Whenever possible, the conservative media loves to shame people who receive welfare. It’s a surefire way to gin up their followers who still believe that the American Dream is accessible to anyone who works hard enough and votes for Republicans, despite the fact that red states receive more in federal funding than they pay in through taxes.
If you were to buy into their narrative, people are only poor because they don’t try hard enough, or because being on welfare is so much easier than working. Granted, there are people who have learned to abuse the system, which is why corporations have managed to receive as much as $110 billion annually in subsidies.
Those aren’t individuals who are trying to budget out their monthly food stamp allotment to make sure their kids are fed, these are international businesses who manage to exploit every loophole available to them.
Seton Motley of the DC-based group Less Government was on Fox and Friends arguing in favor of the proposal by a mayor in Maine to publicly shame people who receive public assistance. Of course, he was on the side of corporations instead of people who need welfare.
Here is a portion of his comments:
“Yeah, once again let’s shame the people who are creating jobs rather than, you know, shaming the people who are sitting on welfare. And of course she’s got half the table right on raising the minimum wage. Of course, the number of people on assistance will explode because of all the jobs that will be killed by a resulting, as a result of the raising of the minimum wage. The problem is, a family of three is not supposed to be living on a minimum wage. If you are making minimum wage you shouldn’t be having children and being on, and trying to raise a family on it.”
Approximately 11% of our federal budget goes to welfare programs, and that has actually decreased as the economy recovers from the 2009 recession.
People like Seton Motley want you to believe that publicly shaming people who receive welfare will reduce the fraud that is really very minimal in the system. But this goes beyond publicly naming people who get government assistance; this proposal also wants their addresses published, which basically amounts to a witch hunt.
Our country’s need for welfare assistance isn’t because of laziness, it’s due to the fact that there has been a consistent transfer of wealth from the average American worker to the elite.
When the economy began to go into a downward spiral 7 years ago, it was the corporations who got a bailout, not the taxpayers who ended up paying for their reckless endeavors. Even though financial institutions like Bank of America were bailed out on our dollar, they gladly foreclosed fraudulently on the homes of the same people who paid for their bailouts.
It wasn’t just financial institution who took advantage of the American worker. During this time, I worked for Sprint which tolerated millions of dollars of fraud on a monthly basis, but happily used the economic downturn to put a moratorium on pay raises and hiring, as well as eliminate some benefits they previously gave employees.
Most people aren’t on welfare because they want to be, it’s because they have no other choice thanks to a number of factors including corporate greed. If we want to start publicly shaming people, let’s start with the CEOs of companies who receive government handouts while their employees are paid so little that they have no other choice than to apply for public assistance.
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