Saturday, April 16th, 2011
In this article at the LA Times (which I read in the paper copy of Hartford Courant), the authors quote from Rep. Tim Walberg, placing his quote in an argument frame:
Republicans argued Friday that Americans are willing to accept diminished social programs in return for a firmer fiscal standing.
“They understand in my district: We’re broke. If we don’t deal with this, we lose the social safety net,” said Rep. Tim Walberg, a Republican from a southern Michigan district that voted for Obama. “I think they’re ready.”
The often repeated “we’re broke” assertion is common from the GOP. But, again, the last time I was at Best Buy, numerous people were at the store making purchases. In fact, I saw a fifty inch television being squeezed into a minivan. This casual observation can be used as evidence to make a counter point to Mr. Walberg. Indeed, if a deficit were some measure of “brokenness,” then every country on the planet would be broke.
Broke in my estimation means that Best Buy would close and that every dealership in the country selling Subarus would be eating 100 percent inventory. Indeed, I also read in the Courant that our local gambling houses shared over 30 million dollars of booty with the state in the month of March, which means that people are somehow finding plenty of money for slot play.
One of the ironies of the “we’re broke” meme is the implication by Walberg that the social safety net is something he’s actually concerned with. If this were so, then it would stand to reason that Congresspeople like Walberg would be promoting policies that boost the living wage and augment cultural investment.