Bill O'Reilly is, economically speaking, quite comfortable. But he is made quite uncomfortable regarding any criticism of the income inequality and lack of mobility which now puts the United States behind many of those evil "socialist" countries that are loathed by Bill and his plutocrat pals. For Bill, the notion that the system is rigged in favor of the rich smacks of "class warfare." Yet, he has absolutely no problem waging class warfare against those whose economic situation qualifies them for benefits without which they would be in dire economic straights. Last week, Bill and his oh, so droll comedian posse member, Adam Carolla, took this inverse class warfare to a new depth in not only criticizing the food stamps program but the actual recipients themselves one of whom, as O'Reilly informed us, was Carolla's mother!
After chatting about Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill sequed into the food stamp bashing part of the conversation with a claim that the US is trying to help "illegal aliens" from Mexico receive food stamps. Carolla said it was "insane" and added that it is "weird that there are 46 million people on food stamps and yet every kid is morbidly obese." O'Reillly and Carolla tried to figure out why the President is doing this when "illegals" can't vote. Carolla felt it was all about "building a constituency for handing out free candy." O'Reilly said that the Latino community would "appreciate the largesse coming in to the community because they don't really make, most of them a distinction between people who are hungry who are legal and who are illegal." He added that "this whole thing is so far out of control that it boggles the mind...it's all about social justice...so far out of control, it really is, I don't think people understand..."
After stating that his family had been on food stamps, Carolla asked if people would go hungry if they were cut from food stamps. Carolla stumbled over his words after O'Reilly asked him if his family needed the food stamps: "You don't, not, well, you wouldn't need it if you couldn't get it." (WTF??) "If you can get it for free, you do need it, you need cable, no..." O'Reilly interjected, "so you say if you didn't have it, that would have forced your mother, I don't think you're father was in the picture much to do something to feed the kids." (OMG, did O'Reilly just do a "Yo Momma" to Carolla?) Carolla responded "the way we always did it, the way humanity has always survived. Do you think people would actually starve...or go hungry?" O'Reilly said "no" and as he said that "it could be organized in another way," Carolla threw in "most of the kids are overweight." O'Reilly concluded that "it could be organized in another way, a way that's much more efficient and fair."
So there you have it, according to O'Reilly and Carolla, people wouldn't starve if they didn't have food stamps. But considering that food stamps have reduced poverty, these families and individuals would be back in poverty if they didn't have this safety net. Unmentioned by O'Reilly and Carolla is the fact many of those who are on food stamps are working in jobs that don't pay enough to support a family - not a situation that O'Reilly and Carolla are currently in. Don't O'Reilly and Carolla realize that there are ramifications, beyond going hungry, of taking away food stamp without which many of these families might not be able to pay the rent or meet other expenses. But Carolla's statement about "the way humanity has always survived" is troubling given that those who are hungry have not always survived - as witnessed in a famine that some of my and Bill O'Reilly's ancestors encountered.
If there were no food stamps, there might not be a "need," as Carolla opined; but the problem of hunger and poverty would be even greater. And part of the "survival" that Carolla is referencing included begging and criminal action done in desperation. If there are no available jobs, what should women, like Carolla's mother, do - prostitute themselves and their children as they have and continue to do in poverty ridden societies which, as documented by Dickens, Crane and other writers, weren't relegated to the "Third World" and which is obviously the kind of dystopian future that O'Reilly and Carolla could live with.
But yeah, let's cut food stamps because kids on food stamps are fat. You just can't make this stuff up - oh, right, we're talking about "The Factor."
Send them something if you can. They do great work.