Friday, May 18, 2012

The Liberal Con

Everyone in the political elite knows that "entitlements" are really welfare.  So when middle-class voters talk about having "earned" their benefits, well, here's the New York Times:
Anecdotes about citizens’ demanding that government “keep its hands off Medicare” are Exhibit A in the prosecution’s case. In July 2009, for example, President Obama informed an audience that he had received a letter from a woman who wrote, “I don’t want government-run health care, I don’t want socialized medicine, and don’t touch my Medicare.” Such demands, wrote Timothy Noah at Slate, reflect a politics of “infantile denial.”
Except, writes William Voegeli, it was the liberals and Democrats that taught Americans to believe that Social Security and Medicare were just like an insurance policy.  You put your money in so you can take it out later.
Central to liberalism at high tide was a rhetorical effort to establish the untruth that Americans receiving social-insurance benefits were getting back nothing beyond what they had already paid for...

Vincent M. Miles, one of the inaugural members of the Social Security board, explained the basis of this right in a 1936 speech: The program’s old-age benefits “are best understood if we compare them to insurance.” The monthly checks from the government are “like the installments on annuities from an insurance company.” And, “like an insurance-company policy, the worker’s old-age benefit from the government must be paid for in advance. Instead of weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly premiums, however, the government collects weekly or monthly payments which are called ‘taxes.’”
 Of course, this was a lie, a liberal "con."  Social Security has never been run like an insurance policy.  It has always been run like a welfare program.  Taxes have been arbitrarily set based on the overall immediate payout needs, and benefits have always been skewed to provide a basic benefit to the low-paid and the contributor that has only paid in for a few years.  Medicare is worse, because it is not an actuarial program based on simple mortality, but on the future demand for health care and the demands of the health care practitioners.

Yet now our liberal friends are sneering at the simple-minded people that bought the "con."

Nothing remarkable here.  Confidence artists have always regarded their "marks" with disdain, and rightly so.  Because you can only get taken in by a confidence man if you want the something-for-nothing that the confidence man offers.

But that doesn't change the fact that liberals lied about their welfare state entitlement programs.  They lied because that was the only way that they could get proud and independent Americans to buy into their programs, and get Americans to exchange their birthright for a mess of pottage.

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