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Jared Bernstein:
Had a rousing debate on the Kudlow show last night with Larry and Jimmy Pethokoukis (aka Jimmy P) haranguing me about makers/takers.  Jimmy went on a rant about all the fakers on the Social Security Disability rolls ...
Conservatives haven't gotten over their November loss, and have eagerly adopted Mitt Romney's characterization that it was about "gifts," with the government gifting the "takers" the hard-earned dollars of the "makers." It's an odd frame, in which conservatives accuse over half of America of being moochers. Not sure how that helps them win, but it is what it is.

As part of that, the Right has suddenly gotten a bug up its ass about SSI, as the issue morphs into the new "welfare queen." But like anything else having to do with federal benefits, guess who is doing the mooching?

Map showing that recipients in Red States are far more likely to be receiving federal disability benefits.
Of the 15 states that have more than seven percent of the population on disability, 10 are Red states. The two states with the biggest percentage of the population on disability—Kentucky and West Virginia—are both VERY Red at the federal level.

And thus continues the greatest of modern political ironies—if Republicans got their way and drowned the federal government in a bathtub, it would be Republicans who suffered most.

How's that for "gifts"?

Originally posted to kos on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 12:55 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I know from experience that it's always the (25+ / 0-)

      "others" that are faking and taking.  I have a brother-in-law who receives SSI and has since his late thirties, when his kids were toddlers.  Definitely needs it as a result of a serious kidney disease and some what I think was medical malpractice in the care for it.  But he can walk, talk, drive, etc.   Just can't do much of anything for an extended period and goes through periods when he can do almost nothing.

      If you could hear the rants this family gets onto about all the moochers that get disability, it would make your head spin!  I think they honesty don't grasp that it's what supported their family for the last 2.5 decades and will continue supporting their family for another decade when he will qualify for regular SS.  I've tried gently pointing out to them this fact, and after blubbering for awhile, they then rush on with how others are faking it and don't really need it.  When I ask finally broke down and asked them how they know that, of course they just know it.  Ugh!.  I'm sorry, but there truly is no hope for people who base opinions and decisions on emotion rather than logic.  The rethugs are going to get folks like that every time because they're experts at ginning up fear and loathing.

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:59:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a friend with kidney disease also. (11+ / 0-)

        He works and doesn't receive SSI, but Medicare pays all his dialysis bills even though he's not close to Medicare eligible-age (this is a special program for end-stage renal disease only passed by Congress in 1972:
        ( ) .
        Like your relatives, he thinks he's entitled to this coverage but people with other diseases who aren't covered don't deserve to be covered. His argument is that with dialysis he can work and pay taxes so of course it makes sense for Medicare to pay for him.
        There are plenty of people with other types of chronic illnesses who if they had coverage for the care they need could also work and pay taxes, but somehow he doesn't see them.
        And there are people who are too ill to work but still need health coverage and an income. Sadly, he will be among that group in not all that long -- but I bet when he arrives at that point, he will argue that he deserves the coverage and income and others don't.
        He is a really nice guy -- if you're his friend he'll do anything for you. But somehow he doesn't generalize that desire to help beyond the circle of people he cares about.

        While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

        by Tamar on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:12:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This describes most conservatives I know (15+ / 0-)
          He is a really nice guy -- if you're his friend he'll do anything for you. But somehow he doesn't generalize that desire to help beyond the circle of people he cares about.
          It's a lack of a certain kind of empathy
          •  This is it...I have a really good friend (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            who I would literally assume is liberal based on the way she treats her inner circle and the things she values (universal health care, more money to education, etc).  But she might as well be far right when you bring up entitlements and taxes.

            I don't get it.  She thinks all of the programs are valuable and needed, but thinks they are run wastefully and rampant with fraud, and we pay way to much to support them, and our taxes should be cut to force them to take action.

            It isn't hypocritical per se, but it is naive in my opinion, and I am still working to understand where it is coming from.

            It is like the opposite of take your gov hands off my medicare.  It is all needed, but we pay too much for it.

            "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

            by justmy2 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:29:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Part of this is admitting that he IS one of THEM. (5+ / 0-)

          Same for gustynpip's brother-in-law.  IF they accept that the vast majority of people who qualify for benefits are legit, then he becomes one of "them."  

          That's a huge blow to an ego that's been molded by the rugged individualist, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, self-reiliant bullshit that conservatives have been peddling since forever, especially since Ray-gun.  

          They're completely invested in the idea that people like them are legit but the "others" are not.  And their conservative friends and community re-inforce it because they don't want to admit that someone who they truly like/love/admire/respect is no different than all the "others."

          The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

          by Back In Blue on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:53:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you summed it up just right. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Back In Blue, Smoh

            While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

            by Tamar on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:27:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

              by Back In Blue on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:45:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  What gets me are the people... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...who make up the stories.

            The ones that repeat them, that I can understand. But the people who say, 'I knew a guy once who was collecting SSI disability and he used go to out jogging every morning and then come home and go out and drink at night, and he was always laughing about how he fooled the government and blah blah BLAH blah blah.'

            Sure, some people believe those stories, but someone must start them.

            Oh, hey, while I'm here, I have to take exception to your signature. If someone asked me if I'd read chapter 66 is Matthew, I'd probably say yes, too. Because I know I read all of Matthew, back in my college days, but I haven't the faintest idea how many chapters it has in it.

            •  Urban legends. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              These stories get repeated ad nauseum because people want to believe them.  They want someone to blame.  It's not that there's zero fraud, but it's not rampant or even excessive let alone half the country!  And they're not new.  They've been told one way or another for a very long time, updated to fit current times, by anyone who wants to demonize "the other."

              As for my signature.  It's not aimed at you, necessarily.  But do you feel you know Matthew, having not read it since college?  So you technically read it.  Can you say you could discuss it at all after not having read it since college?  I encounter such christians frequently and I haven't gone to church since I was 16.  

              I only read the bible when I want to understand how people are abusing it to justify positions that seem "unchristian" to me.  I like to know what I'm talking about when I discuss such issues.  Sadly, more often that not, I know the scripture far better than they do and could even argue a strong "biblical" justification for my position, even if it wasn't supported by scripture, simply because they don't know it.  They're just repeating what their church is selling.

              The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

              by Back In Blue on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:31:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I certainly didn't think it was aimed at me... (0+ / 0-)

                ...since I'm not a Christian. But I find it a little smug and dishonest nevertheless. (Mind you, I've certainly met enough smug and dishonest religious leaders in my time, so it's perhaps not out of character, but I don't think you were making a point relating to how obnoxious a preacher who asks a question like that is. Which is the primary thing I would take away from it.)

                As for whether I could discuss it, absolutely I could discuss it, as long as I weren't leading the discussion. I remember enough about it to talk about it, and not enough to generate a discussion of it on my own. I don't remember much off the top of my head, but I'd remember enough of it with prompting to be able to contribute to a discussion about it.

                •  Smug? Meh. ;) (0+ / 0-)

                  The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

                  by Back In Blue on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:44:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  The irony here in Florida, where our crooked (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Back In Blue, Smoh

            Governor Scott and the Rs in Tallahassee made it more difficult to vote by mail this year, was that the rule change impacted Seniors in their own party just as much as the Seniors in ours.

            So their own voter turn-out was impacted by their crooked scheme because their own voters didn't know they had to re-register to get their absentee ballots.

      •  Next time (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ask them if it's so easy to fake it and get SSI benefits, why are attorneys constantly on television advertising their services to people who were denied benefits?  

        If it takes an attorney to receive benefits, it isn't that easy to fake.

        "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

        by Silvia Nightshade on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:06:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Krugman just did a good article on it too (14+ / 0-)

    calling it the new welfare queen. Makers takers fakers

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:00:56 PM PST

    •  Krugman said... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, eXtina, Brian82, Aunt Pat
      ..he picture of the G.O.P. as the party of sneering plutocrats stuck...and I said....
       the picture of the G.O.P. as the party of sneering plutocrats at the top and dimwits at the bottom and nothing in between..

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

      by tuma on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:37:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Republican base is firmly convinced that (39+ / 0-)

    they deserve their benefits, while Democrats don't.  Not sure how they magically think they will be able to retain theirs when the programs are cut.  Maybe they would rather die than for Democrats to receive government benefits.

    “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

    by ahumbleopinion on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:01:41 PM PST

  •  So Rand, why don't you get all the moochers in (21+ / 0-)

    your state off SSI.  Just like his hero Ayn Rand, his state celebrates Gault even as they suck off the guvmint teet.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:06:09 PM PST

  •  The gift that keeps on giving. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  The problem with your chart (34+ / 0-)

    is it includes white people. That's not what the GOP is talking about. Duh!

    Make a chart that only includes people of color. and only in urban areas, and then we can have a conversation.

    You libs and your pointy headed facts...pffft.

    Remember: Black people "loot", white people "find"!


    If Liberals hated America, we'd vote Republican.

    by ord avg guy on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:09:49 PM PST

    •  yeah, but CA is majority nonwhite (6+ / 0-)

      and look at that chart...

    •  It's not a race thing. (4+ / 0-)

      For some, of course it is; I won't pretend that doesn't exist. But I don't believe it's racism even for a plurality of Republicans--most simply don't care about others as a group, full stop. Yes, these Republicans empathize and sympathize, but only with those people that they personally know or can otherwise "vouch for." Everyone else is foreign and therefore alien and scary and undeserving. This is why a personal experience can sometimes alter a Republican's views on some issues. For an example, and I admit I could be very wrong, I don't think that Dick Cheney, really, is on board with gay hatred or is personally anti-LGBT rights, and he's as close to evil as we can see, but that's only because he has a lesbian daughter himself.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:26:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm (0+ / 0-)

        I'd go a little farther than that. It's about people that are 'like them'.

        Who, let's face it, tend to be people they can immediately identify with upon looking at them. Which is to say, white people.

        Witness my experiences traveling through the South as a white guy with a crew cut wearing jeans and a tee shirt, vs. those as a white guy with long hair wearing slightly less immediately-socially-identifiable clothes. I got every taste of that sweet Southern hospitality I could have asked for in the former trip. In the latter, I still got some, but I also got a lot of suspicion, and, in one memorable case, outright vicious hostility. And I also got my car searched by drug-sniffin'-dog-wieldin' cops.

        On the up side, they did find the baggie full of dog treats that was under the passenger seat.

  •  Self loathing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    teh teabaggers can haz it.

  •  The problem with this argument (14+ / 0-)

    is that it isn't necessarily the people receiving SSI/etc. in those states who vote Republican. This is called the ecological fallacy.

    As a counterexample, consider this argument: "Democrats usually win New York, New Jersey, etc., which are very rich states. Republicans win Mississippi, Kentucky, etc., which are very poor states. Therefore, Democrats are the party of the rich and Republicans are the party of the poor." But that isn't true of course. So a better option for making this argument would be to see polling results (perhaps commission one from PPP, if none have been made already.)

    •  Sure, we could think rationally like you suggest (5+ / 0-)

      or we could figure out ways to force Republicans to self deport themselves.

      I'd be interested in the poll you suggest though.  I bet there's a high number of Republicans on government assistance who also want a smaller government.

      Everyone wants a small government, unless it hinders their lifestyle.  

      "If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin." Charles Darwin

      by Rockydog on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:34:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Everyone in those states benefits from SSI (9+ / 0-)

      it provides income for people who would otherwise not have income, stimulating the local economy.

      It prevents a lot of horrific situations from happening which most certainly do affect GOP families.

    •  Also (0+ / 0-)

      It looks at the top states, but not the bottom states (which appear to be split).  Also, 10 out of 15 doesn't seem even that significant - 8 out of 15 would still be an essential tie, and you're going to construct an argument out of an extra 2 states?

      Still, it's always fun to poke Republican arguments with sticks.

      •  We demand a recount! (0+ / 0-)

        If you take a look at the states in question: four of them are reliably Democratic, ten of them are reliably Republican, and one of them is a swing state.

        And that's assuming you can call Michigan, which votes Democratic for president and Senate, but whose entire state government is Republican, 'reliably Democratic'. I would personally tend to put that in the 'swing state' category too.

        In any case, it's certainly further apart than you imply.

    •  In my experience in Alabama it sure is (5+ / 0-)

      the people on SS disability who are voting for Republicans.

      Hundreds of pounds overweight, diabetic, walking with canes or not walking at all because their bones are breaking under the weight voting to preserve the sanctity of life and protect their guns that they can't hardly even use anymore watching Fox News all day long.  I have met these people.  I have shopped along side these people at Walmart.

      The Republicans have spent the last 30 years creating these people - shaping their lives - filling their heads with bullshit - killing decent jobs and businesses that used to employ people in that part of the world - now they are turning on them. It is going to get interesting.

    •  You're absolutely right about the ecological (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minnesota Deb, Forest Deva

      fallacy if we were doing research and trying to establish the existence of a relationship between two variables.
      But this is policy & politics and there's another way to look at it.
      Red states in general take more from the federal government than they give. While you may be correct that we don't know whether the people in those states who get the most federal help are the ones voting Republican, it still makes sense to place the burden on the Red States to defend their position:
      1. They benefit from those government benefits. People getting federal money buy food, clothing and other basics from businesses in the state. If all the people were cut off, the Red States would suffer economically.
      2. Red states often get disproportionate amounts of federal money -- for example, they get higher percentages of matching funds for Medicaid from the federal government -- so they're actually getting more federal money per needy beneficiary than other states.
      (out of 8 states getting a matching amount of 70% or more, only D.C. is Blue. )
      3. Many of these states gladly take federal money -- I will never forget the photo of Bobby Jindal with the big check:

      Jindal declared the Recovery Act “a nearly trillion-dollar stimulus that has not stimulated.” However, less than 24 hours before Jindal published his op-ed, Jindal traveled to Anacoco, Louisiana to present a jumbo-sized check to residents of Vernon Parish. The funds included hundreds of thousands of dollars directly from the Recovery Act — at least $157,848 in Community Block Grant money authorized by the Recovery Act and $138,611 for Byrne/JAG job training programs created by the Recovery Act. Rather than credit the federal government or the Recovery Act he opposed, Jindal printed his own name on the corner of the massive check.

      While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

      by Tamar on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:32:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  red state social programs? (0+ / 0-)

        This is a question about red state social programs, because I do not know.   I wonder:  does the federal government give larger amounts to money to red state social programs; because local social uplift programs are poorly funded?  

        •  I was trying to remember why Medicaid gets higher (0+ / 0-)

          matching in some states rather than others -- it doesn't have to do with how well the state funds programs. But I can't remember the basis.
          For things like SSI  and other totally federal programs (e.g., Medicare), individuals get the same amount no matter what state they live in.
          Medicaid is different since it's 57% federally funded but run by the states with state rules (on top of federal requirements).

          While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

          by Tamar on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:01:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sort of, yes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Actually, at least in some red states, they basically drastically underfund their state initiatives and use federal money that was designed to be put to other things to paper over the gaps. One of the reasons they can do this is they can persuade fewer and fewer people to sign up for the programs the federal money was meant to pay for, thus leaving them with extra cash to fix their budget problems.

          I've seen news stories about this in three different Southern states just in the past year.

      •  The problem with that (0+ / 0-)

        argument is that, while it's true that Red States take more from the federal government than they give in taxes, that's despite their desired policy outcomes, not because of them. Red State representatives and members of Congress would LOVE to get rid of the social programs that benefit the disadvantaged within their states -- in fact, they frequently vote to do so. For every Jindal holding a big check, there are several Rick Perrys actively undermining their states' abilities to collect the federal dollars to which they're entitled.

        Grew a mustache and a mullet / Got a job at Chick-Fil-A

        by cardinal on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:19:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's answering the M vs. T argument (0+ / 0-)

      on the same level.   If you accept the Makers vs. Takers argument as valid, then this map is just as valid.   Of course, neither argument is accurate and what we end up with is politics.

      The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

      by Back In Blue on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:43:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We all know the world champion welfare queens (17+ / 0-)

    are corporations. Using up the country's infrastructure and demanding to pay little or nothing for the privilege. Tax breaks and subsidies are a-okay, but public services and benefits for the rest of us - when we paid for them - is "mooching."

    "Behind every great fortune is a great crime." - Honore de Balzac

    by mooremusings on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:19:02 PM PST

  •  Washington is where the money comes from. (5+ / 0-)

    People in the red states know how to get them some. But, pride and good manners keep them from admitting to what they are after.

    "Oh, no, I couldn't. Not another morsel! You are too kind."

    Then too, much of the munificence gets passed through the state and local governments to the proper people can be thanked for looking after their constituents.
    I don't think we should begrudge the recipients. If someone should be tasked with buying the favors of their constituents, it is Congress.
    The Tea Party actually has a point; they're just mistaken about who the extortionists are.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:23:44 PM PST

  •  I was talking about this offline yesterday. (11+ / 0-)

    The only people I know who feel entitled are the well off. Most people think they should get a fair wage and be treated equally but the wealthy actually believe that the reason they've succeeded is because they've worked harder, are smarter or have superior values.

    It's been a stigma attached to the poor since the beginning of societies and may be an inherent fault of man.

    We succeed because we're better. They fail because they're not.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:27:30 PM PST

    •  Calvinism.... ? n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sceptical observer

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:31:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And it's doubly ironic when so often it comes from (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sceptical observer, Eric Nelson

      people who inherited their wealth.
      Koch Bros anyone?

      While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

      by Tamar on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:34:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Every single wealthy person I know... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sceptical observer

      ...who does not radiate a sense of smug entitlement is a Democrat. Several of them feel quite guilty about inheriting wealth, and at least two of them that I knew said, after college/grad school, 'Thanks mom and dad, please don't give me any more money, and please stay alive for a while, because I want to prove that I can succeed on my own merits. I'm ashamed enough of having you put me through school without any loans.'

      To be fair, a couple of the wealthy people I know who do radiate a sense of smug entitlement are also Democrats. But, well... I do live in San Francisco. I have to work at not radiating a bit of smugness myself; it's hard to remind yourself on a daily basis that you didn't really do anything so awesome in your life that you really deserve to live in a place this beautiful and fun.

      (Or, at least, that you don't deserve it any more than the vast majority of humanity, and it's not like the vast majority of humanity can live here...)

  •  I thought they were seceding or (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Guile Of The Gods, JML9999

    going to Costa Rica or Australia or wherever.  Why don't the Republicans stop sucking from the teet of the government?  

    They're leeches!

    "If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin." Charles Darwin

    by Rockydog on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:28:29 PM PST

  •  Wonder how many coal miner's captured in (14+ / 0-)

    those WV & KY stats? How many worked too hard people without access to preventive healthcare in those low waged & low insured states? In an era of runaway greed,aging demographics,few constraints on employers and lax environmental & labor regulation, why ever would anyone expect disability claims?

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:34:55 PM PST

  •  So, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, gustynpip, judyms9
    "if Republicans got their way and drowned the federal government in a bathtub, it would be Republicans who suffered most."

    Sorry. That's still not enough of a silver lining to support the dismantling of SSI. ;o)

    I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

    by Gentle Giant on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:43:53 PM PST

  •  Who can tell the voters in these states and ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alice kleeman, YucatanMan

    ... districts the truth? In ways they will understand and believe?

    If we could move even some voters on the margin, some of those districts could move columns in 2014.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:45:12 PM PST

  •  How many are disabled due to lax safety&Environ (8+ / 0-)

    regulations in those states.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:49:20 PM PST

  •  Irony (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is not a modern conservative's strong suit.

  •  Maybe they see it like alcoholics (0+ / 0-)

    Don't keep liquor in the house and stay out of bars so you aren't tempted to drink.

    In their case it's please, please take my federal subsidies away from them so i don't use them again.

    We get what we want - or what we fail to refuse. - Muhammad Yunus

    by nightsweat on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:53:14 PM PST

  •  I work with a bunch of those 'fakers' (10+ / 0-)

    on the SSDI roles.

    Faking schizophrenia for years so they can live in terrible situations, suffer medical neglect from not even being able to go to the Holy ER; losing their teeth, getting diseases, getting ripped off and exploited and abused.

    yeah... La Dolce Friggin Vita.

    It stuns me that republicans don't belch flies each time they open their mouths.....

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:53:20 PM PST

  •  The Sign - LOL (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, JML9999, tardis10

    But unfortunately I could see someone from outside of our Country seeing this sign and thinking:

    "America, the land of the chronically STUPID!"

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:53:23 PM PST

  •  The only reason it's not higher in Texas - (8+ / 0-)

    is because it's so freakin' difficult to get on disability in the first place.  Nobody makes it on their first try, and a typical waiting period is three or four years.  And of course you can't be employed for a year before you go on disability.  If I had to be unemployed for a year, I'd be going without health insurance and food - I'd die of some ailment before the year was up!

    I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love / And I'm like / Please proceed, Governor. - Dave Itzkoff

    by Jensequitur on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:54:17 PM PST

  •  Dancin Dave (0+ / 0-)

    But I'm sure that Dancin David Gregory pointed this out to Paul Ryan on Sunday, right?

  •  call me tiny-minded if you will, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but it made me grin, seeing all those red states painted blue on that graph for purposes of "SSI-detection".

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:11:15 PM PST

  •  I put together something along the same lines... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    after getting tired of hearing people say that President Obama was elected (and re-elected) by a bunch of moochers.  

    I looked at cash welfare recipients and people on food stamps (yes, I know it should be called S.N.A.P. but food stamps is what most people recognize) as a percentage of state population.  

  •  Point of order: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, ferg, YucatanMan, Eric Nelson, blukat
    Conservatives... have eagerly adopted Mitt Romney's characterization that it was about "gifts," with the government gifting the "takers" the hard-earned dollars of the "makers."
    Vice versa, actually: it was Romney who embraced the culture war rhetoric of the far right in order to pander to them. It was part of his fundamental flaws as a candidate -- instead of tacking to the center, he tacked further to the right, in the mistaken belief that the citizens of Wingnuttia accurately reflected the zeitgeist of the country. At the most all he did was close a feedback loop.

    "Every now & then your brain gifts you with the thought, 'oh, that's right, I don't actually give a **** about this.' Treasure it" -- jbou

    by kenlac on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:13:40 PM PST

  •  The researcher in me wonders (4+ / 0-)

    ...whether that's why these states would have a higher number of people believing in the "takers/makers" meme.  I.e., right-leaning residents (of states with a higher number / ratio of people under age 65 receiving benefits) are more likely to know someone receiving benefits.  So they are more likely to hear about it and have formed an opinion in reaction.  

    Very interesting.

    Nothing is as evilly imaginative as the mind of a teenage gamer. -- Sychotic1

    by Sarea on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:16:10 PM PST

  •  had this debate with my conservative brother (13+ / 0-)

    yesterday.  He spent all weekend (we had a family wedding) telling me how much money he makes and all the various ways he avoids taxes.

    then he began to tell my other brother about how to put his mother in law's assets into a trust so she could then claim bankruptcy and get Medical, Medicaid, etc.  This is a common thing, it is legal, and my brother had done it for my parents before they died.

    when I pointed out to him that it was incongruous with his position on not paying taxes, he was furious.  I probably should not have called him a socialist, sigh.  He came back with it being perfectly legal, and him following the letter of the law, etc. which I acknowledged.  I didn't accuse him of doing anything wrong, just being inconsistent.  Basically, the system needs the taxes to pay for the benefits.  

    it started to get heated, but then my other brother chirped in (surprisingly, he NEVER discusses politics and in fact, I have no real idea of his beliefs) it's like people who complain about the roads but don't want to pay taxes to fix them.  I about fell out of my chair!!

    Anyway, I know I will never change his mind, but I did chink the armor just a touch, both his and his wife's.  She was really pissed and brought it up later again to make sure I knew they hadn't done anything wrong.  That every choice was legal.

    As always, there is always something you wish you had said.  I wish I'd asked them why anyone else who uses the legally allowed benefits of the government is a moocher, but when they do it, it's legal, earned, entitled, etc.  I see this as the big picture problem, from Paul Ryan on down.  He took Social Security, as he was entitled to, when his father died.  But why when anyone else does it, is it wrong????

    If you took the greed out of Wall Street all you’d have left is pavement ~Robert Reich

    by k8dd8d on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:16:48 PM PST

  •  All uninformed voters. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, YucatanMan

    If Republicans ever get power to change the safety net and do, it all these voters will be lost to them.  Then these voters will learn from experience what their leaders really wanted.

    Do not adjust your mind, there is a flaw in reality.

    by Shrew in Shrewsbury on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:19:08 PM PST

    •  Doesn't worry GOP. Voter ID laws and requiring (0+ / 0-)

      proper birth certificate documentation to obtain benefits, or register to vote is expected to preclude the poor from voting, at least in numbers that could swing an election.

      The price of getting government's ear goes up as lobbyists spend more and more. Getting a legislator's ear is way out of the range of merely average 'underachieving' people who refuse to be innovative and hard-nosed business minded.

      If people 'like them' can't vote, due to all the redtape the GOP throws in front of them, it's their own darn fault for being such bad Americans and for refusing or being unable to manage the levels and types of personal responsibilty favored by the GOP. In their view, only worthy Republicans should have the vote anyways.  Now if Democrats insist on allowing just anyone to vote, well, that's betraying 'real Americans' and diluting the rights of conservative white Americans to control America's Destiny and this will lose us God's Approval and Blessing Upon America.  Rush and Billy'O will give such as them both barrels and even 'tolerating' liberals is betraying America now.

      So we have a bit of an uphill battle. We're not worthy of being heard in their view.  What we say betrays them and sets them up to lose God's blessing due to our unfaithful behavior and Devil inspired imaginations letting them down. Can't let that happen by any means.  This isn't Team Blue versus Team Red. They seem themselves as God's Team battling Satan's Team for control of America, it's wealth, it's children and future. Strangely, God's Team is desperately trying to keep the right to bear any damn sort of arms they want. They clearly lack the faith that God is going to keep the faithful safe, and that a zombie survivalist kit will.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:43:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Right-wing in 6 seconds (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, alice kleeman

    "Coach" Craig T Nelson cognitive dissonance hypocrisy or both with Glen Beck  
     - lol

  •  So my wife goes to work (7+ / 0-)

    At a seasonal job as a peanut inspector for the State of Alabama.  We’ve got a 7 year old and she’s the one that does most of the child-rearing while I am on the road, and one or two months in the fall is about the amount of work she is looking for.  My wife is a Latina, and most of the other people she works with are white, with a few black employees.  The black employees keep their politics to themselves while several of the white employees are loudly and obnoxiously conservative.  Unlike my wife: they are mostly below the poverty level, don’t have insurance, and hate the President.  They see “Obamacare” as an abomination, but can’t see the hypocrisy of passing off their ER visits to the taxpayer, living on partial disabilities, unemployment insurance, and every other social welfare program that is available.  They are Republicans because they are not the “takers” that Romney and Ryan were talking about.  They can’t be “takers”, because, you see, they are white.  

    I'll put on my glasses.... and tell you how sweet your ass is. (w/ apologies to Señor Bega)

    by mHainds on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:26:51 PM PST

  •  this is a much better argument then one that I had (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blukat, antirove

    previously posted:

    "Democrats should talk about the takers too
    because they ARE out there.  In addition to a discussion of corporate welfare grabbers, we could also discuss our concerns about disability fraud.  They are out there.

    On the other hand it is reported that people with valid disabilities are having their claims delayed for up to 2 years.  This is an unacceptable length of time for someone who really needs the system.

    I personally know of 2 people who are on disability for health reasons.  One is addicted to pain medication (she now has "brain lesions" and the other was an anorexic alcoholic now in too poor of health to work.  Of course this one and her husband are STAUNCH Republicans.  It may be heartless, but I don't see how their claims were approved.  Did they hire a disability lawyer which also should not be necessary!).

    Wast abuse and fraud should be actively investigated as well as perhaps the qualifications for SS disability.

    •  Sounds like they ARE disabled. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shane Loren Kaplan

      So they should be getting it, yes.

      •  Agreed..if you are disabled and can't work (0+ / 0-)

        as is the case for the 2 people in the above example, SSI is for you. I believe in the system and have seen it work. However,  I have also seen it be abused before. I teach students with emotional disturbance. Most of my students are capable of getting jobs when they graduate and holding on to them. Even so, some students apply for SSI because they know they can get it and it is easier than having a job.  Which is hard for me to deal with, the purpose of the school is to help kids gain skills to be effective in the working world.

        Modest reforms to this system would be ok with me, but it would have to be a complex conversation about who the program does and doesn't benefit. That complex conversation is not the one that Republicans want to have, what they want is austerity, and they see anyone who needs programs like these as a leech IMO.

        •  oh god (0+ / 0-)

          I'm really really sick of this "I know a guy who abused it..." schtick.

          Listen, my girlfriend is a SS disability attorney for a non profit, and I can tell you first hand that far, far more people with disabilities are unable to get disability that the other way around. it's already too difficult to get it.

  •  I think the sick economy of the past five years, (6+ / 0-)

    which is not reflected in the data above, has sent many people onto the disability rolls who would not be there if there were jobs available.  Some worked steadily despite having disabilities--One was my boss--and then lost her job, exhausted her unemployment benefits and savings and was left with no other option.  I give her credit for working the many decades she did with her grave post-polio illnesses involving oxygen and a wheelchair.  While working she supported all the safety net programs, so she should not be denied when her misfortune drove her onto the rolls.  The economy has disabled many who soldiered on during better times, especially when they have families to support.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:37:12 PM PST

  •  the hypocrisy astounds!!!!! (0+ / 0-)
  •  it still makes sense (0+ / 0-)

    the right wing in the red states will think its the lazy left wing that account for all the parasitic govt. spending.

    and now for my own lazy left wing simplification :)
    to be blunt, it's rooted in racism pure and simple.  the GOP (white america) loved big government and paying into the system back in the days of segregation.

    after integration the GOP hated big government, hated paying for the "other".

    many on the right can deny being racist, but when they complain about elite liberals and liberal welfare queens at the same time - you know they're just getting real abstract with it.

  •  One more proof that people who vote GOP (0+ / 0-)

    are intellectually inferior.  And unfortunately they will go to their graves as dumb as the day they were born.

  •  that sign... (0+ / 0-)

    is hilariously ironic...reminds me of Craig T. Nelson's "I've been on food stamps and welfare, did anybody help me out? No."

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:00:33 PM PST

  •  Guess they don't know how difficult it is to get (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    SSD and even more so to stay on it.

    Plus most on it wish they were able to work. I know I would trade my pain in a flash. It was hell when I did work. Having less money isn't fun either. At least now I can stop when I need to and rest without having someone threatening me.

    It would be interesting to see what other factors, such as types of education available, are involved as to why certain states have more people needing assistance. Obviously there is a problem but cutting benefits to those who are most in need is not the solution since it hasn't worked in the past.

  •  Well, are those Dems in those states using those (0+ / 0-)

    benefits, because that would contradict you.  Just saying.

    "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

    by sujigu on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:06:36 PM PST

  •  Much the same situation with federal revenue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    collected vs federal spending by state, or health care spending.  They clearly are taking us to the cleaners and have the chutzpah to claim we are the 'big spenders'.  In a way, cutting them off is what they deserve, yet there are many innocent and needy people in those Red States who may not subscribe to the dominant political ideology (if they do, they're self-defeating idiots, like the famous 'hands off my Medicare', umm, isn't Medicare a government program?)
    PS that disability in KY and WV is due to one thing only - coal mining!

  •  These (0+ / 0-)

    people put things in different compartments in their minds and don't want to face the true realities of things.  I was speaking to a friend of friend the other day; one who really needs the safety net and she was into the false equivalency thing. But I could see her point on one thing; but I have to check some facts out myself before I can really answer her.  Nice lady, and with her I don't think it was about racism @ all.  Just not seeing through it or doesn't want to accept it.  But to me a lot of them are racists.

  •  Still utterly dumbfounded... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm still utterly dumbfounded at the stupidity of that sign. Gets me every time.


  •  It's not just the base (0+ / 0-)

    It's people like Paul Ryan who is the biggest TAKER not MAKER of the bunch.  Ryan hasn't done much in his entire career except run at the mouth, and only about things that benefit the rich.

    Go after a real TAKER - Clarence "do nothing at all" Thomas.

  •  I'm on SSDI and I'm no "taker". (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jeopardydd, Noelle in MPLS

    I started working for pay when I was 16 on farms shoveling cow manure and stacking hay bales in the summer. I worked in lumber yards in my 20's then got into banking and insurance in my 30's then finally ending up at a large telecom in my mid 40's. A genetic disease called anklyosing spondylitis started causing arthritis in my spine around six years ago. Basically, my spine is trying to fuse into one bone. The pain can be excruciating and all the pain meds do is take the edge off. For anything other than a short walk, I have to use a scooter to get around. I'm on biologics and have had numerous steroid shots to my vertebrae from the base of my spine up into my neck. From the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep, I feel like I fell out of a tree.

    Because of this, I can't work. My whole life has been turned upside down. Simple household chores are too much for me and I have to pay to have them done. On top of this, I've gotten flak from not only ignorant neighbors but members of my own family who think I'm exaggerating my disability to not work. That I'm either a wimp or lazy or both. Most people want their disableds in a wheel chair or bed ridden. If you're not, you're a faker taker.

    I've had enough of this crap. I worked hard all of my life paying taxes along the way. I didn't ask to be this way. It's utter bullshit when I hear of a DEMOCRAT (a freaking democrat like Schumer or Obama!) put on the table cuts to Social Security and or Medicare or proposing that "Chained CPI". Don't these people realize I can't go get a part time job at Wally World to make up for what they're proposing to take away? I got a $15 per month COLA increase in my benefits this year and my drugs costs increased by $100. Now they want to take away that $15?! Pure bullshit.

    I don't know what's happening to our leadership but we obviously need more leaders in Washington with a working conscience.

  •  I don't think we can infer from the evidence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    presented that the 11-13% of 18-64yo's in Kentucky and West Virginia who qualify for SSI are necessarily Republican voters.

    "Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous." -- Molly Ivins

    by dumpster on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:56:03 PM PST

  •  Similar here in CA. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The county with the highest % of Cal "welfare" is Modoc Co., the most Republican/Libertarian in the state.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:04:01 PM PST

  •  Rec'd for the sign alone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    All I can say is WOW. The sign is an example of the failure of public education and the triumph of propaganda

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:04:30 PM PST

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