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

Glenn Beck has been warning since last summer that you would not recognize your country in a year. Well, it's not even summer yet, and he says he already doesn't recognize the country.

Do you recognize an America in which people are making more money off government unemployment benefits than they can make by working, inflation is ramping up, housing, supply and labor shortages are widespread, and the current administration gives cybercriminals from Russia a free pass after the biggest cyberattack on our nation's infrastructure to date?

On the radio program this week, Glenn pointed out that while businesses all over the nation are downsizing, one brand store is actually booming — and it says a lot about the state of the economy and what it means for our country's future.

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:

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.

The largest American gas pipeline shut down on Friday due to what experts told the media was the "most dramatic cyberattack on U.S. soil to date." Investigators are looking at a group believed to be based in Russia known as "DarkSide."

It's time our leaders in the White House take national security seriously because this isn't the first time enemies of the U.S. — namely Russia and China — have used the cyber world to attack our nation and weaken our infrastructure, Glenn Beck argued on the radio program. Between Russia, China, and Iran — which President Joe Biden is now trying to make another nuclear deal with — it looks like the "Axis powers" of a "digital World War III" are lining up

"The journalists seem to care about the price of gasoline for the first time. Is it because they actually care? Or is it because they're trying not to focus on the fact that this was an attack most likely from Russia? And it isn't the first cyberattack from Russia of the year ... maybe we should be paying attention, to Vladimir Putin," Glenn began.

"And by the way, the pipeline going down, that's not the only [cyberattack] happening now," he added later. "Thirty thousand U.S. victims, small businesses and local governments, were hacked by cyber espionage units backed by the Chinese government in January of this year."

"There is an 'Axis power.' It is Russia and China. And, by the way, who is also aligned with Russia and China? Iran. Wow, this is weird," Glenn surmised. "But don't worry about that. Just leave your dog tags on another table. Let's not talk about China. Let's not talk about who actually crashed the jugular of our oil pipelines. I don't want war. But I got news for you ... this Biden administration is doing the job for our enemies."

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:


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.

Canadian clinical psychologist, author, and cultural firebrand Jordan Peterson is no stranger to cancel culture. Ever since he was thrust into the culture war, he has faced one controversy after another, stirred up by the woke elites who hate him with a passion. But although they have tried to make him pay for speaking out so fearlessly against their message, he refuses to back down and he believes you should, too. He joined "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week to explain why.

"There is a growth of the reluctant hero in all stories ... so many people think that they don't have what it takes, that they're not the hero," Glenn said to Peterson. "How do you get people to recognize and then have the courage to stand? You've taken a beating ... why is it worth it and how do you get there?"

"I think it's worth it because I believe the alternative is worse ... to stay silent when you have something to say," Peterson replied. "You don't know what it is within you that requires your voice, right, because you feel like 'I have something to say.' Where does that come from exactly, that feeling that you have something to say?

"Maybe you're disgruntled at work and you're choking on your own bile because the situation is not just in your estimation," he continued. "You're dying to say something, but you won't. Well, you'll die if you don't say it. Maybe it's a death by a thousand cuts. I don't like deferred punishment. I'd rather take it now and keep the future clean, which is why I encourage people to have the fights now, not to hide things in the fog for later. They grow and metastasize. It's better to confront what you need to confront when it's small and you have some possibility of victory."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation, or find the full podcast with Jordan Peterson 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.

Top officials at the Federal Reserve are doing what they can to sugar coat what's ahead for our economy, telling Americans we may hit a "transitory" period of inflation that will settle by 2022. But Bank of America is saying something different. The bank's latest earnings call commentary warned "at the very least" transitory hyperinflation is ahead.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn Beck explain what this means for prices and for our economy.

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.