If Rush Limbaugh isn’t on the radio when I’m driving, I usually listen to classic country music. The other day, while driving into town, I heard Song of the South by Alabama. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but when by myself in the car, I crank the music up loud and my singing would put Dolly Parton to shame!

So, I’m rockin’ out with the boys when I stumble over a couple of lyrics. For the first time, it dawned on me that this song which had me smiling ear to ear was actually an ode to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. Well, shut my mouth.

The New Deal. That well-meaning plethora of federal programs is where the US first slipped on the banana peel of socialism. America was slowly working it’s way out of the Great Depression and desperate measures were in order, but effects still reverberate today in ways that FDR (who believed in ‘the American system of initiative and profit’) surely couldn’t have envisioned. Maybe the greatest failure of the Deal was that it spawned, and continues to spawn, innumerable ‘social’ programs with no sunset clauses in them.

The song that brought this column to mind notes that, after losing his farm and moving to town, ‘Papa got a job with the TVA, bought a washing machine and a Chevrolet. Mr. Roosevelt’s a gonna save us all.’ Relying on the Democrats to keep coming up with welfare programs ad infinitum apparently pointed to prosperity for all.

Yes, keep as many people as possible reliant on government largesse rather than their own hard work and the capitalism engendered by it and voila! Socialism lives. Large D Democrats’ stated goal is ‘social and economic equality for all.’ Which boils down to: work as hard as you can and you’ll be supporting the guy who sits on his butt all day. Not a lot of motivation to achieve, is there? Something for nothing is what most of the left-wing political philosophies boil down to.

My research for this column happened upon another of my long-time gripes about our ever-growing government: when did it become routine for legislators to gauge the success of their term by how many laws they passed? They pass laws that have no relevance to anyone’s life and never take one off the books because it’s too much trouble to look for duplications. They should be required to remove one every time they add one. (Let’s make a law!) Anyway, the answer to when this became the barometer for a successful term is…FDR’s First Hundred Days.

Self-reliance and capitalism, aka: initiative and profit, sound to me more like FDR’s vision than the perversion of it espoused by today’s left.

I’ve decided to interpret Song of the South as a mocking eye-roll at the idiocy of socialism and keep on singin’. At least people my age can still sing in the car without getting a condescending ‘OK, Boomer’ pat on the head!

Leslie Baker is a native Arizonian who retired from the construction and real estate industries. She volunteered for over 20 years with various Hospice organizations. She and her husband, Phillip Mojica, live in Linden.

Leslie Baker is a native Arizonian who retired from the construction and real estate industries. She volunteered for over 20 years with various Hospice organizations. She and her husband, Phillip Mojica, live in Linden.

(3) comments

DclintM1

The rally scream of the right. Nothing new here just the same old talking points. Just because you have a few people that take advantage doesn't mean everyone will or does. Your sky is falling mantra is boring, has been said a million times and is nothing new.. quick, run, the sky is falling.

ronzim

DclintM1: Right you are. Persons such as this poster demonstrate their cynicism and contempt for the poor or other underprivileged/misfortunate Americans by this continuous onslaught, of long debunked ideas, on their neighbors. The basic notion has long been that public programs designed for poverty reduction are massively infiltrated by lazy, exploitative ne’er-do-wells who essentially sponge off the efforts of those who work in spite of the fact that 39% of recipients get benefits they paid for. Moreover, conservative rhetoric that the federal government routinely hands out checks to people who are too lazy to work is grossly inaccurate. Today federal cash assistance programs primarily focus on those unable to work.

The U.S. Census reports that children under age 18 were more likely to receive means-tested benefits than all other age groups. In an average month, 39.2 percent of children received some type of means-tested benefit, compared with 16.6 percent of people age 18 to 64 and 12.6 percent of people 65 and older. It seems rather far-fetched that children are lazy exploiters of the system.

• That same census also reports that over two thirds of all recipients received benefits for an average of just over 24 months. That certainly does not qualify as long term dependency. The Center on Budget Policies and Priorities reports: “Federal assistance lifts millions of people, including children, out of poverty and provides access to affordable health care. Public programs lifted 40 million people out of poverty in 2011, including almost 9 million children, according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which counts non-cash benefits and taxes. While Social Security lifted the largest number of people overall out of poverty, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) lifted the largest number of children. Together, the EITC and Child Tax Credit (CTC) lifted 9.4 million people — including nearly 5 million children — out of poverty in 2011. Similarly, Medicaid provided access to affordable health care to 66 million Americans in 2010. Because of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), children are far less likely to be uninsured than adults.

• Programs like SNAP (food stamps), the EITC and CTC, and Medicaid support millions of low-income working families and help promote work. The EITC and CTC both offset payroll taxes and lift a family of four with a full-time, minimum-wage worker from 61 percent of the federal poverty line to 87 percent. In addition, most of the children receiving Medicaid or CHIP are in low-wage working families. And, among families with children that receive SNAP in a given month and include an adult who isn’t elderly or disabled, 87 percent worked in the prior year or will work the following year.

• Researchers have identified long-term payoffs to programs like SNAP, EITC, early childhood education, and Pell Grants. Research shows that income supports like the EITC and CTC both boost employment rates among parents and have long-term positive impacts on children — including better school performance — that can translate into higher earnings when the children become adults.

ArizAl

I wonder why the republicans always complain about poor people taking advantage of government safety net programs and they don't complain about farmers, ranchers, corporations and wealthy people, all taking advantage of government welfare programs. To quote billionaire Donald Trump when asked about his numerous times of taking out of government loans and then filing for bankruptcy. "Hey, the government makes the rules and all I do is take advantage of those rules...it's all legal." So too, the government makes the rules for safety net programs for the middle class and the poor. In our state those rules are enforced by the Arizona Department of Economic Security, any complaints about how they enforce the rules should be addressed to the DES agency. The questions that need asked is, why do republicans only pick on poor people. And why do republicans hate government programs to help the American citizenry, when that is the enumerated purpose of our government as written in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution. "General Welfare" means everybody, Leslie.

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