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Weekly Alibi Welfare, Workfare

Cap'n O Rants Again

By Cap'n O

OCTOBER 27, 1997:  If someone busted into your house, stuck a gun to your head, said they didn't want to work and were reappropriating your money for themselves, took your cash and then jumped into a getaway car and sped away, you'd be mad.

You'd be worse than mad. You'd be sputtering, stomping, punching and ranting and raving about the crime and about how the vile thief should get a job and work for a living. You'd call the cops and demand that they catch the criminals and prosecute them. If a judge later told you to give more of your money to the thieves, who knows how crazy you'd be.

To an overwhelming degree, the controversy over welfare in New Mexico is about the above. Gov. Gary Johnson started a welfare program that allows only three years of payments to aid recipients. It also requires those on welfare to get jobs. Johnson began his plan after rejecting a legislative program that allowed five years of payments.

Democrats were furious. How dare Johnson demand that people actually work for a living, they said. They went to court to block Johnson's plan. The state Supreme Court recently struck down Johnson's program, saying only the legislature can set policy and appropriate money.

Johnson is furious and wants to continue his program. Democrats are howling. They're portraying the battle as one in which the governor is ignoring a court ruling and putting himself above the law. This battle is about far more than that. It's about independence versus slavery; work versus indolence; redistribution of the wealth; political power and warfare against the values that made America great.

Warring against American values are state Sen. Manny Aragon, state Rep. Raymond Sanchez and other state Democrats. They don't want people off the welfare rolls. They don't want people to work and earn their own livings.

Why? A Wisconsin official close to that state's remarkable welfare program summed it up: Work is liberating in that it brings about self-respect, money and, most importantly, independence.

It's that independence that Aragon and the Democrats fear and hate. For when you earn your own living and think for yourself, you won't need a government handout and you won't vote to keep Aragon and the others in power. You won't need them.

The Democratic line is that welfare helps lead to independence. What a crock. For those who believe that bull, ask yourselves: How far can you go on a $340-a-month government handout, whether for a lifetime or five years?

Can you buy the car you want? How much of the world can you visit on that? What books can you buy? Can you attend the college of your choice? Take the family out to your favorite restaurant? Start your own business? Save for the kids' college? Buy expensive whiskey or high-quality porn flicks?

How many dreams can you chase and fulfill on $340-a-month government handout? Do you prefer to chase your dreams? Or are you content with being a nothing and a nobody? Do you prefer dog food to steak, a leaky hut to a nice house or the chains of government bondage to the ability to run free?

There's more to this battle. Some call it the redistribution of wealth. I call it robbery. There are those who truly believe that they are entitled to live off of your work--that you must toil to support them so they don't have to work. Some believe that if you work all your life, save your money and buy a gleaming house on a hill while they've been purposefully jobless, reading Marx in coffee shops and earning nothing, that they are entitled to your house.

On the welfare issue Manny and Ray have done everything possible to thwart Johnson's plans to put welfare recipients to work. Through their legislative power, they've provided those who would reappropriate your money the guns, bullets and getaway cars to do so.

When will New Mexicans start calling the cops on these two?

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