The View From Rush Limbaugh's Recession

The Master Of The Republican Universe has discovered unemployment benefits, and he does not like them:

We all know Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, but unemployment compensation? The payment of unemployment benefits is almost as high as Social Security in this country.  Folks, we are not going to survive as a nation, not the way we've been founded, with this kind of sloth and laziness and feeding at the public trough. It just cannot happen.  And to even call this "wages" -- I'm actually kinda glad they did because it points out how ludicrous this is and how dangerous it is.  "Handouts," handouts, the redistribution of wealth "makes up one-third of US wages."  Social welfare spending has increased three and a half times since 1960. 

We declared war on poverty, and it's given us this.  We declared war on poverty, and what do we have?  Thirty-five percent of our people living on the dole!  Thirty-five percent of American citizens living on "handouts," and where are the handouts coming from?  Their fellow citizens... I know it's depressing, folks.  I mean some people are so lazy that they will only be unemployed if they're paid to be unemployed.

After this diatribe, an anxious listener called to confess his sins:

I'm kind of caught between a rock and a hard place.  I've been a conservative all my life. I don't agree with the welfare state -- of our country. I ran into a little bit of an issue a few years ago when I got some severe cancer and battled it for a couple years.  I'm cancer free right now, but unfortunately I cannot work and I had to go on disability.

Here's how Limbaugh responded:

Do you think I actually think you ought to be denied stuff? Okay.  I don't think that.  I'm not talking about people like you, but there are people who fudge this disability business.  I had a story not long ago about a bunch of drunks in jail getting disability payments because they were alcoholics. Well, we are a compassionate country.  There is not a person in this country that does not want somebody who cannot provide for themselves to go empty.  There's not a person in the world who wants that. You don't fall under the headline definition freeloader or what have you.  And if you're bothered by it, it's life. 

A lot of things affect a lot of people.  But we're not talking about you.  And you are not the majority of that 35% on the dole anyway.  You're a small percentage of it.  You're not the problem we're talking about.

One way to look at this is that when Rush Limbaugh really thinks the "sloth and laziness" of Americans mostly consists of jailed drunks on disability and equivalent cases. Another interpretation is that he lacks the courage of his convictions the minute matters move from the abstract to the real.