Nine Myths The Right Loves To Believe About Welfare


The Internet at its best is a treasure trove of information, better than a thousand libraries. At its worst, it is a means of spreading falsehoods unlike anything the world has ever seen. This is especially true in social media, which the right wing has discovered to be the perfect platform to spread misinformation on political subjects.

Of course, one of the right’s favorite targets is the American social safety net. Americans who receive welfare benefits or food stamps are regular targets of right wing memes and attacks on Facebook or other social media. Not only are most of these memes way off base, virtually every one of them plays on the public’s complete ignorance of how the programs we know as “welfare” function. What do you know about welfare?

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Most likely you know more than your right wing uncle. But, in case you are in need of some facts and figures, here is some information about some of the right’s favorite welfare myths that will certainly drive that uncle crazy at the next family dinner.

Myth: “People on welfare are lazy and sit at home collecting it while the rest of us work to support them.”

Fact: The welfare reform law that was signed by President Clinton in 1996 largely turned control over welfare benefits to the states, but the federal government provides some of the funding for state welfare programs through a program called Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF). TANF grants to states require that all welfare recipients must find work within two years of first receiving benefits. This includes single parents, who are required to work at least 30 hours per week. Two-parent families are required to work 35 to 50 hours per week. Failure to obtain work could result in loss of benefits. It is also worth noting that, thanks to the pay offerings of companies such as Walmart, many who work at low wage jobs qualify for public assistanceeven though they work full-time.

During the recession, the Obama administration allowed states to request a temporary waiver of the work requirement, due to the scarcity of jobs. That move gave the right an opening to claim that President Obama was removing the work requirement for welfare. First, conservatives claim that those on welfare don’t want to work, then they claim that the president is “gutting welfare reform” by allowing states to request a waiver of the work requirement.

10. Myth: “People who go on welfare stay on it forever.”

Fact: According to statisticbrain.com, the vast majority of TANF recipients, 80.4 percent,  receive benefits for five years or less. Nearly 25 percent of all recipients receive benefits for less than a year. (The site still refers to the program by the old name of Aid To Families With Dependent Children. AFDC is the old name for the program, that was replaced by TANF in 1996. The site’s statistics are current, however.)

9. Myth: “There’s a woman in Chicago. She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards. … She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income alone is over $150,000″ – Ronald Reagan

Fact: Ah, the “welfare queen.” Ronny loved to tell his stories, and his welfare queen story is one of the most popular. The only problem is the woman he talked about didn’t exist. There is some evidence that elements of this story may have been based on facts, but the descriptions of abuse by an actual woman were wildly exaggerated by Reagan.

8. Myth: “Welfare recipients keep having more kids so they can get more benefits.”

Fact: According to a 2010 report, which is the most recent data available, released by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the average family receiving TANF benefits has 1.8 children, which is about the same as the national average. Half of the families receiving TANF benefits only have one child. In fact, the average size of families receiving welfare benefits has declined from 4.0 in 1969 to 2.4 in 2010. Also, some states, such as Delaware and Georgia, make it clear to those who sign up for TANF benefits that their benefits will not increase if they have additional children. Taken from the Delaware Department of Health and Human Services website:

You will get information on family planning.  Your check will not increase if you have a baby 10 months or more after you sign up for this program. [Emphasis added]

Government Accountability Office report (page 45), shows the amount of TANF benefits paid in each state for one to three children. Even in states where having additional children will result in a benefit increase, that increase is, in most cases, $100 a month or less.

7. Myth: “Where Is The U.S. Headed If More Than 100 Million People Get Welfare?” – Headline of August 2012 column by CNN’s Jack Cafferty

Fact: One hundred million Americans on welfare? Cafferty apparently gets his information from a biased source, the Center For Immigration Studies, which is connected to identified racist John Tanton. According to the 2010 federal HHS report, 1,084,828 adults and 3,280,153 children received TANF benefits that year, a far cry from 100 million.

5. Myth: “I see these guys all the time, hanging out and drinking, and doing drugs, collecting welfare instead of working.”

Fact: The able-bodied single male with no dependent children who collects welfare in the United States is extremely rare, since the primary goal of most welfare programs is to provide temporary support for children and families. Single males can receive certain benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if they are disabled. The rare, able-bodied male who does qualify for benefits is still subject to the program’s work requirements.

4. Myth: “Most welfare recipients are drug users.”

Fact: In recent years, several states have tried requiring drug tests of welfare recipients. The number of applicants who tested positive for drugs was not enough to make the programs cost-effective in every state where it was tried. Even Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, one of the early proponents of the idea has given up on it after his plan was ruled unconstitutional by two federal courts.

When Florida tried drug tests for welfare in 2011, only about two percent of all applicants tested positive for drug use. According to the New York Times, federal statistics show that the rate of drug use among welfare recipients is about the same as it is for the public at large.

3. Myth: “Most welfare recipients are minorities and illegal immigrants.”

Fact: TANF benefits were paid out to roughly the same percentage of white and black recipients in 2010, according to the HHS report. In fact, the percentage of black families receiving welfare benefits has declined by almost 7 percent since 2000. It’s popular among conservatives to claim that illegal immigrants are getting welfare. But that is not the case. Those who are in the United States illegally are ineligible for benefits other than emergency Medicaid.

2. Myth: “People collect welfare instead of work, and they get rich. They all have iPhones, drive new cars, have widescreen tv’s, etc. I work and I can’t afford any of that!”

Fact:  Since welfare payments vary by state and by the size of the family, it’s hard to provide all the pertinent numbers here, but here are some ranges:

  • A family of four can expect up to $500 a month in food stamp benefits. A single person can expect an average of $200 a month.
  • The average monthly allowance under TANF/AFDC is $900 for a family of four. For a single person the average is about $300.

It would be interesting to see what kind of “new car” anyone could buy on that income, or even an iPhone, for that matter. Also remember, despite what Newt Gingrich may have claimed during the 2012 election campaign, you can’t use food stamps for anything except food, so when you’re figuring how much money someone might have for an iPhone or a car, take that money out of the equation.

1. And finally, one final fact about welfare: Would anybody like to guess who makes up the single largest group on welfare in the United States? It’s children. One out of every four children in the United States receives welfare benefits.

“Everybody’s gotta have somebody to look down on, who they can feel better than at any time they please.” — Kris Kristofferson

That seems to be the story when it comes to welfare and the attitudes of conservatives. “There but for the grace of God go I” isn’t a consideration. Ask any conservative what problems they have with welfare, and they are likely to start their reply with “I know somebody who…” and then launch into a narrative about someone they know who they don’t believe deserves benefits. But, in a nation of 300 million, it is impossible to know enough “somebody’s who” to reach a valid conclusion. Not that that matters to conservatives, who largely base their ideas on contempt for their fellow man.

Since the year 2000, over three million jobs have been lost to China. Most of those jobs were lost during the Bush administration. If we even had a fraction of those good paying jobs back, maybe so many people wouldn’t need to rely on welfare. But you can’t confuse conservatives with facts, when they would prefer to just blame the welfare recipients…and Obama.

Featured Image via Nobodysopinion.org

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110 Comments

  • Missladyhawke ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says:

    I wonder if anyone on the right knows that you have to give your fingerprints when you sign up, meaning that it is really hard to fraud and collect in more then one town, or state.

    • Ian D'angelo says:

      That depends on the state actually; not all states require fingerprints. Indiana doesn’t, off the top of my head.

    • Richard says:

      California doesn’t require fingerprints either. And, yes, welfare fraud is rampant here.

      • churst714 says:

        Proof please.

      • Missladyhawke ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says:

        YES, they do. If you don’t know the facts then maybe you shouldn’t comment. And please provide proof that it is ‘rampant’ here.

        • Richard says:

          My family had to use assistance. We didn’t provide fingerprints. And, yes, I witnessed fraud being committed. I reported fraud that was being committed. I spoke with those who investigated welfare fraud. In the county we just moved from, due to budget problems, they eliminated their welfare fraud unit for a number of years. This was reported via media. People who shoot the messenger because they don’t like the message surely show a level of ignorance that astounds me.

          • Missladyhawke ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says:

            How long ago was it? We just applied about 8 years ago for few months and we had to be fingerprinted, I wonder why you did not. How did you witness fraud? You wrote a speech without many facts. I’m sure they eliminated their welfare fraud department for years due to the fact that they didn’t need it anymore. I work for the federal government, as soon as they don’t need something anymore, they get rid of it. I don’t shoot anyone, when the message is unclear and I ask for questions, I am usually not holding a gun.

        • PittsburghGal53 says:

          I live in PA and as a young woman in the late 70s, worked with a person who had 2 SS numbers, working under 1 & collecting from 1. She was ghetto and would brag about it. A little later in my life, my hubby & I had a small business in a lower income area of Pittsburgh. We were located next door to a dairy store and got to know the manager very well. At that time (80s) there still were paper coupons for food stamps. People selling their food stamps for cash was a routine occurrence according to our friend. Additionally, my brother-in-law recently retired as a PA welfare worker. He did this job from college til retirement. He says that he knew which of his clients were legitimate and who was scamming the system. Due to the workload, these scammers stayed in the system for years. Because of the arrogance & mental issues/hostility of some of his clients, he purchased and permitted a gun to carry at work before his retirement and did retire before 65 due to health problems caused by the stress of dealing with these clients. More recently, I had the privilege of using public transportation to commute back & forth to work (10 yrs). The majority of my buses ran through lower income areas (hard to avoid in Pittsburgh). I have overheard many conversations on how people moved to this state because of the “good welfare benefits” (these people appeared to be clients). Finally and most recently, my sis in Florida has a friend who is on welfare and routinely sells her EBT card usage for cash. My sister has finally begun refusing to cooperate with her… hard to feel sympathy after seeing so many people learning how to play the system and use it to their advantage over the years while my family and I have always busted our ass*s to survive with no government help. And, yes, I do agree with the commenters who recognize corporate welfare. It seems to me that the middle class is being sucked dry between these two groups.

          • Missladyhawke ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says:

            Since you only pay approxiametly .01% of your yearly pay check for welfare and you pay about $1470 a year for corporate welfare, which one is sucking the middle class dry?

          • PittsburghGal53 says:

            I am not defending corporate welfare, which is totally unnecessary. The welfare benefits program for individuals was a deliberate political strategy implemented in the 60’s. After 55 years, what success do you see from this benefit? The true success stories are in the minority column vs the generational abuse of the current welfare program.

      • breed7 says:

        Every statement made by Richard indicates that he is as hateful and unintelligent as ALL Rebublicans. And let’s be clear about this. There are only two types of Republicans — the ones who are hateful and the ones that are unintelligent. (You can easily spot the difference; the hateful ones are rich.)

        • Richard says:

          Ah! Strawman argument. Attack those you disagree with as opposed to offering any real argument.

          • WHAT? says:

            She’s asking you to make an argument with specifics. So you reply she isn’t giving any. You’ve made the claim that fraud is rampant, where’s the proof?

  • TigerFan says:

    The truly sad thing is the number of uneducated, welfare-collecting white rubes (mainly in the South) who keep voting for Republicans who make it clear they hate the poor. To be fair, there are many Rs who would honestly like to see the poor get a fair shake, but they are being dismissed and drowned out by the Tea Party Evangelical lunatics.

    • Richard says:

      And, this article purports to speak about over-simplified generalizations about one group of people. Obviously that lesson has been lost.

      • TigerFan says:

        I can see how you would come to that conclusion. But, it has not.
        My observation is based solely on my own experiences living among these people for 50+ years and listening to the things they say and watching the way they tend to vote.

        • VolcanicSurfer says:

          You are an embarrassment to LSU. I’m guessing you are more of a Southern University fan, based on your obvious lack of education.

          • TigerFan says:

            Troll elsewhere, dipstick.

          • VolcanicSurfer says:

            How about your trailer park?

          • TigerFan says:

            Sure, as soon as your mom sobers up and leaves.

          • VolcanicSurfer says:

            Still waiting on the stoop for your daddy to return after he went to the drugstore for a pack of smokes back in the late 70’s?

          • TigerFan says:

            Nope. I know exactly where he is. I still have the shovel.

          • VolcanicSurfer says:

            Good thing he left you something.

          • TigerFan says:

            I see you missed the reference. Not your fault, it was pretty obscure.
            I may think you are a tool, and you may think me one, but I have to say something.
            Thank you for being able to write like you graduated high school. I was in another thread where the guy had the writing skills of a third grader. It was painful to read.

  • Wonderer says:

    I was a caseworker in Pennsylvania for a few years during the first stages of welfare reform. Most of my clients were the working poor, full time employment very low wages. I was in Chester PA and the ratio of generational welfare recipients was higher than many places, still most were the working poor. I worked also with the inspector general investigating welfare fraud, most cases were small and they got caught. We did not have a lot of cases and we were in a high population low income district. The saddest part is it’s always the children who suffer the most. So going after medical and food stamp benefits of kids takes a real low life politician.

    • April says:

      “So going after medical and food stamp benefits of kids takes a real low life politician.” You’ve just described every republican and more than a few democratic politicians. It’s sad but this country is run by low lifes.

  • Ian D'angelo says:

    Something people should remember when seeing a welfare recipient with good clothes and an iPhone – or a smartphone of any kind – should bear in mind is 1) Goodwill exists, and their clothes are actually pretty damn nice as a rule and 2) Just because they have the phone doesn’t mean they’re paying for it on their own. A friend of mine had a Droid that her friend not only bought for her but paid for the service every month. Another had a WoW account paid for by a friend because it was the only thing he actively did to relax at the end of the day.

    I really wish people would stop and think before they judge; try to figure out the story, see if there isn’t some actual logic you can apply instead of high-horsed assumptions.

    • Jim Wiggin says:

      Something else people should keep in mind. Somebody on FOXNews over the past year or so started a rant that was picked up by some others that poor people all have refrigerators and microwaves. Outrageous! Of course, most of those poor people do not actually own the refrigerators and microwaves, they were included with their rented apartments. But, anyway, does FOXNews actually think that poor people should live without refrigerators? How about flush toilets?

      • springerj says:

        Right. FOX seems to think they should be shopping every day for food since they shouldn’t have refrigerators. They should cook over a bonfire. And they should have outhouses.

    • Bwin51 says:

      Actually, I think there are many of us making direct contributions to people we know who are in need. I have a couple of people trying to survive on Social Security that I help monthly. If a need exists and you can help, then do so.

    • Caterpillargirl78 says:

      Another thing is that sometimes you can get the phone for very little money. We were super broke and I had an iphone…it cost a dollar up front. ONE dollar. It wasn’t the “latest” model…it was a couple of generations behind BUT it was still an iphone. I also see people sell their old iphones/smart phones online for not a lot of money. So it’s very possibly a gift. Plus, sometimes people lose their job or get very ill fast…they may already have “nice clothes, nice car and a fancy phone” and it’s completely temporary. I got so much b.s. when I was a freshman in high school b/c I was on the drill team (like cheerleader but dance) and over the summer before school started they found cancer in my mom’s kidney. She had to quit work for a time due to surgery and treatment and we had to go on welfare. It wasn’t forever but the backlash was disgusting. Our family wasn’t ashamed but damn…people at the school and even the community were just horrible.

  • Duckbudder says:

    My family of 3 received SNAP for 18 months, (2011-2013) we got $300 per month, a total of $5,400. My cousin made some snide comments about how she was supporting us, so I went to the IRS web site the number of Tax Payers, I only found the number of returns. I added 30% for married filing jointly, then subtracted 47%, ( all the moochers ), and divided $5,400 by that number. It came out to less than 1/100th of a penny, so I mailed her a penny, and told her to keep the change.

    • Missladyhawke ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says:

      I’ve also told people that we pay more in corporate welfare then actual welfare for the poor and they don’t get it. It’s been integrated into their brains for so long that they just don’t see it.

    • danielistical says:

      THANX FOR DOING THE MATH FOR ME DEAR

  • Tiffany says:

    I have been on state aid a couple of times. First time was after first son was born I got sick and couldn’t work. My husbands income alone wasn’t enough so we got a food stamp card. When I was able to I went back to work and we no longer needed the help. The second time was when my husband was wrongfully terminated from his job and he was unemployed for 9 months despite his multiple interviews that he often had to travel an hour or more to get to. We were on unemployment, food stamps and insurance for the kids. Once again when he found a job we went off state aid and that was almost 3 years ago. Hopefuly we never need to use it again but we are forever thankful for the help.

    • WHAT? says:

      Good for you. When will some people finally get it that $#!t happens? Unfortunately, too often and for too many. Especially in today’s economy, where labor is a factor of production, and not people.

  • Guest says:

    OMG. Take a trip to Amsterdam NY. Amsterico as its called. This twit would be in for a shock….

  • WHAT? says:

    They do. The regulations vary from state to state, but a lot of the problems are being corrected.

  • VolcanicSurfer says:

    Author is a dumbass. Just because you don’t like a fact doesn’t make it a myth. Guess anyone can write an article and give the appearance of being a resource.

    • TigerFan says:

      Well, shitforbrains, why don’t you tell us which one of these myths is actually a fact. Take your time, we’ll wait for your enlightenment.

      • VolcanicSurfer says:

        How about this one, daddy-issues?

        “People who go on welfare stay on it forever.”

        Well gee… I guess this means ALL people go on it literally FOREVER? Is this what we meant? Of course not. By the author’s own admission about 1/5th of the people on TANF are on it for at least 5 years. This is only TANF, it doesn’t account for people who transition to SSI or “disability”. Not that these are necessary to debunk the myth of the “myth”.

        • TigerFan says:

          Sure, lightweight. Whatever helps you feel like one of the good guys.

          • VolcanicSurfer says:

            lol “lightweight”… Wishing doesn’t make it so.

          • TigerFan says:

            Denying doesn’t make it false.

          • VolcanicSurfer says:

            Reality makes it false. It’s cute you think you can hang with the big dogs. Let me guess… SAE member?

          • TigerFan says:

            It’s cute you consider yourself a big dog.
            Thanks, that is the best laugh I have had all week.
            Well, that’s not true. Watching Golfer Joe embarrass himself was the highlight of my week.

          • VolcanicSurfer says:

            Well I guess if you weren’t so ignorant then you wouldn’t be you.

            Don’t hate. Maybe I’ll sign an autograph for you next time I toss a bone to your sister.

          • TigerFan says:

            Oh, puppy, you just keep getting cuter.
            But, I am afraid my sister would overlook you at her drunkest. You’ll just have to keep humping a pillow.

          • VolcanicSurfer says:

            lol Not that I consort with trailer trash, but your sister would be at my disposal, as are you. And now, you are dismissed. You’ve become boring, so I will make like your daddy and ignore you from now on.

          • TigerFan says:

            Ha ha!
            I have the feeling “trailer trash” would be a step up for you.
            And, in case there is still some doubt in your tiny little mind, no one is impressed with you.

      • VolcanicSurfer says:

        Also, many of the “myths” are things we know to be a fact, but seeing as how the underlying premise for this hack author’s claims of “myths” seems to be that the claims must have 100% participation rates or they are just “myths”. I have seen everything here first-hand that supposedly doesn’t exist: people on assistance who have money to waste (remember the post-Katrina gift cards?), people that are able to work but don’t, people on drugs (legal and illegal), and even people who have more kids to boost their monthly income.

        Also, most welfare DOES go to minorities. Whites only make up about 38% of welfare recipients.

        So yeah, this article is BS – your favorite food.

        • TigerFan says:

          That is not his claim and you are too partisan to listen to any dissent, so let’s just agree to disagree, with me being right and you being wrong, and leave it at that.

    • Dawn's Early Light says:

      You are right about one thing, belief or disbelief has nothing to do with the legitimacy of a statement.
      However, every item in this article can be checked for its veracity. Granted, sometimes numbers are open to being “massaged,” but the core truth remains.
      And each “myth” statement can be found on any number of far right-wing sites.

      • VolcanicSurfer says:

        No, these are not myths. If numbers can be “massaged”, then how can you support their veracity? Like Mark Twain said: There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

        • Dawn's Early Light says:

          Certainly you can find anecdotal cases to support the BS behind each of these “statements.” But you can also, if you had the intellectual integrity to do so, find many more stories of people who work hard but still need help. The laid off factory worker or the spouse of dead service member. Or stories about people who were on the dole but worked to get off. But, that wouldn’t suit your mindless narrative of infantile hatred, so I doubt very seriously you will ever look them up.
          He also had a thing or two to say about fools.
          I didn’t know he knew you.

  • TigerFan says:

    No one denies there is some abuse. The myth is that it is the norm instead of the exception.

  • Dawn's Early Light says:

    Are you implying that because it happens in some cases, then all of the people who don’t abuse the system should be cut off?

  • Dawn's Early Light says:

    What is amazing is how many recipients of assistance in the last ten years are the spouses and children of U.S. servicemen (and women) killed in Iraq/Afghanistan. Many of the same “Patriots” who cover their cars in American flag stickers and ribbon magnets are the same people who complain about these benefits and would cut them.

  • Perry Davis says:

    I’ve got an iphone 4. anyone wanna buy it for $20?
    That is how government assistance users get their iphones. rich right wing conservative douchebags. and no, i’m not a liberal democrat, those are just as bad, just on the other end of the spectrum.

    The biggest thing that I hate about the right wing, is that they tend to advertise that they’re Christians and they believe in God and Jesus and yet they can’t show the kindness and love that Christ taught? This isn’t just directed at the politicians and news sources, this is the average republican joe.

    How can you claim to represent Christ when you look down on someone who needs government assistance? “there’s my tax dollars just sitting around being lazy and playing on their new iphone 3GS that came out like 5 years ago, I sure wish i could afford one of those! oh look at that, I got a notification on my Samsung Galaxy S5! better pretend to be texting be for the beggar asks for some spare change!” #conservativelogic

    • Perry Davis says:

      my statement about right wingers being Christian of course doesn’t apply to all of them. there are plenty that claim to be agnostic or atheist but for the most part the conservative republican right wing likes to wave christianity in everyone’s face and act like they’re all righteous because of it.

  • kanenas101 says:

    I’d love to think these myths are just myths… but I keep seeing the TANF card being whipped out of the wallet of someone with the latest and greatest iPhone.

    • jeani says:

      You have no clue as to background stories. I am disabled on gov’t assistance. I have no car but my family loans me their cars to do my shopping. I get out of my sister’s new Prius or my dad’s Subaru. I must be a scammer. My son can use my card to pick up food for me, when I have ambulatory problems. He is a businessman, suit and tie, iPhone type. He has experienced the preconceived notions of groundless hate for the assistance I receive. Volunteer, helps diminish prejudice.

      • kanenas101 says:

        Volunteer, helps diminish prejudice.

        You have absolutely no business lecturing a taxpayer who works hard to pay for your existence. Be grateful.

        • jeani says:

          My $82 a month in food assistance allows me to be able to pay for other needs, like toilet paper and medicine co-pays. I don’t drink or smoke or go out, unless I am taken out. I look nicely dressed because of thrift stores. I served in the USNavy, I paid my taxes, I raised my sons to be respectful and hard working. I continue to volunteer in my community. Why would you think you have to tell me to be grateful? I give my gratitude through service. Attempting to enlighten is far from lecturing. Suggesting volunteerism is not lecturing. No one should ever judge a book by it’s cover. You have nothing to do with my existence, get over yourself.

        • Lincoln F. Sternn says:

          jeani has every right when that “taxpayer who works oh so hard” for their money is being an asshat.

          • kanenas101 says:

            You’re welcome too.

          • Lincoln F. Sternn says:

            I didn’t thank you for anything, short bus.

          • kanenas101 says:

            You’re very welcome. I wish I didn’t have to work so hard to support the likes of you.

          • Lincoln F. Sternn says:

            Well Bless Your Heart!
            That is some victim’s mentality you got going there, short bus.
            But I doubt your drive through job could support a day of my lifestyle or my college loan payments.

          • kanenas101 says:

            LOL college loan payments.

            Welcome to adulthood sweetie.

          • Lincoln F. Sternn says:

            Child, I know you desperately want to be taken seriously, as all children do, but you are going to have to go to a much shallower pool for that to happen.
            Maybe you should try talking to Sarah Palin. She seems about your speed. Or maybe Paris Hilton. Kim Kardashian might find you interesting, if you are the right ethnic group.

          • kanenas101 says:

            Funny thing about those people you mentioned.

            They’re all rich and to a certain extent, more successful than you’ll ever be.

          • Lincoln F. Sternn says:

            Typical ignorant conservative. Look only at the money.
            You want to know a much more important connection these people have? They are all universally reviled and mocked. They are taken seriously only by the lowest rung of the intellectual/cultural ladder. That is why I suggested them to you, because I knew you are a kindred spirit.

          • kanenas101 says:

            Lol universally mocked?

            Each of these individuals has a significant fan base, as well as detractors. Just because you can’t accept these apparent “simpletons” have run rings around you in the success department doesn’t change that fact.

          • Lincoln F. Sternn says:

            Wow, you really are part of the lowest common denominator, aren’t you?

            No real surprise there, as you didn’t remotely comprehend the point I was making.

            Look at the make-up of each of their “significant” fan bases. The vapid, the weak minded. the unimaginative. Legions of “simpletons,” apropos word, screaming, “LEAVE BRITTANY ALONE!” as tears run down their faces. Tell me, other than noise, what have any of these and the deep well of fools like them made? Anything that will be around after the next fad? That would be no. Let me guess, you too are attracted to shiny objects.

            As to your last attempt at a valid point, Lord, where to start? I don’t “decry” money, and I make enough to support a very comfortable and happy lifestyle. Alas, here’s the part that is really going to fly over your pointy little head, I just don’t let money rule or define me. I don’t consider those people successful because they have money. Lots of fools luck into money, and most of them are defined by only that. Well, sometimes there’s a s3x tape.

            You see, bu++sniffer, the biggest difference, among many, between you and I is that my world consists of a whole range of experiences and interests, whereas, you are content to sit and chew on paint chips all day. And, oddly enough for a lazy, do-nothing, jobless liberal, I seem to always have enough of my own money to pursue my wide range of interests.

            So, buh-bye, and have a paint chip for me.

          • kanenas101 says:

            That’s because you didn’t learn anything about communications nor writing.

            I think you’re just jealous that these simpletons have outdone you with such little effort.

          • Lincoln F. Sternn says:

            Your first sentence makes no sense, as it lacks context.
            Your second sentence simply proves my point that you do not have the imagination to understand the things that are important to evolved people.

          • kanenas101 says:

            Yawn.

            Surely someone as educated as yourself can understand words with more than two syllables.

          • Lincoln F. Sternn says:

            You can tell you mother to cancel that doctor’s appointment. Your ears are fine.
            That whistling sound you keep hearing are concepts going quickly over your head.

          • kanenas101 says:

            Aren’t you supposed to be busy being successful instead of being butthurt? You can’t “Keep up with the Kardashians” or “Push Past the Palins” if you’re sitting here being whiney.

          • Lincoln F. Sternn says:

            I think you are what Samuel L. Jackson would call a
            “special kind of
            S
            T
            U
            P
            I
            D

            M
            O
            T
            H
            E
            R
            F
            U
            C
            K
            E
            R.”

            But, that is probably another in a long list of concepts that elude you.

          • kanenas101 says:

            Samuel L. Jackson. Another successful person… to whom you’ll never be able to relate.

          • Lincoln F. Sternn says:

            And since you have no friggin’ clue to my socio-economic status, that would indicate you have a pathological need to talk out of your pooter.
            Of course, I have long since figured that out, that you talk a lot about things you know absolutely nothing about.
            Typical of one whose diet consists of paint chips.

          • kanenas101 says:

            Lol. Your socio-economic status can’t be that great if you feel the need to continue replying to someone you feel is “inferior” to you.

            See that’s not how successful people like the ones you mentioned operate. They work hard and become successful. People see it and the know they are successful. They also generally couldn’t give a rat’s rear end about their detractors.

            Someone who has to take the name of a character someone else made up… Yea that’s not terribly successful.

          • Lincoln F. Sternn says:

            Dipstick, this is my not-so-secret guilty pleasure, slumming with the dummasses like you. I enjoy slapping you around.

            Of course, I didn’t realize until now just how totally brain damaged you actually are if you think these people are “successful.” Unless you think being a re+ard who is has a following of bigger re+ards equates to success.

            Work hard?!?! Oh my friggin’ Lord, you consider putting out s3x tapes and selling you a$$ to low-lifes as working hard? You seriously belong in an institution.

            And, in case you missed it, everyone on that list, with the exception of Mr. Jackson, is a social media wh0re, so there is yet another argument you have failed at. I have to ask, have you ever succeeded in anything besides looking ridiculous?

            As for my screen name, are you suggesting your parents saddled you with kanenas101?

          • kanenas101 says:

            And yet, you’re still not successful.

          • Lincoln F. Sternn says:

            I have successfully spanked you at every turn.
            I call that a good day.

          • kanenas101 says:

            You wish you could spank me.

            Meanwhile you have to live with knowing that even “losers” like the ones you mentioned take one breath and they’re already more successful than you.

          • Lincoln F. Sternn says:

            That is true, so you were totally unprepared to run into me.

  • Questioner says:

    Statistics are a dangerous thing. When you don’t know how they work, or are a liar, it can look like they are telling you something that ends up being very far from the truth.
    Myth: “Most welfare recipients are minorities and illegal immigrants.”

    In the article that the author links while saying that ” roughly the same percentage of white and black recipients in 2010″, we see that in 2010, of those on TANF, 31.8% were white, 31.9% were black, and 30% were Hispanic. That looks like a nice even number between those three groups. It looks a lot less even when you factor in the national population percentage for those groups. Of the national population, 77.7% are white, 13.2% black, and 17.1% white according to the US Census Bureau. So, not only on a flat percentage basis are most welfare recipients minorities(total of 61.9% between blacks and hispanics), but when you look at a per capita basis, the percentage skyrockets. You’re looking at almost six times as many blacks on welfare per capita when compared to whites. For Hispanics, it comes to a little over four times as many per capita that are on TANF compared to whites.

    It took me two minutes to debunk this “fact”. I wonder how many actual facts are in this article.

    • TigerFan says:

      I think a hundred fifty years of institutionalized racism may play a teeny part in the disparity you are noting. It is really hard for people to pull themselves out of a hole when that hole is mandated by law.

      • Questioner says:

        I understand the reason behind it. Most of educated America knows and understands that minorities have been screwed over in the past, and that people are still working to correct that issue. The fact that so many people should know this, makes it even more inexcusable that the author stated the opposite. There are only two possible conclusions that we can come from given this evidence, either the author is an uneducated man, or he is a liar(both may also be a possibility).

      • Questioner says:

        I absolutely understand that. I would hope that all of educated America realizes that there are still racial economic differences and where they stem from. The problem, is that the author isn’t saying that. The author is arguing that there is no difference here. Either the author is oblivious to the fact that minorities have been screwed over in the past, and that they’re still working to overcome that, or he’s simply lying about the numbers. I have no beef with the fact that people are using TANF, or that a majority of those on TANF are minorities. I have an issue with an author who lies to his readers, and claims it to be a fact.

        • TigerFan says:

          As do I. The problem with many of these articles are that they are superficial by nature. They make good starting points for conversations, but they shouldn’t be the only source of information. And that applies to a whole range of issues from poverty to gun control to women’s’ rights.
          But, many people want solutions to complex problems to fit neatly on bumper stickers, so…

  • TigerFan says:

    I honestly wish the world was a simple as some of the posters here seem to think it is. The causes of poverty are many, complex and deeply rooted. As is the dark side of human nature.
    An IPhone isn’t the totality of anyone’s story. One or two anecdotal tales of abuse are not the totality of the mass of people, regardless of race, on the bottom of the financial ladder.
    Blame is easier than solutions, but not better.

  • Mark VanDike says:

    It’s funny how stating partial fact changes the complete outlook on most any subject.

    Fact: yes indeed governor Rick Scott tried to implement required mandatory drug testing, and yes the numbers were low. The information left out was; the testing was not going to be required for all welfare recipients. Only those who were receiving cash assistance would have to test for drug use. The overall percentage of people on cash assistance is considerably lower than that of the overall percentage of those on any kind of welfare. So, the percentage would also be extremely low of those who failed the drug test.

    Yes there is constant fraud within the system. No you can’t come up with any kind of numbers of cases that are fraudulent due to the fact the only numbers that can be reported are those who have been punished for fraudulent accounts. I myself have tried to report fraud within the state of Florida, and was told there is nothing they can do about it. Yes I know of people who have found legal loopholes within the system to get more than what they need and sell most of the stamps away.

    You can never prove one way or another about the myth of once you are on welfare you stay on it forever. A lot of people start and get off of it once they are stable enough to do so. Many (including myself) started with the same intentions yet has not been able to get stable enough to get off of it. Besides, if someone starts to receive welfare then dies (even as little as a few days later) that person would be considered statistically on welfare forever until the day that individual died.

    Within some states, welfare applications has to be done online. Case worker positions have been eliminated and the offices are manned by people to assist those who do not have a way to apply. If you make up hours, income, and a place of employment; you can get away with not working and still collect welfare. Generally the closest person to try and verify the information is hundreds of miles away and has too high of a workload to follow up on any particular case.

    Is everyone on welfare fraudulent when it comes to their claims? Not by any stretch of the imagination. Are there countless numbers of people who do screw over the system? Yes, of course. Are the numbers higher than what is explained in this article? Absolutely. Is there any way to find out the factual numbers? Nope.

    Leaving out half of the facts has been a political move for ages. Just like trying to prove President Obama is doing a great job fighting unemployment. Last report is saw 700,000 new jobs were created. At first, that’s pretty impressive. After you consider prior to the recession, it took 2 full time incomes within a single household just to be able to get by. Of the 700,000 jobs created, how many of those were part time? Of those individuals that were admitted into those part time positions, how many of them were still collecting unemployment checks? How many were still being kicked out of their homes because their new part time job wasn’t enough to pay the bills? How many couples have to give up their children because the parents want a better life for them? Once those facts come out, then 700,000 is not so impressive anymore.

    If this article was genuinely about information and myth busting, there would be no pokes towards previous administration, political parties, or media opinion. Fact of the matter is, it’s the fault of society as a whole. It has nothing to do with political affiliation what so ever. Society wants everything for nothing. The government has setup welfare to aide the citizens with their country. It was certain members of the society that wanted to exploit the system. It was certain members of society that wanted to file frivolous lawsuits and get money they didn’t deserve. It is certain members of society that will camp out , if need be, to get free stuff. It is certain members of society that will spend only $1 to play the lottery or power ball in order to win millions.

    Society is tired of working like a dog just to barely get by living paycheck to paycheck. Any way to get out of that situation, majority of society will look for a way out. Some (not all) of those would be willing to break the law or find loopholes to do so.

    • jeani says:

      You just reiterated every gopbagger fallacy. Have you gone to your states human resource website to see what is required, what are the amounts and who actually receive the assistance. After divorce, I worked like a dog to raise my sons. At a few times, I had to ask for help to get through. I served in the USNavy, I’ve always worked, since a teenager, like a dog. I’m now on foodstamps, again. Without the $100 in food assistance, I would not have the ability to purchase the thrift shop clothes, necessary med co-pays or toilet paper. What “free” stuff? No frill phones that have 250 minutes? Hard for an employer or your child’s school to reach you if you don’t have one. The phone program was implemented under Bush jr.. I am clean, I have nice family cars to borrow, I had a good education but my disability is hidden(MS). No one knows till I pull out my ebt card. Attitudes change to cold. Why? People like you are so egocentric you cannot recognize that this is not the way we want to live. Appreciate your opportunities. Volunteer, you will have a new insight. Many people can’t pull their boots up and go. They don’t have boots to begin with.

      • Mark VanDike says:

        I was not dogging the program, obviously you don’t fully read before passing judgement. I am on food stamps as well. Uhhm …Hello….keyword throughout most of the comment…. SOME. My comments were stating you can’t decipher fact and myth when there is no way to prove and disprove. As I stated, the program was setup with good intentions. Was it setup so people can sell stamp for actual cash? No, it was setup for those in true need for assistance. Do people do this? Yes. How many? God only knows. But for someone to write an article to write it off as a myth because some website somewhere doesn’t have factual numbers out there is absurd. Are there households with multiple food stamp cards in a single home due to a loophole in the system? Yes. Are there people out there being screwed over or denied welfare that truly deserve it? Yes. Could it be due to the fact of some people who are using loopholes or getting assistance when they shouldn’t be? possibly yes. If one family who truly needs assistance is denied while another is using the system to their advantage, then the system has failed. I do volunteer thank you. I have been homeless. I am currently back on foodstamps again. I will soon lose them due to moving into a home that I will own and not rent. Doesn’t matter that it took both my parents dying and using my share of their estate to buyout my siblings portion of the house. It is what it is, and I will have to get yet another job to make up the lack of foodstamps that has helped my family up until now. That is the way it is. Many decent people who truly need help get screwed over; while others get help they don’t really need. To say it’s all a myth and it doesn’t really happen or not that much obviously has no clue on what they are saying. Anyone believing such an article is 100% truly factual is having the wool covering their eyes.

  • danielistical says:

    I dont know if I can but
    monday I may check into if I qualify for FOOD STAMPS,,,yea I want me an E B T
    card..if I get one ,,I will find one of the UPPER CLASS food outlets around
    town. Then I will go into it and find me a small jar of CAVIAR ,,fish eggs,,you
    can get them for $10 to $20 for the low class ones,,THEN mabe I will get me a
    NICE PORTERHOUSE STEAK,,,,,AND DARE ANYONE to comment on my purchase,,,I have
    WORKED for over 50 years and paid my TAXES for that card,,it would BELONG TO ME and
    no one else,,and I can do with it as I please,,YES there are CRIMINALS out
    there who do abuse these cards illegaly,, we already have police for
    them,,,WHAT DOES THAT have to do with me????
    NOTHING,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN DUPING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WITH FOOLISH
    STORIES ABOUT PEOPLE WHO DO NOT DESEARVE TO EAT,,,HOW DUMB DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO
    BELEIVE THAT KIND OF CRAP????????????

    OH
    AND THE CAVIAR AND THE STEAK,,,? THAT
    GETS DONATED TO THE NEAREST HOMELESS SHELTER,, , we live in the richest country in the world and the ONLY
    REASON we even have hungry people is some greedy basterd has been stealing from
    us all for years,,,

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,REPUBLICANS
    HAVE BEEN DUPING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WITH FOOLISH STORIES ABOUT PEOPLE WHO DO
    NOT DESEARVE TO EAT,,,HOW DUMB DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO BELEIVE THAT KIND OF
    CRAP???????????? we live in the richest country in the world
    and the ONLY REASON we even have hungy people is some greedy basterd has been
    stealing from us all for years,,,,

  • slk5 says:

    most of these myths are liberally socialist made up myths!!! everyone knows any federal dept, and programs are littered with waste and corruption!!! the funniest is 1.8 children!!! i grew up in nyc, and saw the disgust first hand!!! az got it right!!! watch people go back to work now!!!

  • Kayke says:

    I’m familiar with a family of 4 that receives over $800 monthly just for food.

  • mellowjohn says:

    fits in so many circumstances.

  • weeshox says:

    People in Sweden are taxed very heavily and the rich probably pay their fair share. That’s how they get free education and health care.

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