Former Detroit Councilwoman Monica Conyers clutched a $1,000 Louis Vuitton handbag as she emerged from a chauffeured Lincoln Town Car to attend her sentencing for a bribery conviction.
Just days later, a federal judge declared her indigent and appointed a public defender to represent her. Now taxpayers will foot the bill for the “destitute” Mrs. Conyers’ to appeal her plea-bargained 37 month sentence. Never mind that her husband, U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich), pulls down $174,000 a year.
Why should an elected official help his wife with her legal bills if they can get the government to pick up the tab? After all, John Conyers is part of the “most ethical Congress in history,” so it must be okay.
And don’t concern yourself with pesky details, like the fact that Mrs. Conyers earned an $80,000 annual salary until she resigned from the Detroit City Council last July. She’s no freeloader, she’s indigent!
Across the country in Baltimore, some of Mrs. Conyers’ younger progressive kindred might not have her brazen sense of entitlement yet, but they’re working on it. “They’re young, they’re broke, and they pay for organic salmon with government subsidies.” They’re hipsters on food stamps.
One of them is Gerry Mak, a 31-year-old artist who “grew up in Westchester, graduated from the University of Chicago and toiled in publishing in New York during his 20s before moving to Baltimore last year with a meager part-time blogging job and prospects for little else.” Like Monica Conyers, Mak was thrilled when he discovered how to turn the government into his personal Pez dispenser.
“I’m sort of a foodie, and I’m not going to do the ‘living off ramen’ thing,” he said, fondly remembering a recent meal he’d prepared of roasted rabbit with butter, tarragon and sweet potatoes. “I used to think that you could only get processed food and government cheese on food stamps, but it’s great that you can get anything.”
Yes, “starving” artists now shop at Whole Foods, courtesy of Uncle Sam. Salon reports that among Mak’s demographic, “[T]here seems to be little moral quandary about collecting a benefit traditionally thought of as intended for the downtrodden.”
Like Monica Conyers, these “hipsters on food stamps” will happily shake the government tree over and over until every available entitlement falls into their waiting arms. It doesn’t matter that they have parents in Westchester (or husbands in Congress) who could help with the bills because they delight in having the rest of us subsidize their “wild-caught fish, organic asparagus and triple-creme cheese.” Who are we to cramp their style?
Monica Conyers might as well be a hipster on food stamps. She’s a leech who flaunts her Louis Vuitton bag lined with bribe money while her husband feigns obliviousness and you foot the bill for her court-appointed attorney.
A comfortable lifestyle and freedom from financial responsibility: the latest taxpayer-funded rights.