December 22, 2013 8:56 am -

Congress has a very unproductive 2013.  In a sense that is a good thing because one of their chief goals was cutting benefits like unemployment insurance and food stamps to the poor.  Tim Egan describes their philosophy with help from two of their leading spokesmen:

It would be a “disservice” to further extend unemployment assistance to those who’ve been out of work for some time, said Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky. It encourages them to sit at home and do nothing.

“People who are perfectly capable of working are buying things like beer,” said Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma (pictured), on those getting food assistance in his state.

Kathleen Geier gives the only appropriate response:

I’ll put it this way: if I were unable to find a job, getting my food stamps and unemployment benefits slashed, and then on top of that was subjected to smarmy lectures about my low moral character by these mouth-breathing maroons, not only would I be “buying” beer, I’d be regularly drinking myself into a coma.

The myth of the welfare queen has been with us since President Reagan and it still animates the rhetoric of the far right.

Stuart Shapiro