Social Security and Medicare both enjoy overwhelming support from Americans. Both programs are under attack from the radical Republicans who now control the GOP. Usually it’s a stealth attack, under pretense of reforming and making the programs better. But, emboldened by Tea Party rhetoric perhaps, poor old Todd Akin (R-2) just can’t keep his anti-Social Security animus to himself. As Think Progress reports (see video there), Akin let it all out on CSPAN’s Washington Journal last Sunday:
Now, Social Security through the years, for many many people, has been a terrible investment. It’s really a tax, that’s all it is. Social Security is a tax. The government has taken the tax. There’s been more money coming in than going out. And we spend it. That’s not been responsible. I don’t like it. I didn’t design Social Security. It actually came from Bismarck, FDR put it in place.
A terrible investment? Think Progress answers:
It has dramatically reduced elderly poverty – nearly half of seniors today would be in poverty without it – and it is the nation’s most effective tool at alleviating poverty among people with disabilities. It does all this while spending less than a penny per dollar on administrative costs. And despite conservatives’ fear mongering, Social Security is not going bankrupt any time soon.
You’ve got to give it to Akin – he really, really wants to stand up and take credit for going after Social Security. Multi-millionaire Rep. Billy Long (R-7), on the other hand, after filling out a questionnaire saying that he wanted to “dismantle” Social Security, refused to take credit for the statement – I’m guessing that he wisely decided that wide dissemination of such views might hurt his election chances.
Senator Roy Blunt is another example of GOP two-facedness. After speaking out against Social Security and Medicare in the past, he had the chutzpah to claim during his campaign that the Democrats would cut Medicare benefits. Of course, now that Republicans like Paul Ryan are proposing dismantling those programs under the banner of reform, he is discretely silent.
I can only wonder when the poor citizens of Missouri will finally figure out what these radical Republicans, abetted by the Tea Party dupes, stand for. Benefits, like Social Security and Medicare help all of us, not just the brown-skinned “welfare-queens” who live only in rightwing mythology. One thing is sure, if we want to live in a world of haves and have-nots, Akin, Blunt and Long have the road-map that will show us the way.