If there is one thing that defines the modern Democratic Party it is the word checks.
Democrats since Lyndon Johnson have believed that a government check is all you need.
Democrats believe checks can replace fathers, checks can replace work, checks can replace drive, checks can replace parenting, checks can replace education, and now the belief is that government checks can replace jobs.
The reality is that checks do not replace anything. Giving people money as a replacement only makes them dependent. Waiting on a government check saps the idea of family, or parenting, of working, of learning, of growing, of contributing.
Remember Nancy Pelosi during the Obamacare hustle.
“As you hear from these stories, this is a liberation,” Pelosi said at a Capitol Hill news conference Thursday.
“This is what our founders had in mind--ever expanding opportunity for people.
“You want to be a photographer or a writer or a musician, whatever -- an artist, you want to be self-employed, if you want to start a business, you want to change jobs, you no longer are prohibited from doing that because you can’t have access to health care, especially because you do not want to put your family at risk,” she said back in 2012.
That’s right. A government check, this time for healthcare, would be freeing. Go ask people who are stuck on government healthcare how free they feel.
This is not just a federal government problem. Wisconsin is getting-in on the action.
State Rep. Gordon Hintz yesterday jumped on Twitter to promise a government check for people’s power bills.
Last week, @GovEvers, @WisconsinDOA, and @PSCWisconsin announced that $21 million will be allocated to help folks pay overdue utility bills through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP).
That $21 million comes to less than $600 for the people who are eligible.
It’s helpful, but it’s not going to solve anyone’s problems.
That’s because a government check never solves the problem. It, in many cases, makes the problem worse.
Just look at the mess extra unemployment benefits have caused.
The $300 a week enhancer for unemployment in Wisconsin brings the average weekly benefit in the state to about $600 a week. That’s $30,000 a year.
That’s not enough to move to a new home in Whitefish Bay, but it is plenty for someone to stay at home with their kids. Or to wait until the last minute to go back to waitressing or working in a restaurant. It’s just enough to keep people on the dole.
The idea behind the extra government check was to help people. Instead, the check is hurting people, and businesses, and the country as a whole.
If Democrats want to help people, end the enhanced unemployment benefits. Plain and simple.
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