"We're all socialists from the day we're born. You know, you don't have to be poor or unemployed to be on Welfare. We're all at the trough. We're all Welfare queens."
So said TIME magazine executive editor Michael Duffy on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show Sunday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: The word we never say besides entitlements, the even worse word is socialism. But in effect, once you’re 65 in this country when it comes to health, you're guaranteed to be taken care of.
MICHAEL DUFFY, TIME MAGAZINE EXECUTIVE EDITOR: We're all socialists from the day we're born. You know, you don't have to be poor or unemployed to be on Welfare. We're all at the trough. We're all Welfare queens. Your house, and your healthcare, and your childcare. Well, maybe not your childcare. You know, my parking is subsidized. You know, you're very subsidized. You know, and the whole country is built essentially on a series of assistance programs.
Excuse me? We're all Welfare queens? Really? I'm almost 53 years old and don't recall taking one cent from Welfare. As for my house and my healthcare being subsidized by the federal or state government, that's total nonsense.
But Duffy's inanities didn't end there:
MATTHEWS: Okay, explain that to the skeptic out there who says, “What’s this guy talking about?”
DUFFY: Well, whether you, you don't have to just get direct payments in the form of Social Security or Medicare. You get it in the form of tax benefits for your house or for childcare or or for commuting or for parking. You know, so it's a totally subsidized nation. One nation subsidized.
The tax benefit I get from my mortgage is a return of income that I generated and therefore me being allowed to keep more of my money. As such, the government isn't giving me any of someone else's money. I'm getting to keep more of my own.
Unfortunately, this is a common failing of liberals who believe that what the government allows us to keep is still the government's money. In their view, none of us actually owns anything without the government's permission to do so thereby making us all "at the trough" in their view:
DAN RATHER: Well, and the big corporations and people make a lot of money subsidized as well.
DUFFY: That’s right. So, what I’m saying is, while the entitlement program is what’s driving the budget, the notion that it's a few people, it's all of us.
MATTHEWS: Well, the other question, staying on this point, I don't know anybody that says, “I don't want Medicare.” I don’t care if you’re a zillionaire. I don’t know whether Warren Buffett takes it or not, but people are getting it because it's free.
DUFFY: Right, and people go in and ask for all kinds of tests and probings and whether they need them or not because they know it’s going to come for nothing.
Medicare is free? Not for people like me who have been paying into it for five decades.
But that's the real problem: so many people aren't paying into the system and therefore think the benefits they receive come from the government.
Little do they know - or care for that matter! - that that money - at least the part of it that isn't borrowed! - did indeed come from an individual or company, and that it was not originally the government's money to hand out.
The additional problem with this is that as Duffy said, people do ask for all kinds of tests and things they don't need from Medicare because they believe it's free.
This of course adds to the spiraling unfunded liability of this entitlement program that is currently approaching $100 trillion.
Is that what Duffy and Matthews call "free?"