October 1, 2010

Democrat Hypocrisy Alert: Social Security versus taxes

Democrats don't want you to notice when they try to have it both ways.  It was reported yesterday by Investors Business Daily that 105 Democratic lawmakers banded together to officially reject any sort of Social Security reform.  Not big news. But, what struck me is the fault line in their logic that exposes Democrat hypocrisy. Okay, it's not the first time, but it does provide a great example.

Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (who caucuses as a Democrat) epitomizes the problem, as this very telling text highlights (emphasis added);
“If your point is that President Obama would veto any effort to privatize Social Security, you’re right,” Sanders said, adding, “But it is important for the American people, as they go to vote in this very, very important election, to have a sense philosophically of where the different parties are coming from.”
What is possible are the other reforms: means testing and raising the retirement age. Boehner has expressed openness to those ideas as have House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and even Vice President Joe Biden.A bipartisan panel created by President Obama reportedly has those ideas under consideration.
Liberal Democrats made clear Thursday they opposed that, in part because of how it would affect the way people looked at the program. Sen. Sanders said:
“I would oppose (means testing). It makes a good sound bite to say that, gee, does Warren Buffett need Social Security? The reality is that once you start drawing a line, you do away with the universality of the program, and do away with the sentiment that everybody is part of the program, everybody contributes, everybody benefits. Once you start doing that and you draw a line, (and) over a period of years ... it becomes a welfare program that has no support at all.”
So, the same progressives who want universality in receipt of benefits do not agree with the idea of universality in tax rates.  The rich should pay higher taxes because that's fair.  But they also should get the same benefits as the poor because that's fair. How many ways is THAT wrong?

(1)  If you pay more, shouldn't you expect to get more? I mean just conceptually speaking, isn't paying more and not getting more 'unfair'?

(2)  Universality on one side of the equation (benefits or payouts) is not the same as it is on the other side of the equation (tax receipts).  Either things are universal or they aren't.  Some universality is like being somewhat pregnant. You are either pregnant or you aren't.  you either have universality, or you don't.  Period. That is hypocrisy on full display.  You want a specific example?
Progressive tax reform -- Sanders believes that the federal tax system is unfair, unduly taxing working and middle class people and giving excessive tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy. For this reason, Sanders voted for the Clinton budget plan, which raised 80% of new taxes by increasing taxes on the wealthiest 2% of the population, while at the same time offering 20 million low income working families tax reductions through the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Sanders has repeatedly cosponsored alternative budget resolutions introduced by the Congressional Black Caucus/Progressive Caucus which would have shifted a significant portion of the tax burden from working people and the middle class back to the rich. He will continue to push for such budget resolutions.
So we are talking about a line in the sand for progressive taxation rates but  no line in the sand for social security benefits? As I said, it's hypocrisy.

(3)  As far as putting things in the sand, how about the heads of these liberals, who have blinded themselves to the fiscal mess that Social Security will cause (i.e. a bankrupt nation) if the problems staring it in the face are not addressed?  That's entirely different but important conversation.  No changes to social security means they don't want to put the brakes on or turn the steering wheel as the social security truck barrels towards the cliff.

(4) Really, the dichotomy pointed out in (2) above comes down to its chilling alignment with this quote;

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"
~Karl Marx

Progressive taxation (from each according to his ability) with universal benefits (to each according to his needs, and one step worse - to everybody AT LEAST according to a minimum benchmark of needs as defined by government). No word of a lie, I just did a face palm.  How is it everybody in the whole world doesn't see this sort of thing for exactly what it is; a not-so-cleverly-hidden path towards socialism?  I'm sure most of my scant handful of readers, and most Tea Party participants already get this stuff, but why do some people who don't pay attention to politics not just stop and think it through?  Honestly, it's really exasperating!

It's okay if progressives want to fool themselves into thinking this is the right way to do things.  They're pretty much a lost cause to logic and reason.  The problem is they try to fool the susceptible into their way of thinking and then locking them into that mindset.  The only solution, is more communication from the right.  That's something I said way back at the start of my blog in 2008 - you can't win over people without talking to them.  Not trading slogans, but rather explaining ideas.

EXIT POINT:  Obama set up a bi-partisan panel on social security?  Who is on it?  how 'bi-partisan' is it really?  Panels don't attract much attention because typically they are useless, but I think I missed this entirely.

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