By Thomas Lane
"These programs actually weakened us as a people. You see, almost forever, it was institutions in society that assumed the role of taking care of one another. If someone was sick in your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took care of them. You saved for your retirement and your future because you had to. We took these things upon ourselves in our communities, our families, and our homes, and our churches and our synagogues. But all that changed when the government began to assume those responsibilities."
Of course, one might argue that the reason welfare programs were created--with great popular demand--was precisely because in all too many cases "communities," "families," and "churches" weren't doing an adequate job. That hasn't prevented paeans of praise from flooding in from the right. The influential blog site RedState was fairly typical, headlining their take, "Marco Rubio speaking at the Reagan Library. OH HECK YEAH."
Well, obviously they're the people living off "entitlement" programs, according to Rubio. You know, the people "mooching" off health and welfare programs. The lazy, good-for-nothing welfare queens and cheats who won't get off their duffs and get a job because government pays them to be unemployed.
If Rubio doesn't say who "those people" are, other conservatives have let the secret slip. They're America's brown-skinned poor: blacks, Latinos, Indians, and others. You know, the people conservatives compare to animals.
Nebraska AG Jon Bruning Compares Welfare Recipients To Scavenging Raccoons
By Benjy Sarlin
In a video captured by the liberal group, American Bridge 21st Century, Bruning makes the comparison as part of an elaborate metaphor originally focused on environmental regulations. He describes a requirement that workers at a construction project gather up endangered beetles by luring them into a bucket with a dead rat in order to release them elsewhere. But the plan is thwarted when hungry raccoons then eat them straight out of the rat-infested bucket. Which, according to Bruning, is a perfect image to illustrate how welfare recipients receive their benefits.
"The raccoons figured out the beetles are in the bucket," Bruning said. "And its like grapes in a jar. The raccoons--they're not stupid, they're gonna do the easy way if we make it easy for them. Just like welfare recipients all across America. If we don't send them to work, they're gonna take the easy route."
In Republican America, welfare recipients are no better than animals
Take the case of South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, who during a speech in January 2011 said his grandmother told him “as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed.” Doubling down on his comparison of welfare recipients to animals, Bauer continued, saying that receiving assistance from the government is “facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.”
Welcome to Republican America, where welfare recipients are no better than animals scavenging for food, instead of being real people who just need a hand up.
Back to Rubio's comments. Here's what people had to say about them:
Even better: Ask Mr. Rubio why programs like Social Security and Medicare weaken us a society, but subsidies to his backers (e.g., Big Sugar) don't.
So, now that he and his family have safetly taken avantage of the "entitlements" that America has to offer and have given him a safe journey thru school, a good start on a career he now has the obligation to deny that to you or your brother or sister or friend or mother....He got his, so the hell with you.
The precise reason why wage standards, unemployment insurance, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid were established was because people did not have the means. Keeping a sick, elderly relative at home meant waiting for that person to die (more or less since the average life expectancy before 1930 was under 60 yrs. of age for both sexes). How do you take care of someone with cancer or other serious ailments at home? In a church??? Our communities responded by electing representatives who went to Washington and acted in the interests of the public, not the monied interests gobbling up all the wealth and making people work/live in substandard conditions. They were fed up with the fact that before 1965 approx. half of the nation's seniors had no health insurance, 1 in 4 avoided treatment because of cost concerns, and 1 out of every 3 was living in poverty.
"The right is not attacking safety net programs. We are saying they cannot continue as they are currently structured." That's just a lie, Rubio is clearly saying that the guarantees we make to old people are evil in principle.
Read Rubio's speech (even just the extended quote in this story). "These programs actually weakened us as a people." Etc. And read your guy Perry's book--he was telling us to read it as recently as a few days ago, until his campaign told us it was no longer operative. Questioning these programs' constitutionality, which he clearly does in the book (and elsewhere), doesn't exactly make him sound like a guy who wants to propose a sustaining fix for them. If you sincerely want what you describe, you're in the wrong party.
RighTeas want their entitlements (because, they're honestly entitled to them, of course). What they want is to prevent those who, in their Far White minds, are not honestly entitled to entitlements to be entitled to them as well. They simply don't want government to waste money that should go to them on all the undeserving, non-entitled people who are darker-skinned than themselves.
Please, please, GOP, take your cue from Rubio and make sure you, a) continually talk about how bad entitlements are and demonize the lazy brown people who take advantage of them, and b) continually coddle the mega-rich and corporations by refusing to tax them reasonably and refusing to regulate them in any way. Please continue those extremist policies, and in due time even the dumbest hick in this country will have seen through your self-serving lies. And that is no small feat.
Beck ridicules Lumbee woman
Aboriginals to be "weaned from government teat"
Commissioner: Indians should get off the rez
Roger: Let Indians commit suicide
Fox special on Indian "freeloaders"
Mines minister blames the victim
For more on the subject in general, see Why Americans Hate Welfare.