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Punishing the Poor: Welfare Reform and Its Democratic Apologists


Punishing the Poor: Welfare Reform and Its Democratic Apologists

Jake Johnson

A defining feature of Ronald Reagan's unsuccessful 1976 presidential bid—a feature that would animate his political career from that point forward—was his theatrical depiction of welfare recipients.

While he demonized the welfare system as a whole in familiar terms, Reagan's ire was largely directed toward single mothers, and his racially coded language was sufficient to make clear his overarching intentions.


It was necessary to reform the system so that Michele Bachmann could "raise" 23 foster children for cheap labor and a ka-ching check each month. Michele Bachmann, the real welfare queen, folks.


To add insult to injury, the money used for citizens' welfare prior to 1996 "reform" was diverted to corporate welfare that has expanded each year since 1996 and has been a major contributor to ever accelerating and expanding income and wealth inequality.


Right on Jake. The next time you hear someone raving about all the work HRC has done for women and children, remember this. When ever there is a difficult issue the Repugs and Dems want pushed through, they leave it to the dems to accomplish, and they get it done. Clinton will get things done, we won't like them but she'll get a pass like Obama has. Can you believe his approval ratings are so high? The Dem P.R. is still working.
No one wants Trump to be president but would you rather have the mafia type Clinton machine in the White House?
I've seen enough. It's like watching another Bush get elected. Both have the neocon/liberal mind set that must die out. You can't kill it by continuing to elect it's leaders.
Jill Stein 2016


Neoliberalism allows for the corruption of private corporations and is happening in NM as we speak...


Jill Stein 2016


I was interested in the details of the study cited in this article by UNICEF on Child poverty.

The only Country rating lower than the USA of those 35 studied is Romania and it just barely worse than the USA.

What is more interesting is the degree of separation between each tier. As example Canada compared to the USA has Child poverty rates about half which would seem it doing well in this regard. That is not the case however as Countries that do the best here (Again tending to be the Scandinavian Countries) had rates about 1/3 of Canada's.

This clearly shows it the model and the policy. The model the USA uses and the one Canada uses are both failures and any person who tries to argue otherwise are clueless on the matter.


Funny how the pigs at the trough in Washington, especially repukes, like to label the poor as lazy (I guess they should be working four jobs instead of three) all while the republicans in the House work only one out of every three days and get nothing done on those days they do work, then have the gall to give themselves a raise while denying the same to Social Security recipients. Oh yeah, and Hillary gets $350K for delivering some horseshit speech to Goldman Sachs executives or Jamie Diamon and his gang. It's time to storm the Bastille!!!


I think you're safe if you pretend you're a CNN commentator talking about Julian Assange. That seems to be an acceptable cover these days.


Keep in mind there was no forcing Clinton to the table here. The "reform" bill he signed in conjunction with the GOP congress wasn't anything he didn't call for as governor of Arkansas while Reagan was in the White House.


Thank you. We're 20 years deep into a hell of war on the poor that has torn apart countless families, destroyed lives. The number of Americans in poverty (note: not the same as low-income people) has soared, and the overall life expectancy of the US poor has already fallen to age 60-63.

Not everyone can work (health, etc.) and there aren't jobs for all. The US shut down/shipped out an extraordinary number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s, and we pretend there are no consequences.

Note, too, that Bill Clinton took the first steps to similarly "reform" Social Security, targeting the disabled. As a result, the disabled had become the fastest-growing group of homeless people by 2000. Finally, Obama was elected, and was able to get benefits restored. As Hillary Clinton prepared for her latest campaign, Dems in Congress kicked off 2015 with voting to virtually end food stamps to the elderly poor and the disabled (cut from $115 per month, down to $10), a clear statement of their priorities and goals.


Actually, it was the middle class that demanded the end of welfare aid, starting in the 1980s.


Notice, though, that liberals (media) have confined their inequality discussion to the gap between the better off and the very rich, no longer even recognizing the existence of those who are far worse off than minimum wage workers. The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 jobless people who still have the means to pursue one (home address, phone, etc.). What do people think happens to those who are pushed out, or who become unable to work?


so in other words...we have more poor today than ever ...they just are not counted because they are off the books...how convenient!! What are we going to do about it? How can we help the homeless....the poor....the disabled? I hear so many people bitch about the amount of money spent on welfare....when in truth we actually are spending less...except for Corporate welfare...where they get the big cuts in taxes and loopholes to get around everything....that is where the welfare is....that is what needs to be cut out...not to mention the money that is not being counted at all because they hide it overseas places where taxes cannot even be charged to them....this needs to stop!!!! We need to wake up....we need to vote and we need to help those less fortunate rise out of their poverty!!! We had the prime person to help us do that....but no....he got cheated out of his chance along with our best bet to fight big corporations and the 1% and now they want us to just fall into place and vote for Hillary....sad commentary on how things are....same ole....same ole.....


By definition corporations are corrupt. A legale immortal entity with the ability to through the courts manages to reduce its liability to a penny on the dollar and is invulnerable to personal responsibilities. How can an individual sociopath avoid corruption. Dorian Grey was and still is a corporation,