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Friday, August 24, 2012

Why Attack the Poor?

I shouldn't be surprised because I've seen and read about the ignorance of attacking the indigent in these precarious times. During the 1929 Great Depression, the poverty-stricken farmers were the scapegoats instead of the big banks who had a great role in bringing down our financial system. I wouldn't mind it so much if the claims of millions of able-bodied men too lazy to go to work were true and backed by documented facts. The information I get by reading our local paper and our online forum is equivalent to neighborhood gossip. A couple of back -to- back letters indicate that hard-working Republicans are supporting democratic leaning ingrates with their tax dollars. There's even one neighborhood Jezebel, who has six kids and is clamoring for more just to receive more government money. How many times have I heard stories like that before?

The truth is Democrats aren't as anxious as their Republican counterparts to make drastic cuts on entitlements and social programs. Those programs are in need of reform and reasonable cuts, but it shouldn't be at the expense of giving tax cuts to the wealthy. That doesn't make economic or moral sense. I do know that we should heed to the warnings of the Congressional Budget Office about the fiscal cliff that we are approaching. We will go back into a recession if we insist on the $500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set to hit in January. Those are the issues we should be concentrating on instead of constantly hammering the poor.

There certainly is some waste in the SNAP (food stamps) program, which comes out to $176 million but that's just 0.0444% of the $400 billion total waste of government dollars. We are a wasteful nation; we throw away 40% of our food supply, which amounts to $165 billion every year. That's the reason I can never understand why some people are totally against child nutrition programs and free school lunches. Do we want to punish the children, so we can send a lesson to possible irresponsible adults? I would rather error on the side of compassion, especially after seeing what we throw away.

Our country was hemorrhaging jobs at the rate of 500,000 to 750,000 a month before President Obama ever took office, so why is it surprising that the costs of food stamps went from $17 billion to $76 billion during the recession? Are we supposed to believe that John McCain would have kept the food stamps cost at $17 billion during the recession? 46 million Americans are on the SNAP program and 87% of those are seniors, single moms and children, so that leaves about 6 million of our fellow Americans vulnerable to being called lazy able-bodied people living off the government dole. Those people have to be careful because they're being scrutinized because their neighbors are probably reading their mail to come up with their assumptions. That's funny because a government check is a government check; there are no known ways of how to tell if they are SSI checks, Social Security or a tax refund. I wonder if the busybodies know the difference between their primitive mythology and actual facts. I will admit that I don't have any substantial facts to back up my assumption that people would rather work for a living at a decent wage then depend on something that's neither permanent nor guaranteed.

I've been told many times that it's the role of the church's and individuals to give a helping hand to the poor, not the government. That's good in theory; in fact ideal but a lot  of poor children would starve waiting on that to happen, and statistics bear that out. A 2011 IRS report reveled that “In 2008, the IRS says, Americans wrote off $172.9-billion in charitable contributions, a 10.6-percent drop from 2007. Its estimates for 2009, released this month, project a 14-percent drop, to $148.6-billion."

I won't pretend that this blog will generate a good discussion about public policy, the role of government, or the safety net because people are locked in their own beliefs. It doesn't really matter whether it's 1929 or 2012. My opponents on this subject will call me a statist because I'm not in lockstep with their beliefs. I believe that government definitely has a role as a policeman in some cases, but frequently it's mostly about being the equalizer. I love the idea of entrepreneurs building their business from the ground up, but I don't look down at them if they take advantage of a government grant or a preferable loan rate for start-ups. I don't believe that we will get out of our economic doldrums without the help of government because the free market corporations are not stepping up. I saw a group of Romney supporters at one of his political events wearing tee shirts, with “I built this business" across the front. Do those people suffer from an inferiority complex that they need to be reminded of their accomplishments every day? If you're really that great you don't have to toot your own horn; others will gladly do it.

This blog will take the place of my occasional “Saturday Rant" blog because I'll be out of town tomorrow...I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.


dale said...

Sorry Mike, I just can not counter your last two blogs. They are well written and make sense. I really apologize to disappoint. On a second tone, Victoria is living a real life Tale of Two Cities. I told you recently I have some rental. Unlike other landlords I have refused to take rent costs into the sky. Anyway, for a little three bedroom I have had over 80 phone calls in the last two days. A Tale of Two Cities. Yes Mike, this is the best of times, yet the worst of times.

Another note. The Libertarian/Republican note. One of my friends are heading to Miami to participate in the convention. Let me say, I know what it means to be a second class citizen, a pariah of sort. "Sit down, shut up and vote for the guy you are told will represent you." If the time comes perhaps the above mentioned book will become a personal experience to some in the City. For the rest of us, Bastille Day.

Mike said...


Uh-oh,hurricane Isaac is doing something to the alighment of the stars and throwing our usual conflicting views into the eye of the

Good for you Dale. I have a friend who raised his rent on his four-plex because he said
he has been below market value for years.

I understand the RNC will pay a nice tribute to Ron Paul at the convention...I also heard that the Romney camp is trying to use the storm as an excuse to get him nominated before the convention...Which is it; Hurricane Isaac or the Ron Paul supporters they are afraid of..:-)

dale said...

Ron Paul supporters. Later, the American taxpayer.

Before the convention the RNC via a survey has asked questions of the known RP supporters which would never been asked of any other delegate. Perhaps the election of Cruz has Romney and his handlers a little upset? If you can find out, ask why was the Texas delegation was moved from their assigned resort, 3 miles from the center. In order to make room for security folks?

Enjoy your weekend. Perhaps we will disagree on the events which unfold in Miami.

Mike said...

Did they move the convention? I thought it was in Tampa.

This is whatWhen the Texas delegation learned that it would be housed in the Saddlebrook Resort, 30 miles away from the convention, state party chairman Steve Munisteri called it "demoralizing."

"We're trying to figure out why we're being punished," he told the Washington Times.

Munisteri now says that his umbrage was a negotiating tactic in an attempt to force an upgrade. It failed.

Over 700 people will travel with the Texas delegation, a group that has grown accustomed to a starring role with a Texan on the national ticket at six of the last eight Republican conventions.

Plus, Munisteri said, Texas understands that it doesn't need any special treatment from the national party to vote for Romney— a Democrat hasn't won the state since 1976.

Getting hundreds of Texans back and forth will be a "logistical nightmare," Munisteri said, but he is already looking forward to the trip back to the hotel. I found.


born2Bme said...

"I built this business" always shows me how self-important, ignorant, egotistical, and uninformed people can be.
Show me one person that built a business entirely, all by themselves, and I'll eat cow dung.
People never even realize what public-backed entities they use to make their businesses a success.

Edith Ann said...

Maybe the Ron Paul Convention is in Miami? Just kidding, Dale!

As to the 'we built this' stuff: the Right has made such a huge deal out of this, as they are wont to do on the silliest things, while ignoring stuff of substance. Interesting to note, the woman who is going to speak about 'we built this', while an entrepreneur for sure, built her business with 1.8 million in government business loans. The convention is being held in a stadium built with $62 million in public money.

And they are always surprised when we call them hypocrites!

Mike said...

Naive or hypocrite amounts to the same thing in my book.." Knoweth of what thou speaketh " is something I heard in a movie once... I got a good laugh when I read a LLTE, stating “I’d rather watch Fox News than Chris Matthews (the Panama Canal is in Egypt). At least their reporters aren't given written scripts on what to say and what not to say about Obama, by his administration. ".... Is this the level we've stooped to?

Lol, a Fox News viewer complaining about MSNBC being in the tank for Obama..That’s rich.

You don't need a network to tell you what the $716 billion that was taken out of the Medicare trust fund was used for...Google..Medicare+ Medicare Advantage subsidy+ savings... See for yourself how the Congressional Budget Office scored it.

Mike said...

I've always heard valedictorians and salutatorians thank their parents, teachers, fellow students, and everything that made up the great school they attended when giving their speeches of gratitude. It's after that, when some develop an attitude of individual greatness.

In today's political world some think you have to make a choice between government and the free market because in their mind it's always “never the twain shall meet." Remember Rudyard Kipling’s “Oh East is east, and West is west, and never the twain shall meet."

Or more recently " "Government is not the solution to our problem government IS the problem"...President Ronald Reagan.

born2Bme said...

little OT, but how can you fix stupid in this case?

Rocky Rouquette wrote:

Strange that Democrats are the only ones that have problems with voter I.D. laws and every voter fraud case and conviction in the 20th century involves Democrats. Also if only tax payers should vote as stated in the article then that would eliminate most Democrats.

Mike said...

I saw that comment and I noticed that the writer didn’t submit any proof of voter fraud or support for his allegations…I suspect if presented with the facts, he would just ignore it.

Edith Ann said...

My forehead is flat.

I cannot believe all the ignorance that seems to be so pervasive around here...

Mike said...

And the beat goes on,a lady claims she gets all her news from Fox news becuase they are fair & balance (how guillable) then writes a false claim about Medicare.

Thanks to a poster,the VA has finally warned Victoria's self proclaimed know it all,Scott Hansen a warning for his past barbarism..It's about time but hats off to VA.

Edith Ann said...

Scott Hansen has been just hateful! The name calling is dispicable! I wish they would ban him! He brings nothing to the conversation.