Stupid or Evil?
Man, conservatives sure do want everyone to buy into the notion that the only answer to Medicare is to not have it. They go on and on about how Medicare is going to go bankrupt. But what is never mentioned is the actual end of that sentence “...under current spending levels.”
Let’s remember that there are two sides to that coin. One way to deal with rising costs is to drastically cut benefits. But that doesn’t reduce the existence of the need for those benefits, it simply transfers the costs to the individual, who is on Medicare because they cannot afford private insurance. As in our current system with those who are uninsured, if those individuals can’t pay those costs, they get passed on to everyone else in the form of increased premiums and bloated medical charges (nothing like paying for a $20 box of tissue during a hospital stay).
But the other way to deal with it—which is apparently unthinkable to George Will and Chrystia Freeland—is to increase spending, in the form of tax increases. Yes, I said the dreaded phrase: tax increases. At the time that Medicare was enacted in 1965, the top marginal tax rate was 70%. Now it’s less than 40%. Of course there’s no money…we’re too busy allowing the uber-wealthy and corporations to skate on their share of the social fabric to create huge population-sized holes in the safety net.
I do have to credit the GOP with the talking point that it won’t affect anyone currently getting Medicare or scheduled to receive it for the next ten years. *Wipes brow* whew! I guess that leaves me—in my mid-40s, with a history of cancer and without a steady paycheck for 15 years, so I’m imminent competitively hire-able—in the perfect spot to afford private insurance policies as a senior? I guess it’s a good thing I had children…I’ll need somewhere to live when my IRA (since Social Security is in the crosshairs as well) goes almost exclusively to my medical needs. Multiply that over tens of millions of Gen X-ers and Y-ers and Millennials and suddenly, that doesn’t seem so sustainable for the economy, does it?
And can we please call a moratorium on calling Medicare and Social Security “entitlements”? I’m so sick of that bull excrement. There is nothing “entitled” about having taxes taken out of every paycheck to a trust fund that will enable one to live through one’s golden years without resorting to eating catfood or wearing a Walmart greeter’s vest because the idea of a true retirement is out of the realm of possibility. The only entitlement I see is the white privilege of the Beltway establishment, unwilling to actually be honest about the consequences of such destructive Republican policies.
Below, Rep. Eric Cantor says things that will make you want to vomit on Fox News.
Cartoon via Bart Cop