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Frummies are anti Universal Health Care but take foodstamps, welfare and section 8 housing

By Frum Punk

Hey Shmuley, listen up. I know you spend most of your drive time soaking in the wisdom of Misters Limbaugh, Savage and Beck. I know you watch Fox News online and are proud to live in the United States of Glen Beck (the author of this post is British). I’ve seen your comments on Vos Is Neais and Yeshiva World News. I know how scared you are of that radical socialist black/Muslim Jew-hater and his Israel-, health- and grandma-destroying agenda, but listen up Shmuley, because I’m  about to invalidate your opinion on the health care bill.

Why, you ask? Is it because I’m just another lie-beral trying to silence dissenting opinions so I can shove my Stalinist ideas down your throat and then send you to the healthcare gulag? Is it because I’m a smug elitist who thinks he knows best, like when your mother “gently corrects” your wife about what she puts in her cholent and the effect it will have on her sons digestion (he’s so delicate, you know)?

No, Shmuley, it’s because you fall under my list of people who don’t have the right to weigh in on socialist issues for the simple reason of:  You’re Already Halfway There Yourself. Between your food stamps, Section 8 Housing allowance, your parents’ Medicare and Medicaid, your shver-paid car and your gmachs/donation-funded wedding….  Get the picture?  I mean, the concept of tzedoka is more socialist than anything Hussain Obama could have come up with. “You’re required to give at least 10% of what you earn to those with less. And no, you can’t just rant about how they should have worked as hard as you.”

Let’s face it kids. Halacha is socialist. The commandment to look out for your fellow man is socialist. Bringing the poor into your seder is socialist. Anything that commands you to give to others and “spread the wealth” as it were, is a socialist concept. And you’re angry at a law that would require healthcare to everyone, even if they have a pre-existing condition? Think I’m wrong? Have you seen Glen Beck ranting about the evils of “social welfare” and “social justice”?

So Shmuley, stop listening to the idiots on talk radio and parroting their opinions. Be glad you live in a country that has been good to the oppressed and downtrodden and start recognizing this law as an extension of that. Otherwise I’ll cancel your food stamps and forbid you from accepting any money you didn’t earn. Your shver will be relived.

{ 54 comments… add one }
  • anon March 24, 2010, 8:26 PM

    Don’t kid yourself, there is no public option in this bill, your just going to be forced to pay for health insurance. This discussion is irrelevant.

    • Meir March 24, 2010, 11:46 PM

      Yeah, I wish it were more socialist.

      All the socialist system Western countries have higher life expectancies (and do better on other health measures) than we do, and yet spend less of their GDP on healthcare.

      • FarFrumIt March 25, 2010, 12:10 AM

        We also drink more, take more drugs, are more obese, have more crime and exercise less.

      • Mosidoxish March 25, 2010, 12:35 AM

        Our European counterparts have a far more healthier lifestyle than us. So it’s not apples to apples. If you look where the rich people from other countries go for treatment, the U.S. tops the list.

        • Heshy Fried March 25, 2010, 12:57 AM

          We do the best boob jobs

          • Anonymous March 25, 2010, 9:57 AM

            and the worst!

          • Anonymous March 26, 2010, 11:07 AM

            Give us the details. Come on, we’re your friends here.

      • SkepticButJewish March 25, 2010, 1:52 AM

        Meir that is a terrible argument. The people in the US do a lot of more dangerous things and are in general less healthier lifestyles. That is not a good comparison whatsoever. And besides the UK has just one year ahead over the US, which is not a big improvement. So this is just another fine illustration of how statistics are so decieving at times.

        There was some article from Reason Magazine about that is we take in lifestyles into account then the US life expectency rate is on top of the list, in fact. Now, I do not use this statistic myself because I am in general unhappy with using statistics even though it leans in my favor.

        • Meir March 25, 2010, 12:30 PM

          Oh, sure, Europe is in some ways much healthier (exercise-wise and nutrition-wise, for instance).

          On the other hand, they have a WAY WAY higher percentage of the population that smokes.

          • SkepticButJewish March 25, 2010, 4:33 PM

            So then you agree that using this kind of statistic is a terrible argument to imply that they have a better healthcare system. Because there is too much variation. If you want to make the argument that the European nations are better than us on these issues then you need to use a stronger argument, saying that “they have longer life expectancy rates” does not imply that.

  • Yochanan March 24, 2010, 9:01 PM

    Let’s get rid of our socialized fire departments and go back to the days when firefighters would let your house burn down if you hadn’t paid their particular brigade.

    • Gulliver March 25, 2010, 2:39 AM

      Agreed. How about the same for roads YOU drive on, and police who protect YOU, and state-funded education for YOUR KIDS!

      Society and civilization are magical bubbles that appear for free, obviously, and I can do fine on my own regardless of how healthy, safe, or educated the rest of my country is. Oh, and empathy is clearly too costly. Ok, all done!

  • Raizy March 24, 2010, 9:30 PM

    {standing and applauding for Frum Punk}

  • seriously March 24, 2010, 9:40 PM

    While I appreciate the gist of your point some of your arguments make no sense. Socialism has no equation with tzedaka. We are not compelled to do it literally and WE choose the beneficiary upon our own personal values and considerations.

    • JG March 25, 2010, 2:23 AM

      How are you not compelled to do it literally, any differently than paying taxes, if you believe in halacha? Aderaba–you can choose not to pay taxes, and you just go to jail on Earth. If you don’t give tzedaka, you have violated Divine will, and deal with it in shamayim. That’s less compelling to you?

      And, you can decide who can take peah from your field? You can decide to give tzedaka to ani’im in another city before aniyeh irecha? First I’ve heard about it.

  • Anonymous March 24, 2010, 10:29 PM

    I would like to marry Frum Punk for this post!

    • Mosidoxish March 25, 2010, 12:38 AM

      Do you care if Frum Punk is a boy or a girl, married or not?

      • Yochanan March 25, 2010, 11:47 AM

        Click the link on Frum Punk’s name.

  • FarFrumIt March 24, 2010, 11:34 PM

    For all those pro-health care reform:
    1. I wish everyone can have free health care. But Medicaid exists already. It is government-run and it offers health care to EVERYONE who cant afford it (unless you make too much money). It is so defunct and rife with fraud – wasting billions of dollars a year. So instead of fixing the old broken government-run system, Mr. Obama decides to create a new government-run program. Very smart.
    2. The government is offering health insurance. Where will the money for this come form? By raising the already ridiculously high taxes even higher. You can have free health care – but not with my money. Especially if you have luxuries (like a fancy car) that I forgo until I can afford them. Doctors salaries might also be lowered. Now contrary to what many people believe, most doctors are not millionaires. The average salary is around 250,000$. This may seem alot but it is actually not. To become a doctor, one must invest anywhere from 11+ years of their lives. Besides for the time investment, there is also a monetary investment. For the first 8 years in medical school and college, loans are taken out – around 40k a year plus 7% interest. In residency, the average salary is 50k a year – with interest still accruing.
    3. Anyone can purchase this government-run insurance. People in low income brackets will be subsidized. The sequelae from this are several. a) The government makes the rules and uses taxpayer money. How can private insurance companies compete? It is no longer a free-market. b) Insurance companies will be forced to raise premiums to make up for lost customers. c)Any smart employer will buy this insurance instead, thereby creating a cycle of even higher premiums.
    4. Once the government insurance exists (and dominates the market), it is inevitable that they will dictate to doctors what tests can or cannot be done – like Medicaid already does to a certain extent. Included in this will be allocation of scarce resources. Why pour 100k into an 85 year old woman on a respirator when it can be used for 10 younger people (the ethics in this are debatable – but would not make a difference to a private insurer who would have to put the 100k into both the 10 young people and the 85 year old woman).
    5. Included in the bill is forced vaccination. Many times vaccines have been found to be tainted. This is a very slippery slope.

    It can be that some of my “facts” are wrong as I was not able to understand the health care bill itself and instead had to resort to obtaining info from what was reported as facts by both liberal and conservative news sites.
    And what does Halacha have to do with anything? I have to help out people less fortunate than me. This is a moral issue that any civilized nation would uphold. Halacha doesn’t say I have to pay 45% of my salary to taxes which then gets abused and pilfered. Only 10% to those who I know are indeed poverty stricken.
    Time will tell what effects this will have.

    • Meir March 24, 2010, 11:53 PM

      This particular bill aside, why does every other industrialized country spend less of their GDP on healthcare than we do (and usually significantly less money) and yet has higher life expectancies/lower infant mortality rates/etc?

      Is the United States just defective? Or is it that all those other nations have greater socialism in their medical systems.

      • Anonymous March 25, 2010, 5:37 AM

        Higher Life Expectancy= Healthier Lifestyles
        Higher Costs= B.S. Litigation

        The only reform needed was tort reform. The fact that there is none of this in the bill is beyond inexcusable.

      • A. Nuran March 28, 2010, 9:14 PM

        That would be door #2.

        Overhead for Medicare and the Veteran’s Administration is 2-3%. That’s in line with the health care systems in all other developed countries. Overhead and profit for the insurance companies is – very conservatively – over 30%.

        In other countries governments use their buying power to negotiate lower prices for drugs. In several there are government-run non-profit enterprises which produce “orphan” and low-profit drugs like vaccines. In the US it is against the law for the VA, Medicare, Medicaid, the Federal government or State governments to negotiate prices. As a result, drugs off exactly the same assembly line cost a Frenchman, a Canadian or a Taiwanese a fraction – sometimes 10% – of what they cost an American.

        We pay more and get less precisely because of capitalism.

    • Yochanan March 25, 2010, 11:51 AM

      Private health insurance companies can go to hell for all I care.

      • bill March 28, 2010, 6:21 PM

        Private health insurance should not be eliminated. It is an essential part of the mix of the American health care system. Medicaid is not any better than private health insurance when it comes to denying coverage to people who need it. I can’t understand for the life of me the sheer ignorance of some of these posts.

        • A. Nuran March 28, 2010, 9:17 PM

          The only reason they’re essential is that they tell you they’re essential. No other developed country pays more or gets less than the US. In the US over half of all bankruptcies for people WITH INSURANCE are due to catastrophic medical bills. This is unheard in any other developed nation.

          The profit motive dictates that the insurance companies will charge as much for insurance and deliver as little care for the dollar as they can get away with. Anything else breaches their fiduciary duty to maximize stockholder equity. Any insurance company officer who authorizes the slightest deviation from this must be fired according to the contract and can be sued.

    • bill March 28, 2010, 6:18 PM

      What are you talking about!? The new healthcare reform act does NOT create a whole new government run program. That is a bold faced LIE. The fact of the matter is that it extends the existing Medicaid program to cover the uninsured eliminating the income test to qualify for it. Secondly, medicaid is not rife with fraud, the amount of fraud is miniscule especially in comparison with the huge numbers of poor people it helps. What the heck is wrong with you?

  • Pinch March 24, 2010, 11:36 PM

    “Let’s face it kids. Halacha is socialist. ”

    True, but that’s irrelevant to the argument that you are trying to make. Anyone hear of separation of Church and State? Because one may believe that according to their religion they should be socialist has absolutely no bearing on whether the government should enforce that.

    I agree that availing oneself of government programs such as food stamps without trying to get off of them and then complaining about the healthcare bill is hypocritical.

    “Otherwise I’ll cancel your food stamps and forbid you from accepting any money you didn’t earn.”
    You can’t combine the first part and the second part of the sentence. They are two separate arguments.

    “Be glad you live in a country that has been good to the oppressed and downtrodden and start recognizing this law as an extension of that”
    So it seems that you agree with the healthcare bill.

    “Is it because I’m a smug elitist who thinks he knows best, ”
    If you think that everyone should do something because you think it’s correct than yes it is. and that’s what you are doing by supporting a bill that forces people to get health insurance. So in the process of invalidating “Shmuley’s” opinion (which you did with one of the two arguments that you presented) you’ve admitted to his point that your “a smug elitist who thinks he knows best.”

    • JG March 25, 2010, 2:28 AM

      So now it’s going to be the very religious who will be clamoring for separation of church and state? Boy have I waited for this day.

  • FarFrumIt March 24, 2010, 11:45 PM

    I was venting.
    I do agree with your basic premise of the hypocrisy involving bashing free-health care and accepting all other types of government handouts (albeit the consequences of free health care are much greater).

    • Yochanan March 25, 2010, 11:56 AM

      I believe the term “free” is a straw man used by opponents of universal health care. Supporters don’t claim it to be free. Just the most cost effective.

      • FarFrumIt March 25, 2010, 4:50 PM

        lol! Most cost-effective? Please explain that one to me!

  • Pinch March 25, 2010, 12:16 AM

    “Your shver will be relived.”
    It seems that you think that even if the shver is happy to support Shmuley, it isn’t a good idea. So you want people to be forced into helping eachother out when they don’t necessarily want to (when you think it’s a good idea), but not help eachother out if they want to (when you think it’s not a good idea). Sure sounds like “another lie-beral trying to silence dissenting opinions so I can shove my Stalinist ideas down your throat” to me.

  • Nameless Faceless March 25, 2010, 12:23 AM

    I’m sorry, does anyone understand what Pinch is trying to say? I mean, other than “each other” being one word, anyway….

  • Anita March 25, 2010, 12:33 AM

    PLEASE cancel second 8, welfare, foodstamps etc.

    PLEaSE. seriously. all are failed systems…proof the government can’t touch anythingwithout it breaking.

    when someone gives tzedakah, they can research exactly where the money goes. There are websites that make non-profit books public. 0if they stop receiving as much in donations, they find ways to cut their budgets for the projects they’re doing. when the govt receives less on tax collections (either party) , they just find ways to tax the public someother way… raise a toll on a bridge/highway, startfear mongering about BS sugary drinks, transfats, sodium w/e

    frummies are well known hypocrites, but please… I’d give up all social programs in 5 minutes if possible…

    my health, my business.

  • Flaggotpride770 March 25, 2010, 1:45 AM

    The issue here is not so much socialist but how we go about it. This bill seems like one of those cars that is breaking down, and you just manage to push into the gas station and think to yourself “how awesome am i to have done this”. But here this broken car effects everybody. It scares doctors and doesnt take care of one huge issue which the malpractice question. If this bill would really help americans and have positive effects than i would be for it as i am israel’s system, but it is not. it was passed for political reasons, and you know what the Rebbe’s thoughts on politics were… For the amount of money that the taxes would go up, people could be sponsored. So enough of “Punks” idea of trying to socialze everything, dont attribute politics to the torah and vice versa. G-d commanded tzadaka obama commanded health care reform, as far as i know the Rebbe is moshiach, but Obama is not G-d.
    Shalom Uvracha
    Yechi HaMelech

  • SkepticButJewish March 25, 2010, 1:47 AM

    I just want to break a stereotype. The idea is that the non-frummies open minded Jews and the more secular Jews are pro this bill. Or are pro universal healthcare. Well, I am a hardcode skeptic, yet I am opposed to what this is. In fact, I strangely find myself in much more agreement with my Orthodox friends then with other kinds of people. How strange is that?

    • Heshy Fried March 25, 2010, 3:21 PM

      I don’t doubt for a minute that secular Jews are anti this bill – it’s just that frummies are known to use many more social services and yet this bill is so hard for them to swallow.

      • SkepticButJewish March 25, 2010, 4:36 PM

        Even though I find myself more of agreement with Orthodox Jews on this matter, I think our disagreement with the left is based on different reasons. They, the Orthodox, opposed it because they do not like the left. I oppose it because of political philosophy and economics that I stick to.

  • Alex March 25, 2010, 7:17 AM

    B’diyuk! The level of hysteria around the health bill is incredible. I wish Heshy got a piece to appear on http://www.leadel.net that would give him a good platform — not to say this isn’t a good platform of course! Anyways happy Pesach.

  • Party Jew March 25, 2010, 12:16 PM

    Frummys all take free health insurance. Look at nachas healthnet, etc. They just dont want non-frummies to have it.

  • Anonymous March 25, 2010, 1:00 PM

    Until very recently, maybe the 2000 election, most frum Jews voting Democrat. I don’t remember anyone I know voting for Bush Sr. in 92′
    or Bob Dole in 96′.

    So what happened? Why the sudden political shift from conservative Democrat to hardcore Republican? There are the obvious: the perceived pro-Israel position of the Republican party, Clinton’s blow job, the supposed “family-values” of the right, the war on terror (the war on Muslim fanatics) etc… but I don’t think that really tells the whole story.

    What I’ve noticed, is that there seems to have been an attitude shift in the frum community. Where once frum Jews were subtle, wary of Christians, understated, and intellectual, now they are gun-toting, kick ass, screw-the-poor, anti-intellectuals. All that’s missing is the pickup truck. Of course it’s all a farce; a phony projection of the nonsense they pick up on hate radio. These are the same pot-bellied, angst-ridden, I-know-better-than-you people I went to Yeshiva with.

    So how did this transformation occur? In the late 90’s there was broad support for the Oslo Accords and the only people speaking out against it (other than the Jewish Press) were right-wing radio shows. And so the odd alliance began. What was initially a refuge for pro-Israel sentiment, morphed into a full-blown right-wing identity. Slowly but surely supporting Israel meant being a “limited-government”, anti-immigrant, anti-welfare teabagger, never mind that Israel is a big-government, immigrant-friendly, welfare state.

    And so the hypocrisy that followed was inevitable. You didn’t seriously believe Yankel was going to forgo his Earned Income Credit amounting to $2,500 of someone else’s money because Michael Weiner rails against socialism, did you? You didn’t seriously believe Shpintza was going to say no thank you to the Medicaid she receives amounting to $12,000 in insurance premiums or $30,000 in medical expenses because Rush told her there was a Marxist plot to take over the health care system, did you? You didn’t think Moshe was going to tell his Israeli cousin who is here illegally hawking gadgets at the local shopping mall that he ought to go home because Glenn Dreck said so? I doubt it.

    This odd alliance will come to a screeching halt if and when Republicans actually start to eliminate all of these social welfare programs. As they say: money talks…. you can fill in the rest.

    • Heshy Fried March 25, 2010, 3:23 PM

      Dude I hate to burst your bubble but frum Jews haven’t voted Democrat in 50 years. They were extremely anti-Clinton, I remember shabbos afternoon when it was announced Clinton was impeached – cheers of mazel tov and baruch hashem could be heard throughout the community and when Rabin was assassinated as well. You may be confusing modern orthodox with Frummies.

      • Anonymous March 25, 2010, 6:25 PM

        I grew up in the Lubavitch community, and I’ll have to disagree with you there. I’m certain there were some frum Jews who have always voted Republican, but until recently, they were a minority. Frum communities in NYC in particular, have always been in bed with local Democratic politicians who secured their handouts.
        The anti-Clinton culture only got started as I pointed out, after the Oslo Acccords, and their disturbing approval of Rabin’s murder only furthers that point.

        • Meir March 25, 2010, 9:36 PM

          Precinct data probably could be found, though perhaps not so easily; I remember how much trouble it was to get it for the 2008 election (as to WHY I got it for that, it’s a long and arduous story which involved dealing with County Clerks from so many podunk counties [in Alabama, Illinois, oy vey])

        • mlevin March 26, 2010, 12:58 AM

          The first election I remember was Regan against Carter. Nancy Regan and her daughter visited my Beis Yakov school in BoroPark to compaign. Majority (in not all, don’t remember) of parents in my class voted for Regan. And ever since, I became more aware of politics and frum jews were voting always voting republican.

    • bill March 28, 2010, 7:02 PM

      Yes, this is all correct. Well stated.

  • Bubba Metzia March 25, 2010, 1:09 PM

    If the US government stopped encouraging people to eat unhealthy food then people would be healthier. The primary reason Americans are so fat is because the government subsidizes corn which is why there’s corn syrup in everything. And this bill does nothing to bring down healthcare costs, only tort reform would’ve done that. The only good thing about this bill is that it stops insurance companies from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions.

    • Meir March 25, 2010, 9:38 PM

      That’s not true. This bill DOES do some things to bring down healthcare costs.

      Of course, I have to think the Jewish community as a whole may be leery of tort reform because of all the lawyers, which especially these days way outnumber the doctors.

      • SkepticButJewish March 26, 2010, 12:21 AM

        Why are you not skeptical to that it will drive prices way more than they are already? We heard the same thing before with other government healthcare programs (Medicare). Each time it gets more and more expensive. Why not be skeptical?

        The truth is that the government could not care less for its citizens (this is true for all governments in history). Sorry to ruin this utopian fantasy. If the government really cared for people then it would immediately end the war in Iraq. Thereby saving Iraqi lives and American lives. Ends its oversea empire of over 170 nations. That would save at least a trillion (or even a few) dollars. With that money available it can help the people. Why does the government not do that? Why does the government have no problem spending more and more money on its own power structure and more murder throughout the world but has a problem with helping its own people? The answer is very simple. It does not care for its citizens. It is concerned for its own power.

        Thus, we know the following: It does not care for citizens. It does not care for life. It does not care about costs as we know from past programs. Thus, the question is, why would any rational person believe what the government says about costs? We need to be skeptical to its claims.

  • Jay Sargos March 25, 2010, 7:48 PM

    Land of the Free, Home of the Brave- force people to buy health insurance or fine them and throw them in jail if they cannot pay their fines- God Bless America.

    • Anonymous March 26, 2010, 12:13 AM

      Yes, that is the worst thing about this bill. We get to see how much “liberals” really care about liberty.

  • Jay March 26, 2010, 2:19 PM

    There is nothing “socialist” about tzedaka!
    Tzedaka is a religious obligation, with each person accountable to Hashem.
    Obamacare is a legal obligation enforced by 16,000 new (paid with your taxes) IRS agents to collect our property if we don’t do as they demand.

    As for taking food stamps and welfare, here is an interesting take: http://www.aish.com/ci/be/84108612.html
    “Citizens can have legitimate disagreement on the proper extent of government programs and aid to various interest groups. However, once these programs are legitimately agreed upon there is no stigma involved in benefiting from them, as long as no kind of subterfuge is involved (even if it is short of fraud). There is even no hypocrisy involved in voting against a program and subsequently benefiting from it. After all, a person who votes against a program is not exempt from paying taxes for it, and so there is no reason he should feel disqualified from benefiting if he is eligible.”
    Obamacare is obviously NOT “legitimately agreed upon”. The whole process has been illegitimate, corrupt, and clandestine and is likely to be reversed or gutted.

  • bill March 28, 2010, 6:08 PM

    Wow. I’m reading the same kinds of generalizations and lies in this anti-Frummie (whatever the heck that is) polemic as I get when I argue with the people who are against the Obama plan. Why do you assume that orthodox Jews who receive government assistance are against Obama’s health care plan? Perhaps you should stick to writing about British issues because your knowledge of American issues is quite lacking.

    • Heshy Fried March 28, 2010, 9:31 PM

      You have obviously not spent much time in the frum community then. It is seething with anti-health care bills (I myself think universal health care is a good thing – but nec in the form of this bill) Have you read any of the editorials, news sites, forums or blogs. Find me one frum blog that has written something good or pro Obama ever (Div Bear is about it)

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