I was listening with keen interest to radio coverage leading up to the start of the 2008 legislative session in St. Paul, when my attention was distracted by an annoying din.
The irritating racket in the background continued through several interviews, raising my ire with each passing minute.
When I discovered the source of the disturbance, I had to open the windows of my vehicle to let in the cool February breeze to prevent my corpuscles and plasma from boiling over.
The specimens behind the ruckus were members of a group that calls itself the Welfare Rights Coalition.
The very name of the group is enough to cause the short hairs on the back of my neck to stand at attention.
I am an inquisitive individual, so as soon as my cranial temperature returned to a safe level, I set about discovering exactly what “rights” this group of fine upstanding citizens (I am giving them the benefit of the doubt in assuming they are citizens) was talking about.
It turns out that the Welfare Rights Coalition is a well-organized group that has been putting the bite on taxpayers for 14 years.
The group even has a web site.
It proudly proclaims that in 2007, “the welfare rights committee won tens of millions of dollars for poor families in Minnesota.”
Well, if they won, someone had to lose, and one presumes it was the taxpayers that took the hit.
The Welfare Rights Coalition is a very feisty group indeed.
Prominently featured on its site is a list of the group’s DEMANDS (their word and inflection) for 2008.
The group claims that “Some Minnesota politicians are scheming to steal more money from welfare . . . .” This struck me as odd, because to steal means to wrongfully take the property of another.
How is it possible to steal something from someone to whom it does not belong?
The group also states that it is opposed to time limits on welfare, and it is opposed to “workfare” in all its forms, including forcing people to work at low-wage jobs.
Most people would say that providing a safety net for those who fall upon hard times and legitimately need temporary help to get back on their feet, or offering some training or job placement help are good things.
The trouble starts when welfare becomes a lifestyle, and people begin to think of public assistance as a career choice.
The Welfare Rights Coalition web site has a photo gallery chock-full of photos of group members protesting their situation.
Perhaps if they were to spend less time sniveling and protesting, and more time looking for work, welfare time limits would not be an issue.
And, when it comes to “forcing people to work in low-wage jobs,” it is possible to work one’s way up to a better situation, but it is unlikely that one can complain one’s way up the ladder.
No doubt these activists would all like to be executives, but, until those opportunities come along, these prima donnas will just have to muck-in like the rest of us, and take whatever jobs they can get.
They seem to be pretty handy at making signs and banners, so maybe some of them can get jobs doing that.
The Welfare Rights Coalition seems enamored of the concept of making “the rich people” pay for everything, but the reality is, it is the taxpayers who get stuck holding the bag. Our paychecks would go a lot further if we weren’t supporting so many other people.
Another interesting topic on the group’s web site involves children.
The group holds up inflammatory banners directed at the governor, that say “the blood of our children is on your hands,” and messages that say “society needs to recognize raising children as valuable work.”
It is a giant leap from recognizing the importance of raising children to agreeing to support someone’s lifestyle choice.
Most people manage to keep their britches zipped, and, as a result, do not have hordes of children that they cannot afford.
Perhaps those who cannot keep their britches zipped could at least try to keep their mouths zipped, and stop demanding that others pay to support them and their progeny.
Some of these people say it takes a village to raise a child, but the village did not ask for the delightful opportunity to raise their children, so it would be nice if they would quit telling us we are responsible. We villagers have plenty to do already.
After hearing the protesters on the radio, and reading the propaganda on their web site, I decided to start a protest organization of my own.
I am thinking of calling it the Suckers’ Rights Coalition.
I am tired of being a mug and paying for clowns who refuse to accept responsibility or pull their own weight.
I bet there are plenty of other patsies out there who are sick of loafers who spit in their eyes and then ask for handouts, and I bet they would be willing to join me.
We taxpayers have a few demands of our own that we would like to share with the group.
I started to think up some snappy catch phrases, and thought about calling some of my acquaintances to see if they would like to join me for a sign-making party, and then toddle down to St. Paul to have a little protest rally.
Then, I remembered I couldn’t make it because I have work to do.
I suspect that none of my friends could make it either. They probably don’t have time to protest, because they have jobs and responsibilities and work to do.
Taxpayers do have rights. We are tired of this game. We have been pigeons in this welfare scam long enough. We just don’t have time to hang around the capitol whining about it.
So, I guess I won’t be starting a new protest group today, but that doesn’t mean I will stop protesting.