Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Welfare queen

Some of you kids out there may not remember this term. It was heavily used during Ronald Reagan's 1976 presidential campaign when he described a "welfare queen" from Chicago's South Side. In this "made for sound bite" tale, there was a woman receiving government assistance and she had supposedly used the money to buy a Cadillac and was living the "high life" on the Tax payer's money.

Soon, the far right was in full on "foaming at the mouth mode", crying out against an imagine army of "project" dwelling freeloaders.

All of this was far from the truth of course. While you can always find a handful of people to support ANY stereotype (especially when you are talking about the MILLIONS that require government assistance just to survive) this "living the high-life on taxpayer money" just wasn't a reality. Those that were abusing government assistance were a barely visable blip on the budget radar screen. The Reagan mob could have had every one of those who were mis-using their "welfare" checks shipped off to Gitmo and it wouldn't have reduced the money that was needed by even a 10th of a percent.

Still, the OUTRAGE behind this idea - the idea that ANYONE would take Government assistance and selfishly spend it on themselves - was pivotal in swinging voters to Reagan's side.

Fast foreword to NOW.

Through a series of VERY bad financial decisions based on terrible and inept judgment at best and simple greed at worst, Wall Street financial firms have destroyed themselves and much of this nations economy. Wasting no time, they marched into Congress and demanded that the Taxpayers bail them out of this mess or they were going to take everyone down with them.
So congress wrote them some REALLY BIG WELFARE CHECKS with the intention that they use that money to continue making payroll, pay their debts and lend it to Americans in need.

Instead, these modern day Welfare Queens used the money to go shopping for smaller banks, to prop up banks overseas, to share with their stock holders, and to pay themselves multi million dollar bonuses.
They took tax payer assistance money, meant to keep their doors open and paid themselves bonuses for the previous years disastrous efforts. Do you know how many Cadillacs 1 million dollars is?

Why is what they are doing any different then what the Regan administration was vilifying?

Where is the national outrage?

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