On Fox & Friends Weekend yesterday, co-hosts Anna Kooiman and Mike Jerrick did their best to help right-wing guest Star Parker discredit Social Security and Medicare as some kind of outdated Ponzi Scheme that saps Americans. Then they helped her showcase her call for privatization.
The segment opened with a clip of President Obama saying Social Security and Medicare “strengthen us” and “do not make us a nation of ‘takers.’” But having spent 30 seconds on that opinion, the rest of the four-minute segment was “balanced” by openly opposite views plus jabs at Obama from Kooiman.
It started with host Jerrick commenting on Obama’s “strengthen us” comments and “asking,” “But are the president’s big government policies, which date back to Lyndon Johnson in the 60s, are they actually preventing people from getting the help they really need?”
Enter Star Parker, who has previously advocated on Fox for “weaning” young people off their “dependency” on Social Security and Medicare. Not that either of the Fox hosts thought that worth mentioning.
Instead, substitute host Kooiman said to Parker, “You say although there were great intentions back in the 1960s with Lyndon Johnson, the president that we have currently has just gotten things out of hand.”
Parker: We have to say, do we want to be a nation of dependency? It isn’t a matter of just makers and takers when you talk about our entitlement programs, Social Security and Medicare… With Social Security and Medicare, what we’ve done is we’ve developed a dependency where our seniors are dependent on current workers. Current workers pay for the retirees. So what has happened with that pyramid turning upside down is we are more dependent on government transferring wealth from one generation to the other. So when you ask the question, are people that really need help getting the help they need, the answer is no because when these programs were designed, they were to make sure that people would not be poor when they retire. And what we have now is a system that is just a redistribution of wealth.
…(Americans) really think that they’re paying into a trust fund. Their name is on that trust fund. It’s like an insurance policy and when they retire, they’re gonna get a benefit. That is not what the system is. And the Supreme Court has ruled twice that it is simply a tax that Congress can change at any time.
What Parker is suggesting here is that Social Security and Medicare are Ponzi schemes. Which they are not. But even if the hosts believe otherwise, they should have at least presented the evidence for another view.
But no. Host Mike Jerrick was too busy validating Parker with such questions as, “So, do you think entitlements sap initiatives?”
As if we wouldn’t have been able to perfectly predict her answer! “They absolutely do.” And, as if we couldn’t have already figured out where she’d go next – to call for “personal retirement accounts.”
Kooiman, too was busy validating Parker. But she upped Jerrick in the validation department by introducing a graphic showing, as Kooiman put it, “how entitlements have been GROWING (her emphasis)” since President Obama first took office.”
Jerrick asked Parker for her “solution,” as if we wouldn’t know what that would be.
Parker answered, “We should begin to take those who are healthy and young out of this particular environment and put ‘em in one that has more personal gain. “
Of course, that’s also an “environment” that has more personal loss. But neither host pointed that out. Instead, Kooiman said, “Thank you so much for your time today.”
UPDATE: VIDEO HAS BEEN ADDED.