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Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

The Welfare Queen Myth

Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2012, at 6:08 PM

The myth of the welfare queen has been around since the 1980s. Of course when this term was first uttered it was known it was a myth. It was just a good way in scaring people to vote for the Republican Party. They have been buying it for twenty years and there is certainly no signs that they are going to see the light any time soon.

The welfare queen is the mother (here we go again with Republicans and their apparent hatred of women) who has found a way to abuse the system, buying food with food stamps while driving around in expensive cars.

Of course it is laughable to think that it is even remotely as rampant as conservatives want the rest of us to believe it is. This belief has gotten so bad that people now believe that if someone is on any type of welfare they are naturally on drugs. Several states have begun testing welfare recipients for drugs. In every one of those states it is costing more money (so much for smaller government) to test than it is saving by removing people off of welfare because of drug use. The simple reality is that the facts are often completely opposite of what a myth claims those facts to be.

Which brings me back to food stamps. Most of the people that like to spout off about people on food stamps and ridicule them, putting them in the most negative light they can actually do not know anyone on food stamps. They can lie all they want to about knowing people on food stamps but again the reality comes into play; if they actually knew people on food stamps they would have completely different views about people on food stamps.

I have known people on food stamps and their lives, frankly, are nowhere near the easy street that these liars and hatemongers portray their lives as being. They are hard-workers, many times working two jobs just in order to scratch just enough money to pay their bills. Even with food stamps they often skip meals just to ensure that their children have something to eat before going to bed. They do not live a life in excess because simply they do not have time do so.

For the liars and hatemongers out there, Mitt Romney at the top of the list, none of this matters. They have a narrative to tell and silly little things like facts will never get in their way even if the facts are presented to them.

There is abuse of the system, that is undeniable, but the abuses are nowhere near the level that these sorry excuses for human beings want you to believe.

Does it anger me that these people will stop at nothing to denigrate every single person on welfare? Absolutely, but what angers me more is that this supposed liberal main-stream media allows them to spread the lies and misinformation. Never mind the fact the majority of people on welfare and food stamps self identify themselves as Republican and live in highly conservative areas. That does not matter in alternate reality universe.


Comments
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[Show most recent comments first]

Wow! Michael, Dude, " I know you hate being called dude," what is it, did you go off the deep end? Your starting to sound like mini Sam, with a different calling. My God man, get a hold of your self.

You should be basking in your glory, instead your wallowing with hogs. We expect more than that out of you.

-- Posted by Keda46 on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 12:37 AM

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/a...

-- Posted by wmarsh on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 5:51 AM

Michael,

I am constantly amazed how little facts make a difference to the anti-welfare crowd. There are many myths that abound regarding welfare, and the image of the black woman driving to pick up her government check in her brand new Cadillac is one of the more unforgivable legacies of the Reagan era.

In actuality, welfare is provided to Americans earning income at all levels, and we especially love that corporate welfare, which is far more fraudulent and costly to tax payers than a few deadbeat moms and dads (think: tax havens and loopholes, corporate subsidies, defense contracts, Wall Street bailouts, bank bailouts, etc.). The Energy Policy Act of 2005 funneled $15 billion dollars of welfare money to oil, gas, and coal industries alone. That is on top of the $70.2 billion already going to fossil fuel industries.

Let's not even get started on the rampant fraud and incredible cost of farm subsidies, most of which are accounted for by giant corporate farms.

Don't get me wrong here, many experts agree that in order to save the economy, bailing out banks, the automotive industry, etc. was necessary. Many folks will also tell you that keeping corporate taxes loopholes open is important to keep businesses here. Investments in our energy producers is also important.

But math is math...equally necessary to keeping our country solvent is "bailing out" our most vulnerable populations. It saves us money in health care costs, in incarceration costs, in criminal litigation costs, etc.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 10:18 AM

Michael,

Fun is fun and all, but I think maybe you should seek some help. It looks like your hatred is consuming you.

Do you have any basis for your spiteful claims? How do you know whether I or anyone else knows anyone on food stamps? You're ridiculous.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 12:19 PM

Benevolus,

Do you think corporate welfare is necessary to keeping our country solvent? II'm not sure from reading your post and I want to make sure for follow up questions.

Also, I don't think even the most rightwing conservative disagrees that we need to help our most vulnerable. I think the question is definitional. Who do you think are the most vulnerable?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 12:24 PM

Welfare is breaking the system, whether it goes to the poor or to corporations. $1.2 Trillion deficits each year, and we think we are different than the fools in Greece, et al.

We are all socialists now.

We will all suffer the consequences.

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 2:21 PM

SW,

In short, I am fine with corporations receiving welfare when it is warranted. Likewise, I am fine with individuals receiving welfare when it is warranted. Both forms of government investments can be highly beneficial to the nation.

Sorry if I wasn't clear. I think the point I was hoping to make is that many folks in both parties seem aligned against welfare because of the ridiculous single black mother "welfare queen" portrayal initiated by Reagan and perpetuated by many in both parties. While certainly some individuals unethically or illegally game the system, so too do corporations, vendors, healthcare providers, corporate farms, etc. Yet, curiously, we hear relatively little from the anti-welfare crowd about stopping the fraud in those domains, even though it is far and away more costly to taxpayers.

You make a really good point regarding how we define the most vulnerable. As an entry point into such a discussion, I would start by saying that broadly, anyone living in poverty, in particular, the young and the elderly living in poverty, and people who are ill or who are disabled.

With regard to those in poverty, what I mean by vulnerable is that these groups are exposed to disease, malnutrition, under-education, incarceration, and death in disproportionate numbers than the rest of the population. All of these aforementioned groups tend to be the most impacted by natural disasters, and historically, these groups typically feel economic downturns more seriously than middle and upper class folks--in part because their government provided assistance makes them easy scapegoats for partisan-based budget cuts.

However, to this definition I would add the caveat that there is nothing that I know of that actually renders any of these populations vulnerable per se, but rather it is how a given population is regarded by the society writ large, and the polices that impact these groups that influences vulnerability. For example, the elderly may be quite vulnerable in one country, but might be better more revered and protected, thus less vulnerable, in another.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 2:41 PM

Glad you mentioned the farm programs, Benevolus.

72% of the $155 Billion USDA budget for 2013 goes for "nutritional programs". You know food stamps, school lunch programs, WIC program, et al. Only 16% is for the farm programs you lament.

http://www.obpa.usda.gov/budsum/FY13buds...

But it's all welfare. Farmers, the poor, corporations, banks, underwater homeowners, envirowackos, veterans, the elderly, the ill--all those "vulnerable" people. And the wonder of a nanny state to care for all our needs, cradle to the grave! Go Democrats.

And then, we fight useless wars all over the planet, none of them ever declared a war as required by the constitution. Go Republicans.

Guns AND butter at the same time. Shut up all you naysayers, and get with it.

That it's not affordable is never mentioned in polite company. Because on the liberal left, it's all about feelings. Feelings trump truth, objectivity, and rationality. Lucid thought be damned!

And on the hawkish, militaristic right, the cost doesn't matter because defense is so important, the need for it trumps all other programs. After all, keeping us safe from the terrorists is worth any cost. Drones for eveyone.

All aboard for the Promised Land. A cell phone in every pocket, an IPad in every hand, plenty of free food and housing for everyone. We have rewritten the laws of economics so that every wish can come true, and every need be filled.

Utopia has been achieved! Secure from want, safe from terror. No worries, mate.

I want it all. I want it now. I want it to be free.

What's the problem?

JG

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 10:23 PM


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