“Who? Me? Federal subsidies? I’ve worked for every darn dime I’ve got!”
The line above just ain’t true, and you can read about that in a new report. It’s a subject regular poster Ron May has been harping about for some time.
The focus is on various federal subsidies that almost exclusively benefit the middle and upper classes — programs a vast majority of RWers don’t even seem to realize they’re personally benefiting from. And they appear to outweigh programs that benefit the neediest citizens.
Here’s the heart — from Moyers & Co.:
In other words, many of those hardworking “taxpayers” outraged at the idea that they’re now being asked to subsidize health insurance for people with modest incomes themselves enjoy mortgages, health insurance, retirement accounts and other social goods that are being subsidized by other taxpayers, including those at the bottom of the income ladder.
Consider this: the subsidies that represent the heart of Obamacare (which don’t benefit the poor exclusively – a family of four making under $94,000 per year will be eligible for some help) will average $100 billion per year over the next decade, slightly less than the cost of the home mortgage deduction, which tallied $105 billion in 2011, according to Mettler. Seventy-seven percent of that subsidy flowed to households that made over $100,000 per year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).
And Obamacare’s subsidies pale in comparison to the $177 billion we dished out to subsidize employer contributions to health insurance plans in 2011. Subsidized pensions cost us another $111 billion that year. To put all that in perspective, states and the federal government spent a combined total of $31.4 billion last year on the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, which most people know as “welfare.”
When you look at it this way, the argument about programs for society’s “freeloaders” is much less one of “principled conservatism” or free-market angst about the unfair redistribution of wealth.
Instead, it looks much more like an “‘I’ve-Got-Mine-But-I’ll-Be-Damned-If-You’ll-Get-Yours” mentality.