What if I said the welfare queen in Texas or the single mother baby making factory in Chicago aren't real people? Would you be surprised to find out these are mythical people created by Ronald Reagan and the conservative right as they began their decades long war in their never ending drive to paint poor Americans as the real problem? The conservative movement has done a phenomenal job staying on message for the past two decades of turning rich against poor and washing over the reality that America's real welfare queens are not single mothers that work at Wal-Mart. The real welfare queens in America are multinational corporations using the guise of corporate subsidies to line their own pockets by taking real American's hard earned money.
Welfare in a catchall phrase that attempts to lump every single social service program into one convenient word, but it is misleading at best. It has been around in some way, shape, or form since before our nations founding when the colonists used social welfare programs based loosely off the "poor laws
" that were widely popular in 18th Century England.
America's first major experiment with social welfare on a Federal scale came during the Great Depression when the Administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt provided loans and grants to states to put their citizens back to work. The experiment culminated in 1935 with the passage of the Social Security Act, which included a program called Aid to Families with Dependent Children.
This is the program that came to be known as "Welfare" and it worked. Millions of individuals were lifted out of poverty and stayed out of poverty. That is until Ronald Reagan came around and decided that the poor person was an easy target to wage war on.
President Reagan laid the groundwork for the Welfare Reform Act of 1996
by convincing not just Republicans but Democrats that the real boogeyman was the poor people sucking on the Governments teat and that they had to be stopped. The reform included doing away with AFDC and created a new program called the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
. The law is based on the disputed pretense that poor people on welfare don't want to work and sets a limit as to how long these individuals can receive cash payments.
The 1996 reform was very successful in turning the poor person into the villain and that is something that our country is still grappling with. While we continue to fight about welfare queens stealing your money so they can keep making babies, the real welfare queens continue taking our money unabated. The American taxpayer spends roughly $60 billion a year on social welfare programs for the poor. That includes all social welfare programs and not just direct cash payments to our poorest individuals. At the same time, the American taxpayer is spending over $90 billion a year on corporate welfare. This $90 plus billion equals more than five percent of the yearly federal budget and comes in both direct cash payments and tax breaks to these huge corporations.
So the next time you hear someone complaining about the welfare queen that is bleeding America dry, be sure to tell them who the real welfare queens are. It is not the poor mother trying to feed her children because she works for minimum wage with no benefits. It is the multinational corporation who pays her minimum wage and then depends on the Government to pick up the rest of the tab.