Remember Ayn Rand, heroine of the conservative/tea partier cause? She believed in individual self-sufficiency. Individuals should stand or fall on their own, based on their own efforts. It is a philosophy that essentially extolls survival of the fittest - or the richest and most ruthless. There is no social contract in Rand-world. We do not owe anything to our neighbors. Most importantly, we should not accept any assistance from the government and government, in its truest and most righteous form, should not offer any.
But if you happen to contract lung cancer, all that philosophy apparently goes out the window, because, you see, Ayn Rand - yes, Mrs. John Galt, herself - applied for and received Social Security and Medicare when she became ill with lung cancer.
An interview with Evva Pryror, a social worker and consultant to Miss Rand's law firm of Ernst, Cane, Gitlin and Winick verified that on Miss Rand's behalf she secured Rand's Social Security and Medicare payments which Ayn received under the name of Ann O'Connor (husband Frank O'Connor).
As Pryor said, "Doctors cost a lot more money than books earn and she could be totally wiped out" without the aid of these two government programs. Ayn took the bail out even though Ayn "despised government interference and felt that people should and could live independently... She didn't feel that an individual should take help."
But alas she did and said it was wrong for everyone else to do so.
Rand railed against such programs during her life, but when she needed them, they were there for her and she took advantage of them. As far as I can find out, she never acknowledged that fact and never told her followers that, actually, Social Security and Medicare are not Satan's tools to ensnare us and can be pretty useful when one needs them.
But today, her disciple, Rep. Paul Ryan, requires all his staff to read Atlas Shrugged and is continuing his covert and sometimes not-so-covert campaign to destroy the two programs.
I don't begrudge Rand her use of the social safety net. Thank FDR that it was there for her - and still there for me. I do begrudge her hypocrisy in not acknowledging the fact that she, too, took advantage of the help that was available to her and that she would have denied to others.