Another year, another Paul Ryan attack on Medicare, although he has, perhaps, accepted (at least for now!) the notion that he will not be able to replace Medicare with a voucher program that would cost seniors more than Medicare does and save our government approximately zero dollars. But Speaker Ryan still has a jones to raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, which would also save our government approximately bupkus -- which you know just by remembering that folks aged 65 to 67 are actually the least likely seniors to have huge health care needs. (Perhaps I shouldn't say that out loud, so Mr. Ryan doesn't get it in his head to cut off Medicare once you hit 80!) Lowering the age is the minimum we should do, really, particularly when seniors' non-Social Security pensions are disappearing. In fact, I'd lower the eligibility age all the way to zero, so everyone can be on Medicare, including hundreds of millions of people too healthy to need the kind of care seniors need. Social Security Works helps you tell Speaker Ryan to abandon his plan to raise the Medicare eligibility age.
Meanwhile, the Dodd-Frank financial reform law mandates that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other federal regulators write new rules reining in executive pay at banks financial service corporations -- and, naturally, their proposed rules don't go far enough. They don't force executives to pay back any bonuses they received if they committed wrongdoing, for example, and they don't do enough to rein in stock options that essentially insulate executives from the consequences of their bad decisions. The whole idea behind letting executives make all this money is, supposedly, that they take all this risk -- but they don't, because they still get paid when they take a dump all over the economy. Of course, the banksters want the relevant federal regulators to do nothing -- as if bankster greed and venality didn't put our economy in the crapper in the first place! If powerful people won't restrain their own behavior, then we must do it. Hence Americans for Financial Reform helps you tell our government to implement the most vigorous financial service pay reforms possible.
Finally, with the third anniversary of the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder decision having just passed, People for the American Way helps you tell your Congressfolk to support H.R. 2867/S. 1659, the Voting Rights Advancement Act. As you may recall, the Court struck down Sec. 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act because, in their view, it unfairly singled out Southern states in its pre-clearance formula -- but the Court also all but invited Congress to pass a new pre-clearance formula, and the Voting Rights Advancement Act does that, by subjecting any state or locality to Justice Department pre-clearance of voting law changes if that state or locality has demonstrated a clear pattern of violating voting rights over the last 15 years. So what are our opponents' objections now? Well, Senate Majority Leader McConnell says "the South has changed so much," though the new law wouldn't specifically target the South, and House Speaker Ryan says he won't make his committee heads move legislation they don't want to move. In other words, our opponents have no case. So we must overwhelm them with our case.