After watching this segment on Hardball with Chris Matthews and former RNC Chairman Michael Steele (now one of MSNBC's regular contributors -- because heaven knows, Joe Scarborough isn't doing a good enough job polluting their the airways), all I can say is, shame on Steele for lying to their viewers about whether someone who was born in 1958 should still expect the government to be sending out their Social Security check -- and shame on Matthews for not calling him out on it.
Yes, there are some long term issues with the solvency of Social Security, but they could be solved pretty easily with measures liberals support, like raising the cap on the taxable income. Regardless of what anyone believes about how that issue should be resolved, it's just blatant fearmongering for someone who is Steele's age to pretend the program won't be there for him.
I still remember the days when Rachel Maddow was begging for an interview with this guy. That was back when he was head of the RNC and still had to be held accountable for the Republicans and their actions and policy positions. Now that he's one of their paid pundits, it seems he's free to spew as much unchallenged crap as he likes on the shows where he appears (and viewers are unfortunate enough to find him as a guest).
I'm not sure just which right wing political hack has taken "Uncle Pat" Buchanan's space (and the cot he was probably sleeping in so he could be ready for an interview at a moment's notice), but Steele certainly looks like he's in the running.
Transcript via MSNBC below the fold:
Michael Steele, months ago, I think, on this program with me said the 47 percent line was a disaster. I don`t know why anybody would repeat it.
MATTHEWS: OK. Let me ask you this.
MATTHEWS: Look, it comes down to numbers. Everybody knows there`s some welfare cheating. Everybody knows there are some people who just aren`t looking for a job. They grab the unemployment check.
The thing is, do you build a whole philosophy about maybe 5 percent of the people on welfare --
MATTHEWS: -- are just taking it easy? Or the Republican notion 90 percent of the people on welfare are cheating and just grabbing the check? I mean, that is the way to look at it. Which way is it?
MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: And that is not reflective of rank and file Republicans, by the way, that 90 percent of the people on welfare are cheating and shouldn`t be there.
I think to Ken Cuccinelli`s point, and to what Bob just said, I think the reality is he`s going to have to square that with the people in the state as he runs for Virginia, number one. Number two, I don`t think that`s reflect -- that sentiment or that idea is reflective of the party as a whole. But there is a legitimate point to be made about I think underneath that argument, is how these programs function? I have been paying into the system since I was 14 years old and got my first job. I don`t expect to reap the benefit of all the dollars that I have put into the system --
MATTHEWS: Which programs are you talking about you won`t benefit from?
STEELE: The Social Security program, for example. I have been paying since my first job at age 14 years old.
MATTHEWS: You tot.
STEELE: I know.
MATTHEWS: You don`t think you`re going to get anything out of Social Security?
STEELE: I`m not going to get that money back. But this is the broader point -- I get it. But the question we have to look at is for future generations, that 20-something-year-old, that 30- year-old in the next 20 to 30 years, how this program is going to be designed in such a way --
MATTHEWS: Well, let`s get back to the argument your party has been making, not all of you.
MATTHEWS: This argument it`s basically all a trick. Get the people to buy into these social programs so they`ll become dependent people. That`s the old Romney line.
STEELE: And that to me is just a cynical view of the American spirit and it shouldn`t have any --
h/t Captain Kangaroo