We expect a politician, lingering long in office, to become seasoned with arrogance and increasingly removed from normal standards of decency. Meet Exhibit A: Maryland politician William Donald Schaefer — mayor, governor, now state comptroller … and, at age 84, running for re-election.
At a recent Maryland Public Works Board meeting, Schaefer had a run-in with a 24-year-old woman, employed by the governor. She delivered a mug of tea to Schaefer, who ogled the woman as she walked away. Then, from across the room, he motioned for her to return to him. When she returned, Schaefer said, “Walk again.” According to observers, the woman left the room flustered.
When reporters confronted Schaefer, he exploded, “That’s so [expletive deleted] dumb I can’t believe it.” He claimed that the woman should have been “happy that I observed her going out the door. … A little girl walks out, and I make a joke out of it. … The one who is offended is me.”
Louise Hayman, a longtime aide to Schaefer, said the problem was this 24-year old woman with the nerve to be offended. “I think she overreacted, frankly.”
Hayman furthered enlightened, “It sounds like he’s demeaning you, but what he’s really saying is he respects you.” Adding, “I know that sounds odd.”
What should Marylanders do with such a “public servant”? Defeat him in the next election? Force him to resign? Punch him in the nose?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
”’Paul Jacob is Senior Fellow of U.S. Term Limits, a national grassroots organization committed to restoring citizen control of government by limiting the terms of politicians at the local, state and national level. See:”’
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”’This editorial is intended to provoke thought, discussion and an examination of issues. It does not reflect official policy of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. See the GRIH Web site at:”’ http://www.grassrootinstitute.org/
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THE IMPACT OF FEDERAL BENEFITS ON CURBING POVERTY
Daily Policy Digest
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
A brief report this week from the Census Bureau highlighting how welfare programs and tax credits affect incomes among the poor has fanned the politically charged debate on poverty in the United States and how best to measure it, with conservatives offering praise and liberals saying it underplays the extent of deprivation.
The researchers found that when noncash benefits like food stamps and housing subsidies were considered, as well as tax credits given to low-income workers, the share of Americans living under the poverty line last year was only 8.3 percent.
This is well below the 12.7 percent of Americans that the government officially says lived below the poverty line in 2004 using the conventional methodology that only counts a family’s cash income.
Douglas Besharov, an expert on social policy at the American Enterprise Institute, said that if additional factors were included in income calculations, like the imputed rental savings for people who live together, the value of home equity and unreported public benefits, the share of Americans living below the poverty line would fall far below 6 percent.
Liberal scholars said the report presents a misleading and partial picture, highlighting uncounted resources available to many poor people but ignoring, on the other side, many new expenses and hardships they face in a changing economy.
Source: Erik Eckholm, “Report on Impact of Federal Benefits on Curbing Poverty Reignites a Debate,” New York Times, February 18, 2006; based upon: “The Effects of Government Taxes and Transfers on Income and Poverty: 2004,” U.S. Census Bureau, February 14, 2006.
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“Our problem is not a temporary explosion of spending either because of a war or hurricanes or disasters. It’s our entitlements which are draining our economy and which everybody, particularly the liberals, will not index for income.”