November 30, 2010

Welfare Talking Points #1




So after my last video on how to fix the USA’s economy, I saw a lot of ignorant comments in the comments section about WELFARE.

They weren’t NEW ignorant comments, they were the SAME ignorant comments that you hear over and over. Apparently nobody out there is challenging people on their declarations, and allowing the virus of ignorance to spread.

So I wanted to make a list of facts and talking points for progressives when confronted with these conservative... well, let’s call them what they are-- they’re LIES, and stop the spread of ignorance in it’s tracks.

So let’s go down the list, and tackle them one by one, shall we?

1) Welfare spending is the reason our government is in debt.
FALSE.

If you had the choice between giving somebody a dollar and getting back either $1.50 or $0.80, which would you choose? Hold that thought.

According to USGovernmentspending.com The Federal Government is committed by law to spending 557 billion on welfare in the year 2010. Which seems like “Oh my! That’s a lot of money!” Which, for one person, yeah it is. But for our federal government, not so much.

Especially when you compare that to the $895 billion we’re committed to spend, by law on Defense spending. Which doesn’t account for the $711 billion in our discretionary spending on stuff like the War in Iraq and Afghanistan, and useless cold war-era weapons that we don’t even use, and never will.

Next you have to take into account what we get for those dollars spent.
Most economists agree on the following figures, including conservative ones:
Welfare spending has a fiscal multiplier of about 1.5-- while military spending has a fiscal multiplier of 0.8.

To which you might say, “wow, you just said some numbers, but what the hell does that mean? It means that for every dollar our gov’t spends on welfare, we get one dollar and fifty cents back in the form of GDP. With military spending, for every dollar we spend, we get back $0.80.

That seems really stupid. And that’s because it is. Which is why politicians frame their arguments about or disgustingly wasteful military spending as being “patriotic” or “supporting the troops.”
How much support actually goes to our troops? You, know, like after they come back from getting shot at and having their legs blown off?

According to the White House’s own figures, we’re slated to spend $125 billion on veterans affairs. And we all know about staffing shortages and underfunding that goes on in our VA system. So clearly this isn’t about supporting our troops.
For those who don’t care about human lives, and only the hard economics, I want to ask you again: If you had the choice between giving somebody a dollar and getting back either $1.50 or $0.80, which would you choose?
Now for the humanitarians out there, if you had to choose between giving somebody a dollar to feed their family, knowing you’d get back $1.50, or give somebody $1 knowing that your next door neighbor would have his legs blown off and you’ll only get back $0.80, which would you choose?