Darrell Issa: America’s Poor Have It Pretty Good, Actually

Congressman Darrell Issa says that America's poor are generally better off than the poor in the rest of the world. While he's correct, he's also incredibly tone deaf.

rich-poor

California Congressman Darrell Issa, who just happens to be the wealthiest members of Congress, thinks that America’s poor are the envy of the world:

Darrell Issa, the richest man in Congress, said America has made “our poor somewhat the envy of the world.”

Asked by CNNMoney whether he feels personally responsible to address income inequality in the United States, the Republican Congressman from California said “absolutely.” But he noted that America is the richest country on earth and implied that those in poverty here are better off than the poor in other nations.

If you go to India or you go to any number of other Third World countries, you have two problems: You have greater inequality of income and wealth. You also have less opportunity for people to rise from the have not to the have,” said Issa. In the U.S., he noted there is better availability and access to quality public education.

Issa’s personal wealth is by far the greatest of any congress member. His net worth in 2013 was $448.4 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and stems from a car alarm business he built.

America’s poor, however, might not feel as upwardly mobile. It’s actually harder for Americans to climb the economic ladder here than it is for their peers in most other advanced countries, researchby University of Ottawa Professor Miles Corak shows.

Here’s the interview:

On some level, of course, Issa is correct. Relatively speaking, what we consider “poor” in the United States is in fact far above the levels of abject poverty in the poorest nations in Africa. Even in a nation like India that is on the rise economically, the poorest of the poor live in conditions that Americans would consider unacceptable today, and they would likely view the lifestyle and living conditions of the vast majority of America’s poor to be luxurious by comparison. That’s one reason why, when we talk about helping the poor in the United States, which is of course a worthy endeavor, we shouldn’t let that distract us from the fact that there are people in other parts of the worlds living in far worse conditions, often due to racial and religious prejudice, armed conflict, or government and societal indifference and incompetence. Indeed, in many respects, solving the problems of poverty in an advanced nation like the United States is often are far easier affair, at least logistically, than it is to solve in other parts of the world where culture, tradition, religion, and other forces all combine to make improving the lot of the worst of the worst in Africa, India, and elsewhere in the world far more difficult.

What is problematic about Issa’s comments, though, is that it strikes me as being dismissive of the idea that there even is a poverty problem in the United States, something that seems to be an all too common attitude among people on the right. Although Issa does not mention it specifically, you’ll often here people who make the same argument he does here bring up anecdotal “facts” such as people living in poverty who have expensive television sets and high-priced cable television packages, people on food stamps using their aid to buy expensive items like lobster or crab legs, and seeing people using EBT cards while walking around with iPhones and designer clothes. Some of these anecdotes may actually be examples of things that happened in real life, although I suspect many of them fall more in to the urban legend category, but whether they are true or not doesn’t matter. The reason that stories like that spread is because they reinforce pre-existing beliefs that people who are poor and on public assistance are basically just taking advantage of the rest of us, and that “poverty” in America isn’t really a problem at all, or that, if it exists, it’s because of personal faults on the part of people living in poverty. That’s why you see politicians, mostly Republican, pushing ideas like barring people who receive food stamps from buying “luxury” foods, or requiring anyone receiving public assistance to take a drug test even though there’s no proof that it actually accomplishes anything. Similarly, responding to a question about poverty by arguing that America’s poor actually have it pretty good is, in the end, essentially meant to dismiss the problem as anything that people really need to spend their time thinking about.

On a final note, of course, there is something about the wealthiest member of Congress talking about poverty and income inequality in such dismissive and, in the end, idiotic, tones that just screams really bad public relations. Mitt Romney had similar problems discussing this issue during the 2012 campaign, but he never really said anything quite this tone deaf. It’s not quite as bad as a male politician talking about children conceived as a result of rape, but it’s pretty close. If Republicans really want to address this issue, they would be wise to avoid Issa’s rhetoric altogether, and probably have their position presented by someone other than him.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Economics and Business, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. dmhlt says:

    Surely there was a time when Republicans boasted about something America produced – other than poor people – that was “the envy of the world”.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    Issa’s personal wealth is by far the greatest of any congress member. His net worth in 2013 was $448.4 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and stems from a car alarm business he built.

    Coming from a man who made his person fortune in the car alarm security business, his comments are especially inspirational.

    Republicans just can’t help themselves – clearly they are confident that their base voters have contempt for poor people, and in fact consider most poor people to be undeserving of state or federal support.

  3. Monala says:

    Republicans who complain about the “lack of freedom” they are supposedly experiencing under President Obama should realize that people have it much worse in a military dictatorship…

  4. ernieyeball says:

    If Republicans really want to address this issue,..

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
    You must be auditioning for The Joker in the next Batman Movie!

  5. Moosebreath says:

    “If you go to India or you go to any number of other Third World countries, you have two problems: You have greater inequality of income and wealth. You also have less opportunity for people to rise from the have not to the have,” said Issa. In the U.S., he noted there is better availability and access to quality public education.”

    Two problems:

    1. If our aspiration is only to be better than average among Third World countries, that’s a pretty low bar. Comparisons on this issue to other OECD countries would be more telling.

    2. Each of the items Issa mentions (inequality of income and wealth, opportunity to rise in class and quailty public education) are being undermined by our DC consensus which amounts to class warfare on behalf of the upper classes.

  6. Tillman says:

    American exceptionalism means our poor are better than everybody else’s poor, unless those poor are in a phallic-shaped Scandinavian country in which case they don’t count because penises are gross.

  7. Rob Prather says:

    Too often, talk about “the undeserving poor” is a cover for callousness. I know, I’ve been there.

  8. Franklin says:

    Issa’s statement might be a fine argument, if I even understood what it was for. Are we perpetually in debt because we give too much aid to the poor? The answer is no.

  9. SenyorDave says:

    @Franklin: Are we perpetually in debt because we give too much aid to the poor? The answer is no.

    We are perpetually in debt because we have a structural deficit in our budget. Under Bill Clinton we had what was essentially a balanced budget, if not a surplus budget. GWB increased spending and reduced revenue. This is not debatable. The amount spend on poverty in this country is significant, but it certainly is not the major reason for the current deficit.

    Issa should stick to going after Obama on Benghazi. At least on that issue he’s just making stuff up, not even attempting to make a coherent argument.

  10. C. Clavin says:

    Mitt Romney had similar problems discussing this issue during the 2012 campaign, but he never really said anything quite this tone deaf.

    You mean other than the 47% comment??? WTF???

  11. Scott F. says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Both good points!!

    I want to stress, however, the perniciousness of the inequality debate in this country always focusing immediately on the plight of the poor in the US. The death of upward mobility and wage stagnation is screwing over the middle class as much as the poor, so Issa’s misdirection on the inequality question allows him to ignore the 84% of the country that lies between the poverty level and the 1 percenters who control the country.

    It’s a classic “us” vs “them” strategy and we shouldn’t always let them get away with it.

  12. stonetools says:

    On a final note, of course, there is something about the wealthiest member of Congress talking about poverty and income inequality in such dismissive and, in the end, idiotic, tones that just screams really bad public relations

    On the contrary, I welcome his candor. He makes it clear that the Republicans have nothing for contempt for poor, -something which their voting and policy choices prove, but which their rhetoric often disguises. As such, his statement performs a public service far greater than anything else he does as a Congressman. It’s a classic gaffe-an inadvertent revelation of what his real views (and the views of his party) are.

  13. Pinky says:

    A Kinsley gaffe. Doug notes that it’s true. He says that it doesn’t matter if the anecdotes (actually, data) supporting it are true. Other than tribal signaling, is there a story here?

  14. KM says:

    This is like a overweight couch potato telling a long-distance runner with a green-stick fracture to buck up kiddo, a person with a compound fracture really envies them and hey, no bone’s sticking out!! It’s true in the most abstract sense that the person screaming in pain would rather be anyone else, even the other guy with the less-severe injury. It also totally ignores that both are suffering serious injuries that the couch potato knows nothing of and has no right to speak of, having spent their life on their fat ass.

    Insensitive and tone deaf doesn’t even begin to cover it. The kind of ass that gets tossed out of hospital rooms for cracks like that, possibly on the way to one of their very own.

  15. bill says:

    so have any of you ever traveled abroad and not noticed what a shithole the rest of the world is? as much as it sucks to be “poor” here- they live like kings compared to most of the world. why do you think we have so many people trying to get into the country by any means necessary? and just what has putting generations of people on “the dole” done for them….aside from make them helpless and unwilling to work?

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    That’s one reason why, when we talk about helping the poor in the United States, which is of course a worthy endeavor, we shouldn’t let that distract us from the fact that there are people in other parts of the worlds living in far worse conditions, often due to racial and religious prejudice, armed conflict, or government and societal indifference and incompetence. Indeed, in many respects, solving the problems of poverty in an advanced nation like the United States is often are far easier affair, at least logistically,

    Doug, just exactly why do you think we can’t solve the problem of poverty in the US? It is explicitly because of “racial and religious prejudice, armed conflict, or government and societal indifference and incompetence.” We’re not really that much different than other countries.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @bill:

    they live like kings compared to most of the world.

    Obviously enough, you don’t have a clue of what you are talking about.

  18. Monala says:

    @bill: First of all, a hell of a lot of poor people in this country are working. We don’t have the “dole” in this country. Welfare benefits have work requirements, and unemployment benefits have job search requirements, so for the most part, unless they’re elderly, children, or disabled, people on public benefits in this country are working or actively looking for work. The lazy, helpless people you describe are a product of your callous imagination.

    Second, it’s beside the point. Just because someone is suffering more than the person in question (whether it’s the poor in other countries, vs. the poor in the U.S., or the person with the compound fracture vs. the one with the minor fracture KM described above), doesn’t mean the lesser suffering shouldn’t be addressed. Or would you not report a break-in to your house because what was stolen from you pales in comparison to the billions stolen by bankers during the financial meltdown?

  19. KM says:

    @Bill:

    Did your parents ever feed you a variation of the line “Eat your vegetables, there’s kids starving in X”? As a kid, did that ever truly make you feel you were honored and lucky to have that broccoli? That the veggies were something to be treasured since an unknown unfortunate you’ll never meet is suffering without them? Or were you like most kids and either sullenly eat it (maybe the dog did) or sass back that the starving kids could have it?

    Poor people are aware they are poor, thank you very much. And trust me, they are far far FAR more aware then you are of how much worse it can get and how much lower one can go. They don’t need condescending jerks from slightly higher up on the ladder telling them “how good they have it”. This is like telling someone to be grateful for flushing toilets – instead of berating someone for what you feel is hubris, how about we fix it so everyone has the same minimum standards of life?

  20. anjin-san says:

    @bill:

    Are you claiming to be a world traveler? Judging by your commenting history, you are either someone who has never been more than 200 miles from his birthplace, or somehow who has traveled, yet managed to experience no personal growth at all as a result.

  21. grumpy realist says:

    @bill: Um, I’ve traveled to quite a few countries in the world. Lived over a decade in Japan. Not a “hell-hole”. Ditto for travel in France, Italy, U.K., German, Sweden, The Netherlands, Switzerland….none of these places were “hell-holes” and were in fact, in much better condition than the U.S.A.

    I realize you want to beat your breast and scream “USA! USA ! USA!”

    That doesn’t make us the best in the world.

  22. Pinky says:

    @grumpy realist: That’s a list of some of the nicest places in the world. If you’d said you’d been to Haiti, Sudan, Bangladesh, and North Korea and you knew something about international poverty it’d carry more weight. I don’t think anyone here is saying that Amsterdam and Naples are third-world hells.

  23. bill says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: yes i do, been there- have you? sorry for the lame rap/rhyme!
    @Monala: the point is that our “poor” have way more than the rest of the world. “poor” people in other countries live in shit, no climate control/microwaves (if they have electricity), cars,etc.
    @anjin-san: asia, europe, south America, the caribbean,canada,a good chunk of the US- most are 200 miles from Texas, heck i can go 200 miles in many directions and still be in Texas.
    @grumpy realist: 1st world countries….really? and like it or not you probably didn’t venture onto the “bad” parts of town on purpose let alone spend “quality time” with their “poor”.

    and none of you even bothered to refute the amount of people who try to get into our country by any means- and the obvious reason?

  24. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    so have any of you ever traveled abroad and not noticed what a shithole the rest of the world is? as much as it sucks to be “poor” here- they live like kings compared to most of the world

    I compare America to the advanced countries of Europe, and those countries are not exactly the hell hole you imagine them to be.

  25. Pinky says:

    @bill: Don’t bother responding to anjin-san’s usual “what do you know about it, bub” schtick.

  26. Monala says:

    @bill: Yes, poor people from other countries are trying to immigrate here. Now, are you going to address my point that just because someone is suffering more than you are (generic “you”), it doesn’t follow that therefore you shouldn’t try to address your own suffering?

  27. Pinky says:

    @Monala: I don’t think bill or Issa said we shouldn’t try to alleviate the suffering of the poor in the US.

  28. michael reynolds says:

    You know, compared to Haiti our unemployment numbers are great! I look to Mr. Issa, as well as @Pinky and @bill to congratulate Mr. Obama on his outstanding performance.

  29. Monala says:

    @Pinky: So what then, is the point of bringing in the comparisons to other countries? Neither has offered any policy prescriptions for alleviating poverty in the U.S., just made points about how other countries have it worse.

  30. grumpy realist says:

    @bill: You’d be surprised where I ended up in Japan. “Poverty” doesn’t mean the same thing there as it does in the U.S.

    And I’d want to recheck that “everyone wants to come to the US” idea as well.

  31. the Q says:

    I would say to Mr. Issa that he and all the wingnuts should quit complaining about how much taxes the rich pay since the wealthy in this country are the envy of the world with their puny 20% effective tax rate and ability to get the working class to pick up the tab for their criminal wrongdoings.

    What a bunch of whiners! They could be taxed at 43% (like George Romney in the 50s/60s) and still live better than any of the other wealthy foreigners.

  32. Pinky says:

    @Monala: I don’t know. He may have just been signaling to his tribe, or antagonizing his tribe’s opponents. He was also stating something that’s true. If people have misunderstandings about a particular problem, it’s worthwhile to reach a better understanding of it before proposing solutions to it.

  33. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    And in what way do we now understand the problem better? I mean, now that we know our poor aren’t as poor as the poor in Somalia. What do you figure, deal with the khat problem and buy everyone a camel?

    Issa is a nasty prick talking to a party of nasty pricks. And for some reason — I will avoid guessing lest I be accused of mind reading — you’ve decided to defend him.

  34. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: Why did I defend Issa’s statement?

    Well, the first reason is, it’s true. Generally speaking, if you’re criticized for saying something or agreeing with something, the truth is an absolute defense.

    Secondly, I’m sure I’m responding out of partisanship. Someone on my side of the aisle is being criticized, so I’m going to be more sympathetic to him. Tribalism and all. I’m sure it’s the same reason why people on the other side are protesting a true statement. We want to protect our own.

    Thirdly, I do believe that people have the wrong idea about American poverty. When they hear the word “poverty” I suspect that they picture the horrible scenes out of Africa, with flies and protruding bellies. American poverty is different, with different causes, severity, and (I suspect) cures. On the other side, I also worry that when people hear about third-world poverty, they picture the reasonably healthy guy begging on their street corner. Because poverty in other parts of the world is far more severe. I’ve recently gotten involved with a charity in Jamaica, and yes, there are some parts of the world where the best first step in curing poverty is shoving money at it. I don’t think that’s true in the US.

  35. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    Contra the down-votes there I thought your response was thoughtful and honest.

    I agree that poverty in the US is not going to be solved by throwing money at it. The best solution is jobs and for a variety of reasons I don’t think good-paying jobs are coming back or staying if they do return.

    You want to solve poverty in this country? Then people need to start by avoiding the killer mistakes. Don’t get pregnant, don’t become addicted to anything deadly or expensive, don’t go to jail. When I talk to kids I sometimes do a thing on mistakes to avoid, and I tell them if you avoid pregnancy, addiction and crime, your life may not be wonderful, but it shouldn’t be awful, either. You know who actually can (barely) live on minimum wage? A single man or woman without dependents, or a couple without kids. And before someone tells me I’m an out-of-touch limousine liberal, I’ve lived on minimum wage, and I’ve gone hungry because I literally did not have the price of a loaf of bread.

    Kids are a huge stressor in this society because we don’t have day care, unlike every other civilized country. Having kids in this country is the surest way to kill your economic prospects if you’re at the lower reaches of the economic chart. You’re better off shooting heroin.

    So, Republicans who are very into liberating people to produce, ought logically to be very well-disposed toward day care subsidies. But, no. Of course not.

    And, Maddow reports that Colorado’s award-winning program to encourage IUDs and birth control implants, a program that cut teen pregnancy by 40% and abortion by 35%, was just killed by the new Republican majority.

    Now, we Democrats think that’s about three different types of stupid. Here we are actually lowering the abortion rate and the teen pregnancy rate, and one can suppose having a positive effect on the prospects of thousands of young people, and Republicans kill the program.

    Think that’s an isolated example? Remember the great Midnight Basketball freak-out? Haw haw haw, gubmint money spent on midnight basketball haw haw haw. Now, we soft-headed liberals thought it was worth a few pennies to get rootless young men into a supervised and relatively safe area, rather than leaving them with absolutely nothing to do. Republicans thought, No, the smart play here is to have a whole lot of free-range, unemployed, out-of-school kids as unsupervised as possible.

    Republicans attack even the smallest, most effective, least expensive ways to attack poverty. Every time.

    The entirety of the Republican approach to poverty is to let billionaires contribute less. Because if we give Sheldon Adelson another billion he’ll probably hire three more minimum wage maids to clean his casinos. Somehow that’s supposed to make sense.

    If Republicans want in on a conversation about poverty, they should start by not acting like lunatics. Otherwise it’s like talking fire prevention with the local arsonist.

  36. Andre Kenji says:

    Poor people in many countries other than Murica have access to childcare, health care and paid maternity leave. And, no, I´m not thinking about Sweden or Norway.

  37. wr says:

    @bill: “so have any of you ever traveled abroad and not noticed what a shithole the rest of the world is? ”

    So you’ve traveled the world and the only insight you picked up was that everywhere but where yo live is a shithole?

    Man, what a pathetic mind you have, and what a tragically impoverished life.

  38. wr says:

    @Pinky: “Don’t bother responding to anjin-san’s usual “what do you know about it, bub” schtick.”

    Yeah, really. Imagine if people actually made arguments based on knowledge instead of crap they pulled out of their ass. For one thing, Pinky would have to vanish from the internet!

    Remember, right wing kids, ignorance and prejudice is good; knowledge is bad!

  39. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “You want to solve poverty in this country? Then people need to start by avoiding the killer mistakes.”

    I only kind of halfway agree with you here, Michael. Yes, people should not do stupid things — on that we will agree. But if there’s one constant through all of human history, in all social classes in all cultures, it’s that people do stupid things.

    So I’m going to say that one of the main thrusts of our aid to the poor is to create a culture in which the mistake is not the killer.

    Let’s face it — if you or I f*ck up (and we have and we most likely will), we can find our way out of it. We can afford lawyers, we have insurance to pay for doctors, we’ve got the skills to bring in more money. If, for instance, I cheated on my wife and got a young woman pregnant, it would be a terrible situation and would have severe personal consequences (including, most likely, the loss of a long and happy marriage). But I could pay to support that child, I could handle myself in court, I could deal with the fallout.

    But if I were poor and poorly educated… my life would probably be over in most ways.

    Look, poor teenage kids are going to have sex, and sometimes there’s going to be a pregnancy. Right now our approach is to pretend that only happens to bad people who should be punished. Or to stupid people who made a mistake they must pay for.

    But why don’t we accept that this is going to be inevitable tor a certain percentage of our population, and work to make sure that this mistake isn’t a killer? What if we offered free pre-natal care (now mostly covered under the ACA, so thank you Obama)? What if we offered greatly subsidized child care so that the parents could go back to school or work even though they had a baby? What if we were generous with food assistance so that the child’s brain could develop normally and possibly would be less likely to fall prey to his/her parents’ mistakes?

    Why not develop a real safety net so that lower class Americans can make their inevitable mistakes without destroying their lives?

    Granted, that cuts right against Republican philosophy, which is that other people who make mistakes are sinners and deserve nothing but suffering.

    But to me it defines the opportunity society that even the Right likes to prattle on about — the opportunity to build a good life even if you’ve made mistakes.

  40. stonetools says:

    @Pinky:

    THe entire Republican approach towards the poor is the moralistic one of making the lives of the poor as miserable as possible and to punish them for any mistake they might make.Depressing the lives of the American poor toward sthose of countries like Jamaica and Haiti is actually a feature, not a bug, of Republican policy. That so many of America’s poor are black and brown actually helps Republicans because they get to kick the poor and affirm white supremacy both at the same time.
    What accounts for Republicans’ meanness toward the poor? Certainly not Christian charity: The Republican approach toward the poor is the exact opposite of the biblical approach. Rather , it is the belief if we make lives miserable for the poor, they will work as hard to get out of their miserable situation. Any attempt to ameliorate this misery would be counterproductive, because the poor would cease their efforts to become nonpoor.

    My experience is that the poor will in fact work hard to clamber up ladders to get themselves out of poverty. The problem is that those ladders aren’t generally there.

  41. Just Me says:

    The poor in the US as well as most other Western nations are well off comparatively because most of these nations provide assistance to the poor (some countries do more than others).

    If all programs to the poor were cut tomorrow I have the feeling some of the wealth the poor own would be heading to the pasn shops.

    By the way I live and work in a rural NH city that is extremely poor overall. If people make money they leave. One thing I notice about the poor kids here is that much of the expensive stuff they own comes from pawn shops or some other second hand sale.

    My family is on the low end of middle class (eg we don’t make much money but don’t qualify for assitance

    I don’t care if poor people have nice TVs or iPhones-there are ways to get those affordably and work them into your budget. The second hand market for a lot electronics is relatively affordable.

    Cars are the main thing that shock me. I personally know a lot of families much poorer than ours and I do not understand how they can afford the cars they drive. My husband and I scrimped and saved to pay for our 10 year old subaru and our 22 year old Pathfinder. We choose to buy cars with cash so I’m guessing they must finance them but the financing has to be a huge part of the budget.

  42. michael reynolds says:

    @wr: @stonetools: @Pinky:

    I understand part of Republican thinking. In part they don’t want to dis-incentivize people to be productive. They think if we offer, for example, a basic living wage as a right, that vast portions of the population will mooch and produce nothing. I agree that’s a potential problem.

    Of course being Republicans they immediately shift to moralizing rather than pragmatically addressing the actual issue. For Republicans the issue is always “not enough Jesus n’ too many ni**ers.” Because they really are nasty, hateful idiots who equate poor with black and still, in the back of their little minds see white skin as a marker of goodness.

    But they’re not wrong to feel that life cannot be sanded so completely smooth that no one is impelled to produce. Had life in the cave been easy we’d all still be living in caves.

    But that concern has to give way to the reality which is that the entire capitalist world is having a very hard time keeping people employed in jobs that can support life. I think the future involves increasing numbers of permanently unemployed. I think off-shoring, automation and sociological changes are driving us toward chronic high unemployment and underemployment and jobs which can’t pay enough to make work worthwhile.

    So there has to be a balance between maintaining incentives on the one end, and punishing people for not having jobs that don’t exist on the other, and we’ll have to feel our way toward it. What I would like from Republicans is to advance their thinking about six decades. They still think it’s 1955. And it would be great if they could outgrow their racism and sexism and reality-aversion and spite-based morality and help us find a way to deal with actual problems in the real world.

    I don’t see that happening any time soon. Take away the spite, the rage, the racism, the denial of reality and what’s left of the GOP? James Joyner and a party of eight.

  43. Tony W says:

    @Just Me:

    Cars are the main thing that shock me

    I go to some length to not judge the poor on the occasional trinket they are able to get their hands on. For all I know the car/watch/iPhone is something given to them by their grandmother on her deathbed and it’s the one thing they are holding on to in order to feel okay. Not my place to judge, and it keeps me from jumping to indefensible positions on the issue.

    Legislation forbidding steak and lobster on food stamps is silly pandering by a party that cares nothing for those on SNAP.

    Issa is arguably the worst of the worst in the Republican party – hypocrisy at its very worst as noted above. He bitches about government spending while investigating BENGHAZI!. He complains about the poor while stealing their money. He probably kicks puppies and poisons his kids goldfish.

    I generally don’t think paying attention to this ignoramus is a good use of our collective attention, but then again, here I am commenting – so maybe I’m the hypocrite.

  44. Pinky says:

    @stonetools: You see, when your depiction of someone else’s thought process requires you to suppose awful motivations that don’t seem to be even human, you should reconsider it.

    [ETA: Wow, I hadn’t seen Tony’s comment. That’s a great example of what I’m talking about. Parody maybe?]

  45. the Q says:

    Mr. Reynolds, it’s always a pleasure to read your comments!

  46. grumpy realist says:

    @wr: We should also definitely get rid of the War Against Drugs. The same activity by a white, upper-middle-class goofball that earns a “boys will be boys” from the local police usually results in years in the slammer (and a crime record) for a guy from the ‘hood.