“Poor-Children-Are-Stray-Animals” Bauer Was a Beneficiary of Subsidized School Lunch Programs As a Child


At this point, I almost expect that any politician who presents him (or her) self as "holier-than-thou" is going to have some unholy skeletons in their closet. 

Witness the recent sex-tapes and love-child revelations from former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, the intercontinental escapades of current South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, the affairs, so to speak, of fundamentalist member of the "Family," Senator John Ensign now under investigation for payments made to his former mistress (who is the former wife of Ensign’s former staffer), and the hypocrisy of Senator David Vitter (R-LA), who loves to moralize about other people’s lives but was himself paying sex workers for….well you know what.  Then we have former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, the caped crusader against prostitution who was nonetheless paying women for sex and ferrying them across state lines to do so…a double no-no.  The list goes on.

But since the pattern of hypocrisy has primarily involved sex and sexuality, it didn’t dawn on me to think of people being hypocritical about school lunch programs.

But, as my father used to say, you learn something new every day.

It turns out that South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, who as we reported yesterday compared children and families reliant on reduced price or free school meal programs to "stray animals," was himself a beneficiary of school lunch programs. Holy hypocrisy, Batman!

Still, Bauer claims he had a very rational reason for his complaint.

Seanna Adcox of the Associated Press writes: 

A child of divorce who benefited from free lunches himself, Bauer
insisted he wasn’t bad-mouthing people laid off from work in the
recession or advocating taking food from children, but rather
emphasizing the need to break the cycle of dependency.

Yep.  Imagine the lecture: "Sorry, Emily, we can not give you the breakfast you need to be able to think your way through second grade class today because we are trying to reduce the cycle of dependency.  But if you survive your childhood hunger to become a Wall Street executive, the handouts are endless."

Politico reports that in regard to school lunch programs, Bauer further stated:

“You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply,” he said.

“They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that.”

Apparently he doesn’t have very high regard for his fellow South Carolinian human beings
Or perhaps, having grown up during the "ketchup-as-vegetable" Reagan
Administration, received far too few nutrients from his own school
lunch program to develop the parts of the brain that govern rational
thinking and empathy.

Lawmakers in South Carolina refer to Bauer as a "fiercely ambitious Republican with a reputation for reckless and
immature behavior." Bauer’s reputation sheds new light for me on the reluctance of the South
Carolina legislature to impeach Sanford because apparently they didn’t
want to get stuck with Bauer as governor if they did so. Can you blame them? Even the right-wingers in South Carolina apparently saw the potential embarassment of Bauer as worse than the current one of Governor Sanford-Casanova.

Bauer also appears to have problems with the concepts of "cause" and "effect."

According to Sunnews.com, for example, in his speech last Friday Bauer said:

"I can show you a bar graph where
free and reduced lunch has the worst test scores in the state of South
Carolina," adding, "You show me the school that has the highest free
and reduced lunch, and I’ll show you the worst test scores, folks. It’s
there, period."

I get it.  So it is the lunch program that is causing children to achieve lower test scores, not the fact that they come to school at a disadvantage in the first place, having been born into dire poverty, or that their parents are losing their jobs right and left because of the economic downturn in a state that was already on the brink, or that high-quality affordable childcare programs are out of the reach of parents who would like to work. 

Bauer’s solution?

"So how do you fix it? Well you say, ‘Look, if you receive goods or services from the government, then you owe something back.’"

Bauer said there are no "repercussions" from accepting government assistance.

"We
don’t make you take a drug test. We ought to. We don’t even make you
show up to your child’s parent-teacher conference meeting or to the PTA
meeting.

So what is the suggestion?  That if people show up at the PTA meeting (because of course these folks can easily get time off without repercussion from the two minimum-wage jobs they may be holding down to keep things together) they then get to bring home food for the night?  

Bauer’s right.  Let’s start testing. 

My suggestion: Let’s give a cognitive reasoning test, an IQ test, an emotional maturity test and an empathy test to all politicians before they can run for office and go on the public payroll.  To quote Bauer himself: "We ought to."

Because you know these guys: Once they’re on the public payroll, these not-so-smart politicians will reproduce, especially the ones that "don’t think too much further than that."

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  • jacqueline-s-homan

    Another obvious disconnect in Bauer’s reasoning in his "pro-life" mind is that the fetuses he would force to be born, (against the womens’ will, if he had his way); eventually become the children whom he doesn’t want to feed — you know, children of those "stray animals" whom he wants to deny access to contraception and abortion. Punishing poor women for having sex by hurting mothers and children, not the "sanctity of life", is what’s really important.

     

    When poor women have sex and end up with an unintended pregnancy that they cannot terminate because they can’t afford an abortion after their birth control failed, a pregnancy that risks their own health and life, they’re just being "stray animals" who "breed because they don’t know better." (Bauer’s words)

     

    But when rich white Christian males in the privileged positions of public office get their Viagra and penile implants (on taxpayer funded lawmakers’ healthcare plans) so they can get all the sex they want and impregnate their bed victims, it’s time to hit the Jesus Forgives Me reset button with: "I made a mistake, but God loves me so I deserve a free pass".

     

    It’s time we turned up the heat, not throw our hands up in defeat, and mobilize to oust every last one of these woman-hating, child-hating mother-killers and child-muggers. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue: it’s a human rights issue.

     

     

     "Imposing the non-benign medical condition of childbirth, on unwilling women at peril to their health, wellbeing, lives, and liberty; is the ultimate form of chattel slavery — a human rights violation under Article 7(g) of the Rome Statute."

  • liberaldem

    Bauer’s comment is, in my opinion, another example of the hypocrisy that is so deeply embedded in the conservative Republican party. He knows that his state voters will respond to a message that favors personal responsibility over dependency.

    The sad truth is that Bauer and his ilk don’t recognize that people want to be responsible for their own lives, and their own decisions.

  • miss-not-mrs

    Before I give my opinion I just want to say that I am a single mother with 2 beautiful, smart little boys. I have always worked and had a really good job in healthcare. I was recently laid off and had to apply for foodstamps. Although I get unemployment it does not help when your gas bill is 350.00, your power bill is 250.00 and all you get from unemployment is 308.00 a week. So this guy really needs to get it together. My question is how many lines of cocaine did he sniff before he made these comments? That was an insult to every hard working woman in America who is working extra hard to care for her children without any help from the fathers! I am currently in school and trying to make it so if my kids have to eat from foodstamps for a year until I finish it doesn’t make them any less of a human being than his children. He needs a reality check. With the way the economy is now he may have to eat his own words because he too may need assistance. “ummm who gone check me boo?’

  • jodi-jacobson

    For sharing your story and the honesty with which you have done so. 

     

    I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your job and for the current struggle you are facing and wish you only the best. 

    You are correct.  It is deeply insulting to every hard working woman in America.  Which is why I can’t figure out how these guys get any support whatsoever.

     

    Jodi Jacobson

  • iseestupidpeoplenet

    Having kids is not a RIGHT but a responsibility. If you can’t afford to raise them (much less feed them) then YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE THEM.

    Either people are too consumed with being politically correct, or they are to stupid to see the truth in what he said.
    So what, he had public assistance as a child. BUT HE GOT OFF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE.
    He is talking about people who are drains on society, who never get off public assistance, who are usually grotesquely obese or chronic substance abusers. People who won’t bother to get off social assistance and will perpetuate the cycle by having multitudes of kids and passing on those values.
    You people who think he is talking about the mere existence of the programs are complete idiots.
    And if anything, his grandmother was RIGHT. Sad but true. Get over it.
    25% of children receive foodstamps in the US. That means that 25% of my budget for food on my kids is being used to feed someone else’s kids.
    THAT is hypocrisy. Let their parents get JOBS, or maybe they SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN BREEDING AND MAKING MORE KIDS.

  • harry834

    you said,

     

    He is talking about people who are drains on society, who never get off public assistance, who are usually grotesquely obese or chronic substance abusers. People who won’t bother to get off social assistance and will perpetuate the cycle by having multitudes of kids and passing on those values.

     

    but does that mean you are only against welfare for these types of people (obese, lazy, substance abusers, etc)? If so, your other statement seems to take it farther:

     

    25% of children receive foodstamps in the US. That means that 25% of my
    budget for food on my kids is being used to feed someone else’s kids. THAT is hypocrisy. Let their parents get JOBS

     

    When you said this second statement, it made no reference to the specific types of people you mentioned in your first statement So does this mean your against all kids getting welfare, not just those specific types?

    You made an exception in your critique for the guy:

     

    So what, he had public assistance as a child. BUT HE GOT OFF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE.

     

    Would you have rather he never got on public assistance? Because when you said this:

     

    25% of children receive foodstamps in the US. That means that 25% of my budget for food on my kids is being used to feed someone else’s kids. THAT is hypocrisy. Let their parents get JOBS

     

    It made me think you would have. How is Bauer any different than those kids? Is it because he is speaking your views? What if he had spoken the opposite? Would you still say "so what" about his childhood on welfare?

    Would you still say "so what" if this guy was a substance abuser, etc, in his past…does it make a difference whether he speaks for or against your views on this issue?

    Also, stories like Bauer’s – and others – show that being on welfare is often the first stage to being off it…and living a successful, employed life. How do you differentiate between the different types of people on welfare? Your first statement gave some ideas…but then you said the line about the kids on welfare without any mention of differentiationing between those different types of kids.

    I think what I’m getting at is it seems tp be stereotyping, prejudice, and bias towards politicians you like which is determining how you make the distinctions

    …is it?

  • harry834

    how do you know that Bauer got off welfare in a timeframe that you would have approved of? Do you know how long he was on welfare? Would you apply the same standard to those kids you mentioned?

  • harry834

    if you distinguish between "welfare for life" versus "welfare for a long time", and how much is a "long time"? Do you account for individual case-by-cases?

    also, please explain what you mean by "passing on those values to future generations". Do you mean that the kids of parents on welfare will learn to be welfare-recipients themselves? Could you explain more, with details, what you mean?

     

  • any

    Iseestupidpeople.net Says,

    “Either people are too consumed with being politically correct, or they are to stupid to see the truth in what he said.”

    I say,

    “The stupid word for politic is power. So, to translate the term politically correct means basically powerfully correct”. When have a poor person ever been powerfully correct and why on earth condemn children? See, I do not believe for one minute a person in their right mind dreams of being poor. A series of bad events may make a person poor. Abortion is not acceptable and feeding the children woman choose not to abort is not acceptable. All I have to say is, “logic such as that completely confuses me”.

    I think public welfare is about society as whole taking responsibility for social issues. Society itself is responsible for a lot of the misfortunes of individual people. It is a lot easier as a social whole to stand responsible then it ever is for an individual alone to stand responsible. Upon society feeling the pressures of responsibility…you can bet you sweetness that masses of individuals have already felt that pressure personally. The moment society is unable to handle a responsibility it is the moment that masses of individuals making up that society will find it overwhelming to care for important personal issues. That is a fact that have started wars, and destroyed lives and civilizations. That is a proven truth.

    Hugs to you.

  • ojukwuso

    To the obvious guy who wrote that Bauer was on welfare and got off and that people who stay on it are a “drain “on society I say this ” You are very overtly suggesting that these “drains” are people of color mainly BLACK people, which is a lie. The majority of people recieving welfare is WHITE!!! Whites make up 60% of the population and Blacks make up 15% so HOW can Blacks be the ones that are “draining” the system??!! Your own politicians know this as well as Bauer himself , ask him did he enjoy those FREE lunches! You sound like the kind of person that would have no probl;em with those “drains” as long as they were still illegally captive to people like Bauer, you people had no problem with the “drains” as long as we built this country into what it is today.Those “drains” gave YOU the music genre you call rock n’roll, yeah thats right BLACK DRAINS created rock n roll and without those “drains” what kind of music would you be listening to and copying?? Classical perhaps? WE created rock n’ roll and the industry stole it and FORCED you people to assimilate to it because they knew it was going to take off and become very popular which = MONEY!!! Its ok keep it cuz we left it for you , we moved on because we have the skill and God given talent to create ANY kind of music we want to. We moved on and WE now have Blues, Jazz, Soul, R&B, Rap, Reggae,need more?? So you need to use discretion and patience when commenting about something you know nothing about. Going off half-cocked and ill informed is always a bad move.The best of our society comes from people who have nothing because they are the ones who are generally talented and motivated , unlike the priviledged, spoiled, arrogant kids of people with money who think the world owes them something; they usually are lazy , stupid, and have no drive or ambition just waiting fior the old man to keel over so he can INHERIT his money- Now if that is’nt a twisted form of welfare I don’t know what is!!

  • crowepps

    So what, he had public assistance as a child. BUT HE GOT OFF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE.

    I hate to have to point this out, because it seems so self-evident I shouldn’t even have to, but HE didn’t get on public assistance or get off public assistance but instead those things were entirely in the control of his parents.  The thing you seem to be missing is that those children have absolutely no control whatsoever over whether their parents are ill, obese, lazy, working, etc.  Is your argument that allowing the children to starve will somehow magically transform their parents into hard-working middle class people, able to work the two or three minimum wage jobs it takes to pay the bills?

     

    I’ve got to tell you, in this economy, those jobs just aren’t OUT there anymore.  When people get laid off, what are they supposed to do with their kids?  In the ‘good old days’ they dropped them off at the nearest orphanage until they could find work, but the government closed the orphanages and switched to ‘public assistance’ instead because it was cheaper.  I suppose we could go further back in ‘tradition’ and reinstitute crowds of skinny street children clustered around the entrance to WalMart or McDonald’s begging from the customers.

  • cat

    When it comes to nessecities like food, everyone should have them for life. No one should ever have to go without food, water, shelter, medical care, or education. I can understand how someone might question the efficacy of cash programs (though most of those that do are grossly uninformed and are using stereotypes rather than evidence), but how could you possibly justify thinking that hungry people should be denied food? I don’t care how lazy, drug addicted, etc someone might be, no one deserves to go hungry. The idea of starvation as punishment is a perfect example of how disgustingly inhuman Republican policies are.

    When I hear people talk smack about women with multiple children, I think of my mother. My mother spent so many years trying to fit the idea of how a woman in our society should be. She went to college but left to marry a young man who was, at the time, in the navy. After he left the navy, he found a factory job and they had three kids. Then, his drinking got worse, developing into full scale alcoholism and eventually crack use as well. My mother had always stayed at home and taken care of us, but as more and more of his income went to booze and less and less to us, we were in pretty dire straights. Then, my mother had another child(it is my firm belief that my father sabatoged her birth control). My father, always in my memory verbally and emotionally abusive, became physically abusive. My mother finally divorced him and, even before she found work or got assistance, we survived better without him. With four kids to support and minimum wage jobs, my mother never made enough to better her economic position. So, from the time I was ten, my mother was a single mom raising four kids and recieving welfare. My welfare mom worked her ass off and she was the one who caught crap. Somehow, people like my father who was not on welfare but who never gave a fucking dime to help feed and cloth us are left out of this disscussion about laziness. If the court had enforced child support orders or if we as a society actually ensured that workers are paid a living wage, my family would not have needed free lunch, but since we live in this society, we did need free lunch and, as my mother struggled so hard and barely managed two meals for us (for a while, my mother was involved with a group of poor women who had discovered that you could easily obtain expired food from grocery stores or warehouses for free so long as you claimed it was only going to be fed to livestock. It was a point of pride for my mother that she managed to make sure that there was always something for her kids to eat while we were at home.) I am damned glad that free lunch programs exist.

    Maybe, Bauer should ask himself if he thinks of his mother as a stray animal that did not think beyond reproducing.

  • jodi-jacobson

    It strikes me that you "paid for your lunch" so to speak, indirectly, via the fact that your mother had to make minimum wage. Keeping minimum wages low is an argument always made by business interests so they can maximize profits on the assumption (erroneous we have seen), that they will "spread the wealth." In face, they feel no compunction about constantly rewarding their top executives with outlandish salaries even as their employees struggle with jobs lost, continued cuts in benefits, and so on.

     

    If in fact we even accept the argument that keeping minimum wage below a living wage for workers is supposed to be good for the "economy" as a whole, then your mother and millions of others like her sacrificed for that–the so called social good—and deserves the support of the rest of society in making up the difference in terms of support for food, shelter and so forth.  Otherwise, give people a living wage and fewer of them will need to "rely on the state" that made the rules in the first place for any length of time.

     

  • harry834

    Maybe, Bauer should ask himself if he thinks of his mother as a stray animal that did not think beyond reproducing.

    Bauer did say those who need welfare are “stray animals”. So it is fair to ask if he means himself, since he was on welfare. I’d also ask anyone who complains about “welfare mothers” if they put Bauer’s mom in that group. Why or why not?

    I really should write essay exams…

  • jodi-jacobson

    I would like to respectfully ask where you are on this issue regarding the hunger of children in our country and this politician’s attack on them, even given his own reliance on subsidized lunches in the past.

    Jodi Jacobson

  • princess-rot

    Evidently Bauer does not think any furthur than what immediately affects his current state of able, white, rich, white male privilege. He sounds like an old lord who doesn’t want the pesky peasants under his feet. Apparently he’s forgotten where he came from.

    Iseestupidpeople, you’re exceedingly myopic for someone whose username implies that they are smarter than everyone on this forum.

    I just found out that my entire shift is being laid off at the end of this week. I’m in grad school and I’ve got a car to fix, bills to pay, rent to cover… I can live on my last wage for now but if I cannot find another job by the end of March I may have to go on public assistance until I do, if I can get it. I live in a big city and I have my parents to fall back on if needs be (I hope not), and that’s a fairly more fortunate circumstance than the people Bauer condemns right out of the gate. It’s pointless to tell someone to pull themselves up by their bootstraps when they haven’t got any boots.

    The thing you seem to be missing is that those children have absolutely no control whatsoever over whether their parents are ill, obese, lazy, working, etc. Is your argument that allowing the children to starve will somehow magically transform their parents into hard-working middle class people, able to work the two or three minimum wage jobs it takes to pay the bills?

    Yes. This. I often wonder why this isn’t immediately obvious.

  • crowepps

    Certainly the statement that if ‘you feed stray animals they will breed’ doesn’t actually have much connection with ‘feeding children’.

     

    Children don’t ‘breed’ — they are not of breeding age — that’s why they’re called ‘children’.

     

    Is he seriously stating that the solution to ‘the poor’ is to allow adults  who can’t/don’t work to die of starvation?  Is qualifying for subsidized school lunches going to become a capital crime?  Or is the plan to proactively prevent the children from breeding later by letting them starve now?  Certainly that’s the traditional Conservative solution but it certainly isn’t the traditional ’Christian’ position.