Judge Judy: That’s What We’re Creating
To find the folly of the nanny state unmasked in all its outrageous “splendor” takes no more than flipping the channel on any given afternoon to the Judge Judy show.
Known for her abrasive, no-nonsense demeanor, Judge Judith Sheindlin often causes plaintiffs or defendants to fidget, glow a rosy pink and become unhinged as she catches them off guard with unexpected questions. In a large number of her cases, she finds out that the litigants are abusing the system, pocketing taxpayer money, and living a non-productive existence. Her show is a great look into how government misappropriates funds and how lazy deadbeats take advantage of government’s ill-gotten largesse.
A relatively recent case in point comes courtesy of Minnesota resident Duane Brooks Jr., whose appearance in Sheindlin’s TV court serves as a perfect example of why Americans should be very concerned about the “plundering” of taxpayers in order to fund entitlements programs. Brooks, who is receiving taxpayer money for both education and rent, is bewildered at why he shouldn’t be allowed to dodge the rent payment owed to the plaintiff and use the money as he sees fit. Sheindlin responded to Brooks:
...this is what we have done as taxpayers... in addition to paying $22,000 for you to become a functional musician, what we have also said is “And we’re going to help you — if you don’t have a job and to go to school full-time — because we are not going to give you this $22,000 per year to sit back and play your guitar, if you don’t have a job to help you pay rent [then] we are also going to give you $450.00 towards rent. So that you can live. And it is suppose to go toward your rent. It is not suppose to go for eating out or car or...this money is targeted for rent.
The college attendee who spent the last three years studying to become a musician on the taxpayers’ dime responded: “Just her [the plaintiff] being around me, is me paying rent.”
Indefatiguable, Judge Judy tried once again to get through to Brooks. She explained:
“I don’t even want to pay your rent. The government says I have to pay your rent. Even officer Byrd [Bailiff] doesn’t want to pay your rent. But if we have to pay your rent, we don’t want the money that we have to send to you for rent to go for anything else other than rent. That’s what it is earmarked for because you also said you get grant money, and $1,000 a month on another stipend.”
To this, the defendent could only respond, incoherently at that, with: “I’m me.”
That was too much for the now exasperated Sheindlin’s
“That’s what we are creating!” Sheindlin stated. “I am sending this tape to Congress. So far as taxpayers we have spent at least $70,000 on three years of your education and this is the feedback I am getting from you. ‘I’m me.’ God, $70,000 dollars right down the sewer.”
Sadly, this case was just one of many similar cases that air on Sheindlin’s show on a daily basis. So Sheindlin can be forgiven for her now famous string of outbursts at the outrageous stories she hears in her courtroom. “I eat morons like you up for breakfast,” she told one unfortunate deadbeat. To another, a sarcastic “Umm is not an answer!”
For Americans who have flocked to watch Judge Judy making it the most popular courtroom show since Wapner, the show no doubt serves as little more than voyeuristic entertainment. But brighter lights can take from most episodes the lesson that the welfare state is not only economically perverse, but morally so.
Denise Behreandt is Managing Editor of American Daily Herald.