I thought of this when I read this comment about the recent 9/12 protests over at The Glittering Eye:
I saw an awful lot of retired people in pix of that protest.
You know what I didn’t see? People carrying signs calling for cuts in Social Security or Medicare or VA benefits or government pensions.
Dave’s right: they got theirs, and they got theirs by raiding their children’s piggy bank, and now they want to strut and posture as upright, hard-working taxpayers when in point of fact they are the bulk of the problem.
When I see old people carrying signs that say “Means-test Medicare” or “Means-test Social Security” I’ll start believing it’s something other than rent-seeking, race-panic and generational resentment.
I have to say, I see this comment as complete and utter bullshit.
Social Security and Medicare are not entitlements, they are social insurance programs. You buy them. Get that. YOU BUY THEM. WITH MONEY. EVERY FREAKING PAYCHECK. Now, these insurance programs only come due once you reach a certain age (or encounter circumstance - like a disability - which can also trigger the benefits), but you know that going in.
At least that is how these programs were sold to the American people. Of course the government, who runs these programs, couldn't keep their hands off the money. They spent it on whatever general purpose they wanted and promised to make up the difference for those drawing benefits from new payments coming in from younger workers.
This was, obviously, a stupid idea if you ever found yourself in a situation where you were top heavy with retirees. But that would never happen, right?
Now, people like this commentator are turning to the people who have spent their entire working lives paying for these benefits (and who cannot be blamed for the fact the government decided to spend that money on other things) and calling them the equivalent of leeches.