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

FUSION JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010

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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

On Monday's episode of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn opened up about the tragic death of his brother-in-law, Vincent Colonna Jr., who passed away unexpectedly on April 5. He also shared some of the important thoughts and insights he's learned through the grieving process.

"Last Monday, I was sitting in this chair ... the two-minute warning comes and Stu said to me, 'You ready for the show?'' ... And that's when my wife [Tania] came to the door of the studio here at our house and said, 'I...' and she held the phone up. And then she collapsed on the floor in tears," Glenn began. "Tania's brother had passed. To say this was a shock, is an understatement."

Glenn described his brother-in-law as having "a servant's spirit."

"He was always the guy who lit up the room. He was always the guy helping others. He would never stop, because he was always helping others," Glenn said of Vincent. "He was on the school board. He was a little league coach. He was the soccer coach. He helped build the church. He took care of the lawn of the church. He was constantly doing things, raising money for charity, working over here, helping to organize this. But he was never the guy in the spotlight. He was just the guy doing it, and you had no idea how much he had done because he never talked about it.

"We also didn't know how much mental anguish he was in because he never talked about it. And last Monday morning, after spending Easter with the family ... he killed himself. This is now the third family member of mine that has gone through this. And I keep seeing it play out over and over and over again, in exactly the same way."

Glenn described his thoughts as he, Tania, and her family struggled to come to grips with the devastating loss.

"I learned some really important things as I was watching this wake. I'm seeing these people from all walks of life ... the people that were there, were there because [Vince] made a difference in their life. He was a true servant. As I'm watching this, all that kept going through my mind was, 'by their fruits, ye shall know them.' The fruits of his labor were on display. He was a servant all the time. All the time ... he found a way to love everybody.

"There are two great commandments: Love God with all your heart and mind and soul. And love your neighbor. So those two great commandments boil down to: Love truth. Because that's what God is," Glenn said.

"Love thy neighbor. That's where joy comes from. The opposite of joy is despair, and that is the complete absence of hope ... and how do you find joy? You find joy by rooting yourself in the truth. Even if that's a truth you don't want to accept. Accept the truth," he added. "But we have to stop saying that there's nothing we can do. What are we going to do? Well, here's the first thing: stop living a lie."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


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After imprisoning a pastor for refusing to follow COVID-19 restrictions, Canadian officials barricaded his church. And when some church members retaliated by tearing down part of the fence, Canadian Mounties arrived in riot gear.

Rebel News Founder Ezra Levant joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to give his insight on the crazy situation. He described the new, armed police presence surrounding GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alberta, and how it not only encouraged hundreds of protesters to stand with the church in support but forced congregation members underground to worship as well.

What's happening is eerily similar to what occurs everyday in China, Levant says, and it must stop. Who would have thought this type of tyranny would be so close to home?

Watch the video below to hear Ezra describe the religious persecution taking place in Canada.


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.

Enough prayers? Why is supposed Catholic Joe Biden suggesting that Congress ought to stop praying for after someone commits acts of gun violence?

On Friday, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray filled in for Glenn and discussed President Joe Biden's remarks during his speech on gun control. "Enough prayers. Time for some action," Biden said. Stu and Pat were surprised how dismissive Biden appeared to be on the idea of prayer.

Watch the clip to hear more. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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.

Just days after Canadian pastor James Coates was released from prison for refusing to bow to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, several police officers showed up at another church to ensure restrictions were being followed. But Polish pastor Artur Pawlowski of the Cave of Adullam Church in Alberta, Canada, knew his rights, telling the cops not to come back until they had a warrant in hand.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere played a video of the interaction.

"Please get out. Please get out of this property immediately. Get out!" Pawlowski can be heard yelling at the six officers who entered his church.

"Out! Out! Out! Get out of this property immediately until you come back with a warrant," he continued. "Go out and don't come back. I don't want to talk to you. You Nazis, Gestapo is not allowed here! ... Nazis are not welcome here! Do not come back you Nazi psychopaths. Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in a church during the Passover! You Gestapo, Nazi, communist fascists! Don't you dare come back here!"

Watch this clip to see the heated exchange:

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.