By Caryn Unsicker
It truly angered me to attend the town hall meeting hosted by Robert Schilling (R-17) last Wednesday (Aug. 22). There were many seniors there hoping for straightforward answers to questions about Social Security and Medicare. What they got instead was one of the most duplicitous dog and pony shows I have ever witnessed.
Mr. Schilling ducked out after introducing his hand-picked speakers. The Social Security guy was the same one who interrupted our Alliance for Retired Americans speaker, Midge Slater, so many times last year that he had to be asked to please save his statements until after she had finished speaking, and the Medicare person quoted Ronald Reagan! Yet, Mr. Schilling had the effrontery to ask that we should be respectful and keep politics out of it.
The facts, Mr. Schilling, are that the Paul Ryan (and now, Romney) budget would decimate Medicare as we know it and give people a voucher with which to buy health insurance. Good luck with that if you’re older! The facts, Mr. Schilling, are that you voted for the Ryan budget twice! When I had asked you in 2010 if you would protect Social Security, you told me you did not think Social Security would even be there when you retire. I am sure it won’t be if, God forbid, you and your Republican Party are elected this fall — the same party that said in the 1930s that Social Security was the biggest socialist giveaway in the history of America.
Your two-faced stance on other issues, like impeding the Thomson Prison sale by requesting redundant assurances that terrorists wouldn’t be housed there, then pretending you had been for it all along, or posing as promoting the new I-74 bridge, yet supporting a bill that omitted key funding for it, are really sneaky. But your hosting a meeting that purports to provide seniors with the “real facts” about Social Security and Medicare — while secretly voting to weaken or destroy these programs that so many millions of we seniors rely upon for our health and financial survival — is reprehensible! So is your having disseminated literature to them that lies about Obama’s cutting Medicare by over $700 billion. Obama’s cuts of the fraud and waste are used to insure even more seniors and close the donut hole. Romney’s cuts of similar amounts (not even mentioned) would fuel another tax cut to the wealthiest Americans. (And by the way, Social Security is NOT going broke, as you claim: Just raise the cap, and it will be good through this century and beyond.)
You should be ashamed of yourself, Mr. Schilling. Not only do you distort the facts to suit your sinister purposes and to deceive voters, but you posture as someone who does the opposite: who will defend Medicare and Social Security. I am telling everyone right now — young and old — if you want Social Security and Medicare for yourself, yhour children, and your grandchildren, you had better vote for Cheri Bustos in November!
Caryn Unsicker is a resident of the Quad Cities area.
From the Sept. 5-11, 2012, issue