The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Columns

March 19, 2013

Primus Mootry: America becoming leaner, meaner in nation of ‘takers’

Just about everyone is familiar with the term “leaner and meaner.”

It is generally regarded as a good thing. You know, getting rid of whatever physical, emotional or social baggage that has kept you from soaring; and getting down to your fighting weight, dukes up, ready to take on any adversary. No holds barred. Lean. Mean.

That’s a good thing, don’t you think? It sure sounds a lot grittier than that soapy George Herbert Walker Bush stuff about a “kinder, gentler nation.” I never liked that idea anyway. It made it sound as though our country had been neither kind nor gentle. It flies in the face of American exceptionalism and the Second Amendment.

On the other hand, “lean and mean” has got teeth in it. Big teeth.

It properly identifies nearly half the nation as “takers” who pay little or no federal taxes; live off the sweat, work and wealth others create; and who sit on their sorry duffs, waiting for their government check.

Who cares if they are single moms who never graduated from high school and never held a real job in their miserable young lives? And so what if they are stuck at home having baby, after baby, after baby. Then, of course, there’s their uneducated, unemployed, jailbird, drug-selling “baby daddies.” It’s time to get mean.

It warmed the cockles of my heart that Indiana is considering drug testing for these people, many of whom are on a government gift program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Back in the mid-1990s, TANF replaced that other old welfare program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, required its recipients to get a job within two years, and limited aid to no more than five non-consecutive years. TANF doesn’t work, but who cares?

Well, even though the program serves the elderly, the physically and mentally disabled, people who got displaced from their jobs, and veterans, it doesn’t change the fact that some of these people are crooks. How much TANF cash do these slackers get per year? I’m glad you asked.

Although the amount varies from state to state, it’s about $2,500 for a family of one (probably some elderly drug dealer), and $5,000 or so for a family of four. So, you see, it is absolutely scandalous that these lazy, greedy people would take our tax money and buy drugs. Drug tests and severe penalties are the only sensible answer.

That reminds me. I read somewhere that the city of Indianapolis is also considering an ordinance to get beggars off its downtown streets. Even though they have committed no crime, these beggars are a nuisance. They hurt tourism. Some may be crime-prone. Or they may be carrying diseases such as leprosy.

New York had that problem. Even worse, Times Square was once infested with male and female prostitutes, XXX-rated live shows and movie houses, and panderers of every sort imaginable. But former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the NYPD fixed all that. He and the police got mean and lean. Who cares if they trampled a few freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution (you know, the right to privacy, peaceful assembly, unwarranted search and seizure, etc.) — they cleaned the place up. Ends justify means, you know.  

The only downside I know is that far fewer politicians, businessmen, teachers, preachers and other upstanding citizens now visit the area at night. But that’s a small price to pay for clean sidewalks, don’t you think?

Anyway, I wanted to chat a bit about last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference and how Ann Coulter, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Allen West and other conservatives wowed the crowd with their lean and mean ideas to lead America backward.

Most important, they are still committed to winning the White House again with a well-funded, broadly based media and personal appeal to Hispanics, blacks, Asians, women, gays and other groups who apparently missed the conservative memo in the last election.

Unfortunately, I can’t go into depth about the conference because I have run out of space.   

Besides, one of my favorite movies is about to come on. It’s a re-run of “The Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy. Toto. The Wicked Witch of the West. The Great Oz, and all the rest. It’s one of the greatest movies ever, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Have a nice day.

Anderson resident Primus Mootry is a retired school teacher. His column appears Wednesdays in The Herald Bulletin.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Hayden, Maureen mug Maureen Hayden: Judge in gay marriage decision no activist

    When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn’t resonate with those who know Young well.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd mug [Duplicate] Charo Boyd: Social Security goes green on Earth Day and every day For years, Social Security has been at the forefront of offering convenient, easy-to-use, and secure online services. We, along with those we serve, have saved a lot of paper, shipping costs, and fuel — and cut back on a lot of carbon exhaust and pollution — by going online instead of doing things the old-fashioned, less efficient way.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tim Kean: Can we have a 'A New State of Mind?' I have recently read some great articles about people coming together to make a difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity. The collective effort of a group can provide some much-needed food to kids who may not have a meal when they return home from school or during the weekend.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: County may eliminate Data Processing Board

    Action two weeks ago by the Madison County commissioners to close Data Processing Board meetings to the public might run afoul of the Indiana Open Door law, and a local resident is considering filing a complaint with the Public Access Counselor’s office for a determination.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Timmons, Theresa mug Theresa Timmons: Dinosaurs run amok at mamaw's house I love my new job as a grandparent. It includes playing imaginary tennis with imaginary tennis rackets, making elaborate tents in the living room, and hair-pulling.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stringer, Maleah mug Maleah Stringer: Volunteers needed to spend time with shelter animals Shelters can be extremely stressful places for many animals, particularly those who have been in a loving home. This is why we want people to come into the shelter and spend time with our animals — to help keep them adoptable so that when the right person comes along they are ready.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bailey, Jim mug Jim Bailey: Wages were much less back then, but so were prices If you have any questions about what economists mean by inflation, just look at yesterday’s buying power. Those old western movies talked about wages of $1 a day. That wouldn’t even buy a burger at a fast food joint today by the time sales tax is added in.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clark, Big Joe mug [Duplicate] 'Big Joe' Clark: Understanding the risks within fixed income investments Many retirees associate the concept of taking “risk” with the equity markets. However, as 2013 demonstrated, there is also principal risk in the fixed income arena if an untimely liquidation requires you to sell bonds and generate income.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Davis, Verna mug Verna Davis: Seeking the grown-up version of an Easter basket I'm still enough of a kid to like Easter baskets. I like to fill them and I like to receive them. But this year, I think I want a different kind of Easter basket. A grown-up Easter basket.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bailey, Jim mug Jim Bailey: It’s a rough life when you’re six years old going on adulthood My granddaughter Gracie turns 7 in a couple of months. Two of her mother’s sisters, Becky and Sarah, can forewarn her on what she’ll face when Gracie’s age gets into double digits.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Oscar Pistorius' murder trial has gripped South Africa and sports fans worldwide. If he is found guilty of premeditated murder he faces 25 years to life in prison. Do you think he intentionally shot his girlfriend?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results