Cartoon: 5 Things Congress Says When It Plans To Cut Social Security | Patreon

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Drawing five random characters (or semi-random, in this case, since they all had to be plausibly the sort of person who could be in Congress and seeking to cut Social Security) is always fun.

In this case, to make them different looking and also for my own entertainment. I used different base shapes for their skulls; panel two guy has a tube-shaped skull, panel three a sphere, panel four a triangle, panel five an oval, and panel six a rectangle. If I don’t think about it I tend to default to giving all characters a spherical head, but it’s nice to switch it up.

The challenge here was drawing the Capitol Building in the background of panel seven. I could have done a more impressive-looking drawing, with less effort, by tracing a photo, but I was determined to draw the building freehand.

I have to confess, the results aren’t my best drawing ever, but I’m pretty confident that it’s recognizably the Capitol Building, or at least recognizably “some big government building,” which is all that’s required for the storytelling to work.

(I do think my ability to draw buildings without relying on tracing has been improving, but it’s a slow process).

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One thing that isn’t in this cartoon, but maybe I’ll do a future cartoon about it, because it really pisses me off:

Politicians can only get away with code phrases for “we want to cut Social Security” – such as “raise the retirement age” – only when news media allows it. And the media shouldn’t allow it, ever, from politicians of either party. These code phrases should be translated to “cutting Social Security,” not five or ten paragraphs deep in the story, but in the headline.

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This cartoon has seven panels. The first six panels are a two-by-three grid taking up the left half of the cartoon; the seventh panel takes up the entire right half of the cartoon.


This panel is empty except for the title of the cartoon, printed in large, friendly looking letters. 



A red haired man wearing a brown suit, and a dark tie with red dots, is speaking directly to the reader, looking a little anxious.

MAN: Cuts? NEVER! We only want to… er… “raise the retirement age.”


A smiling man, wearing a suit with a red striped tie, worries his hands in front of his chin as he talks to the reader. 

MAN: We’ll just take billions out of Social Security funds to play the stock market! What could POSSIBLY go wrong?


A man with a salesman’s grin, wearing a cream-colored jacket over a light blue shirt and red tie, holds his lapels as he talks to the reader.

MAN: Social Security should “sunset” every five years unless Congress re-passes it. (Sunsets can’t be bad! They’re so pretty!)


A well-dressed woman wearing a red jacket over a v-neck gray blouse is looking a bit up into the air as she searches for the right word. Her expression is uncertain.

WOMAN: Overhaul! Wait that sounds bad… Reform! No… um…


An older man, but still quite strong looking, has white hair parted on one side and is wearing a white button down shirt with a black necktie. He has a stern expression as he speaks to the reader.

MAN: Our debt limit plan won’t cut Social Security! It’ll just force Social Security cuts. That’s totally different!


This panel has a large caption at the top, in the same font as panel one, which says:


The red-haired man from panel two is back, talking directly to the reader and making a chopping motion with one hand. His expression is stern. Behind him we can see the U.S. Capitol Building (although the Statue of Freedom on top of the building has been replaced by a statue of Woodstock from Peanuts).

MAN: We plan to cut Social Security.

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5 Things Congress Says When It Plans To Cut Social Security | Patreon

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