On this Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher, documentary filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi was once again sent out to do interviews for the show, this time in New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. After watching so many of these so-called "tea partiers" who were out there waving signs saying to keep the government's hands off of their Medicare during the health care debate debacle, the responses here were not that surprising.
In the end, none of the people she talked to wanted to have Social Security, Medicare, education, unemployment insurance, hurricane relief or anything else cut to balance the budget. About the only thing they agreed on was cutting Congressional salaries and foreign aid, which as Maher rightfully noted when the segment was over, doesn't do anything to balance the federal budget.
The cognitive dissonance on display was disheartening, but sadly, not unexpected or surprising. Tragically, what was also missing was any meaningful follow up on the fact that Social Security doesn't add a dime to the deficit or about the root causes of what's driving up health care costs and what can be done to help lower the deficit without destroying our social safety nets, which even self proclaimed "tea party" members don't want to see happen when it affects their own lives.