Hunger Games USA
Paul Krugman writes in Hunger Games USA. Facts and figures at his column.
To fully appreciate what just went down, listen to the rhetoric conservatives often use to justify eliminating safety-net programs. It goes something like this: “You’re personally free to help the poor. But the government has no right to take people’s money” — frequently, at this point, they add the words “at the point of a gun” — “and force them to give it to the poor.”
It is, however, apparently perfectly O.K. to take people’s money at the point of a gun and force them to give it to agribusinesses and the wealthy.
Now, some enemies of food stamps don’t quote libertarian philosophy; they quote the Bible instead. Representative Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, for example, cited the New Testament: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” Sure enough, it turns out that Mr. Fincher has personally received millions in farm subsidies.
Given this awesome double standard — I don’t think the word “hypocrisy” does it justice — it seems almost anti-climactic to talk about facts and figures. But I guess we must.
i wonder if the word “insanity” might not be better than “hypocrisy.”
The people getting food stamps are not “unwilling” to work. They are unable to work, or can’t find a job that pays enough to eat. But the insane Right prefers to think of them as being unwilling. “Insanity” in this case is not some unfortunate brain disease, it is insanity as in Hannibal Lector…
As for paying taxes at the point of the government gun… well, so do we all. Indeed, my taxes pay for the government gun. But since no one has solved the problem of living in large communities without taxes, or collecting taxes without the “gun,” I guess I don’t feel too bad about asking the rich to pay a reasonable share, even if part of it goes to feeding people they would just as soon died as a consequence of the pfree markets that, for some reason, always turn out to be based on the guns of those who got the money first.
Just last night I was discussing with a friend the issue of poverty, taxes and economy. I finally just flat out said: I have had it with people worrying or blaming those below them for their ills. So we help some people out. So some of them “sell their food stamps and buy liquor”. It creates a job for someone else. That pulling from below on your leg is not someone trying to hold you back, it’s the person standing on your shoulders that is pushing you down. It’s their weight on your shoulders that is making your head hurt.
As I noted here: http://angrybearblog.strategydemo.com/2012/02/welfare-im-not-hurting-from-it-and.html
we spend squat on welfare as a percent of our national income.