Here’s a quote from an audience member at the GOP debate in Florida last night:
“It’s a total Ponzi scheme, and I’m glad Perry said it,” said a Florida woman who remained nameless. “Things were fine before Social Security was put in place. People took care of each other. Communities looked after each other.”
My first reaction to reading that was of course this woman remained nameless. Nobody would want their name attached to a statement that uninformed and ignorant.
And just how fine were things before Social Security? The poverty rate among senior citizens at the time was 47%. Damn near 1 out of every 2 seniors lived in poverty. Today, that rate is about 10% or 1 out of every 10 seniors living in poverty.
Oddly, at least if your a republican living in the Social Security demonizing echo chamber, those numbers would seem to indicate that the program is far from the massive failure being portrayed and more like a virtually unprecedented success. In fact, it may well be the single most successful government program ever conceived.
And as for Rick Perry’s ponzi scheme line, Social Security has been around for nearly a century, and even the conservative estimates suggest it’s fully funded until some time well into the 2030s. If that’s a ponzi scheme, it’s the longest con I’ve ever heard of.
I find it somewhat ironic that the same people who’re cheering for executions, booing gay soldiers and yelling “let ’em die” to questions about sick people without insurance are only too happy to talk about how charity and community will be all we need to care for the downtrodden once they wipe out the social safety net.
Of course, when they feed people that rosy load of bullshit, what they really mean is they’re sure someone else will step up to help out because they’ll be too busy hoarding their cash to give a damn about the sick, elderly, infirm or poor.
One day, god forbid, when this mysterious unnamed woman in Florida finds herself in a position where she needs a little help, she can go door to door to all her tea party buddies and get a better idea on exactly how much charity the needy are likely to get from that bunch. Maybe then she could actually make an informed comment to the local paper, you know, something she wouldn’t be ashamed to attach her name to?