If you have noticed an uptick in email chain letters and Facebook posts about how welfare recipients are drug-fueled slackers, it is because the 1% wants to further harm the poor and outlaw abortions, again.
To do so, the uber-rich have unleashed their minions led by Jim DeMint and his merry band of corporate kochsuckers to introduce S. 1904: Welfare Reform Act of 2011. The bill was introduced in November and is currently in committee.
Thomas Coburn [R-OK], Lindsey Graham [R-SC], James Inhofe [R-OK], Ron Johnson [R-WI], Mike Lee [R-UT], Rand Paul [R-KY], James Risch [R-ID], Marco Rubio [R-FL], Jefferson Sessions [R-AL] , avid Vitter [R-LA]
The online doodling about purported "Welfare Junkies" is just the opening propaganda salvo in this effort.
It is another attempt to enact the Republican/Tea Bagger/ Libertarian strategy of "If it ain't broke, let's break it. And, if it is broken, let's really fuck it up..and abortions, also"
I have noticed a few of my "D" friends (not Kossacks) passing this shit around online, so this is to those who are susceptible to the Part Deux of Zombie Reagan's Welfare Queen Fallacy ...just fucking stop it already.
- More below the two squirrels a-screwing
Some Real Statistics
U.S. Population- 266,490,000
Welfare Recipients- 12,600,000
Percentage of Population on Welfare- 4.7%
U.S. Population- 311,000,000
Welfare Recipients- 4,600,000
Percentage of Population on Welfare- 1.47%
Source:U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and Department of Labor
In the 15 years since Clinton "ended Welfare as we know it", there has been a 31% reduction in welfare recipients, but there has been an increase of 700,000 in the past year due to the recession and increased unemployment.
"Job creators" who benefit from low tax rates are NOT creating jobs. In fact, with the help of compliant legislators, they are shipping jobs abroad while receiving tax incentives. This is "Corporate Welfare" and is one of the major causes of America's economic problems.
State welfare systems are not suffering from increased costs, but from decreased revenues. However, the Republicans and Fox News driven narrative places the blame on welfare recipients, many who have lost their livelihoods due to right wing intransigence. Case in point, the refusal of Congress to pass a jobs bill put forth by President Obama that would put construction workers back to work rebuilding our deteriorating infrastructure. So, you see, they created this fustercluck and now say they have the magic answer to fix the resulting catastrophe.
This obstruction is politically driven. As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." Note that their goal is not to create jobs, repair America's roads and bridges, or strengthen national security.
It should also be noted that the Republicans have received outlandish sums of money from corporate donors to accomplish their mission. These are the same corporations that receive tax breaks and subsidies while ignoring their social responsibilities.
To avoid public scrutiny, Republicans, Blue Dog Democrats, and their corporate masters are trying to distract American citizens with misinformation. Blaming the poor for America's problems worked for them in the past. For example, Reagan's oft cited "Welfare Queens" meme was widely debunked, yet has again resonated because of propaganda from Fox News and conservative demagogues. The term was not only fictional, but also sexist and racist. The intent then was to criminalize and disparage those in need.
The purpose today is to distract attention from the real "Welfare Queens," the too big to fail corporations that often pay no taxes while receiving federal subsidies. If you are an "Average American," you more than likely can honestly claim that you paid more federal income taxes than General Electric, Boeing, DuPont, Wells Fargo, and Verizon COMBINED.
Yet, here we are, subjected to the non-issue of drug users receiving a few hundred dollars per month although they make up about 2% of welfare recipients according to data from Florida, a state that formerly tested applicants until halted as a violation of the 4th Amendment.
In Indiana, the Republican claim that the unemployed and poor are drug users was debunked as well when only 1% of applicants for a workforce training program failed a mandatory drug screening.
My advice to people who have been forwarding this crap to their friends is...
People, this is not the problem with America. If you bought into this meme, do not disparage yourself, very powerful and insidious forces are catapulting this propaganda. In the future, I would suggest practicing due diligence whenever you hear or read a claim that those among us who are less fortunate are the cause of America's problems.
A great place to start would be to join www.dailykos. And while you are there, read this about how the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 ended up putting many women in prison.
OH: Women in Jail -The Pew Report: 1 of 265 In Jail