Richard Murie, who will turn 88 in October, says that "we need to raise the debt ceiling to save the nation," and is angry over the unwillingness of Republicans to tax the wealthy while wanting the middle class to shoulder the burden of debt reduction.
Dr. Richard Murie, 87, who holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry, retired from General Motors many years ago and is a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II. Murie lives on a fixed income that is derived from two sources: Social Security and some retirement income from G.M.
After Rep. Boehner (R -Ohio) walked out of debt ceiling negotiations with Pres. Obama on Friday, I asked Dr. Murie to share his thoughts concerning the debt ceiling negotiations and the raising of the debt ceiling being tied to reducing the national deficit.
Murie said, "When I heard that no agreement was reached and there was a possibility that the Social Security checks would NOT go out and other social services would not be funded...I literally FROZE. I, like how many other millions of older Americans, DEPEND on this to pay my bills."
The number of Americans receiving Social Security benefits in June 2011, according to the Social Security Administration, was 54,815,000.
The Republican leadership (leadership ?), to SAVE A FALSE HONOR for the promises they made, would DESTROY a nation. It reminds me of the false honor of some Islamics. They would kill a daughter who had been raped by one of their own, saying it SAVED THEIR honor by getting rid of a violated daughter and not having her in the home. The Republicans will DESTROY the middle class rather than admit they are wrong. They will refuse to replace the tax breaks given to the wealthy and large corporations, permit CEOs of finance organizations to get obscene salaries and bonuses and want to do this on the backs of the middle class. The tax loop holes have not been closed, off shore accounts of large corporations and CEOs exist. The Republican era is what started this recession, the wars, the greed. George Bush inherited a nation with a surplus and quickly ruined the nation.
All of this coming from a man who voted Republican the vast majority of his life. But he is a well-educated man who has witnessed and analyzed how his former party kowtows to the religious right, caves in to the tea party, and clings to an economic philosophy that has proved to be disastrous for the middle-class while at the same time catering to the rich.
Murie was voting Republican when the debt ceiling was raised 18 times during Pres. Reagan's two terms in office and when, in 1982, Reagan "signed the largest peace-time tax increase in U.S. history."
Murie, who now votes Democratic, offered the following observation and assessment. "The Republicans and tea party people are screaming at the middle class, but who will be asking for hospitalization and medical bills to be paid when they retire? The same Republicans!" said Dr. Murie. "Unfortunately, we need to raise the debt ceiling to save the nation. Taxes on the rich need to be raised, even taxes we poor pay can be raised some to help support and maintain the infrastructure. There are so many things that 'honor' bound Republicans and hypocritical religious right-wing Republicans are doing to destroy the country instead of working with the people. Was not this supposed to be a country of the people, by the people, and FOR for the People?"
According to Murie, "Millions of Americans will sleep uneasily" until the debt ceiling is increased before the looming August 2 default deadline. Congressional leaders met with Pres. Obama in the Cabinet Room of the White House on the morning of July 23 where Treasury Secretary Geitner "warned of possible trouble in the markets if policymakers don't announce a viable plan for raising the debt limit before Asian exchanges open Sunday," reports the Seattle Times.
Later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nevada), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) "met briefly in Boehner's office late Saturday to try to resolve the issue. They emerged without a resolution."
However, the Seattle Times notes, "The two sides agreed to keep working to produce a plan Sunday." For Dr. Richard Murie, and millions of other Americans, sleep will not come easily until a plan emerges that does not reduce the deficit solely on the backs of middle class Americans.
"If the Republican promises go through look for less care for our veterans, a middle class unable to buy goods and services, and the destruction of such services and infrastructure, " said Murie. "The failure of retailers because the middle class is no longer buying overpriced, and many times poorly made, Chinese products and goods imported from other countries. All of this is for the total greed of corporations and banks so a high salary and bonus can be paid."