According to the GOP, people on welfare, food stamps and unemployment insurance just want handouts from the government. Recently, Ebenezer Gingrich offered the fiction that people use their food stamps to buy vacations, and he talked how children from poor families don’t have a work ethic.
There is no free lunch. Welfare should be discontinued. Food stamps and unemployment insurance discourage work. Some Republicans, like Rick Scott, also claim that government assistance encourages drug use.
Conversely, millionaires and the uber rich are hard-working “job creators” for whom paying taxes would constitute theft.
So what do you think a Republican would say about a millionaire who is on food stamps, housing assistance, welfare or unemployment insurance? It is comparatively rare, but it does happen.
Recently, the Washington Post reported that a Seattle chiropractor and his wife, waited for their housing assistance checks in their $1.2 million water-front home.
According to the Washington Post:
“Now, the U.S. attorney’s office is suing David Silverstein and Lyudmila Shimonova, accusing them of filing false claims and demanding that the couple pay back more than $135,000 in federal housing assistance since 2003. Prosecutors are also seeking tens of thousands of dollars in fines.”
How about the former superintendent for Philadelphia schools who collected U.I. benefits after receiving a $905,000 buy- out?
Ok, this doesn’t happen often. Most people who are on social assistance these days are looking for a job, vs. say lying around the pool at their mansion. To be fair, the social benefit of choice among millionaires is Unemployment Insurance to the tune of $74 million dollars between 2005 and 2009.
“According to Mr. Coburn’s office, the Internal Revenue Service reported that 2,362 millionaires collected a total of $20,799,000 in unemployment benefits in 2009; 18 people with an adjusted gross income of $10,000,000 or more received an average of $12,333 in jobless benefits for a total of $222,000.”
Here’s the kicker Republican Tom Coburn has teamed up with Democrat Mark Udall to make sure these lazy millionaires don’t get paid for staying home and doing nothing. As Coburn said in a statement:
“From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Multimillionaires are even receiving government checks for not working,”
Wow, talk about kicking a millionaire when he’s down! It’s bad enough going through the humiliation of seeking government benefits like the millions of unemployed people who need to work to survive, but now Coburn wants to eliminate the millionaires’ subsides for gambling losses, vacation home and luxury yacht subsidies?
Coburn goes on to say:
“This welfare for the well-off — costing billions of dollars a year — is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate, many who are working two jobs just to make ends meet, and IOUs to be paid off by future generations. We should never demonize those who are successful. Nor should we pamper them with unnecessary welfare to create an appearance everyone is benefiting from federal programs,”
One would think that Coburn sounds like ….. President Obama when he refers to something called “shared sacrifice”.
After all, pointing to the GOP’s 1% constituency as welfare queens is so socialist, or Democrat, or liberal or communist or any other disparaging label the GOP can find.
Confused? Don’t be. Tom Coburn isn’t your typical member of the GOP. I hear the Ayn Rand sect of the Republican Party is planning an Atlas Shrugged intervention to help Coburn see the light.
Correction: Article originally stated Seattle couple was from Philadelphia.