Political columnist Pat Buchanan Tuesday called President Barack Obama "a drug dealer of welfare" and urged Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to continue talking about "this division" between tax consumers and taxpayers.
Labeling the battle over government dependency and the entitlement drain on the federal budget "the great issue of our time," Buchanan told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that Obama and Romney could not be more far apart on the issue.
"If it's a narcotic, Barack Obama is a drug dealer of welfare," Buchanan declared. "He wants permanent dependency, in my judgment, of all these folks . . . somehow getting benefits, benefits, benefits, and paying no taxes."
"Romney is the complete opposite," he continued. "He believes in temporary help for anybody that's in trouble. You should have a floor of decency under any family. Unemployment should be temporary. Unemployment benefits should be. Food stamps should be temporary."
Buchanan defended a Romney comment recorded in May and leaked this week, in which he essentially writes off 47 percent of voters as Obama supporters because they pay no taxes and depend on government programs.
Romney has so far refused to back off the remark, choosing instead to accuse Obama of favoring a redistribution of wealth the Republican presidential nominee said would make dependency on government programs much worse.
"This is good to have this division, this argument, Greta, because this is what this campaign should be about," Buchanan told the Fox News host. "Frankly, it is what this generation is all about.
"Look, this is the great issue of our time. We see it ongoing in Europe. You see it in California. You see it in these cities that are going under. Can you have a system, a society, where there are far more tax consumers than there are taxpayers?" Buchanan asked.
However, Buchanan said Romney could make a better case for his argument about reducing federal spending and dependency on government by using examples of how public sector commitments have outstripped government's ability to keep up with them.
"Look at Europe. Look at France. Look at Spain. Look at Greece. Look at Italy," he said. "The public sectors have gotten so huge that these places are collapsing and people are leaving. That is what is happening to us."
He pointed as well to the budget problems in California as an example of government's inability to keep pace with public programs. He also used the teacher strike in Chicago as an example, too, of government clashing with public employees over benefit committments.
Buchanan said Obama's has done nothing to change the nation's direction because "he's a Fabian socialist who wants to move, through gradualism and reform, step by step, until a majority of Americans are dependent upon government.
"When that happens, the party of government wins every election," he continued, adding: "When the tax consumers outnumber the taxpayers, it is all over for the GOP, and it is all over, I think, for this republic."
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