Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 8:26 pm

What John Cole gets that the Tea Party and Scott Walker and Mitt Romney do not

Filed under: I want my country back. — Lex @ 8:26 pm
Tags: , , ,


I was in Kroger (our chain grocery store) the other day buying a couple things of crab meat to make crab cakes for the party at Walt’s, and in front of me was a young woman with a baby in a stroller, and she was checking out, and she used food stamps, and then had to spend about five minutes counting coins to have enough to pay for her purchases (which, contrary to Republican beliefs, were not 40’s and steaks, but diapers, milk, oatmeal, and vegetables), and I remember thinking, as she was rushing and making counting mistakes, that poor girl is just humiliated and embarrassed she has to go through this. I genuinely felt bad for her. And then she turned around, looked at me and the people behind me, and apologized- “Sorry, it’s the 31st and I just have to have this stuff, and payday and everything isn’t until tomorrow.”

It was a heart-wrenching experience, and then I looked down at my purchases — crab meat, panko, buffalo mozzarella, green onions, dijon mustard, a couple bottles of wine, and some peel and eat shrimp, and I felt like the biggest most entitled [jerk] ever as I was rung up and handed the lady my debit card and then declined a receipt because “I just do my banking online and I’ll deal with it next week.” At which point I realized how debased and out of touch I am. Here is a woman buying what she can to keep her kid alive, and I’m buying luxury foods, for a party, for other people, and I’m not even worried about the price. However ashamed that young woman ahead of me was, I am sure I felt more ashamed as I understood what I had just said.

But if you ask the modern GOP, I pay too much in taxes, and we do too much for the girl in line in front of me. …  We’re just a seriously [messed]-up nation. I’m not one of those making over 250k, but by any metric in the world I am rich beyond the wildest dreams of historical standards (although, admittedly, it takes a lot less to be “rich” in WV). Please, please, please, politicians. Raise my taxes. Spend it on food stamps, job training, road and bridge construction. Spend it on child care, nursery school, and child development. Anything but more god damned wars and tax cuts for Mitt Romney.


  1. Lex,

    Please pass my comment on to “Crab Cake ” John.

    The Poverty Brand

    ” 1. Food stamp recipients should be given a plastic debit card that is orange and about three times as large as a credit card, so it is real conspicuous. When they check out at the grocery store, an orange light should go off (like the K-Mart “blue light specials” of yore). The PA could announce, “poor person checking out register 3″ and then the jingle could be played.

    2. Anyone receiving public health care assistance should wear an orange hospital gown, and the Loser Logo should be posted on their hospital door so that passers-by can walk into the room, view the objects of their charity, and (hopefully) receive their heartfelt gratitude. The Loser Jingle should be piped into their room.

    3. All Section 8 housing should have orange doors with the Loser Logo.

    4. Children enrolled in Head Start, which is nothing more than a massive free babysitting service which achieves no educational objectives (according to DOE’s own study) should have to wear orange T-shirts while in attendance. The kids won’t care; the parents will be ashamed.

    5. Kids who get free school lunches should be required to wear an orange hat during the lunch period. Hey kid, maybe Mom should make your lunch.

    6. If you get AFDC, your hair must be dyed Loser Orange™ or you will lose your benefits. We’ll pay for the dye.

    7. Free or subsidized phones should be orange with the Loser Logo prominently stamped on them.

    I could go on, but you get my point. Once again, poverty should be a stigma, not a self-righteous badge of oppression. Please feel free to contribute your own ideas for the Poverty Brand™ in the comments”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, June 6, 2012 11:37 pm @ 11:37 pm

  2. You know what I think should be a stigma, Fred? [Jerkishness], [jerk].

    Comment edited by site owner for purely arbitrary reasons having to do with bad language.

    Comment by Roch — Wednesday, June 6, 2012 11:51 pm @ 11:51 pm

  3. Wow! What a very well written article, and kudos for you for realizing that you are extremely fortunate and some others are not as much. Very thought provoking and honest post that probably took guts to write, and how can anyone not applaud you for you feelings, regardless of their stance on government help for the less fortunate.

    Comment by tyler — Friday, June 15, 2012 2:51 pm @ 2:51 pm

  4. Taking up where I left off.. Roch !

    No progress in the War on Poverty and none expected

    A new study from CATO has found that despite trillions in spending, the poverty rate hasn’t moved much:

    “[S]ince President Obama took office [in January 2009], federal welfare spending has increased by 41 percent, more than $193 billion per year,” the study says.

    Federal welfare spending in fiscal year 2011 totaled $668 billion, spread out over 126 programs, while the poverty rate that remains high at 15.1 percent, roughly where it was in 1965, when President Johnson declared a federal War on Poverty.

    In 1966, the first year after Johnson declared war on poverty, the national poverty rate was 14.7 percent, according to Census Bureau figures. Over time, the poverty rate has fluctuated in a narrow range between 11 and 15 percent, only falling into the 11 percent range for a few years in the late 1970’s.

    The federal poverty rate is the percentage of the population below the federal poverty threshold, which varies based on family size.”


    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, June 27, 2012 2:50 pm @ 2:50 pm

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