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Senator Sessions, the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, speaks at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol.
Alabama Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is fed up with himself and other Republicans being accused of not caring about poor people just because they oppose every policy designed to help poor people, and—I bet you didn't see this part coming—Republicans need to rebrand their efforts to shred the safety net as being intended to help poor people. That's right: According to Sessions, the real way to help poor people would be to shred the safety net and put every Republican economic policy in place where the benefits of tax cuts for businesses and the rich would magically trickle down on poor people as they never have before, and Republicans should be talking about that, not the deficit, as they try to cut food stamps and Medicaid and other forms of assistance.
"The message was clear [in 1996] that the welfare programs were entrapping people, demoralizing recipients, and that this was bad for them, not just bad for the U.S. Treasury, but bad for the recipients themselves," Sessions says. "What we need to do now is to ask ourselves: 'Have we drifted back into dependency mode?' The answer is yes. And can we lift ourselves out again? Yes."
The way to "lift ourselves out of dependency mode" is, of course, to cut all the programs that poor people depend on, the effects of which Sessions is exaggerating to a degree that might be hilarious if the stakes weren't so high. Now, if you look at the actual outcome of welfare reform, what "lifting ourselves out of dependency mode" meant was, in fact, more families falling into deep poverty:
In 1995, Aid to Families with Dependent Children lifted out of deep poverty 72 percent of the children who otherwise would have been in households earning below half the federal poverty line. By 2005, AFDC's successor, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, lifted just 21 percent out of deep poverty.
People got kicked off the welfare rolls, and states declared it a success. But the number of families with children living in deep poverty soared. Forget all that, though. Jeff Sessions says that blaming poverty and unemployment on Democratic policies is "a better message than 'We’re cutting welfare simply because we want to save money.'" In fact, Sessions says, "It’s the right message." Okay, it likely is a better message for Republican electoral chances than "let them starve," but is is the right policy?

With cash assistance having been cut to the bone in 1996, what we're talking about now when we talk about the safety net is food stamps (which Sessions has argued in favor of cutting, also on moral grounds) and Medicaid and health care for kids and heating assistance and so on. And for all Sessions' talk of people being entrapped and dependent, remember that an awful lot of people who live in or close to poverty and rely on food stamps and other government assistance programs do have jobs, many of them working full-time. When Sessions argues against all this dependency, he's talking about the workers, not about the companies that employ them, but the fact is that Walmart and McDonald's and a whole lot of other huge, profitable corporations are dependent on taxpayer dollars to make up the difference between what they pay and what their workers actually need to feed themselves and get even the most rudimentary medical care. When someone working as many hours as they can get at Walmart goes on food stamps, taxpayers are in effect helping the company out with payroll, whether or not they ever even shop at Walmart.

Sessions says that, to shift the blame and build support for slashing the safety net, Republicans should tell the people affected that "'We know why you’re having a hard time getting a pay raise. We know why your raises are falling behind the inflation rate. And the reason is that we’ve got flawed economic leadership.'" Well, no argument on the flawed economic leadership, but as for why people are having a hard time getting a raise or are falling behind inflation, the minimum wage hasn't gone up since 2009—a pretty damn direct explanation for why many people's nonexistent raises are falling behind the inflation rate—and more than 13 million people would get a raise if Congress voted to increase the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. And it's Sessions' own party, the Republican party, standing in the way of increasing the minimum wage. That's not government spending, it's not dependency, it's making it so that a full-time job pays enough to lift a family of two out of poverty. But that very anti-dependency policy doesn't factor in the big moral case against Democratic economic policies project Sessions is embarking on—because it's just another Republican attempt to trick voters into embracing the same old policies they've long rejected.

If Jeff Sessions is serious about reducing dependency on government assistance, raising the minimum wage would be a great way to go. Sessions isn't serious about that, but tell Congress to pass President Obama's proposed increase to the minimum wage anyway.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:55 PM PST.

Also republished by Invisible People and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And how much does Senator Sessions get from us (17+ / 0-)

    taxpayers?

    Not to mention his fat pension and health care coverage.

  •  thank you, Alabama. The talent pool was shallow (14+ / 0-)

    but you plumbed its depths to dredge up this piece of shit.  

    My Momma always told me...people judge you by the company you elect.  

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:06:19 PM PST

  •  War is peace. (19+ / 0-)

    Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

    And cutting social programs is helping those most in need.

    The GOP sees 1984 as a year in which their vision was achieved.

    "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

    by rfall on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:11:21 PM PST

  •  Most receipients have jobs (14+ / 0-)

    or are seniors or children. And over 1/3 of them are White.  

    Very hard to climb up the ladder when the bottom rungs are removed.

    Again, they fail the facts as well as basic human decency. Signed/thx

    http://mediamatters.org/...

    sh

  •  Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (18+ / 0-)

    is a perfect example of what happens when Young Republicans get old....they continue to be fucking useless sociopaths.  

    An ignorant fuckstick with a ridiculous drawl and nearly $20m in personal wealth blathering about how cutting food stamps is wonderful for poor people (he called food stamps "gifts to the poor") is pretty much the epitome of the republican party.  

    Remember, this is an asshole who has benefited from MULTIPLE huge inheritances.  He got land and money from his mother and aunt and his father owned multiple businesses, so this fucker has NEVER known what it is like to go without.  

    FUCK HIM!!

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:18:11 PM PST

    •  We need to cherish the drawl... (5+ / 0-)

      ....but hate the drawler.

      If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

      by Bensdad on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:34:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry southerners... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Observerinvancouver, JeffW, tikkun, crose

        but every time I hear an elected "leader" with a drawl, I think "Holy SHIT!  This dummy is in charge of actual decisions!  I'm so depressed!"

        Average citizen drawl = OK
        James Carville drawl = cool
        Actual elected official drawl = GOD NO!!!

        Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

        by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:39:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The drawl among southern politicians (0+ / 0-)

        Is a strong indicator of the idiocy, ignorance, greed and just plain refusal to practice empathy for those they consider their inferiors.

        Southerners without those qualities can learn to drop the drawl.

        The US Supreme Court has by its actions and rhetoric has ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

        by Rick B on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 09:31:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I take offense to this. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Charles Hall

          I really do. My mother and most of my relatives on her side had a drawl so thick you could cut it with a knife.  She was the soul of kindness. If you were downtrodden, she would take you in. If you were a wounded animal, she would nurse you back to health. She never had a bad word to say about anyone.

          When I hear a drawl, I think of her, and the half of the country that gave us Faulkner, and Lucinda Williams, and Tennessee Williams, and the cocktail, and rock 'n roll, and and jazz.....

          One thing that has always appalled me is the idea that if you have an accent, you are stupid.  The war is over. Northerners won, and thank heavens for that. But if the US and Japan can reconcile, then the two halves of the country can as well.

          Reconciliation means not regarding every single person with a Southern accent as a fool.

          If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

          by Bensdad on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:03:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Have you heard Sessions? (0+ / 0-)

            His drawl does not evoke any of those things to this Yankee. It's ridiculous not merely because it's a drawl and/or Southern, but because it's a particularly cultivated, exaggerated Southern politician's drawl. It's meant to evoke the speaker's privileged position atop the semi-feudal economy of rural Alabama.  

            "Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous." -- Molly Ivins

            by dumpster on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:54:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  So, in order to help the poor, (19+ / 0-)

    the disabled and the sick, we have to make them suffer and perhaps kill them.

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”
    - John Kenneth Galbraith, 1908 - 2006

    God is innocent: Noah built on a flood plain.

    by alphorn on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:18:41 PM PST

  •  He's somehow managed (15+ / 0-)

    to not notice that those economic policies, so beloved of Republicans, have never worked in the real world.

    Tell you what,Jeff. You try that first on the House and the Senate, and in twelve years, you can tell us how well it's done. Because y'all aren't earning your salaries now, with your 24-hour work weeks, so you're on welfare more than anyone else.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:20:11 PM PST

    •  The last we heard of trickle down was last fall (0+ / 0-)

      when the people who had gotten all the benefits were said to be sitting on the cash because of the uncertainty they had about the effects of the financial brawls going on, and were not willing to pay to create jobs until that was resolved in a way that made them not feel uncertain. Remember that?

      Until then, the trickle down part of trickle down had never resulted in any trickle down because those who got the benefits kept the cash. And are still keeping it. They were giving out benefits on the premise that out of the goodness of their hearts, those who got it would use it in a publicly responsible way, by using it to expand local businesses and hire American workers. No obligation to do so resulted in no doing so.

  •  people like Sessions won 't be happy (14+ / 0-)

    until they can repeal the 13th Amendment.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:21:10 PM PST

  •  Gosh. Never thought of it that way. (16+ / 0-)

    Let's cut the billions in subsidies to oil companies right away. I mean, you are for that, aren't you Senator Sessions?

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:33:32 PM PST

  •  Sessions is a turd. (5+ / 0-)

    Alabama embarrasses itself by keeping him in the Senate.

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:35:28 PM PST

  •  These people have a lot of practice (7+ / 0-)

    They come from a part of the country, a part of the culture that's been defending indefensible 'morality' for over 150 years now. They went to war to do so once, and they'd love to do so again.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:41:53 PM PST

  •  Great we'll defund congressional health care first (9+ / 0-)

    What, no takers?  

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:44:46 PM PST

  •  Why angry up the blood talking about him? (8+ / 0-)

    He is what he is, which is a Klansman.  It's a waste of time to say "if Jeff Sessions is serious" (etc. etc.) because we know what he's serious about.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:44:55 PM PST

  •  "Beauregard." The third. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Mywurtz, sethtriggs

    "And can we lift ourselves out again? Yes."

    yes, because a man with a name that begs you to check his pedigree is surely part of "ourselves" and "us." perhaps you should just look for a loader for the next pheasant shoot, jefferson.

  •  Why do these millionaires have such a hardon (5+ / 0-)

    for attacking people who have nothing?  Do they get some kind of sick power trip out of it?

    How can it be a "free" market if you're forced to work for it?

    by Troubadour on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:53:25 PM PST

  •  Here's a fking clue, senator (10+ / 0-)

    How about you do something to make some fking jobs before you remove the safety net.

    Jesus H Christ, do your job you worthless piece of crap.

    Oh, and yes, this is my good mood when speaking of assholes.

    Chaos. It's not just a theory.

    by PBnJ on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:56:05 PM PST

  •  what sen. sessions really means, but is too shy (7+ / 0-)

    (or gutless, take your pick), is that too many black people are on food stamps. the GOP, taking on "the white man's burden", must help them regain the center of their "moral" compass, by pushing them as far in the gutter as possible. the streets of calcutta are their ideal, their goal, as it were. and, of course, reducing taxes on wealthy folks, because what else are you going to do with all those savings?

    you go sen. sessions! if we can only convince the GOP to keep this up, through 2014 & 2016, along with their war on women, LGBT's, immigrants and, well, everyone who isn't old, male, white, wealthy and a barking mad fundie christian, they may just do themselves in, as a viable political party.

  •  Is that his real full name? That's not a joke? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, crose, spacecadet1

    Jesus, his parents really had a major Lost Cause hard-on, didn't they? Naming him for both Jefferson Davis and P.G.T. Beauregard? And the "III" at the end just makes him seem like even more of a back-assward Southern aristocratic douchbag.

    By the way, I understand Jefferson Davis and P.G.T. Beauregard may not be the best combo, because they apparently hated each other's guts.

  •  Les Miserables seems to be winning some tonight (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tikkun, crose, Egalitare, sethtriggs

    and if Victor Hugo was to see things that Republicans dream of doing he would have to sadly say what I wrote in my preface is as true now as it was when I first wrote it.

  •  See, (4+ / 0-)

    We the People need to understand what the Republicans really want. They want us all to die. That, for them, would be a great triumph. We aren't dying fast enough so they are trying to kill us the best way they can--by standing in the way of minimum wage increases, single-payer health care and foodstamp programming and by pushing war at any cost so more and more of our young people are slaughtered overseas. Problem is--and this is where their little plan falls to the gorund--is that the less and less of us there are, the less money we are paying into the system. In the short run this is okay with them because the corporate criminals are picking up the slack for now. When the roads crumble into unusable mudbogs, when the bridges fall one by one, when ragged people who have been driven before the lash stop running and turn on their well-fed bosses, that is when the faces of these bloated gasbags will blanch with fear. Their leashholders won't support them in the wake of what will come. They will be all on their little lonesomes before a very large and hungry mob that has nothing more to lose.  

  •  The Case For Helping the Poor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crose, Calamity Jean

    IMHO, progressives haven't done a good job of articulating the case for helping the less fortunate.  It's usually presented as a moral obligation, the decent thing to do, an act of empathy, a caring / nurturing attitude.  While I buy into all of the above, it's probably not the best and most persuasive argument for the social welfare infrastructure, because it's too easy to characterize it as a "handout."  Somehow we need to figure out how to make the case that the economic elites themselves are better off if we have a healthy society top to bottom.  If I was a fat cat worth gazillions, I wouldn't want my labor force and my consumer base to be without decent healthcare, and a baseline of economic security that allows them to live a dignified existence, because this creates social instability that doesn't benefit anyone.  The more prosperity we can create at the bottom of the economic pyramid, the better chance that those at the top will enjoy the benefits as well.  Conservatives get all weepy-eyed when looking back to the 1950's, as if that period in time represents some kind of socioeconomic nirvana.  Somebody needs to remind them that back then the top tax rate was close to 90%, and that the middle and working classes were in a stronger position than they are now.

    How can we have a third party when we don't even have a second party?

    by Eagleye on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 07:16:50 PM PST

  •  What these dumshit's seem to miss is the facts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crose, Calamity Jean

    of history. Part of the reason FDR wanted to start the CCC was because he knew that a large portion of the country was ill fit to fill the military ranks. Job's that needed to be done sure,but hiking trails etc., where more to get men in shape and FEED, then anything else. It also lead to the idea that we are beholding to each other.

    Modern day republicans seem to believe that all that is needed to run the U.S. is a bunch of Ivy league MBA's. We have already seen how that works out.

    We are getting to the end of skilled trades workers for many reasons. Out sourcing/lack of apprenticeship/lack of Tech training.

    Where dose Sen. Secretion want to get the troops to invade Iran from? 25 % kids in hunger is great for the MIC, until that means they can't meet the standards for enlistment.

  •  They Just Can't Get the Tone Right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crose, Calamity Jean

    The depth of their contempt for those different from themselves just oozes from their words.  I can tolerate the bigoted rantings of a southern worker or farmer more easily than the non stop, unwarrented snobbery of these political and corporate crackers. it definitely says something about the brain drain going on in these states when offensive assholes like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III continue to be elected.

    Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

    by tikkun on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 07:26:25 PM PST

  •  Kelly Ayotte (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Icicle68

    How many times is Kelly Ayotte going to be the "token broad" in the lineup of these crazy white men.  As a native Granite stater it's definitely starting to annoy me.  Doesn't she read the polls in New Hampshire? It's a much more progressive electorate up there now. They threw out the Republican crazies in 2012 and she will be next if she doesn't smarten up.

    New Hampshire's version of Scott Brown!   She got elected in an off year.  It won't happen again.

  •  Will he face a Tea Party primary challenge? (0+ / 0-)

    Or has he always been so cold-hearted?

  •  just like when the unions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    lost their support among the white racists in america if the safety net was there to protect only whites in america it would not be in the cross hairs of the right wing now, but since the gop con right wing bigots are delusional enough to believe their own propaganda they believe the safety net only protects the welfare queens that the racist reagan made popular when he began the attack on people of color in 1980, you may not consider yourself a bigot but if you belong or vote for the gop in my opinion you are a bigot, end of story.

  •  Jeff Sessions is an (0+ / 0-)

    ugly little yard gnome with a bad attitude.

  •  These evil asshats have convinced themselves. (0+ / 0-)

    Remember, it's not a lie if YOU believe it!

  •  Gotta say this: (0+ / 0-)

    Thune looks like a buzzard about to pounce on some (poor) prey.  How I loathe that @#$@##.

    -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

    by GulfExpat on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 10:25:36 PM PST

  •  I'll See Sessions's Proposal and Raise Him One (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, sethtriggs

    If we want to get people off assistance, the best thing we can do is raise their income. To do that we should:

    (1) Raise the minimum wage, and
    (2) Make it easier to form a union.

    Once people have more income they will self-un-enroll. That's what Sessions wants, right? How could he possibly object to such a sensible proposal?

    •  I wanted to tell this young guy to sell his teeth (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:
      Liberal Thinking

      He said he was poor, but he had a mouth full of gold. 200 bucks a tooth, he grinned. Oh! He also had 3 cars, one was one of those donks, a Caprice up on the big wheels. 400 bucks a wheel...he grinned. He showed me the pics of the car on his expensive smart phone.

      So the temp agency sent him to where I work, and as I am training him, he is telling me he never really works a lot, (even though he has a couple of kids.) Then he proves it by displaying a lack of workplace etiquette, you know, by acting like you work for him. Then with overtime available, he wants to cut out.

      So now he is gone. He was making much more than minimum wage at this place, and it was simple work, just screwing a few parts together on an assembly line.

      But! he is black..therefore "poor"....well...at least that is how you people see poor .....as black, correct? And you say the right is racist..... Lets recap:

      Gold teeth, 3 cars, one with big wheels...a smart phone...who knows what he has in his home...and he chooses to not work. This is not an isolated case either. I see it a lot.

      When a conservative has a problem, he will say he has a problem. When a proggressive has a problem, he will say America has a problem - Unknown Blogger

      •  I call bullshit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sethtriggs, Liberal Thinking

        Nice story. Read it at night before you jerk off to King Ronnie Raygun.

      •  no, that is how you see the 'poor' isn't it? (3+ / 0-)

        black?

        I mean that's the code word. the dog whistle. right?

        Sessions whole 'new approach' here is basically a new twist on the same old "Southern strategy" as explained by Lee Atwater. (go google up that recently released audio)

        Jeff Sessions says that blaming poverty and unemployment on Democratic policies is "a better message than 'We’re cutting welfare simply because we want to save money.'" In fact, Sessions says, "It’s the right message."
        translation:

        Democratic policies = "taking your money and giving it to the n****rs."

        correct?

        just fyi, and I know you aren't listening any more, what we believe is that these programs help a lot more people who really need the help and will become contributing members of the community once they get back on their feet (and that helping them actually contributes to getting the economy jump started and them back to supporting themselves) than there are guys like you describe ripping us all off.

        we can do the math.

        no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

        by srfRantz on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:07:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is great. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Liberal Thinking

        Wow, you hit every single point on the "Welfare Cadillac" BINGO card. I think I just won cover-all.

        It might surprise you that the vast majority of people on public assistance are either elderly or disabled (thus unhirable), or are working.

        Fantastic edge-cases, which we all know exist (because any system can be violated by those breaking rules), do not mean that we need to throw out the system.

        Also, selling teeth? Seriously? That's a solution to being poor? It's a temporary windfall. I wonder if you've even been poor.

        •  Sorry, not into code or whistles... (0+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          Hidden by:
          Liberal Thinking

          ...or translations.

          I couldn't wait to get back on here to see what I hath wrought, having got home from said job, and cooked din for the fam.

          Lynchie, if you had a job in manufacturing, or a job at all, you would know what it is like, when things get busy, and your company gets temps of all races colors and sexes, the crap that you have to train, and train again, and train again, until you get the hire-able one that wants to see it through. Put that in the hat in your lap.

          SrfRantz, the key phrase in your translation as I continue to listen is "what we believe". So here is my translation of your translation and what your mindless collective really hopes to believe:

          "what we believe is that these programs help a lot more people who really need the help and will become contributing members of the democrat party once they get back on their feet". Your welcome.

          Finally Sethriggs, you are missing the point. Nobody is poor, they just make poor choices. We are all created equal, unless you have drugged out assholes for parents, no matter what color they are.  

          So here is more bullshit: I grew up in a working class family in a tough NE city in the 50's and 60's, as a democrat until the late 80's. That is when, because of cocaine, I ended up living in a pickup truck for 3 months. Yes, homeless is the word. But with a job. I borrowed 2500 dollars from the bank, gave it back to them as collateral, paid it off, while living in a 16 x 30 warehouse for two years, after which I invested in real estate.  I own two properties, one where I live now which is between a gay section of a major city and the ghetto, (I am literally talking 4 blocks in each direction, what a trip!)  close to my little job, the other is a beautiful ten acres out in a rural area.

          Yes, I am a conservative now, clean, not an R or a D, and my hand is out, but it is to give, not take.

          Anything else? Good. Read it again, live it, learn it.

          •  Glad to See You (0+ / 0-)

            It gave me two opportunities to hide-rate you. Want to make it three?

          •  LOL (0+ / 0-)
            Finally Sethriggs, you are missing the point. Nobody is poor, they just make poor choices. We are all created equal, unless you have drugged out assholes for parents, no matter what color they are.
            I don't know if you're being daft, or trolling, or what. I think I kinda missed the part where the family that a baby is born into is automatically granted wealth.

            If your family of origin is poor, you are poor. The reason for this is that infants cannot earn paychecks, since they are dependents. I am sad that I have to explain this. Yes, we humans are all created equal. I read that same preamble. In practice, when it comes to money, no, we're not born equal. If your family of origin is wealthy, you are wealthy, because the dependents of wealthy people are cared for with that same wealth.

            It is common to be poverty-stricken without use of drugs or poor choices. But of course you know this, as the vast majority of our poor keep on toiling away, not even getting the ends close enough that either is in sight. They toil away, getting less than an honest day's pay for an honest day's work.

            Wait, why am I even explaining this? This is obvious.

            So here is more bullshit: I grew up in a working class family in a tough NE city in the 50's and 60's, as a democrat until the late 80's. That is when, because of cocaine, I ended up living in a pickup truck for 3 months. Yes, homeless is the word. But with a job. I borrowed 2500 dollars from the bank, gave it back to them as collateral, paid it off, while living in a 16 x 30 warehouse for two years, after which I invested in real estate.  I own two properties, one where I live now which is between a gay section of a major city and the ghetto, (I am literally talking 4 blocks in each direction, what a trip!)  close to my little job, the other is a beautiful ten acres out in a rural area.
            Good for you! You're a good lad, you want a cookie? Here you go!
            { giant chocolate chip cookie }

            Though I don't think you'll like it too much. Chocolate chips tend to be brown.

            But wait a minute here! "Because of cocaine?" The cocaine just walked up to you and made you snort it? The cocaine came over to you and said, "Hey, want to party?"

            No, anomoli...you chose to snort that cocaine. But wait a minute...the only result of you using cocaine was that you were homeless for three months? You didn't have to do the three hots and a cot thing in jail?

            Wow, lucky you for not smoking crack! I mean, same drug, but...you know, those people use crack.

            Yes, I am a conservative now, clean, not an R or a D, and my hand is out, but it is to give, not take.

            Anything else? Good. Read it again, live it, learn it.

            I suppose the hand is extended to give platitudes from the perspective of "I got mine, fuck you." Demonizing those relying on the social safety net is the exact type of moral bankruptcy that I expect from your ilk.

            You see, when we analyze your story, a few things jump out to me, and these are advantages you have that the average impoverished person does not have.

            1. Your $2500 loan, since you didn't mention a cosigner it means that you had one or more of the following:
            a. sufficient income DESPITE a cocaine habit
            b. ability to hold a job despite being homeless, DESPITE your cocaine habit.
            c. good credit DESPITE a cocaine habit.

            2. So living in a 16 x 30 warehouse (was there heat? Light? Where did your money go?), you had your cocaine habit, and had your druthers about you enough to tap into savvy investment powers! But wait...what's that adage? Oh yeah...

            "You have to spend money in order to make money."

            Yeah, you clearly had some capital to spend on top of your expenses. We know that $2500 isn't even enough to make a $1 house livable with the price of materials and the need to follow building code. And you paid that off, so somewhere you have surplus over your expenses. After all, you paid off a $2500 loan in two(!) years.

            You are definitely one lucky ducky of a homeless person!

            3. Your claim about investments also shows that you are savvy about housing markets and real estate. And now, bless your soul, you have two properties. Most poor people don't have such, which means that they have to make do with slums which cannot be effectively used for home equity (which can build your credit).

            But wait, what does the whole "ghetto" vs. "gay section" have to do with anything? Why do people like you like dropping that kind of thing? Is this one of those parallel constructions to "I have a black/Asian/Hispanic friend?"

            4. You abused cocaine and still came out ahead.
            a. First of all you used cocaine instead of crack, meaning that even if you had gotten caught the sentencing disparity would've netted you less jail time.
            b. Despite snorting all of the cocaine you could without dying, you kept your job and thus an income stream. You are a prodigy at snorting coke.
            c. Despite what must've been several eight balls, you were able to reserve enough money to pay off a loan. Your addiction to cocaine did not deter you from this task, or else you had extra money in reserve.
            d. This points to privilege in the way of education. You had advantages somewhere along the line that helped you out when you fucked up. Somewhere, in several places, someone helped you when you fucked up.
            e. If we want to do dick-measuring about poor choices, apparently by your measures I did better than you since I grew up middle-class, I was probably (by the numbers) poor as I worked through grad school, and now I'm solidly middle-class with a comfortable lifestyle. I also apparently did this without using drugs. And I'm a liberal, go figure.

            Given all this, I am entirely unsurprised that someone like you is a conservative. You fit in very well with the cruel mentality that permeates the modern conservative ethos, and has derailed it from reason.

            Cruel people like you are the reason the United States leads in most every metric of poverty and misery. Because of cruel people like you, people without money are condemned to brutish, short and unhealthy existences, existences in which many try for some scrap of enjoyment and happiness in their lives.

            But your cruelty is of no consequence to you. After all, you made it. You were able to fuck up royally and yet you had some manner of advantage that others, through no fault of their own didn't. And then you condemn those same people, from your mighty perch of the former cocaine abuser whose super cocaine-using powers allowed him to still make his money and get out of trouble. How quintessentially Limbaughian.

            The last thing a nation reeling from poverty and worsening outcomes needs is a person like you. While it is still a common fad for cruel people to elect other cruel people to man the levers of power, it is becoming less fashionable. Eventually, with the right progress, people will look upon you as a relic of the past. They'll see you as a Dickens character, or something out of an Upton Sinclair book, far removed from their experience.

            You are, indeed, a conservative. I have some actual compassionate conservative friends, but they are becoming less prevalent as more people like you emerge. Me? I'm a liberal.

            While I didn't snort all of the cocaine as you did (or any drug for that matter), I did the right thing more or less, I do an honest-day's work that's well rewarded, and I have a happy, comfortable life full of love and joy and fun. I get to have my wonderful apartment in the middle of town, walk to my great job. I always have food in my fridge and then some, I can treat myself to the occasional luxury and my bills are always paid on time.

            But since I'm a liberal, I believe that everyone else should have the ability to gain that too. I think it's a crime for people to be rendered homeless. I think our lack of concern for those who are priced out of having their sickness treated is disgusting. I am sad to see friends of mine, disabled and otherwise, struggling to make it, and sad that I can only take in one at a time due to space.

            You see, a rising tide lifts all boats. Our society does much better and is much happier when our motto changes away from "I got mine, fuck you," to "Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you." And the latter I would pair with "But for the grace of God go I."

            Wow. And after all this I didn't even mention your "temps of all colors and races" and "crap" line. I guess I don't get to use my Race Card BINGO set.

            •  dear sethrigg (0+ / 0-)

              You spent a lot of time on your essay about "me". I don't have that much time.

              You are right, I chose to snort the cocaine. It was good shit. I would get an 8ball, sell some to friends, and have a half gram that would last me all weekend. You have no idea how close on several times I came to being popped. But then came the crack based crap, because of the regulation of ether, and a half a gram would last 1 hour.

              THAT is when I crashed. But where do you see I had a cosigner for my loan? By borrowing from the bank and giving it back to them locked in a CD for two years, not only did I build credit, and have a little interest to help with the payments, plus my manufacturing job, I was able to do it on my own with no help.

              My point on the guy with the gold teeth was the question: How can you be poor with a mouth full of gold? And it is you guys that equate welfare with black, not me.

              UPDATE at my job: I am now, (once again) training another black fellow. This one seems straight up, Air Force maintenance in 2000 Kuwait. Divorced paying child support for 2. School at night to become an accountant. Moved from Baltimore to a wait for it...TAX FREE AND RIGHT TO WORK STATE.  He actually said that to me. (I am looking for the tri hat and the "don't tread on me" T shirt.) I hope this one sticks around. We had a blast yesterday.

              Lets all share a chocolate chip cookie. PS: your an idiot.

              •  I will be back, going to write (0+ / 0-)

                ...one of these here diaries, and explain in detail how the government gets bigger and sucks people into poverty.

                •  Please do write that diary. (0+ / 0-)

                  I would love to see it. I've always been a fan of anti-government conspiracy theory. Just as a protip: Don't go racial in it. It won't end well for you.

                  Oh and I somehow knew you were going to say you "didn't have any help" in getting out of homelessness and poverty.

                  Guess what? You didn't do that on your own.

                  1. You developed that financial savvy through information others had provided to you, whether in books or verbally.
                  2. Your working class family income and lifestyle (before you turned to cocaine) would have certainly provided you education (delivered by other people) that helps you understand how to use a CD. Taking out the loan and just using the money to repay the loan itself is a very clever strategy for building credit.
                  3. Hey...how do you get a loan without a permanent address? I know how...you have someone help you out with an address or other connection.
                  4. You also did not read properly. I specifically said that you did not mention a co-signer. So you were able to keep your credit. Even then...someone at the bank believed that you would pay off that loan, as a homeless person living out of a truck.

                  You are amazingly blind to your privileged position. The vast majority of people in situations like you faced can't get out of them. They are usually not lucky enough to be the rare functional coke addict. They certainly don't have the connections to get things like an address (Oh yeah, you can't get employed without a permanent address either...good thing you kept your job).

                  And cheers that your new "black fellow" is apparently of similar attitude to you about society and taxes. By the way, there is no such thing as a tax-free society; taxes are what you pay to maintain the jurisdiction.

                  But wow, you seem pleasantly surprised "this one" specifically moved to a right-to-work for less state. Why? Do all black folk have the same opinions?

                  Good on you for not equating welfare and black, but...you curiously keep bringing up black folk.

                  I look forward to your diary.

                  •  So wait a minute.... (0+ / 0-)

                    I mention the color of a person who has anti tax ideas, almost "T.E.A" like, and you try to make me a racist, after you and your minions here have racist this and racist that all over this place about people with....."T.E.A" ideas! This is hilarious. Do you know how many conservative black folk there are out there? I personally know over a dozen Blacks Against Obama, all T.E.A. members.  

                    Trying to make me believe that I had all kinds of help from this person or that entity is also hilarious. I loathe help from others. But!

                    No. I thought of that bank/loan credit thing on my own. This was 1984. I was in my early 30's. Interest was high, so was the interest payout.
                     Yes, I used my parent's address, which was 50 miles away. It was a major bank, they didn't care. The only help I got from my parents was the address, and they had no clue what I was up to. They had enough of their own struggles.  I always used that address for important things, like my DL. I moved around a lot.
                    Yes, I still had a job...and a 1971 GMC with a little camper top. As soon as I saved enough money, I rented the warehouse, at the same time I took out the loan. In 1986 I bought this first home with 5000 down.

                    I am going to print out your story about me so I can read it when I have more time, I really only glanced at it and picked out a few things You may have some good points in there, so I don't want to miss a thing.

                    I have so much to tell you, about how wrong you people are about self reliance and poor choices, and the real causes of poverty, and how real people act in the real world.  I guess I have a lot of writing to do, stay tuned!

  •  Someone said this on MSNBC yesterday about. (0+ / 0-)

    The 14 Republicans all running for Senate in South Carolina, and for a party who DOES NOT LIKE Government, they sure all want to work for it!  I say to same to Senator Sessions.  Why not shred the Safety Net, as long as YOUR SAFETY NET with the Feds is still very Safe!

  •  Sessions = right wing shithead (0+ / 0-)

    There is bad and there is sessions.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:55:42 AM PST

  •  Welfare reform sold in 1994 (0+ / 0-)

    because they successfully demonized recipients as poor, black, lazy people who were not working but still living better than YOU!  It had nothing to do with making people think welfare reform was better or worse for poor people.  It had everything to do with that same "taker" message they have now.  They are just having some difficulty expanding the outrage about "takers" when the definition of "takers" moves beyond poor black people.

  •  If one lie does not work (0+ / 0-)

    try another. These people are so morally bankrupt that they   will say and do anything to gain power. They are of course emboldened by polls showing that their base will buy most any lie that the GOP, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News repeats with regularity. The only thing they learned from history was the efficacy of Hitler's "big lie" theory. They really think they are clever.

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