There Newt goes again!
In his “us” vs. “them” mentality – rather than we’re all in this boat together, he continues to re-write history to suit his own ends…a path to the Presidency.
It seems every election cycle the GOP has to rehash Reagan’s “welfare queen” mantra, all part of the Southern Strategy implemented so well by Lee Atwater, preying on the bigotry of (particularly) southern whites of the time. Those two words have done more to harm this country than any two other words ever uttered, in my humble opinion.
People believed that nonsense then and haven’t stopped believing it yet.
And today, on Chris Jansing & Co, former Congressman David McIntosh (R) weighed in stating that while he was door belling, he was told “my neighbor is on food stamps eating steak, and I’m working and eating hamburger.” And while color was not mentioned, this is typically the “code words” used by the GOP they’ve learned to use so well.
Let’s start by identifying who is getting welfare. Historically, whites have received more benefits than minorities. Based on the 1990 census, 61 percent of welfare recipients were White, while 33 percent were Black,
And while there was a brief switch in the numbers back in the late 90’s, whites are still the biggest benefactors of our welfare system. And the vast majority of them are children of all colors. As of November 2009, of the 28.4 million Americans who received food stamps, about half were under 18. The average monthly benefit PER HOUSEHOLD (not per person) is $222.00. That’s $2,664 per year and $7.29 per day and $2.43 per MEAL.
If anyone is eating steak in that household, it means they’re missing several other meals or they’re gaming the system and shouldn’t be on welfare. But that’s another issue.
Matt Taibbi has it right in:
That this perception that minorities are the prime or sole consumers of government entitlement programs is absurdly inaccurate — white people, for instance, are overwhelmingly the largest nonelderly recipients of Medicaid, making up 42.8% of the program’s rolls nationwide, compared to 22.2% for blacks and 27.9% for Hispanics — is beside the point. The point is that the Tea Party is built largely on this narrative of “personal responsibility,” where the central demons are unwed black and Hispanic mothers and absent black and Hispanic fathers, who are, let’s face it, not uncommon characters in the American melodrama.
The Fox/CNBC types have very cannily latched on this narrative to rewrite the history of the financial crisis. They know that Tea Partiers will go for any narrative that puts blame on poor (and especially poor minority) homeowners, because the idea of poor blacks and Hispanics borrowing beyond their means fits seamlessly with their world view. But this is a situation where poor minorities were really incidental to a much larger fraud scheme that culminated in a welfare program — the bank bailouts — that dwarfs the entire “entitlement” infrastructure. But the millions of people who are actually in the Tea Party movement seem to have absolutely no idea that their so-called leaders, the Santellis of their world, are shilling for tax cheats and crooks and welfare bums of the sort they would despise (perhaps even more than their black and Hispanic neighbors), if they could actually see them.
Unfortunately all the elites, political and otherwise, have a vested interest in keeping the rubes focused on the blacks and browns so it’s hard to see the mechanism by which they will be revealed. And that’s the whole purpose of right wing populism.
And Newt – who has jumped the shark and join the Tea Party crowd – knows exactly what he’s doing pandering to this group. He wants their support in 2012.
Unfortunately, that type of politicking will do nothing to unite this country toward finding solutions to our problems – but will do much to continue the divide that has remained consistent in our history since it’s founding. All in an effort to return a party to power, as that appears to be much more important than actually helping people in this country.
Regarding the “small businesses” Newt refers to, be sure to check out “GOP and Small Businesses” in the Unspun Zone.
Apparently, we’re all in our own little boats waiting to be swamped by the big yachts as they pass us by. But a word of warning, Newt. You really don’t want class warfare in this country. We’re 98% to your 2%. We WILL win, as we have won every other time in our history, and move this country forward.
In the meantime, here a just a few of the 420 bills have passed the House and are being held up in the Senate by the Republicans. Just where is it in the Constitution that the government is NOT supposed to help and protect its citizens, particularly in times like these?