S.C. lieutenant governor likens benefits to 'feeding stray animals'

Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010 3:41 PM
Last updated 5:35 PM
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COLUMBIA — With Democrats calling for an apology, South Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer agreed today that he used a badly phrased metaphor in a speech on government assistance but reiterated that the "culture of dependency" created by welfare must change.

After The Greenville News reported that Bauer drew a comparison between "feeding stray animals" and doling out government assistance, Democratic candidates for governor called Bauer's comments despicable, embarrassing and unchristian.

"Maybe the metaphor isn't the best metaphor. I agree with them on that," said the 40-year-old gubernatorial candidate. "But I think there are a lot of people that use issues like this to divide people and never offer solutions. The easiest thing to do is criticize someone for saying something, other than saying, 'Maybe we should talk about this.'"

At a town hall meeting Thursday in northwestern South Carolina, Bauer noted his grandmother "told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed."

"The problem is, there are so many folks now who don't have to do a thing. In government, we continue to reward bad behavior. Anytime we give somebody money, we're rewarding them. We're telling them to keep doing what they're doing. Government's got to change," he said. "Babies having babies, somebody's got to talk about. ... Education cannot really be improved until we address the real problem."

To fix that, he said, "If you receive goods or services from the government, you owe something back."

State schools Superintendent Jim Rex, who's also running for governor as a Democrat, called the stray animals comparison "reprehensible."

"If the intent of Lt. Gov. Bauer's remarks was to blame children, who are not responsible for their own predicaments, or to blame adults, who want to work but cannot find jobs, it is regrettable," said Rex, among those who called for an apology.

South Carolina's jobless rate reached yet another all-time high in December at 12.6 percent.

Bauer reiterated today that there are direct links between poverty, lack of parental involvement and poor student performance, and he said other candidates are too concerned about being politically correct to find solutions.

In South Carolina, 58 percent of public school students eat free or reduced-price meals in school cafeterias. Schools with lots of parental involvement tend to do well, while schools with the highest poverty rates post the worst results, he said.

He said the government can't afford to keep giving money away, without requiring the recipients to take an active role in bettering their lives and their children's.

That means parents of students on free or reduced-lunches should be required to go to parent-teacher conferences and PTA meetings, or "bam, you lose your benefits" — just as there are repercussions if people don't pay their taxes — he said Thursday.

He said today that he did not mean food should be taken from children, but rather that their parents should lose welfare benefits.

"We're breeding a culture of dependency," he said. "We have generation after generation of babies having babies and no vehicle to get them out of that situation. We're doing a disservice to the very people we say we're trying to help."

He noted he was a beneficiary of free lunches after his parents divorced when he was 11, so he's not bashing the needy. But he said there's a difference between those who are truly needy and those who are just lazy.

"I came from a broken home. I have been in this situation," he said, noting that he spent today collecting shoes, blankets and other goods for victims of the Haiti earthquake. "Do I think poor people ought to be helped? Yes. I'm saying we've got to do things to break the cycle."

He said people on welfare should be required to pass drug tests and be offered incentives, such as child care, to earn their GED.

"I believe in charity. I believe in helping people," he said. "I also believe government, too often in its effort to help people, ends up creating a bigger problem."

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crackerjack
150
Points
crackerjack 01/23/10 - 04:58 pm
0
0
So what is the penalty for

So what is the penalty for not attending?

Why don't welfare recipients have to have random drug tests like those of us that work to support them?

MarshCroaked
0
Points
MarshCroaked 01/23/10 - 04:59 pm
0
0
A welcome breath of honesty.

A welcome breath of honesty.

charliemanson
1
Points
charliemanson 01/23/10 - 04:59 pm
0
0
Bauer has screwed himself out

Bauer has screwed himself out of the animal lovers' vote.

fdn315
2
Points
fdn315 01/23/10 - 05:09 pm
0
0
Nothing wrong with what he

Nothing wrong with what he tried to say but he did word it poorly but the majority of people from any party would agree with that. And the random drug tests...

dominionfs
0
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dominionfs 01/23/10 - 05:13 pm
0
0
Bauer just insulted his

Bauer just insulted his dope-mans kids. Where's he gonna get his stuff now?

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 01/23/10 - 05:15 pm
0
0
I find nothing wrong with

I find nothing wrong with what he said. If you are living off welfare there should be some responsibilities attached to it.

LadyCisback
4
Points
LadyCisback 01/23/10 - 05:15 pm
0
0
he told the truth..

he told the truth..

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 01/23/10 - 05:21 pm
0
0
liberals find telling the

liberals find telling the truth ugly and insulting. Subsidy citizens should exchange their constitutional rights for the right to be subsidized and meet specified criteria for "going straight" to meet the requirements for becoming a citizen again.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 01/23/10 - 05:29 pm
0
0
The schools tell people they

The schools tell people they evolved from animals instead of being created by a loving God so what on earth is wrong with his statement.
It is what the school teaches. Tell people they evolved from animals and they act that way. Tell them they were created by a loving creator and they act differently.

corgimom
32620
Points
corgimom 01/23/10 - 05:29 pm
0
0
It is not against the law to

It is not against the law to use drugs. And it would cost billions, even more than what the states are spending in welfare, and it won't stop anybody. Because you have to have due process. You'd have to have a hearing, and evidence presented, and people testifying, and since drug tests aren't 100% accurate- it would be a big waste of time and money. And drug addiction and alcoholism are legal disabilities, so what would be gained? Most of the welfare recipients are on there because they have dependent children, not because they are drug users.

corgimom
32620
Points
corgimom 01/23/10 - 05:35 pm
0
0
Now, if you really want

Now, if you really want welfare reform, say "You want to have a child, have a child. Have two. Have as many as you want. But taxpayers aren't supporting them."

KSL
130051
Points
KSL 01/23/10 - 05:37 pm
0
0
Right, corgi.

Right, corgi.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 01/23/10 - 05:52 pm
0
0
"If you can't feed 'em, don't

"If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em"

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 01/23/10 - 06:30 pm
0
0
I'm a democrat and I have no
Unpublished

I'm a democrat and I have no problem with his comment. I'm tired of political correctness. I believe in government services, but I also believe that you should be working or legitimately disabled to receive them!

racook
0
Points
racook 01/23/10 - 07:18 pm
0
0
I can't believe the ignorant,

I can't believe the ignorant, out-of-touch comments I'm reading in this column. Andre Bauer's mouth should be washed out with soap.

First of all, I am not a Democrat. I'm a college graduate with some masters work. I live in Columbia, South Carolina. I have been out of work for more than a year. I am not poor by choice. I worked at the same job for twenty years, moved to this state at the request of my wife, she left me, and there is no work.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided that global corporations, which are rewarded for exporting our jobs to countries where labor is cheap, can now make virtually unlimited contributions to the sold-out candidates of their choice. They own politicians like Bauer, and they own you.

The "government handouts" that Bauer speaks of are miniscule. In one election cycle Bauer gets handouts in amounts that could pay off your debts many times over for doing the bidding of his corporate masters. He does not work for the people. He does not work at all. He shills for the rich. He is not drug tested. He is rewarded lavishly for selling out. The vast majority of politicians are.

Wake up, people. Your job is next.

R.A. Cook

KSL
130051
Points
KSL 01/23/10 - 08:10 pm
0
0
Mr. Cook, are you a recipient

Mr. Cook, are you a recipient of handouts for your children that you are worried about losing? I congratulate you for going back to school.

robaroo
759
Points
robaroo 01/23/10 - 08:46 pm
0
0
CorgiMom - you are a sicko

CorgiMom - you are a sicko drug user who shouldn't be allowed to go anywhere near a school. (Payback is fun.)

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 01/23/10 - 08:56 pm
0
0
racook on Sat Jan 23, 2010

racook on Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:18 PM - If the corporations were in charge in this country as you suggest then they wouldn't be paying the percentage of taxes they do to operate in this country.

SixMileMike
0
Points
SixMileMike 01/23/10 - 09:37 pm
0
0
Soldout said we were 'created

Soldout said we were 'created by a loving God'. Is he kidding?
Haiti, Katrina, Indian Ocean tsunami, WTC 911 … slavery, famine, disease, rape, torture … Bosnia-Herzegovina 200,000 dead, Rwanda 800,000 dead, Pol Pot 2,000,000 dead, Nazi 6,000,000 dead, Stalin 7,000,000 dead.

Where was Gods love for those people?

brimisjoshan
2
Points
brimisjoshan 01/23/10 - 10:06 pm
0
0
six mile mike, I can't

six mile mike, I can't answer your questions about why bad things happen but neither can I answer why God would love us so much as to let His son, Jesus, die on a cross to pay for the sins of all men who would receive Him as their Savior. God knows what it is like to suffer and He has great compassion for those who suffer. He has great compassion for you as well and only wants you to know Him so that you can experience that great love!

SixMileMike
0
Points
SixMileMike 01/23/10 - 10:39 pm
0
0
brimisjoshan, What good is

brimisjoshan, What good is compassion without helping? If a child is downing, my compassion only helps him if I jump in the pool and pull him out. If I didn't help, what kind of a monster would that make me??

brimisjoshan
2
Points
brimisjoshan 01/23/10 - 10:43 pm
0
0
what if you knew that child

what if you knew that child was going to be abused, raped, hurt and that it was better for that child to come live in Heaven with you. You see we don't know everything and we can't play God pretending that we do. By faith we trust that the one who would not withhold his only Son would always do what is best.

142
Points
Dan White 01/23/10 - 11:07 pm
0
0
To hold parents accountable

To hold parents accountable for their children - not a novel idea. And one more thing should be added. When a child is suspended from school either out of school or inschool, the parents should pay a fine to get their kid back in school. That would greatly motivate better and acceptable behaviior from students who get suspended.

Rozzie2003
5
Points
Rozzie2003 01/23/10 - 11:28 pm
0
0
Although I am a Democrat, I

Although I am a Democrat, I agree with the Lt. governor.
We got to brake the Welfare Cycle.

kulay294
0
Points
kulay294 01/23/10 - 11:38 pm
0
0
God forbid if someone tells

God forbid if someone tells the truth, especially a Conservative. In a Liberal world you're not allowed to tell the truth because it might offend someone.

juecraze21com
0
Points
juecraze21com 01/24/10 - 12:54 am
0
0
Do you like taking photos?

Do you like taking photos? How does one go from a hobby photographer to taking photos as a career check out http://bit.ly/5iBdRM
they have a online program with scholarship! If you like photography then you should check it.

SixMileMike
0
Points
SixMileMike 01/24/10 - 12:57 am
0
0
brimisjoshan: So your saying

brimisjoshan: So your saying God let millions of Jewish children burn alive in the ovens at Auschwitz so they can go to heaven. Basically, to keep them from being tortured, he'll allow them to be tortured!! This is where the wheels come right off the religious train.

charliemanson
1
Points
charliemanson 01/24/10 - 01:15 am
0
0
SixMile: read the story of

SixMile: read the story of Job in the Bible and you will get a better understanding why some people suffer.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 01/24/10 - 02:23 am
0
0
SixMile, not everyone

SixMile, not everyone appreciates the security of slavery. God is one of them. Free will exists.

Dixieman
15013
Points
Dixieman 01/24/10 - 07:40 am
0
0
Woof.

Woof.

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