Race and Entitlements

Atrios says:

For some reason I seem to be one of the few people who noticed that Republicans ran on the truthy claim that Obama & Dems had cut Medicare. Combine that with the looming catfood commission making it impossible for Dems to style themselves credibly as defenders of Social Security and you have a bit of the reason they voted for Republicans. I’m not discounting the impact of the various race-infused freak show stuff that were tossed around, but if you want old white people to vote for you maybe you should give them a reason.

I agree with that. But it’s important to note that talking up retirement programs and race-infused freak show stuff is synergistic process. Among white Americans, more ethnocentric voters are more supportive of Social Security and Medicare and less supportive of means-tested social spending. The Affordable Care Act restrains increases in Medicare and uses the money to finance a means-tested program to make health care affordable for non-elderly poor people. When an initiative like that is on the table, there’s no need for race-infused dog whistles or anything else.