Friday, January 6, 2012

Do Republicans hate minorities, or just poor people?

I watched and heard Rick Santorum say on TV yesterday, "I don't want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.”

He later claimed he didn’t say “black people”, but that he said “blah people.” (see the video, you decide). Santorum doesn’t want to give blah people other people’s money. He's prejudiced against blah people, so I'll assume no blah people will vote for him.

Rick Santorum also said: "One wants to talk about raising taxes on people who have been successful and redistributing money, increasing dependency in this country, promoting more Medicaid and food stamps and all sorts of social welfare programs and passing Obamacare to provide even more government subsidies. More and more dependency, more and more government."

Newt Gingrich recently bashed the poor too. "Remember, this is the best food stamp president in history. So more Americans today get food stamps than before. And we now give it away as cash -- you don't get food stamps. You get a credit card, and the credit card can be used for anything. We have people who take their food stamp money and use it to go to Hawaii. They give food stamps now to millionaires because, after all, don't you want to be compassionate?"

Politifact rated Gingrich's statements as lies ("pants on fire".)

Newt Gingrich again: "If the NAACP invites me, I’ll go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps...African-American males are the group that gets the smallest return on Social Security because they have the shortest life span."

The Center for American Progress noted that whites comprise the majority of people who participate in the food-stamp program, formally called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Most of the participants, it added, are also either children or senior citizens. Fox News reported that 70 percent of people on food stamps are white.

Newt Gingrich called Obama the "food stamp king" because food stamp participation and costs have risen under Obama, from 28.2 million participants at a cost of $37.6 billion in 2008 to 44.7 million participants at a cost of $75.3 billion last year (about what the taxpayers give away in unneeded subsidies to profitable corporations, farmers, and people who also dodge taxes).

But it's not as though millions of people quit their jobs and became destitute knowing Obama would provide them with free food. The increases followed the steep economic downturn caused by Republican policies that began long before the 2008 economic crash.

Mitt Romney also railed against an "entitlement society". “Will the United States be an entitlement society or an opportunity society?” it is vapid and misleading. It's not just a false choice, but an illogical one. It's just like saying “we must decide whether to grow food or eat food.”

Under Mitt Romney's tax plan (or any other Republican's), we poor people will be made even more poor with higher taxes (which would also qualify more people to receive food stamps), while the top 1% (like Mitt Romney) will get even more tax breaks.

Maybe the Republicans and people like Newt Gingrich think most poor Americans (who receive food stamps) are old lazy black men, sitting outside a liquor store and drinking cheap wine from a brown paper bag, and panhandling.

Newt Gingrich: "Go get a job, right after you take a bath."

But the Republicans might not hate African Americans, or any other minority. Maybe they just hate all poor people. So maybe they all just ignorantly assume that most of us are minorities...and hobos...and drunks...and criminals...and drug addicts...and leeches...and lazy.

My Related Posts:


  1. Washington Isn't Spending Too Much (Wall Street Journal) - "The reason that spending is abnormally high is for the same reason taxes are abnormally low: because of the economic downturn. Most of the increase in the deficit during a downturn doesn't come from new policies in Washington. The deficit rises because both spending and taxes automatically adjust when the economy struggles. Unemployment insurance payments rise and more people qualify for Medicaid and food stamps. Incomes fall, so people pay less in taxes."

  2. tho i assume your headline is a rhetorical question, i'm going to answer it anyway.

    some doubtless hate minorities and/or poor people, but mainly it's not hate: they sincerely believe they have to help big business maximize profits by reducing labor costs, so they pit the rest of us against each other, using race, ethnicity, class, faith, moral issues, or any other differences they can exploit to drive wedges between groups and divide us against each other and make us more willing to work cheap and not make trouble, because we see ourselves in competition with everybody else for scarce jobs.

    that's just my opinion, of course. i don't know if i could prove it formally. it just seems intuitively obvious to me.