Republished in the print edition of the Spokesman-Review, on this 26th day of February 2011, the latest Froma Harrop column regarding “Breast pumps and farm subsidies,” in which this columnist describes how Republicans such as Michele Bachman are more than happy to tell poor women that they can’t look to government to buy breast pumps as that would be proof of the “nanny state.” But at the same time, Representative Bachman’s family has no problem eating a percentage of a 5 billion dollar federal disbursement in the form of farm subsidies.
This being correct, shame on the Representative for guaranteeing a conflict of interest, cronyism and corruption. And the definition of the “nanny state?” If it actually helps the constituents who voted me into office, then it is a “nanny state.” On the other hand, the “sugar daddy” is defined as, if it benefits the people who contributed most heavily to my campaign war chest. Therefore, the only “constituents” that matter. I am quite sure there are plenty of very poor women in Rep. Bachman’s state, and Ms. Bachman has made it perfectly plain that she has no interest in counting them among the people she was elected to represent. As that would cost federal $$$ and constitute taxpayer “theft.” But somehow this corporate welfare in the form of farm subsidies should not be regarded as outright theft? I think it should. Well to do agribusiness and absent landowners could accept the idea that deficits are a drag on the economy plus keep this nation in hock to China and quit stretching out their hands to demand federal moolah that disincentives work, creates sloth and etc. However, Ms. Bachman isn’t about to ask them to. Federal $$$ can be funneled away from the desperately needy and to the people who don’t need it at all. And yes, Ms. Bachman creates her own group of special needs federal dependents on our dime. Begin to understand why I call them the new left Republicans? Rep. Bachman seems to not to recognize that if I pay for a percentage of corporate bonuses, pay for a percentage of a federal contract, help that company, corporation or agribusiness to achieve “success” from my federal income assistance through tax dollars, then has that company, corporation, or agribusiness truly achieved “success” on its own? Or did it have nanny state assistance to get where it is today? Yes, nanny state assistance as opposed to sugar daddy.
Plus, taxpayers shouldn’t be “coerced” into providing federal assistance to the desperately needy. “Charity” should be voluntary. On the other hand, no argument of “coercion” comes from the likes of Ms. Bachman when we collectively are called upon to be “charitable” to major corporations, companies, and agribusiness that are among Ms. Bachman’s coterie of federal dependents. “Charity” that trickles up. And where do the subsidies such as Froma Harrop described in her column trickle too?
WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) was established as a program to assist families who were impoverished with the government literally buying up excess farm produce (a subsidy to farms) and donating the food to the desperately poor. Cut off the WIC funding would mean a percentage of lost subsidy to farms who would certainly have used it in support of their truly needy neighbors. Let’s also put it bluntly, it would also eliminate a percentage of subsidy for breast pump makers now that the federal government is being called upon to no longer buy such breast pumps for truly poor women. Which is why I can truly appreciate what Ms. Harrop had to say. Oh yes, we should actually be able to go on giving these major corporations as well as agribusiness loads of federal moolah, as long as they don’t actually assist the people with it. Now, that should really crack the politically cynical up. If the desperately poor should be cut off from the “nanny state,” then major corporations, agribusiness, etc. should not expect to receive “nanny state” goodies either. And I regard it as a good call from Ms. Harrop.
If charity should be voluntary, then agribusiness as well as corporations could indeed donate supplies, food and etc. to the desperately needy. But the taxpayers should not pay them to do so. Or, agribusiness, corporations, and etc. could start employing people and literally taking them off the desperately needy status. If Rep. Bachman doesn’t want to see “nanny state” provided breast pumps, then she should have been among the first to encourage businesses hire the impoverished and make it possible to actually buy their own. The free market method, right? But did Ms. Bachman engage is such a public encouragement to hire the poor so that they wouldn’t have to be on a welfare status? Apparently not.
As Ms. Harrop describes the Rep. Bachman generated debacle, breast pumps are used by working mothers so that they can then go on to feed their babies at a more convenient time. The breast pump is tax deductible as opposed to an actual item that government provides. But of course, Ms. Bachman is apparently opposed to women who work, and working pay taxes, and paying taxes may deduct certain medical costs on a Schedule A. But, not all medical costs as Harrop noted that involve crutches, eyeglasses, etc. And this means what, in Ms. Bachman’s very strange world, government should be able to coerce women to have children, but the taxpayers shouldn’t be “coerced” to pick up any of the tab once those kids are born.
I remember back in the Reagan era when the Republican party proclaimed the need to engage in the politics of division. Given what Ms. Harrop has written about, this politics of division has truly reached a sad and ludicrous end. The hallmark of radicalized new left Republican politics is to literally divide people against acting in their best interests (with reference to, “What’s the matter with Kansas?”). Even in the face of reality, corporate scoundrels should not be held to account with laws meant to protect their customers. After all, according to Republicans such as Senator Mike Crapo (R. Idaho in his campaign ad) such regulations meant to protect consumers would be real “jobs killers.” By dividing the overall interests of the marketplace against itself, that’s literally an argument for encouraging its continued collapse. And this, by definition has become “conservative?” Oh no, anyone who was truly conservative would not argue in support of something that literally seeks to break what worked well before.
Yes, we need to reduce deficits, but using deficits to literally attack the people who voted for you isn’t going to cut it. And deficit reduction means that everyone must sacrifice if government is to begin living within its means. Not just that “other guy.” Until Rep. Bachman finally can reach that conclusion, there can be no serious discussion about the deficit.