Indolence is a person’s disinclination to physical activity or exertion despite having no infirmity or disability, and when applied to a person who refuses to regularly labor or perform a task to earn money, indolence is sheer laziness. The concept of work relates to a regular daily activity someone performs to produce something of value whether it is a service or product that warrants remuneration to sustain one’s life. It is unfair and hypocritical for a person who has a job but refuses work to attribute laziness to a person who wants to work but cannot find employment, but that has been a defining characteristic of Republicans in Congress over the past four years.
It is completely fair, and damn high time, for all Americans to wake up and finally admit that there are a “number of Americans not working” when they have no infirmity or disability, and work together as a nation to find a solution to this serious problem. These lazy Americans need to be “brought into the mainstream of American society” and be forced to abandon their thinking “that I really don’t have to work. I don’t really want to do this; I’d just rather sit around.” Those were Speaker of the House John Boehner’s words during an American Enterprise Institute speech and as he elucidated so clearly; it is “a very sick idea for our country” that any American would “just rather sit around” because they believe they “really don’t have to work.”
Boehner is not alone in shining a spotlight on the terrible problem of Americans who refuse to work. A man who has spent nearly all of his life on government pay, Paul Ryan, said last March that he will end poverty in America by focusing on creating work requirements for people living off the government. Ryan claims he and he alone has the answer to deal with the “real culture problem of men not working or even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” Like Boehner’s assertion, Ryan is absolutely correct that Republicans in Congress are steeped in “a real culture problem that has to be dealt with;” their refusal to work for the people when they do show up for work and their practice of not showing up for weeks on end. All the while they draw government welfare in the form of bloated salaries and excellent employment benefits.
It is bad enough that Boehner, Ryan, and Republicans in general have the temerity to criticize unemployed Americans as being lazy, but it is beyond the pale that they have spent the past six years deliberately preventing millions of Americans who want desperately to work from finding employment. Republicans began President Obama’s first term fighting ferociously to obstruct his recovery and job-saving attempts to thwart any attempt to save the economy Republicans decimated with unfunded wars, tax cuts for the rich, and banking deregulation. In fact, within weeks of taking control of the House after the 2010 midterm elections when Boehner was informed GOP budget cuts would kill well over a million jobs he said, “so be it.” Were those million-plus Americans who lost their jobs saying “I really don’t have to work. I’d just rather sit around” as Boehner contends, or were they victims of ”the real culture problem of Republicans not working or even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work” according to their jobs as legislators?
It takes a special kind of cretin to spend nearly four straight years deliberately killing millions of jobs either by cutting spending or giving tax breaks to corporations that ship American jobs overseas, and then have the audacity to claim unemployed Americans are lazy and a “real problem for not even thinking about working.” And, speaking of working, what exactly is the work Republicans in Congress, particularly in the House, have focused on since January 2011? It certainly has not been “laying and collecting taxes” and “passing legislation for the general welfare of the people” according to their Constitutional job description. Instead, when they have shown up to “work,” they either take things away from Americans to give to the rich, or waste taxpayer’s hard-earned dollars on fabricated scandals. Remember, the definition of work is a “regular daily activity someone performs to produce something of value whether it is a service or product that warrants remuneration;” not playing Robin Hood in reverse, not going on witch-hunts, not dismantling the government, and not taking six or seven week paid vacations every couple of months. Republicans have not produced anything of value for the American people and yet they draw inordinately high salaries and go on extended vacations several times a year.
What is stunning is that while Republicans cannot be bothered to do any work for the American people or stop taking several-week paid vacations, they are suing the President for picking up the slack due to their ”problem of not even thinking about working.” It is not that House Republicans have lacked work to do; the Senate has passed several pieces of bipartisan legislation an overwhelming majority of Americans support that Speaker Boehner lets languish on his desk. Boehner is so lazy he cannot put forth the effort or exert himself to as much as call for a vote or, dog forbid, allow a floor debate on the legislation. However, he did muster enough energy to allow a vote to shut down the government, repeal the ACA forty-plus times, give tax breaks to the rich, and eliminate overtime pay. And it is worth reiterating that no, tax breaks for the rich, defunding the EPA and IRS, cutting education, and suing the President are not jobs bills. However, when Republicans are incapable of understanding the “value and culture of work,” one begins to comprehend why they are clueless on what creating real jobs entails.
One would think, errantly, that Republican voters would be enraged that their heroes in the House label them as lazy and then take inordinately long and frequent paid vacations. A survey of Republican voters a couple of weeks ago revealed that conservatives are not the least bit concerned their representatives in Congress are doing absolutely nothing and still getting outlandish salaries. However, that should not surprise anyone because those same, primarily southern Republican voters, cheer wildly when their representatives are too lazy to vote for job-creating infrastructure legislation or Veterans’ jobs bills; but they find enough energy to vote to sue the President for doing the work lazy Republicans refuse to do.
Republican hypocrisy has become so normal that hardly anything they say is surprising any more, but the audacity to label unemployed Americans as lazy when it is the GOP that has either killed or obstructed creation of millions of jobs as part of their part-time employment is beyond belief. One hopes the millions of Americans who are unemployed take heed that Republicans who consider them inherently lazy and “a real problem” have killed, sent overseas, or obstructed millions of jobs when they aren’t on lengthy paid vacations. They should also take note that John Boehner was really describing Republicans who believe that they “really don’t have to work and would just rather sit around” and make speeches about their tendency of “not even thinking about working” because an African American man is the President.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.