As things turned out, 2010 was a lousy year to retire. Almost immediately, the Republican-led House of Representatives began threatening to shut down the government rather than continue the Medicare and Social Security benefits that I paid into for 40 years. Every year since, it has been the same threat at least once.
I am now 68 years old, a stroke and ovarian cancer survivor. My wits and skills are still sharp, but I've never had the physical stamina for anything other than a sit-down job. Am I trying to earn at least part of my living expenses? - If I weren't, you wouldn't be reading this article. Examiner.com is a very valuable forum, but it makes no pretense of being a full time employer. I sell drop ship items on ebay, too - at a time when most people barely have money for food.
Why did I anger the wealthy, Republican Establishment by working for and voting for President Obama? It was the only chance I and my family have to see a liveable future. Mitt Romney planned to cut Medicare immediately and repeal the Affordable Care Act, and he has made his living by stripping and destroying companies that provided good paying jobs for people like me. I protest to every possible authority about jobs that don't pay a living wage, and employers whose preferred management style seems to be employee harassment and intimidation.
Yes, there has been some progress these last four years, as the White House reminds me. We've added 341,000 jobs in the auto industry, home prices are rising, we have recovered the TARP payments, reduced the deficit from 10.1% to 4.2%, put important consumer protections in place, helped small businesses, and done some good work on financial reform. Every step of the way we have been obstructed by Tea Party extremists, and now they want to undo the whole thing by shutting down the government.