Stu's 3rd to Last Page - Save Medicare, Make it Welfare

FUSION JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010

<< Back to Fusion Index

We all wonder whether the Republicans have "learned their lesson." Well, they haven’t. Yes, certain individual Republicans are legitimate in their fiscally conservative beliefs, but the party is not. How do I know? Just look at how the party responded when the Democrats proposed their government health care debacle: they created a "Seniors’ Health Care Bill of Rights" that would guarantee seniors never lose their Medicare benefits. In case you’re keeping score, that’s opposing a multi-trillion dollar government takeover by guaranteeing another one.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said this plan would "ensure that our greatest generation will receive access to quality health care." If government run financial disasters actually did guarantee quality health care, why not cut out the middle man and create one for everyone? The reason we don’t do that, of course, is because Medicare doesn’t guarantee quality health care—but that didn’t stop Republicans from chasing short term political favor at the expense of their supposed principles.

Why did Republicans do this? The parties might not be able to understand their own logical failings, but they can read. Medicare is very popular. In fact, a Harris poll showed that 76 percent of people support Medicare, with support among Republicans actually higher than Democrats (80 percent to 78 percent).

The truth is that Americans don’t like big government programs…until they get them. Then they won’t give them up.

The Harris poll surveyed 14 different big government programs. Only two of them had less than 50 percent support: Foreign aid (40 percent) and immigration services (47 percent). Not coincidentally, most Americans don’t get anything out of these programs. What’s more perplexing is that, while 76 percent of people support Medicare, only 27 percent have a positive view of its performance. Social security has the same story: 76 percent support it, 27 percent think it works well.

When it comes to big government programs, we’re like toddlers grabbing our little sister’s toys even though we don’t really want them. We know these programs stink, but we still won’t give them up. To put our stupidity even more plainly: 3/4ths of our population supports a program that only 1/4th thinks is working. Brilliant.

We know Medicare has trillions of dollars of unpaid debt ahead of it, but that’s not the cause of a problem—that’s the effect. It’s an awfully designed and poorly targeted program and we all know it’s financially an unsustainable situation.

So, what to do? The only way to save Medicare is to turn it into a welfare program.

Let me explain. Put these government solutions in order from best to worst.

A) None (being the best): Everyone is responsible for themselves, charity fills in the gaps.

B) Everybody in, everybody out (next best): We all put something into it. We all get something out of it.

C) Welfare: Redistribution of wealth, yay!

I think most conservatives would say A is best, then B, then C. But I think we should train our brains to flip B and C. Yes, on the surface it seems like welfare, or "those with money, supporting those without it" is the most liberal idea here, but is it really?

Most conservatives actually believe in a social net, just one that is very, very close to the ground. While welfare is a bad word to conservatives, I think most believe in this concept at some level. An orphan with an incurable disease and the intelligence of Joy Behar should be helped in some way. They can’t help missing their mouth and sticking that fork in their cheek. We should be there for them.

The real enemy of small government is the "Everybody in, everybody out" debacle. It makes everyone dependent on government. Justifying giveaways to the poor is hard enough, how can we justify them to the rich?

The typical argument of most is "Hey! I paid in, I deserve my share!"

On the surface that makes some sense, but you’re not getting "your share." You’re getting far more than "your share." The average person takes out between two and three times what they put into Medicare. Plus, you don’t get "your share" from any other government program, why expect that now? Government shouldn’t be a mutual fund. It should be a last resort. If a rich person gets sufficiently low on money, then they can qualify for benefits.

The real issue is that, when people think they’re "getting something" from the government, they want to expand it. To actually achieve smaller government, we need to show people that they don’t "get anything" from these programs except a slow fiscal death. We should hate these programs. All of them should feel like going to a casino that offers no chance to win.

In theory, changing Medicare into a welfare program should be politically doable. Democrats would likely go along because they don’t want to help those evil rich people. Yet, it’s secretly right wing. Shhh. Perhaps a competent Republican party (if one existed) could get some good concessions for going along with it. And it would wipe out a good chunk of our future debt.

If these programs are going to exist, they should be a safety net for those who need it most, not a retirement plan for everyone. If you have the cash to pay for your own insurance, you should be doing it.

Today, we seem to think that Medicare and Social Security are designed to provide a cushion for retirement so that you can "relax in your golden years." I hate to break it to you, but the word "relax" doesn’t appear in the constitution. How could it? The people who wrote it went to the bathroom outside and had wooden teeth. It’s time we rethink our approach to all of these entitlements that are bleeding us to death. Unless, of course, the phrase "Condo in Florida" appears somewhere in the Federalist Papers. Maybe my copies are missing a page.

Send Stu hatemail at Stu@glennbeck.com

Acclaimed environmentalist and author of "Apocalypse Never" Michael Shellenberger joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to warn us about the true goals and effects of climate alarmism: It's become a "secular religion" that lowers standards of living in developed countries, holds developing countries back, and has environmental progress "exactly wrong."

Michael is a Time "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He has been called a "environmental guru," "climate guru," "North America's leading public intellectual on clean energy," and "high priest" of the environmental humanist movement for his writings and TED talks, which have been viewed more than 5 million times. But when Michael penned a stunning article in Forbes saying, "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare", the article was pulled just a few hours later. (Read more here.)

On the show, Micheal talked about how environmental alarmism has overtaken scientific fact, leading to a number of unfortunate consequences. He said one of the problems is that rich nations are blocking poor nations from being able to industrialize. Instead, they are seeking to make poverty sustainable, rather than to make poverty history.

"As a cultural anthropologist, I've been traveling to poorer countries and interviewing small farmers for over 30 years. And, obviously there are a lot of causes why countries are poor, but there's no reason we should be helping them to stay poor," Michael said. "A few years ago, there was a movement to make poverty history ... [but] it got taken over by the climate alarmist movement, which has been focused on depriving poor countries, not just of fossil fuels they need to develop, but also the large hydroelectric dams."

He offered the example of the Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world. The Congo has been denied the resources needed to build large hydroelectric dams, which are absolutely essential to pull people out of poverty. And one of the main groups preventing poor countries from the gaining financing they need to to build dams is based in Berkeley, California — a city that gets its electricity from hydroelectric dams.

"It's just unconscionable ... there are major groups, including the Sierra Club, that support efforts to deprive poor countries of energy. And, honestly, they've taken over the World Bank [which] used to fund the basics of development: roads, electricity, sewage systems, flood control, dams," Micheal said.

"Environmentalism, apocalyptic environmentalism in particular, has become the dominant religion of supposedly secular people in the West. So, you know, it's people at the United Nations. It's people that are in very powerful positions who are trying to impose 'nature's order' on societies," he continued. "And, of course, the problem is that nobody can figure out what nature is, and what it's not. That's not a particular good basis for organizing your economy."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to explain why he agrees with Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to say the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

Baucham, who recently drew national attention when his sermon titled "Ethnic Gnosticism" resurfaced online, said the phrase has been trademarked by a dangerous, violent, Marxist movement that doesn't care about black lives except to use them as political pawns.

"We have to separate this movement from the issues," Baucham warned. "I know that [Black Lives Matter] is a phrase that is part of an organization. It is a trademark phrase. And it's a phrase designed to use black people.

"That phrase dehumanizes black people, because it makes them pawns in a game that has nothing whatsoever to do with black people and their dignity. And has everything to do with a divisive agenda that is bigger than black people. That's why I'm not going to use that phrase, because I love black people. I love being black."

Baucham warned that Black Lives Matter -- a radical Marxist movement -- is using black people and communities to push a dangerous and divisive narrative. He encouraged Americans to educate themselves on the organization's agenda and belief statement.

"This movement is dangerous. This movement is vicious. And this movement uses black people," he emphasized. "And so if I'm really concerned about issues in the black community -- and I am -- then I have to refuse, and I have to repudiate that organization. Because they stand against that for which I am advocating."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

We're going to be doing an amazing broadcast on Thursday, July 2nd, and we will be broadcasting a really important moment. It is restoring truth. It is restoring our history. It is asking to you make a covenant with God. The covenant that was made by the Pilgrims. And it's giving you a road map of things that we can do, to be able to come back home, together.

All of us.

And it's never been more important. Join us live from the Standing Rock Ranch on Blaze TV, YouTube and Facebook at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday July, 2nd and restore the hope in you.

Make sure you join us and use the hashtag and spread the word, fight the mob today and you'll save $20 on your year of subscription. We need you now more than ever.

RESTORING HOPE: Join Glenn live from Standing Rock Ranch to restore the American covenant youtu.be

On last week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck revealed where the Black Lives Matter organization really gets its funding, and the dark money trail leading to a cast of familiar characters. Shortly after the program aired, one of BLM's fiscal sponsors, Thousand Currents, took down its board of directors page, which featured one of these shady characters:

Ex-Marxist professor and author of "Beyond Woke," Michael Rectenwald, joined Glenn Beck on the TV show to fill us in on the suspicious change he discovered on the Thousand Currents webpage and the Communist terrorists who is now helping run the organization. (Fortunately, the internet is forever, so it is still possible to view the board of directors page by looking at a web archive from the WayBack Machine.)

Rectenwald revealed the shocking life history of Thousand Currents' vice chair of the board, Susan Rosenberg, who spent 16 years in federal prison for her part in a series of increasingly violent acts of terrorism, including bombing the U.S. Capitol building, bombing an FBI building, and targeting police for assassination.

"Their whole campaign was one of unbelievably vicious, murderous cop killings, assassinations, and bombings," explained Rectenwald of Rosenberg's terror group known as the May 19th Communist Organization or M19.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


Glenn's full investigation into the dark origins of the funding behind Black Lives Matter is available for BlazeTV subscribers. Not a subscriber? Use promo code GLENN to get $10 off your BlazeTV subscription or start your 30-day free trial today.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.