Hurting the working poor out of spite

In all these discussions over the Affordable Care Act and its Medicaid provision, the Republican party talks in high-minded terms of the cost, and they sigh regretfully that any adverse consequences for the working poor are the unfortunate side effects of the sacrifice we have to make for the sake of our children and grandchildren. Those hurt now are collateral damage, if you will, and need to suck it up.

But as The Daily Show suggests, we should not ignore the possibility that these actions are also being done out of sheer spite, because they really do believe that those who are not-so-well off are moochers living off the rest of us and not pulling their weight, and thus deserve to be kicked to the curb.

(These clips aired on October 10, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)


  1. Al Dente says

    Governor Bryant, the worst system of delivering health care known to man is what you’re doing, absolutely nothing.

  2. smrnda says

    I was able to read until it degenerated into Rand-speak, then I had to take a break. All of the innovators of the world (I’m a software developer) need the people making food, clothes, and stocking shelves more than they need us.

    Most of the 1% are doing nothing except making an earning from passive ownership, CEOs like Steve Jobs are the exception, rather than the rule.

    They also seem to hand-waive the issue of exploitation, as if ‘hey, everybody always makes a win-win exchange BY DEFINTION’ – in a bargaining process, the parties aren’t always on equal footing.

    The other thing is that a great deal of ‘innovation’ (which, apparently, the working class is incapable of) is that it’s made possible through government research, education, etc.

    In a democracy, their call is basically a call to feudalism, where a wealthy minority decides to argue that, in spite of popular opinion, a popular and justifiable policy must be left off the table.

    All said, I’d love these folks to really “go galt” and find out how unnecessary they are, but I notice they never do. I mean, why the 1% out of taxes? Why not the 2%? Why not exempt certain jobs which clearly have social benefit?

    I note they pull in the rhetoric that there is no ‘community’ etc. and that ‘your mom did this out of love’ -well, most parents can’t take care of their kids without some kind of welfare state, mostly since not everybody gets an equal say in resource allocation.

  3. M can help you with that. says

    I saw that headline and thought that it must have been an Onion article. Probably not the first time that Forbes has exceeded satire, but still.

  4. hatchetfish says

    “…we should not ignore the possibility…”

    I stopped thinking of that as a “possibility” years ago, during the Gingrich years in fact. We’re well past incompetence and into malice with the GOP position on the non-rich. Have been for decades.

  5. nathanaelnerode says

    The 99% gave the 1% back what the 1% had previously given the 99% — in 1789 in France. I don’t think the Forbes loons really want that.

  6. mnb0 says

    “the sacrifice we have to make for the sake of our children and grandchildren”
    Yes, that argument is very common in The Netherlands as well. The not so funny thing is that every generation is being told so; 35 years ago I already was familiar with the argument.

  7. JonP says

    I think the punchline is at the top of the page. Under “Harry Binswanger, contributor” it says “I defend laissez-faire capitalism, using Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.”

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