Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Tax-Eating Granny Redux

E.J. Dionne, Jr., in his latest, suggests that portraying all Seniors as living high on the hog is apparently not accurate.
Those who advocate cutting programs for the elderly inevitably stress the supposedly "unfair" burdens this population will place on everyone else. . . .

What's wrong with this argument? First, it deals with the elderly as a single, undifferentiated group. The retired millionaire playing golf in Palm Springs is spoken of as if he is in the same class as the elderly widow in a modest apartment in Cleveland. But the Palm Springs millionaire is not the typical senior; he's the exception. Most who use Medicare and rely on Social Security desperately need the help to stay out of poverty.

Consider that for about 20 percent of retirees, every penny of their income comes from Social Security. Social Security provides half or more of the income of nearly two-thirds of the elderly. Greedy is not a word that comes to mind to describe such people.
Rush Limbaugh likes saying that if you depend on Social Security for your retirement you are poor. Of course he usually chooses not to enlighten you as to how many American Elderly find themselves in that situation. Instead he likes to talk about how you will be paying his golf fees. Nice eh?

No comments: