Posted by Bob Lord
The Thuckmeister is wearing out his welcome here, at least as far as I'm concerned.
Among other things, he's engaged in what seems to me is rank intellectual dishonesty.
But since Thucky's dishonesty is sort of a case study in conservative intellectual dishonesty, let's explore.
Some time back, when ole Thucky first started railing about the evils of our social safety net, he made statements very clearly designed to conjure up images in the reader's mind of lazy welfare recipients sitting on their couches drinking beer and watching their flat screen TVs. And if the lazy person the reader imagined sitting there in front of the flat screen was black, well, all the better.
But when I began posting about the conservative war on the poor, Thucky morphed into a "compassionate" conservative, overcome with emotion over the damage welfare does to its recipients whom he cares so much about. On my last post, he commented about the harm that welfare does to children in their pre-school years. He'd even counted the number of words they were not hearing before entering school.
If you took his recent comments at face value, you'd think the Thuckmeister's desire to shred the safety net is driven by his concern for poor children.
Actually, he's just a corporate shill and the concern he purports to have for poor children reeks of intellectual dishonesty.
Let's go back to Thuck's disdain for welfare beneficiaries' ownership of televisions. How do you reconcile that with his concern for the children. If welfare children really are not hearing the right number of words they should from their parents, wouldn't we want them to at least have the chance to see TV shows like Blues Clues and Sesame Street?
If he's so deeply concerned about the children, why does Thucky oppose programs to ensure they get the proper nutrition? After all, the brain of a malnourished child never fully develops, thereby robbing the child of his potential. Would someone concerned about the number of words a pre-school kid hears be willing to risk having that kid lose brain function?
Thucky has commented several times on the effective tax rate of safety net beneficiaries on the first dollars they earn from work. He's actually correct about this, but there are two ways to fix the problem: Reduce or eliminate benefits, even to those in need or, in the alternative, phase the benefits out more gradually for those who find employment. If you cared about the children, you'd prefer the second of those approaches, as it would leave benefits in place for the children who really need them, while still solving the problem of the effective tax rate. But Thucky would prefer to slash benefits.
If the Thuckmeister really is concerned about the children, why doesn't he share my concerns about inequality? If the dollars currently flowing to the top were flowing to wage earners instead, aggregate demand would increase, causing an increase in the demand for workers, thus creating jobs for some of those welfare recipients.
If he truly were overcome with concern for welfare children, why have we not seen comments from Thucky pushing for infrastructure spending? That would create jobs, again putting some of those welfare recipients for whom he purports to have so much compassion back to work.
If his overriding concern is welfare children, why hasn't Thucky commented on the need to increase funding for pre-school programs? Surely it would be better for those welfare kids to be in pre-school than sitting at home not hearing any words and having "negative interactions with adults" (his words, not mine).
Truth is, Thucky's dishonesty is not exceptional. He's just a textbook case of how conservative ideology doesn't square with the concerns conservatives would like you to believe motivate that ideology. And if you keep track of what they say, their remarks become littered with contradiction. You don't need an advanced degree to figure this out. You don't even need to be smart. You just need to pay attention.