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Reply #61: But...but...but....Ronnie Raygun elimated all those Welfare Queens [View All]

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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:05 PM
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61. But...but...but....Ronnie Raygun elimated all those Welfare Queens

The term "welfare queen" is most often associated with Ronald Reagan who brought the idea to a national audience. During his 1976 presidential campaign, he would often tell the story of a woman from Chicago's South Side who was arrested for welfare fraud:

"She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards and is collecting veteran's benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She's got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names."<4>

Despite claims that the woman never existed,<5><6> the story seems to have been drawn from newspaper reports at the time. In 1976, the New York Times reported that a woman from Chicago was charged with using 4 aliases and of cheating the government out of $8,000. She again appeared as the investigation of her case by the Illinois Attorney General continued.<7> She was ultimately found guilty of "welfare fraud and perjury" in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.<8>

Reagans use of the term was related to a growing unease among New Right politicians about the perceived expansion of the welfare apparatus. Touching on the cornerstones of American political philosophy (i.e., individualism and egalitarianism), the New Right sought to form a top-down coalition with big business and white working-class voters to undo the popular Great Society programs of the 1960s.<1>

In response to Reagan's use of the term, Susan Douglas, a professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan, writes:

"He specialized in the exaggerated, outrageous tale that was almost always unsubstantiated, usually false, yet so sensational that it merited repeated recounting And because his examples of welfare queens drew on existing stereotypes of welfare cheats and resonated with news stories about welfare fraud, they did indeed gain real traction."<3>

<also see: snip>

Myth: There are Welfare Queens driving Welfare Cadillacs.

Fact: Reagan made up this story.


Reagan's story of a Welfare Queen driving a Welfare Cadillac was apocryphal. Even so, there is no evidence that welfare cheating is a significant problem; besides, individual welfare payments are too small for recipients to live well.


So, Ronnie Raygun was a liar! :yoiks:
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