Thursday, June 9, 2011

Republican Hypocrite of the Week - Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) Wanted to Destroy Social Security Before He Wanted to Save It

Republican Hypocrite of the Week - Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) Wanted to Destroy Social Security Before He Wanted to Save It

Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) can't make up his mind on what he thinks about Social Security.
As ThinkProgress reported last week, Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) faced an angry crowd of constituents last month after telling them at a town hall meeting that Social Security is a “pyramid scheme” that “isn’t working.” The congressman doubled down this week, once again referring to the program as a “pyramid scheme” during an appearance on a local radio show, telling a caller he was “exactly right” to call it that. Then Wednesday morning, on a seperate radio show, he called his aforementioned comments a “poor choice of words.”

At a town hall last night, Heck refused to address his previous comments and only claimed that he actually wants to defend the program:

    U.S. Rep. Joe Heck vowed Wednesday to preserve Social Security but refused to explain why he called the federal program a “pyramid scheme” that does not work. [...] “At this point I am not going to comment on that question,” Heck told a reporter who probed him about the pyramid scheme gaffe. When another reporter asked him about the comment after the meeting, he ignored the question and walked out of the room, avoiding the crowd of constituents gathered to greet him. [...] At Wednesday’s town hall, he said he would protect the program, adding, “For future generations there may need to be changes for long-term sustainability.”

Responding to Heck’s rapidly changing positions, Americans United for Change’s Jeremy Funk said, “It’s a good thing Congressman Heck decided to keep his government health care benefits despite opposing health reform. He may need to be treated for whiplash soon, with all the flip-flopping going on here.”
"First, in the case of Social Security, no one is being misled. Madoff and other Ponzi schemers allegedly falsely claimed to have discovered a "black box" method of earning impressive results, and by doing so enticed individuals and organizations to invest with him. Social Security is exactly what it claims to be: A mandatory transfer payment system under which current workers are taxed on their incomes to pay benefits, with no promises of huge returns. (Of course, it's true that if Madoff had the power to require participation, he would have had an easier time keeping his alleged scheme rolling.)

Second, Social Security isn't automatically doomed to fail. Played out to its logical conclusion, a Ponzi scheme is unsustainable because the number of potential investors is eventually exhausted. That's when the last people to participate are out of luck; the music stops and there's nowhere to sit."

Social Security is morally the polar opposite of a Ponzi scheme and fundamentally different from what Madoff allegedly did. At the height of the Great Depression, our society resolved to create a safety net  in the form of a social insurance policy that would pay modest benefits to retirees, the disabled and the survivors of deceased workers. By design, that means a certain amount of wealth is not paid in wages but deferred to be collected on retirement. Social Security is one of the major ways in which the USA elevated poverty among seniors. Mr. Ponzi died in a charity hospital penniless.

One thing conservatives are consistent about is demonizing things they do not like with falsehoods and illogical arguments. Conservatism remains to be one of the biggest threats to American traditions and way of life.

Colbert Reenacts Revere's Famous Ride To Prove Palin Right (VIDEO). Why do conservatives keep saying they want to return to some kind of American originalism yet do not know sqaut about American history.