Thomas Sowell helpfully explains why it’s so terribly unfair to accuse the right’s Serious Budget Grownups of trying to destroy Medicare and Social Security:
When someone gives you a check and the bank informs you that there are insufficient funds, who do you get mad at? In your own life, you get mad at the guy who gave you a check that bounced, not at the bank. But in politics, you get mad at whoever tells you that there is no money.
Well, that certainly is some lovely and poetic imagery there, but perhaps a better analogy would be if the bank informs you that it has no money for withdrawals because it blew it all on freebies and giveaways for its most valued wealthy and corporate customers, expensive hunting trips overseas, and maybe losing big at Vegas.
Not only that, but that it intends to siphon off your savings and/or garnish your wages so that it can lavish even more money on rich people, gambling and bloodshed.
So on the one hand you’ve got the conservative talking point that you can’t raise taxes to reduce the deficit because it slows down the economy, and on the other hand you’ve got the unemployed people who conservatives don’t want to help because it would… increase the deficit.
Well, which is it? If the deficit is such an existential threat that it trumps any thought of stimulating our way out of a deep recession, then why can’t we raise taxes on the have-mores instead of cutting Social Security and other benefits for the "lesser people"? And if economic growth is more important than balancing the budget, then why can’t we extend unemployment benefits and spend more stimulus money where it will actually create jobs?
Don’t tell us that we have to sacrifice economic growth and Social Security to the balanced budget god, and that we can’t raise taxes because it would kill economic growth. Please just choose one ridiculous position and stick to it.
When Tom Grimes lost his job as a financial consultant 15 months ago, he called his congressman, a Democrat, for help getting government health care.
Then he found a new full-time occupation: Tea Party activist.
….This month, he mobilized 200 other Tea Party activists to go to the local office of the same congressman to protest what he sees as the government’s takeover of health care.
The Tea Party vehemently wants less [government involvement] — though a number of its members acknowledge that they are relying on government programs for help.
Mr. Grimes, who receives Social Security, has filled the back seat of his Mercury Grand Marquis with the literature of the movement, including Glenn Beck’s “Arguing With Idiots” and Frederic Bastiat’s “The Law,” which denounces public benefits as “false philanthropy.”
“If you quit giving people that stuff, they would figure out how to do it on their own,” Mr. Grimes said.
She and others who receive government benefits like Medicare and Social Security said they paid into those programs, so they are getting what they deserve.
“All I know is government was put here for certain reasons,” Ms. Reimer said. “They were not put here to run banks, insurance companies, and health care and automobile companies. They were put here to keep us safe.”
Oh, and remember the crazy militia guy who encouraged his fellow Patriots to smash up Democrats’ office windows?
Vanderboegh’s post describes health care reform as “Nancy Pelosi’s Intolerable Act.”…. As for Vanderboegh, his health care is already covered. He’s got private health insurance through his wife’s employer and he’s also receiving Social Security disability payments from the federal government….
How many of these right-wing jackasses are vehemently opposed to government handouts at the same time they’re happily accepting them for themselves?
Government benefits for me = It’s my due.
Government benefits for anyone else = Socialist takeover!
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