Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Dr. Ben Carson: Government subsidies for me = GOOD, for thee = BAD.
Dr. Ben Carson, a talented pediatric surgeon, is the right's newest BFF because he had the courage to tell people they should feel ashamed to take government handouts and live the life of a stinky moocher, which is about the worst thing a poor person can be. His claim is that taking government welfare makes people lazy and encourages them to hang in a hammock instead of going out and finding jobs.
Here's what he had to say about those mooching moochers who get help from the government:
When you rob someone of their incentive to go out there and improve themselves, you are not doing them any favors. When you take somebody and pat them on the head and say, ‘There, there, you poor little thing. … Let me give you housing subsidies, let me give you free health care because you can’t do that.’ What would be much more empowering is to use our intellect and our resources to give those people a way up and out.”
(That last part is nonsensical, since the government does exactly what would be "much more empowering.") The assistance the government gives to people who are in dire circumstances and need help comes from "our resources" and gives "those people a way up and out." That's what the SNAP program does.
Free health care? How would a single mother, for example, who's working two low-paying part-time jobs that offer no health coverage, provide health insurance for her children? Worse, if she were to fall ill or have an accident, how would she pay for medical help? Is he really that callous that he thinks people like that hypothetical single mother do not deserve help from a government of a country where people love to brag about how great it is? How is a country great that allows poor and desperate people to fend for themselves when there is no way to fend?
So what's Dr. Carson's problem?
Why would he claim that helping people who are desperate is a bad thing for the government to do?
Crooks and Liars reports:
See here's the thing, though. It turns out that for some strange reason, the evil welfare system didn't seem to destroy the incentive for his own mother to go out and make things better for her and her family:
No doubt, Mother Carson deserves tremendous credit, but – in the words of a political sound bite from the last presidential election – she didn’t do it alone. Carson, in his book, tells how his grades improved tremendously when a government program provided him with free eyeglasses because he could barely see. Not only that, in “Gifted Hands” we read this nugget: “By the time I reached ninth grade, mother had made such strides that she received nothing but food stamps. She couldn’t have provided for us and kept up the house without that subsidy.”
Without that stinky moocher-inducing "handout" from the federal government, Ben Carson himself would probably have not succeeded as he has. The question is why does he now condemn helping others who were as unfortunate as he and his family were? Why does he think that government subsidies for the poor disincentivizes them, when he is living proof that is not the case.
Is he that blinded by rightwing ideology that he can't see his hypocrisy in claiming government subsidies for the poor and desperate is a bad idea for others, but it wasn't a bad idea for him?
He either has a very selective memory or he's dishonest by pandering to a group of people whose favorite pastime is to demonize poor people and call them moochers and takers.
Why Ben Carson’s Mom Wasn’t a Lazy Moocher, But Everyone Else on Welfare Is