Top of the Morning

Top of the morning

Republican Party Chair Tom Fetzer was so off base recently that conservative economist Mike Walden from N.C. State, who is also a columnist from Lockeville, had to correct him.

Fetzer was complaining to WTVD that some of the federal stimulus money was paying for Medicaid and food stamps for people out of work. Oh the horror.

Fetzer incorrectly said the money was not creating new jobs as promised, but “creating new benefits,” which is absurd.  It is merely helping states pay for increasing Medicaid costs and giving people out of work a little more money to buy groceries.

Walden explained to him why that’s a good idea.

In terms of the impact on the economy, if you put a dollar into food stamps, that’s going to get turned over and spent rather rapidly and have an immediate impact on the economy, probably faster than an infrastructure project.

The roles (sic) on those programs have risen, even without a change in the eligibility requirements, because this is all driven by the economy

And Fetzer apparently is all driven by his desperation to demonize the poor, which sadly is still a staple of Republican Party politics.


  1. Louie

    July 21, 2009 at 11:07 am

    yeah a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) sounds like a good idea for the hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians out of work doesnt it Tom. Wasnt it that famous Republican Richard Nixon who proposed that idea?

  2. Louie

    July 21, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Guaranteed minimum income (GMI) is a proposed system[1] of social welfare provision that guarantees that all citizens or families have an income sufficient to live on, provided they meet certain conditions. Eligibility is typically determined by citizenship, a means test and either availability for the labour market or a willingness to perform community services. The primary goal of a guaranteed minimum income is to combat poverty. If citizenship is the only requirement, the system turns into a basic income guarantee.

  3. Louie

    July 21, 2009 at 11:19 am

    See what ‘conservatives’ in our neighbor to the North are calling for Tom:

    CANADA: Conservative Senator Calls for BIG
    Senator Hugh Segal (a member of the Conservative Party of Canada), has recently argued that the Canadian government needs to make poverty elimination a central goal and that a BIG should be a primary tool to achieve it. Segal cited “a growing gap between what is essential for people to live with dignity and how little welfare payments actually are.” The Senator said, “Governments, politicians, labor leaders and economists speak comfortably about providing liquidity for banks, auto companies, forestry firms, commercial backed paper investors and many more. These initiatives are no doubt vital, but society must also reach out to the economically most vulnerable. What about people living in poverty? What about families who lack enough to pay for heat, food, shelter and clothes? What about the duty we share to ensure that none among us lack the basics in this wealthy and compassionate Canada? What about our duty to ensure that core income levels are unconditional and at the respectable subsistence level? Poverty reduction and supporting the most vulnerable first should be a key priority for budget development, consultations and any engagement or cooperation between Federal parties and provincial governments.” According to a press release from the Senator’s office, “In the last Parliament, he introduced a motion requesting a study on the merits of a guaranteed annual income/basic income for disadvantaged Canadians and will be reintroducing this motion when Parliament resumes.”

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