#2. Poor People Aren't Rampant Drug Addicts
"If you have enough money to be able to buy drugs, then you don't need the public assistance. I don't want tax dollars spent on drugs." -Jerry Sonnenberg
Amen, brother! Now, that's something I can get behind. And it looks like Kasha Kelley of Kansas agrees with us. So what do you propose we do about it? Oooh, poopydoodles, I just remembered that you're both huge advocates for mandatory drug testing for all welfare recipients.
"Yep, looks good. Here's your poor people money."
This is another hot debate in political circles because quite a few states have already adopted it, and several more are considering it. Why not? Yes, it was declared unconstitutional on grounds that it violates the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches, but other than that, it seems like a good idea. Drugs are a huge problem with the poor, and I most definitely don't want to be handing my tax dollars to someone who's just going to blow it on ... well, blow.
That's what all of these states thought, and some of them still think that. Then they did the testing and found out that, actually, the poor are pretty much as clean as the rest of us. In Arizona, out of 87,000 people they subjected to the test, exactly one monster-forkin' person tested positive. One. And Florida had just as embarrassing results: 21 people tested positive out of 51,000. That was right before a federal judge showed up and put a boot in their ... leg-hat, by blocking the law. Of course, that didn't hurt their feelings much since the program not only didn't save the state any money, but it actually put them almost $46,000 in the hole (must ... resist), even when you factor in the money they saved by denying applicants.
What really troubles me with this one isn't the occasional crackhead being booted from the system. It's the 6 year old that isn't being provided for, regardless of what illegal horsepoop their parents are putting into their bodies. As in all of these points, yes, those people do exist -- I'll never deny that. And yes, I think it's a dagnabbit falootin' shame that some of our money is going to crack instead of ... well, literally anything else. But that child is along for the ride, regardless, and pushing him deeper into poverty is unacceptable on pretty much every level.
Except that kid. That one's a piece of crap.
It's a total lack of sympathy on the parts of the people who are supposed to have the best interests of- oh, "sympathy." That's a good one. Let's remind politicians of that real quick before we forget.
#1. You Don't Have Real Sympathy for the Poor if You've Never Lived It
OK, let's be calm here. Let's just take a deep breath and talk about this like the rational, well mannered, non-cursing people that we are. Here is an infographic that ran in the Wall Street Journal talking about how the new tax code would be "highly painful" for Americans. The graphic covers every possible scenario the Wall Street Journal can conceive of, from the single mom only making $260,000 a year to the retired couple trying to get by on a fixed income of $180,000:
Reading that dumb fucking mind turd of an image is like wiping my ass with my eyes. If you can look at that steaming pile of shit and not see what's wrong with it, you live in a different goddamn universe than the rest of us.
No, that didn't come from a politician, but this sure as hell does. That's Linda Sanchez, who is desperately trying to tug at our heartstrings by saying that she lives paycheck to paycheck. On her $174,000 salary. To pay for her multiple homes. Now, I understand that if you live a certain lifestyle and you're a limp dick at finances, it would be pretty easy to burn through that much in a year, but does that make us any more sympathetic? Fuck no, it doesn't. Even as one of the least wealthy members of Congress, she still earns three-and-a-half times more money than the average American household. And 16 times more than those at the very top of the poverty line.
So the question is, how can she possibly think of herself as poor? Because $174,000 a year is poor -- for a member of congress. They have no concept whatsoever of what life is like for someone getting by on what most working people make, let alone somebody subsisting on government aid. Although they can comprehend our income as a number, they cannot comprehend the lifestyle because they haven't lived it and they likely never will. You're not going to find these politicians hanging out in the poor section of town, scrounging change for weed (well, maybe Bill Clinton) -- they spend most of their time around other wealthy people -- other members of Congress (about half of which are millionaires), rich donors, high-powered business types, celebrities, etc. So their idea of "poor" or even "brokeass" is the pitiful bastard at the bottom of the chain who is living off of that measly $174,000 base salary because he or she doesn't have any other income on the side. Linda Sanchez is their version of poverty.
It's not even their fault -- you and I can be told about the horrors of living in the impoverished parts of Africa, where, for instance, any able-bodied person has to be pulled from work and school so that they can spend several hours of their day hauling a 70-pound jug of muddy, parasite-infested water several miles back to their home. But no matter how good the narrative and no matter how persistent the activist, we in no way have any idea what their lives are actually like. We can't know it because we will never live it. At best, we can feel sympathy for them and even donate some money to a charity to help them out.
"Just wanted to show you how much you would have gotten this week if not for me putting it back in my pocket right now."
But we hopefully wouldn't be stupid enough to think we can know what it was like to grow up there and to live under a completely different set of rules and expectations. And for the love of fuck, we shouldn't be so goddamned shit-ignorant as to somehow think they're putting one over on us when they get food aid ("Oh, please, I wish I could have afforded an AK-47 when I was 8.") But then I turn around and hear dumb fucking cockholes like John Fleming claim that after investing back into his businesses, his $6.3 million earnings only leaves him with $600,000. And when he continues flapping his stupid richlips and says that by the time he's fed his family, he only has $400k left, my eyes roll so hard up into my head I can visually inspect my own soul. And then I set all of my possessions on fire to prevent myself from doing it to his.
Though it still doesn't change the fact that he could replace everything I own with two hours of work.
And I realize that shoving all of the numbers we've cited right into their faces would do nothing -- all of this data is available to them, at any time. All of it would bounce right off their skulls because of that one time they heard about a guy on welfare who had an iPhone and a big-screen TV, and one time they read an email forward about a guy who gave money to a beggar only to see that beggar later driving a Cadillac. And dammit, they think, that has to be the way it is, because otherwise it means that well-meaning people can bust their fucking asses every day and still fall through the cracks. And that can't be possible, can it? "Quick! Find me a picture of a poor person buying lobster with food stamps so I can reassure myself the system works!" Oh, fuck you.
Well, I got through most of it without cursing. So lick my asshole.
For more Cheese, check out 5 Reasons Today Isn't Going to Suck and 5 Dismissive Arguments That You Only Use When You're Wrong.