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The GOP Is Imploring Millions Of Americans To Go On Welfare—But Only The “Right” Kind

Written By: Anton Sawyer

The GOP Is Imploring Millions Of Americans To Go On Welfare—But Only The “Right” Kind

I love the warm feelings brought about by exposing hypocrisy. Whether from the republicans or the democrats, the source doesn't really matter. It's because of this joy I experience that it gives me great pleasure to examine a special topic today: the GOP push for medically assisted welfare.

In layman's terms, republicans are pushing an agenda where they will give you money and other government assistance to stay home and not be forced to get a vaccine if there’s an evil mandate where you live. I guess welfare isn't just for the "lazy people," it’s also for the paranoid.

To be honest, I don't have a problem with people getting public assistance when needed. It's a tradition for giant corporations like Walmart to make it a point to stop by Congress (local or federal depending on the brand of welfare they want) before anything else to make sure they receive every possible financial break Uncle Sam has to offer first before breaking ground in any given locale. If it's good enough for America's largest employer, by golly it's good enough for me.

Ivan Radic, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul says 34% of Kentucky’s total labor force is at risk of losing their jobs if the vaccine mandate goes into effect. -- Ivan Radic, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


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According to a 2014 report by Americans for Tax Fairness, Walmart receives an estimated $6.2 billion in subsidies every year, primarily from the Federal Government. No matter the town or city, if you have a Walmart in your community, you are paying a Walmart Tax. In fact, a single Walmart Supercenter is estimated to cost taxpayers between $904,542 and $1.74 million per year in public assistance money. A 2020 report published by Mother Jones showed that in the state of Georgia alone, there are an estimated 3,959 Walmart employees on publicly funded healthcare—Medicaid. Walmart leads the state in that statistic. I figure if the multibillion-dollar corporations kneel before Uncle Sam with such regularity, then the average citizen should be able to as well with the same level of stigma: none.

So let’s toss those stigmas aside and look at the simple realities of what’s going on as it pertains to the political manipulation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the release of federal dollars when it comes to vaccine mandates—or a lack thereof.

With federal vaccine mandates at hand, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul says 34% of Kentucky’s total labor force is at risk of losing their jobs if the vaccine mandate goes into effect. Though he does have sound medical thinking when he says we must focus on targeting the Delta variant and other mutations, he asserts that masks are one step above useless in stemming the spread of the current virus that raises concern. Claiming, "No evidence that the masks work at all for kids and in schools, they don’t prevent outbreaks." This, in turn, has allowed for an interim solution; before the vaccines for Delta and other variants become widely available, is to have people pull their kids out of school, bring them home and give them taxpayer money as an incentive to do so. It’s this thought process that has allowed Paul to reintroduce his SCHOOL Act.

In essence, while federal education dollars are currently sent to states and then distributed amongst public school districts, Dr. Paul’s legislation would allow federal funds for K-12 education to follow the eligible child, learning in person or remotely, to the school of their choice. Whether in public school, private school, or homeschool, the funds can be used for a wide range of educational needs, including tuition, curriculum materials, technology, support for special education, or classes outside the home.

Dr. Paul has stated time and time again that this is the only logical response to the current trends of increased homeschooling. According to the US Census Bureau national homeschooling rates grew rapidly from 1999 to 2012 but had since remained steady at around 3.3%. COVID has definitely changed all of that. In the first week (April 23-May 5) of Phase 1 of the survey, about 5.4% of U.S. households with school-aged children reported homeschooling. By fall, 11.1% of households with school-age children reported homeschooling (Sept. 30-Oct. 12). With these numbers already increasing at a surprising rate, a financial incentive to boot is sure to spike those numbers even higher.

I know what you’re thinking. “But this government assistance only covers the children themselves. A parent still has to work, and the amount of government assistance for a child surely won’t be able to pay all of the other bills. It can’t work.” Well, Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has that covered.

DeSantis is pushing a bill to pay workers who refuse their companies’ requirements to get vaccinated against COVID-19. A provision of SB 2 would pay unemployment benefits at taxpayers’ expense to workers fired because they refuse required safety protocols to help stem the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces. The bill will be taken up by the republican-dominated state legislature during a special session at the end of November 2021. Iowa’s Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed a similar law providing unemployment benefits for workers in that state who refuse their employers’ requirements that they get COVID vaccines. The law was also passed during a special session and took effect immediately.

These aforementioned bills—which are still in debate as of this publication—have the ability to siphon large amounts of federal monies to families who refuse the COVID vaccines and end up losing their jobs and allowing them to stay home, all while getting additional federal monies if they do the same for their children in school.

Call me old-fashioned, but I was always taught by my die-hard republican father that the GOP doesn’t give handouts because of its core ideal of lifting yourself up by your bootstraps. And the proliferation of the thought that if you live off the government dole, it’s a choice. A choice usually made by those who are either “lazy” or have an “angle.” It seems that the definitions of “lazy” and “angle” are entirely subjective depending on the ideology … just like the American criminal justice system. But that’s a different topic for another day.

I understand misdirection at its core. I get what the GOP is doing by pointing towards phantoms to capture the attention of the rubes while enacting legislation that mirrors everything they say they oppose. But for the entire conservative party to walk around with this idea of moral superiority because of their “can-do” attitude and willingness to overcome obstacles by themselves is one thing. To try and pass such hypocritical legislation that is nothing more than the welfare they so vehemently oppose is something else.

We all knew COVID-19 was going to change every facet of our lives to one degree or another. I’m just surprised at how easily both parties have been able to reconstruct certain core elements because of it. I feel that whether you are a lifelong republican or democrat, within the next five years or so, the ideologies coming from the party leadership will become completely unrecognizable, even to yourself.


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