Hayward expands on the Thomas Sowell column I excerpted yesterday:
To pick this up where Dr. Sowell left off, the other thing to keep in mind is that Food Stamp Nation doesn’t use dollar bills. They don’t really use “food stamps” any more, either. Their benefits come in the form of a “credit card,” removing the last stigma of government dependency – they get to buy their groceries with the same kind of plastic everyone else is using. The difference is that everyone else pays their own bills.
The other benefits of Food Stamp Nation, such as the now-infamous “free” cell phones, are likewise presented as “invisible” subsidies. The receipients don’t really know what the subsidy is worth; they never see any money change hands. This insulates them from almost all hidden taxation – from the inflation Sowell mentioned, to pass-through corporate taxes.
Apropos of not much, a local news show had a feature story/expose the other day on the Obamaphones, wherein they attempted to reveal the broad range of fraud, corruption, and abuse that comes along with this and every other federal program. They interviewed various proud Obamaphone holders, asking one of them exactly who was being forced to pay for her free phone (“Obama,” of course) and speaking to various parasites about how they managed to get four or five of them when only one is supposed to be allowed per family, for “emergencies” (“It’s easy,” gleefully explained one aged con artist). Again, apropos of nothing, every single one of the leeches they interviewed was pretty well-dressed, generally looked prosperous enough–and was black, taking note of which is of course RACIST!! The fraudsters, young and old, referred to the phones throughout the show as “Obamaphones,” which, as we have been duly informed by our betters, is racist too.
Some have ruefully remarked that it would be far more efficient to hand out the entirety of the government dole as cash money, reducing (but of course not eliminating) the vast government welfare bureaucracy in favor of simple, direct wealth transfer via monthly check. There are all sorts of reasons that’s not going to happen. The government welfare bureaucracy does not want to be reduced; the public would react with outrage at the size of those monthly checks, since Food Stamp Nation’s benefits are often worth more than a middle-class salary; the power of government to control its dependents would be dissipated; and the architects of Food Stamp Nation do not trust their dependents to spend cash money wisely.
NOW you’re getting it. If the idea is to maximize the number of people attached remora-like to these programs and increase their dependency on the central government–and concomitantly and not coincidentally, the likelihood of their voting Democrat Socialist in perpetuity–the reforms John mentions would be defeating the purpose. All this isn’t really about helping the Noble Poor; it’s about helping the Democrat Socialists build a Leviathan State that can never be dismantled without bloodshed, one that only they can be relied upon to run, protect, and expand.
As I said earlier: assume the worst about them. It really is the only way it all makes sense.