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

neo-Carlinist

March 29th, 2010
2:58 pm

Scout, your observation raises an interesting point. are Americans “entitled” to protection DoD, law enforcement, etc.)? I’ll piggyback my comments on BB’s blog; namely, if we embrace the Constitution in terms of our “right to bear arms” and the “common defense”, where does Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the current boondoggle du jour fall in terms of the “common welfare” provisions as laid out by the Constitution? Not every deployment of U.S. troops is for “national defence” and not every “law enforcement” operation is to “serve and protect” citizens (DUI roadblocks, “red light cameras” and “speed traps” come to mind). I won’t bore you with the entire paragraph, but grab your copy of “Common Sense” and consider that it is the nature of government (from the Department of Revenue, through the Department of H&HS through the Department of Defense) to “…furnish the means by which we suffer…”

Disgusted

March 29th, 2010
3:01 pm

Ain’t it funny how we never heard a peep from these Tea Party people when GWB was running two undeclared wars and paying for it with borrowed money that wasn’t even included in the regular appropriations–just added on as “supplementals”? And I never heard an objection to this writing of checks with no funds in the account to cover them. Then a black man gets elected president, and that’s diffo! All of a sudden we can’t afford health care and Medicare and Social Security, and we simply must cut spending on programs that help people, while ramping up the funding of the war machine.

And they scream about cuts in Medicare, but the cuts are really in Medicare Advantage, the con job of the insurance companies that talked Congress during those Republican years into letting those companies run Medicare programs. The pretense was that “private enterprise could do it better and cheaper.” And then those insurance company Medicare Advantage programs proved to cost 20% more than the regular Medicare program, and they catered to the wealthy elderly who got their own HMOs plus drug coverage plus expensive tests. And once Congress wised up to this scam, all of a sudden we’re hearing cries that Congress is “cutting Medicare.”

Ain’t it funny how the race of a president served as a catalyst for all the outcry?

Dave

March 29th, 2010
3:04 pm

“The “General Welfare” clause gives Congress the power “To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” This clause is not a grant of power to Congress (as constitutional law professor Gary Lawson has shown). It is a limit to a power given to Congress. It limits the purpose for which Congress can lay and collect taxes.

During the founding, some Anti-Federalists were concerned that this clause “amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defence or general welfare.” But James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” explained very clearly that it granted no power to Congress. If the “General Welfare” clause gives Congress the power to promote the general welfare, then why specifically list the other powers in Article I, such as the power to establish post offices and post roads, or to coin money? Wouldn’t it be redundant to list them?

In short, as Madison argued, Congress derives no power from the general welfare clause, which merely serves to limit Congress’s power to lay and collect taxes. Congress can only do so for purposes of common defense or general welfare, in the service of the powers granted to it elsewhere in Article I.”

Scout

March 29th, 2010
3:06 pm

Granny Godzilla:

1) Of course there are liberals in the armed forces (just not that many except in times of the draft). And even fewer in the “combat arms” (infantry, artillery and armor). Conservatives do most of the heavy lifting. There is a big, BIG difference between a computer programer in the Army and another the exact same age who is a Ranger. They are both needed but it’s totally different service.

2) The “monetary volume” contributed to a campaign and the numerical percentage of liberals vs. conservatives in the military are also two different things and two different sets of statistics. Again, by its very nature, the military (with exceptions) draws conservatives vs. liberals. Conservatives (by their very nature) would probably give less to a campaign.

3) As an additional way to prove my point, what percentage of liberals vs. conservatives do you think own gun permits?

I Report/You Decide

March 29th, 2010
3:07 pm

Cynthia, I have never received one dime of government assistance in my life. Am I entitled to dissent, or would that make me a racist? Thanks in advance.

Scout

March 29th, 2010
3:11 pm

I Report/You Decide:

Be careful here partner. I am as conservative as I can be but every road you drive on, police or fireman who protects you, ambulance crew ready to take you to the hospital, etc., etc. is “government assistance”. You HAVE, ARE AND WILL CONTINTUE to receive government assistance.

All we are debating here is WHERE to draw that line.

DT

March 29th, 2010
3:14 pm

To Gail’s point, are the contributions including the employer matching contribution as well? I believe no one should receive more from Medicare/SS than they put in (employer and employee portions, of course). This is not a retirement fund, it is a “pay/borrow as you go” system (some call it by its financial name “Ponzi scheme”).

This is just another story of the average lazy person who wants the “government” out of their lives but, in reality, is getting far more than they put in.

Have to get back to work and continue to pay for all those who don’t pay ‘their fair share.’

Teabagger

March 29th, 2010
3:14 pm

I want my racist,sexist, bigoted, homophobic….Country back…..

DeKalb Conservative

March 29th, 2010
3:14 pm

@ Disgusted

Not sure who the bigger bigot is, 1) you, or 2) your misguided opinion of tea party people.

You’re essentially trying to equate a holy war (9/11) with the election of the a President. He (Obama) wasn’t the cause of this. The 2006 mid terms was the spark, the real problem came in summer / fall 2008 before the election when the housing bubble hit. What put people over the edge was the stimulus package that didn’t provide stimulation.

T-Town

March 29th, 2010
3:16 pm

Scott, What you said makes a lot of scents for an old white hair like me. Don’t know why you are attempting to convince Granny of anything, you told me a couple of weeks she likes to add to quotes and make things up. When you call her on it, the best she can do is name-calling.

Babyboomer

March 29th, 2010
3:16 pm

Scout. I met a lot of “liberals” while I was in the military. I notice your list didn”t include guys like fat boy Rush, redundant Hannity, reclusive Cheney.

Granny Godzilla

March 29th, 2010
3:17 pm

Scout

Are you one of the Grimm Brothers?

T-Town

March 29th, 2010
3:18 pm

Scout, there’s my point.

Granny Godzilla

March 29th, 2010
3:19 pm

T-Town

Here’s a hug for you!

Granny Godzilla

March 29th, 2010
3:22 pm

Scout

I am so sorry if suggesting you were one of the Brothers Grimm made you sad.

But c’mon, that last post was a fairy tale.

Granny Godzilla

March 29th, 2010
3:24 pm

T Town

Thank you for reminding me to behave better than those folks
who call names…

Scout

March 29th, 2010
3:25 pm

Babyboomer :

I did too during Nam because the draft rate was 25%. Now we have an all volunteer Service and the libs. to conservatives ratio is much lower ……………. and I repeat ……….. especially in the combat arms units.

That may change now that the Army has done away with bayonet training ………….. :o Liberals just aren’t into that.

However: Do you know who I admire the least/most from my USMC era (1966-68) ?

Here’s the pecking order from least admired to most admired:

Conservatives who talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk and didn’t enlist
Liberals who didn’t enlist
Conservatives who were drafted (and served)
Liberals who were drafted (and served – didn’t run to Canada)
Conservatives who enlisted (my category)
Liberals who had the guts to freely enlist in an unpopular war (far and few between but I admire them the most).

Scout

March 29th, 2010
3:26 pm

T-Town:

I know ……….. but she’s a grandmother now and I’m a new grandfather ……… so, I try to be nice.

Tom Middleton

March 29th, 2010
3:29 pm

It’s kind of crazy, isn’t it, Cynthia? They love their government checks and medical care, but hate the president (and party) wanting all Americans to have access to such assistance when needed.

Maybe they’re just confused; or maybe, just maybe their leadership is what’s wrong with their so-called patriotic movement. To paraphrase southern conservative Joe Wilson during a recent congressional outburst, “IT LIES!” :)

Cosby Smith

March 29th, 2010
3:30 pm

Typical Tucker reporting. Hunt for a few and ignore the many. However, do not look at the minority groups that thrive off Government checks, but then they say yse sir and yes ma’am those in DC. Wonder though, what happens when the DC crowd realizes they are broke and checks are not being paid. Wonder where the marches will take place then. Yea, lets pick a few to blame the masses, but only on those that revere freedom and not Government!

Ric

March 29th, 2010
3:31 pm

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.

Compare these numbers to, 95% of blacks voted for Obama!

Which group is racist?

C’mon CT, even you can add!!!

Scout

March 29th, 2010
3:31 pm

Tom Middleton :

If it were only that simple.

O.K. Scout is going out on patrol looking for errant liberals. Check back in this evening ………….

Concerned American

March 29th, 2010
3:33 pm

Cynthia, I keep reading your defense of anything the democrats propose. Give us your ideal view of the America you think we should have. It appears that “cradle to grave” government benefits is your nirvana. I don’t suppose you have any clue where that money is going to come from…printing presses? Do we have to push this nation to a total collapse before the notion that we don’t have an endless supply of taxpayers is evident? Give us your rose colored blueprint of our country while we still have one.

TnGelding

March 29th, 2010
3:35 pm

Social Security wasn’t supposed to be like it is today. Yes, FDR got it passed, but most, if not all, of the major changes came under Republican presidents. Granted, Democrats in Congress initiated the insanity along with various clueless commissions appointerd by it and the presidents. The only benefit to those of us fortunate enough to work for 40 years is it allows us to retire 5 years earlier. Most of us would be just as well off if we could work those additional years and not draw SS. Of course it also provides disability and survivor benefits that are often overlooked.

Bottom line: the protesters are just dupes for the GOP. The federal government is so much entangled in our economy that to cut spending a meaningful amount would cause a long and severe recession. It has to be done carefully over a long period of time.

dlt

March 29th, 2010
3:36 pm

Thank You Dave. Sanity in the middle of Madness! Mozart amid all the Noise!

DeKalb Conservative

March 29th, 2010
3:39 pm

@ Ric

You need to read deeper into the numbers. From what I’ve seen, the majority of the tea party leaders, not at the highest levels in the national spotlight neccessarily, but among local circles, are women. Women, especially in the form of mothers are the ones organizing this stuff.

Since women tend to lean more to the left, and men to the right, this should be alarming.

Some Guy

March 29th, 2010
3:46 pm

CT’s confusing assault on conservatives continues. She loves to paint the few fringe types of the group she opposes with a broad brush while turning a blind eye to the misdeeds of the group she supports. Then she explains why Medicare is insolvent because of gov’t mismanagement. Yet she is a huge supporter of the current health care bill that passed. She thinks the current congresses accounting is better than the congress that passed Medicare BTW with bipartisan support.

CT you are a truly confusing person!

LOL

March 29th, 2010
3:46 pm

You did say he “had” a job and is now getting benefits.. unlike some readers here that never had a job and get checks.. go figure

(disclaimer – You would think the REAL issue with this guy is that he is a militia and nuts, but you keep your talking points going)

dlt

March 29th, 2010
3:48 pm

What’s “diffo” Disgusted is that we now have a runaway Congress and President that’s intent on bankrupting this country! What’s “diffo” Disgusted is that we have a President and Congress with an extreme socialistic agenda! What’s “diffo” Disgusted is that Congress is going to punish you and I for not purchasing a product! What’s “diffo” Disgusted is we have a President who’s mentor was once a member of the Communist party (Frank Marshall Davis). Shall I go on “diffo” Disgusted?

DeKalb Conservative

March 29th, 2010
3:49 pm

As a twenty-something, I have a great disdain for the moocher class that is making it much more difficult to acheive the American dream as it was known in the late 20th century. I have accepted that I will never experience the Social Security “pension,” or Medicare entitlement that my income, and my employers match goes towards. These programs will not have anything left to them for my generation and I think the tipping point is past us.

The person I directly blame for this is G.W. Bush. His inaction on this over the course of 8 years will cripple his daughter’s, aka my generation. Its tough to point the finger at Obama on this. In FDRs day, Social Security started at 65 and you statistically where expected to die at 66. Until we get serious and talk about pushing Social Security to 75, if not 80 effective among Baby Boomers, this program will quickly be exposed for what it is.

Tommy Maddox

March 29th, 2010
3:49 pm

“Our armed services contributed more to the Obama campaign than
to his opponent”? When was George Soros in our military?

George Foreman 3:16

March 29th, 2010
3:56 pm

Scout your 0-1 in War, why should anyone take your opinion seriously…..

Monroe Burbank

March 29th, 2010
4:05 pm

Typical nut-job hypocrites. Sadly, these people are being used as pawns and don’t even realize it. They rage about the people who can help them most and trust the people who care about them the least.

Check out a New York Times article by Kate Zernike, published this past Saturday March 27, entitled “With No Jobs, Plenty of Time to Tea Party. The article profiles a number of people around the country who are fairly high up in either their local, or the national tea party movement. People who just happen to be collecting either social security or unemployment, yet spend most of their spare time organizing rallies protesting government hand-outs. The hypocrisy of these people is astounding, and, unfortunately, they are all somewhat clueless about what exactly it is they want our government not to do anymore.

Granny Godzilla

March 29th, 2010
4:05 pm

Tommy

under Commander Scaife.

Abrazos

March 29th, 2010
4:05 pm

Tea Party people have me awfully confused. Looks like some government programs that sound “socialist” are OK by them. From Bloomberg News, some results from a poll conducted 3/19-22 with a margin a error of +/- 3 (caps mine): “70 percent of those who sympathize with the Tea Party, which organized protests this week against President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul, WANT a federal government that fosters job creation.

They also look to the government to REIN IN WALL STREET, with almost half saying THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT EXECUTIVE BONUSES. The activists say they believe the government is on a path to socialism, although they don’t see all federal programs in that light.

Fewer than 10 percent say the Veterans Administration is definitely socialist, 12 percent identify management of national parks and museums, and 36 percent say expanding Medicare for the elderly, Medicaid for the poor and Social Security amount to socialism.

Many more, 65 percent, say Social Security is either definitely or sort of socialism. Even so, almost half, 47 percent, want to keep it under government control or aren’t sure about privatization, with 53 percent in favor of privatizing Social Security and Medicare.”

Rafe Hollister

March 29th, 2010
4:13 pm

Sin-thee, can we agree that I will abstain from any government program, Socsec, medicare, farm subsidies, etc if government will cut my taxes by 50%. I think most of the producers in the US would agree to this deal.

Think how much we, the money hoarding, freedom loving, self reliant, selfish, hard working folk, could save over our lifetime if we only paid 50% to state, federal, and local tax hogs. We could take out a high deductible health insurance plan, if allowed to do by Barry, and bank our savings instead of waiting for our $650 a month Soc sec check. Life would be good.

As long as we are forced to pay taxes, a large part of which go to Gov entitlement programs, I am going to try my dead level best to get as much of my taxes back thru these programs as I legally can. I paid in, why shouldn’t i get to avail myself of these programs, as oppossed to letting all the money go to people who did not pay taxes.

Bubba

March 29th, 2010
4:17 pm

DeKalb, quit getting hung up on how long Medicare’s been in existence. The example she gave was $65K. I didn’t make it up. Parse it any way you want, if the contribution was $65K over any extended period of time, it would come out to more than $173K if it had been invested at a average rate of return of 5 percent. If it was over a shorter period, then the amount he was paying had to be higher than $1,000. I was using 65 years to make the math easy. The point is, she was trying to make it seem like they guy was getting more than he “deserved.” That is patently false.

South GA Conservative

March 29th, 2010
4:21 pm

Tucker, you are so clueless. Social security is not a handout program, the payments are supposed to be a return of payments paid over a WORKER’s career. Medicaid is a whole different issue. It is not hypocritical to receive money from a program that the federal government has taken from you to fund.

What IS hypocritical is for you to point out someone else’s hypocrisy while you and Granny and the rest of you liberals cry crocodile tears for someone’s needs and want to meet them with someone else’s money. If you folks want to see taxes raised, you can go ahead and pay higher rates while you are trying to get the government to FORCE the rest of us to do so.

Rita

March 29th, 2010
4:28 pm

Dear South GA Conservative,

The average length of time it takes to use up every bit of the Social Security funds you put into the program is 7 years. After that you’re on the dole and I’m paying for you. You’re welcome.

South GA Conservative

March 29th, 2010
4:28 pm

Granny Godzilla-

Would you please tell me how much money above and beyond the required amount you are contributing to the government for the social programs about which you feel so strongly?

DeKalb Conservative

March 29th, 2010
4:28 pm

@ Bubba

Your math is still wrong and you know it. If you want to discredit it, you could use an example of this as being highly overpaid and then cross reference this with an example of a person that paid into the system for 30-40 years, but died prematurely and never saw any benefits.

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 29th, 2010
4:29 pm

So the moral of the story is: if you have been bought off by a government check, you need to stay bought off, and not criticize the current administration’s proposals? Ms Tucker, that plays right into the hands of the Republicans, who say the Democrats want to make all Americans dependent on the government, the Democratic party ruled government. Personally, I am appalled at the number of people collecting Social Security Disability checks who are still able to organize and protest against the government. Does that effort not prove they are capable of doing some type of work, and therefore should not qualify of Disability? Qualifying for SS Disability seems to depend on doing a contingency contract with the right law firm, rather than being totally and permanently disabled, as the law requires. The contingency contract gives the law firm one third of the persons back payments from social security, and since it takes about 18 months to go through all the appeals, that amounts to 18 to 20 thousand dollars per case. Not bad for a sleazy law firm specializing on cheating those of us still paying social security taxes. I say kick the dead beats off the disability roles, and sue to recover all moneys paid, including the lawyers contingency fee.

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 29th, 2010
4:31 pm

Oh yeah, and dis bar the sleazy lawyers, and all lawyers are sleazy in my opinion.

South GA Conservative

March 29th, 2010
4:36 pm

Rita-

Your comment sounded good until I realized that you probably made up the 7 year number.

I am 52 years old and have paid the maximum social security amount for almost 20 years straight and the Medicare tax on much more than $90K to $100K per year. I doubt very seriously that I will ever see a penny of social security income, and if I do, it will take more than 7 years at the maximum amount for me to get my money back.

At what interest rate do I get to compound my contributions to calculate this amount? And since my grandfather and father paid their entire lives and died at 66 and 63 respectively, do I get to collect their money before I am on the dole, or have you already claimed it?

Tech Fan

March 29th, 2010
4:38 pm

CT definately sounds like a racist.

dlt

March 29th, 2010
4:39 pm

Abrazos, Tea Party people come from across the country, have different perceptions, and different opinions about government just like the rest of us. I’m not sure why that should be confusing. Do think they should be lockstep in what they believe? Nonsense.

Some are more conservative than others. Some more radical than others. But there is a set of core beliefs which focus on a limited Government that is fiscally responsible, Constitutionally limited, and restricts its intervention in free markets.

Sort of the opposite of what we see in D.C. today. Right?

Tax Paying Grandma

March 29th, 2010
4:41 pm

Your rhetoric is old and empty. I am one of many millions whose life is worse off then 14 mos ago. Your emperor has no clothes and now that he is naked, people can see the truth and will voice their displeasure in November. People vote with their pocket book and empty rhetoric ain’t filling mine.

Rita

March 29th, 2010
4:44 pm

To all those self-reliant conservatives who lived 7 years past Social Security age and are feeding at the government trough at my expense: Stick to your principles. Please tell the government you don’t need your welfare check anymore. Above all, get your hands out of my pockets.

South GA Conservative

March 29th, 2010
4:49 pm

“Government-hating tea-partiers love their government checks”

Cynthia, you ignorant fool, you cannot even support the truth of your headline! You know nothing about the Tea-Partiers except what you read and see in the leftist media and MAYBE some anecdotal information. If you hate government waste and abuse, you do not necessarily “hate the government.”

There is a concerted effort to discredit the tea party folks because you and your comrades cannot defeat their ideas.

I suggest you listen to so tea-partiers (even the word “tea-bagger” is a vulgar slang word) and then intelligently discredit their ideas. But when you do, I would think that you civil rights types would respect the right to express one’s opinion through protest.

South GA Conservative

March 29th, 2010
4:51 pm

Rita-

Answer my questions.

You are proving Mark Twain to be truthful when he said “It is better to remain quiet and let people think you a fool than to speak and prove it.”