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

South GA Conservative

March 29th, 2010
4:53 pm

And Rita dear-

Stick to your principles and pay the government more than the required tax rate to prove your zeal for higher taxes to support entitlements.


March 29th, 2010
4:53 pm

Rita, if you will get the Government to give me back the money I paid into Social Security, plus the interest I would have earned through investments of MY MONEY, then I’ll keep my hands out of your pockets (which sounds kind of weird to say it anyway). ;oP I tried to keep my money but the government would not listen. They have the military and police force behind them.


March 29th, 2010
4:54 pm

Cynthia, when someone takes something away from you, you try and get as much back as possible. These government checks are actually taxpayer redistributions. Hopefully, at some point, these men/women paid in. Dealing with a bad system does not mean you have to support it.

I have noticed this phenomenon for a long time whereby a democrat thinks that all small government people should pay taxes and boycott all services that their taxes pay for.


March 29th, 2010
4:55 pm

I’d love to see a financial comparison between someone who was 30 years old in the 1960s, who is now in their 70s or 80s, who worked for 35 years and paid into SS and Medicare all of their adult lives AND someone born into a “live on the dole” family who for all of their life has received Medicaid, Food Stamps, ADC, WIC, Title IX housing, fuel assistance and a free cell phone.
How much did person A pay into the system and how much can they expect to get back in SS and Medicare benefits?
How much did person B pay into the system (LOL) and how much will they get in benefits their entire life?
I see what percentage The Big G takes out of my paycheck every 2 weeks, I have no say in the matter, so yeah, it might be nice to get some of it back when employers have no more use for me. I have always chosen to go to work rather than sit around and play Grand Theft Auto and Madden and make babies with any female I could get horizontal.

Richard Lyon

March 29th, 2010
4:55 pm

It makes perfect sense. Its called “bleeding the beast”. By taking the money, the government is made weaker.


March 29th, 2010
5:04 pm

Dear South GA Conservative-Sorry, I didn’t see your question as I’m still working on this Monday so I can keep supporting my self-reliant conservative friends. And where did I say I want to “pay the government more than the required tax rate to prove your zeal for higher taxes to support entitlements”? Oh, and do look up the actuarial tables on Social Security. The 7 year statistic is accurate.

this sux

March 29th, 2010
5:35 pm

reading cynthia’s blog and the reader comments are like watching my two children argue over a book. neither one can read, neither one know’s what the other is saying. all they seem to know is that if they say it louder, it must be right.

i have yet to see anyone every agree on a fundamental disagreement in these blogs. it doesnt happen. people just have different viewpoints. cynthia is an ultraliberal. you may not be. these rants are stupid because despite what you think, you will never come up with a fact or argument that is brilliant enough to make people change their minds.

people are just different. enjoy it.

and btw, yes, i often chide cynthia, not just because she backs up her thoughts from other people’s writings, but because she often flip-flops on her fundamental beliefs depending upon who the subject is. look back at what she said about that idiot bush. funny how no matter what he did, even when he expanded the same type of entitlements that obama is expanding, he was doing something wrong and obama is god-like in his intelligence. troop action? please. whereas Bush was chided for being less than sympathetic to those in new orleans, obama has greatly expanded the drone action in afghanistan. the result – a significant increase in the number of civilian casualties. of course, this is all neat and tidy because our troups are not there, and the main stream media doesnt report it. but hey, obama can do no wrong, right cynthia.

South GA Conservative

March 29th, 2010
5:46 pm

Accurate WITHOUT interest, I assume.

maybe if you didn’t have to punch a clock and were self-employed and reliant you could answer the question.

It is implicit that if you liberals want to increase taxes on others (wage earners probably don’t get tax increases) you should be willing to pay more voluntarily. What you want to do is to raise the taxes of the self-employed and management (conservative self-reliant people, by and large) to pay for the programs that you support.

I’m not surprised that this went right over your head. Also, if you knew your facts, you would know that if you provide for your own retirement income, the government will use means-testing and double taxation to minimize your social security and medicare anyway. So that “7 tear average with no interest” won’t apply to your typical self-reliant conservative.

I’m sure that you mean well but if you were better informed you probably wouldn’t embarass yourself with your foolish observations. Be thankful for blog anonymity.


March 29th, 2010
5:59 pm

I have a little problem with the $64,971 contribution number. They take 15%, 7.5 from me, and 7.5 from my employer. If I average 50K for 20 years (and I expect to work more years than that, and make more), that’s a contribution of $150,000.00. And before you say that my employer’s contribution does count, it does. If not paid to the government, I would/could be paid to me.


March 29th, 2010
6:08 pm

once again…most of your columns are quotes and ideas (lefty of course) of others…the suck off from others mentality


March 29th, 2010
6:14 pm

wdw, wow! I’m impressed! ;oP

Drinking the koolaid...

March 29th, 2010
6:14 pm

“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.”

CT Totally ignored this comment…which was the point Reimer was trying to make. Tea Party members protest government intervention in industry (of which healthcare is a part). their point being that it is possible to fix problems without the government owning/controlling huge chunks of it…and that when the government does get involved the historical result is that it costs more to do it all.

I’m sure some tea party folks get medicare checks. will they all receive more than they paid in? maybe, maybe not. I can find plenty of people (democrat or republ.) that paid in less than they’ll get and plenty that paid in more…so the “average” person referenced is not statistically possible.

Amazing how it is impossible for most democrats to fathom that some people don’t want the government running everything (because they are so efficient right?), that people want solutions (yes republicans…solutions not rhetoric) that don’t involve so much government intervention (and over spending). But wait…beneficiaries of government programs usually vote democrat right? so maybe democrats DO actually realize this, but want to protect and grow the dependent voter base. A voter base that also “loves their government checks” and votes accordingly.

only 2 pages to the blog so far so CT didn’t stir the pot enough here. she’ll have to choose a more controversial topic next time.


March 29th, 2010
6:26 pm

I think the intent of liberal columnist like Ms Tucker is to make the Tea Partiers out to be the bad guys, while the true bad guys in D.C. are “remaking” our country into something totally unrecognizable. Its just clever misdirection: The mind has its limits and can focus only on one thing at a time. The magician uses misdirection to effectively manipulate the persons idea of how the world is supposed to be.

While we’re all focused on Tea Bags we won’t notice the trick that’s been pulled off in front of their eyes.

Poof! ;oP


March 29th, 2010
7:07 pm

Yes, Cynthia precisely why we do NOT need another entitlement program. I couldn’t have said it better myself. And… who better to explain the shortcomings of government health care (Medicare) than a current recipient? I’m sure they want better for their children and grandchildren.


March 29th, 2010
7:26 pm

Cynthia – right on, these guys collecting what amounts to welfare and railing against the government. It’s simply priceless to me the extent to which they are in denial. Good entertainment value. Looking forward to November’s election.


March 29th, 2010
7:27 pm

George Foreman 3:16

LOL ! I prefer debate but keep trying …………..


March 29th, 2010
7:38 pm

The government in the real world, not in Cynthia’s socialist fantasy world, does not have money to give us. It only takes from some to give to others. Why should we object to getting back what is ours?

Frank Simmons

March 29th, 2010
7:43 pm

`Most people don’t find anything wrong with what they are saying and/or represent but only with what others say and/or represent. When we are made to stop and consider exactly how much we as individuals truly benefit from the system we then shut up and hide in embarrassment ’cause we realize we are truly ahead as a group and not as a single person. I just want my taxes to be spent efficiently on something really worth it’s value. I do know any dollar that’s leveraged with the whole pot advances us all. What would it cost me to fund police protection, fire protection, war, health coverage catastropes, public school, art, culture, good air, water usuage and all if I had to pay it out of my pocket? Wouldn’t the people like to have George W. Bush back in office to spend more of our budget down to nothing again? Or what about his brother Jeb Bush and/or his son young George Bush III? We need them to help lose more of our money for their family who is laughing at all the problems they left behind.


March 29th, 2010
7:47 pm

Please, if you’re going to fund art and culture (or sports, etc) do so out of your own pockets…not mine!

March 29th, 2010
8:31 pm

isnt it funny that all of these Obama sheeple are so quick to denounce the tea party ?? Obama has spent more money in 1 year… than BUSH did in 8, and you guys have the nerve to question why now ??? tea partiers are fed up with GOVERNMENT period… they spend, they spend, and they spend more… all the while our economy is going down the drain… WE CAN NOT AFFORD IT…


March 29th, 2010
8:41 pm

Scout, a bit off message, but what do you make of the terrorists in OH, MI and IN. the miscreants who allegedly planned to murder a law enforcement official, then set off IEDs at the funeral? should they have been, not read their Miranda warning, and “executed within 24 hours” as battlefield combatants captured out of uniform? in this instance I think I support your position. these clowns need to “walk the walk” if they’re going to talk all there anti-government talk. speaking of which, I don’t like it when the media refers to them as “Christian militia”. they’re neither, and they look like a bunch of paintball wannabes in their camo bdus.


March 29th, 2010
8:54 pm


Your hypocrisy is showing (no surprise there).

When the Bush Administration cut taxes on the middle class and mailed out stimulus checks, lefties like you howled “we can’t afford it”. I’m willing to bet that you (or any other lefty) didn’t burn your checks either, much less send them back to Washington.


March 29th, 2010
9:01 pm

Dear South GA Conservative…wow, I have hit a nerve, haven’t I? You have no idea what I do or where I work, the education I have (I will share that I have a MBA in Finance and don’t exactly “punch a clock”). However, I will dutifully to slog away tomorrow so you can spend another day in comfort spewing platitudes against those of us who keep the economic engine running.


March 29th, 2010
10:54 pm

Interesting reading all the hate and spew today. Pretty easy to see that is ok to hate when it is I doing the hating. BTW rather obviouse that granny=CT kind of an episode of Lost


March 30th, 2010
9:22 am

In case anyone was interested, I found out that the $64,971 does include the employer’s portion.

jim in Jackson

March 30th, 2010
9:49 am

Get some facts straight:
Cynthia Tucker did not alude to the entire Tea-party but used two references of which she indicated one was in the Tea-party.
Several people keep making racial stereotypical statements about black people.Fact is that the majority of people on welfare are white.Please show some couth on this site.
Stating that Obama has somehow raised taxes on the middle class is a lie. The middle class got twice the rebate that G.W.Bush gave while the rest were unaffected.The middle class and self-employed will get more tax breaks than the rest of the citizens to encourage more hiring.
The person who raised taxes more than any other president in the last 30 years was Ronald Regan;with G.H. Bush a distant second and Bill Clinton third.
The majority of the debt as it stands now was the result of the last administration that took a 600 billion surplus and turned it into a deficit of which the last escalation was in transition before Obama took over and he diverted more of the stimulous to the rebates and unemployment to slow the recession and stop it before it turned into a depression.He has funded every initiative he has sponsored this year including the healthcare bill without any increases in taxes.
I have been working since I was 13.I waited until I was 67 to retire.If I had had all the money in the private sector as the republican have favored I would have lost 50% just as I did my IRA the last year or so.I enlisted in the Air Force at the age of 17 for FOUR years (scout) and yes I am a liberal.
I think that we have a great country and those who constantly complain about it should consider trying another, if they think ours is so bad.There is a place in South America that is comprised of Southern Confederates who still live in an Antebellam style and appear to be extremely happy. Maybe this would be a good alternative for those who spew such hate and foment such inaccuracies.


April 2nd, 2010
7:51 am

Nice hit piece with facts contorted to suit your need Tucker. And you all sit around and wonder why the AJC is going down the toilet.