Still Feeling the Violence
Anybody who missed last night’s Violent Roundtable on the Matt Allen Show — or who would like to listen to it again — can download it here.
I’ll tell you that, from the other side of the microphone, that hour just flies by. By habit, I keep out a notebook during such discussions and jot down points to which I’d like to return. Matt keeps the show moving at a pace that leaves those notes bare of check marks. I’d like to salvage two points, though:
- Marketing food stamps. It took a little of my drive-home time to articulate, but what bothers me about the idea of the government’s marketing food stamps so more eligible recipients will apply is the message that it works into the culture. We’ve already done too much to erase the stigma of existence on the public dole. The more we do to market the “benefit” — not the least by declaring it an economic stimulus for the state — the more we cast it not only as something about which people shouldn’t be ashamed, but as something about which they might actually be proud. “Hey, I’m helping to bring money into the state!”
- State government departments’ overspending. Paul Tencher bragged that Lieutenant Governor Liz Roberts (for whom he was chief of staff) operated within her budget, in contrast to other executive departments. What that declaration elides is the fact that all of the other departments have functions — actions that they are required to take and systems that they are required to perpetuate as a function of their very existence. The demands made upon them ultimately have their origin in the legislature. The lieutenant governor, in Rhode Island, is free of such burdens. Be that as it may, perhaps Tencher would agree with me that the various departments ought to have planned their activities within their budgets, rather than within the mandates that elected officials have placed upon them.