https://mobile.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/opinion/21kristof.html
Scott Bitz
11

First — the article you cite refers to the same analysis the right generally uses to “prove” conservatives give more to charity. And it includes church donations, without adjusting to include only the portion of the tithe that’s directly used for charitable purposes. Even contributions toward missionary work aren’t totally charitable. Building a well? Charity. Preaching to convert others? Not charity. To consider what’s truly contributed to charity, that has to be divided up. By the way, kudos to your church if they can afford to allot 10% to 25% of their revenue to truly charitable purposes. Most churches struggle to pay their rent, utilities, and staff salaries.

Second — TANF has a time limit, as do a few other forms of assistance. SNAP doesn’t, but a lot of people on SNAP (as well as other assistance) are already working their butts off at low-paying jobs, so it’s not like they fall into the group of the perpetually unemployed. We could get rid of a lot of public assistance if we would just make the minimum wage a wage a person could live on.

Third — the reason I mentioned cell phones in association with the homeless is this — https://thinkprogress.org/chaffetz-smartphone-shame-photo-3817345b4798

Fourth — do you seriously believe that crowdfunding is a viable alternative to health insurance?

Fifth — If Charlie Gard had been an American baby, he might have gotten the experimental treatment, which may or may not have worked. Or, he could have had a difficult time getting any treatment at all if his family couldn’t afford health insurance. The problem we have in this country is that we have excellent healthcare available — for the elite who can afford it. The rest? If you can’t afford the insurance (or to pay for healthcare out of pocket outright), you’re SOL. Worth mentioning — the Brits have lower infant mortality and longer average life expectancy than Americans to.

Sixth — your claim of obscenely bloated overhead for government assistance programs isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. Michele Bachmann made a claim that 70% of SNAP funding went to “bureaucrats”. She was wrong. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/mar/19/michele-bachmann/michele-bachmann-says-70-percent-food-stamp-fundin/ . It earned a “pants on fire”.

Seventh — people having more money to put into the economy is an idea that Democrats support. But it depends on which people. Money in the hands of the poor, the working poor, and the middle class winds up getting spent and benefiting the economy. Money in the hands of the rich is more likely to wind up in an offshore account. And yes, more consumerism creates more demand for goods and services, which leads to more jobs. Supply side economics doesn’t really do much for the economy, and doesn’t create more jobs. https://perrystreetpalace.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/winecapital.png

Eighth — Democrats also believe in free market solutions, when they work. It’s when they don’t work all that well that they support the government stepping in. For example, before the ACA our health insurance system was so broken and unfair that people were getting priced out of insurance, and thus unable to get necessary healthcare. Except for emergency rooms, of course, where unpaid bills caused fees to be hiked for everyone else, which in turn caused insurance premiums to go up, which in turn caused more people to be priced out of the system. The government needed to do something, because something needed to be done. Our food system, on the other hand, isn’t broken. Food is still affordable and available to the majority of Americans, and those who cannot afford food are given assistance (SNAP). The government’s role is merely to subsidize those who need it, and to ensure that the food supply is safe to consume. Nobody is suggesting that the government seize control of all grocery stores, tell them what they may or must sell, and set prices. Because the free market works for that system.

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