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Thread: GOP House candidate defends Facebook comment about poor

  1. #1
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    GOP House candidate defends Facebook comment about poor

    GOP House candidate defends Facebook comment about poor - Post-Tribune

    Johnston’s Facebook comment in full was: “For almost three generations people, in some cases, have been given handouts. They have been ‘enabled’ so much that their paradigm in life is simply being given the stuff of life, however meager. What you see is a setting for a life of misery is life to them never-the-less. No one has the guts to just let them wither and die. No one who wants votes is willing to call a spade a spade. As long as the Dems can get their votes the enabling will continue. The Republicans need their votes and dare not cut the fiscal tether. It is really a political Catch-22. The voters are the ones in charge. however when only 10-11 percent show up to vote, not much will change. People simply are not hurting enough, or simply happy enough that they will do nothing. consequently the dole continues.”
    He later goes on to defend his statement

    “I was not trying to hurt anybody’s feelings,” Johnston said. “I saw the opportunity to say something. I think a lot of the poor have no way out, and there’s no motivation to improve your position. It’s like training a child, either you enable them or force them out at some point.”
    I would like to praise this guy for telling it like it is. (at least in some aspects, he got some stuff totally wrong too). He is right, nobody is willing to let the poor simply wither and die, and I personally consider this a good thing. It means we have compassion and therefore some value as a species.

    One thing he gets wrong though is the overemphasis on carrots or sticks. Its a behavior model that doesn't always work very well with people who have internal motivations and creative ideas that throw a monkey wrench into that idea constantly as they can imagine alternatives to the choices presented to them. It has some effect, but not as strong a one as most republicans seem to think it does. However, he is correct in saying that this issue is a political catch 22, I do wish he would have spent some time coming up with a different viable solution. Also the idea that Dems try to keep the poor in place to get votes (which I am not sure this is exactly what he is saying, but I hear it on this forum a lot) is nothing but conspiracy theory nonsense.

    While I agree and disagree with different points, I want to point out this guy's candor and telling it like it is and pray that other politicians follow suit.

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    Re: GOP House candidate defends Facebook comment about poor

    Quote Originally Posted by tacomancer View Post
    GOP House candidate defends Facebook comment about poor - Post-Tribune



    He later goes on to defend his statement



    I would like to praise this guy for telling it like it is. (at least in some aspects, he got some stuff totally wrong too). He is right, nobody is willing to let the poor simply wither and die, and I personally consider this a good thing. It means we have compassion and therefore some value as a species.

    One thing he gets wrong though is the overemphasis on carrots or sticks. Its a behavior model that doesn't always work very well with people who have internal motivations and creative ideas that throw a monkey wrench into that idea constantly as they can imagine alternatives to the choices presented to them. It has some effect, but not as strong a one as most republicans seem to think it does. However, he is correct in saying that this issue is a political catch 22, I do wish he would have spent some time coming up with a different viable solution. Also the idea that Dems try to keep the poor in place to get votes (which I am not sure this is exactly what he is saying, but I hear it on this forum a lot) is nothing but conspiracy theory nonsense.

    While I agree and disagree with different points, I want to point out this guy's candor and telling it like it is and pray that other politicians follow suit.
    Exactly.

    It's really silly that those on the right often claim that "the poor vote themselves welfare benefits". The poor are a small minority of our population, and are generally apathetic to politics, statistically the least likely to vote. It's mathematically impossible for them to vote themselves freebie welfare benefits.

    Now why our politicians in congress do that, I really don't know. I suspect that originally it was thought by many on the left and the right that welfare would give the poor a helping hand out of poverty, but that has obviously failed, backfired actually, as it tends to lock many into poverty.

    Why we don't do more to repeal means tested welfare is very hard to understand, but I have a theory about that also. Our economy HAS to have some governmental income/wealth redistribution, because without that, there is not sufficient naturally occuring redistribution (particularly since we allow inheritance). Eventually, the end of capitalism would be when all wealth has pooled into the hands of just a few people, possibly even just one person. Welfare is one of the ways that government can augment the natural redistribution process.

    Of course thats not to suggest that it is the best way. It's my opinion that it is probably the worst way. What would be much better is to eliminate income taxes on the non-rich, right up to the top 1%, and then to tax income that exceeds $400k/yr more heavily than we tax it today, and use the proceeds from those taxes to provide more government benefits. So you are probably thinking that what I am suggesting is MORE welfare, but thats not at all what I am suggesting.

    What makes welfare welfare is the fact that it is means tested, and it's the means testing of government benefits that locks people into poverty, while making hard working income tax paying folks feel cheated and disgusted and discouraged. If any product or service, such as healthcare, is so important that it should be provided to those who can't afford it for free (medicade, medicare, schip, etc), then it should be provided to EVERYONE for free. Why in the world would we provide a service to someone who doesn't pay taxes, yet withhold that same benefit from someone who does pay taxes? It's a nonsensical system.

    Anyhow, in the process of providing more benefits, we would create more jobs. At this point, what we often do is to pay people to do nothing, we could use the same money to pay people to actually do productive work would would add value to our economy. I'm talking about shifting gov spending away from means tested benefits, to education, health care, security and infrastructure spending - things that create more wealth in America, instead of locking people into poverty. As far as the budget goes, it's a net wash, but in every other way, what I am suggesting is a far better system than what we have now.
    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    ...I'm not interested in debating someone who is trolling for an argument....
    Quote Originally Posted by Papa bull View Post
    I see a big problem with the idea that whatever the majority wants is OK.

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