A listener to the podcast writes:
Just found you guys two episodes ago. Love it!
I need someone to
drive trucks through this.
End welfare for the wealthy by Tom Coburn
I hate this guy, but this seems to make some sense: I agree that we should end these ridiculous tax breaks for the
wealthy, but if Coburn says it, I immediately become suspicious.
Sounds good to slam the rich in every event, right? The razor in the apple of that article is needs-testing unemployment INSURANCE and PENSIONS. Those are items that even millionaires paid for and deserve.
If you're a millionaire and lose your job, you are still entitled to collect on your unemployment insurance, because you paid into it and you have LOST that income due to job loss. That is INSURANCE that you paid for, not welfare.
Newt Gingrich needs to be slapped with that two-by-four as well. Sorry, Newt, it's not welfare to be on unemployment. You are collecting on insurance, just as if you got rear-ended by another car. You pay into unemployment insurance just in case the economy rear-ends your job. You don't have to go work for it, jump through massive hoops (except prove you're looking for work) or feel as if you are a welfare case in order to get it. You paid for insurance. If you make it needs tested, no wealthy individual is going to agree to pay for insurance they are forbidden from collecting if they lose their job.
Also, I like the idea of hitting Newt with a figurative two-by-four, just on principle. But I digress....
Retirement benefits are the same and moreso. It's BS to say that JUST because someone is rich, they shouldn't get the pension they worked for and are entitled to.
This is also Coburn's slippery slope to needs-testing Social Security. Betcha betcha betcha.
Once those basic social safety-nets, (paid for by the recipients!), are taken away from the upper classes, they CEASE to have a constituency that is worth one rat's ass in the Congress. Poor people do not have a lobbyist. And the big reason the New Deal included the upper classes was to make that program an absolute third rail in American Politics, and it has worked.
Thanks for writing! -- BG