Why Mediscare Won’t Work This Time
The Democrat Party is about to find out that crying wolf once too often is a really bad decision.
The Democrats have long been the party of no shame. While politics in general is a bare-knuckle sport, the Party of the Jackass has long been more willing to exaggerate, glad-hand, lie, cheat and steal their way to power than have the stiff necked Republicans. Scaring the population by claiming the Republicans want to throw Grandma off a cliff is not a recently created tactic.
At least as far back as William Jennings Bryan in the 1890′s, Democrats have ran on the message that only they care about the non-rich while the Republicans care only about the wealthy. They had varying degrees of success with that line of attack until the worst economic upheaval in our history.
Following the Great Depression of the 1930′s, a majority of Americans bought into a vastly enlarged Federal Government and the perceived goodies that came along with it from the New Deal of FDR through the Great Society of LBJ. Large swaths of the elderly learned to depend on Social Security to pay for shelter and food and Medicare to pay the medical bills. Understandably they were easily frightened by Democrats who were most willing to tell tall tales filled with heartless Republicans.
That tactic usually worked until now. For seventy-five years the GOP has had to be extremely careful how they approached any spending reduction proposals for fear the Democrats would demagogue the issue into a Social Security – Medicare debate. This was a major reason why the Republicans failed to scale government back in the 1990′s and early 2000′s. Fear. Remember, Bill Clinton ran all the standard plays out of the Party Playbook and whipped Newt and Company in the Great Government Shutdown Showdown of 1995.
Things have changed. The people who were scarred by the Great Depression are leaving us by the thousands every day. When the Census Bureau released the 1940 Census earlier this year, they announced that of the 132 million people counted that year, only about 21 million are still alive. Of those 21 million a large number were children who grew up during the late 1940′s and through the 1950′s. Very few people alive today remember a time when Social Security didn’t exist.
My dad will soon be 84. He was six years old when the Social Security act was passed in 1935. Assuming you started work as a 14 year-old, you would have to be 91 or older to remember receiving your pay without a deduction for SS. Likewise Medicare has been around long enough that very few Americans seriously think its going to be “repealed”. Both programs are facts of life. Both programs in some form will exist far into the future.
Unless the United States of America goes broke.
A majority of my fellow citizens seem to finally be coming to grips with just how perilous our financial condition is.
The tipping point has been passed and a majority now fear national bankruptcy more than they do federal belt-tightening.
After eighty years of government expansion Americans are coming to understand that government can’t fix the problem because government is the problem.