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An Election Win, Courtesy of Welfare Queens and Takers

November 9, 2012

By the time the election results started to become clearer and clearer Tuesday night, pundits of both the professional and non-professional varieties (i.e. every person w/ an opinion on SM) started weighing in with their opinions on why Mitt Romney had lost despite a still recovering economy and unemployment figures that had done-in stronger incumbents in the past. There were several different theories about why Obama was able to claim a second term: changing demographics; the devastating attack ads that had run in the summer permanently doing in Mitt; better second and third debate performances by the president; Hurricane Sandy. Each of these had some valid speaking points and contained glimmers of truth.

However, the line that seemed to become the dominant theme on the right was simply this: we’re now a culture dominated by “takers”, and those takers re-elected Obama because he’ll give them stuff. In it’s most intelligent form, we have Bill O’Reilly speaking to that idea here in this clip:

This line became much uglier, hateful, and racist from other sources (which is a shame, because I really like ‘Cat Scratch Fever’). This was repeated all over the social medias by people thanking “welfare queens”, “poor blacks”, “food stamp familes” and so many more for reelecting this Communist into the white house.

That would be a great and wonderfully hateful narrative if it were in anyway true, but bottom line, it’s not.

“50 percent . . . want stuff”

Let’s cut right to the heart of it. 50 percent of the country supposedly wants “stuff”, and Obama only won the vote by around 50.4 percent. Looks like the takers did it!

First, let’s start at looking who the takers might actually be with real statistics. It is true that under Obama, approximately 49% of Americans receive some type of government benefits. That seems like it’s the answer in and of itself – 49% of Americans are welfare queens and food stamp junkies who can’t get off the government teet. That sounds plausible, except when we actually have numbers to look at.

So we’ll start with those base facts. Well, takers are takers, and those people are still the problem. EXCEPT, that’s not who people like O’Reilly and the rest of the riled up Right are talking about! The night after the election, on his own show, O’Reilly went out of his way in talking to Bob Beckel that it wasn’t the elderly that he was talking about (good, since that’s the vast majority of his viewing audience). It was all the “other” takers that got Obama elected. It was the welfare queens and food stamp junkies that were the real problem with America! That’s the taker culture we have to combat!

Ok, fine, let’s look at their numbers, their “power” (all figures come from here):

  • Food stability programs, or food stamps, account for one of the largest programs of the “Big Four” (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps). Approx 47 million Americans receive food stamps, or less than 15% of the country. 15% is hardly enough to win an election.
  • Unemployment benefits are provided to about 5.6 million Americans, or approx. 2% of the population. Let me stress that – only 2% of the population currently gets the scorned unemployment payments.
  • Taking out Food Stamps and Unemployment, approx. 4.3 million Americans receive some other type of welfare payment. Again, only 4.3 million people. We’re a nation of 314 million.
  • 39.8% of welfare recipients are black. 38.8% are white. So, essentially, the same amount.
  • There are only 7 states where welfare pays more than a $12 an hour job (HI, AK, MA, CT, NY, NJ, RI – not much when you factor in the cost of living in those states).

Now it would be easy to just try and add all those percentages together to come up with a large number, but in reality, most people in one of those programs are also the same people being counted in the other program. So in reality, we’re probably talking about less than 20% of the country that are in one of the dreaded “poor people” programs that the right are now trying to blame for Obama’s victory.

The argument gets even weaker when you figure that (and demographics bare out) a large number of unemployed and food stamp receiving families are in the South, a poorer part of the country – a part of the country that also went overwhelmingly to Mitt Romney.  So Obama likely didn’t even take 75% of that less than 20% “taker” demo that was up for grabs.

I will be the first to admit that this is a very surface-level overview of the issue, and of course there is nuance to all of this that I’m not going to take the time to delve into here (I don’t get paid to write this blog, sadly). The point I simply want to make though is that trying to write off half the country as “takers”, and that this is the only reason why Obama won, is not only wrong, but it’s insulting to all of us to spent time and effort to research the issues, and still came to the conclusion that Obama was our candidate.

My wife and I have three doctorates and two masters degrees between us. We are in the higher brackets of earners in this country, with seemingly (and God willing, hopefully) nowhere to go but up. We pay our bills, are paying back our student loans, and could generally be described as “contributors” to society. We voted for Obama, and I’m just as positive that many of his supporters look like us as O’Reilly and his crew are that this was a “taker” motivated election. Instead, it would do the Republican Party good to look at the real reasons why the party lost the majority of women, minority, and youth voters, and to stop harping on tired and delusional notions of a country that only wants “stuff”.

Stop trying to look for difference in the rest of the country, GOP, and look at yourself in the mirror.

Thoughts at the closing bell:

  • Mike Brown is already out as coach of the Lakers after only 5 games. We’re done giving this guy coaching gigs, right?
  • This weekend has two amazing movies coming out, Lincoln and Skyfall. Chances I’ll see either of them in theatres? 0%. {sad trombone}
  • This weekend we’re going to be saying goodbye to the Gray Ghost, Holly’s 2000 VW Cabrio. She’s had a tremendous run, but just sadly doesn’t have what it takes to pass CA smog standards due to engine troubles. It’s with a heavy heart that we’ll be replacing her spot in our driving rotation.
  • Homeland, The Walking Dead, Parks and Recreation. Watch them, or you’re dead to me.

That’s all for now. One love to you all.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2012 3:49 pm

    I love this. I just wrote a post about this. I can’t believe how many people keep defending what he said and saying – “no, he is not saying that minorities want entitlements! That’s not what’s he’s saying at all.” The complacency with which these kinds of comments are taken by so many is really sad.

  2. John Ahn permalink
    November 9, 2012 5:04 pm

    I love facts!

  3. Sickofit permalink
    November 9, 2012 5:17 pm

    Blah blah blah—socialism, communism all has one end. The people are so dependent on the government that they can not rely on their own self. In the end God wins anyway.

    • November 9, 2012 5:19 pm

      I admire your commitment to ignoring facts to maintain your entrenched opinion, Sherrie.

      • John A permalink
        November 9, 2012 5:26 pm

        Right… Ignoring facts and math and believing in faith really worked out for those that did last time…

        http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/real-showdown-2012-pundits-vs-science-140433628.html

      • Sickofit permalink
        November 9, 2012 5:30 pm

        Facts? This is socialism. Show me ONE JUST ONE example of when this idea of having the government control people…take from the rich give to the poor actually worked. Then we can talk until then, this is dribble. We are becoming so immoral, our economy is failing, unemployment is skyrocketing, our Nation is apologizing and looks weak. We have allowed innocent Americans to die AT OUR OWN EMBASSY with no response. Take the rise colored glasses off. This Nation was founded on Christian beliefs—though the idea of it now has all but been forgotten. So morally defunct we have become. Our compass now is based on removing biblical reference from just about everything. There is one fact that will be true in the end—God will come back and He will be victorious.

      • November 9, 2012 5:41 pm

        Who’s debating socialism. Was this post about the virtues of socialisim? This post was simply about a false narrative being pushed as the reason why Obama won, and why that narrative is false. I don’t really have time to write out a whole post about why, in fact, several socialist countries are thriving just fine, but if you do, please have at it. You’re right, we should respond the Benghazi attacks. Let’s emulate Reagan’s response to the 1983 Beirut embassy bombing in 1983, the manly and militaristic response of . . . oh, right, just more money and military aid to Lebanon to handle it themselves. Libya, here comes some cash.

  4. John A permalink
    November 9, 2012 5:52 pm

    This blog wasn’t about socialism but there is one thing that I never understood…. Why is it that those that see themselves as the most close to god and the bible hate social program so much? If anything shouldn’t it be the other way around where they are the biggest proponents of socialism and those that are capitalistic evoking greed, which is once again considered a sin? Wasn’t Jesus all about giving to those that are in need or did I read a different version of the bible… sorry I cant keep track on all the different version…

  5. Sickofit permalink
    November 9, 2012 6:03 pm

    Interesting. By definition these facts you give are screaming socialism. The one FACT that itis NOT mentioned directly—well this is how we fool the general population into believing entitlement programs are the best thing in the world. Tell me what Obama did in the first 4 years that deserved re-election. We lost our AAA rating, we added trillions to the deficit just to name a few. The reality people are choosing to be blind to what is happening here. We are staring at a fiscal cliff. I can’t wait to see how THAT unfolds. The middle class IS being crushed. Problem is, we are also out of work. Entitlement programs get ready –you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip.

    • November 9, 2012 6:13 pm

      You’re right. And you know what? We need a leader in that movement! I nominate you! You’re passionate, you’re driven, you’re ready to roll. Ok, first steps: When time comes for you to retire (if you’re not already), I want you to refuse that first Social Security check rolling your way. Step two: next time you go to the doctor after you’re retired, and they try to tell you that medicaid will pay for the treatment, you stand up and say “NO!”, I’m standing up against Socialism, and pay for it completely out of pocket or with private insurance. The future is counting on you, Sherrie!

      • Sickofit permalink
        November 9, 2012 6:32 pm

        Deal. See Captain Universe it is MY responsibility to make sure that I have been fiscally responsible with the money I make. Yes I have a 401k, mutual funds, savings account, life insurance. See that is because I AM fiscally responsible and I plan for a future instead of asking everyone else to pay for me. Now we all know that a social security program is needed–but you point to that first. I want to talk about welfare recipients–you know the ones driving around in cars I could not afford with gold teeth and clothing I wish I could have purchased –while paying with food stamps..meanwhile, I was working two jobs to pay for my first home. It is a shame the reality here is Obama was not voted back in based on his success the first time around. That should be clear. He was voted back in because of entitlements, because of gay unions, because of minority votes, pro abortion and a host of things that do not support anything This great Nation was founded on.

      • November 9, 2012 6:42 pm

        Captain Universe? Why Sherrie, I have been working out, thank you for noticing. However, your generalized and completely non-factual comments on welfare again make me wonder whether you actually read my post at all, or if the minute you saw numbers your eyes just froze up. You want to talk about fiscal responsibility of this country? Great! Me too, actually! 70% of our national budget is the military, social security, and medicaid. Can we focus on those? OHHHHHH, no, you want to overgeneralize and throw out racist imagery about programs that only account for 12% of the national budget. If we have a Trillion dollar deficit, and those programs only account for about $430 billion dollars, than guess what – we gots to find more money to cut (oh, and when we just chucked all of welfare, we cut out unemployment and Worker’s Comp, but hey, we gotta make them responsible, right?). Another $570 billion to cut, though? Damn, this numbers thing is hard.

  6. John A permalink
    November 9, 2012 11:00 pm

    I find that unhappy people always have to blame others for their unhappiness… These same people never complain about all the corporate welfare that is given in back room deals… Since those deals are not tangible whereas seeing a person on welfare is. Does the welfare system need to be overhauled? Yes. But I for one am sick and tired of people always blaming the welfare recipient when just as much money and in most years more money is given in corporate welfare to the rich. I would rather not give money to either of them but If I had to choose it would be for people.

    • Sickofit permalink
      November 10, 2012 6:14 am

      The difference is rich people create jobs. Welfare recipients don’t. Oh and for the record, I am an extremely happy person.

      • John A permalink
        November 10, 2012 11:22 am

        And that’s a huge myth that you have been sold on… There is no direct correlation; only an auxiliary one. Rich people are not there to “create” jobs… That word is purposely used when referencing rich people due to its underlining implied biblical reference; since “creator” is such a word that is associated with power, it is used to put people in a submissive state. One lowers themselves and puts those other people on a higher platform since they are “creators” and we just a measly commoner that needs to beg them for a job.

        Furthermore, as I stated earlier, these people do not create jobs… As anyone that has ever run their own business knows, labor is the highest overhead… The only thing that drives the creation of more jobs is demand. It is simple economics. If there is no demand then labor will be cut, if there is lots of demand then one if forced to hire more people to help generate more product to meet those demands. If one is making money hand over fist but there is no added demand due to a sustainable model, the owners of the company are not just going to hire people because they are making so much money, rather they are going to squirrel that money away. In some cases they may use that money to open another business but that is not germane because that new business is independent of the first and are subjected to the same economic rules.

  7. November 9, 2012 11:58 pm

    Sherrie, this blog post was riddled with facts. What are you accusing Andrew of doing and why do you keep calling him a superhero? Andrew, can you send pictures? It seems unfair that Sherrie gets to see you in tights and a uniform of some sort and the rest of us can’t.
    These two things seem in conflict with each other.

    Ok – Let’s say that you hate all of us gays, or gay-loving, non-whites, non-christia, abortion “loving”, gun hating heathens. I get that. I accept your hate. I think if we met, at this point in the game, I might even feel comfortable offering you tea, because ever since the election is over, I am more comfortable with the thought of having “tea parties,” something I have been over for a while, I must admit.

    Look, I don’t want to belittle you. You are “entitled” (ha ha, funny how that word comes up!) to your opinion. Just don’t fight facts with meanness. If you are a true Christian, please be kind. If you really believe that God is good and believes in love, then love the idea that facts beat hate, love beats hatred, hatred always loses.

    “70% of our national budget is the military, social security, and medicaid.” Do you know by the way, how much of our military is comprised of minorities? It’s a lot. So just understand that while you feel entitled to sending a disparately large and overrepresented group of Blacks and Hispanics to represent our country overseas – recognize that they are America when they are in this country – not just when they bleed for you.

    I am not a socialist, I believe in capitalism. But if you were to associate me to socialism over being associated to the far right of the Republican party, where hate-mongering and avoidance of facts is quite abundant, I daresay ;-) I would say muchas gracias! Mas por favor! I said it in Spanish to throw you off. I just like to keep my Spanish language skills active when feasible.

    By the way, are you related to Ann Coulter? Just wondering.

  8. November 10, 2012 12:28 am

    Reblogged this on Masala Chica and commented:
    Whatever I missed in my opinion on O’Reilly’s post captured by another adventurous human being with a greater propensity to use actual statistics and not just say, “I hate this!” (my m.o.)

  9. kaya permalink
    November 12, 2012 2:51 pm

    Fox News: Math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better

  10. July 27, 2013 3:05 am

    An Election Win, Courtesy of Welfare Queens and Takers | The Adventures of a Confederate Californian

Trackbacks

  1. Am I on Crazy Pills? Wait – Don’t Answer. Just Read. | Masala Chica
  2. Welfare Queens, Corporate Kings, and Why Romney Lost the Election | THE DAILY BRAIN TRUST

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