I happened to catch a few minutes of Sean Hannity’s radio program yesterday. I think he may have set a record for most BS delivered in four minutes.
Charlene from Troy, Michigan called in to sound the alarm about government waste.
“All these people who love big government”, she said, “don’t seem to understand that there’s an administrative cost to government. The government’s own figures show that Social Security spends 79% of it money on administration”.
Right. In 2007 the Social Security Trustees reported that administrative costs were less than 1% and have been for the history of the program . But that inconvenient fact would have gotten in the way of Hannity’s political agenda, so he says
“Wow, is it that high now?….. The worst way to spend a dollar is through Washington DC because of all the bureaucratic costs which is what would happen to national healthcare if these liberals….” etc
Now, we know exactly the opposite is the case. Why? Because we have experience with national healthcare: Medicare. And Medicare’s administrative costs are about 3% vs. 22% for private insurance.
So to recap: Hannity takes this woman’s obvious gross misunderstanding and uses it push another gross misunderstanding: national healthcare would have high administrative costs.
But Hannity’s just getting warmed up. Charlene says that government is cash basis which means, she says, that government has to spend all the money it takes in. That’s why Social Security is going broke. They spend all the money they take in.
Now, I’m an accountant and I guarantee you that neither Hannity nor his caller have any idea what “cash basis” means, but surely at least Hannity knows that Social Security has taken in over $2 trillion more than it has spent over the last 25 years. Another inconvenient fact. What is convenient is that the money has been stolen by the general fund which he blames on “Washington politicians”. No need to mention that it’s the GOP that insists on running general fund deficits because that would get in the way of his main point: with all this corruption in Washington how can anyone expect anything from government?
“Where”, asks Sean, “does this confidence come from…with all the liberals thinking government can solve their problems?”
Yes, its just mystifying how anyone could get the idea that government could or should do anything. Unless, I don’t know, unless that person LOOKS AROUND and notices that government programs are everywhere: Medicare, Social Security, police and fire departments, interstate highway system, federal water projects, dams, bankruptcy laws, patents and copyright laws, the court systems, Federal Reserve, community colleges, FHA, and on and on.
No, Sean says, it’s crazy to expect anything from government and the only reason people believe its possible to expect something is because they’re afraid. Afraid something might happen to them, sickness, loss of job, whatever. And the only way liberals can win elections is by…drum roll please…..
“…playing to people’s fears”.
So. Sean’s message of the day—be strong, do your best, but you are on your own. Or as he puts it.
“You cannot in life, place your hope and confidence in other people”
I’m not making this up. You can listen to the four minutes here.