I never watch Al Sharpton’s television show, although like many of us, I’ve heard him give his two cents as a guest on conservative shows. However, while recently channel surfing, I decided to watch and listen – painful to my ears as his verbiage was. Sharpton was all up in arms about a phenomenal Republican manifesto entitled, “Room to Grow: Conservative Reforms for a Limited Government and a Thriving Middle Class” published by the Young Guns Network.

As expected, Sharpton criticized the program and cried foul that the proposed reforms are “attacking the safety net,” meaning full-blown government welfare living. The “safety net” Sharpton ardently touts sustains those who utilize welfare, food stamps and other forms of government assistance as a long-term lifestyle plan. According to Sharpton, conservatives are bullies who unfairly strip people of the right to live by cradle-to-grave government assistance, because we propose that able-bodied people can and should actually earn their own income and leave the safety net for those who truly require temporary assistance.

Chiding in lockstep with Sharpton was Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, an entrenched Democratic congressional delegate from Washington, D.C., and former Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell. Both guests immediately jumped on the old Sharpton bandwagon and harped that the GOP just doesn’t care about the poor, unemployed welfare class. Norton referred to the GOP as “the cut and gut party.” Rendell actually advocating extending food stamps to more Americans citing that “1 out of 9 Pennsylvanians are on food stamps.” Liberal “logic?”

Memo to Rendell, Sharpton and Norton: Folks intentionally living off government assistance is not a “safety net”; sadly, however, it is a “career” for over 100 million people. The “safety net” foolhardy Democrats accuse conservatives of attacking actually shreds the hard-earned safety net of employed Americans who pay for others to live large on government assistance. Data show there are more Americans on welfare than there are Americans working, taking into consideration jobs in both the private and government sector. Less than half of welfare recipients are actually poor; the rest are moochers, encouraged by the likes of Democrats such as Sharpton, Rendell and Norton.

Living a welfare lifestyle is not a “safety net”; it is systemic abuse, which impedes assistance to those who truly need a temporary helping hand. Touting government assistance as a lifestyle promotes welfare dependency as a model for millions of kids. It also erodes economic growth, instead replacing it with unsustainable freebies for the asking.

In contrast to government dependency, the mission of the YG Network’s proposal “recognizes that today’s challenges won’t be met by yesterday’s solutions. We commissioned the following essays to outline an innovative agenda that empowers individuals by increasing competition and replacing failed government policies. The demonstratable failure of the liberal welfare state provides an opportunity to advance conservative reforms, firmly rooted in our constitutional order, that advance the aspirations of middle class Americans.”

No wonder Sharpton is – almost literally – frothing at the mouth. Through this manifesto, conservative experts are shining the spotlight on the plethora of failed government policies and programs and embarking instead to replace them with actual working solutions that cause to people to … actually get in the mix with the rest of the middle class and go to work.

Conservatism 101 – precisely what Sharpton hates.

Sharpton might be surprised to know that the collaborators of the YG’s proposal proficiently advocate necessary modifications on the part of both political parties relating to social, economic and communication issues in order to achieve real dialogue and real solutions.

YG’s program explains: “Rather than talk about the poor and those Americans receiving government assistance as ‘takers’ or dependents, conservatives need to explain how emphasizing and enabling work and mobility would be better for the poor and better for the country. That system is profoundly threatened today by an assertive progressive ideology advanced by an increasingly radical American liberalism. And with it, America’s prospects are threatened as well.”

Naturally, the proposals offered do not shy away from touting conservatism as the solution to these issues, precisely because there isn’t any other solution! We all know liberalism is an epic failure. The proposal reads, “Conservatives need to respond not only by helping Americans understand how the Left’s approach to government is hurting them, but also by helping them see how the Right’s approach could improve their lives and those of all Americans.”

Capitalism is a prime example. Capitalism and entrepreneurship are the crux of the American free-enterprise system, but Sharpton and his cohorts trounce the proven model of success that has been part of the American fabric since her inception. Intent on poisoning the populace with anti-economic rhetoric, Norton states, “Most Americans don’t own businesses.” What a lie. Forbes proves otherwise and says this: “Even after the global financial meltdown, there’s still tremendous opportunity, freedom and creative potential in starting a business that can’t be found any other way – and the U.S. is still a great place to do it.”

Norton proposes that government instead reward employers with a measly $5 tax credit if they employ a long-term unemployed person. Who wants to hire a long-term unemployed person that’s been using the welfare system long-term? What skills do they bring to the workforce? What an insult to employers. Such hypocritical crumb-tossing tactics on the part of Democrats substantiate they are the ones attacking the safety net. And when it finally breaks, they will have no one to blame but themselves.

Media wishing to interview Selena Owens, please contact [email protected].

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