On the February 1, 2012 episode of the Daily Show, Jon Stewart replayed the clip of Mitt Romney saying, "I'm not concerned about the very poor, we have a safety net there. If it needs repair I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich; they're doing just fine."
Stewart, in his classic manner stopped the tape, and stuttered like a madman as he teed up his witty homerun response. He said:
"Did you just suggest that you don't have to care about the very rich because they're fine but also, equivalently, the very poor because they're okay too. Because the reason the net is there is they're not okay."
So, it's all teed up; all Stewart has to do is relax, take a nice swing and this one's leaving the park. There are a lot of directions he could take this, but Stewart pulls the classic metaphor out of his toolbox. He proceeds:
"It's like a Doctor saying "you know, I'm not really concerned about the very healthy, because they're doing fine; or the very sick because...you know...morphine."
For those who are unaware, morphine is a drug used to mask severe and/or acute pain by impairing sensory, motor or attentional abilities. It also is known to have a high potential for addition; tolerance and psychological dependence. Morphine also causes constipation and slows recovery.
So, Jon is saying that the safety net (Welfare) for the poor is like morphine for a sick patient. You know, Jon, that actually sounds right. It is very much like that. Let's look at this...
Welfare is touted as a very compassionate and loving system, but it too has a high potential for addiction; tolerance and psychological dependence. Welfare, also, can constipate the soul and relieve pain and discomfort so much that it slows or eliminates recovery. Many welfare recipients become so addicted to government assistance that they develop a tolerance and are never able to break free from it.
Well done, Jon. You have made a very important point, which Conservatives have been making for years. It's good to see that you have realized the potentially destructive consequences of a welfare state. Just as we don't want the patient to "live" his days in a morphine-induced haze, we certainly don't want welfare recipients to go through life propped up by the impairment of perpetual handouts.