I’ve been remiss in my Robert Samuelson (no relation to the economist who shared the same last name) stupidity watch–the
Tea Party Fort Sumter people really bring the crazy. But the idiot who inspired me to create the Samuelson unit is still fighting his long, glorious war against the elderly and the sick:
…Samuelson tells readers:
“some elderly live hand-to-mouth; many more are comfortable, and some are wealthy. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports the following for Medicare beneficiaries in 2010: 25 percent had savings and retirement accounts averaging $207,000 or more.”
Let’s see, we have retirees who have their Social Security checks, plus a stash of $207,000. If someone at age 62 were to take that $207,000 and buy an annuity this money would get them about $15,000 a year. Add in $14,000 from Social Security and they are living the good life on $29,000 a year. And remember, 75 percent of the elderly have less than this.
To be fair, many of the people with $207,000 in savings will be older than 62 so their money will go further, but it is hard to believe that anyone can think of this as a cutoff for being wealthy…
The reason Samuelson writes this is because he is impervious to evidence: he knows the answer and will make any argument, no matter how half-baked to ‘support’ it (sounds kinda like creationism…). He routinely conflates the finances of Medicare and Social Security. He is unaware (like many pundits) that the dire forecasts of Social Security involve historically pessimistic estimates GDP growth (a phenomenon that the predictions of the ‘insolvency’ of Medicare have already demonstrated).
What’s sad is that Samuelson has been on this tear for two decades. It almost makes you feel sorry for him. Almost.