Socialism

Trump Bashes Socialism While Endorsing a Status Quo Socialism of His Own

The president promised to protect Medicare and Social Security, America's biggest entitlement programs.

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Most people probably wouldn't think of President Donald Trump as a socialist. At last night's State of the Union address, he repeatedly inveighed against the ideology, in both foreign and domestic settings. He touted the diplomatic coalition aligned "against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro," who he cast as an "illegitimate ruler" and "a tyrant who brutalizes his people." He warned of an impending "socialist takeover of our health care system," criticized Democrats who supported a government-run plan, and promised that he "will never let socialism destroy American health care." 

"Socialism destroys nations," he said. "But always remember: Freedom unifies the soul." 

There can be no doubt of Maduro's tyranny, and when the leading proponent of Medicare for All is a self-declared democratic socialist, it is more than fair to cast single-payer health care, and its backers in Congress, in this light as well. With Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) currently a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, Trump was previewing a likely attack strategy for this year's presidential contest, and attempting to exploit a growing rift in Democratic Party politics over its leftward drift. 

There are sound political reasons for Trump to adopt this strategy. Polls show that Republican voters are widely opposed to socialism, and although Democrats are substantially more favorable, they are, relatively speaking, more divided. The presidential campaigns of both Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) showed how practical questions about how to pay for and implement Medicare for All can drag down presidential campaigns, even in a nominally receptive Democratic primary race. (Sanders, for his part, has largely dismissed such questions as impossible to answer.) Trump is on solid political ground running against America's nascent socialist movement and its primary project, the remaking of the nation's health care system. 

Yet Trump's fervent anti-socialism makes for an odd fit with much of the rest of his speech, which boasted of various spending and infrastructure projects, along with a new branch of the military, Space Force. The disjointedness was particularly notable in his dual commitment to "always protect your Medicare" and "always protect your Social Security," a line punctuated by a final "always," as if to say that old-age entitlements are forever sacred. 

Although Trump recently suggested, in a brief and somewhat vague exchange, that the programs might eventually be up for some sort of cost-saving reform, he has historically positioned himself as a defender of those programs. As with his attacks on socialism, there is a clear political logic to this stance: The programs are popular, and they benefit seniors, who make up a disproportionate share of Trump's voter base. 

Trump's speech was a warning to these voters that Democrats would threaten their benefits by extending them to outsiders, in particular to illegal immigrants. Democratic proposals, he said, "would raid the Medicare benefits of our seniors and that our seniors depend on, while acting as a powerful lure for illegal immigration." (Nevermind that California, which he cited as an example, spends only a tiny fraction of its gargantuan health care budget on undocumented immigrants.) 

Yet what are Medicare and Social Security except socialist programs limited by age requirements? They are not mandatory savings systems, as many believe, but direct transfer programs in which young workers fund the benefits of older retirees; on average, today's seniors will receive benefits that far exceed what they paid in. Indeed, the mismatch between expected revenues and the expected cost of paying for those benefits is why both programs have substantial long-term shortfalls, and why they are, in tandem, the biggest drivers of long-term federal debt. 

Trump isn't a democratic socialist in the Sanders mold. But by casting Medicare and Social Security as sacrosanct, as untouchable foundations of the American project, Trump is endorsing a kind of debt-funded socialism for seniors, in which the way to access the benefits of massive government welfare programs is to turn 65. It's no wonder, really, that Bernie Sanders' base of support is younger voters; Sanders is promising, in many ways, to expand the sort of benefits that Trump wants to protect for seniors to the young and middle-aged. 

There are obvious policy problems with Trump's brand of big-government anti-socialism, chief among them that it ignores the costs of running an entitlement system that was designed under wildly different demographic assumptions. 

But the rise of Sanders specifically and youth socialism generally is a reminder that there are serious political ramifications as well. The seniors-only entitlement state that Trump has vowed to preserve has created an expensively protected beneficiary class. Eventually, those who are not part of that class will want benefits of their own, at even greater expense. So it's true that Sanders' particular brand of socialism is especially unaffordable and that it would exacerbate the fiscal problems associated with today's entitlement system. But Trump's preferred alternative is a politically convenient status quo that is destructive and unsustainable on its own terms. 

NEXT: A Group of Prosecutors Want SCOTUS To Save Death Row Inmate James Dailey

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  1. Polls show that Republican voters are widely opposed to socialism, and although Democrats are substantially more favorable, they are, relatively speaking, more divided.

    Polls also show neither side is really sure whether aliens are holding Elvis at Roswell or Area 51.

    Fortunately – both sides make up the large majority of the voting base in this country. So that no matter which scenario is true, the US can be assured to be resilient against all external threats.

    1. We pay for Social Security! I am so tired of uneducated people saying Social Security is an entitlement ! Food stamps and free stuff are entitlements! We PAY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY!

  2. Keep your government hands of my Medicare!

    1. Keep your Government Almighty hands off of my RIGHT to use my vote to tell others, whose products and services they can buy, without being taxed-tariffed half to death!

      Keep your Government Almighty hands off of my RIGHT to use my vote to tell others, who they may “aid and abet”, without asking for “papers please”, first! Why, the other day, I saw a man, he pushed the elevator button for this lady, and I SWEAR that the “aided and abetted” lady was EXTREMELY likely to be an illegal sub-human! All of these illegal sub-humans violate my property rights and invade my brains, un-invited, and there’s hardly a damned thing I can do about it, any more!

      1. pretty much

      2. Hi Hihn.

        1. SQRLSY isn’t Hihn. Hihn thinks it’s unlibertarian to oppose Medicare and support tax cuts, and SQRLSY’s unfunny schtick is distinct from Hihn’s completely unhinged ranting.

          1. No it’s Hihn, you’re just bad at reading. It’s also Old Mex and Alphabet Troll.

            1. He is Legion?

  3. Exactly. The Democratic Party might be getting to the point where embracing socialism is the norm. But Orange Hitler is also kind of a socialist — and he’s worse on immigration than any Democrat. That’s why we Koch / Reason libertarians should vote for Sanders if he gets the nomination.

    #LibertariansForDemocraticSocialism

    1. poor johnny one-note….

      1. It’s amazing how callous these right-wingers are to authoritarianism and government-sponsored cruelty.

        1. Lol I love the mistake in that sentence that you don’t realize you made

    2. Globalist socialists against belligerently ignorant, superstitious, disaffected, can’t-keep-up bigots.

      Should be a great election campaign.

      1. Gulags for all!

        Seriously, that handgun is calling out to you. The righteous honor of suicide awaits.

        1. Arty should definitely commit suicide. No one could possibly ever love him.

      2. Global socialists don’t appear to be doing all that well lately. What with Brexit, and all the ills of the EU, plus the complete meltdown of Venezuela. To name a few.

  4. Infrastructure programs and the military are not socialism. They may not be Libertarian but they are not socialism. If they are, then the US has been a socialist country for most of its existence.

    Suderman continues to be the most dishonest of all the reason staff.

    1. What, exactly, does that have to do with Trump’s support for Social Security and Medicare?

      Try a little honesty yourself, John.

      1. Everything. If your bar is “anyone who supports social security or is unwilling to advocate its end is a socialist” then every elected official in this country is a socialist. It also means this country has been a socialist country since at least 1934.

        You can define words however you want. But defining that word that broadly is completely fucking dishonest and renders the term meaningless. And it certainly isn’t the definition Trump was using or what Bernie Sanders is using.

        1. Disagree that either SS or the Medis are infrastructure programs, but you’re dead on with this:

          If your bar is “anyone who supports social security or is unwilling to advocate its end is a socialist” then every elected official in this country is a socialist. It also means this country has been a socialist country since at least 1934.

          I mean to a Big-L Libertarian that’s true, but what do they know about nuance? Both of those sets of programs are socialist, but focusing on those ignores that what Bernie has in mind is a hell of a lot more far reaching.

          Std disclaimer: Grandma, pay your own retirement and medical bills already. I don’t give a shit if you paid in. You also paid in for welfare throughout the 1960s until today, and you aren’t getting that money back either.

          1. And it appears that I mistook Trump’s bit on the Space Force, and Suderman calling out those things as infrastructure, as saying that SS/Medi was an infrastructure program.

            OK., whatever. It’s a rounding error compared to SS/Medi.

          2. Letter to Edgar Newton Eisenhower
            Dwight D. Eisenhower | November 8, 1954

            Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas.4 Their number is negligible and they are stupid.
            https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/letter-to-edgar-newton-eisenhower/

            1. And in 1954, Ike was probably correct in his assessment of their chances of getting rid of SS, unemployment, and farm programs.

              It still doesn’t mean they aren’t gigantic free shit programs that have no place in a government of limited, enumerated powers.

              Practice charity with your own money. Not mine.

              1. Gray_Jay,

                Do you think things have changed since 1954? Trump knows who voted for him and why. The white working class that has become essential for Republican electoral victories knows that it benefits from middle class entitlements. Those people will stop voting Republican very quickly if the GOP makes a serious effort to eliminate or even reduce payment for those programs.

        2. He intends to make that word meaningless. That is the scam.

          Make words of a political nature, meaningless so politics can be manipulated because average people have no idea what you mean.

      2. And why don’t you try a little thinking yourself there sarcasmic. It takes a lot of fucking gall to make an argument as false and dishonest what you are saying and then accuse anyone of being dishonest. Come back when you have evicted Trump from your head and can say something intelligent. Otherwise stop wasting my time.

        1. Infrastructure programs and the military are not socialism. They may not be Libertarian but they are not socialism. If they are, then the US has been a socialist country for most of its existence.

          What the heck does that have to do with an article about Social Security and Medicare? All I see is a red herring.

          Everything. If your bar is “anyone who supports social security or is unwilling to advocate its end is a socialist” then every elected official in this country is a socialist.

          Now you’re throwing out a straw man. I didn’t say that.

          If you’re gonna call the author of a piece about Social Security and Medicare a liar by defending infrastructure and military, then I’m gonna call you out on it.

          That second bit of yours is something worth discussing. But your original comment deserved my response.

          1. John is not being dishonest.

            //Yet Trump’s fervent anti-socialism makes for an odd fit with much of the rest of his speech, which boasted of various spending and infrastructure projects, along with a new branch of the military, Space Force. //

            You just didn’t read the damn article, and it shows.

            1. Sure. Focus on one sentence and ignore the rest.

              1. The one sentence over which you called John a liar. Yes, I will focus on it.

                John made a legitimate point, you missed it, and then “called him out” as a “liar.”

                Nobody is expecting a grandiose apology but a “Oh, my bad, I overlooked that” wouldn’t be so terrible, either.

                1. Oh, my bad, I overlooked that.

                  Happy?

                  1. Yes.

                  2. Ha you were wrong again ahahahahaja

          2. Well Suderman did open that line of attack up when he included the Space Force and infrastructure in his article about SS and Medicare. Yeah they were just side comments that went no where but then he should edited them out before submitting his work.

            1. Yeah they were just side comments that went no where

              Which is why I glazed over them.

              1. You should read more, it’ll help you with that.

    2. Socialism is the state owning and controlling the means of production.

      America has Social Security but has private 401k and IRA plans. The state only owns and controls a portion of the retirement means of production.

      America has Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare but has private HSAs, medical insurance, private doctors, and private hospitals. The state only owns and controls a portion of the medical insurance and medical care means of production.

      1. That’s funny.

        I almost put a comment saying “Cue the Trump supporters who will call the author a liar by quibbling over the definition of socialism!”

        1. Quibbling? Is it really that unfair to point out that both you and Suderman don’t understand what socialism is?

          1. What do you call a massive government transfer of wealth? Happy Hour?

            1. A transfer of wealth is a transfer of wealth. Again, you don’t seem to understand that socialism requires government control over the means of production. Social security is as “socialist” as taxes. The transfer of wealth, in and of itself, does not constitute socialism.

              1. Well most people call those things Democratic Socialism, or sometimes just shorten it to socialism. If you’re going to say that most people are mistaken about what socialism means, then that’s fine. But I’m going with the commonly understood definition, not Webster.

                1. The commonly understood definition of socialism is government control over the means of production. If Trump advocated for the government control of all hospitals and healthcare providers, that would be socialism. But Trump isn’t advocating that. Bernie is. To insist there is no difference between the two is disingenuous and misleading.

                  1. The commonly understood definition of socialism is government control over the means of production.

                    No, dude. It’s not. The commonly understood definition, the man-on-the-street definition of socialism, is “free shit.”

                    1. Oh, ok.

                      Socialism is now as simple as “free shit.” I suppose that makes private charity, student scholarships, and frequent flyer miles socialist initiatives.

                    2. I meant free shit from the government, but you knew that. You’re just being deliberately obtuse.

                    3. Great, now that you’ve surrendered your vocabulary to be defined by the left, you’ve cornered yourself into having to argue for total anarchy.

                      Good luck with that.

                    4. I’m not being obtuse, you’ve just choosen your words carelessly. And, in any event, “free shit” from the government is not the common definition of socialism, regardless of how many dingbats “on the street” believe it to be the case.

                    5. you’ve cornered yourself into having to argue for total anarchy

                      Um, no. I draw a distinction between government doing a job like providing courts or national defense, and government directly transferring wealth from one group of people to another. So no, I’m not arguing for anarchy. But I do consider wealth transfers to be socialism, because that’s what most people think socialism is. You don’t make many friends by telling them “You’re stupid, this is what the dictionary says.”

                    6. //You don’t make many friends by telling them “You’re stupid, this is what the dictionary says.”//

                      You also don’t make friends by insisting the dictionary is irrelevant and then redefining political terminology by substituting your own judgments as to what the term should mean.

                      Socialism has a definition. “Free shit” is not it.

                    7. “You don’t make many friends by” pretending to be a whiny sarcastic child constantly.

                      And yet, you persist.

                2. “Well most people call those things Democratic Socialism”

                  They do?

                  Produce documentation.

                  1. “Produce documentation” for Tulpa? That’s like putting lipstick on an intestinal parasite! The intestinal parasite won’t look any nicer, it annoys the intestinal parasite, and it will NEVER make ANYTHING better for ANYONE!

                    1. So no documentation then Mary?

                    2. Don’t you have some shit to eat? Or are you gonna run 5 more socks like the 5 you’re currently running in this thread Hihn?

                    3. Lol he has at least 5, and yet he cries when I change my name ahahahahah

                      DRAMA LLAMA gonna cry ahahahahahahaahah

                  2. No! Annoying intestinal parasites goes against my principles!

                    1. Sure Hihn, any excuse will do when you’ve lost.

                3. Ok, so Trumps a socialist. Now what? Would you have him impotently demand an end to these programs in the SOTU, when that would destroy much of his support, cost him reelection, and eliminate any substantive changes he ever could make in these wasteful bloated programs?

                  Do you notice even Rand Paul isn’t rattling his saber about these things?

                  1. Yours is the best point. Suderman’s “I know I am but so are you” tack is transparent, especially with the illegal alien BS with the hack citation from the Sac Bee fact check. It’s almost as if he wants Trump to lose his base..

              2. I’d say they are a hybrid and are fair game to attack on socialist grounds. My fear of Trump is not so much his policy agenda then his use of executive authority (along with the presidents who preceded him), it lays the groundwork for if/when a socialist gets into office for them to move the USA to an unquestionable socialist state. The links did have the article how Bernie is already planning to rule by EO’s if he wins (haven’t read the article to see what he is planning). That shit needs to stop now.

              3. Thanks, Geraje, for pointing out the difference. I was treating the two as synonymous, and I see that was wrong.

                I will argue though that Medicare/Medicaid, by its regulation and enforcement arms, constitutes at least a partial government control of the means of providing health care in the US. Which should fall under socialism, if I understand your definition correctly.

            2. sarcasmic there are hundred different ways to have a massive government transfer of wealth.

              Socialism is one of those ways.

              So is taxation.
              So is eminent domain.
              So is Nationalization of business.

              1. So are CAFRs, but no one ever talks about those.

        2. We will just point out it was an argument we lost in the FDR and Johnson administrations. Sometimes you have to take a loss and move on.

          Now perhaps the day will come in the future when time will be ripe for starting to reform our pension and social safety net, maybe when the average life expectancy is 125 and robots do most of the work so no one is paying SS or Medicare taxes anyway. But that’s not now.

      2. “The state only owns and controls a portion of the medical insurance and medical care means of production.”

        It’s a pretty big fucking portion of medical care. No, it’s not the whole thing, yet. But it’s enough of a portion that what Medicare wants is what doctors do. In compliance and billing if nothing else.

        The SS tax just needs to be folded into the general welfare, the employer portion removed, the income subject to the tax limit removed, the bonds cancelled out, and grandma/pa treated to AFDC-style income caps for utilizing the service. It’s welfare for old farts, and it’s long since been time that the government started treating it like welfare. That means the SS tax gets treated like the regular income tax, and probably should just be summed into it.

  5. Although Trump recently suggested, in a brief and somewhat vague exchange, that the programs might eventually be up for some sort of cost-saving reform, he has historically positioned himself as a defender of those programs.

    So no citation Suderman? Nobody believes anything you say without a direct quote.

    Because what you say directly contradicts your claim. Trump suggesting cost-saving reform IS the opposite of being some Lefty defender of those programs.

    1. You wouldn’t believe anything negative about Trump, anyway, even with a thousand citations.

      1. A thousand? He just asked for one ….

      2. “ooh burn so clever”?

        Really?

      3. I am 100% against the Executive Branch ban on bump stocks.

        Trump initiated that probably to stave off more sever gun grabbing demands. That never works since gun grabbers want to control who has guns. Trump made that mistake early on and likely wont make that mistake again to give Lefties an inch.

  6. The president promised to protect Medicare and Social Security, America’s biggest entitlement programs.

    He said this? In an election year? ***GASP***

    1. He is a socialist. There is no difference between Trump and Sanders.

      This is what Suderman is trying to claim here. It is fucking pathetic.

      1. FTA: Trump isn’t a democratic socialist in the Sanders mold.

        1. Of course, neither is Sanders. He’s a communist.

          1. Yup. Here are his positions and they mostly involved government completely controlling and/or owning the industry.
            Bernie Sanders on the issues

            College for all
            Medicare for all
            Housing for all
            Fair Banking for all

      2. “This is what Suderman is trying to claim here. It is fucking pathetic.”

        I wonder if this is Suderman attempting to pre-position himself for voting for Sanders if it comes down to Sanders vs Trump.

    2. “”The president promised to protect Medicare and Social Security, America’s biggest entitlement programs.””

      Entitlements? Yes or no?

      1. Well, to the extent that the federal government put a gun to my head during my working years and took by force over a half of a million dollars I could have used for retirement, yes, I DO feel ‘entitled’ to get some or all of it back.
        I didn’t think it was a good idea when I ‘paid into’ it, but there wasn’t a choice.

  7. Mr. Suderman is another who does not know what Socialism is, or the difference between Socialism and a Social Welfare State.

    It’s good that he reveals this right in the lead, so I don’t have to bother reading the article.

    1. He knows the difference. Suderman is just lying here and pretending the difference does not exist.

      1. Which is fucking hilarious coming from the guy whose signature schtick has been wonking about the finer points of Obamacare.

        Not bellowing that it’s pure socialism and nothing but socialism.

  8. I’m more interested in his bullshit claims to support the second amendment.

    The electorate has proven unwilling to unwind existing social programs. W was roasted for suggesting we reform Social Security.
    The least we can do is prevent new ones.

    1. It is also possible to gradually phase out the programs moving forward. People don’t want to feel like they aren’t getting back what they paid in but if they stop being forced to pay in, then they will accept not getting anything back. It will take time, but it can be done.

      1. Yup. I am for paying everyone back who paid into Social Security and Medicare and then end the programs immediately.

        We would go into debt more debt but use the $2 trillion we spend for those two programs each year to pay down the national debt for 10 years. Require everyone put the retirement money in IRAs and 401ks or pay income tax, since that money is pretax.

        Yup. keeping taxes at about what they are, we can pay down $20 trillion in debt in 10 years.

        1. “Yup. I am for paying everyone back who paid into Social Security and Medicare and then end the programs immediately.”

          It can’t be done. You’re talking about something along the lines of doubling the debt instantly.

          The money is gone into a bottomless pit of fiscal doom. Continuing to pour money into the pit will wreck the country. No, you can’t get your money back. Fucking deal with it, boomer.

          1. Way worse than that. I want it back with compounded interest at average market return over the past 30 years. Also just make out the check so it rolls into the 401k. Did some calculations. If I had that check I would be sitting at the beach tomorrow drinking rum and enjoying the scenery.

            But no gotta keep us working as long as possible. My advice to the millenials is quit whining and make some babies.

            1. “I want it back with compounded interest at average market return over the past 30 years. Also just make out the check so it rolls into the 401k. ”

              What, do you work for the government or something?

              No. Get rid of it all. Now. Or suffer a lot more pain when the whole Rube Goldberg contraption inevitably collapses. But all of the boomers will be dead by then, so who cares, right?

              Heinlein was right about old people when he wrote about politics in the 50s, that, among all of the groups of people he worked with when he did political organizing and party grunt work, they were the most selfish, grasping, and uncharitable of all.

  9. “Space Force”, hahahaha! That’s funny!!

    1. Yeah but did you see the new logo is copied directly from Star Trek?

      So they got that going.

      1. I laughed. But I also laughed at the people who so harshly criticized it. People who (IMO) would have lavished praise on the design if Obama had come up with the idea.

        To be fair, the camo uniforms are just dumb.

        1. I actually think it is very cool. Someone over there got that right at least.

        2. Oh the uniforms though. They gotta change that.

        3. The ones from battlestar galactica were pretty good. Maybe they could go with something like those.

          https://images.app.goo.gl/4p9cWS1f4mFXj63u5

  10. Possibly he means no additional socialism, that we have just enough right now. Not adding to government is something that I as a Libertarian can support. Getting rid of a lot of what we have now might be a bit harder.

    1. His regulatory reductions have helped curb socialism, at least a little bit.

  11. Every government program is a redistribution of wealth. I think calling anyone that supports any government program a “socialist” is part of the reason why my stupid-ass generation doesn’t understand what socialism actually is and why its dangerous.

    Medicare and social security may be stupid pyramid schemes that are destined to fail and take the country down with them, but they don’t represent an abolition of private property or the federal takeover of the means of production.

    1. Thank you.

      1. Lefties loves to change definitions in order to confuse and get away with crooked stuff.

        Otherwise any spending or government action remotely looking like Socialism will get shut down by voters.

        Social Security was started as:
        1935 Social Security Act
        when the life expectancy was 58 years old and retirement age was 65 to get Social Security benefits. Adding the difference with today’s life expectancy of 78 years old, getting Social Security would require you life to 85 years old.

        1. Lefties loves to change definitions in order to confuse and get away with crooked stuff.

          Yup. They did that with liberal, gay, choice, and now socialism.

          The confusion happens when you use a sentence with a word that means one thing to you and something else to the other person.

          For example I had a conversation with someone who was all about “school choice” when she thought I meant abortion in schools. Once she understood what I meant she flipped.

          It’s a lot easier to communicate with someone when you both have the same understanding of what words mean.

          Sometimes that means using their definition, or at least agreeing upon definitions upfront.

          1. Or you could, you know, use the actual device that lists defintions and stop whining when you can’t get to use it to obfuscate like you do.

          2. Sarc, I have an easy way towards a path to end all socialist programs in this country. Simply starting rounding up and either killing or permanently exiling all the socialists. Then there would be little opposition.

            However, since no one really has the stomach for that. We’re stuck with these programs for the immediate future and the best we can do is restructure them to start making them more efficient, and providing alternatives.

            Given the awesome array of forces against Trump, I’m not sure he could get anything done in this direction.

    2. Every government program is a redistribution of wealth.

      Yes and no. Yes government produces nothing of value and just shuffles money around. But I see a distinction between government providing courts and national defense, and government just handing out cash. One is paying people to do a job, the other is a direct transfer of wealth.

      1. The people being paid to “do a job” are being paid with money redistributed from someone else. You are now drawing a distinction between redistribution in the context of someone working for it (not socialism) to redistribution in the context of someone sitting on the couch (socialism).

        If the redistribution is the issue, I don’t understand why you need to rely on the level of activity of the recipient to draw a distinction.

        1. You are now drawing a distinction between redistribution in the context of someone working for it (not socialism) to redistribution in the context of someone sitting on the couch (socialism).

          Yes. That is exactly the case.

          If the redistribution is the issue, I don’t understand why you need to rely on the level of activity of the recipient to draw a distinction.

          There needs to be some distinction in order to limit the government. I think that one would be a great start. When you draw no distinction between the two then any argument against government doing something is an argument against government doing anything.

          1. So, a government that abolishes all private property and “employs” everyone to do a job in a labor camp for a meager wage would not, in your view, constitute socialism because the zeks are working for their bread?

            This is why I am having a very difficult time accepting your distinction.

            1. If you see no difference between hiring someone for a job and forcing them into labor camps then I don’t think we have much to talk about.

        2. And again getting back to what people think as opposed to what is technically correct, when most people think “redistribution” they’re not thinking courts and military, they’re thinking “government’s gonna rob the rich and give me free shit.”

          It is possible to advocate for limited government, for government using force for what would be a legitimate use of force by an individual, and government using force for what would not be legitimate use of force by an individual. Self defense is a legitimate use of force. Putting a gun to my neighbor’s head and making him to pay my medical bills is not.

          1. “And again getting back to what people think as opposed to what is technically correct”

            AAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHA

            NEVER CHANGE AHAHAHAHAHAHHAJAJ

            1. AAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHA

              Congratulations, intestinal parasite, that’s the most well-informed thing that you’ve posted in many-many years!

              However, I have consulted some grade schoolers, and it seems that you are in error! The CORRECT formulation is as below:

              AAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHA
              Oooh-Ahhh-Ahhh, Eeeee, Woooo-Waaa,
              Eeeeh-Ahhh-Ahhh, Woooo-Waaa,
              Wallah-wallah Bing-Bang!
              As sung by an invisible tiny wang!

              1. Not being an illegal Mexican immigrant from a third world shithole like you, I have to accept your expertise on horrible intestinal parasites Old Mex.

          2. Maybe that is what they are thinking, but that is not socialism. It is government sanctioned theft. Granted, government sanctioned theft is a *method* used by socialists, but it is not socialism in and of itself.

            1. fair enough

            2. Good luck with that man. Sarcasmic is an Anarchist and doesnt like hard set definitions. It makes his rant type comments harder to call him on it, as you can see.

              In all your posts, sarcasmic has yet to admit that the definition of Socialism is one he agrees with.

              1. Mmm hmmm. When I advocate for a limited government, that means I want no government. When I say that courts, law enforcement, and national defense are legitimate roles for government in society, that means I want no government. When I draw a distinction between government paying people to do jobs and government giving people free shit, that means I want no government. Yeah. I’m an anarchist. You nailed it. I want to abolish government.

                Either that or you lack the intelligence to debate what I actually say so you must instead slay an anarchist strawman.

                I’m going with the latter.

              2. It’s worse than that. Sarcasmic is dumb, and read some books that he thinks he can slam over people’s heads to win arguments by authority. The moment he has to actually engage any arguments, he flees. It’s why as you say, he doesn’t like definitions. They limit his ability to parrot other people’s points because they require him to think for himself.

                1. That’s not what your mom said.

                  1. Yeah, she just called you a drunk.

                    1. Well, yeah. She had to ply me with massive quantities of alcohol. She’s an 18 pack. Sorry, but it’s true.

                    2. Yeah, she just called down the stairs to the basement and said you‘re a drunk.

                      ftfy

                    3. “Yeah, she just called down the stairs to the basement and said you‘re a drunk.

                      Ftfy”

                      Lol God damn, you’re super butthurt that you know I’m smarter and more well read than you lololol

                2. And Tulpa “wins” by snarky name-calling. Meanwhile, he-she-it NEVER takes any kind of solid stance. You can’t debate a fog. But by looking at Tulpa’s name-calling patterns, we know that Tulpa hates libertarian ideas and individual freedom, hates immigrants, and loves to suck Trump-dick. Most of all, Tulpa loves Tulpa’s self-inflated, narcissistic image of Tulpa!

                  1. Shouldn’t you be getting dewormed from those third world shithole infestations you’ve got Old Mex?

                  2. Tulpa is a troll, fishing for a reaction. Nothing more.

                    1. Well, a little more. I’m smarter and more well read than you. You admitted it. And it’s forever.

                    2. I was being polite. And you are the only person on the planet who cares.

                    3. Lol I love that you have to resort to lying now ha ahahahah

                      Seriously, you chose a dumb lame lie rather than accept reality. That’s so awesome that I have the ability to make you lie.

                    4. God that was so great, thank you sarc, you could have been an adult an just accepted reality, but you literally had to lie because of how much I embarrassed you. Thank you for that power over you.

                    5. *choke*

                      You’re calling me a liar? Dude! I almost ruined by keyboard. And with Trump’s tariffs on scotch that isn’t a cheap spit-take!

                    6. “And you are the only person on the planet who cares.”

                      You care or else you wouldn’t have to lie.

                      Lol I win again.

                    7. Says the guy who just admitted to living in his mom’s basement. Loser.

                    8. “You’re calling me a liar”

                      Of course I am. And you know it’s true. Which makes me so happy.

                    9. Which makes me so happy.

                      Loser.

                    10. “Says the guy who just admitted to living in his mom’s basement”

                      See now you’re lying about that too.

                      Really, stop trying so hard, you now the truth just like I do.

                    11. This is why your wife left you and took thie kids. Even when you’re wrong, you have to ake a fool of yourself lololol

                    12. Really, stop trying so hard, you now the truth just like I do.

                      That you’re a loser? That’s not a secret. Everyone knows that.

                    13. “Loser”

                      You don’t have to sign your posts Boomer, this isn’t a letter lolol

                    14. Lololo you’re still trying. ahahahahahah

                      I love how upset knowing I’m smarter and more well read than you makes you ahahahah how many drinks have I made you take aahahahajajaj

                    15. And after all that he slinks away knowing that I’m smarter and more well-read than him and nothing he can ever say will change it. The fact that he has to lie about it, however, that’s so fabulous.

                    16. You don’t have to sign your posts Boomer, this isn’t a letter lolol

                      Um, yeah. I’m somewhere between 55 and 75 years old. Sure. Whatever you say doood.

                      It was real. It was fun. Wasn’t real fun. Toodles, basement dweller.

                    17. Ahahaha the butthurt radiates from your post ahahahahahahah

                    18. Ahahahah I made him openly lie to save his ego that’s so awesomes how can he just hand me that power over him ahahahahahaja

    3. Currently, there’s only one party calling for the mass nationalization of present-day private companies or enterprises.

      1. And, yet, Reason’s “libertarian” staff appears to be genuinely “on the fence” as to which way they would vote in a race between Trump and any of the overtly statist assholes certain to run against him in November.

        1. That’s not true, Bloomberg lost Gillespie’s vote.

          1. LOL

            But Bernie is definitely still in the running.

  12. Maybe, just maybe, hear me out here, campaigning on getting rid of social security and medicare would be a monumentally stupid move politically. Just sayin’.

    1. It would definitely get you the youth vote – – – – – –

    2. “campaigning on getting rid of social security and medicare would be a monumentally stupid move politically.”

      Like campaigning against boner pills or adult diapers. Still, democrats would have a a better chance of success than republicans.

  13. So Suderman, who argued against repealing ObamaCare is going all purist because Trump will not touch the third rails in an election year? Really?

    I realize the problem with those programs but unfortunately a large part of the electorate believe that that is their money that were made to pay for and it is nearly impossible to convince them otherwise because those programs have been based on lies from the start.

    1. //it is nearly impossible to convince them otherwise because those programs have been based on lies from the start.//

      That is the argument that needs to be made in tandem with phasing out programs like social security over time.

  14. Genius! Burn T @the stake for not screwing grandma like all those other politicians lined up to destroy SS and Medicare

  15. Straight from the dictionary. You might want to read it. Spending money on social programs isn’t socialism.

    so•cial•ism sō′shə-lĭz″əm

    n.

    Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.

    1. Stop with your technical correctness.

      1. Wait, you mean to say that Suderman is verifiably and egregiously wrong about this???

        I am shocked.

    2. Damn it, this is the Reason comment section!
      Stop littering up our rants with facts!

      1. Hahaha we all know who we’re talking about

    3. “in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.”

      It sounds like communism.

      1. Communism is after the state fades away leaving the worker’s paradise. It’s an ideal, not so much of a political structure structure.

        1. So, the USSR under Stalin was not communist? I’ve often heard it referred to as communist. I’ve done so myself in these pages and have yet to be corrected. Maybe today is my lucky day.

          1. Obtuse is not a good look for anyone.

            Willfully, even less so.

          2. No, they were socialist, hence The United Soviet Socialist Republic, or USSR.

            They were ideologically communist– or that was their stated eventual pursuit, but alas, they never fully achieved communism. Probably because the right people weren’t in charge. Next time. Next time.

            1. +1000

              1. *shrug*

                Hey, it was his lucky day. He learned himself something new about the world that he previously didn’t know.

                1. I wish it were true. I am not convinced that there’s any big distinction between a communist nation and an ideological communist nation. And you have done nothing to explain yourself.

                  1. “I am not convinced”

                    Which changes nothing about you being wrong.

                    Hth

                    1. Today’s the first time I’ve heard the USSR referred to not as a communist country (which it isn’t because of the name) but an ideologically communist country (despite the name).

                  2. And you have done nothing to explain yourself.

                    *sigh*

                    When I was a wee lad in Jr High school (I suspect way, WAY before you were born– but I might be wrong) I had one (1) teacher explain communism as I did above– that Socialism was the political and economic system, and communism was the ‘ideal’ preached by the “communists” at the time: The Soviet Socialist Republic, in which the US was in the midst of a tense, “cold war”. “Huh,” I thought to myself and promptly forgot about this narrative from my Jr. High civics teacher– probably because at that time in my life I was more concerned with acquiring tickets to the upcoming Clash concert at the county coliseum.

                    As I entered young adulthood and mercifully had long left school and began to actually learn a little something about the world, I was reading various communist tracts and the teachings of Karl Marx (mainly out of curiosity, not out of any allegiance to the ideals) I discovered that this lesson had historical merit. That socialism was the political and economic system in which everything was collectivized under a dictatorship of the proletariat, but eventually the state would “fade away” leaving a democratic, collectivized society which was built around the ideals of things like “mutual aid” and shared labor. That’s why communist countries like the USSR were in a perpetual state of “revolution” so as to eventually achieve the ideals of true Communism. I remember thinking back to my Jr. High civics teacher and thinking the man who I ignored during most of 7th grade may have been on to something.

                    It’s ok that you don’t know or understand these things. Few people do. The differences are nuanced and often difficult to grasp and frankly, can’t be bothered to grasp. And to many people they feel like a distinction without a difference. And in practice, they kind of are, hence most socialist countries never quite getting around to allowing the state to fade away.

                    1. I appreciate your lengthy response and your acknowledgement of my mental limitations.

                    2. It’s ok. Once you get this, other stuff begins to make sense. The real communists… the REEEEAALL communists like Emma Goldman eventually rejected Stalinism and Soviet communism because they realized the failures. It’s also why people get confused over ‘communist anarchism’. They think the two terms are at odds with each other. But in the Emma Goldman spirit, they’re not. REAL communism– that which occurs when the state fades away is a kind of anarchism. A utopian, stateless entity in which everyone lives in a state of voluntary cooperation and democracy– in which the results of production are shared and distributed equally. To Goldman’s credit, she eventually realized that Stalin had no intention of every releasing power to the people– he would remain the solitary dictator over a socialist state and that was unacceptable.

                    3. ” the REEEEAALL communists like Emma Goldman eventually rejected Stalinism and Soviet communism because they realized the failures”

                      I’m not sure about this at all. Goldman rejected Marxism long before the bolshevik revolution, long before she’d ever heard of Stalin. She’s pretty clearly an Anarchist in her interest in prisons and sexuality, two progressive issues that socialists and communists have traditionally been not keen on working for.

            2. Is anyone ideologically socialist, but not socialist in fact? For example the USSR is socialist in fact but ideologically communist. The United Kingdom, for example. Is she a Kingdom in fact but ideologically socialist? I’m just trying to get across here, Diane Reynolds (Paul.), that the distinction between USSR as a ideological communist country and the USSR as a socialist country doesn’t do as much for me as it does for you.

              1. You were wrong. Playing Judge Napolitano won’t change that.

                1. “You were wrong.”

                  But you can’t say why. Perhaps Diane Reynolds (Paul.) will show up and help you out.

              2. Is anyone ideologically socialist, but not socialist in fact? For example the USSR is socialist in fact but ideologically communist.

                Arguably, yes. Most of the democratic socialists who declare themselves as such would probably dither noticeably if you suggested collectivizing the total means of production in the United States. Most ideologically socialist people in the west want a massive redistributive system while leaving the means of production in private hands. This has been discussed here at length and unfortunately, that kind of a system veers into the Fascist camp: insofar as the economic system of fascism. That being where the means of production remain in private hands but the RESULTS of production are directed by the state.

                I think you’re misunderstanding me here. I’m not saying the USSR wasn’t communist they were– ideologically. But their political and economic systems were socialist. No one is going to slap you on the wrist for calling them communist. Because they were. But this all started because you questioned the above definition of socialism, declaring that hey, that just sounds like communism. Well, it does because the first step towards communism is to institute socialism. Which is why communist countries employ socialism. The state will fade away around the time the South Rises Again.

                1. ” think you’re misunderstanding me here. I’m not saying the USSR wasn’t communist they were– ideologically. But their political and economic systems were socialist.”

                  I think I’m getting what you are driving at. In the UK under the labor government (or the leftists of the US Democratic party), they were capitalists in fact but ideologically socialist, given that property will remain overwhelmingly in private hands yet will aspire to greater public ownership and control.

                  “Well, it does because the first step towards communism is to institute socialism.”

                  Maybe it’s time to revisit Marx. The first step towards communism is to abandon feudalism and adopt capitalism. It’s all about historical determinism.

                  Personally, I find it easiest to refer to communism as something like the full on USSR version and socialism to other countries with a mixture of public and private.

              3. Further, the criticism of Suderman here is on point. A redistributive government program is not “socialist”. It can be socialistic, but creating a program called “Medicare” or social security isn’t nationalizing the healthcare system or the retirement planning industry.

                In Britain, the NHS is socialist, and the reason it’s not communist is because I don’t believe Britain has ever suggested that at some point, the state will fade away leaving everyone in democratic collectives, providing and acquiring healthcare according to ability and need.

                1. ” I don’t believe Britain has ever suggested that at some point, the state will fade away leaving everyone in democratic collectives,”

                  Fair enough, though I don’t think Lenin or Stalin thought seriously about the withering away of the state, either. It grew tremendously under their leadership. The democratic collectives (the Soviets) were at their peak during the socialist Kerensky government and were repressed as soon as the bolsheviks took power. The bolshevik slogan “all power to the soviets” was disingenuous propaganda.

            3. Indeed comrade. Indeed.

  16. One BIG problem with Medicare (excepting the parts dealing with disability), is that the costs to the participants are based on age, rather than need, or the ability, to pay.

    Someone retired who has half the retirement income I have, pays the same for health-care as do I, and someone who retired at twice, or ten-times my income, also, pretty much, pays the same. Note: I am NOT saying that retired “rich folks” should pay for the “poorer” folks, merely that I can easily afford to pay a larger percentage of the actual cost of my health care than a lot of seniors, and I am far from “rich.” This, it seems to me, would make the monies go a bit further.

    1. On the other hand, if they earned half your wages when working, they paid half what you did for the ‘coverage’.

      1. This is absolutely true. On the other hand, I can afford to purchase top-grade supplemental insurance, which (potentially) lowers my out-of-pocket expenses considerably. Other folks may or may not be able to afford such extra coverage.

    2. “participants are based on age, rather than need, or the ability, to pay” <- Bingo; the entire difference between Socialism and Charitable Welfare.

      1. ‘“participants are based on age, rather than need, or the ability, to pay” <- Bingo; the entire difference between Socialism and Charitable Welfare."'

        Yep. I recognize the problem. Best-case scenario, of course, is to have everyone pay into a fund (a health savings account) to defray costs of their "old age" health care. For those who don't use it, or all of it, the fund would be part of their estate. This might take the government out of most of health care financing.

        1. Or; Insist that all old people who refused to save anything at all and spent beyond their means file bankruptcy and loose all their “rich” belongings BEFORE begging others for what little help they’d give to someone who was purposely careless with their own property.

          The biggest problem we deal with today is the entitlement mentality that [WE] owe any particular age, sex, color, wealth-class something when their is absolutely NO justification (i.e. justice) for that claim.

          As far as healthcare costs – Everyone knows the reason they’re so horrible is NO ONE CARES how much healthcare costs. That’ would instantly change as soon as their own property was on the line.

  17. Oh so now the new spin will try to peg Trump as a ‘socialist by other means’?

    Hey, wanna call him a crony? Go ahead by all means. I’m sure there’s plenty of valid reasons or examples to do so. But this would distinguish him from other politicians of both parties how again?

    But to try and slip him into the socialist category is plain dishonest.

    Bernie Sanders is an admitted socialist. He speaks like a socialist. He was part of communist groups. He thinks, reads, breaths and shits Red. We have 35 years of examples.

    Yet you’re gonna try and bring Trump to that standard because of fricken infrastructure, SS and Medicare?

    Everyone knows the last two are the elephants in the room best not tackled in the halls of American politics and society. So not sure if Trump could even succeed at doing anything on that front lest he be torn to bits by the usual shrill suspects. He meets with resistance on immigration reform and other little things.

    Keep focus. There are socialists in positions of power in America now. From Seattle to SF and within the Democrat party.

    That has to be quelled and Trump is sounding the alarm.

    I have no problem with that.

  18. “I have no problem with that.”

    Aren’t we one financial upheaval away from socialism or at least an attempt at it? And the idea that Trump is going to quell the movement is ludicrous. In 2018 the house went from capitalist control to socialist control and Trump did nothing to stop it. Your faith and devotion to this leader is unseemly.

    1. ” In 2018 the house went from capitalist control to socialist control and Trump did nothing to stop it.”

      So, this narrative is really a thing? Should we expect to see more of it? Because it’s going to go over about as well as Pelosi tearing up her copy of Trump’s SOTU.

      The first rule of beating Trump is: Don’t be more fucking ridiculous than a guy with orange skin and a really bad comb over.

      1. “The first rule of beating Trump is: Don’t be more fucking ridiculous than a guy with orange skin and a really bad comb over.”

        The first rule is play dirtier. Be as ridiculously as you like. This is America, god damn it!

        1. Well the hair is a problem. Let’s start with that.

          Bernie does a better job. He goes natural with the receding hairline and no dye. Leaves it longer at the sides so it kind of flares out sometimes like Einstein at an older age.

          Guys shouldn’t look like they are spending too much time in front of the mirror. Gives a creepy impression.

          I agree. The current political situation is so over the top anything goes. If Hunter S Thompson were alive today he couldn’t create anything more bizarre than reality.

          1. “Bernie does a better job.”

            I don’t think there’s another democrat who is more likely to make inroads on Trump’s angry old white man base. Biden has a certain Reaganesque avuncularity to him, and his pioneering use of hair plug technology will ensure him a place of note in the history of political hair. But it’s looking more and more like Bernie’s got it.

            1. It’s all about the hair.

              Story is Lincoln grew the beard because a girl wrote him and said “women like men with whiskers and they will convince their husbands to vote for you”

            2. Never thought about the Reagan hair. Looking back he had that slicked back, clean part and neat look. If you walked into Floyd’s barber shop in Mayberry on a Tuesday afternoon and just asked for a haircut that’s what you would get.

              He was a unique talent as a politician. You could watch a speech by him and it was like he was right there in your living room talking to you. Biden does have a little of that now that you point it out.

            3. The democrat establishment is working very hard to shut Bernie out.

  19. No it is not socialism.

    Of course he is saying he will preserve Medicare and Social Security. Anyone who doesn’t will be hung drawn and quartered by the grey (and graying) wolves.

  20. Translation:

    “MY socialism is good. THEIR socialism is awful!”

    1. Says jeff, having missed the entire thread of discussion

      1. You mean, all the excuse-making for Trump? No, I got that part.

        1. You’re such a fucking idiot. Now toddle off you Canadian child rape enthusiast. No one is interested in your tired, discredited, bullshit sophistry here.

  21. Doesn’t he have to know what it is first?

    1. Socialism and fascism are words without meaning these days you can just insert them anywhere.

      You can just make things up as you go along.

      (Looks at menu)

      Customer: “Say how about this Buffalo Burger here. That any good? Never tried buffalo before”

      Waiter: “Ah there is no actual buffalo in that sir. It is topped with crispy onion rings and Texas barbecue sauce. Makes one think of the Wild West, wide open spaces, and buffalo though doesn’t it?”

      C: “I’ll just have the American Burger then”

      W: “Good choice. 100% imported Kobe beef topped with Danish Havarti on a Brioche bun. I’m sure you will enjoy it”

      C: “That’s American?”

      W: “Well we are in America aren’t we?”

      I have no idea why I wrote that.

  22. … As if we don’t already know the partisan duopoly entirely destroyed Capitalism since 1913. Yes Reason, we are fully aware that Trump isn’t a strong proponent for libertarianism… we get that already. However, there IS NO OTHER CHOICE of support at this point. The LP has proven itself determined to never grow into a potentially effective political party, due to its inclusion of fanciful anarchists into its fold, trying to equate the folly of Anarchism to Libertarianism. Therefore, the only real choice for liberty minded individuals in the 2020 Neo-Amerikan election is to support Republicans over Democrats, so that we MIGHT be able to avoid a bloody civil war instigated by all sorts of new tyrannical gun regulations, including “Red Flag Laws”. Perhaps Reason might consider pulling its proverbial head out of its own ass to more accurately portray the dire situation We the People are currently facing. I’ve NEVER before in my life voted for a partisan duopoly US Presidential candidate, but I will be in 2020!

  23. And thank heavens that the Trump-loving commentariat around here has finally discovered the dictionary definition of socialism. No, Trump is not proposing “state ownership of the means of production”. But then again neither are Democrats. NOT EVEN Bernie Sanders is proposing complete nationalization of the health care industry.

    So if Democrats’ proposals to expand the social welfare state are loosely regarded as “socialism” by their critics, then so is Trump’s proposed expansion of the social welfare state by the same metric.

    1. Probably because Bernie Sanders actually wants to win the white house. However, Mr. Sanders has a long and hallowed history of calling for nationalization of all the major industries and banking sectors.

      Calling for nationalization puts people off, so instead we call for organization of the major industries (to be left in provate hands) but driving the results of production towards national goals.

      You know who else?

      1. Please don’t engage him. If ignored, or only engaged to encourage suicide, he might go away.

    2. You’re absolutely right for once Chemjeff. I had no idea the commentary here was so party-line politically aligned. When Trump fanatically insisted on supporting the socialist programs of FDR; it’s really not much different than supporting Obamacare. It’s wildly hypocritical for many here to be running around saying, “but, but, it’s not REAL socialism..” Like that isn’t the repulsive come-back the right always gets from the other side and makes fun of.

      I’ll be watching closely to see just how Socialist Trump gets over his next term.

  24. Well said Suderman.. You hit upon almost all the disgusting and discouraging words Trump spouted during the SOTU address.

    No, Trump isn’t perfect and it was very disheartening to hear him so boldly defend socialist programs that CAUSED the healthcare crisis crap we have to wade around in today. Initiating a Space Force is hardly reasonable while running close to a $1T deficit and Infrastructure alone is rather a broadly socialist approach.

    It was great he dumped on socialism in general though and has a bill for school choice. There’s many things that were great as well.

    1. And of course, there is the fact that a Republican failing to make the pledge to protect SS and Medicare pretty much guarantees not getting elected.

  25. Turn off the faucet first. Then deal with the flood!!!!

  26. Will the writer of this article please at least do a little study into what a Socialist country is and how it operates. We are a Capitalist country with some democratic social programs to help retirees and pay social welfare to those that are poor. Socialists countries do much more than that to make people completely reliant on the state and control everyone and everything. I am not a scholar but writers should at least study and have common sense.

  27. “Yet what are Medicare and Social Security except socialist programs limited by age requirements?” These are programs that I have “saved” for and paid into for years, you dumbass. That is not socialism. It is my money that, supposedly, the government has saved for me.

    1. I agree. At least, that’s how it’s sold to us. What actually happens is that the government pays for current program outlays from the payroll tax income each month. They make sure the payroll taxes always exceed the outlays. Under Reagan, they bumped up payroll tax income way above what the program needed to pay out.

      That’s where we get cheated: government takes our excess payroll money and spends it, leaving only a promise in the “lockbox” to provide taxpayer money if the payout ever exceeds the income. They don’t “save” it for us, they spend it. The money just goes into General Revenue.

      If outlays ever do exceed payroll tax income, they will take what they need from the taxpayers’ wallets. Meaning we pay twice, once from payroll taxes and then from income taxes.

    2. WRONG – You didn’t decide to “save” for nothing. The almighty king came and stole (i.e. FORCED) your gold then told you when, where and how if ever you can spend some.

      Obama & Bernie, “We’re not socialists; we just want to take away all your choices, steal your money (??Save??) and disperse it on whatever we decide for you.”

  28. If I were going to call such programs “socialism”, I would first look up the definition of the word.
    “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” is a commonly accepted definition.
    Medicare and SS are “social” programs, but not “Socialist” programs.

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  31. Oh please! Defending social security and medicare isn’t “socialism”, IT’S THE LAW. These are laws on the books, and presidents take oaths to faithfully execute the laws. Unless and until congress changes these laws, the government must fund these programs and execute them.

    Every president has no choice in the matter. Only congress can change laws.

  32. So Trump is essentially no different than Sanders because he wants to keep the status quo on SS and Medicare. A position held by 99.9% of politicians.

    No mention that Bernie: will cancel college debt and make it free; force everyone into Medicare for All with no deductibles or copays and very reduced reimbursements (actually Medicaid for All); never repudiated his government takeover of banks, energy companies, utilities and transportation; and would plunge the US into a recession by immediately closing nuclear power plants and banning fracking.

    Yeah, no difference.

  33. Disclaimer: I am a SS and Medicare recipient.

    Both SS and Medicare are socialist programs. Both were imposed by Democrat presidents and Democrat-controlled congresses. Both were incIuded in the Unified Federal Budget by a Democrat president and Democrat-controlled Congress, setting them up to be raided in the future. I voted for neither those presidents nor those Democrat congresscritters. I had no choice but to participate in both programs.

    I began paying into SS (OASDI) in 1960 and to Medicare in 1964. I became eligible for the promised benefits in 2004 and 2007 respectively. Therefore, I have a substantial “investment” in these programs.

    I view President Trump’s commitment to protecting both programs as a commitment to honor the government’s promises at the time the programs were initiated, rather than as some socialist action.

    I understand that the programs are not currently fiscally sound, but I also know that the actuaries for both programs have made this abundantly clear to multiple presidents and congresses, to little or no avail, largely because of a lack of political courage (oxymoron alert).

  34. “I view President Trump’s commitment to protecting both programs as a commitment to honor the government’s promises at the time the programs were initiated, rather than as some socialist action.”

    True, but it would’ve been REALLY nice to hear him say he was planning on “fading-out” the socialist programs of FDR. I mean geez what Constitutional authority even gave the federal government authority to mess around with everyone’s savings and healthcare anyways!!

    1. No Constitutional authority.

    2. Sure, except that saying that pretty much guarantees you won’t get elected.

  35. Except neither Medicare nor social security is a product of socialism.

    1. You do realize that in the early 1900’s both were thrown out by the Supreme Court for being UN-Constitutional upon the idea they were far beyond the “Socialism” allowed by the Constitution.

      There was “The New Deal” by FDR that wildly grew and pushed our government into Communism and there’s “The New Deal” today that pushes even farther.

      Just like the frog in the boiling pot of water — pretending that the water isn’t getting hotter by comparing it to a few seconds ago. Medicare and Social Security carry exactly the same problems socialism does. Theft, Gov Control, Dictation – that’s not what the Revolutionary War was fought to gain.

      1. Can you name the SCOTUS case(s) you are referring to?

  36. READ ALL ABOUT IT!

    TRUMP DECIDES TO RUN FOR REELECTION AND PROMISES NOT TO PISS OFF 20% OF THIS CORE SUPPORTERS!

    Seriously, NO serious candidate for President is going to do less than promise to preserve SS and Medicate. It is a big deal just to avoid promising to expand them.

    I may agree (and do) that SS and Medicare are horrible unconstitutional programs, but anyone with any sense understands that running against them is a sure way to avoid election. Your critique of Trump on this basis is foolish and reveals you as infantile.

    1. Granted; It’s a really sad human case on full display of history in how many German citizens, of which one might believe should’ve been decent human beings, would get behind Hitler.

      Someday I hope at least more than 1/2 of humanity can look beyond their, “what’s in for me” mentality and see the greatness in “old-fashion” ethical principles of decency.

      Instead SS and Medicare is popular because half are touting “what’s in for me” and other half are touting “the power to dictate other peoples life’s for them”.

  37. Stupid words !!
    Since when is a large social safety net synonymous with socialism???

    The scandinavian countries are more free market than the USA and choose to spend their wealth created by capitalism on their social safety net, this does not make them socialist anymore than our social security system makes us socialist.

    The free market creates the wealth and society decides the priorities for what to spend it on. This has zero to do with actual socialism.

    If you want a large social safety net you must embrace the free market to create the wealth necessary to pay for it. Otherwise you always end up with a version of Venezuela.

    Capitalism makes us all unequally rich, socialism makes us all equally poor. Choose wisely.

    1. “The [WE] free market creates the wealth” … so the… “[WE] society decides the priorities for what to spend it on”?????

      The way you worded that has everything to do with actual socialism.

      Now what part of that even acknowledges anyone of us as an Individual person??? And if the ideology can’t acknowledge anyone as an individual person then how is any person going to have any claim to individual rights, property or wealth? And if Individuals can’t “own” anything what’s going to motivate them to do anything at all?

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  39. “Yet what are Medicare and Social Security except socialist programs limited by age requirements? They are not mandatory savings systems, as many believe, but direct transfer programs in which young workers fund the benefits of older retirees; on average, today’s seniors will receive benefits that far exceed what they paid in. Indeed, the mismatch between expected revenues and the expected cost of paying for those benefits is why both programs have substantial long-term shortfalls, and why they are, in tandem, the biggest drivers of long-term federal debt.”
    ^^^^^^^
    WRONG

    SS and Medicare receive funds from the federal govt crediting accounts (deficit spending)-neither taxes, nor borrowing necessary. Hence, there can never be a shortage of dollars to pay for either program. Availability of resources for program recipients and the American population in full is what will sustain both SS and Medicare into perpetuity. Suderman, like the vast majority of henny-penny, sky is falling economic morons, continually FRAMES both program’s long term sustainability completely and incorrectly WRONG. Resource availability is the key, not dollars!

    (Price increases are caused by shortages, usually shortages of food and energy, not by increased government spending.
    Increased government spending can cure inflations if the spending is devoted to curing the shortages.)

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