Thursday, August 25, 2011

Everybody but the candidates are on the dole

IF YOU'VE been following the herd of Republican presidential candidates on their appointed rounds, you might conclude from their words that the only people in America who aren't on the public dole are the candidates themselves, their families and a lot of their cronies. If they all weren't self-made success stories bred in log cabins, they at least understood the virtues of rejecting a helping hand from the government and rose by their own undeniable wits and work ethic, by God, while the rest of us stood in line to eat cake.

Mitt Romney seemed to speak for the others in the field when he declared,
"Dependency is death to initiative, to risk-taking and opportunity. It's time to stop the spread of government dependence and fight it like the poison it is."
As a proven flip-flopping tongue-twister on the stump, Mitt takes a risk every time he utters more than a word or two to demonstrate how responsibly presidential he is.

As J.D. Salinger's dippy and depressed young man, Holden Caulfield, regularly referred to whatever was happening around him, the GOP/Tea Party dialogue is all "crap". And it is being spread around by some people who, whether they win or lose the party nomination, will never miss a meal if their own set of wealthy benefactors have anything to say about it .

This leads me to the latest phenom in the cast, Rick Perry. Here's a fellow , the great denouncer, who may yet find a way to declare the Texas drought to be an Obama creation now that fervent prayers haven't worked down there. Perry has declared Social Security and Medicare and a lot of other Federal stuff to be unconstituonal and, like Romney, believes the money is ill-spent to foster dependency. It is all part of his grand scheme to make the federal government "inconsequential".

A word or two about dependents: As the New York Times editorially pointed out,
"There are nearly 600 boards, commissions, authorities and departments in Texas, many of which are of little use to the public and and should have been shut down or consolidated. They are of great use to the governor, who more than any predecessor has created thousands of potential appointments for beneficent backers and several pro-business funds that have been generous to allies."
In return for Perry's generosity to his friends, they have given "more than a fifth of the $83 million " he garnered for his gubernatorial campaigns. Call it what you like, but I'd say he's living quite handsomely on these princely doles.

And let's not ignore Ohio 's role in cutting the government pursestrings from the people most in need. The most flagrant esxample of late is Gov. Kaisch's dismissal of $176 million in
federal stimulus money to expand unemployment benefits. Kasich, of course, wants you to believe that he is the David facing up to Goliath in his commitment to creating jobs. But as it has been reported more than once, many of the state's new jobs have been awarded to the governor's friends in his cabinets and on boards and commissions (as well as lobbyists).

Meanwhile, while Kasich boasts of his no-tax spirit, the problems of sustaining local services and school districts have taken on a dismal life of their own. In Northern Ohio alone, there will be 112 tax issues on the November ballot alone. That will pit the irresistible force of local costs against the immovable object of the Kasich era.

Unfortunately, nobody has figured out how to pay for the services that people want - but aren't convinced that they should pay for them.

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