Entitlements: Answering the Critics Part 1

I'm on a roll with my "Entitlement Reform" series. I've upset a lot of moles within the Tea Party, but I want to take this opportunity to refute some arguments that these seniors give. You see, they don't want entitlement reform at all, so they try to say that the problem is military spending, illegal aliens, tax cuts for the rich, etc. Basically, their goal is the shift the subject away from entitlement reform entirely. Now, before I address these arguments one at a time, I want to say that I'm 100% for cutting defense spending. We shouldn't be the world's police, but as you'll see that won't fix the problem. I'm 110% for cutting benefits for illegal aliens, that's common sense. However, it's a drop in the bucket compared to entitlements; as for "tax cuts for the rich", that argument will likely require its own article, but I'll include a primer on the subject below.

The Left (and moles within the Tea Party) can't argue based on facts, figures or evidence. They can only use sob stories and emotional arguments. I like Herman Cain's theory on Leftist tactics, as they only have three tactics; and they conveniently spell the word "SIN"...

- Shift the Subject. When people can't argue facts, they try to change the subject. This is why discussions on entitlement reform are rebutted with non-sequiturs about military spending or illegal aliens.
- Ignore the Facts. My last article had charts, video and quotes. Rather than respond to any of the evidence I presented, those who disagreed with me simply ignored everything and proceeded to attack me, which brings me to the last tactic.

- Name call. When you can't win an argument, simply attack the person you're arguing with. This is why any discussion about entitlement reform is met with "You hate old people and want them to die" responses.




So now that we've identified the tactics of the Left, and the moles within the Tea Party, let's carefully dissect these arguments and show that they hold absolutely no water.

DEFENSE SPENDING

This is the standard Leftist punching bag department. Cut spending you say? Cut the military! Nevermind that fact that the military is Constitutional, and departments like the Department of Energy, Education, HUD, et all are NOT Constitutional. Let's follow the rabbit hole, and say that we cut the ENTIRE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. This argument is so easy to refute, and requires only a single graphic.



As you can see, the amount we spend on Defense (not just the wars, but also Homeland Security, the CIA, and many other Defense related agencies and Departments) is LESS than what we spend on either Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid INDIVIDUALLY.

FICA taxes are supposed to pay for Entitlements, and we took in $865B in 2010 FICA receipts while spending $1.4T on Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. Now, we could cover these two programs if we cut the entire Defense budget combined with FICA taxes for the short term, but that won't solve the long-term problem because the trend of entitlement spending is going up every year. Cutting Defense will only buy us a couple of years, maybe long enough for a few seniors to die of natural causes, but not enough to save the programs, and only at the cost of our national defense.



Maybe you're not completely brain-dead, and you're not talking about cutting the ENITRE Defense budget, but just the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. Unfortunately, that will cut our savings significantly. Instead of saving $694B annually, we'd only save a paltry $200B or so (give or take depending on emergency appropriations), that's simply not enough to even BALANCE THE BUDGET IN THE SHORT TERM in regards to entitlement spending.



ILLEGAL ALIENS

Again, this is easy to refute. Even the most bombastic estimates as to how much money illegal aliens cost this country is only around $100B annually. Don't get me wrong, $100B isn't an insignificant amount of money, but we're talking about TRILLIONS of dollars in entitlement shortfalls. Even if we solved the illegal immigrant problem we would still go bankrupt. However the best way to eliminate the illegal alien problem is to END THE NANNY STATE AND CUT ENTITLEMENTS. If illegal aliens couldn't get free stuff, they would only come here to make an honest living, and wouldn't cost anyone anything. We could re-open Ellis Island, and welcome everyone who wanted to become an American citizen. However, you can't have open borders AND a Nanny State.



Just to show how much of a non-starter blaming illegal aliens is, we would have to subtract the cost of ENFORCEMENT from any savings we get. We currently spent about $20B a year on enforcement, while illegal aliens cost us $100B, which means we're actually losing $120B a year. How much would full enforcement cost? Well over the $100B that we would recover in savings, meaning that it would do absolutely NOTHING to solve our debt and spending crisis. It's just a red-herring.

TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH

I could go on and on about the logical fallacies in the "Eat the Rich" argument. People who make this argument simply prove they don't understand Capitalism, Economics, or basic math. Rather than write a small book about the subject (which I may end up doing at a later date because it's fun), I'm going to let Bill Whittle of PJTV and Firewall fame explain why this argument is nonsense.


How do we solve our spending and debt crisis? Entitlement reform is the ONLY answer. It's not what seniors want to hear, but it's the honest and undeniable truth. The answers are simple, not easy, but simple.

 

MIRRORED ON MORGUE'S TOE-TAG BLOG

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Comment by Morgue on May 12, 2011 at 4:18am

Patriot077,

I'm not talking about throwing seniors on the streets to die. We can help the truely needly, but they're going to get basic care, not 4-star treatment. I agree that privatizing Medicare (and Social Security for that matter) would almost instantly solve the problem in the short term. We can then inject other private options, and ween people off of the government entirely.

 

The problem is that reform is going to be fought tooth, nail, and claw by Democrats who WANT people dependant on government, and seniors who don't want entitlements to be privatized, and WANT an unlimited obligation by the taxpayers. We're going to have our hands full with the Left, we need to be united on our side (especially within the Tea Party) if we want positive change.

Comment by Patriot077 on May 11, 2011 at 3:47pm

Morgue, you might recall that I commented on your earlier posts but I don't look at myself as a "mole". Reforms are necessary but seniors can't be thrown out without support at this stage of the game. There are dozens of facets to these programs that need to be explored before they talk about dumping anyone. (ps - I'm not on social security or medicare, or welfare, or unemployment, or foodstamps)

The first thing I'd like to see is for Medicare to be privatized. I think Paul Ryan's proposed voucher system would save the gov't and give seniors the ability to control their expenditures - something they cannot do now which only exacerbates fraudulent claims by dishonest providers. Personally, I think Medicare actually created the climate for the uncontrolled health insurance costs we see now. When the law forbids competition, corruption flourishes.

I think the Republicans need to be better at getting the message out by confronting all the scare tactics used by the Dems. It is a fact that unless we start bailing the whole ship will sink, but it will never be in my principles to leave the least able among us to fend for themselves. Fear of the future is a very real thing when someone reaches the end of his/her income producing years.

Comment by Hugh Akston on May 11, 2011 at 9:19am

What can I say but, Yes. you are right.

 

Great post.

Comment by Morgue on May 11, 2011 at 4:08am

I originally thought that those seniors within the Tea Party that opposed Entitlement reform were simply misinformed, but I now know the truth.

 

If the Tea Party is going to "purge" the GOP of all the RINOs, we need to at least be willing to stand up to the moles within our own movement.

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