Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Damn Lies and Misquoting Marco Rubio

There are lies, damn lies and then there is the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. I just love it when my local paper gets it wrong. In an article by Zac Anderson titled, "Rubio remarks on entitlements: 'weakened us as a people'” is where the big lie is told.

If you read past the lie in the title you will see this is not what Senator Rubio said nor meant.

What Senator actually said was, "Both Republicans and Democrats established a role for government in America that said, yes, we’ll have a free economy, but we will also have a strong government, who through regulations and taxes will control the free economy and through a series of government programs, will take care of those in our society who are falling behind. That was a vision crafted in the twentieth century by our leaders and though it was well intentioned, it was doomed to fail from the start. It was doomed to fail from the start first and foremost because it forgot that the strength of our nation begins with its people and that these programs actually weakened us as a people." [My emphasis]

It is government that has weakened us as a people!

The federal government created programs "for those who are falling behind" and it is that which has "weakened us as a people". For you see government under both parties defined what it is to fall behind and then created programs to help those who fell behind. Do you see what Senator Rubio is saying? Social Security and Medicare are not programs designed for people who are “falling behind.” Simply said:

I (government) define falling behind and then I (government) help those falling behind by bankrupting those I do not define as falling behind via taxes and regulation.

That is Senator Rubio's message.

When Senator Rubio refers to Social Security he is concerned about its funding. This is known as "unfunded mandates". Social Security and Medicaid benefits are mandated by government but the cost of fulfilling these mandates (promises) are unsustainable.Senator Rubio acknowledges what everyone in America knows, "The other thing is that we built a government and its programs without any account whatsoever for how we were going to pay for it," states Senator Rubio.

Senator Rubio goes on to point out, "There was no thought given into how this was going to be sustained. When Social Security first started, there was sixteen workers for every retiree. Today there are only three for every retiree and soon there will only be two for every retiree."

Additionally, when Social Security was enacted the life expectancy of Americans was lower than the age returns on the investment were to be paid out. The Social Security trust fund was used as a piggy bank for government to borrow from to fund - government programs.

The unfunded liabilities for social Social Security, Medicare and Medicade are best represented by the chart below, which appeared in Businessweek:

What Senator Rubio is talking about is the $210 trillion dollar "fiscal gap" shown on the right. What the SH-T is talking about is the $10 trillion of current debt (which has since risen to over $14 trillion).
Dear SH-T: Its the fiscal gap stupid! 
There is simply not enough money coming in to pay the dividends for Social Security and cover the growing costs of Medicare. Not dealing with this cash flow problem now is to doom both programs to extinction. As baby boom seniors enter Social Security at the rate of 10,000 per day the cash flow issue will loom larger and larger. There are simply not enough paying into the system compared to those taking out of the system.

Time to stop lying and tell the truth. Using seniors as a political tool is bad enough but ignoring the long term impact of government weakening us as a people is naive at the least and dangerous at the most.

The SH-T needs to stand for the truth, for it will set them free from their ideology. Americans need to heed Senator Rubio's warnings.
As Albert Einstein said, "Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.

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