Driving to the office this morning, May 7, I heard Jim De-Mint being interviewed on National Public Radio.
The interviewer introduced him as the CEO of the Heritage Foundation, probably the number one right-wing propaganda organ in the US, talking about a report recently released by the organ about the proposed new US immigration law that would give undocumented immigrants in the US an opportunity to earn citizenship.
The presumed research report was opposed to the proposed immigration bill. Jim DeMint argued the bill was a bad idea because, he said, over the course of 50 years allowing citizenship to all current undocumented immigrants would cost the US some $10 trillion in benefits while they would only pay about $3 trillion in taxes, thus costing US taxpayers about $7 trillion.
The argument was ludicrous given there is no way anyone can know what will happen during 50 years.
But the interview went on and on with the interviewer respectfully calling Jim DeMint senator, which he no longer is, since he recently resigned from his US Senator from South Carolina job, paying him about $174,000 a year, to take the Heritage Foundation CEO mouthpiece job paying him about $1,000,000 a year.
As specious as his arguments were about immigration, in the act of rambling on at one point he parenthetically blithely informed us Social Security and Medicare are “broke,” which is a blatant lie.
There is about $2.3 trillion in the Social Security Trust Fund which the Social Security system has loaned to the US government, which the government is now paying back to fund a yearly deficit in the SS budget. Yearly Social Security expenses now exceed FICA (Federal Insurance Contribution Act) revenue (now disingenuously called “payroll taxes”) by about $50 billion per year, requiring the federal government to pay back some of its loan from the SS Trust Fund.
It would take over 60 years for the SS trust fund, or SS loan to the government, to be depleted, or paid back, at this rate. Far from being “broke” the Social Security System has a net worth of about $2.3 trillion.
Jim DeMint is good at his new job. He can tell a lie with the fervor, enthusiasm, sincerity and innocent self-righteous sanctimoniousness of a Jim Bakker or a Jimmy Swaggart, fooling millions, especially if mainstream media talking heads let him get away with it, scot-free. Whether spreading this sort of propaganda far and wide is worth Jim DeMint’s $1,000,000 yearly salary paid by the Heritage Foundation is another matter. Its rich patrons can only guess and wish. How much harm it can cause we the people is unfathomable.
Richard John Stapleton is an emeritus professor of business policy, ethics and entrepreneurship who writes on business and politics at www.effectivelearning.net. He is the author of “Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds,” a 756-page business bible for people who want to do the right thing for all Earthians.