Democrats Join Republicans in Bashing the PoorPosted: March 24, 2017
By Dave Duncan
It is a well-established fact that fraud by people receiving Welfare amounts to a very small percentage of welfare recipients. Yet our Democratic County Executive Jason Garnar and Republican District Attorney Stephen Cornwell have teamed up to create a position of Welfare Fraud Prosecutor. The new position will cost the Broome County taxpayers $99,000 per year. County Executive Garnar, newly elected to replace the welfare bashing executive who used a public credit card for personal use, is taking the same road that, in the past, Republicans reserved for themselves.
Reasons for Picking on the Poor
The poor do not contribute money to politicians. The poor do not vote. The poor are vulnerable. They see little difference between the Democrats and the Republicans and they are right. The attacks on welfare is one way to keep people from applying since the poor do not want to get caught up in a sting operation that will come after them, often for just not understanding the system.
Who’s Not Prosecuted?
Now if we are going to pick on a group that is seriously screwing the public it would make sense to go after those developers/bankers who have received hundreds of millions in low interest loans and tax breaks intended to create jobs which never materialized.
Different Rules for the Wealthy
Shouldn’t these great protectors of the county’s budget get after the wealthy developers who put fake numbers in application slots that ask for the number of jobs to be developed? Since the development agencies are sponsored by the County, why don’t the County Executive and DA prosecute them?
Politicians do not want to bite the hand that feeds them. Developers/bankers support the elected officials whose tongues are the same color as the rich peoples’ boots. So many families are poor because promised jobs never materialize and most of the few jobs that are created do not pay enough to live on. Mr. County Executive, where are the living wage jobs we’ve paid for?
The D.A. Should Be Prosecuted
Cornwell, our DA puts his name on a press release almost every day. His picture was featured when the new welfare fraud prosecutor was named. In his first year as D.A. he overspent his allocated line item by $500,000 and needed the public bucks to bail out his failure to adhere for his office. $500,000 is a lot of welfare. He did not have a photo opp. for his massive overspending. But he will prosecute the poor for taking extra food stamps. Maybe bashing welfare recipients will make up the budget woes caused by the DA’s overspending.
The Poor Pay More than Their Share
The greatest share of the county budget comes from the sales taxes. The sales tax weighs heaviest on lower income people. Our developers have been exempted from sales tax on building materials and equipment as well as being given reductions on their property taxes. The exemptions for the wealthy create budget shortages in the county that must be made up by those who are not rich. Garnar blames our problems on the poor when there are no jobs, the population is dwindling and small businesses are closing. Poor bashing is a political tool to take the public’s attention away from the fact that our wealthy developers have pocketed public funds and not delivered the jobs.
All Should be Examined
Poor people who take welfare benefits they are not entitled to should receive some punishment but only if we punish those who take the big bucks off the top and do not provide decent paying jobs that allow people to move off welfare.