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Beat Up Poor People; Gain Significance

John Rowland

Posted on April 13, 2018 11:44

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How pitiful it is when anyone tries to feel better about themselves (gain significance) by beating up others who are otherwise poor or disenfranchised. The Trump Administration's efforts at so-called welfare reform with respect to drug testing and work requirements fall into this category.

"Life coach" to some, snake oil salesman to others, Tony Robbins had a stir-up recently with the #MeToo crowd over the pursuit of "significance." In his defense, Robbins didn't summarily throw the #MeToo campaign under the bus; he simply said that "If" you're using that movement in a certain way, you may have questionable results. But that's another story.

In a similar tone, the Trump Administration is seeking fiscal and political significance by going after poor Americans through "welfare reform." Whether one loves or hates Trump, compared to the massive waste and fraud of military spending, his going after selected elements of public assistance is plain wrong.

Specifically, Trump's proposing a two-pronged assault on the poor: Mandatory drug testing and stricter work requirements.

Trying to squeeze and save perhaps a few measly million budget dollars off the backs of poor people? Wow, what a fiscal hawk; what a big man . . . What significance.

But just consider that the Department of Defense (DoD) "has actually never been audited," and couldn't pass an audit today. Never having complied with federal law, this means the DoD is the most unaccountable spender of public money in the US.

Some DoD zealots whine how an audit or the financial tracking of money in its agency would be too vague, confusing and complicated. But funny how the DoD is completely organized, competent and precise enough to insist on $10.7 billion for yet more F-35 junk -- effectively an exercise in make-work.

The US DoD Inspector General has reported trillions of dollars stolen, oh sorry, "unaccounted for," from the American people by the Pentagon. This is the convenient euphemism used by DoD apologists.

That extra "unaccounted for" income you failed to report this tax season? Try using that excuse with the IRS.

But with portions of its looted money amounting to an off-budget slush fund, and Gomer Pyle as its accountant, there's little hope of transparency and change at the Pentagon.

No wonder The DoD's been called "the Post Office in fatigues."

And through all of this, not a peep from Trump.

Having recently enabled the further swindling with $144.3 billion in yet more DoD funding, perhaps Trump should focus on increasing long-stagnant real wages; not on attacking the demonstrated efficacy of food subsidies to underprivileged people.

If Trump is so obsessed with "work requirements," stop taxing labor; instead of more corporate welfare, lower the payroll taxes which amount to a direct tax on labor. Also, quit politically prostituting the fraudulent U3 unemployment figure.

He wants drug testing for some recipients of public subsidies? Great. Start with the big chiselers: Those charlatans at the DoD, big banks, free-lunching farmers and billionaire welfare moochers.

Of course, this kind of fiscal/political nonsense and hypocrisy has been going forever. And the beat goes on.

In fitting summary, Trump's welfare/military plans recall the movie Toys, where Robin Williams' character portrays the significance of military wars as "the domain of the small penis . . ."

John Rowland

Posted on April 13, 2018 11:44

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Source: Al Jazeera

If approved, Trump's budget plan would increase military spending while 18 other agencies will experience budgets cuts.

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