Stimulative Dependence

An old proverb states: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." The evidence continues to accumulate that this proverb has little impact on the Obama/Alinsky Administration and leading Democrats.

On August 16, 2011, Obama's Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said the following on MSNBC when asked about food stamps and what is being done to help the poor:

Well, obviously, it's putting people to work. Which is why we're going to have some interesting things in the course of the forum this morning. Later this morning, we're going have a press conference with Secretary Mavis and Secretary Chu to announce something that's never happened in this country -- something that we think is exciting in terms of job growth. I should point out, when you talk about the SNAP program or the food stamp program, you have to recognize that it's also an economic stimulus. Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy in terms of economic activity. If people are able to buy a little more in the grocery store, someone has to stock it, package it, shelve it, process it, ship it. All of those are jobs. It's the most direct stimulus you can get in the economy during these tough times.

This is consistent with Nancy Pelosi's statement in August 2010 that unemployment benefits stimulate the economy. "It injects demand into the economy," Pelosi said, arguing that when families have money to spend it keeps the economy churning. "It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name." 

Answering the question of how unemployment benefits create jobs, Obama's White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in August 2010:

There are few other ways that can directly put money into the economy than applying unemployment insurance. It is one of the most direct ways to infuse money directly into the economy because people who are unemployed and obviously aren't running a paycheck are going to spend the money that they get. They're not going to save it, they're going to spend it. And with unemployment insurance, that way, the money goes directly back into the economy, dollar for dollar virtually.

There should be little doubt that the Obama/Alinsky Administration and leading Democrats would prefer it if the proverb were changed to the following:

Teach a man to fish and he may do it incorrectly or have bad luck and never get a fish. But take a fish away from a second man, who has good luck and is fortunate enough to have an extra fish that the government thinks he does not need, and give it to the first man with no fish, and now the first man has a fish. When the first man wants another fish, just take another fish away from the second man.

Allan J. Favish is an attorney in Los Angeles.  His website is James Fernald and Mr. Favish authored a new book about what might happen if the government ran Disneyland entitled "Fireworks! If the Government Ran the Fairest Kingdom of Them All (A Very Unauthorized Fantasy).

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