In his official response to criticism for his appearance in an infomercial telling viewers how to get “free money” from the government, former congressman J.D. Hayworth says his words are being misrepresented by John McCain, Hayworth’s opponent in Arizona GOP Senate primary.
“I never talked about ‘free money,’” says Hayworth. “In fact, I said this is not free money, you rendered it to the government in the form of taxation.”
It’s true that the words “free money” are used by others in the infomercial, but what Hayworth said is arguably worse: “it’s not something where it’s the government’s money — it’s really your money. You surrendered it in the form of taxation. Now’s the time to take advantage of a situation where the government can invest in you.”
In other words, it’s better than free money–”it’s really your money.” You deserve it.
Hayworth argues in his response that John McCain’s linking to Grants.gov on his Senate website is somehow comparable to starring in the infomercial. But the infomercial company was not on the up and up. As he acknowledges, “the company had several consumer complaints against them.” Grants.gov actually warns people about the kind of infomercial Hayworth starred in:
ATTENTION! Grants.gov does not offer money for personal financial assistance or debt. …
“We have all seen them; late night infomercials, websites, and reference guides, advertising ‘millions in free money’ Don’t believe the hype! Although there are many grants on Grants.gov, few of them are available to individuals and none of them are available for personal financial assistance.”
And now Hayworth is likening his shilling for a company offering bogus government grants to a weatherman incorrectly forecasting the weather. If Hayworth wants to get out of the “free money” pit he’s in, he should probably stop digging.