My mother used to cut coupons when I was just a kid growing up in East Cleveland, Ohio. She would scour the newspaper every day to find bargains and redemptions for food and household products.
I asked her why she did that and if could I help? Together, we managed to find something we needed every day and kept track of how much money we saved. She told me we had to watch every penny, because if one of us got sick, doctor bills could send us to the poor house.
The year we did this was about 1950. We had no medical insurance. My father worked as a machinist and made enough to pay rent, buy food for us, put gas in the 1940 Hudson coupe and clothes on us that weren’t threadbare. Every year, I got a new pair of shoes for school. Clearly, we were not wealthy, but we didn’t know we were poor, either.
We just knew we had to mind every penny and limit our luxuries, things we saved for — like all of us going to a movie.
The budget plan for America’s citizens presented by the "Fountainhead" follower of Ayn Rand’s nonsensical story, Paul Ryan, intends to return all working class and poor people to the coupon-clipping days of yore. The Ryan plan cuts Medicare and turns it into a voucher system so health-care insurance companies that got hurt by the Affordable Care Act can recoup their “losses” and make even more money off the poorer taxpayer.
Why would this plan make any sense to anyone but a millionaire who will enjoy as much as a $250,000 windfall from his or her tax bill? It wouldn’t, because we coupon clippers will be paying as much as $2,500 more per year in federal taxes while the elderly on Medicare will be paying as much as $6,500 more for their Medicare supplements.
This is the heart of the draconian Republican plan for “prosperity” in our nation.
Furthermore, corporations now will be able to bring home their profits earned overseas from American jobs they sent there tax free. Now, they just leave the money in foreign banks so they won’t have to pay taxes. The rich also will see their capital-gains taxes drop while coupons are being clipped by the rest of the poor souls not on the phone to their stockbrokers.
This election will be about Medicare and those who will be affected by its demise. This coming election will be about coupon clippers vs. vouchers. The rich are banking, literally, on Mitt Romney, Ryan and the rest of the corruption to bring home the bacon no matter who gets the short end of the deal.
Anyone reading this familiar with coupon cutting must vote for President Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress, or start sharpening those coupon-clipping scissors.
Turner is a retired teacher and industrial engineer who lives near Marble Falls. He is an independent columnist, not a staff member, and his views do not necessarily reflect those of The Tribune or its parent company. "The Voter’s Guide to National Salvation" is a newly published e-book from Turner. You can find it at www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.