As a Republican my first thought was not to be insulted, but to think that Mr. Alcarez was closer to the truth than he could possibly think. Before you Democrats get all happy, thinking that I have joined the dark side, sit back for a second, and maybe you will gain some insight into how the other side thinks.
First thing, let’s see if we can find some common ground. Obviously the little GOP elephant represents the Republican Party. I think we might also agree that in the cartoon, Santa Claus is analogous to Congress. That would follow that the cartoon means Republicans (make that evil Republicans) are telling Congress that they have a long list of things that they don’t want others to have. Subbing Santa for Congress, right around Christmas time, just makes it funny. Ha Ha
Ok, now here is where we are going to part company. Santa Claus is an imaginary (but loved) being used to charm children (and possibly delusional adults) into thinking that material things just appear out of no where, with no cost or effort. Santa Claus doesn’t exist. But Congress does. Congress also SEEMS to have the ability to give things to people out of thin air, just like Santa. But just because Congress does exist, and acts like Santa, does not mean they are Santa Claus. Everything that Congress “gives” to someone they have to take from someone else.
If you want to give 99 weeks (or more!) of unemployment insurance to someone, there are businesses that have to shell that money out, and won’t be able to hire someone, or expand their business. If you want to mandate that insurance companies cover “children” who are 25 years old, then the insurance companies are going to raise their rates and make everyone else pay. If you want to pay out Social Security “benefits” to people who have never contributed a dime, or even pay out three times (or more) to those who did pay in, then the rest of the workers are going to have to kick in more of their paychecks. If they don’t, the money will eventually run out.
The parting of the ways continues with my interpretation of what the little elephant is doing. Mr. Lalo has the little elephant just listing things that he feels others should not have. My little elephant is telling Congress that they can not give everything to everyone, without taking everything from everybody. My little elephant’s list does include plenty of things that Congress should not be providing, but more importantly, it lists things that Congress is providing that it must provide less of, or it won’t be able to provide them for very long.
To be clearer; we are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend to fund our federal government. 20% of that money is for defense. 60% of that money is for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and numerous welfare programs. We can’t get enough money from “the rich” to make that shortfall up. It is not possible. (See my blog “Taxing the Rich More is a Dumb Idea) So the only alternative is to spend less. The poor little elephant is not suggesting (at least mine isn’t) that we freeze Social Security payments or cut Medicare payments to doctors (although ObamaCare did exactly that last one, and Congress had to “fix” that today). My little elephant is saying maybe the retirement age has to go up, or that those younger than 55 might have to get less Social Security, or maybe that more affluent Social Security recipients might have to take less in payments. Santa Claus doesn’t exist, and we don’t have to money to keep doing it the way we are now.
The poor little elephant in the cartoon is just trying to be the adult in the room, reminding those who equate Congress with Santa Claus, that at some point in time, the bill comes due. But, does the little elephant get any credit for trying to be responsible? No, he is merely insulted and called “greedy”, “heartless”, or “fascist’. He is pointed at and called a mouthpiece for “the rich” and that he doesn’t want to pay his fair share (The top 10% of wage earners pay 70% of the taxes already). But, all he is doing is pointing out the truth of the matter. We don’t have the money. But telling people that Santa Claus doesn’t exist is not popular.
One final thing, let me ask you something; who is really more heartless? The little elephant who wants to reform the system so Social Security, Medicare, and such are available for his children, or those who tell little Cindy Lou Who, that Santa Claus is going to take care of everything?