And it really is absurd, as they seem to be including Social Security and Medicare as "handouts," despite the fact that these are programs that recipients paid to be a part of. And unemployment is an insurance program that your employer pays into and can be seen as a sort of employee perk. And again, you don't get it unless you worked. And so they're lumping in these popular programs as "welfare handouts" and attacking them as if they discourage work.
And they're also attacking public education, job training programs, and even drug rehab. These are programs which have a specific intent to turn people into productive members of society and make them self-sufficient. Yet I'm told that these liberal programs are:
Huh? That's nonsense of the highest order. This is a guy hyping "educational opportunity" who has directly attacked spending on education. And that's not to mention that they ignore the $288 billion in tax cuts that were in the stimulus bill. Somehow, that's not nearly as important as the $3 billion in Welfare.
"removing more and more of the individual's ability to live free and pursue happiness, be that through taxation, regulation, and/or degradation of
economic and educational opportunity..."
But that's not even the stupidest part of this debate. The stupidest part is that we're even discussing this end of the issue at all.
Because sure, I can understand why people might think Welfare was a mistake. I myself always thought it should have been considered a quickie bandaid on the way towards finding real solutions. And I can understand why they might disagree with food stamps and Medicaid, even if these programs go to working people, too. And hey, I can even understand why they don't like any of these programs, including Social Security, Medicare, and job training programs. For whatever reason, they don't think the government should try to be the safety net that doesn't exist in nature. And I suppose that does make some sense, assuming you were an idiot who enjoyed human suffering.
But what I don't understand is why they think this matters in this particular debate. It was a STIMULUS bill. The purpose of this was to stimulate the economy. And whether or not you agree with the wisdom of giving poor people free money, food, healthcare, and training; they're an excellent way of stimulating the economy. This stuff spends just the same as if an employer gave it and that's all the economy cares about. Conservatives might not like food stamps, but you can bet your local grocery store does.
And so they're entirely missing the boat on this. Republican leaders told these people that the stimulus bill was just a spending bill solely designed to expand the government, and so they imagine this is the only way to look at it. They won't even consider the spending side of it. It's all about how giving "handouts" to lazy people will only make them more dependent on the government, even if many of these "handouts" were earned privileges like Social Security and Unemployment.
But again, it's obvious they have no clue what they're talking about. They won't name the specific programs they're denouncing or provide their supposed evidence of the failure of these programs. They won't give the price tag of these programs. Nor will they even consider the idea that they could stimulate the economy. They've been told that these programs suck and that's good enough for them.