The president's big pitch to the young generation in the last election was accurately summarized as "free stuff." Remember Sandra Fluke and her theme of how important free contraceptives are to young women? And then of course we had the explosion of the handout programs during Obama's first term -- 20 million additional food stamp recipients, 5 million additional on Social Security disability, 5 million additional "Obamaphones." What could be wrong with free stuff?
Only that when you take the free stuff, you cede to the do-gooders the authority to run your life. Take the Supplemantal Nutrition Assistance Program, aka SNAP, aka food stamps, just exploded from 27 to 47 million recipients in four years of Obamaism. A few days ago a group calling itself Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine came out with a proposal to limit the program to what they call "healthy" foods -- grains, vegetables, beans, fruits, and basic multiple vitamins. Yum! Don't worry, they include a link to a bunch of recipes. No fat or sugar allowed, of course.
So what's the reaction in the official precincts of the Left? Charles Lane has a column in the Washington Post of March 18. First this:
No doubt such limitations would entail a change in habits for many SNAP recipients — perhaps too much change. Fish and poultry, as well as lean red meat, should probably be included.
I love the casual assumption that of course these are appropriate decisions to be made by Washington bureaucrats, presumably sitting around some conference table at the appropriately acronymed DOA: "Should we let them have red meat that's 7% fat, or should we cut it off at 6.874%" Well, let's let Lane articulate the Stalinism a little more explicitly:
Of course the federal government should be able to leverage its purchasing power for socially beneficial purposes. If you take Uncle Sam’s help, you play by his rules.
Have you thought that one through Charles? At least food stamps you are still allowed to refuse. But how about the big ones -- Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare? With them the whole idea is that you are not allowed to say no. Young people, that is the Left's vision of your future: If you take Uncle Sam's help, you play by his rules. Oh, and by the way, you must take his help, and you are not allowed to say no. Nothing like a little free stuff!