Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has the conservative blogosphere in a tizzy again today. The target of right-wing wrath is the liberal Democratâ€™s contention that Congress should look â€ścarefully at how we reform entitlements that are not handouts but they are earned.â€ť
Video of Jackson Leeâ€™s speech quickly ricocheted around the Internet. Comments on a Fox News blog post were almost universally negative: The Houston lawmaker was labeled â€śa disgraceâ€ť and â€śincreasingly appalling.â€ť
Some critics immediately assumed that Jackson Lee was talking about â€śwelfareâ€ť programs, Food Stamps and other social safety net programs that are frequently deemed â€śentitlementsâ€ť in the bureaucratic language of Washington.
But two of the three â€śentitlementsâ€ť mentioned in her speech are not means-tested programs but government guarantees to elderly Americans who pay into the trust funds for those programs through their entire on-the-job earnings. The third, Medicaid, is a government health-care program that largely benefits the poor.
Hereâ€™s what Jackson Lee said on the House floor:
â€śI believe it should be pronounced here today, that the reform of the entitlements based upon shipshod, reckless, deliberations â€” or should I say actions â€” are a non-starter,â€ť she said.
Read more at www.chron.com.