Type to search

First Quote Jesus; Then Punish the Poor

Featured Post Memo Pad Top News

First Quote Jesus; Then Punish the Poor

Jesus Wept

Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker.” — Proverbs 14:31

It’s not my habit to start a column with a quotation from the Bible, but this one’s loaded with self-professed Christians, so why not?

In the mid-1990s, during my time as a metro reporter and feature writer for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, I started writing stories about people who lived in poverty.

I learned early to avoid certain words and descriptions that ignited the ire of certain readers who would rather shame fellow Americans for their dire circumstances than consider why so many of them live in poverty. And often just blocks away from our front doors.

As a columnist, I still sometimes fall back on those rules:

Unless crucial to the story, don’t refer to the flat-screen television in the living room or the car in the driveway, no matter how many miles are on it. A depressing number of people will want to know why a poor person needs a TV or an independent mode of transportation.

Avoid mentioning a tattoo unless it’s central to the narrative. Even then, brace yourself for the onslaught of angry readers demanding to know whether taxpayer money paid for that ink.

And just skip the part about the gold cross dangling around the neck of the grieving mother. I admit this is born of self-preservation. The number of people who are more interested in how she got her jewelry than how her son died will eat at your soul.

So here we are, facing another round of legislative attempts to humiliate poor people who can’t fight back. Lots of headlines but little noise from most of us. I’m not the cynic who thinks everybody’s heart has shriveled to stone. I do, however, worry that our exhaustion is fueling these heartless victories.

In Missouri, the pending House Bill 813 stipulates, “A recipient of supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits shall not use such benefits to purchase cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood, or steak.”

This bill was introduced by state Rep. Rick Brattin, who identifies himself and his family on his website as “devoted Christians.”

In Wisconsin, a new bill would dictate that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits could not be used to buy crab, lobster, shrimp, or any other variety of shellfish.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the Baptist preacher’s son who insists his marching orders come from God, wants to take it further: Anyone who applies for unemployment, food stamps or another assistance program would have to prove his or her sobriety.

“This is not a punitive measure. This is about getting people ready for work,” he said. “I’m not making it harder to get government assistance. I’m making it easier to get a job.”

In Kansas, we have Gov. Sam Brownback, who last year said, “Our dependence is not on big government, but it’s on a big God, who loves us and lives within us.”

Brownback just signed a bill into law that prevents welfare recipients from spending their assistance on “expenditures in a liquor store, casino, jewelry store, tattoo or body piercing parlor, spa, massage parlor, nail salon, lingerie shop, tobacco paraphernalia store, vapor cigarette store, psychic or fortune telling business, bail bond company, video arcade, movie theater, swimming pool, cruise ship, theme park, dog or horse racing facility or sexually oriented retail business.”

You might wonder whether there was any evidence of such widespread spending, but that would mean you’re in search of facts and you’re definitely not going to fit in with this crowd.

State Sen. Michael O’Donnell, also the son of a pastor who likes to mention Jesus when explaining his opposition to helping the poor, told the Topeka Capital-Journal last month: “We’re trying to make sure those benefits are used the way they were intended. This is about prosperity. This is about having a great life.”

Democratic state Sen. David Haley’s response: “This is a troubling elitism here that this body is embracing during what, for many of us, is Holy Week. We really have to look in the mirror. We can’t say something on Wednesday and shift gears on Sunday and think somebody isn’t paying attention.”

As the late Rev. William Sloane Coffin once put it, “it is ironic to think of the number of people in this country who pray for the poor and needy on Sunday and spend the rest of the week complaining that the government is doing something about them.”

“Ironic” isn’t the word that immediately comes to my mind, but what do I know? I’m just a Christian-in-training, not one of those experts willing to insult our Maker.

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and an essayist for Parade magazine. She is the author of two books, including …and His Lovely Wife, which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. To find out more about Connie Schultz (con.schultz@yahoo.com) and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. 

Photo: Jerry Worster via Flickr

Connie Schultz

Connie Schultz is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicated. Schultz won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for commentary and was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. She has also published two books: Life Happens: And Other Unavoidable Truths -- a collection of her previously published columns -- and ...and His Lovely Wife: A Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man, which chronicled her experiences on the campaign trail with her husband, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

  • 1


  1. Darsan54 May 21, 2015

    Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker.” — Proverbs 14:31

    *The problem here is conservatives, Republicans and one-percenters view themselves as the Makers. And, of course, in their own way, they are.

    1. mike May 21, 2015

      How are they being oppressed? Right now a mother with one child on welfare can make more than a working mother with one kid with all the programs available, So why should she work, just suck the tit of government.

      1. JPHALL May 21, 2015

        So what are you doing to change that? So why not change the program to encourage working?

        1. mike May 22, 2015

          What can I do is vote against Hillary so we don’t have another socialist administration that believes like Obama, that the govt. is all the people need to live. Remember “Julia”?? Cradle to grave.

          1. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

            Mike, you have been lied into believing everyone on welfare is just a bunch of lazy people sucking on the teet of the government. 90%+ of people on welfare are children, elderly, disabled or already working. The ones who are capable of work but are just lazy? I am right there with you in opposing handouts for them.

            What you fail to understand is that Republican policies rig the system to keep poor people poor. If you don’t want people on welfare, you fix the system so people can go get jobs and pay for themselves. Contrary to what you been lied to believe, most people aren’t lazy bums looking for handouts. Most people want to work and provide but the rich take all the money and everyone else is left fighting for scraps.

            Read my comment above for a more detailed response.

          2. mike May 22, 2015

            Show me where I said everyone on welfare is just a bunch of lazy people. You can’t!!!

            There is a segment of the population that is sucking the tit of govt. and it has been going on for a long time.

            “The rich take all the money” what an asinine comment. In fact, your last paragraph is pure garbage.

            What we know is after 6 years the economy is anemic(fed. reserve hasn’t raised rates), U6 numbers are the real unemployment rate, wages are stagnant. Obama regulations are taking billions out of the economy(GAO), taxes higher than ever before, cost of living rising, and the debt burden making it more difficult for economic growth, and it is all because of the right.
            The reason people are not moving up or getting Good jobs is the fact we are stuck with an anti-business administration.

            It has nothing to do with your stupid and divisive comments that the rich want to keep the people down or take all the money. Keep the old and tired rhetoric up my socialist friend.

          3. darkagesbegin May 22, 2015

            well, let us go back to that highly successful Bush administration, who followed all the policies you want to re-enact. Yeah, that’s the ticket…

          4. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

            Apparently, we’re going to have to completely crash the economy and go through the Great Depression Part 2 before the morons in this country stop voting for people who promote trickle down economics. But then again, I don’t have faith that they will ever figure it out. We’ve been through all of this before.

          5. darkagesbegin May 22, 2015

            I fear you are correct. From what I have seen, it is easier for people to believe what they are told than to think for themselves. They see what they believe, instead of believing what they see.

          6. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

            People who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. All of the wealth being concentrated at the top is what caused the economy to collapse on itself and gave us the Great Depression. It was FDR’s New Deal that led us out of it. Under the New Deal, rich people were taxed, corporations were heavily regulated and we had the biggest economic boom of our country’s history in the 60s. It built the strongest middle class our country has ever had. Back then, we were number one in the world in infrastructure and standard of living. We’re not in the top ten of either anymore.

            This is not too difficult to understand. Or it shouldn’t be. Regulation of big business and raising of taxes on the rich gave us the best economic country in the world. Deregulation of big business and lowering of taxes has led us to where we are today. If we don’t go back to a FDR style economy, the whole thing is going to crash again.

          7. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            Will you ever stop lying?? If the rich aren’t sucking up all the money, why don’t you try explaining away this chart for us that shows that since America’s worst president ever, Reagan, was in office, income inequality has skyrocketed.

          8. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

            He’s not lying. He actually believes the BS he is spewing because of the lies that have been told to him.

          9. jmprint May 22, 2015

            He can’t he is employed by them, he is programmed to say what he types.

          10. mike May 22, 2015

            Only in your eyes are the rich taking money out of the pockets of their fellow Americans.

            Most of the rise in wealth of 1% is from the investment income and has nothing to with fleecing the pockets of other Americans.

            Again, you have been your dishonest self. During these periods one can point out countries like Sweden, whose economic gains have been more evenly dispersed.


          11. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

            This may be difficult for you to comprehend but when all the wealth goes to the top, the entire system collapses on itself. It’s happened before and it will happen again if Republicans are allowed to continue pushing trickle down economics.

          12. mike May 22, 2015

            When voting for Hillary I hope you remember the Clinton ties to the Wealthy through out the world.
            How much they are a part of them? I will let you make your own decision on that.
            105 million in speeches since 2000, or the 25 million they received for 104 speeches,give or take, they received in the last 14 months. And you think it is all republicans.

          13. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

            I never said I think it is all Republicans. I’m not pro-Hillary. I’m anti-Republican, which is not the same thing. As far as that goes, I’m a Bernie Sanders guy. I already know Hillary won’t do much to fix things but that’s still better than Republicans crashing the whole system.

            Have you ever even heard of the Great Depression or did you flunk history class? Elite wealth crashed the economy. FDR’s New Deal created the strongest economy this country has ever seen. Do you really want us to go through Great Depression 2?

          14. Independent1 May 23, 2015

            Pure hogwash!! The only reason the wealth of the already wealthy has skyrocketed since Reagan was in office in the 1980s is because they wealthy are no longer paying their fair share of taxes. Reagan cut the max tax rate to less than in 1/2; the GOP has seen to it that the capital gains rate is absurdly low at 15%. It’s got nothing to do with purely investment returns – it’s got everything to do with a taxcode that allows the wealthy to horde money overseas where they pay no taxes, or they pay little to nothing in taxes on the investments when they invest in the U.S,

            It’s all about America’s convoluted tax code that has been gimmicked by the GOP!!!!!!!!i

          15. mike May 23, 2015

            More imbecilic remarks from you.

            2014 the top 1% percent paid 45.7% of individual taxes collected.

            According to a projection from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, the top 1 percent of Americans will pay 45.7 percent of the individual income taxes in 2014—up from 43 percent in 2013 and 40 percent in 2012 (the oldest period available).

            The bottom 80 percent of Americans are expected to pay 15 percent of all federal income taxes in 2014, according to the study. The bottom 60 percent are expected to pay less than 2 percent of federal income taxes.

          16. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

            Let me ask you one simple question. Do you believe that a citizen of the USA who works a full time job should live in poverty?

          17. mike May 22, 2015

            Define your idea of poverty.

          18. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

            It’s a simple question. Answer it.

          19. jmprint May 22, 2015

            He won’t, he does not answer hard questions.

          20. mike May 22, 2015

            Define your concept of poverty in America. Pretty simple question.

          21. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

            I already know why you won’t answer the question. You know exactly what poverty is and you think people should have to live there so the rich people can own them. This is modern day economic slavery. You’re either evil and you know it or you are a complete moron and believe the lies of conservatives.

          22. mike May 22, 2015

            Define you concept of poverty. Don’t use me as an excuse, you made the statement about poverty, define what poverty looks like in America.

          23. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

            How stupid are you that you don’t know what poverty is? If you can’t support yourself and your family, you live in poverty. Stop dodging the question. You have no problem spewing your bullshit everywhere else. Do. You. BELIEVE. That. A. Full. Time. Worker. Should. Live. In. Poverty? Be a fucking man and answer the goddamned question.

          24. mike May 22, 2015

            Once you have a cogent answer I will help you out with your question.
            Keep working on that definition of poverty.

          25. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

            I’ll explain to you why you won’t answer. If you say you think someone who works full time should not live in poverty, it means wages must be raised, which goes against Republican policy and makes you look like a moron for supporting them. If you say someone who works full time should live in poverty, it makes you look like a raging jackass.

            So which is it? Are you a moron or a raging jackass?

          26. mike May 22, 2015

            Just define poverty in America. Your original statement is false. Define poverty in the U.S..
            To your post, thanks for that wonderful emotional outburst of nothingness.
            What is so moronic about your position is you really think raising wages is the only answer, it isn’t. The solution is far more complex. Your communist leanings is every bit the problem and solution in your eyes.

          27. Dave May 22, 2015

            If the citizen has a full time job, they should live according to the wage they are making. They should live a lifestyle that their employment is able to support.

          28. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

            I agree. No one is saying minimum wage workers should live a lavish lifestyle. All I am saying is that if you work full time in this country, you should at least be able to support your family. If you work full time and still need welfare, that’s not your fault. That means the system is broken.

          29. Dave May 26, 2015

            When we have a government that believes in wide open borders for all, the wages will stay low, and we the people will have a harder time getting pay raises in order to keep up with inflation. You should support the closing of our southern border, so that people who have a full time job can support their family, and yes the system is broken.

          30. @HawaiianTater May 26, 2015

            I don’t know why you would think I don’t support the closing of the southern border. American citizens competing against illegal immigrant workers is every bit as bad as having to compete against poor workers around the world due to the disastrous free trade agreements over the years. All that does is drive our wages down and the profits up for the corporations. That’s one of the major problems facing our country today. I remember when Made in the USA actually meant something. Nowadays, all the big corporations care about these days is their profits. Our entire economy will collapse if something isn’t done to fix this. All the cheap labor and cheap products in the world won’t matter when the American citizens don’t have any money left to buy anything with.

          31. jmprint May 22, 2015

            It is not garbage.

            Who gets all the tax breaks?
            Who gets all the low interest rates.
            Who gets all the fringe benefits?
            Who get all the grants and subsidies?
            Who gets all the free stuff, ie Rolax watch, free airline tickets, free yachts, free expensive clothes?

            Here is a clue: It’s not the poor.

          32. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            “There is a segment of the population that is sucking the tit of govt. and it has been going on for a long time.”

            And just to make sure that other NM bloggers understand who t he vast majority of those people are who are sucking the tit of govt: Keep this in mind:

            Only 17 states get less federal aid back per dollar of taxes than they send to Washington and only 3 of those are Red States who get between .96 and .98/dollar back. Whereas there are 14 blue states that get back between 61 and 80/dollar of taxes and are really the states supporting America.

            Of the 11 states that get more than $1.50 back, all of them have had GOP governance for at least the past 4 years.

            Of the 456 counties in America that get by far the most welfare including food stamps, more than 90% of those counties voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 (421 of them).

            By far, its Republican led states that suck the most welfare and food stamps in America because of their disastrous governance.

          33. ps0rjl May 22, 2015

            Mike, you remind me of the Pharisee who went to temple and thanked God he was not like the poor people. Quick, Sunday is coming. Be sure to go thank your god.

          34. mike May 22, 2015

            Thanks for the chuckle.
            You remind me of another liberal with his head up his a$$, that thinks the way to help the poor is for the government to do it all.

          35. ps0rjl May 22, 2015

            And you remind me of the people who say “I got mine and the hell with the rest of you!”

          36. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            Exactly!! That describes Mike and his ilk to a ‘T’.

          37. jmprint May 22, 2015

            Independent took the word right out of my mouth.

          38. jmprint May 22, 2015

            Well if the non-profits did their job of helping people, instead of donating the non-profit funds to their favorite christian candidate, maybe us tax payers would get some relief. Look at the mega luxury building they spend all this nontaxable money on.

          39. Dave May 26, 2015

            Mike, the liberals would rather have the government step in and play the roll of the Church, and make the people depending on the government instead of the Church. When they do that more people will end up trusting in government instead of God.

            They will create another government agency, rather than letting the Church do its job, and at the same time they call the Church nothing but a bunch of racist bigots.

            When Jesus Christ went to the cross and paid the price for ALL of our sins, he never said that I am doing this for a certain political party.

          40. mike May 26, 2015

            You got that right.

          41. jmprint May 26, 2015

            Nobody said we want the government to do it all, you are the only one that said that. We just don’t object for the needy getting help. You are the GREEDY one.

          42. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            You’re very insightful. Not too many on this blog have come to realize that today’s Republicans are nothing more than the Pharisees of Jesus time. People who God blinded by hardening their hearts so they couldn’t even take in what Jesus was preaching. Why then are we surprised that GOP lovers refuse to believe reality??

          43. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            And the Devil Worshiper just keeps on spouting total nonsense!! When are you ever going to grow up???

            Which of these 75 socialistic American programs would you want to see our country get rid of?? You’re stupidity is exceeded only by your total ignorance of reality!!!!!

            Here’s the first 11, follow the link below for the other 64 (note that even waging war – something you and your ilk love, is socialistic):.

            1. The Military/Defense – The United States military is the largest and most funded socialist program in the world. It operates thanks to our taxpayer dollars and protects the country as a whole. From the richest citizens to the homeless who sleep under the bridge. We are all protected by our military whether we pay taxes or not. This is complete socialism.

            2. Highways/Roads – Those roads and highways you drive on every single day are completely taxpayer funded. Your tax dollars are used to maintain, expand, and preserve our highways and roads for every one’s use. President Eisenhower was inspired by Germany’s autobahn and implemented the idea right here in America. That’s right, a republican president created our taxpayer funded, national highway system. This was a different time, before the republican party came down with a vicious case of rabies that never went away.

            3. Public Libraries – Yes. That place where you go to check out books from conservative authors telling you how horrible socialism is, is in fact socialism. Libraries are taxpayer funded. You pay a few bucks to get a library card and you can read books for free for the rest of your life.

            4. Police – Ever had a situation where you had to call the police? Then you have used a taxpayer funded socialist program. Anyone can call the police whether they pay taxes or not. They are there to protect and serve the community, not individuals. This is complete socialism on a state level, but still socialism all the same. Would you rather have to swipe your credit card before the police will help you?

            5. Fire Dept. – Hopefully you have never had a fire in your home. But if you have, you probably called your local taxpayer-funded fire department to put the fire out. Like police, this is state socialism. You tax dollars are used to rescue your entire community in case of a fire. It use to be set up where you would pay a fee every month to the fire dept. for their service. If you didn’t pay, they let your house burn down. Sadly, a man from Tennessee had this exact situation happen to him in 2011 because he didn’t pay his $75.00 fee. I guess that small town in Tennessee would rather let people’s houses burn down that resort to evil socialism. So don’t take for granted the fact that you have a 24/7 fire dept. to put out your burning home thanks to socialism.

            6. Postal Service – Like having mail delivered directly to your front door and paying next to nothing to send mail anywhere you want? Well it’s all made possible by socialism.

            7. Student Loans and Grants – Did you go to College? If you did, you family might not have been rich enough to pay your way through. So you got your education anyway through student loans and grants from the federal government at taxpayer expense. Of course you have to pay back the loans, but if not the government, did you know anyone else who was going to lend you tens of thousands of dollars? Probably not. So the taxpayers lent you the money and you paid it back with slight interest. The government grants you accepted were gifts from the taxpayer and the federal government that you did not have to pay back. Socialism got you through school.

            8. Bridges – Along with our highways, our government used your taxpayer dollars to build bridges. This allows the public to travel across rivers without having to sail or swim.

            9. Garbage Collection – Like having your garbage collected once a week instead of having to drive it to the landfill yourself? Thank socialism.

            10. Public Landfills – Taxpayer dollars are used to have places to dump all of our garbage that is collected by taxpayer funded garbage men.

            11. War – That’s right! War would not be possible without socialism. Your tax dollars are used to fight wars for your country. This is Big Government at it’s biggest. Private companies don’t attack other countries, at least not yet. Government is the only entity in America that can defend us from foreign enemies and our tax dollars are used for every second of it. Socialism has brought down Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Bin Laden. War may very well be the most socialist thing on this list.


          44. mike May 22, 2015

            LMAO!!!! Pathetic!

            All you can do is regurgitate dailykos, that’s funny.

            Why do you think those you have mentioned are socialist? They are not a redistribution of wealth? They are more like insurance for inhabitants of a neighborhood, at least the police and fire departments are. Those inhabitants pay in the form of property taxes, income taxes, sale tax, or however they chose to fund these insurance policies. Those who pay the most for them, property owners, are the ones who benefit the most from them. They protect property (supposed to anyway). Also, as far as roads go, as a neighborhood, state and country, we as citizens want to be able to get places. We want to get to the store, our family members’ houses, vacation spots, etc. We want the police and fire departments to be able to get to our house in an emergency. In order to have roads, we pay the government to make roads. Again, this is not as socialist as say welfare, universal health care, etc.
            Keep Trying, not cigar!!

          45. ps0rjl May 22, 2015

            Neither of your arguments refute the fact these are socialist entities paid for by all the citizens. While we all want police protection, fire protection, and a good highway system, they are all examples of socialism.

          46. jmprint May 22, 2015

            We United States American citizens pay to help those that can’t. That is why America is so beautiful, you guys are trying to turn it into a hell hole, by making it impossible to earn a living.

          47. Dave May 22, 2015

            It’s not the job of the government to take care of the poor. That’s the job of the church, it’s not the governments roll to play God. When you do that people depend on the government and not God.

          48. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            So in other words, virtually every other non 3rd world/non-communist country on the planet that provides universal healthcare, free college and many even retirement benefits for their citizens are all wrong and it’s the hypocritical, narcissistic, racist, bigots such as yourself that are right???

            Why don’t you spell out for us just what it is our taxes are supposed to pay for since you’re such an expert!!!

          49. Dave May 22, 2015

            So when you got nothing you pull out the good old Saul Alinsky card: rule #5

          50. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            Well, come on! You’re the tax expert. Let’s here what it is that us tax paying citizens are supposed to support according to DAVE!!

            Apparently you’re okay with shoveling billions of dollars into the pockets of Big Oil, Big AgriBusiness, Big Pharma and every other corporation. I haven’t heard you complaining about that. Those tax break giveaways that amount to billions every year!!!

            And you’re apparently okay with Reagan having cut the max tax rate more than in half during his disastrous 8 years so the wealthy have been able since then to shovel taxpayer monies into their pockets via every tax loophole possible so they can get away like Romney with paying far less than their fair share (less than 10%). I haven’t heard you complaining about the already wealthy getting astronomically wealthy by doing virtually nothing to support our country. Millions of them get away with paying next to nothing in taxes – why don’t you see that as a problem?? Huh??

            And it’s not me that’s condemning you supporters of the Devil’s party – it’s the Bible itself!! You can’t LOVE GOD AND MAMMON (READ MONEY). And you’d have to be totally blind to not see that the GOP IS ALL ABOUT MONEY AND YOU SUPPORT THEM.

            And if you claim the GOP is not ALL ABOUT MONEY, YOU’D BE A BLATANT LIAR!!! And in Revelations, God says that LIARS WILL BE THROWN IN THE FIRE!!!!!

          51. Dave May 22, 2015

            Yes, the shovel ready job’s, that cost the tax payers 800 billion, that went to paying back Obama’s political friends for jobs that were not so shovel ready. As for the rich paying their fair share, is Warren Buffet going to start paying more in % then his secretary?

          52. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            Yeah right!! That 800B stimulus that virtually every reputable economist will testify was the only thing that kept America out of falling into the GOP’s 2nd created world-wide depression – and if anything it should have been more than twice the amount it was.

            And which Michael Grunwald, who knows one heck of a lot more about the stimulus than you ever will, claims it was a genormous boon to the nation.

            Better go back to the drawing board clueless, because you have your head too far up your rear end!!!!!

            See these excerpts from an article on Slate.Com:

            Michael Grunwald, a Time magazine correspondent, this week publishes The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era, a gripping account of President Obama’s stimulus bill. Grunwald writes that the stimulus has transformed America—and American politics—in ways that we have failed to recognize. I interviewed him by email about the book.

            It was clearly a huge deal. And it got me curious about what else was in the stimulus. I remember doing some dogged investigative reporting—OK, a Google search—and learning that the stimulus also launched Race to the Top, which was a real a-ha moment. I knew Race to the Top was a huge deal in the education reform world, but I had no idea it was a stimulus program. It quickly became obvious that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the formal name of the stimulus) was also a huge deal for health care, transportation, scientific research, and the safety net as well as the flailing economy. It was about Reinvestment as well asRecovery, and it was hidden in plain view.


          53. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            Buffet follows the tax code so he’s not going to pay more until the devil worshipers in the GOP agree to sit down and revise our antiquated tax code. None of that’s Buffet’s fault – it’s like everything else these days – the GOP’s fault!!!!

          54. Dave May 22, 2015

            The rich will never pay their fair share, they own all Washington DC politicians. Until we get tern limits is not going to change.

          55. jmprint May 26, 2015

            “The rich will never pay their fair share” and you want to keep supporting them instead of those that can’t.

          56. Dave May 26, 2015

            Let me guess, you think that the rich or the top 1% only support the Republican party?

          57. Dave May 22, 2015

            And as for me being a tax expert, everyone should have to pay an equal amount or fair share. If you make $100.00 you should have to pay $10.00 or if you make $1,000,000 you should pay $100,000.

          58. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            What pure hogwash!!! So the millionaire pays .0001% of their income while the guy with $100 bucks pays 10% – what stupidity is that???

            The person who can’t afford to pay even $1 in tax gets taken to the cleaners while the person who has a million bucks gets to pay what amounts to pocket change. No wonder you people are so mentally challenged??

          59. Dave May 22, 2015

            $1,000,000 – $100,000= 10%
            $100- $10.00= 10%…

          60. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            Sorry, I missed that $100,000. Flat taxes still are not workable simply because people at the bottom of the totem pole simply can’t afford to pay anything in the way of taxes. The whole scheme is basically unworkable.

          61. Dave May 22, 2015

            If God can do it, Why cant we as a nation.

          62. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            Because our nation is not God, and can’t provide what it doesn’t have. God had the power to feed the people without needing money to do that. Our government doesn’t have the ability to do that.

            Since God was providing for the people because He’s the Creator, he could ask those that he provided for to give him back 10% of what HE provided. Are you suggesting our government should employ everyone (I’m not sure where they’d get the money) and then expect everyone to tithe it 10%?

            And with respect to tithing 10% to churches – that’s got nothing to do with God. That’s something Man has created by cherrypicking verses out of the Bible. According to the Apostles the Gospel was supposed to be preached free of charge. The vast majority of that 10% goes into the pockets of the church leaders and in no way ends up serving God.

          63. Dave May 23, 2015

            You say…The tithing of 10% got nothing to do with God, That something Man has created by cherry picking verses out of the Bible?
            How would all of the bills be paid for the Church building, the lighting bills/ gas bills and all of the little things that add to the expenses of running a Church?
            You say…The vast majority goes into the pockets of the Church leaders and in no way ends up serving God…So YOU are saying that the Pastor or Priest who spends their time at the local hospitals or homes praying with people or out feeding the homeless or caring for the sick are not doing the Lords work and not serving God…talk about cherrypicking the word of the Lord.

          64. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            You mental retards that love the GOP do realize don’t you that the people like Romney and many other rich folks who own 5 homes and umpteen cars and have servants all over the place are really burdening our country trying to keep up with all the pollution they generate via running around on vacations, running around on their yachts, and on and on… Don’t you??

            The wealthy not only deserve to pay more because they can afford it, but also because they’re utilizing far more of our country’s every resource than the average nonwealthy person is. When are you mental retards going to realize that????

          65. jmprint May 26, 2015

            What you are missing is that the ones that get 1,000,000 earners pay 1000.00 not 100,000. with tax breaks and subsidies and guess where that money comes from. Why condemn those that need, when the taxa base is what it is?

          66. Dave May 26, 2015

            The people who are making the millions and investing back into the country, they should get a tax break, it’s their money anyway. The ones who aren’t putting back into the system, they should be taxed at the same rate as everyone else.

          67. jmprint May 27, 2015

            You said a mouth full when you said investing back into our country. The majority don’t invest in America, the jobs and their money are sent oversees. Everyone puts back into our system when they spend their cents, because everything is taxed. Are you getting paid for defending the ultra greedy rich?

          68. The lucky one May 23, 2015

            Play God? Do you mean like try to impose our views on every other culture? Or did you mean pander to his “chosen people”, the very rich?

            I might agree with “It’s not the job of the government to take care of the poor” if the government hadn’t given away the riches of the commons to a privileged few and made it increasingly difficult for the people to protect themselves from the greedy rapacious bastards. You know who I mean, the ones you worship and adore.

          69. jmprint May 26, 2015

            “That’s the job of the church” yeah right, like they care, first we build mega church and if anything is left over after the pastors get their fare share to pay for the millions dollars estates and the 60 thousand dollar cars we will serve food to the homeless. I guess God as left the building.

          70. Dave May 26, 2015

            It sounds like you have some bitterness and unforgivness issues that you need to deal with.

          71. jmprint May 27, 2015

            I have no bitterness at all and I am not an angry person. I try as hard as I can to walk the walk that Jesus asked of us, but like you I am human. I thank God that He has enabled me to see and know right from wrong, and YOU are wrong.

          72. mike May 22, 2015

            The problem with your logic is that it has gone far beyond a helping hand, it has now turned into a dependence on govt..

          73. jmprint May 26, 2015

            Has not, you are a liar.

          74. Dave May 26, 2015

            We as a nation have already spent over 10 trillion dollars on the welfare system. How much more do we need to spend in order to see some progress or return on our investment?

          75. jmprint May 27, 2015

            Jesus Christ didn’t give us limits to our hearts. Investment is in life itself. Dave people like you is why all things bought are made in China.

          76. mike May 26, 2015

            No, you are just ignorant or in denial to the what is happening in U.S…

          77. jmprint May 27, 2015

            No mike I am not ignorant of what is happening in the U.S. You just think you are smarter then everybody else, but you twist your facts to accommodate yourself. You are either a Wall Street employee or work for the Republican party, which is what I suspect.

          78. mike May 27, 2015

            LMAO again at one of your inane posts.

          79. jmprint May 27, 2015

            LYAOYW, but you are a weirdo. As much as you LMAO, you must not have an A.

          80. mike May 27, 2015

            Giving me another good laugh. Thanks.

          81. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            I’m not going to waste my time conversing with you any longer MIke. God has clearly hardened your heart so you can’t even comprehend what reality is. If God’s given up on you – so shall I.

            I’m going to leave you into your own spiral into Hell with a copy of a comment I made above to ps0rjl:

            “You’re very insightful. Not too many on this blog have come to realize that today’s Republicans are nothing more than the Pharisees of Jesus time. People who God blinded by hardening their hearts so they couldn’t even take in what Jesus was preaching. Why then are we surprised that GOP lovers refuse to believe reality??”

          82. mike May 22, 2015


          83. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            I’m finally heeding the advise of Solomon from proverbs that’s useless to converse with a fool.

            From Proverbs 12:15: The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.

          84. mike May 22, 2015

            Well, since you think you are so wise and believe the wise listen to advice, I would suggest you get your lying head out of your A$$ for once in your life.
            LMAO again at you.

          85. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            I trust that God knows full well which one of us is deliberately acting the part of a fool.

          86. mike May 22, 2015

            I trust God does and that means you have a problem. 🙂

          87. Independent1 May 23, 2015

            Good luck with all that given that you’re supporting the Devil’s party. Pick up the Bible Mike – God hates people who love money; in fact, even the rich who utilize their wealth for other than helping others.

            And if there’s anything the GOP stands for – IT’S THE LOVE OF MONEY!! And screw the poor!!

            So good luck with your fantasies. There’s no guarantees but you sure are heading in the wrong direction fella!! Better wake up and read the Bible a little. It wouldn’t take much for you to see how much your thinking is 180 degrees out of phase with God’s.

          88. mike May 23, 2015

            You really are an imbecile on this subject and many more.

            God hates people that love money, what an asinine comment.

            Don’t tell me or anyone else what God is thinking. You definitely are not on the fast track with God no matter what you think
            You seem to forget Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Job, Hezekiah, Jehoshaphat were all wealthy.
            You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth. Deuteronomy 8:17-18

            “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”

            “Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19

            Then there is Bill and Hillary and the 25 million dollars they made in the last 14 months.
            But it is the republicans that are the bad guys.

          89. The lucky one May 23, 2015

            Hmm, tantrum? I guess that would be coming from the one using all caps.

          90. mike May 23, 2015

            Tantrum, far from it!
            I am not surprised at your comment considering the source.

          91. ps0rjl May 22, 2015

            War should be divided into 2 parts. The defense industry who suck at the public tit more than any other group and the people who serve who usually come from the lower classes and are always treated like dirt by those who were to “important” to serve.

          92. jmprint May 22, 2015

            So go out and vote for CRUZ, your hate pusher, he is the root to all evil.

          93. Barrington September May 22, 2015

            mike — Obviously, you do not know what socialism or a socialist government is. There is not one shred of evidence that President Obama has promoted a socialistic form of government. I find it interesting that extreme partisan Obama-haters like you just feel free to spew out such nonsensical BS and think well-informed, thoughtful, intelligent and objective folk are going to believe it.
            If Obama’s administration is such a socialistic government, then why are the markets booming, rich folk getting wealthier and the major American multi-national corporations earning more money than they dreamed possible and private sector employment is up?
            My 401(k) and investments are doing just fine!

            The capitalist market place in America is booming and the only thing missing are the massive public works jobs needed to build, repair, upgrade and modernize our public transportation systems, roads, bridges, tunnels, water systems and communication grid systems etc. Oh yes! The Republicans control the US Congress and they desire nothing good to occur under President Obama! They would rather ruin the nation and ‘harm’ the USA and its people … except the wealthiest 2%.

          94. mike May 23, 2015

            So Obamacare is not redistribution of wealth, Right!
            Really, The markets are doing great because of a slow to poor economy which forced Fed. Reserve to print money and set low interest rates. When the interest starting moving up then watch the market.

            Obama is striving to increase state control over our economy, as energy, healthcare, finance, education
            What else has he done?? Increased control over means of production. Through his green energy subsidies, failed cap and trade scheme, now via EPA regulations. Obama has sought state control over the coal industry on which most industries depend- energy.
            State control of communications.by team Obama to revive “fairness doctrine”.
            How about the control over where people lived with his EO in 2009 that would divide the country into sectors where all humans would be herded into urban hubs, and lands returned to natural state.
            Free education, Obama and monopoly on student loans.
            State control of real property, he has repeatedly thwarted the development of domestic energy supplies.
            Obama is best described as statist, interventionist, Big Government Progressive, free-market hating control freak.
            Obama has enervated the job market, raised food and energy bills, and watched the falling incomes and net worth by his economic policies.
            Keep dreaming on the capitalist market place booming. After 6 years there is some light at the end of the tunnel, wages continue to be stagnant, good paying jobs still elusive. and unemployment still far with worse that the U3 figures that Obama likes to talk about. The real world of unemployment is the U6 numbers.

          95. Irishgrammy May 23, 2015

            Perfectly stated Barrington! Have read your posts with great interest and am in full agreement! Mike is ALWAYS spewing conservative clap trap. Alot of copy and pasting all the conservative “talking points” and utterly false observations……..just a truly miserable hyper partisan, he buys it all, hook, line and sinker the more outrageous the lies the more he likes it as he passes it off as “truth”……independent thought does not exist in his vocabulary. Barrington, keep up the great commentary!

          96. JPHALL May 22, 2015

            You are a broken record. Everything is Hilary to you. Must be paid well to be a troll! Subject: Re: Comment on First Quote Jesus; Then Punish the Poor

          97. mike May 23, 2015

            Only in your pea brain.
            Hillary has been exposed again for her lies. The world has the emails from Blumenthal saying it was a video, which she passed on to the WH, never giving the source. The next day Blumenthal says 9/11 was a month long planned attack in his email to Hillary but for 2 weeks Obama and Clinton said it was a video. Both lied to the American people.
            You have hitched your wagon to another liar like Obama.

          98. Sand_Cat May 25, 2015

            And this was another really critical “lie.” Perhaps you should send them a letter suggesting that you and John McCain and Lindsay Graham have to approve the wording of White House press releases in advance.
            How many died as a result? NONE.
            Try hundreds of thousands to the account of Bush and Cheney and those of you who still support their actions and try to divert attention by claiming we’re “obsessed with the past.”
            Unrighted wrongs don’t just go away, especially when their authors are still defended by those who cite insignificant misstatements (“white lies” if you must) to condemn those who have killed no one by deception.

          99. mike May 25, 2015

            You can ignore the facts all you want about the video, which was proven a lie, all you want.
            The Blumenthal emails on 9/12 to Hillary said it was a video by the president and senior advisors of Libya , on 9/13 he emailed her it was a planned attack by Ansar Al Sharia by the same sources, and Clinton wrote to her aides: “We should get this around ASAP”. The next day on the return of the dead Americans she said it was a video, knowing she was not being truthful.
            As I have said before and will continue to say, big mistakes were made by Bush but Bush did not lie or deceive. There is to much evidence to the contrary.
            Stay in the past all you want, the problem with your thinking is the ISIS is not a Regional problem. it Evil and continues to grow. Obama said he was going to destroy ISIS and he/we are losing. We now have almost 3000 troops more back in country than he wanted to leave in Iraq to train before he walked away, which helped destabilized Iraq.
            If they are not destroyed they will on our door steps before we know it with many many more.

          100. Sand_Cat May 27, 2015

            To borrow your phrase, keep trying. That whole thing was the most pathetic excuse for a “scandal” yet, and the fact that you have once again focused on some irrelevant – YES IRRELEVANT – detail in a desperate attempt to make something of a long-dead and discredited GOP attempt to capitalize on the deaths of US personnel for political smear purposes shows how far from reality your obvious hatred for Clinton has taken you. And this as a “comment” on another scandal that should concern you: the heartless “Christians” who spit on the poor and everything “Jesus” said about human relations, all in the name of Christianity.
            Give us some one who lies less than Clinton – you’ll be hard pressed to find someone in the GOP – and isn’t too obviously filled with glee at the prospect of punishing the poor and downtrodden – another GOP rarity – and you might have a case. Until then, you’re just another blind right-wing Hillary hater unhinged by partisanship, hatred, and fear.

          101. mike May 27, 2015

            What a load of crap!!! My God you are really in denial. The video story was proven incorrect, she lied at Andrews in front of the 4 dead family members and the America knowingly. She has been caught in so many lies, but you and your ilk, accept and ignore her blatant lying knowing she is all you have as a candidate.
            Well, at least you admit she is a liar.

            As to your christian remark, baloney!!!

          102. Sand_Cat May 27, 2015

            Your obsession with Hillary that you pursue repeatedly, despite the topic of the article, shows how far you appear to have lost perspective on that and other issues.
            I don’t like the email abuses (or those of various presidents concerning “their” papers) and the Clinton Foundation’s violations, but I have to remember two things:
            1) GOP charges against the latter are likely mostly paranoid ravings and lies

            2) The email rules violated were created in response to the abuses of the previous administration’s war criminals, against whose crimes, ALL accusations against the Obama Administration and its personnel become trivial.

            As to the topic of this article, yes, it’s not surprising you have nothing to say except an unthinking dismissal: most people prefer not to face their own hypocrisies and failings. The “Christian” and “values” GOP regularly and proudly denounces those inconvenient teachings of the man they call “God,” as they do all other inconvenient truths and problems that cannot be addressed by
            1) More tax cuts for billionaires
            2) Putting more people in prison
            3) Blowing things up (military action and /or increased spending for it)

            4) Preaching of a “Gospel” its purported “author” and subject would not recognize.

          103. mike May 27, 2015

            Paranoid??? Far from it.
            1). She used a server not authorized, scrubbed emails which were the property of the Fed. govt., not hers, she was not authorized to delete without approval of NARA official. She had staff delete emails, and unless she turns over the server we will never know what was really scrubbed. She scrubbed/deleted emails after being subpoenaed.
            2). Still living in the past. What you seem to ignore is that the NARA put new rules into effect in 2009 to counter past actions, she ignored them with her own server and personal emails. All goes to her lack of character and honesty.

            As to your Christian bias and hatred, looks much like your illogical position on Ferguson and how guilty Wilson was and how innocent Brown was. But you were Wrong there also.
            As to your 4 points-Balderdash.

          104. Sand_Cat May 25, 2015

            Sorry, but your opposition has taken you off into never-never land. Obama and Hillary are about as much socialists as you; they only look like “the LEFT” because “conservatives” are nearly as rare as liberals: all the GOP has these days are right-wing lunatics, the Democrats, timid centrists.

          105. mike May 25, 2015

            So Obamacare is not redistribution of wealth, Right!
            Really, The markets are doing great because of a slow to poor economy which forced Fed. Reserve to print money and set low interest rates. When the interest starting moving up then watch the market.

            Obama is striving to increase state control over our economy, as energy, healthcare, finance, education
            What else has he done?? Increased control over means of production. Through his green energy subsidies, failed cap and trade scheme, now via EPA regulations. Obama has sought state control over the coal industry on which most industries depend- energy.
            State control of communications.by team Obama to revive “fairness doctrine”.
            How about the control over where people lived with his EO in 2009 that would divide the country into sectors where all humans would be herded into urban hubs, and lands returned to natural state.
            Free education, Obama and monopoly on student loans.
            State control of real property, he has repeatedly thwarted the development of domestic energy supplies.
            Obama is best described as statist, interventionist, Big Government Progressive, free-market hating control freak.
            Obama has enervated the job market, raised food and energy bills, and watched the falling incomes and net worth by his economic policies.
            His animosity again private enterprise, like “you didn’t build it”, “spread the wealth around” remark. His complaints that the Constitution “is a charter of negative liberties” that dictates what the government “can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Fed. govt. or state govt. must do for you.”
            Capital markets are booming because of the Fed reserve printing money and almost zero interest rates, not because the economy is good. Companies are leaner, profits up, cost down. After 6 years there is some light at the end of the tunnel, wages continue to be stagnant, good paying jobs still elusive. and unemployment still far with worse that the U3 figures that Obama likes to talk about. The real world of unemployment is the U6 numbers.

      2. Bob D May 22, 2015

        Bullshit. Show me the proof. Oh,and if a woman on welfare gets more money than a woman that is working then that is a problem. More of a problem then the woman getting welfare. It means people aren’t been ng paid a fair wage. So thanks for parroting the RW propaganda you heard from some RW shill.

      3. jmprint May 22, 2015

        You are a liar.

        1. Independent1 May 22, 2015

          ‘LIAR’ is Mike’s given name. ‘Mike’ is just his blogging moniker.

          1. dtgraham May 23, 2015


      4. Barrington September May 22, 2015

        mike — Working parents with low or ‘moderate’ incomes are eligible
        for special assistance under state and/or federal laws such as The
        Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is a federal tax credit for
        low and moderate income working people. It encourages and rewards work as well as offsets federal payroll and income taxes. Twenty-six states, including the District of Columbia, have established their own EITCs to supplement the federal credit.


        In the 2014 tax year, working families with children that have annual incomes below about $38,500 to $52,400 (depending on marital status
        and the number of dependent children) may be eligible for the federal EITC.
        Also, working poor people without children that have incomes below about $14,600 ($20,000 for a married couple) can receive a very small EITC. In the 2013 tax year, the most recent year for which data are available, over 27 million working families and individuals received the EITC.
        The EITC is designed to encourage and reward work. As noted, a worker’s EITC grows with each additional dollar of earnings until reaching the maximum value. This creates an incentive for people to leave welfare for work and for low-wage workers to increase their work hours.
        This incentive feature has made the EITC highly successful. Studies show that the EITC encourages large numbers of single parents to leave welfare for work, especially when the labor market is strong.

        Also, do not forget that under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ACA or Obamacare) assists the working poor families and those with moderate incomes may get the expanded Medicaid health insurance free or if they must purchase, they get a subsidy from the government to assist with health care insurance premium costs.

        1. mike May 22, 2015

          I think you need to direct your post Darsan54 who claims the poor are being oppressed.

          Pertinent words are “labor market is strong”, these last 6 years the labor market has been far from strong.

          You wrote:
          “This incentive feature has made the EITC highly successful. Studies show that the EITC encourages large numbers of single parents to leave welfare for work, especially when the labor market is strong.”

          Since you consider yourself a maven on the subject you also know the 60% of mid-wage jobs were lost in the recession, only 22% of mid-wage jobs were gained during the recovery. Lower-wage jobs, in contrast, represented 21 percent of the jobs lost during the recession but 58 percent of jobs gained during the recovery.

          The job market has a long way to go.

  2. Todd Jimmo May 21, 2015

    Gov. Scott Walker, Many of the people that would be effected by this bill are sober and are ready to work. But if there is no work out there and what is out there doesn’t pay enough, you are spending state funds to what end? It costs to test these people. Also not every one that get’s assistance can work! Not to mention that some people need that assistance to supplement their meager pay checks. You should realy get out more.

  3. janis mcdonald May 21, 2015

    No shrimp, lobster, tattoos, liquor, tobacco, Starbucks, swimming pools, vacations, cigarettes? What the hell — is that supposed to seem degrading and abusive!? Well, that’s how I grew up — as did millions of us — in the ’50s! There were days only my dad got a “good” piece of meat. Clothes were ALWAYS handed down. Vacation? Never! My dad did smoke –$.35/pack! We didn’t own a TV until we finally could “afford” one. That’s just the way it was. My stepmother (as much as I hate to say anything nice about her) used to cut coupons and plan meals and do major grocery shopping — to cover two weeks until the next pay period. Hopefully one of us didn’t forget and eat “tomorrow’s” apple. We grew up fine, responsible, wise with money — and valuing more than anything the idea of lifting ourselves up — not on someone else’s charity — but on our own. That’s America!
    As a member of the working class, it seems to me that every time you take my money and give it to someone more “needy” — that it’s just not my government’s decision. It’s like telling my poor neighbor any time she needs an extra steak or two — to just come to my house and take it! That’s not good for anybody!

    1. Independent1 May 21, 2015

      People like you are missing the point. The vast majority of people needing welfare, including food stamps, are hard working people who are stuck in today’s deliberately designed corporate system were so many companies purposely set their work schedules and pay to keep people earning close to min wage and living below the poverty level.

      So what gives you, or these Republican hypocritical bigoted politicians the right to tell people who have been struggling just to survive, that they can’t trade off maybe a meal’s worth of staple food for a once in a while luxury??

      Just because millions are poor, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the same rights as more prosperous people to choose for themselves whether or not they want to cut back on on some food staples just so they can enjoy maybe a seafood dinner once in a while. You clueless people are aware aren’t you that the government also recommends that we all each seafood at least sever times a week.

      I couldn’t care less what you and you’re family did back in those ‘Good ole days”. This isn’t those Good Ole Days, it’s today – and no matter what economic position people live in, they should have the right to choose what they do with the little bit of assistance that they’re given by our government when they’re living in very difficult times.

      1. Bob D May 22, 2015

        You do realize you are wasting your time right? All the ills in the US is due to the poor. They have ruined this country because thy don’t want to work for $7.25 an hour and STILL. have to live off some form of public assistance. These people here that blame the poor are freaking clueless. They believe the Fox News propaganda machine. They still think every woman on welfare is living in a big house,driving a brand new car and having babies to make sure they get more money from the government.

        1. Independent1 May 22, 2015

          Yes, I realize that. But although I realize that the vast majority of these blinded GOP lovers won’t listen to reality, I just can’t stop trying to get them to see the truth. One can only hope that a miracle can happen.

          1. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

            It’s better to try to open people’s eyes to reality than it is to give up.

          2. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            I agree completely. We can’t give up trying.

    2. Bob D May 22, 2015

      You realize this isn’t the point of these laws right. It is to single out the poor. Most people on public assistance are single mothers. Thy are worrying about any of the crap these RW politicians keep making laws about. How about they make laws that curb ty rampant abuse by companies mistreating their employees. How about they raise the minimum wage. If the minimum wage would have risen with the COL it would be somewhere around $20 per hour. Oh but they wont do that because the CEOs making half a billion dollars are year might have to take a pay cut.

    3. jmprint May 22, 2015

      The key to your success is that you didn’t have a home that was dysfunctional.
      We were very, very poor no running water in the 70’s, but we were never on welfare, never asked for food stamps, I really didn’t know I was poor, because I was a happy child. My dad caused our poverty, he made good money, but he was a womanizer and boozer, when he came home on Sunday he was broke.
      In todays society the volume of problems has worsen because of drugs, once you are addicted especially to a drug like crack that consumes a persons life, it becomes an illness and families suffer. The children have no fault of the dysfunctional family, but yet they are the ones that suffer the most, especially when people have so much hate for those that are in need.

  4. Insinnergy May 21, 2015

    The USA is the perfect example of arrant, egocentric, ignorant and mean-minded hypocrisy.
    It’s also, sadly, classical evidence that hypocrisy, alone, cannot kill you.

    You used to be great, America. Your social mobility was second to none. You could go from zero to hero and back again in a few months, all based off your own ideas and efforts.
    Not any more.
    That ship has sailed.

    1. Bob D May 22, 2015

      The American Dream was killed by the rich. They want to keep their club private.

  5. @HawaiianTater May 21, 2015

    I actually agree with the Republicans on something. I don’t think people should be relying on welfare either. But then they rig the system to make sure poor people stay poor. That’s where we extremely depart in ideologies. The whole thing is insanely hypocritical. They complain that employees of places like Wal-Mart are on welfare but then promote policies to keep them in need of welfare. There is more than enough money to go around but it keeps getting concentrated at the top.

    When a company does well, everyone in the company should do well. The system is rigged when a company does well but the only people with rising wages are the ones at the top. If a company is doing enough business that the CEO makes 20 times what his lowest paid employee makes, then the business starts booming and the CEO is now making 300 times what the lowest paid employee makes while that employee sees no wage increase, that’s a rigged system to keep poor people poor while the rich keep getting richer.

    What we really need in this country is a percentage cap for CEO and other high ranking people of huge corporations. Pay fair wages, then hand out bonuses to everyone based on how good the business does. If the company makes a million over what they need to pay everyone, then divide that money fairly amongst everyone, rather than letting those at the top pocket all the extra money.

    When the employees of these successful companies start making more money, it raises the middle class. When the middle class gets raised, they have more expendable money, which goes into the economy and helps everyone else out there. The rich still get rich, just not obscenely rich, and everybody else does well too.

    I get so tired of the whining about wanting to “take other people’s money” and give it to the poor. I don’t want to take anyone else’s money and I don’t think most poor people do either. They just want a chance to go earn decent money for themselves. We live in the richest nation on the Earth. There is no reason why anyone in this country who works a full time job should live in poverty or need welfare.

    Most people in this country just want to go to work and get paid well enough to care for their family. If everyone is paid fairly in the first place, then we eliminate the need for welfare. What we have now, for all intents and purposes, is economic slavery.

    1. ps0rjl May 22, 2015

      You sir have certainly hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately all these companies are run by greedy, egotistical sobs who care more abut how hey stack up against their equals rather than think about those who helped make them so wealthy. And don’t forge that since they have the money, they have the politicians.

    2. Bob D May 22, 2015

      You say you agree and then cut down everything the GOP stands for. No one wants to rely on welfare. That is a GOP lie that has been,debunked over and over. When I was 13 my mother and I had to go on welfare after my father went to work and decided not to come home. It was the worst experience we ever had. They make it as humiliating as possible. If you think the average person enjoys living on it you are sorely mistaken. Are there people that abuse the system? Of course there are. Just like there are rich people that game the system. The difference is you never hear the GOP vilifying them.

      1. jmprint May 22, 2015

        I had to raise my brothers two children after their mother abandoned them at my door step, when my brother was incarcerated. I am not rich and the children needed medicaid for medical reasons. I drive a Lincoln always have, when I parked at the food stamp place, because it is the same place you apply for medicaid, the looks I would get from people that were scoping out the area made me feel like I was begging for a bone. I felt like I was one of those people they like to trash about sucking on Gvt teet, but I can assure you if I didn’t raise these children they would have caused the state a lot more money. Southern Christians love to criticize as they believe they have the key to heaven. My mom was Catholic my dad came from a family with many pastors, he was the black sheep of the family, because he could see how heartless they really are. And here they rely on other people’s money, because they preach the word of God. I love Jesus Christ and I am always preaching His love, but my payment is the satisfaction my heart receives.

        1. Independent1 May 22, 2015

          “Southern Christians love to criticize as they believe they have the key to heaven.”

          It’s too bad really that the vast majority of those “Southern Christians” are being mislead by not only their own pastors but also the GOP, and instead of having the keys to Heaven, they’re being given the keys to Hell.

          1. jmprint May 22, 2015

            I like it when they ask this question “when you die do you know where you are going” as if they are so sure off themselves, my response is “I’m sure I’ll see you there where ever it is you are going”

          2. Independent1 May 23, 2015

            Actually, I hope you don’t see them wherever they end up – because being supporters of the GOP, which is a party that exists only because of its love of money; those folks are not going to where you’d want to be; I’m fairly sure.

          3. Dave May 26, 2015

            In your post above you talk about how “The Southern Christians love to criticize as they believe they have the key to Heaven”
            Now you are saying in this post that you know where they are going, talk about being a hypocrite.

          4. jmprint May 27, 2015

            Dave why don’t you show where I post that I know where people are going when they die. “where ever it is” does not imply that I know, talk about being a jerk.

          5. Dave May 22, 2015

            Who has given you the authority to judge on who is going to Heaven or Hell?

            I have another question for you how does someone get into Heaven, what does the Bible say about that.

          6. Independent1 May 22, 2015

            As I mentioned to you on another post – it’s the Bible that condemns the GOP, not me. Just read it. Anyone who actually reads it will see clearly that today’s GOP are Devil worshipers.

          7. Dave May 23, 2015

            You are still Dodging my qualifications, you have never given me an answer, where is it in the Bible that gives you the authority to judge others?

          8. Sand_Cat May 25, 2015

            Why should those who don’t believe be confined to using the Bible? But in answer to your question, the only description of the last judgment in “Jesus’s” words (as quoted in the book of Matthew), says that those who help those in need without regard to whether they “deserve” it will get into heaven, and those who don’t, won’t.
            I don’t like to get into saying someone is going to heaven or hell, first of all, because I don’t believe either exists, and because I am acutely aware of my own shortcomings, but “Jesus” said “by your fruits you shall know them,” and it’s hard to resist vigorously criticizing those who go about presenting themselves as faithful followers of the man when they obviously despise almost everything he said about human relations.

          9. The lucky one May 23, 2015

            Who cares what some book written by people, none of which personally knew Jesus, and translated and re-translated by people often with an agenda of their own says about a hypothetical heaven and hell?

          10. Sand_Cat May 25, 2015

            First, your point is valid. Second, who gave THEM the right?

          11. jmprint May 26, 2015

            That is the very same question what put in different words. Besides what the bible says, how many people do you personally know that have told you they are in heaven?

          12. Dave May 26, 2015

            How many people do I know personally that have told me they are in heaven… are you on drugs ?

          13. jmprint May 27, 2015

            Then you don’t hang around Southern Baptist. Are you a devil worshipper?

          14. Dave May 27, 2015
          15. jmprint May 27, 2015

            Born again christian, good for you that gives you the power to criticize, and humiliate the poor. Faith is in the heart wrapped around love. I know several people that are born again christian after they have hit rock bottom, and yes they will follow the Word for a while until they get on their feet again.

          16. Dave May 27, 2015

            Who have I criticized and humiliated?

      2. @HawaiianTater May 22, 2015

        “If you think the average person enjoys living on it you are sorely mistaken.”

        Did you read my entire post? That’s not what I think. That’s what the Republican voters are lied into believing. I was pointing out they were wrong about that.

        1. Barrington September May 22, 2015

          Hawaiian Tater — I read all you wrote; and you are right on point. I think Bob D misunderstood or misread something in your long commentary. BUT … I loved it!
          The wealthy and rich depend more on the federal and state governments and are supported more by our tax dollars than any person on welfare, unemployment or disability benefits or social security benefits etc.
          Think about this, those big heavy trucks hauling goods and supplies across country, they put more wear & tear on our high ways and bridges … they are the reason that roads are so beat up. The main interstate roads (aka freeways) built by the government was to facilitate commerce without these businesses having to deal with private toll routes.
          Most people never stop and think about why our US Navy patrols the sea lanes and oceans around the world … to keep the smooth and safe flow of private sector goods via ships!
          Our US Embassies and various federal government bureaucracies are set up to assist, advice and protect the businesses and merchandise of American businesses and for-profit multinational corporations and to provide them with valuable statistical data, various types of information, weather forecasts and up to date information on crime & safety, local hazards and the culture, language, laws and policies of foreign nations.

          Sure the average American benefits also BUT … not on the same level, and we are not making a profit and then writing off our “business expenses” when we fly 1,500 to visit grandma.

          1. Independent1 May 23, 2015

            Yes, and it’s not just businesses that benefit. The wealthy in general owe a higher percentage of their incomes in taxes simply because their excessive life styles burden our country in a number of ways:

            The wealthy such as Romney own more and larger homes, all of which tax a number of our country’s resources far more than less wealthy people. They travel much more, thereby creating much more pollution and usage of energy resources than the average middle-class person. Their overly large homes also utilize more of our countries energy resources than those who are less wealthy and emit far more pollutants including those impacting global warming.

            I certainly don’t have any statistics to prove it, but my guess would be that Mitt Romney and his wife with all their homes and all the traveling they do, probably utilize more of America’s energy resources than 10 average middle-class families. And in addition, their excessive travels put more wear and tear on our highways, create more auto/plane/ship and other pollutants than a large number of the less wealthy families.

  6. charleo1 May 22, 2015

    First we must unburden ourselves of the notion the political apparatus we all call the “Republican Party,” has anything whatsoever to do with the principles of Jesus. Especially when it comes to caring for the poor. In fact, what they believe ought to be done about the poor, to the poor, or with the poor, is even uglier than their already ugly incongruent rhetoric, would suggest. And, punishing the poor for profit, and political gain, as a matter of principle, is at the core of their money fueled, elitist driven politic. Ironically, spending money has little to do with their policies. At least insofar as the amount of public assistance money spent by the government on the poor, if for example, it’s subsidizing payrolls. They demagogue it as government dependence, and blame the poor. As we’ve seen, Republican Governors across the Nation, have been willing to collectively spend billions of their own States money on unnecessary healthcare expenditures. In order to express their philosophical opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Essentially paying extra to make sure working Americans who make too little to afford health insurance, are punished right along with their children, for their insufficient wages. As the thinking goes, so as to incentivize hard work, and more diligent and malleable workers. But, it’s also about disrespect, subjugation, and marginalization of the poor. Taking whacks at their Rights, and asserting the concept that all Rights is first based on one’s being deserving of them. Of one’s possessing the only true arbiter in their right, and just universe. And thus the only guarantor of Rights in this loose union of States. United by, and only for, the procurement of, money, and the power it represents. As the Right Wing political class labors mightily at their assigned task. To find and nurture false precepts to justify the immoralities of materialism, self adulation, and greed.

    1. Bob D May 22, 2015

      The sad part is the Southern Republican voters eat up the “Republicans are the party of God” bullshit. That is all the GOP needs to get their votes. I have posted New Testament quotes about the poor time and time again. They are conveniently ignored by those that think the poor are a burden. Jesus had no love for the rich. However in order to know that these “Christians” not ed to actually read their bible and not just carry it around.

    2. rustacus21 May 22, 2015

      Thanx for this laser-precise descriptive of individuals & a party (political), which enjoys – w/weird & bizarre relish, the suffering of those unable (or/AND) unwilling to defend & protect themselves. But to try to put a face on this… phenomenon, imagine the most ghoulish, monstrous, detestable beast imaginable, underneath a cloak, w/a mask of the most innocent, loving person you can think of… This is the political party, the individuals in control & those who support it, in terms of money & votes, who are responsible for these outrageous insults to our civilized societal imperatives. Our Declaration, Constitution & Bill of Rights are well above mistaking them for anything other than LIBERAL! So why & how have we, as a nation, allowed conservatives who thoroughly & absolutely HATE Democracy, to be in charge of IT (our Democracy!? I’ve said this numerous times on my blog (rustacus21@wordpress.com) & is, no doubt, why I’m under surveillance & stalked by police & contractor ‘agents’ – to my home, work & here, online – we aren’t dealing w/normal, rational people & it would seem enuff people would know this by now, that it will take a supremely concerted individual effort on the part of rational, patriotic, American’s to put aside fear & propagandized media influences, in consolidating their voting power into a sea-change of return back to the simple, sane & intelligent Civil Society, where the order of the rule of law punishes corruption, bribery, extortion & threats keeping our representatives & government HOSTAGE to the barbarous insanities, responsible for punishing the poor, the ignorant, the (politically) illiterate, for being such! To see this for what it is & do nothing? What really is happening in this nation? Has the automation of voting done in Democracy, so that we we never again have a ‘fair’ or ‘honest’ election, b/c money has decided that Democracy makes us ALL too equal?! And isn’t ‘equality’ after all, the essential goal of Democracy?

      1. charleo1 May 23, 2015

        Well, first let me say, you don’t sound like a wild eyed radical to me, that deserves being on anyone’s watch list. You voice the same concerns I think many truly patriotic, freedom loving, liberty respecting citizens of this Country have. Myself included among them. About electing a bunch of bought and paid for politicians that only care about the 4 or 5 very rich guys who financed their campaign. While the concerns of the vast majority aren’t even talked about. The Cons say, this is big gov. and we don’t like it either. Let’s cut taxes, and regulation. And to save money, also cut education, food for the poor, childcare, job training, abolish ACA. and privatize Medicare, and Social Security. And we’ll all do what we want. But what they really mean is, we’ve intentionally made your gov. unresponsive, and unaccountable to you. And insufferable, as well. So let’s get rid of all those expensive gov. programs, except the ones that help us, and we’ll have our way with this Country! The lesson we should be learning, is that the effect of money is no different in the political arena that it is at the local dancehall. Those that pay the fiddler, always wind up calling the tune. And we can dance to it, or sit on the sidelines. But we shouldn’t kid ourselves into thinking we’ll still be part of the show.

  7. Elliot J. Stamler May 22, 2015

    People who loudly declaim of their religiosity and piety and automatically to be deeply suspected. Actions speak louder than words. Much louder.

  8. Julieann Wozniak May 22, 2015

    I keep referring my Tea Party friends (and we have them in Bobtown) to the entire Gospel of Luke, which nicely outlines the teaching of Jesus. I’m not a very good Catholic, in terms of adhering to dogma, but I try to follow these tenets. They respond with cherrypicked Old Testament tropes and World Net Daily shares to justify their hate. I don’t get it. I’m not hearing the dog whistle and there’s no logic here.

    1. Independent1 May 23, 2015

      It’s unfortunate that fake Christians keep pulling cherrypicked verses out of the Old Testament which should have long since faded away.

      Next time those Tea Party friends pull out some cherrypicked Old Testament verses, just refer them to Chapter 8 of Hebrews where God through the writer of Hebrews made it clear that the New Testament that Jesus brought us, made the Old Testament Obsolete…and what was Obsoleted, should have long ago DISAPPEARED!!!

      Some verses from Hebrews Chapter 8:

      7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.

      8 But God found fault with the people and said[b]: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel
      and with the people of Judah.

      9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.

      10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord.

      I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.
      I will be their God, and they will be my people.

      11 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

      12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”[c]

      13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

      Ask your Tea Party friends if 2,000 years is long enough for the Old Testament to have “disappeared”. Meaning – True Christians should not be reading in the Old Testament for anything other than the encouragement they can gain from the lives of those who were faithful to God and who God protected through many trials.

      Remind them that Leviticus contains a verse which says that if any man shall do any work whatsoever on the Sabbath, that he shall surely die. Yet when the Pharisees questioned Jesus about his disciples rummaging through the corn fields to find food, Jesus said that was okay. And when they questioned him about performing miracles on the Sabbath to heal people, he said it was okay to do good on the Sabbath. Clearly, much changed when Jesus came – so the verses that these Tea Party friends are cherrypicking – are now NULL AND VOID!!!

  9. Stephan Alan Sonn May 22, 2015

    Tea Party is the latest a continuing pox of humanity. This time around The Koch culled it in media like germ warfare. It is going to take equal guile to overcome the influence. Someone who knows the power of a few well placed words..

  10. Barrington September May 22, 2015

    In my lifetime, I have known poverty, homelessness and long periods of joblessness, economic desperation and racial discrimination. I have suffered the misery of tooth aches & serious dental problems and been seriously ill and needed surgery (while a poor college student, working a part time minimum wage job without benefits). People would advise me that I was eligible for this or that government funded program. I refused; I always refused, because I knew that in America people talk Christianity and
    charitable love, BUT … over 75% were only mouthing meaningless political correctness & typical Christian type comments, which lacked meaning, because they never believed or felt it deep within their hearts & souls. When I got any government aid, I was working for it and earning whatever I got.

    I did find individuals in this world, who entered my life and assisted me without me
    asking. I found dentists and doctors who were charitable enough to accept meager down payments and very small monthly payments, during my years of struggle. And
    I was always blessed with good male buddies and great girlfriends who had cars that worked or could borrow daddy’s extra car and could help me out with cash or loans, when times were “rough.”
    I always remembered the Biblical verse, “… this too, shall pass.” I worked hard and kept the faith. I knew I would be successful.

    Now, I am a married man, with a lovely wife. She started out very low-income, working three part time minimum wage jobs. Unlike me she never got to attend college. BUT … she is very successful now also, and we own a home valued at almost $900,000. Own essentially two new cars; not cheap ones … bought them cash.

    We paid over $300,000 in income tax for the year 2014. We usually tithe & donate over $60,000 each year to church and worthwhile charities; and help our less fortunate family members and friends, when necessary.

    I never complain about taxes!! This is America, the greatest nation on earth! It takes tax money to do the work of government, and even when I hate their policies, I never
    complain about the amount of taxes we pay. Too many wealthy folk and major corporations do not pay their fair share and use tax law loop holes to pay little or almost no taxes! And, they move their corporate HQ to another nation to avoid paying certain corporate taxes … here is a little known secret, the wealthy and American multi-national corporations benefit more from the American tax payer, than any welfare mom or unemployed worker ever shall.

    I just wish this “do nothing US Congress” would invest in our public transportation and infrastructure. Raise gas tax by 2 cents per gallon, if necessary to pay for it. Pass this type of legislation; it is good for the economy, greatly reduces unemployment with good high-paying blue collar and professional engineering jobs and it improves America.
    My wife and I may be mortal sinners, but … we are true Christians.

    1. CrankyToo May 24, 2015

      A most excellent post! And a fascinating story which parallels my own (and my wife’s). Kudos and continuing success to you and your family.

  11. dtgraham May 23, 2015

    I always thought it was brilliant the way that the Republicans managed to tie in loud, aggressive religiosity with their party and bind the two together; as well as with their political philosophy. Almost criminally brilliant, but brilliant nonetheless. It’s been an inoculating factor for the dark side of their governing philosophy and a tremendous wedge issue.

    To me, the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism was the key ingredient in the transformation of the Republican party. I’ve seen it happen in my lifetime.

    1. jmprint May 27, 2015

      Especially when they are in bed with the KKK and racist.

  12. Stephan Alan Sonn May 24, 2015

    In the time of Christ there were three castes not just two.The Sucracees were the elite controlling the money supply and entrenched into the religious establishment and thereby the educational system too. Today they are called Cannan. and still live in favored ritual with ties to mysticism.

    Pharacees remained the merchant and professional buffer class often called Levis today. And the common folk were Israelite hence the state of Israel.

    Hitler had a thing about The International Jew but since certainly the Koch shy away from that take. Now a days it is the international Liberal.by whatever cloak they morph.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.