McCaughey: Dems Say Working is for Suckers
By Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D.

Tribune Employment, Finance, Governance, History, New York State, Op-Ed, Political Analysis, Politics, SocioEconomics 2 Comments

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York. Twitter: @Betsy_McCaughey


The Democratic Party used to call itself the party of working people and hail the “dignity of work.” No more. Now Democrats want to guarantee people who choose not to work an income funded by the suckers who show up for employment, care for their families and pay taxes.

Fortunately, these self-supporting Americans just dodged a bullet. The failure of Build Back Better to pass in Congress, thanks to holdout Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), means that the monthly checks or automatic bank deposits to parents with kids — sometimes dubbed Biden Bucks — come to an end this month. (Though progressives haven’t given up on trying to revive them some other way.)

For working people, the monthly payments were merely an advance on their tax refunds. But parents who choose not to work have been getting no-strings money to support their nonworking lifestyles.

Using the pretext of pandemic relief, Democrats who enacted the American Rescue Plan in March changed a feature of the tax code — the child tax credit available to adults who work and pay taxes — into a grant paid unconditionally and monthly to almost all adults with kids, whether they work or not.

Democrats have been pushing to extend the free monthly payments through 2022 as part of the Build Back Better Act, with a plan to make them permanent.

Manchin saw right through what his party intended: a socialist-style universal basic income. Manchin objected to the unconditional monthly cash grants: “There’s no work requirement whatsoever. Don’t you think if we’re going to help the children,” he asked, the parents “should make some effort?”

So what about the Democratic Party that represents working people? President Joe Biden still talks the talk. “My dad used to say, ‘Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in the community.’”

But Biden’s party is no longer walking that walk. As Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) told the House Ways and Means Committee during a debate over Build Back Better, “the so-called dignity of work — that’s like hearing a fingernail on a chalkboard.” New York magazine’s Eric Levitz calls Manchin’s work-ethic convictions “contemptible.”

Sorry, but most Americans don’t want to support the moochers.

Advocates of the monthly payments hail them as “already a huge success” for lifting millions of children out of poverty. Nonsense. That’s what a working parent does. The national poverty rate fell temporarily, but the payments didn’t solve the problem of parents without the mindset to support their children.

This is déjà vu. Uncle Sam used to send checks to nonworking parents. The 1996 welfare reform enacted by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton changed that, requiring parents to work or train for work in order to receive cash benefits.

It succeeded, reducing the welfare rolls, ameliorating child poverty and helping single mothers become self-sufficient.

Yet today’s Democratic Party spurns that model. Democrats tend to blame unemployment on racism or a rigged economy and argue that people deserve dignity whether they choose to work or not.

Of course, all human beings deserve dignity. But not a seat on the couch in front of the TV, funded by people who toil.

Democratic politicians all over the nation are pushing to provide a monthly basic income to the nonworking poor, courtesy of taxpayers. They’ve formed Mayors for a Guaranteed Income.

Los Angeles is sending out monthly $1,000 checks to 2,000 residents.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is using millions in federal pandemic relief funding to distribute $500-a-month cash stipends to randomly chosen low-income recipients. That ought to enrage anyone who works and pays taxes.

Jobs are plentiful. The National Federation of Independent Business reports that half of small businesses cannot fill positions and a record number say labor quality is their biggest business problem. Small businesses nationwide are posting “Help Wanted” signs in windows.

Every time you pass one of those signs, you can think of Manchin. And thank him for holding the line against turning taxpayers into suckers supporting the freeloaders.

First published by the New York Post on Wednesday, December 29, 2021


TribuneMcCaughey: Dems Say Working is for Suckers
By Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D.

Comments 2

  1. lets understand one thing. 1. when FDR initiated social security the Republicans were screaming socialism..2.when LBJ passed medicare (or was it RMN) the Republicans screamed socialism 3. when BHO passed the Affordable Care Act, the Republicans and particularly the tea party screamed socialism and they are still yelling….which of these entitlements are you critics willing to forego? Having said that on the larger issue of income inequality…the US is totally out of whack with its historic ratio of CEO salaries to workers salaries.Back in the day CEO salaries were 20-30 times what an average worker if a worker made 50,000 a very good sum in the 1940’s and 50’s maybe a CEO made between 1 and 3 million. Now CEO’s make tens of millions of dollars plus stock options plus plus use of the private jet etc..When the average joe looks at this he might say to himself why is that CEO’s salary so high when the product being produced is the sum of the labor of the workers in the business..No reason for this kind of reason that 10% of the nation owns 90% of the assets including stocks bonds and real estate…If we are to return to a nation where people don’t think they are getting the short end of the stick maybe we ought to take a good look at why there is such resentment…and here I am not talking about minorities…I am talking about the non college educated white folks that appear to be foaming at the mouth when a populist crook like Donald Trump makes wild promises and speaks of violence…Over 50% of Republicans in a recent monmouth poll subscribe to violence against the government ….an unacceptable number in a democracy even though Republicans are about 30% of voters…the number was almost as high among self identifying independents too….Jan 6th was a watershed moment …eventually we will all learn who funded the insurrection, who planned it in advance, and who aided and abetted the insurrection on that very dark day…We will also get to see how the commander in chief, charged with defending the democracy against all enemies both foreign and domestic, decided that in order to remain in power he had to support and encourage sedition

  2. Read – ” The Deficit Myth”, Stephanie Kelton. Thats where we are headed. But even this proponent of print money till it hurts said in her own words ” the only indication that we are printing too much money and driving the deficit too far up is high inflation”. Well, she wrote the book in 2019ish, guess she did not see 2021 coming, or could it be that her theory is not holding up?
    I’ll take the latter of the two.

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