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- Shift the Subject. When people can't argue facts, they try to change the subject. This is why discussions on entitlement reform are rebutted with non-sequiturs about military spending or illegal aliens.
- Ignore the Facts. My last article had charts, video and quotes. Rather than respond to any of the evidence I presented, those who disagreed with me simply ignored everything and proceeded to attack me, which brings me to the last tactic.
- Name call. When you can't win an argument, simply attack the person you're arguing with. This is why any discussion about entitlement reform is met with "You hate old people and want them to die" responses.
So now that we've identified the tactics of the Left, and the moles within the Tea Party, let's carefully dissect these arguments and show that they hold absolutely no water.
This is the standard Leftist punching bag department. Cut spending you say? Cut the military! Nevermind that fact that the military is Constitutional, and departments like the Department of Energy, Education, HUD, et all are NOT Constitutional. Let's follow the rabbit hole, and say that we cut the ENTIRE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. This argument is so easy to refute, and requires only a single graphic.
As you can see, the amount we spend on Defense (not just the wars, but also Homeland Security, the CIA, and many other Defense related agencies and Departments) is LESS than what we spend on either Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid INDIVIDUALLY.
FICA taxes are supposed to pay for Entitlements, and we took in $865B in 2010 FICA receipts while spending $1.4T on Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. Now, we could cover these two programs if we cut the entire Defense budget combined with FICA taxes for the short term, but that won't solve the long-term problem because the trend of entitlement spending is going up every year. Cutting Defense will only buy us a couple of years, maybe long enough for a few seniors to die of natural causes, but not enough to save the programs, and only at the cost of our national defense.
Maybe you're not completely brain-dead, and you're not talking about cutting the ENITRE Defense budget, but just the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. Unfortunately, that will cut our savings significantly. Instead of saving $694B annually, we'd only save a paltry $200B or so (give or take depending on emergency appropriations), that's simply not enough to even BALANCE THE BUDGET IN THE SHORT TERM in regards to entitlement spending.
Again, this is easy to refute. Even the most bombastic estimates as to how much money illegal aliens cost this country is only around $100B annually. Don't get me wrong, $100B isn't an insignificant amount of money, but we're talking about TRILLIONS of dollars in entitlement shortfalls. Even if we solved the illegal immigrant problem we would still go bankrupt. However the best way to eliminate the illegal alien problem is to END THE NANNY STATE AND CUT ENTITLEMENTS. If illegal aliens couldn't get free stuff, they would only come here to make an honest living, and wouldn't cost anyone anything. We could re-open Ellis Island, and welcome everyone who wanted to become an American citizen. However, you can't have open borders AND a Nanny State.
Just to show how much of a non-starter blaming illegal aliens is, we would have to subtract the cost of ENFORCEMENT from any savings we get. We currently spent about $20B a year on enforcement, while illegal aliens cost us $100B, which means we're actually losing $120B a year. How much would full enforcement cost? Well over the $100B that we would recover in savings, meaning that it would do absolutely NOTHING to solve our debt and spending crisis. It's just a red-herring.
TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH
I could go on and on about the logical fallacies in the "Eat the Rich" argument. People who make this argument simply prove they don't understand Capitalism, Economics, or basic math. Rather than write a small book about the subject (which I may end up doing at a later date because it's fun), I'm going to let Bill Whittle of PJTV and Firewall fame explain why this argument is nonsense.
How do we solve our spending and debt crisis? Entitlement reform is the ONLY answer. It's not what seniors want to hear, but it's the honest and undeniable truth. The answers are simple, not easy, but simple.