Notes on the Atrocities
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Wednesday, January 15, 2003  

Class war part two

Yesterday Bush fired another salvo in his class war. This time he took aim on those greedy welfare moms who continue to put such a burden on the federal budget. His proposal is similar to last year's House-passed version--which of course died when it got to the Senate. It came wrapped up--as all the President's initiatives do--as a wet, warm kiss to the working poor: "Behind these statistics are great personal achievements. Adversity has been overcome and lives have changed forever. I met people all around our country who can share their stories of hard work and fighting odds that have been stacked against them. Moms and dads who are -- battled addiction and have overcome addiction. Folks who have had trouble holding a job and found out that they could and realized their dreams."

Of course, it's tough love. Under the plan, welfare recipients would have to work 40 hours a week (making it unclear why they wouldn't be called "workers"), 16 of which could be devoted to job training. This is up from 30 hours under current law. And he won't provide any extra money to the states to help workers accomplish it, either. Nor will he help the "welfare recipients" with additional money for childcare.

Which is as it should be, he'd no doubt point out. After all, this is a man who worked his way up from his hardscrabble, west-Texas roots to become President of the United States. You can't feel good about accomplishing anything unless you've earned it--really earned it. It would be a disservice to those poor people to do anything but expect the most while providing the least. Almost offensive.

Bush then went on to clarify his tax cut proposal, noting, "For those who enjoy a life of privilege, it would also be offensive to ask them to deprive themselves of their Beluga caviar (the overfishing of which is an environmental lie) and Ford Excursions. They wouldn't really know how to manage, and this could cause them to make rash decisions. Decisions that might adversely affect the robust recovery the US economy currently enjoys. And that would, of course, also be a disservice to those very welfare recipients."

(All right, he didn't really say that.)

posted by Jeff | 11:55 AM |
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