honor thy father and thy mother, not hurt them and even kill them with this war on seniors.

To borrow a phrase, “LET US HERE HIGHLY RESOLVE” to work together to stop this Obama War on Seniors.

Thank you, God bless all of you, and God bless America.

We appreciate positive comments and/or robust discussion of issues raised here.