The Folklore Of The Welfare Mother And People "Mooching" Off Of The System
We all hear about it, the woman that has swindled thousands of dollars out of the system. She drives a Mercedes, has brand new clothes and a large flat screen T.V. in her house. Just so you know this is an urban legend or folklore of the Reagan era. There was a woman named Linda Taylor, a woman that was convicted of this crime in the 1980’s. This whole situation created an excuse for the GOP and other individuals to jump on the wagon of the war that has raged since against Welfare and other programs.
I wince when I hear people talking about how people are living off the system. First of all, they clump Social Security in the mix. Social Security is a program that any people that have worked their whole lives have put money into their whole lives. There is no “entitlement” there to be had. So let us get that out of the way right there.
Having been a single mother and student for a very long time, I know that when I worked, I had a very hard time getting any assistance at all. I always made 50.00 dollars too much for any assistance. Despite that, myself and my son ate from the local foodbank, as when I paid my bills, I had very little left for groceries and that was with student loan money added to my income. I was making more then minimum wage at the time. I have no idea on earth, how any struggling single woman with young children would make it now. The cost of day care is outrageous. It almost costs is as if you have to pay more money to even have a job. Costs you more then you make. If you have more then one child, it is almost better not to work. Although the money you are given to live on is not anything you can truly live on with inflation and the cost of living. Then you have food stamps. By the way, each program you are on, they give and take from. So for instance, if you are on welfare, that would take away from food stamps. So you are never going to be “rich”, people that commit fraud, must be pretty sophisticated. Each month you fill out paperwork that takes at least an hour with detailed information going on in your life about every cent that you have. I can’t honestly see how someone can commit fraud on the system and if they do, they have to go to a lot of work to do it and I can’t see how someone would get rich, or live in luxury while living on food stamps and welfare.
We hear so much about the “lazy Americans”. They are the people that are always on welfare and mooching off the system. The truth is in 2013, 104 million food stamps were used at military commissaries. Over 1 million veterans use food stamps. SNAPS benefits are 134.00 a month for people that are considered to be able bodied. For a three year average report there was only 2.67% fraud throughout the whole unemployment program.
Another angle is that what is being reported as “fraud” by welfare recipients is often an error in their paperwork and an innocent mistake. So this is not even anything that anyone really did intentionally. Trust me, if you are on programs and they find out that you have gotten too much money, you are not given that much money the following months and you pay it back.
That is 1600.00 BEFORE taxes. If you are a single mom, you have to pay for rent, you have to pay for groceries, and you have to pay for child care, utilities. I won’t do the math. But you can. A single mother can work two jobs, but she won’t be there for her kids. She also will have to pay for more childcare. I mean this is all just common sense.
If you are on programs, you get some help on some things. But the programs are all connected, so that you can never get ahead. You live at the poverty level the rest of your life, if you don’t get married or have two incomes.
I think that when we have people like the GOP, particularly people like Paul Ryan and other Tea Party individuals, that while they are demonizing the poor; it is smoke and mirrors for the corporate world. If we are demonizing single moms, or the poor in general for that matter, then we aren’t looking at the corporate welfare that goes on every day to the Petroleum industry and tax loopholes that the very rich are allowed to have, so they don’t have to contribute to the society that they live in that made them so fabulously wealthy. Society doesn’t pay attention to the millions and sometimes billions of misplaced moneys that the Pentagon can’t find. Or the jets that have had billions of dollars put into their manufacture only to have them not work. Our society doesn’t question the fact that executives from companies purposely collapse to be saved by tax dollars so that executives can have “golden parachutes” when they leave their companies. That is the real fraudulent welfare the corporate kind.
So the next time you hear how everyone on welfare or the poor that are on programs are “taking advantage” of the system, just remember what Wall Street, the big banks and the corporate world have been doing and I am willing to bet, they get a lot more money out of the system.
Quora. (2014). How much welfare fraud is there really? Retrieved from http://www.quora.com/How-much-welfare-fraud-is-there-really
Schewitz, M. (2014). Six Myths About Welfare Recipients Debunked. Retrieved from http://www.forwardprogressives.com/6-myths-welfare-recipients-debunked/
I researched all the links they got their information.