September 10, 2009

The Medicare Trust Fund

In the President's speech last night, to a joint session of Congress, he said,

More than four decades ago, this nation stood up for the principle that after a lifetime of hard work, our seniors should not be left to struggle with a pile of medical bills in their later years.

OBAMA: That's how Medicare was born. And it remains a sacred trust that must be passed down from one generation to the next. And that...That is why not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan.

I think the word "sacred" is a bit more than misused here... does anyone really see Medicare in such a religious light as to call it "sacred?" I mean, really, did the Congress and Lyndon Johnson go up on a mountain in 1965 and bring down this sacred document? Are we really supposed to feel some kind of spiritual fulfillment that our tax dollars are paying for the pills retired folks take? I have to tell you, I do not. There are any number of ways to support the retired and the aged and America did so for a couple hunrdred years before Medicare.

Beyond the perturbing use of "sacred," do you ever wonder how many cookies are in the "Medicare trust fund" cookie jar the President promises to protect? None.... not one cookie, not one thin dime... there is nothing in there but IOUs written by Congress after Congress. Sacred trust... right... so sacred they use the money targeted for Medicare and Social Security to grease the palms of their constituents so they can stay in office. That's the politicians' sacred trust right there -- the sacred trust that incumbents will return to office even if there's a male bisexual prostitution ring being run out of their own home, even if they cheat on their taxes, even if they take bribes from those they regulate. That's their sacred trust... their trust that we, the voters, will do nothing.

Update: Cool.... John Stossel agrees with me

Retirees believe that their Medicare bills are paid from a "trust fund" that was created with deductions from their paychecks. But this is a politician's lie.

In truth, our predecessors spent every penny of those contributions immediately. They spent them on wars and pork that helped them get re-elected. The money for current retirees' health care is taken from today's workers.

And boy, does Stossel have some interesting ideas in his article. It's worth a good look-see.

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