The table below got me thinking back to a Town Hall our congressional representative held during the “Obamacare” debate. There was an absolutely huge line, easily 30 times what the hall could hold, outside. The crowd was fairly split between for and against. There were many civil and intelligent, albeit, heated debates between people in the crowd (and a few not so civil). In front of me and a friend of mine at one point was an elderly gentleman, obviously a vet from his dress, holding a sign with some dig on Canadian health care. A young guy walked up to him and inquired as to his specific beef. The elderly gentleman went through all the conservative talking points against socialized health care. The young guy asked him where he got his health insurance from, and the answer was … Medicare. The young guy then pressed him that he was taking advantage of the very socialist health system he had just argued against. The elderly gentleman’s reply to this was that it wasn’t, that he was just getting out what he paid in, basically arguing he had paid forward.
Uh … no. Medicare is a socialist system, it is pay as you go. When my parents were young their taxes went to paying for my grandparents, and now my taxes now go towards paying for my parents. That is the way it works, it is socialist any way you slice it. And this is one of my beefs with the Tea Party, at least their non-affluent members (which is most of them). They deny that they benefit in any way from public programs. They believe that they are being robbed, to pay for lazy slobs to live lives of luxury. I got news for ya folks, most of you are the lazy slobs receiving public benefits.
Between Medicare and Medicaid ~100 million people are enrolled. That is just under a third of all Americans, and accounts for 40% of all people insured. Without these two ‘socialist’ programs 150 million people, almost half the population would have no health insurance. How can you argue these programs are bad or evil? Yes, they indeed do have their problems, but simply eliminating them as the conservatives would ultimately like to do would be an unmitigated catastrophe.
And Social Security – 55million people, ’nuff said.
Frankly, if you are pulling Social Security and on Medicare and ranting about socialism … Shut.The.Fuck.Up
The table below speaks volumes to personal self delusion
|Percentage of Program Beneficiaries Who Report They “Have Not Used a Government Social Program”|
|Program||“No, Have Not Used a Government Social Program”|
|529 or Coverdell||64.3|
|Home Mortgage Interest Deduction||60.0|
|Hope or Lifetime Learning Tax Credit||59.6|
|Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit||51.7|
|Earned Income Tax Credit||47.1|
|Social Security—Retirement & Survivors||44.1|
|Veterans Benefits (other than G.I. Bill)||41.7|
|Social Security Disability||28.7|
|Supplemental Security Income||28.2|
|Government Subsidized Housing||27.4|
|Source: Suzanne Mettler, “Reconstituting the Submerged State: The Challenge of Social Policy Reform in the Obama Era,” Perspectives on Politics (September 2010): 809. (pdf link)|