The Truth About Welfare

Gallery - Truth About Welfare Meme

by Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.


I have been watching this welfare debate – now called “entitlements” – for a number of years now. Most often this subject comes up around election time. Of course now that the next election seasons begins almost as soon as the current one ends, there seems to be a steady drumbeat about “welfare” and “entitlements.”

In almost every piece I’ve seen, they always feature Black or Brown faces when talking about welfare. The figures – which I am now convinced they pull right out of the air – are truly staggering. This puzzled me for two reasons. The first is, Black people only make up 13% of our population. Thus if we were receiving all these government handouts, poverty would have been eliminated in the Black community years ago.

The second reason has to do with my own personal life’s experience. My extended family is fairly large. We are spread out all across these United States. I even have relatives living in Alaska. The fact of the matter is, with all the family I know of, I cannot think of one of them that has ever been on welfare! Believe me there have been a few of them who would have qualified at one point or another in their lives.

If being on welfare was the pandemic within the Black community, some would have you believe, how is it that my extended family has existed for all these years unscathed by this ethnic predilection to government handouts? No, I am not saying that there are no Black people on welfare, I’m merely pointing out how odd it is that I don’t personally know any.

On the first day of my Statistics course at the University of Washington, my professor addressed the class and made the following statement which has stayed with me all these years. “Figures lie. Liars figure. Sometimes it is difficult to determine which is doing what.”

What is “welfare?” When you mention the word “welfare” we have been conditioned – inaccurately – to see an unwed Black or minority female with 4 or 5 kids, getting a government check and living in public housing. We have further been indoctrinated to feel that the money she is receiving is coming directly out of our pockets.

How many times when the subject of “welfare” has come up have you pictured in your mind a poor white family living in a trailer park? I suspect, very few ever think of a welfare recipient as being white. Ironically, a welfare recipient is much more likely to be white than any other race.

How many times when the subject of welfare comes up, do you think of military families where the husband is overseas fighting and the wife is at home trying to feed their children and maintain a household in his absence? How many times do you think of large corporations who are receiving billions of taxpayer dollars in the way of Federal subsidies?

It is almost like the ending of “The Wizard of Oz.” “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” Before we tackle the issue of providing for needy families, perhaps we should ask why Oil Companies receive billions of dollars in federal subsidies? Do you think they need it? Maybe we should ask why Koch Industries – the 2nd largest corporation in the United States – is given billions of dollars in taxpayer funded subsidies? While you’re at it, ask why a person can work full time at Walmart and still qualify for federal assistance. Their business plan – successful – involves you and I, the taxpayers, making up the difference in what they ought to be paying their employees. Of course, if you’re not serious about reforming “entitlements” and basically are content to use racial stereotypes to explain away our economic issues, then I suppose the truth really doesn’t matter to you anyway, right?

The Bain Method

The Romney Campaign has devolved to the point where we now must ask, could they REALLY be this bad? I am beginning to suspect intentionality. Let us not forget that Mitt Romney attended the best schools money could afford. He has a law degree from Harvard and an MBA from Harvard. He was the Governor of a State. He was/is the CEO of a very successful business enterprise. Certainly he has the resources to hire the very best people available to run his campaign. Yet what we’ve seen over this past month looks more like an old black and white episode of “The Keystone Cops.”

Put another way, I’m 55 years old, overweight and out of shape. If I were silly enough to challenge, let’s say Kobe Bryant to a game of one on one, at what point would you begin to suspect something was amiss? When the score was 14 to 12? Even if it were in his favor? Suppose it were 18 to 20, still in his favor? At some point you would simply KNOW that Kobe was shaving points and showing extreme kindness to an old man. Particularly since I can’t shoot a basketball worth a damn!

Remember the movie “White Men Can’t Jump” staring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson? Great movie by the way. Woody Harrelson played a pretty damn good – but unknown – college basketball player. He would sit in the stands. Wesley Snipes would be “styling and profiling” on the court and talking much shizzle. The Con would go like this. Wesley would be running his mouth and finally say, he could beat any two-man team present with…  – then he’d look over at Woody Harrelson, usually the loan white guy sitting in the stands – with that white guy sitting over there! The betting would begin. Why? Because everybody – the black players – simply knew that white guys were no good at playing basketball.

Of course they’d win. It was a pretty successful racket. The “marks” only saw your average white guy. They didn’t know who Woody Harrelson was or what his skill level was. They simply assumed based on his skin color that he couldn’t play basketball. Sort of a lesson in reverse racism.

I suspect something similar may be going on with the Romney campaign. We look at Mitt Romney and we *assume* that his goal is really to be President of the United States. We never stop to ask, “why?” When you look at his record as governor of Massachusetts, it certainly wasn’t a stellar record. 47th in Job creation. He left Massachusetts with a budget deficit. About the only successful thing he did was *sign* a health care bill that the Affordable Care Act is modeled after. One would think that a man with an MBA from Harvard could have done better had he actually applied himself.

You cannot look at Mitt Romney’s record and say that he is so committed to public service and making things better, that he feels a true calling on his life to benefit our Nation and fix the problems that ail us. Perhaps we need to dig a little deeper and look a little further? Let’s examine his business experience. The first red flag that springs to my mind was his prescription for our Automotive Industry. He felt so passionately about the subject that he wrote an “Op-Ed” in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

His philosophy can hardly be mitigated by the notion that bankruptcy as is the practice with much smaller corporations can ultimately turn into a positive thing. The theory that large corporations can be split apart and sold off piecemeal only works if there are entities present with the interest and resources to buy up these failed corporations. This was clearly not the case in 2008. The credit markets had dried up and there were simply no entities out there other than the federal government, with the resources or interests to do anything.

Although President Obama does not possess an MBA from Harvard, he saw this fact. Odd that Mitt missed this wouldn’t you say? So, what was Mitt calling on by way of experience? When you look at the Bain model, the cookie cutter formula was to find companies with exposure, load them up with debt which because of the assets of your consortium was easy to do, pocket the proceeds from those loans and then let the already struggling company try to pay off the debt you’d put on it. When the companies went bankrupt as they usually did, you then broke them apart and sold them off in pieces, making even more profits for your investors. You’d do it over and over and over again.

Was Mitt Romney a successful businessman? Yes he was. However, not in the sense you would normally think! The business he was successful at was that of a corporate raider. He was a vulture capitalist. He didn’t take businesses, turn them around and make them successful. If they survived Bain, it was because they had a solid core that Bain was unable to crack. They would ultimately have succeeded and done so quicker and easier had they never had any involvement with Bain.

When you look at the Romney campaign, you begin to get the whiff of the Bain cookie cutter model. Many of the elements are very similar. Mitt Romney has been running for President for what? Over 7 or 8 years now? He’s put together what appears to be an actual viable campaign. This is the “business” he’s going to ultimately blow apart. Based on appearances, he now goes to Republican donors and the money begins to flow into his campaign coffers. Just as he loaded up companies with debts before they ultimately failed and declared bankruptcy. He’s doing the same thing. Money is flowing into pro-Romney “Super-Pacs.” It is flowing directly into his campaign. Because things are being managed in such a slipshod manner, it is easy for millions to simply vanish.

Your next clues are his offshore accounts and his refusal to reveal his income taxes. If you were serious about becoming President, one of the very first things you’d do is clean up your tax filings. He’s had over 8 years to do this. The fact that he has not should tell you something. If you were *really* running for President, you would close your offshore accounts and move all your money Stateside. This would have been done long ago. How does it look when the person running for President doesn’t have enough faith in the United States to put his money here?

At some point you begin to realize, NOBODY could be that bad unless it were on purpose! I’ll give him being caught on tape. That may have been unforeseen. However, coming out at 10 pm and holding a – what the hell was that anyway? – a quasi press conference? Taking 3 questions and really not answering any of them. Why couldn’t that have waited until the next day? It was just going through the motions, to give the appearance of concern.

Going off half cocked on the burning of our embassies and the death of our Ambassador? Really Mitt? As a businessman one should know you don’t make statements or issue press releases until all the facts are in. Harvard Lawyer, Harvard MBA Mitt Romney never learned this? His Republican Convention was a complete mess! People look at how a candidate runs his campaign, runs his convention as an indication of his or her leadership skills. Could you imagine a Romney administration actually managing a national crisis? That is a frightening prospect to consider… certainly based on how he’s run his campaign.

The only thing that makes sense, the only thing that fits is, what if this entire campaign is a sham? What if this is just another way for Mitt to do the *ONLY* thing he truly is good at… and that is to redistribute the wealth from the deep pockets of billionaires into his offshore accounts? Something to think about.