Conservatives reap most of the socialist benefits

Liberals are constantly demonized with the accusation that we’re going to turn America into a socialist country. Bad news conservatives: we already are one. The good news? You’re getting most of the benefits.

Examples of socialism in America include freeways, schools, Medicare, Medicaid, the military, the police, libraries, parks, museums, hospitals, jails, and most anything with “public” in its name. Government spending accounts for over one-third of the U.S. GDP.

Who’s getting these handouts?

Seniors are the biggest recipients, with 37 percent of the 2019 federal budget ($1.65 trillion) spent on Medicare and Social Security alone. Farmers, renowned Trump supporters, now get 40 percent of their net income from government subsidies, largely to compensate for the failed trade war with China. Fossil fuel companies receive $20 billion per year in direct subsidies. And, the biggest beneficiaries of federal poverty-reduction programs, including Obamacare, are working-class whites without college degrees (a.k.a., Trump’s base).

Welfare and food stamps meanwhile, easily the two most vilified forms of socialism, account for less than 2 percent of the federal budget.

Of course, America is capitalist too. Which needs society should meet collectively and which individually is debatable — we all have socialism we like and socialism we don’t — but it’s not either-or. We need both. Capitalism generates wealth, but concentrates it in ever fewer hands.

Socialism distributes wealth but doesn’t generate anything to distribute. We may never find the perfect balance, but we can certainly value self-sufficiency, hard work, and initiative while also feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and healing the sick.

I hope that President Biden does turn the U.S. into a socialist hellscape, ravaged by easy access to education, healthcare and food. But, if you want to fight back against “socialist Democrats,” you can start by returning your Social Security, Medicare and stimulus checks.

Ryan Urie

Moscow

Wondering about donations

The Idaho Central Credit Union will soon have a large presence in Moscow. On the website followthemoney.org (bit.ly/3iPr5E3), data shows ICCU, during the last five years, has contributed $14,100 to Republicans, but just $1,000 to Democrats. As the ICCU is now soliciting new accounts from people of both political persuasions, perhaps they would like to explain/correct this imbalance.

Priscilla Wegars

Moscow

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