Everyone’s heard of the Welfare Queen. She’s uneducated, lazy and so in love with a government check that she’s willing to have child after child to keep them rolling in. She dresses well, does drugs and drives an expensive car. She’s the very reason the nation moved to make getting a check harder in the Reagan era. You remember that president? The one who said we might have to “sleep under bridges” before things will get better?
Both sides of the political landscape believe welfare is a temporary fix. No one wishes to create generational dependence on government subsidies for survival. However, this is a reality for many and any discussion about welfare must also include how to undo this damage to our society.
Liberals generally believe the way to get people off welfare is education. There is plenty of evidence to support this conclusion. Even so, welfare recipients are bound by federal law to get off welfare after two years of beginning to get benefits. Remember good ol’ Mittens talking about this during the campaign when he said Obama wanted to get rid of the federal work requirements for welfare? That was a lie, by the way. The truth is that the president who signed the requirements into law was Clinton, in 1996. The law is called TANF.
Inexplicably the Republican governors of Uta and Nevada asked for exemption to this rule.
Facts support that Welfare recipients are not as educated as non-recipients. 14% of single mothers who do not depend on AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) do not have GEDS or high school diplomas by the age of 25. Conversely, 52% of AFDC recipients do not have diplomas by the age of 25. AFDC recipients also test poorly in comparison to their non-recipient counterparts. Seventy-two percent of AFDC recipients offered the Armed Forces Qualification Test scored in the bottom 25% of all those taking the test. Of the remaining 27%, only 12% had scores placing them within the top half. With education playing such a huge role in employability, clearly the solution is not limiting access to benefits, but educating recipients so they are employable and do not remain on the dole.
Drug dependency and mental illness contributes to less than 4% of AFDC recipients being unable to work. Recent statistic gathering in states where women are being drug tested as a condition of continuing to receive assistance shows that less than 4% tested positive for any substance. This combines all those who are recreational users, those on prescription medications, and those who had a poppy seed muffin for breakfast as well as those who are addicts. In one state, Arizona, only one person was caught by a positive test result and denied benefits.
Unemployed single mothers only make up 10% of Welfare recipients. The other 90% are the elderly, the disabled, and working households who are not earning enough to keep a roof over their heads or food on the table. This statistic includes about five thousand active duty military for a total of about 100 million dollars.
DoD spokesperson Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde says research indicates “that military members who receive SNAP tend to be made up of members in junior pay grades with larger than average household sizes.”
“Military members normally ‘promote out’ of the need for additional subsistence benefits, due to the corresponding raises in basic pay and other allowances as one moves to a higher pay grade,” she added.
Size of family statistically for non-military welfare recipients is the same as non-recipients. This means the myth of women having one child after another to stay on welfare is exactly that — a myth.
There is also some evidence that those attempting to extricate themselves from the system are punished for doing so. Mothers attending college have had their food stamps cut severely or eliminated altogether because they received grants. Single mothers receiving welfare in Nevada were told to go to work as prostitutes in lieu of the government ‘hand outs’.
So how many people stay on Welfare for a really really really long time? Less than 20%. That’s right! Over 80% of Welfare recipients get out of the system and stay out within 5 years.
So when Ronald Reagan said “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,″ who was he speaking of?
No one. This person never existed. Reagan made her up.