In “Runaway costs from a runaway government may doom nation” (Nov. 9) Charles Durand noted that President Reagan accurately predicted that the USSR’s economy would collapse because of its military spending and the “luxuries for government workers.”
He then compared that with “... welfare spending by the Obama government’s Health and Human Services department.” It hardly seems fair to equate the USSR’s building their fleet of several thousand ICBM warheads with our humanitarian aid to those victimized by an economy outrageously biased in favor of the ultra-wealthy and at the expense of the middle-class and poor. In addition, I seriously doubt that the USSR’s luxuriating government workers were at the same level or class of workers in America’s government sector.
AC-T readers should also know of a detailed analysis of the Cato research that Durand cited. Joshua Holland (look it up on Google) noted that Tanner and Hughes’ Cato report “... shouldn’t be taken at face value because the authors’ abundant caveats show that their study measures neither the reality of poverty in America, nor that of the public programs designed to fight it.”
The Cato study itself acknowledged that welfare recipients consistently show their desire for a job, and that many are working. Wal-Mart employees, for example, don’t make enough money to meet basic expenses. Tanner and Hughes also acknowledged that the “... ‘typical’ family in their study doesn’t come close to receiving the maximum benefit from every single program for which they’re eligible.”
Let’s face it. Opinion pieces like the one by Durand are deliberate, or misguided, efforts to absolve business owners, investors and corporate executives from blame and transfer the blame to the victims.
Cato statistics, in fact, indicate that burgeoning social welfare programs are the result of bad economic conditions caused by government policies that favor the wealthy. They’re not the result of lazy, greedy workers who want to take ruthless advantage of the “successful.”
Charles M. Kelly is a retired management consultant living
in Burnsville and is author of The Destructive Achiever; power and
ethics in the American corporation and Farewell Fantasyland; time for
political and economic reality. He can be reached at kellycm2@