Our friends over at News Hounds flagged this segment from Saturday's Cashin' In on Fox News and par for the course on that show, they opened it up with attacking the poor and those suffering from the economic consequences of the recession and were demonizing a program that provides badly needed economic stimulus and the people who are using the program.
Yesterday’s Cashin’ In was another thinly veiled effort to make poor people look like welfare queens – and to make the Obama administration look like welfare-queen enablers. The vehicle this time was some government advertisements for food stamps. As a recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times noted, more than 1/3 of those eligible for SNAP (food stamps) benefits are not receiving them. Furthermore, the program was originally pushed for by the grocery industry because it bolstered household consumption and shored up the retail economy. But none of that information was provided by “objective” host Cheryl Casone. She announced, “The government is now marketing entitlements.”
Go read their post for a complete overview of the segment which I don't want to just copy and paste, but I'll just highlight a few of their points here:
Christian Dorsey was one of only two supporters on the panel. As usual, he was terrific. “Hopefully, this is destigmitizing something that doesn’t need to be stigmatized at all,” he said. He also pointed out, “In order to get food stamp benefits, you have to be working or looking for work, you have to be a dependent child, or you’re elderly, or disabled. None of those are shameful circumstances. The reason we’ve spent so much more on food stamps is because we had a really big recession where we increased poverty… This is a really efficient program. Low administrative costs, and money goes to people in need. They spend the money at private businesses, and that spending multiplies by at least 50% in economic activity.”
And of course Jonathan Hoenig was doing his usual Libertarian flogging of the "welfare state" when he touted this nonsense:
Rather than contest Hoenig, she “quipped,” “Maybe that’s a great diet plan for all of us to go on food stamps.” She was referring to ads talking about how food stamps help people stay healthy.
John Layfield spoke up. “I certainly hope not… You can’t spend this for sugary drinks… These people have nothing else to eat if you don’t give them this. The problem is, that many people are in poverty.”
Hoenig said, “Look at Mississippi. One in five people there are on food stamps. It’s the fattest state in the nation six years running.”
”It’s also one of the poorest,” Layfield shot back.
Hoenig said, “Don’t tell me that we need food stamps to alleviate poverty when we have an obesity problem in this country.”
As Brian and Ellen pointed out in their post, that argument is of course a bunch of nonsense:
As always, if it's Saturday on Fox "News" with their "business block" from that channel of theirs that has almost no viewers since they have no credibility, it's time to attack either the poor, or unions, or welfare recipients, or those receiving unemployment insurance, or whoever their latest boogeyman is that's somehow leaching off of those hard working tax payers out there. Never mind the corporate welfare, the military industrial complex, Wall Street bailouts, rewarding companies for offshoring jobs or the ones who are benefiting greatly from our tax structure while doing little to help everyday American's lives. Let's attack the most vulnerable in our society instead and call them moochers and lazy. Yeah... that's the ticket.
I really have to wonder if this strategy from Fox is going to backfire, or if it would if more people actually watched this crap, because it's not just minorities they're demonizing these days when so many people are hurting. They're demonizing a whole lot of poor white people as well. They seem to still be playing off an outdated playbook that harkens back to Reagan's Southern Strategy and Lee Atwater's race baiting and that doesn't work out so well when you can't just demonize black people and make white people afraid of them wanting to "take something from you" because they're too lazy to work. There are enough white people out of work now too that the same fear mongering is going to fall flat given the problems with the economy today and just who is out of work and needing assistance. Minorities have definitely been hit harder by this recession, but they're not the only segment of the population looking at terrible unemployment numbers and being affected by them.