Thursday, April 12, 2012

Senior Voters Who Rely on Medicare and Social Security Increasingly Voting Republican – So They Can Deny Medicare and Social Security to Future Seniors

Not the Greatest Generation – More Like the Greediest Generation

Except for the most extreme critics of Government policy, those who live in permanent fantasy and denial, even those mildly opposed to social programs will agree that Social Security and Medicare have been successful policies to provide for seniors in their old age and to drastically reduce poverty among the retired.

So in elections senior voters have two choices.  They can vote for Democrats, the ones responsible for creating and enacting Social Security and Medicare, or they can vote for Republicans the ones historically opposed to both of the programs and the ones who want to privatize Social Security and replace Medicare with private insurance premiums insufficiently subsidized by the government.  Doesn’t seem like a difficult choice does it?

Apparently the concept of voting your interest is so new that many seniors have not caught on yet.  In recent elections they have switched from voting Democratic to voting Republican.

An analysis by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People and the Press concluded that the over-65 set is now more conservative on social issues, angrier about the direction of the country and more uneasy about the growth of diversity in the U.S. than younger generations.

Seniors favored GOP nominee John McCain in 2008 by 53% to 46% for Mr. Obama. Things got worse for Democrats in 2010, when older voters favored GOP candidates by 59% to 38%.

So how does one explain this seemingly irrational behavior.  One thought is that the older you get the more conservative you get.  So maybe seniors are really worried about abortions (now that they do not need the right to get one) or are mostly worried about same sex marriage (now that no one of either sex wants to marry them) or are highly worried about government supported prayer (now that they are closer to needing a boost to get into heaven). 

But we think the real explanation is that seniors who support Republicans really don’t care if those who are coming later do not have Social Security and Medicare.  In fact if Republican policy is to gut these two programs in the future, this could mean more money available today for the people who are currently drawing Social Security and are on Medicare.  After all Republicans have pledged to protect current seniors and near term seniors, and if the seniors really are just plain greedy and selfish what better way to appeal to those voters.

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