Tag Archives: Entitlement

Now You See It, And Now You Don’t: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in a Shell Game

In honor of Tax Day

Image by swanksalot via Flickr

Welcome to the carnival. Watch closely . . .

The present attack  on entitlements and “debt” is setting the American people up for a deal from hell, a deal the devil thinks we can’t refuse. Just my opinion.

Here’s the devious strategy:

  1. All-out attack on “entitlements,” vilifying Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid . . .
  2. Grudging acknowledgment that the financial structure of Social Security is not so bad . . . compared to the evils of Medicare and Medicaid . . .
  3. Target Medicare and Medicaid as the two programs that will surely sink America, leading to financial collapse . . . (China will rule the world!) . . .
  4. But wait! Maybe there’s a way out . . .

If the American people will agree to kill Medicare and Medicaid, the titans of finance will extend Social Security (for a little while)!

(Do you doubt this mid-February opinion that Republicans would be so callous as to destroy Medicare and Medicaid? See the Republican budget plan, issued at the end of March, to destroy Medicare and Medicaid, among other things.)

Attention old folks and future old folks! Listen up: You can survive without Medicare, right? We’ll keep sending you a diminished Social Security check (no cost-of-living increase). It’s a fair deal. You keep Social Security, we take Medicare. Everyone has to share the pain, right? This will only hurt a little.

It’s a deal you can’t refuse, old folks and future old folks. Or can you? Watch the little ball. Keep you eye on the shells. Now you see it, now you don’t.

If Republicans and their wealthy patrons can pull this off, it will be the biggest public relations coup since the invention of  “the death tax.” Democrats are taking the bait.

— John Hayden


Filed under Debt crisis, Democracy, Social Security