Government-hating tea-partiers love their government checks

This is a great country, isn’t it? It’s a nation where libertarian, government-hating, militiamen can collect government checks that allow them the time to denounce the government! So it is with Michael Vanderboegh, an Alabama militiamen whose blog has urged health care reform critics to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic elected officials:

Vanderboegh said he once worked as a warehouse manager but now lives on government disability checks. He said he receives $1,300 a month because of his congestive heart failure, diabetes and hypertension. He has private health insurance through his wife, who works for a company that sells forklift products.

I first noticed this phenomenon back during the Timothy McVeigh era, when he and his fellow travelers denounced the government, proclamed it illegitimate and dutifully marched off to the mailbox to collect their government-issued farm subsidies.
The same thing was evident in the town hall meetings of last August, when white-haired Medicare recipients were outraged — OUTRAGED!! — over the idea of government involvement in health care. Of course, the closest thing this country has to socialized medicine is Medicare.
Apparently, denial is such a strong factor that these tea-partiers have persuaded themselves that the government and Medicare are two very separate entities. And, of course, emotion can overwhelm reason.

Ms. Reimer often wells up talking about her work. “I’m respected,” she said, her voice breaking. “I don’t know why. I don’t know what is so special. But I’m willing to do it.”

She and others who receive government benefits like Medicare and Social Security said they paid into those programs, so they are getting what they deserve.
“All I know is government was put here for certain reasons,” Ms. Reimer said. “They were not put here to run banks, insurance companies, and health care and automobile companies. They were put here to keep us safe.”

Well, “deserve” is an odd word to use if you really believe the only duty of government is to “keep us safe.” But Mrs. Reimer is also wrong on her facts about Medicare and Social Security. They are “welfare” programs; the average recipient receives much more than he put in.
Consider these numbers from the conservative American Enterprise Institute:

This typical person paid around $64,971 in Medicare payroll taxes over his lifetime. Likewise, after netting out Medicare premiums, he’ll receive around $173,886 in lifetime Medicare benefits. The net? He can expect to receive around $108,915 more in benefits than he paid in taxes over his lifetime.

177 comments Add your comment

Micar

March 29th, 2010
1:42 pm

Let’s be clear here. Tea baggers have every right to assemble, protest and make whatever point they want to make in our free society. They are entitled to put their ideas into the competitive arena, just lite everybody else. It is just when a movement begins to advocate violence to advance their cause that they become a mob. I see a lot of what I would deem advocating violence and gun play, much of it through those who are self anointed leaders of this movement. Yes I am talking about the unelected Beck, Palin, Limbaugh and the rest of the horn tooters such as Bachman although she is elected.

Micar

March 29th, 2010
1:45 pm

If you have millions who fit into the legitimate protest category, then they should be doing something to clean up the clap trap that labels the movement. I have not heard any of this. I only hear apologies and justifications for the clap trap.

ctucker

March 29th, 2010
1:49 pm

Jess, Are you a tea-partier? Is that why you are annoyed? The demographics show that tea-partiers are mostly 50-plus. That suggests many of them are collecting Social Security and benefiting from Medicare. When they start burning their government checks, I’ll write a column. Actually, I’ll write a book.

JP

March 29th, 2010
1:50 pm

I understand the urge to lump all who oppose the constant growth of our government together with the hypocrites and nutjobs out there, as it allows a person to dismiss all opposing arguments. To lump all opposition together, though, is for Ms. Tucker to want the government to take over the AJC and pay her with taxpayer dollars. One can say, “It’s not the same!” The other side will reply, “Of course it is.”

John Birch

March 29th, 2010
1:51 pm

With all those disabilities just think how much he would be getting if he’d just gone to ACORN for a lttle advice!

DeKalb Conservative

March 29th, 2010
1:54 pm

@ Cynthia

I’m still not getting it, but I’m flattered you responded to my post.

Mrs. Reimer has a tea party reference, but no militiamen reference. Also Mrs. Reimer isn’t the lead the militiamen part is. Though both stories do have the government dependency connection, they lack having a tea party connection and no connection between tea parties and militiamen are connected.

While I think we are going to disagree heavily on this, in general most identified tea party folks are not militiamen, not in the least. What is infrequently discussed and recently supported by a Quinnipiac Poll is 55% tea party folks are actually women.

Micar

March 29th, 2010
1:54 pm

I thought John Birch was the big deal when we were worried about a communist behind every corner. Have they morphed?

Bubba

March 29th, 2010
1:55 pm

Interesting fact o’ day: Cynthia cites stats that show an average person paid about $65K into Medicare over a lifetime yet got $173K. Let’s say that person paid in for 65 years – including working years and retirement. That’s $1,000 per year. If that person had invested $1,000 per year for 65 years at 5% interest – a very conservative return – he would have $480,000. I’d say he ‘deserves’ a lot more.

DeKalb Conservative

March 29th, 2010
1:58 pm

Here’s the tea party stats from the March 24, 2010 Quinnipiac Poll

Looking at voters who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement:
•74 percent are Republicans or independent voters leaning Republican;
•16 percent are Democrats or independent voters leaning Democratic;
•5 percent are solidly independent;
•45 percent are men;
•55 percent are women;
•88 percent are white;
•77 percent voted for Sen. John McCain in 2008;
•15 percent voted for President Barack Obama.

Micar

March 29th, 2010
2:01 pm

Come on Bubba. 5% over 65 years on a constant basis. And what about those that picked the wrong stock or other investment. And how bout those who retired right in the middle of a market melt down. Oh and lets not forget those who would have decided to buy something instead of save for that old rainy day. What you going to do with all those poor folks who just couldn’t plan for the future. You make it sound like all those folks who lived before Social Security were just filthy rich off of their portfolio’s. This argument is the “money grows on trees” argument. My mom said it doesn’t and she was right.

tm

March 29th, 2010
2:02 pm

“This typical person paid around $64,971 in Medicare payroll taxes over his lifetime. Likewise, after netting out Medicare premiums, he’ll receive around $173,886 in lifetime Medicare benefits. The net? He can expect to receive around $108,915 more in benefits than he paid in taxes over his lifetime.”

How the heck does this stay in business? And we expect that our new heath care plan will reduce the deficit?

Onlinesavant

March 29th, 2010
2:02 pm

Cynthia. I heard a new moniker that I think I will be using from now on to describe the “freedomworks”, “American federation of taxpayers”, Koch/Scaife/Coors/Bradley/Olin funded, “movement” foot soldiers. “teahadists.” I love it

DeKalb Conservative

March 29th, 2010
2:02 pm

@ Bubba – your math is very very wrong. The chances of a person paying into Medicare for 65 years, doesn’t exist, unless they started working at age 0 as a child actor. Also, the chances for 65 years of a person putting in $1,000 a year is very unrealistic. Finally, Medicare was started in the 60’s under LBJ so it potentially didn’t exist for all of that person’s working career.

Cynthia’s stats are very likely correct.

Sick of you

March 29th, 2010
2:09 pm

What is a white hair Cynthia?

gmaye

March 29th, 2010
2:09 pm

I’m sorry when you see a group that is 99% white, how can you take these people serious. I many other groups are out there with these tea Klansmen, Hannity, Rush, Beck are promoting their books and these dumb middle class whites are buying it.
One thing about minorities we would never let people like Hannity, Rush, pimp us.

Sick of you

March 29th, 2010
2:10 pm

Enter your comments here

DeKalb Conservative

March 29th, 2010
2:10 pm

@ Onlinesavant

Just be careful w/ the new moniker. You make it sounds like the FreedomWorks people aren’t there on their own. You know there’s a difference between a FreedomWorks event and a few SEIU employees showing up as foot soldiers to lend moral support / security right?

neo-Carlinist

March 29th, 2010
2:11 pm

dare I say, the tea party types seem consumed with the very concept of “entitlement”. they love steak and hamburgers, but they can’t seem to wrap their heads around the slaughterhouse. their self-proclaimed patriotism is counter-productive and they are no better than the Congressmen (both sides of the aisle) who bemoaned the 2009 “stimulus” bill, but set up photo ops (with over-sized pork checks in hand). oh, and Cynthia, please don’t use the term libertarian to describe these shallow hypocrites. they are no more “libertarian” than they are “patrotiotic”. like the Healthcare boondoggle itself, their actions are more problem than solution.

Bud Wiser

March 29th, 2010
2:12 pm

CTuck says, and I quote: This typical person paid around $64,971 in Medicare payroll taxes over his lifetime. Likewise, after netting out Medicare premiums, he’ll receive around $173,886 in lifetime Medicare benefits. The net? He can expect to receive around $108,915 more in benefits than he paid in taxes over his lifetime.

So Tucker, as opposed to your usual white bashing, why not compare these numbers to the “typical” black ghetto resident, whose total input into the same system may be 1000% LESS than your ‘typical’ person, yet they suck up the same, if not more, benefit of this system, with virtually no contribution?

It is because you left tarded libs always like to compare apples to oranges, always saying that whoever has a dime in their pocket is not paying their ‘fair share’, while the leeches and the suckers draw these systems dry (that would be your crowd, BTW).

Go blow your left wing crap in, say, Washington, where it is much more suited…… weren’t you supposed to be taking some big movin’ on up step there anyway? How is that working out, uh, when is it coming?

Jack

March 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

You can always tell when a liberal & their beliefs are threatened: bash old folks, bash anybody.

DeKalb Conservative

March 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

@ gmaye

Wrong – this group isn’t 99% white. Its actually “only” 88%. Another way of looking at it is that the make up is very similiar to an average town in New England. Also, 55% are women. Funny the types of things women are interested in huh?

March 24, 2010 Quinnipiac Poll

gmaye

March 29th, 2010
2:18 pm

How can you take these Tea Klansman serious? 98% white people. where are the other groups? Hannity, Beck, Rush are making millions off of these dumb middle class whites and poor trash. They are promoting books and these dumb hicks are out there in numbers. The rest of the world are looking at us as a nation.

Hey teabagers there is another world beside America, white Americans are hated thru out the world because of these stupid , selfish, racist red necks. Where were you when Bush was sending all our money to Iran?

Get over it a Black man is President”"”"”"”"”"”"

Scooter (the Original)

March 29th, 2010
2:20 pm

‘closest thing this country has to socialized medicine is Medicare” – a financial albatross hung around our necks by past generations.

Centralized control of the Health Insurance Industry (payers) will be another one we leave for our children.

jconservative

March 29th, 2010
2:22 pm

Jess March 29th, 2010 1:07 pm

Interesting discussion. I have been a “tea partier” since 1981, well before the term was coined a few months ago. What got me started was Reagan and his program to cut taxes and increase spending. Since then every president, with short timeouts under Bush 41 & Clinton with their tax increases, we have practiced tax cuts and increased spending.

Think about it. We cut taxes, which cuts income, and then we increase spending. All at the same time. All with eyes wide open. And then some folks act surprised because there is a $12 Trillion national debt. And it is going to get worse because Obama is doing exactly what Reagan did, cut taxes and increase spending.

The problem can be solved only by cutting spending and/or raising taxes.
It will probably take a combo of both spending cuts and tax increases. But the problem with this Tea Party movement is no “platform” calling for “specific” cuts in spending.

We need about $1.6 trillion a year in spending cuts. If we cut Defense to zero, that is less than half of what we need. If we cut Medicare to zero, that is about half of what we need. If we cut both Defense & Medicare to zero, we can come close to balancing the budget.

So Tea Party – where do you propose to cut?

Sick&Tired

March 29th, 2010
2:22 pm

Bud Wiser,

My suggestion to you: Pay them more money and they will contribute the same as your so called “typical” person. I just hope that they live long enought to collect, because the stats show that many blacks don’t usually reach 65.

Sox

March 29th, 2010
2:24 pm

CT – There is no point in arguing with you…you spin facts to support your case and are clearly biased. I will therefore not buy the AJC and

Sox

March 29th, 2010
2:27 pm

(continued)will vote for fiscal responsibility and small government in 11/2010 and 11/2012. You can keep trying to manipulate your readers but I won’t play your games.

Tommy Maddox

March 29th, 2010
2:27 pm

Let’s see:

Dems receiving government handout? Good; Apple pie; American way.

Repubs receiving government handout? Bad; Deceitful; Unscrupulous.

Allen

March 29th, 2010
2:28 pm

Present value of money (something apparently most Dems don’t understand b/c they are not big on saving….and if you do save, what do you not understand about compounded interest?)….invest $65,000 over 40 years of working and you will more than double the expected $173k. I want gov’t checks b/c it is my money in the first place. Soc. Securtiy is the same. I will never receive what I could have made on my own, so YES I will be in line “collecting my gov’t issued” check when I am eligible.

Scout

March 29th, 2010
2:31 pm

Ms. Tucker:

Yes, and liberal, milktoast, cowards who would NEVER for a multitude of reasons ever think about serving in the U.S. military (especially a combat arms unit) or as a police officer love their government protection.

Now, how about a thread of some importance …………….

Jack

March 29th, 2010
2:32 pm

It appears that this blog is ginning up hatred to groups of people that could lead to violence.

Jimbo

March 29th, 2010
2:38 pm

wonderwhatyouthinkofthis?ibetthekoolaidehelps

Babyboomer

March 29th, 2010
2:41 pm

Bud Wiser. Your bias is fogging your thinking. You and all double talkers are worried about the Lakayishas getting several hundred dollars from welfare while the “best and brightest” have eighteen wheelers backed up to the banks using front end loaders to empty the banks. The “best and brightest” recently brought the most powerful economy (US) to its’ knees. I am sure that you have heard of of credit default swaps.

Jimbo

March 29th, 2010
2:41 pm

From my last post: Jimbo Your comment is awaiting moderation.

hope they put it on, prob afraid to though

Scout

March 29th, 2010
2:43 pm

P.S.

Usually, a liberal, milktoast, mamby-pamby is the first one to dial 911 anyway because they have no knowledge, ability, desire or means to protect themselves.

As Hank Williams, Jr. once sang ………. “A Country Boy Will Survive” !!!

I would post the YouTube version but Ms. Tucker is afraid of attachments.

Dave

March 29th, 2010
2:43 pm

National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted March 25-26, 2010
By Rasmussen Reports

1* When you think about the major issues facing the country, whose views are closest to your own – those of the average Tea Party member or those of the average member of Congress?

47% Those of the average Tea Party member
26% Those of the average member of Congress
27% Not sure

2* Who has a better understanding of the problems America faces today – the average Tea Party member or the average member of Congress?

52% The average Tea Party member
30% The average member of Congress
18% Not sure

3* Who is more ethical – the average Tea Party member or the average member of Congress?

46% The average Tea Party member
27% The average member of Congress
27% Not sure

bird dawg

March 29th, 2010
2:44 pm

The scary thing is that from the liberal perspective if you every take a dime from the government no matter what you did to earn it you are compltetly beholden to the government, and you give up your right to oppose it’s intrusion in your life. In otherword take the governments money and surrender you life to it.

Bubba

March 29th, 2010
2:45 pm

Dekalb conservative: What are you talking about? Are you not are aware that you pay into Medicare even while receiving Social Security? So if I began work at 20 and died at 85, I have been paying in for 65 years. Regardless, Cynthia is the one using the $65K figure. If the guy only paid in for 30 years, that means he’s paying over $2,000 per year. Do the math. It would come to far more than $173k.

Scout

March 29th, 2010
2:45 pm

Dave:

Don’t confuse these posts with facts. As Ms. Tucker has so often stated, this is an “opinion” site.

Just make up any opinion you want and stick with it. She does.

neo-Carlinist

March 29th, 2010
2:45 pm

jcon, you represent a true conservative. you present a cogent argument sans faux-patriotism. too bad your libertarian sensibilities have been shamelessly conscripted by the neo-con crusaders. I bet you read The American Conservative. if not, check it out.

Granny Godzilla

March 29th, 2010
2:46 pm

Scout

are you trying to say there are no liberals in the armed forces?

funny, our armed services contributed more to the Obama campaign than
to his opponent. (google it)

that’d mean there are plenty of liberals who have answered the call of duty.

Jimbo

March 29th, 2010
2:47 pm

Know guns, know peace, know safety.
No guns, no peace, no safety

mrs.w

March 29th, 2010
2:47 pm

Sox-quit your whining and find another blog/community to annoy..seriously grow up.
Jess-your Republican bloggers do the same thing you are accusing Ms. Tucker of doing, so what’s your point?
Dekalb conservative-”I’m still not getting it, but I’m flattered you responded to my post”..did you see this one Cynthia!? I’m flattered, blah blah blah”….SPARE ME…I almost vomited.

Jess

March 29th, 2010
2:49 pm

Cynthia,

No I am not a tea partier. I just hate for someone with a bully pulpit, such as an opinion writer for a major newpaper, to misrepresent the facts. You have no reason to call the people you have written about tea partiers. I would not dare suggest that the anacharist at the Climate change forum represented the view of all who believe in climate change, and I choose to call you on it when you stretch the truth about a group you deplore.

Ray

March 29th, 2010
2:49 pm

Many people use Medicare, not because they think it is great, but because they forced to pay into it for years.

Jimbo

March 29th, 2010
2:50 pm

oBOZO is an idiot – get on with it folks, take action.

Jack

March 29th, 2010
2:51 pm

Well said Jess- the Drudge is reporting violence from Reid supporters at the Palin/McCain event. All trash that serves only for us to take “our eye of the proverbial ball”.

Jimbo

March 29th, 2010
2:52 pm

@ Jess
well put
ct is a racist

Gail

March 29th, 2010
2:52 pm

I am wondering if the $64,971 includes the employer portion that is paid on behalf of the employee? Not trying to be nit picky, but that money should be considered part of the medicare recipient’s contributions to the system since it could have been paid in wages had the employer not been obliged to pay it to the government.

If the government were smart, they would be investing medicare contributions. I calculate that over 30 yrs $64.971 is $2,165 a year. At a rate of just 3% it would be $111, 345 @ the end of 30yrs. And if the $64K does not include the employer portion, well then each medicare recipient has more than paid their benefits received.

DeKalb Conservative

March 29th, 2010
2:57 pm

@ Bubba,

I might be off a year or two, but Medicare went into law in 1965 (might be ‘66). What 20 year old was making enough that year to pay $1,000 in medicare?

Also, the law has only bee around 45 years, not 65.