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Tea Partyers on the dole

Adam Serwer is a staff writer for The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog.

The most common trait of so-called "Tea Party" candidates is that they rail against government spending. The second most common trait of so-called "Tea Party" candidates is that they're the direct beneficiaries of government spending.

It's a trend that's so consistent it would have been rejected as a plot point on a 1970s sitcom because it's too much of a cliche. Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul, who recently called Medicaid "welfare," nevertheless supports medicare payments to doctors because he's an ophthalmologist who thinks "physicians should be allowed to make a comfortable living." New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, a real estate millionaire who warned "the ruling class" about "the people's revolution" in his primary acceptance speech, secured $1.4 million in squandered government subsidies. Alaskan Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller has admitted to receiving farm subsidies but like a number of his colleagues running for office this year thinks the minimum wage is unconstitutional. Then, of course, there's Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle, who wants to privatize veteran's health care and is herself a recipient of health care from the federal government.

As Jonathan Chait writes in his review of the new book by the American Enterprise Institute's Arthur Brooks, while conservatives want to believe they're a part of some manichean struggle between the forces of capitalism and statism, conservatives and liberals are actually both seeking some degree of balance between market and state. The frame of a binary struggle may benefit conservatives politically as they try to portray themselves as the Luke Skywalker half of a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader, but as the Tea Party candidates on the dole show, they're not so much against government spending as they are against government spending on other people.

That's what this argument is really about -- not whether the government shapes the market, but who benefits. As these Tea Party candidates' opposition to everything from health-care coverage to the poor to a federal minimum wage standard shows, they're simply opposed to government intervention on behalf of those who might actually need it.

UPDATE 1:00 p.m: Brian Beutler reports that Miller's wife received unemployment benefits, despite Miller's contention that they're "not constitutionally authorized."

By Adam Serwer  | October 5, 2010; 12:07 PM ET
Categories:  Tea Party  
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Comments

I always prefered Darth Vader myself.

What's next, after paying a lifetime into Social Security, we are NOT supposed to get back some of our own money?! If billionaries like Bill Gates wants to do that, fine. Just don't force the rest of us to do so, while we try to limit government and reign in spending in the meantime. That's not "hypocrisy". That's sound fiscal policy.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party Anthem:

On The Dole Again, Like A Band Of Grifters, We Keep Lying Our Way.........

Posted by: Liam-still | October 5, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

don't like SS then invest in a Roth or Keough, that is why they were created.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 5, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

You are precisely right. Their entire beef with Obama is they're terrified he's gonna take their money and give it to brown people. Undeserving people, in their tiny minds.

Posted by: lcrider1 | October 5, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I always prefered Darth Vader myself.

What's next, after paying a lifetime into Social Security, we are NOT supposed to get back some of our own money?! If billionaries like Bill Gates wants to do that, fine. Just don't force the rest of us to do so, while we try to limit government and reign in spending in the meantime. That's not "hypocrisy". That's sound fiscal policy.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 12:14 PM
=============
Exactly. I love how liberals try to play this line "you're a hypocrite why don't you give up your social security."

They paid that money it's not a "handout."

If they didn't pay in but are milking SSD that's a different story.

Posted by: Cryos | October 5, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Excellent post, Adam.

The representation without taxation crowd either can't have a discussion about this or won't.

This is also why you don't see GOP pols entering into detailed policy debates or offering ideas for governing in an economically responsible way. And why they keep repeating the same ideas they've been trying since the Reagan years.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 5, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

You forgot Joe Miller, who thinks unemployment compensation is unconstitutional, firing his wife so she could receive; you guessed it, unemployment compensation.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/joe-millers-wife-received-unemployment-benefits-miller-called-not-constitutionally-authorized.php?ref=fpb

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 5, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

PaciolisRevenge:

Abortion is LEGAL even though we are trying to overrule Roe v. Wade (does that mean that you think Christians shouldn't have abortions?)

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

You are precisely right. Their entire beef with Obama is they're terrified he's gonna take their money and give it to brown people. Undeserving people, in their tiny minds.

Posted by: lcrider1 | October 5, 2010 12:19 PM
=======================
So shortsighted. The government doesn't have the right to redistribute my money to ANYONE.

Your post just shows your ignorance and racism.

Posted by: Cryos | October 5, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

So the Constitution doesn't authorize the federal government to set a minimum wage, but it does authorize the federal government to provide subsidies to farmers? Where are farm subsidies in the Constitution?

And Joe Miller served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge -- i.e., someone authorized to preside over certain federal trials, even though he doesn't meet Article III requirements. Where does the Constitution mention "magistrates"?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 5, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Abortion is LEGAL even though we are trying to overrule Roe v. Wade (does that mean that you think Christians shouldn't have abortions?)

~~~~~~~~~

I don't care what they do, it isn't about me. That said, THEY (the Christians in question) don't think they should have abortions. The same thing applies to Miller and the Baggers. Miller thinks there should be no unemployment compensation, then he games the system by "firing" his wife and telling her to go on unemployment?

These are NOT deeply held convictions, to say the least. And that is being charitable.

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 5, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"Tea Partyers on the dole"

... and part of the Religious Right:

Many Tea Partiers part of religious right: study

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6943IQ20101005

What a surprise.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 5, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw1:

Q. "Where are farm subsidies in the Constitution?"

A. Art. I, Sec. 8: "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States ... To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

Q. "Where does the Constitution mention 'magistrates'?"

Art. III, Sec. 1: "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."

Congress in fact acted in the Judiciary Act of 1789 to create said inferior Courts, including "magistrates".

Are you SURE you actually graduated from an ABA-accredited Law School?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@Adam

"...they're simply opposed to government intervention on behalf of those who might actually need it."

No, that would require a level of policy understanding that most tea-partiers simply don't have.

They oppose government intervention on behalf of anyone other than themselves - and by extention, anyone "like" themselves.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | October 5, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"Many Tea Partiers part of religious right: study"

NO. WAY.

That is a real stunner.

Republican Tea Party: We're gonna party like it's 1699!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Jake2D and Cyros,

To quote a phrase that has become a cliche during the last two years:

YOU..JUST..DON'T..GET..IT!

You want to receive SS, but you want to cut spending? HOW ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT? Defense, SS, Medicare/Medicaid, and debt payments make up 3/4 of the budget. You could shut down every government agency but those agencies that administer these programs and the budget would STILL be $1 trillion in the RED. Unless we reform SS and Medicare/Medicaid we will be in worse debt in years to come.

This why the Tea Party movement is a such crock! It's a bunch of contradictions that won't be able to resolve themselves.

I hope they win, because the budget will their WATERLOO!

Posted by: Singularitychris | October 5, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

If I was sure that Defense, SS, Medicare/Medicaid, and debt payments were cut in a responsible manner, then I would be all for that. I am not sure that Obama will do that.

DO. YOU. GET. IT?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

OT:

* Stocks surge after upbeat US data as dollar slides *

Market gains gathered pace after a forecast-busting survey into the U.S. services sector from the Institute for Supply Management. Its main index jumped to 53.2 in September from August's 2010 low of 51.5, and was ahead of analysts' expectations for a more modest increase to 52.

The rise means that the sector is growing more rapidly and that recent fears of a return to recession may have been too pessimistic — any reading over 50 indicates expansion.

"The ISM report fits in nicely with recent U.S. data indicating that a double dip is not in the offing this year," said Michael Woolfolk, an analyst at Bank of New York Mellon.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h3kgMAkbLwyfxBdjzw8Pc4KZ7DhQD9ILL9CG0?docId=D9ILL9CG0

But but but the stimulus failed, Obama ruined the economy, Obama's an Egyptian Mummy born in Kenya and it's all a communist plot by China to take over the known universe!!!

Thank you, Mr. President!!!

Thank you for saving our country from the depths of the Great Bush/Republican Depression.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Miller's a snake.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 5, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Cryos is making Joke look like a reasonable poster.

Posted by: Observer691 | October 5, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD2: "What's next, after paying a lifetime into Social Security, we are NOT supposed to get back some of our own money?!"

Dang straight. I'm amazed that if you paid your unemployment insurance, were unemployed for 3 months and drew on that insurance, you are no longer to suggest that perhaps 92 weeks of uninterrupted unemployment is not a great idea. Do we apply this kind of standard to the private sector?

"Sorry, you can't complain about the service at that restaurant. You went to the restaurant, after all. So, you don't complain. You can only complain if you never went to that restaurant. Or any restaurant."

Why is that conservatives who believe Medicare or Social Security should be cut or reformed are required not to accept or receive Medicare of Social Security, in any way shape or manner, if they are to be "non-hypocritical" critics of said programs, but liberals who feel we should all be paying higher taxes are under no obligation to voluntarily contribute more money to the federal government to prove that they, too, are not hypocrites?

If you're critical of the Bush tax cuts, but you're not voluntarily sending extra money to the government, then you're a hypocrite. Right?

Sheesh.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that the Republic Party can outspend the Dems by millions and millions--some coming in from foreign donors (see ThinkProgress) and the righties won't debate their opponents because they don't want to be exposed for the hypocrites they are. And unless the voters themselves decide to become informed from somewhere other than the teevee and Fox--they are just going to vote for the skunks.

Posted by: LAB2 | October 5, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@lcrider: "Their entire beef with Obama is they're terrified he's gonna take their money and give it to brown people."

Boy. Really. You really think they'd be happy if Obama was going to take their money and give it to lily-white people?"

"Oh, well, it's fine the government is taking all my money and giving it to people who don't work, because of their skin pigmentation."

I mean, seriously. Do you listen to yourself? It would make a lot more sense to say that "Their entire beef with Obama is they're terrified he's gonna take their money", and stop right there.

Because I think they'd probably be more concerned with the government confiscating their money, than with who their wealth would be reallocated to. Indeed, they might object to wealth redistribution generally, not based on the melanin content of who might be perceived to receive certain benefits.

Not saying it's going to happen, but a electoral across-the-board drubbing for Democrats would be so richly deserved. It really would. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Here's the deal:

Democrats are like drug pushers with public money. They craft their insideous, social programs, hook innocent citizens into the dole, get them strung out with unearned, easy payments for years and then criticize these people because they complain about public spending.

Drug addicts hate their habit, know it is destroying them but can't kick the habit on their own. Addicts need professional help to slowly dry out and return to normal, healthy living.

The TEA PARTY is a cry for help from a citizenry that knows it has real problems. Problems that are killing America, as a whole. Wake up politicians. America is crying for help here.

Who is listening??

Posted by: battleground51 | October 5, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

LAB2:

WOO HOO!!! In the end, JON STEWART may end up helping the Republicans take back Congress too ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

All, some new numbers suggest Dems really not gaining the traction they need among independents:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/independents_not_buying_dems_c.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 5, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

More on the economy and JOBS, JOBS, JOBS

* Surprisingly Strong News From the Services Sector *

Better Job Growth Ahead?

The closely watched new-orders component -- a gauge of future demand -- jumped 2.5 points to 54.9. In addition, the employment component popped back above the 50 mark to 50.2 in September from 48.2 in August. That surprising rise could result in higher-than-forecast job growth in the immediate quarters ahead.

[...]

September's unexpectedly pleasant report makes the probability of a double-dip recession even more remote.

http://srph.it/9ZvT8x

But but but...

No more buts.

"higher-than-forecast job growth in the immediate quarters ahead"

The Obama Administration has SAVED our economy from the Republican-induced global meltdown.

One more time for Republicans who selectively ignore any positive news on the economy and job-creation fronts:

"higher-than-forecast JOB GROWTH in the immediate quarters ahead"

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

cryos posted: I love how liberals try to play this line "you're a hypocrite why don't you give up your social security."

They paid that money it's not a "handout."

_____________________________________

So you would agree that your fellow goobers are wrong when they call Social Security an "entitlement" program?

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | October 5, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

No, Jake, the Judiciary Act of 1789 did not create the position of "Magistrate" to preside over trials in District Court. It mentions magistrates, but in the context of allowing local judicial officials to preside over depositions. Stanford? Really?

And thanks for confirming that farm subsidies are not mentioned in the Constitution. How is a farm subisidy to an Alaskan farmer for a crop in Alaska a regulation of commerce between the "several States"? You must be one of those libs, who read the Commerce Clause as including everything Congress wants to do.

Bottom line: Teabagger principles extend not one inch beyond their own wallets.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 5, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Another thing worth noting:

Salon has an article criticizing B.O. because his electioneering on behalf of congressional Democrats stinks.

But I say this:

Obama is going to do a Clinton on us. Obama needs to destroy the House & Senate Democrats so that the Republicans will take charge and repeat the post 1994 scenario.

Without mass amnesty for the 20,000,000 outlaw "immigrants" that are roaming America today this is Obama's only hope for a second term.

It's an evil plan but since history keeps repeating, this could too.

Obama will get beat up by Republicans for awhile then he will become one of them. He will not seem like such a bad guy by the time 11/2012 rolls around and will stand an even chance of re-election. Especially if Republicans are stupid enough to nominate another, used-up RINO.

That Obama is playing dumb now but he's plenty smart.

Obama would rather do a Clinton than a Carter. Who wouldn't??

AND as a reponse to the claim that the TEA PARTY folks are afraid Obama is going to take money away from white people and giving it to brown people:

Hah! That's rich. The federal government has been doing that for the past 50 years. We are used to it, by now.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 5, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw, Jake is a Joke.

I think he really attended a Phoenix Institute course on the Stanford campus.

Posted by: Observer691 | October 5, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

At least I can answer questions ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Another Tea Party lie from a group of lying un-Americans.

Posted by: TwoTermObama | October 5, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I always prefered Darth Vader myself.

What's next, after paying a lifetime into Social Security, we are NOT supposed to get back some of our own money?! If billionaries like Bill Gates wants to do that, fine. Just don't force the rest of us to do so, while we try to limit government and reign in spending in the meantime. That's not "hypocrisy". That's sound fiscal policy.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 12:14 PM
=============
Exactly. I love how liberals try to play this line "you're a hypocrite why don't you give up your social security."

They paid that money it's not a "handout."

If they didn't pay in but are milking SSD that's a different story.
***************************************************
He wasn't talking about SS. He was talking about medicade, farm subsidies and government healthcare. Don't try to change the subject when you are on the losing side of an argument.

Posted by: lgaide | October 5, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg Sargent! I told you so about those "INDEPENDENTS".

They are a fickle lot and are easily swayed.

Just like they were in 2008.

Obama was wearing his swayed jacket that year and fooled 'em good.

Now they're feelin' like fools and that's no foolin'.

They are sway backs this year.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 5, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

cryos posted: I love how liberals try to play this line "you're a hypocrite why don't you give up your social security."

They paid that money it's not a "handout."

_____________________________________

So you would agree that your fellow goobers are wrong when they call Social Security an "entitlement" program?

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | October 5, 2010 1:20 PM
==========================
You left out the part of my post that addresses that. How convenient.

""If they didn't pay in but are milking SSD that's a different story.""

In case you didn't know SSD refers to social security disability.

Posted by: Cryos | October 5, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw, Jake is a Joke.

I think he really attended a Phoenix Institute course on the Stanford campus.

Posted by: Observer691 | October 5, 2010 1:28 PM
=============================
Funny you keep criticizing posters like Jake and myself but can't refute the actual arguments.

Seems you're not playing with a full deck.

Posted by: Cryos | October 5, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

When the government stops taking our money to "spread around," we'll stop trying to get some of it back when it's "spread"?

Need anything else cleared up?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

When the government stops taking our money to "spread around," we'll stop trying to get some of it back when it's "spread."

Need anything else cleared up?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

These are the same liberals who think taxes are too low but don't pay their own "fair share," even though nothing is stopping them.

Now that is true hypocrisy.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Cryos, you boob, as with Joke I'm not going to waste any more time trying to refute your nonsensical "arguments."

The person not playing with a full deck would be the person who treats you like you're normal and reasonable.

Posted by: Observer691 | October 5, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I always prefered Darth Vader myself.

What's next, after paying a lifetime into Social Security, we are NOT supposed to get back some of our own money?! If billionaries like Bill Gates wants to do that, fine. Just don't force the rest of us to do so, while we try to limit government and reign in spending in the meantime. That's not "hypocrisy". That's sound fiscal policy.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 12:14 PM
=============
Exactly. I love how liberals try to play this line "you're a hypocrite why don't you give up your social security."

They paid that money it's not a "handout."

If they didn't pay in but are milking SSD that's a different story.
***************************************************
He wasn't talking about SS. He was talking about medicade, farm subsidies and government healthcare. Don't try to change the subject when you are on the losing side of an argument.

Posted by: lgaide | October 5, 2010 1:41 PM
================
Medicaid. I already mentioned my view. If the doctors don't get patients they will drop coverage since they won't work for free.

Farm subsidies - We can drop them if you would like but be prepared to pay a LOT more for food and other goods and be prepared for volatile swings in pricing.

Government healthcare - The proposed cuts would apply to them as well is my understanding. The health care coverage comes with the job.

Posted by: Cryos | October 5, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

New, present day GOP "slogan" : Yeah, but, but, but, but, but ..... Man! That's a lotta' buts. Oh well, six years in the House as a minority might cure some of them ... but...

Posted by: deepthroat21 | October 5, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

New, present day GOP "slogan" : Yeah, but, but, but, but, but ..... Man! That's a lotta' buts. Oh well, six years in the House as a minority might cure some of them ... but...

Posted by: deepthroat21 | October 5, 2010 1:54 PM
==========
At least it's good you recognize democrats have had control for 4 years.

I guess lecturing baseball players and creating PR Bush admin investigations that led nowhere while the economy went south was a good plan. Worked out real well huh.

Posted by: Cryos | October 5, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

This is mighty thin gruel, even for an uber partisan like Mr Serwer.

First, Medicare is a fee for service payment system. If Dr Paul performed a service on a Medicare patient he is owed his payment.

This isn't the dole and Mr Serwer does his already shaky reputation much harm when he says otherwise.

And Medicaid is welfare. Plain and simple. At least Medicare patients pay into Part B. Into what fund do Medicaid patients pay to cover the cost of their physician services? Hmmmm?

Mighty thin gruel. Laughable. and to borrow from Mr Sargent, it has the whiff of desperation.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

To everyone who is against Social Security but feels they are entitled because they paid into it when they worked, here we go again: the money you put into Social Security in any given year goes towards Social Security recipients for that year; it's not put into some lockbox with your name on it for future use.

If you pay taxes for your city, county, state, etc., you are paying for services that you may in fact never use (police, fire, etc.); but if you move, just because you never used those services doesn't mean you entitled to get your money back - it went to support those services for those years you lived there - same with federal taxes, too - including Social Security; so if you don't think SS is constitutional or whatever, and when they have to cut it, or in the horrorable case that a bunch of neo-nutzis win enough seats to do away with SS at some point, just keep your mouth shut so you won't be yet another conservative hypocrit--

Posted by: southernbutnotstupid | October 5, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Adam:

"The second most common trait of so-called "Tea Party" candidates is that they're the direct beneficiaries of government spending."

Including Rand Paul as an example because he accepted medicare payments for the patients he treated makes no sense. The direct beneficiary of medicare payments is the patient, not the doctor. And, since in many instances medicare pays less than what the doctor would otherwise charge, it is difficult to list such doctors as a "beneficiary" in any way at all.

Also, you say:

"[Paul] supports medicare payments to doctors because he's an ophthalmologist who thinks "physicians should be allowed to make a comfortable living." "

I would like to see the full context of that quote (which is not to be found at the link you provided) because I find it absurdly unlikely that Paul actually expressed support for medicare payments to doctors on those grounds.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 5, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2 @ October 5, 2010 12:14 PM wrote "What's next, after paying a lifetime into Social Security, we are NOT supposed to get back some of our own money?!"

Trying to change the subject again. But read the article: (1) Paul is talking about the payments HE is getting, but has not dropped off the program; (2) Farm subsidies are not paid for by farmers, but collected by them, they are not an insurance system; (3) Angle is not collecting Social Security, though she wants to make sure it does not survive; after all, with the Bush collapse 2 years ago a privatized Social Security would be bankrupt by now!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | October 5, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

AMviennaVA:

As soon as you tell me "How do you know that [Christine O'Donnell] did not take [information about China] to Gingrich, or Boehner, or Bush, or Cheney, etc.?" from the previous thread, I will be than happy to address each and every one of your points on this thread. If you can't even answer my already-pending question to you, I won't bother.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@southernbutnot: "To everyone who is against Social Security but feels they are entitled because they paid into it when they worked, here we go again: the money you put into Social Security in any given year"

Which means you're addressing almost nobody, and probably nobody here.

Re: the rest. Yes, we know. Just because it's currently constituted as a Ponzi scheme that would have a private investor sent to jail doesn't mean that folks who pay into it aren't paying it to it with an expectation they should be able to draw out what they paid in. The decision to go Ponzi instead of lockbox is not that of the folks paying in and drawing out, and they aren't hypocrites for drawing out what, for most of them, is less than they'd get back if they have put the money in a money market account.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The comments here are clear proof that the Libs need to get educated. We'll start with their stand that Social Security is a handout. SS is paid into by every working American and their employers. It is money taken from their paychecks that was supposed to go into a trust fund for their retirement. The same with Medicare.

Unemployment insurance is paid for in part by employers. So each of these programs is an earned benefit using money taken from paychecks directed towards specific funds.

Welfare and Medicaid on the other hand are paid for by the taxpayers and the recipients by definition have not paid into the system. These are unearned entitlements being taken off the work of other Americans.

53% of Americans pay 100% of the federal income tax revenue while 47% pay nothing. And those same 47% seem to think that they deserve the benefits of another man's work and are screaming for even more.

Only the Libs buy the false arguement that the wealthy should be obligated to share the benefits of their success. Well they already are by paying most of the federal income tax, to ask for more while almost half pay nothing does not speak well for the linberal mindset.

Posted by: cathyjs | October 5, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The hypocrisy of the Tea Party crowd is staggering.

I wish the average voter could read this article, but we all know that most of the media won't touch it.

Thanks for highlighting it here.

Posted by: elscott | October 5, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"The comments here are clear proof that the Libs need to get educated. We'll start with their stand that Social Security is a handout. SS is paid into by every working American and their employers."

Hey numbnutz, please point to one comment from a "Lib" calling SS a "handout."

You are a typical selfish teabagger. You'd rather let people starve to death or die in the gutter rather than allow them the measly benefits of welfare and Medicaid. And how about those Food Stamps? Pure handouts, right? If you think those programs are so generous, why don't you try living on them? Scumbag.

Posted by: Observer691 | October 5, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"The comments here are clear proof that the Libs need to get educated. We'll start with their stand that Social Security is a handout. SS is paid into by every working American and their employers."

Hey numbnutz, please point to one comment from a "Lib" calling SS a "handout."

You are a typical selfish teabagger. You'd rather let people starve to death or die in the gutter rather than allow them the measly benefits of welfare and Medicaid. And how about those Food Stamps? Pure handouts, right? If you think those programs are so generous, why don't you try living on them? Scumbag.

Posted by: Observer691 | October 5, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

@Observer: " You'd rather let people starve to death or die in the gutter rather than allow them the measly benefits of welfare and Medicaid. And how about those Food Stamps? Pure handouts, right? If you think those programs are so generous, why don't you try living on them? Scumbag"

Exhibit A: Why Kevin still hopes (despite not being terribly won over by the current crop of Republicans) that the Democrats and the American-left take it on the chin in November, and wake up with both a Republican House and Senate, once all the ballots are counted.

Sweet and delicious justice. Better than ice cream. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

haha yes, exactly! and all soldiers are either democrats or hypocrits because they get single payer health care already! and anyone who didn't return their tax return is a Bush republican!

please stop publishing garbage

Posted by: batigol85 | October 5, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

@BG "This is also why you don't see GOP pols entering into detailed policy debate"

I think the phenomenon you describe is almost as bad as the SECRET millions being funneled into our system.

This started with the dimmest bulb of all Sister Sarah. Her handlers actually had to gall to claim..It was THEIR campaign and they'd reveal only as much of Sister Sarah as THEY wanted. Well technically that is true but how unpatriotic and perverted. Let's call a spade a spade.
They realize they had a know nothing on their hands that embarrassed them sooo badly according to THEIR OWN post election reports they simply wanted to HIDE her ignorance and lack of qualification for office. Mama Grizzley my arse..how about mama mouse..run and hide in the rathole from any serious questions. Answer only to the the cheerleaders like Hannity and the drug addict on the radio.

It ALMOST worked. Now the R's are embracing that strategy in droves. As we just heard now Gov Goodhair is basically in hiding...COD has already used the cowardly Palin strategy..Angle has literally RUN from reporters...Jan Brewer has dodged questions and any more debates after her fiasco...The R's have perfected the strategy of cowards...I'm too freaking stupid about the issues to answer or debate them so I'll just tweet and use facebook with prepared statements that my ghost writers can compose.

Will the League of Woman Voters or any organization even be able to host Presidential debates for the R primary when many of them are too stupid and cowardly to face genuine questions on the issues?

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

This is rich! JakeD has just defended the constitutionality of Obamacare. Way to help out Jake!

Art. I, Sec. 8: "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States ... To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

That's right, it's the "other people".

Posted by: mtravali | October 5, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

No, No, No.

The Tea Party adheres to the notion of limited government. That doesn't mean the government doesn't have many roles in our daily lives.

What is does mean is that in a country with trillion plus annual defecits and a 13.8 trillion dollar debt and state and county debts on top of that, it's high time the goverment one, evaluates it's programs for merit and affordability; and two answers the fundamental question of whether a role is even the government's job to begin with.

Posted by: hokie92 | October 5, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2 @ October 5, 2010 2:41 PM: You really don't like to answer direct questions. Try evasion all you want. But you are obviously just a coward.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | October 5, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely right. Conservatives and Tea Party types aren't against government spending: They're against government spending that benefits others.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | October 5, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

gotta respond to this:
================
If you think those programs are so generous, why don't you try living on them? Scumbag.
======

First let me agree with Kevin. Perhaps a check to the liberals based on a drubbing at the polls will change the rhetoric. I doubt it, but hey.

Next, I have a question. If the unearned benefits you mention are soooo paltry, why is obesity the number one health problem among America's poor?

hmmmmm?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

only liberals with any right to post are those who gave back their bush tax cuts.

They'll post anyway.

Posted by: batigol85 | October 5, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

What is also funny is the large number of government workers and government contractors (local, county, state and federal) in the Tea Party. I asked one of them why he didn't just resign his position if he was against government spending, and save the tax payers his annual salary. He was outraged that anyone would think that! After all, he was against government spending for those other government workers. And contractors.

A friend of mine in a government job in Baltimore City just got his pay cut 3% as a tax saving move. He complains and whines like nothing else. Yet he recently attended a Tea Party rally because he wanted to cut government spending.

Oh! I forgot! He was against government spending on someone else, but not for him, and not for his department. That's different.

Rather than vote in the next election, I would prefer all people who are government workers or contractors and who against the budget deficeits to resign en masse, and to show by their self-sacrificing patriotism how Tea Partiers really should act. After all, in reality they are voting against their job anyway.

I'll not hold my breath!

Posted by: LeeH1 | October 5, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"If the unearned benefits you mention are soooo paltry, why is obesity the number one health problem among America's poor?"

Holy ignorance batman.

It's because the low-cost mass-produced "food" the poor tend to eat is calorie and fat-rich and nutrient and vitamin poor.

Let's just say that it's not because they stuff themselves on Chateaubriand.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

also if anyone who felt they were being undertaxed and sent more money to the IRS, feel free to gloat about your moral superiority over these tea partiers. anyone else, think before you bark.

Posted by: batigol85 | October 5, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

When these folks (teapartiers) get into office, we will see the big two fisted money grab. It is ever so in republican administrations. My father always said that he wasn't rich enough to afford republicans. Nothing has changed.

Posted by: underhill | October 5, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

I did not such thing. Farm subsidies are quite different than taking over the healthcare industry.

AMviennaVA:

I pointed out my DIRECT QUESTION that you refused to answer, and then you tell me that I am a "coward" for not answering -- look up the definition of IRONY someday -- as I've said before, as long as you answer my previously-asked questions, I will always return the same common courtesy.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"If the unearned benefits you mention are soooo paltry, why is obesity the number one health problem among America's poor?"

Holy ignorance batman.

It's because the low-cost mass-produced "food" the poor tend to eat is calorie and fat-rich and nutrient and vitamin poor.

Let's just say that it's not because they stuff themselves on Chateaubriand.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 4:34 PM
================
Last I checked things like for example beans and rice are very cheap and very nutritional.

So are you saying the poor make bad choices?

Posted by: Cryos | October 5, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Did you expect Doctors to treat Medicare patients for FREE?

This is the least serious and most idiotic article I have EVER read on the Wash Post site!

Posted by: MikesAmerica | October 5, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

"Conservatives and Tea Party types aren't against government spending: They're against government spending that benefits others."

No, they are against trillion dollar quantum deficits in perpetuity. There is a difference between a glass of wine with dinner and a fifth of vodka before breakfast.

Posted by: lamachina | October 5, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

On the topic of farm subsidies... The way the system is set up, you are governmentally mandated to take the farm subsidies if you want to be able to operate your farm. This includes being able to buy insurance, get loans, and grow certain crops. There have been court battles some of that required the Supreme court to rule on that determined a farmer must take direction from the government on what he grows. "Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), was a U.S. Supreme Court decision that dramatically increased the power of the federal government to regulate economic activity. A farmer, Roscoe Filburn, was growing wheat to feed his chickens. The U.S. government had imposed limits on wheat production based on acreage owned by a farmer, in order to drive up wheat prices during the Great Depression, and Filburn was growing more than the limits permitted. Filburn was ordered to destroy his crops and pay a fine, even though he was producing the excess wheat for his own use and had no intention of selling it." The next time you mention farm subsidies... Do a little research first because it is a mandate not an election for those within the system.

Posted by: beverett54 | October 6, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

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