Someone Should Smack Marco Rubio with a History Stick:
So yesterday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio was speaking at the Reagan Library (motto: "What? No pudding?") and he said a truly ignorant, stupid fucking thing about Social Security, Medicare, and other safety net programs: "These programs actually weakened us as a people. You see, almost forever, it was institutions in society that assumed the role of taking care of one another. If someone was sick in your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took care of them. You saved for your retirement and your future because you had to. We took these things upon ourselves in our communities, our families, and our homes, and our churches and our synagogues. But all that changed when the government began to assume those responsibilities. All of a sudden, for an increasing number of people in our nation, it was no longer necessary to worry about saving for security because that was the government’s job."
You gotta love the fantasy America that Republicans conjure all the time, where the little people live decent lives, helping one another, sharing cups of sugar and loaning each other a few bucks when little Tommy breaks his leg in a bicycle accident; where you could save your money in a little local bank where you knew the tellers and the president and know that the money would be there, security, yes, but private, not social, which is also in the word "socialism." Ahh, fantasy America is quite a place. Who wouldn't want to live there?
Of course, real America is filled with unscrupulous cocksucker capitalists who would stab your children in their eyes to take their money. It's one reason we have recessions and, oh, hell, a Great Depression that destroyed the pleasant little nest eggs that all those little people saved in their little banks so they could help their little neighbors and their little selves. That'd be why we have safety nets. Because people are people, and everyone is not on board with the whole "compassion" thing.
Oh, and Ronald Reagan? Bastard loved him some Social Security (after initially thinking he could dismantle it). Here he is in 1983, understanding history in a way Rubio never could, after signing the act that raised taxes, brought federal workers into the system, and added tens of billions of dollars to its coffers: "It was nearly 50 years ago when, under the leadership of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the American people reached a great turning point, setting up the Social Security system. F.D.R. spoke then of an era of startling industrial changes that tended more and more to make life insecure. It was his belief that the system can furnish only a base upon which each one of our citizens may build his individual security through his own individual efforts. Today we reaffirm Franklin Roosevelt's commitment that Social Security must always provide a secure and stable base so that older Americans may live in dignity."
You got that? Saint Ronnie raised taxes to save Social Security. And he taxed the benefits of the wealthy because that's what you do if you're not a totally dumb, pandering, ape-faced motherfucker like Rubio. Instead, Rubio thinks that the people of the past were numbskulls who willingly gave up their right to privately help themselves and others and that an insidious government set up these corrupting programs in order to weaken the public so as to make the populace dependent on it. It's the mad endgame of anti-Washington rhetoric. And it's factually wrong. Which means it's just wrong. Which means that anyone who takes what Rubio said seriously is objectively wrong. Which means there aren't two sides to this story. There's one: the actual events of history, not the convenient lie of fantasy.
Bonus points: Rubio's speech inspired what is surely one of the most vile posts ever over at the National Review Online's "The Corner" (motto: "A good 90% of what we write is vile; most of the rest is about our pop culture boners").
Note: The Rude Pundit always feels disgusting after he writes something that includes even mild praise for Reagan, who set us on this path of doom. But that's how filthy our discourse has become. You have to give credit to a cannibal serial killer when he doesn't eat all of his victims.