If there's anything you can count on from the yappers on some of the Fox Business Channel shows that they air on Fox News on Saturdays, it's that if there's a way to trash unions or to paint anyone who receives any sort of government assistance as
April 3, 2011

If there's anything you can count on from the yappers on some of the Fox Business Channel shows that they air on Fox News on Saturdays, it's that if there's a way to trash unions or to paint anyone who receives any sort of government assistance as lazy, good-for-nothing loafers who just want to suck off of the government teet, they're going to do it. With this story, they got a two-fer.

What could possibly be wrong with getting rid of union MTA workers only to have them replaced with welfare recipients? It's nothing but a big race to the bottom where the Wall Street bankers in New York get their tax breaks and after saying the layoffs are necessary because the city's broke, union workers get replaced by those with no protections in place working for minimum wage. And if these welfare recipients are single mothers, just who is supposed to be paying for their daycare while they're out there cleaning the subways in New York City? And just what type of meaningful job training are you giving anyone by teaching them how to push a broom? Looks like none to me.

I'm all for programs that help those on welfare gain some skills so they can get back into the workforce and earn a decent living instead of having to be dependent on the government and where they're allowed to work without being cut off of their benefits if that job training is going to lead to them being independent and able to earn a living wage where they can take care of themselves and their families. I don't see how this is one of them.

I agree with the one outnumbered "liberal" on the panel who they actually allowed some air time. When host Cheryl Casone asked Christian Dorsey about whether this might help any of those workers get a full time job, we got one of the few moments of truth out of this segment.

DORSEY: Look, I'm all for making sure that people who have been left out of the workforce and who are on welfare receiving public assistance get the skills to be self sufficient, but remember, welfare is now administered by the states. It's not an overall federal program. It's block granted. And what's happening in New York is cause for alarm, not praise Cheryl. They're laying off transit workers and replacing them with lower cost transient workers, so this is in essence getting rid of decent jobs for people, adding to unemployment and then saving money by putting welfare recipients in those jobs that used to be held by non-welfare recipients. It's not improving the overall job situation in New York or in the country. This is bad policy.

And one of the worst parts of this segment was Fox hack Jonathan Hoenig letting everyone know what conservatives think about anyone receiving welfare at all.

HOENIG: What about just getting rid of welfare? Let me just throw that one out there Cheryl as a real alternative idea. I mean, point to me somewhere in the Constitution where it says anything about charity. It does not. Now were the founders such (?) were they such jerks that they didn't want to put that? No. Of course because charity is something that should be privately motivated. And I'm sorry Cheryl, working for money. That's called a job, not another government assistance program, another government handout program.

And of course in Hoenig's mind, anyone on welfare is just some lazy person who wants to destroy our economy, unlike those poor businesses that might be forced to pay more taxes so women and children aren't left to starve on the streets while they outsource the jobs they'd probably love to have to China and India, where the workers there can work for slave wages instead.

When this country relied on the good will of the rich to provide for the welfare of the least among us instead of asking all of us to take care of each other, things didn't work out so well. People like this tool Hoenig are more than happy to perpetuate a system that's taking us right back there, along with his buddies at Fox News and Fox Business Channel.

Here's more from FindLaw on the legal predicament the city may have put themselves in as well -- MTA Wants to Put NYC Welfare Recipients to Work:

One of the foremost problems with the nation's welfare system is that it often fails to provide recipients with the skills necessary to find and maintain employment.

New York City's Work Experience Program is designed to do just that--place welfare recipients in "unpaid" city jobs to build employable skills.

The news on the street is that WEP will be getting an influx of new positions, as the money-challenged Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has plans of hiring welfare recipients to clean the city's subways and buses.

Last year, budget cuts required the MTA to cut 3,500 jobs, 173 of which the Daily News reports were cleaning positions. Because the MTA has previously and successfully participated in the WEP, it is looking to fill those positions with welfare recipients who wish to acquire on-the-job skills.

This may sound like a great idea for all parties involved, but it might present some legal problems for both the MTA and New York City.

The Constitution restricts government agencies' ability to discriminate between different groups of citizens. This includes in the area of employment.

An argument can be made that the city and the MTA are discriminating in favor of welfare recipients in terms of who it employs in city jobs. In effect, it's rehiring employees to fill cleaning positions, and is requiring that any applicants be currently receiving some form of welfare.

Chances are city attorneys and the MTA have already analyzed this possibility and found that it passes constitutional scrutiny. But if they haven't, they should get on it quick before an ex-MTA employee decides to file suit.

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