A prominent Florida musician on Sunday challenged President Barack Obama to “Finish building the welfare state you started” at the launch of a national campaign to encourage people to “Live Off the Government,” a controversial initiative to create a welfare-dependent society in which government revenues from the legalization of drugs and prostitution foot-the-bill for entitlement programs. The initiative also calls for American’s to start “procreating” at record levels and to use their offspring as “welfare money magnets.”
Charlie Blake, a renowned guitarist and devout political independent who hails from Miami, met on Sunday, Aug 25 with a group of civic leaders from around the country who gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Fort Lauderdale’s tony Las Olas neighborhood to hear the renegade musician’s “Live Off the Government” (L.O.G.) message. It was Blake’s official kick-off campaign for what many view as a radical departure from the American work ethic.
“It wasn’t as crazy as you might think,” said an impressed Tom Bickford, an entrepreneur from Salinas, Kansas who had come to the meeting with more than fleeting skepticism. “Blake really spelled it out, saying we’ve already got a welfare state, so why not make it self-sufficient and productive. The way President Obama is doing it now is bankrupting us.”
Blake, contacted by examiner.com for comment, said a lot of people are missing the point of his L.O.G. initiative.
“I’m not advocating creating a welfare state; we’ve already got one,” said the ebullient musician-turned-political-activist. “I just want to make it the best welfare state it can be.”
Blake said he’s modeling his vision for L.O.G. on the “Utopia” Washington politicians have created for themselves. According to Blake, members of Congress and the president live off the public largesse, pocketing hefty paychecks, lifelong benefits and pensions, yet contribute nothing in return to the country.
“If you believe in the narcotic of government dependency, Obama and the Congress are both addict and pusher,” Blake proffered. “I want to make that dependency work for every American.”
Wendy Pullman, a political consultant from Portland, Oregon, came to hear Blake speak because she had heard from some of her high-placed political contacts that Blake had the perfect pitch to raise awareness of America’s $17 trillion deficit.
“When I first heard about LOG, I thought this guy must be a nutcase,” said Pullman. “But after hearing him speak, I’m not so sure he’s not on to something … something big. He gave a rousing, convincing speech that was peppered with verifiable socio-economic data. It's all about three things: Deficit. Deficit. And deficit.”
For some who’ve been exposed to Blake’s message, the musician’s out-of-the-box thinking is a bit much.
“He’s right, America is on a downward spiral thanks to government spending and waste,” said Alan Bumpus, an accountant from Richmond, Virginia who had heard Blake speak earlier this year in the nation’s capital. “But drugs and prostitution to finance entitlements? And a national HUMP Day – a day of procreation to boost the country’s birthrate?! I can’t buy into that.”
The L.O.G. initiative calls for American’s to start “procreating” at record levels and to use their offspring as “welfare money magnets.”
While Bumpus may not buy into Blake’s political philosophy, many of Blake’s supporters are buying his HUMP Day song, the proceeds from which are being used to help finance getting out the L.O.G. message.
“The government has incentivized welfare by offering people a lot of money for doing nothing,” Blake said. “Better the people should have the money than the politicians. And that’s something to sing about.”
When asked if he was serious about his L.O.G. campaign or if the initiative was merely a vehicle to raise public awareness of mounting federal deficits, Blake, with characteristic panache and melodious phrasing responded, “You say tomato, I say tomato. Either way, it's still red ... just like our country's balance sheet. We're going to change that.”