If you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to block our President's attempt to raid Social Security and Medicare funding through his payroll tax holiday Executive Order, then Social Security Works still helps you do that. You'd be surprised to learn how many of our President's votaries excuse this raid by saying our government has raided Social Security for years! That's how far people have to go to defend this President -- by essentially asserting that two wrongs do make a right! Also, too, they're wrong -- if we do nothing, and the economy doesn't grow (which sure seems unlikely, regardless of what's happening now!), then Social Security will be able to pay out full benefits until 2035 and close to 80% of its benefits thereafter. But if our President gets his way, and repeals the payroll tax entirely? Social Security's disability trust fund will be empty by the middle of next year, and the retirement/survivors' trust fund will be empty by 2023. That's because taxes pay for services. And the only people who don't understand that are the people who must cling to this President no matter what.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania residents, take note: our state legislators still push a pro-pollution agenda, this time with HB 2025/SB 950, which would establish the procedure by which the state could establish a carbon tax. Read Sec. 4(b)(3) of the bill and you'll notice a theme -- the bill would only allow our DEP to consider the economic "harm" a carbon tax would supposedly do to big energy corporations which don't have the foresight to switch to renewables; the bill would pointedly not permit our DEP to consider the increased health care costs from pollution (which are economic impacts), and the bill would also pointedly not let our DEP consider the deleterious impacts of climate change from continued fossil fuel emissions (which are also economic impacts!). Now's a good time to note that I care little for carbon taxes -- I prefer good old-fashioned regulation, which has always worked when done by people who give a crap -- but if the Commonwealth chooses to go the carbon tax route, then certainly they should do it right. Hence the Environmental Defense Fund helps you tell your PA state legislator to reject HB 2025/SB 950 and actually take steps to protect our air, our water, and our health.
Finally, big pharma corporation Gilead, which is developing a putatively promising COVID-19 treatment called remdesivir, says it'll "give away" 1.5 million doses -- but that's not the act of generosity you might think it is! After all, a sick person will need more than one dose -- Gilead's own website recommends five- and ten-day treatment courses, depending on the severity of your symptoms -- and Gilead still plans to charge upwards of $2,000 for a drug they developed with almost $80 million of taxpayer money, i.e., your money. Set aside the immorality of charging four figures for a life-saving drug: they needed our money to make it! Which gives us some say over what they do, right? Hence Color of Change helps you tell Gilead to give all of its COVID-19 medicine away, if it works. Why would a right-winger object to that? Well, HOWZ DOEZ THEYZ MAKEZ TEH PROFITZ!!!!!, I suppose (short answer: why must they?), but also fear -- fear that if we don't let Gilead do exactly what it wants, we'll all get sick and die. Fears like that are real, of course, but letting such fears dominate our lives is profoundly un-American. We're not hostages, after all -- we're free people.