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“The safety net for the poor is coming apart at the seams”

“The safety net for the poor is coming apart at the seams”

That’s the phrase that jumped out at me from Paul Ryan’s op-ed in The Wall Street Journal setting forth the Republican proposal to reform the system of entitlements which is driving us off a debt cliff (emphasis mine):

No one person or party is responsible for the looming crisis. Yet the facts are clear: Since President Obama took office, our problems have gotten worse. Major spending increases have failed to deliver promised jobs. The safety net for the poor is coming apart at the seams. Government health and retirement programs are growing at unsustainable rates. The new health-care law is a fiscal train wreck. And a complex, inefficient tax code is holding back American families and businesses.

That point, and Ryan’s adult plan to save the safety net, makes a point I’ve made last June in response to a claim by Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that Republicans had a lack of compassion for the unemployed because Republicans wanted an extension of unemployment insurance to be paid for rather than funded through further national debt.

The cruel ones are the people like Whitehouse, the Obama administration, and the Democratic Party which do not show the courage to confront our fiscal problems, and therefore put the entire structure of safety nets at risk.
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They're going the more classic liberal arts student route. It's not a problem until your checks no longer cash or the eviction notice shows up on your door.

I am a Big fan of Rep Ryan. I also think that his timing on unveiling the budget was good. A government shutdown squabbling about tens of billions seems petty in the context of Trillion dollar budgets. Now we at least can frame the shutdown debate about the larger fiscal issues.

It is coming apart at the seams. What's funny is that liberal elites like to derisively refer to conservatives as reactionaires, but it is the liberals who are the true reactionaries. That's because liberals refuse acknowledge they over-promised in the Great Society 1960s for the realities of 2011. They want to pretend we're still living in the 1960s fantasy that we can afford an ever expanding socialist welfare state. Fairy tales and pink unicorns are nice. But they aren't reality.

Yuval Levin has a really good, albeit long, column in National Affairs about how conservatives need to frame the debate about what comes next when the country finally acknowledges that the welfare state is a failed idea. He also provides a very broad outline for a plan about what comes next. His colums is titled:

Beyond the Welfare State

It is the same mentality that they use for the public school system. Don't give vouchers to some of the neediest because you are taking money away from public schools. So the answer to them is to keep all them in failing schools. That only makes sense to a liberal.

Welfare isn't a failure, it's a massive success. Every year more and more families become more and more dependent on the government. Every day they're dependent on the government, they look upon their masters with adoration and every election cycle they gleefully vote Democrat in gratitude for the bounty provided them by Democrat benevolence. In Democrat-land, that's "succcess" and "compassion" all rolled up into one nice bundle. Add a never-ending audience receptive to the latest mindless class-warfare, eat-the-rich rhetoric and it's a Democrat Goregasm. And it works on the middle class too with $7,500 subsidies for the well-to-do for their next $45,000 union-built, Chevy Volt. Which is a merry little circle of tax breaks for the lefty rich to subsidize eco-hobbyist vehicles on the backs of the poor…feeding union dues for Democrat re-election. All in all, it's a win-win-win for Democrat dependency.

This constant talk of how we have to reform "entitlements" wouldn't annoy me as much if there was equal talk of cutting back Government itself. We need to do away with entire agencies, their staff and revoke the regulations requiring them. Let them find work in the private sector. Bush and Obama increased the Govt budget and now those costs are "necessary" and not "discretionary"? I say BS.

Dude, the plan is bullshit. No one will insure sick old people except the government.

TaosJohn: Here's how I see the basic options.


The rich get the best of everything. They get the best medical treatment, including far out experimental procedures and whatever else. And in an indirect way, they help to support the research of new procedures.

The middle class has to make decisions about how much they save or invest during their healthy productive years for their retirement (think grasshopper and ant). Then they decide how much of their savings to use on what level of treatment. Very sick people will have harder decisions than very healthy ones, but it will be their decisions.

The poor will have to rely on their families. Those without families will have to rely on the largess of the government. They will have no say in the matter and they will inevitably live or die based on the whim of government apparatchiks.


All will live or die based on the whim of government apparatchiks. Except of course, the apparatchiks themselves who will have the best of everything.

I prefer capitalism.

AJsDaddie – Except the "best" of everything in the Soviet Union was crap compared to America's middle class.

And, don't you find it interesting that with very few exceptions, the "rich", the middle class and the poor correlate with "productive", "hard-working" and "slothful."

That's what I call "social justice"…you work hard, and/or demonstrate responsibility and frugailty and you reap positive rewards. You are a shiftless layabout and you reap negative rewards. I believe we used to call it "just desserts."

Luke, you got it exactly right. Similarly the most overlooked phrase in the Constitution is "pursuit of". You are guaranteed the pursuit of happiness, not happiness itself. Happiness is on you, my friend.

AJ just wrote a paper for school today where he said what he wanted to be – he said he wanted to be a vet, because they help animals and they get to work hard all day. Yes, he has the love of helping that a typical first grader has, but he also equates working hard with self satisfaction. Maybe I'm doing something right!

And of course I meant the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. I gotta learn not to type when I'm tired. 🙂