The campaign for President has exposed the raw truth about Republican economics. The Republicans don’t believe in socialist policies called “transfer payments.” A “transfer payment” is when government takes money from one set of people and gives that money to another set of people. The wealth is “transferred” from one group to another. In a recent article about the campaign, the CNN web site had these quotes on this topic:
McCain charged that Obama believes in "redistributing the wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs and opportunities for all Americans.""Sen. Obama is more concerned with controlling who gets your piece of the pie than he is in growing the pie," McCain said.
Obama explained his tax plan in depth, saying it's better to lower taxes for Americans who make less money so that they could afford to buy from his business. His tax plan would lower taxes for people making less than $250,000 a year."I think that when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody," Obama told Wurzelbacher.McCain and running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have said that Obama's plan sounds like socialism. Obama shot back Wednesday at a rally in Leesburg, Virginia, telling voters:"Let's be clear about who John McCain is fighting for. He is not fighting for Joe the Plumber, he is fighting for 'Joe the Hedge Fund Manager.' He is fighting for 'Joe the CEO.'"
However, as CNN reported in another article, both sides are tacitly ignoring the building crisis in the Social Security system. The Social Security budget for 2007 was bigger than the Pentagon budget for 2007 (not counting the costs of the two wars, which Congress has agreed should be “off budget”). Every year that goes by, the Social Security system comes that much closer to being a train-wreck of a crisis. But Social Security has long been known as the “third rail of politics,” so neither side wants to touch it as an issue that it is dealing with openly and loudly.
And of course, the rhetoric by the Republicans about “redistributing the wealth” or “socialism” or “who gets your piece of the pie” all point to one obvious conclusion: the Republicans really want to end Social Security. It seems like they have tacitly agreed to do nothing, and to block anything that even begins to look like a “cure,” so that the system will crash into a brick wall a few years into the future and that crash will give them the excuse they need to end Social Security once and for all. However, they most certainly don’t care to be honest about this goal as it would probably result in the Republican Party reverting to permanent minority party status in Congress.
A few years ago, George W. Bush started a debate over diverting some of the money contributed into the Social Security system into the stock market. Of course, today we know what would have happened to a large part of that money if that plan had been adopted: it would have been lost, and large quantities of it would have ended up in the pockets of the high executives on Wall Street. We’ve just been watching that happen with other peoples’ money, and we should be thankful that the Bush plan for Social Security never got off the ground.
But of course, the real reason for the Bush proposal was to cause the Social Security system to go into crisis even faster, by depriving the system of some significant part of its revenue stream. Less revenue coming into the Social Security system would mean that the time when Social Security payments exceeds Social Security income will come all that much sooner.
Over 50 million Americans depend on Social Security payments to one degree or another. That is about one-sixth of the population of the United States, and that one-sixth tends to vote at a lot higher rate than the other five-sixths of the population, which is exactly how Social Security got to be labeled as “the third rail of politics.” It seems that a number of politicians were a bit incautious about voicing their proposals to destroy the Social Security system, and they found themselves rapidly voted out of office.
So, the modern Republican mantra never once mentions Social Security. This allows the Republicans to deny that they intend in any way to change the Social Security system in such a way as to impair the benefit stream of our nation’s current crop of senior citizens. However, as the current campaign rhetoric and the record of past performances by Republicans should make clear, Republicans are philosophically opposed to any form of “transfer payments,” and Social Security represents the largest system of “transfer payments” ever devised.
So, if you should find yourself at a rally for a Republican politician, don’t hesitate to scream out this question: “Hey, X, you are against redistributing wealth, right? So what are you going to do about this socialist security system which is rapidly redistributing my wealth?” Please report back on whatever answers you receive.I would like to see as many Republicans as possible admit that their true aim is to eliminate the Social Security system here in the United States. And I would like to see those admissions get as much publicity as possible. Then, let the people vote, and we will just see what happens!