Republican Don Young Blames Government Handouts For Making Lazy People Suicidal

There seems to be no shortage of offensive, irresponsible comments coming out of Alaska Rep. Don Young’s Republican mouth these days.

On Tuesday, Young came under fire for telling Wasilla High School students that same-sex marriage was similar to two bulls mating and that suicide was caused by not having enough supportive family and friends. These remarks were particularly insensitive, as the high school had recently lost one of its students to suicide.

The very next day after these comments were made, Young followed up his suicide theory by saying that handouts from the government also contributed to people killing themselves.

At Wasilla’s Palmer senior center, Young was asked to elaborate on the “lack of support” comment he made at Wasilla High School just the day before. Still defiant, Young explained that a student “had the gall to say suicide is a disease.” He answered:

“It is not a disease. It is an illness. Now a lot of times that illness should be recognized by a support group and it should be supported by the teachers that recognize this person has an illness. He needs help. Is it his parents or is it his friends who are not supporting him?” (source)

Photo Credit: Dennis Zaki /

Photo Credit: Dennis Zaki /

Young then claimed that when he first came to Alaska, the suicide rate was lower because people were less lazy — they worked hard and refused to take government handouts. Young said:

“When people had to work and had to provide and had to keep warm by putting participation in cutting wood and catching the fish and killing the animals, we didn’t have the suicide problem.” (source)

Young also said that government handouts mean “you are not worth anything but you are going to get something for nothing.”

Forrest Dunbar, Young’s Democratic opponent, reacted to Young’s comments on Wednesday, saying that the Republican has “gone past the point of bizarre.” In a written statement, Dunbar said:

“In the last two days I have gone from shocked, to sadness, to anger. If Don Young honestly believes that the suicide crisis in Alaska is because of public assistance programs, and he also believes that Wasilla High administrators were ‘coddling’ students dealing with the death of a classmate, then he is completely out of touch.” (source)