Monday, August 01, 2005

Taxpayers subsidizing Wal-Mart

One of the irritating things about the Republicans is that they're all for small government and personal responsibility -- except when it concerns the large corporations that funded their takeover of America. Then they're all about bailing out their campaign contributors, whether it's juicy no-bid contracts to Halliburton (gotta make sure Vice President Halliburton's retirement pay comes along in time!) to massive subsidies for agri-business giants. Then they're all for taking your money and giving it to people who don't need it.

The latest instance of this happening is in Arizona, where we now find that taxpayers are subsidizing health care for Wal-Mart. This is on top of tax breaks worth millions of dollars for virtually every Wal-Mart store in Arizona. Rather than provide health care for their employees, Wal-Mart prefers to shift the costs to government, as proven by their actions in Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Pennsylvania, New York, Arkansas...

Question: Why do so many Americans continue to believe the Republican tripe about them being "against welfare", when in fact the Republicans are the biggest welfare whores in American history, sucking at the government teat (*our* pocketbook) for personal gain worse than any "welfare queen" that ever existed in Ronald Reagan's delusional daydreams? It's clear that, rather than being against welfare, they're all for it -- as long as its's welfare for their campaign contributors, rather than assistance for ordinary working people trying to survive.

- Badtux the "Republicans are the party of Big Government" Penguin


  1. It's common knowledge that "red" states receive more money back from the federal government than they pay out in taxes; while, the "blue" states almost all pay more than they get back. In other words, your average Republican representative comes from a state whose economy is subsidized by the federal government. This is not, however, something the anti-welfare crowd turns into a bone of contention. Rather, they happily allow the states with higher tax revenues to be milked. Clearly, then, this isn't now, nor has it ever been, about some principle of self-reliance. Rather, it's about who benefits from the redistribution.
    In part, of course, attacks on the recipients of government transfer payments have been part of a broad attack on programs that benefit, and increase the quality of life for, less privileged individuals. Another part of the game has been to excite resentment against the beneficiaries of those programs (for Reagan, welfare queens; of late, I came across a John Tierney article that made the argument that the aged in this country are fit enough to work and, so, need neither SSI or retirement, which simply work to deprive that rest of the population which must subsidize them) and, so, divide and conquer.
    I guess the upshot of all of this is that the rhetoric is bullshit. It serves partisan and programmatic purposes which are quite divorced from the principles which purportedly lie behind it. Somehow, though, this doesn't seem to sink into enough peoples' heads.

  2. You mean the Republicans LIE? No! It couldn't be!

    - Badtux the Snarky Penguin

  3. could you direct me to the numbers for red states vs. blue in terms of taxes paid vs. services received? also don't you find it strange to attack transfer payments (blue to red) then bitch about attacks on transfer payments? optional needs help.

  4. Here is a good summary of the red state vs. blue state divide. The "red states" (Republican-dominated) not only have lesser levels of education and income as well as higher divorce rates, higher levels of child abuse, higher per-capita rates of abortion, etc., but also are net tax money recipients, sucking money away from the more successful states in order to prop up the failed policies of Republican America, policies that have led to complete and utter economic disaster in every state where they've been allowed to fester.

    I am of the opinion that we should not reward failure. Those states which are failures by and large deserve to suffer the consequences of their failure. Furthermore, I would state that the purpose of government should not be to reward failure, or even reward success, but, rather, to provide those goods and services that we the people demand which have not been adequately provided by the free market, things like roads, police forces, etc., things that we as a people are willing to tax ourselves in order to provide for ourselves. Thus I am adamantly opposed to all income transfer programs other than those which benefit we the people as a whole -- which, in the case of ADM and Halliburton, is most significantly NOT the case. Propping up failed corporations like Halliburton (which would be bankrupt if not for Vice President Halliburton funneling taxpayer money into their pockets) is not in the best interests of the people, who would be better served if Halliburton's assets were sold at auction for more productive use. Rewarding failure is NOT the best use of my money, and I most certainly do resent doing so.

    - Badtux the "Why reward failure?" Penguin

  5. Can't remember my password -- too bad.
    Yeah, I mean Republicans lie, a rather meaningless criticism of American politicians and political parties. If it didn't go somewhat beyond that, I'd have to be pretty naive to raise the point in the first place. though, actually, it goes someone beyond that. The issue is the double standard: what's good for the goose isn't good for the gander. The same standards aren't applied equally: wealth, power, and the pork that drums up votes trump whatever principle it is that's supposed to underlie opposition to the distribution of free money. The issue, then, is hypocrisy.
    As far as my simultaneously attacking and defending transfer payments goes, I don't see that I've done that. As stated above, (and, I believe, implicitly in my original post) the problem is with politicians who directly benefit from such payments attacking others for benefitting from such payments.
    In the end, this is all a kind of rule of law issue. If you (figuratively, not particularly) and I disagree on a point, I can respect that. If you disagree where you find it to your perceived advantage, but act as though you agree when you can derive some benefit from it, you are prostituting yourself. In that case, I have less respect for you than I have for a toothless, Hunt's Point crack whore who does the passenger seat blow job in the sububan car on a Saturday night so's her pimp can get the money t'gether fer an 8 ball.


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