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Joe Zarelli
In Washington, Republican budget chief Sen. Joe Zarelli wants to dump the state’s Disability Lifeline with a $90 million cut. The program provides non-cash assistance to disabled adults who can’t work. Zarelli himself receives a monthly $601 disability check from the government because of a back injury he says occurred when he was in the Navy.

But that's different, according to him. The folks on Disability Lifeline, he says, are drunks and addicts, people who made poor lifestyle choices:

"What I do know from those types of so-called disabilities is that aiding and abetting them does not make them better," Zarelli said. "If you enable people to participate in that type of a lifestyle—you support it and make it more comfortable for them—all you are doing is aiding in their demise."
Seems to me that cutting off the only assistance flowing to a disabled person might be aiding in their demise. But I've never been a Republican, so what do I know? Perhaps kicking somebody's cane out from under them will make them more self-sufficient. Perhaps taking away their medical care will allow some of them to spontaneously heal themselves.

Disability Lifeline programs don't hand over hundred-dollar bills to participants. They provide medical care, temporary housing and stuff like toiletries and bus passes. The basics. No cash. About half the participants have substance-abuse problems. None of them work. But it takes more than that to qualify. Some 60 percent of participants  have a mental health issue, and 40 percent a physical problem. About 40 percent are also homeless.

It would be cruel—or perhaps Republican—of me to suggest that Zarelli's disability check might possibly be not for a back injury but for a "back injury." You know, the kind without a discernible cause. The kind that allows one to play golf and tennis without ill effect. The kind for which a disability check abets a welfare queen lifestyle.

You know what, Sen. Zarelli? Fuck You. No, Seriously, Fuck You.™

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 03:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by KosAbility and Daily Kos.

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