Megyn Kelly Tsk-Tsks That Half Of All Americans Are 'Dependent' On Government Programs - Like Social Security And Medicare
Leave it to Fox's Megyn Kelly, and one of her guests this Fourth of July, right wing radio host Michael Graham, to use statistics put out there in a column at Uncle Rupert's Wall Street Journal to attack anyone and everyone who is receiving any kind of government benefit -- in order to paint us as a country of lazy, mooching loafers who don't want to work.
Or in other words, the government is giving way too much money to those horrible black and brown people and taking it from all you hard-working white people who earned your money. What the other guest, Fox regular and milquetoast faux "liberal" Leslie Marshall, actually pointed out is, those "government benefits" are things like Social Security and Medicare. With the baby boomers becoming retirement age now, we're not going to see any decreases in the number of people applying for those benefits. And as she noted, farm subsidies are government aid as well, but Republicans never seem to be too fond of getting rid of those. She rightfully noted that student loans could also be included in that category, but most of the people using the program don't think of themselves as being on government assistance.
I'm fairly sure this is the article that Kelly used in the segment, but it's hard to say for sure since she and her staff didn't cite their sources for the information they were discussing: Number of the Week: Half of U.S. Lives in Household Getting Benefits. The post is a push for austerity and changes to Social Security and Medicare (which everyone knows full well means privatizing them) and fearmongering over letting the Bush tax cuts expire.
All in all, this segment was pretty misleading because they're using a statistic which says half of the population lives in a household where at least one person receives some sort of government benefit. Then they try to twist that into half of all Americans receiving some sort of government benefit. Well, that's not the same thing. Without a much more detailed breakdown of those numbers, what benefits, what percentage of Americans as a whole are receiving any particular benefit, the numbers they're citing here are pretty meaningless and don't tell us a whole lot.
The recession has meant a whole lot more people receiving unemployment benefits, food stamps and people who might not otherwise have done so applying for disability and more people qualifying for Medicaid benefits. And with an aging population, we've got more people going on Social Security and Medicare.
What's never discussed is the fact that conservatives would just rather have our citizens die than for us to take care of each other. They've blocked and filibustered and obstructed any attempt to get more Americans back to work, praising those who are shipping jobs overseas. They're union busters who want to see a race to the bottom on wages and benefits, but they're the first ones to start screaming about dependence on the government, as if those things all have nothing to do with each other.
Maybe if they'd quit pushing for a race to the bottom for all of America (other than the 1 percent they're protecting at every turn), we'd have a few less people relying on the government. Maybe if we raised the minimum wage and quit letting Walmart use the taxpayers to subsidize their workers' salaries who aren't making a living wage, we'd have a lot fewer of the working poor applying for Medicaid benefits.
You won't ever hear that discussion from Megyn Kelly -- or anyone else on Fox, or most of our corporate media.
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