Welfare Queens: Who Really Wears the Crown

Numbers have a liberal bias, which is why the Right has taken to simply inventing numbers. The issue of who is on Welfare, and who is actually lying about what Welfare actually entails is a case in point. The number currently being floated by the Rightwing of Americans on Welfare is an astounding 109, 631,000 number. That’s a lot of lazy and out of work people helping to make the case as to why you are paying too much in taxes. Just one problem, the number isn’t accurate. Well, it is and it isn’t. Here’s what I mean.

As of the 2012 census there were 320 million Americans total. An astounding 35.4%, or just under 110 million were on welfare, according to a, dare I say, very liberal use of the word by the right. A quick definition of the word, however, reveals that “welfare” encompasses everything from SNAP, or food stamps, Tax Credits for Working Families, Housing assistance, SSI for severely disabled Americans, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), unemployment insurance, Medicaid, Women Infants and Children (WIC) assistance, Head Start and Family Energy assistance, because it looks really really embarrassing if too many Americans succumb to cold or heat due to poverty, unless we are competing directly with Bangladesh these days.

Incidentally, according to the CDC, between 2006 and 2010 some 2000 Americans died because of heat cold and other weather related events. While many of those are not attributable to poverty, the rise from previous years is so precipitous that contributions due to poverty cannot be overlooked or under estimated. That sharp rise coincides with both an aging population, cuts in benefits, rising medical costs and the great recession.

But in this election cycle the right would also have us believe that Blacks, immigrants and Latinos are voting for democrats because the democrats will give them welfare. The numbers prove otherwise and instead lend more evidence that the right intends to frighten, radicalize and anger white voters to the poles out of the realization that they cannot carry in any meaningful way Black and minority votes.

They portray the myth of the welfare queen, the Black woman on drugs popping out babies and collecting big checks bled from hard working white taxpayers, Tennessee began testing welfare recipients for narcotics in July 2014 and found only 1 in 800 tested positive, hardly more than 1/10 of 1%. Florida, which also tests, found the rate to be at 2.6%, while the non welfare, taxpaying population’s rate was near 8%. So why the hype? Testing dollars are a big ticket give away to testing companies. Each test nets the company $30-40 on average, a mandatory cash payment by the person being tested. Testing companies are pouring millions through lobbyists into campaigns and media. Carly Fiorina, Republican presidential candidate was recently caught in a lie about a stepdaughter, whom she led people to believe died of a drug overdose, when in fact the person had died from complications due to Bulimia.

Children are the primary beneficiaries of Welfare. Even still, only 5.2% of so-called welfare recipients get more than half of their total income from the government. Nationally the amount spent on social welfare programs is 59 Billion, against more than $100 billion given to already profitable corporations. That number is exponentially higher is state and local corporate giveaways are tallied. People who attend college re far less likely to need or ask for any type of public assistance, adding weight to the long term cost benefits of free collage educations. that isn’t about welfare, but rather investment.

The same could be said for law enforcement and the prison industry. If the country prioritized quality public education over law enforcement and security the cost benefit to the country would be staggering. It cost roughly $5000 more to incarcerate a young person for a year than it would cost to send him/her to a Big 10 school with housing and board for an entire year. For profit prisons spent $45 million in lobbying just in 2011 alone, and made more than $5 billion just in immigration detentions alone. The cost for each detainee was $166 dollars per day. The Holiday Inn in Port Washington Wisconsin, with a stunning view of the quaint harbor costs $94 a night, with private showers, a pool, sauna, breakfast and clean towels. There is a nice Italian place within walking distance where for about $20 bucks you can get dinner and have some left to take back to the room. $52 dollars cheaper than for-profit=prisons.

Blacks are 13% of the population. While the white middle class benefitted over hundreds of billions in VA loans and scholarships the Black community was barred from those benefits, allowing one community an unfair advantage. That community, in large part because of that has historically remained the most vulnerable. Almost 42% of Blacks are on or require some sort of public assistance. That equals about 17 million people. The number is virtually identical in the Hispanic and Latino communities. Together they still do not add up to the number of white Americans using some time of Welfare. or about 41 million White Americans. That begs the question; why then do so many poor whites vote republican?

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Smart Ass! A come back for every right wing talking point

If there is one redeeming quality I’ve learned growing up in a big , hard-drinking, small town Midwestern family, and working a tough blue collar union job is that you learn to give it as well as take it.. And by “it” I mean when someone throws a shot your way, your return shot should put them on their ass. It has helped me become the most dangerous emerging voice on the Left.

On my radio show I am always talking about messaging and how Progressives and Liberals always are at a general disadvantage to the Right. Their arguments are simple, but loud and repetitive. They appeal to base instincts and lazy people who only wish to be validated in their firmly held ignorance, and appeal to their laziness in actually becoming informed, or worse, that they actually have to consider other people’s existence. The Right yawns at too much information. They want it simple and easy. That represents their world.

On the Left, the center Left and for much of the center-the vast majority of this nation, our messaging is usually far more nuanced, necessarily encompassing a spectrum of perspectives. We like details and science and understand a world in shades of gray, in which the continuum of perspectives among the lives of people is not black or white. Despite that facts and truth are fully on our side, that doesn’t translate well in a media world. We must do a better job, which is why the itinerate smart ass in me decided to help with comebacks to beat the Right…

RIGHT: “Corporations are people, my friend…”
LEFT: A corporation is a person the same way the forest is a tree or the Navy is sailor

RIGHT: That baby you abort might one day grow up to cure cancer.
LEFT: That baby might one day grow up to kill the person who would have cured cancer

RIGHT: Graduates from the South Dakota Institute for Mining Technology earn more working for Fracking firms than most university graduates.
LEFT: Crack dealers make more than most high school graduates, Bank robbers earn more than bank tellers!

RIGHT: Forcing gun owners to register their guns and have IDs doesn’t stop criminals from having guns.
LEFT: registering your car and having a license doesn’t stop car thieves…

LEFT: Where are the gunmen supporting deadbeat racist millionaire Cliven Bundy’s “property rights” for thousands of Americans having their land stolen for the XL Keystone pipeline?
RAND PAUL: Cliven who?

RIGHT: Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslims
LEFT: Not all white people are KKK, but all KKK are white people ( White supremacists have killed more than 200 people in the US over the last decade.; Muslims 2)

RIGHT: fOuR AMerIcaNs dIEd iN BeNGhAzi FOUR On 9-11-2011!!!!
LEFT: 3000 died on the original 9-11 due to the incompetence of Bush’s administration, 3200 over a lie in Iraq, 11 incinerated in the Deepwater oil disaster and no one has gone to jail. No, wait, I’m only getting started…

RIGHT: If there is global warming, how come it was so cold in Intercourse Pennsylvania (There really is an Intercourse Pennsylvania!)
LEFT: While you were sleeping, the Egyptians and Columbus proved the world was round.inter

RIGHT: Says right there in the bible ‘bout gays bein’ ‘gainst god…
LEFT: Reading cliff notes again, I see. There is far more in the bible in the bible about tending your own garden, minding your own business, greed, gluttony and selling your daughter into slavery being okay

RIGHT: We can’t afford welfare, but we need to let the free market work for business!
LEFT: The US spent $500 billion on welfare for the poor. It spent in 2013 $576.4 billion on giveaways to corporations; local, state and federal combined-double that for tax forgiveness. Who are the real welfare queens? Sounds like even the free market doesn’t believe in the free market!

TOO MANY AMERICANS: Voting changes nothing!
LEFT: A car dealership offers a warranty for your new car, however, that warranty doesn’t cover misuse or neglect

Add a few of your own. I’ve got more. Call into the show Mondays-Fridays from 9-11am in Chicago on AM1680 QR radio, www.que4.org and feel free to share your suggestions, or argue with mine. Bring it, I’m ready.

WC Turck is the author of 4 books, including the critically acclaimed Bosnian War Memoir “Everything for Love,” and Broken: One soldier’s unexpected journey home, at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. Turck wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart: A Revolutionary Christmas Carol” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He can be heard weekdays from 9-11am, and 1-3pm on the Revolution and Beer show with partner and cohost BL Murray.

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Dear America, Here’s what your missing, or how Revolution and Beer saved the nation!

This started out as a rundown of corporate welfare at the state, local and national levels. Brian was in a twitter battle with some corporate apologist. He wanted some of my numbers from last week’s show in which I detailed nearly a half trillion dollars given or gifted or bequeathed to corporations. That includes the conservative estimate of $100 billion in 2012 (the numbers aren’t yet in for 2013) $134.6 billion on a state level, and at least that amount on county and local levels. This number does not include $12 billion given to 10 individual hedge fund traders, nor does it include 254.8 billion to military contractors contracted through the DoD. [1]
All total, this paints a pretty clear argument that America could have nice stuff, like healthcare, and wealthy doctors, but at a rough estimate, and certainly a lowball number of $476.4 billion a year to corporations and military contractors, they are robbing the American dream blind.

I started researching first what it cost each American household and came across this:

Tax Foundation has concluded that their ‘special tax provisions’ cost taxpayers over $100 billion per year, or $870 per family. Corporate benefits include items such as Graduated Corporate Income, Inventory Property Sales, Research and Experimentation Tax Credit, Accelerated Depreciation, and Deferred taxes… federal, state and local governments force American families to give, on average, $2436 per year to companies that certainly don’t need the handouts (or shouldn’t be in business if they do). That $2436 could go a long, long way for most families, whether it was spent on food and clothing, vacation, a college fund, or whatever mom, dad and the kids most need… [2]

But thanks to Brian and his corporate twitter troll I wasn’t ready to quit there. It became something more than just a damage estimate. I began to wonder over what we were actually missing. What is being stolen from the American taxpayer? Who is the culprit? What are the numbers? What is the fix?

The obvious is healthcare. It also really pisses off Righties, and I love that. Share this with a friend. You’ll be surprised at the absolute simplicity.

Okay, aggregate US hospital costs in 2011 were $387.3 billion. The average cost to a policy owner for monthly insurance through an employer is $300, but it comes out of your check so you don’t notice it, until you get a sniffle and then suddenly you’re happy you have insurance! The cost to employers for that same policy can be 2-5 times that cost.

If 90 million Americans paid $165/month for a premium that would amount to $14.85 billion in revenue. The money would not go into the general government fund, but into a single payer insurance entity. Double that with an employer match. the cost of providing insurance to employees, even with their contribution is steep. The key here is the employer and employee costs are cut dramatically. More money in the marketplace! Annually, that works out to, with employer match on that $165 dollar premium ($330 total) is 365.4 billion Dollars annually for universal single payer. Cutting even a pathetic 20% off of the lowball $353 billion annually to corporations and contractors puts an additional $60 or so billion into the system, padding it for inflation and even making a profit for investment and improvements. Add in copays of $10 or 15 dollars and every patient in American gets to pee in their own gold-plated f$#@ing bedpan!

By the way, these numbers include Medicare and government health services. money from corporate welfare would then go, theoretically, to paying down the deficit and cutting taxes. The math is simple. Start with annual US medical costs and the number of working age men and women, and then work backwards through simple numbers. And I’m no economic genius. I’m just thinking out of the box, or out of the cave, Plato.

Given all of these easily locatable figures and details, in my humble estimation, the Right, capitalists and oligarchs in the country can go f#$@ themselves!

WC Turck has been called “The most dangerous voice on the Left.” He can be heard on Chicago’s only voice for activism, and the true Progressive voice, Q4 radio, streaming weekdays from 9-11am. And listen to Revolution and Beer Weekend with partner and cohost BL Murray Saturdays from 1-3pm. Turck is the author of 4 books. His first novel “Broken: One soldiers unexpected journey home,” was recommended by the National Association of Mental Health Institutes in 2008 for its treatment of PTSD. “Everything for Love” is a memoir of love and war during the siege of Sarajevo. “Burn Down the Sky” was published in 2010 on Amazon as an e-book fictionalized his experiences and insights on the frontlines of the war on terror. “The Last Man,” an Occupy novel is a warning about world ruled by a single corporation. Turck wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart: A revolutionary Christmas Carol,” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” His current project is to build and proliferate truly independent media and radio stations across the country.

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