Thursday, November 1, 2007

Polemic by Alison Ross

We Are All Welfare Queens
by Alison Ross

To some - those who are pitifully impoverished in the areas of sense and compassion, anyway - Ronald Reagan was a great president. To the rest of us - those who are embarassingly affluent in the areas of sense and compassion, in other words - Ronald Reagan was not only NOT a great president, he was the horrific harbinger of American fascism. We have Reagan to thank for helping to foment America's brazen bellicosity, creepy corporate dominion and positively profane rich-poor divisions.

And indeed, Reagan's infamous speech during his 80’s Reign of Error about welfare queens driving welfare Cadillacs is in large part responsible for encouraging the pervasive present-day animosity toward the poor and welfare recipients.

Of course, true to form, most of Reagan’s speech was a flat out LIE. Furthermore, the speech did not touch on two towering truths: that corporations receive way more welfare than impoverished individuals, and that we ALL receive government welfare in one form or another.

Distressingly, Reagan’s speech successfully sowed skepticism into the hearts of many Americans regarding the program of welfare. He did this by referring to a Chicago "Welfare Queen" who had supposedly taken $150,000 from the government using 80 aliases, 30 addresses, 12 social security cards, and four dead husbands. Naturally, none of Reagan’s outrageous story was actually true; the woman didn’t even exist, and yet many Americans digested Reagan’s story without questioning its validity, like they do so many things that politicians say .

Besides the fact that Reagan invented this “welfare cheat” scenario in order to sway people toward his welfare-dismantling agenda, there is no solid evidence that much, if any, welfare cheating goes on. And even those who do apparently “abuse” welfare cannot abuse it too aggressively, since welfare payments are quite miniscule. Most annual welfare payments average between $2,000-$5,000, hardly enough to survive on, much less thrive on.

And anyway, the most egregious welfare queens are not black women, as so many suspect; the most egregious welfare queens are - brace yourself, homeys - WHITE MEN. The white males who helm our corporations are the ones receiving the most disproportionate amount of welfare, also known as Corporate Welfare.

According to Wikipedia: “Corporate welfare is a pejorative describing a government's bestowal of money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment on corporations. The term was coined by Ralph Nader in 1956. Corporate welfare creates a satirical association between corporate subsidies and welfare payments to the poor, and implies that corporations are much less needy of such treatment than the poor.”

So there you have it. It is an indisputable FACT that corporations, typically helmed by Anglo males, receive billions of dollars more in welfare than do individuals, typically represented by African-American females. According to record, there are hundreds of corporate subsidy programs in the federal budget, whose annual expenditures top $75 billion. If such programs were terminated, it could save taxpayers upwards of $400 billion over a several-year period.

Besides the unconscionable actuality of already-wealthy corporations receiving terrific tax breaks and many other versions of monetary coddling, another “terrifying truth” is often overlooked: the truth that every individual receives welfare in some form or another.

I mean, let's just come to terms with the fact that we are ALL welfare queens, and indeed, we LIKE it that way.

The fun fact is that our taxes - the ones not sucked up by the War in Iraq and corporations, that is - go toward subsidizing the GENERAL WELFARE. The money we contribute tax-wise fund schools, Social Security, roads, the post office, health care, water and garbage services, police and fire protection, and so on. Without taxes, we would literally disintegrate as a society: our mail would go unsent, roads would crumble, garbage would rot, our children would go uneducated, and crimes and fires would rum rampant. Because, you see, we could not afford to pay individually for what we pay in taxes.Taxes are meant to target the greater good in a way that’s affordable for everyone.

Of course, it’s a radically unjust reality that the bulk of our taxes these days go toward the much-vaunted Military Industrial Complex. We have very little, if any, control over where our taxes go, and yet originally taxes were not designed to fund death and destruction. Conversely, tax programs were launched to finance health and creativity, as outlined above. However, as the pie chart reveals below, the majority of our taxes are being diverted toward perpetuating the program of ethnic cleansing in Iraq.

Here is the piechart to prove my point.

But that obscene bit of reality aside, it’s obvious that we the people are welfare queens; if it weren’t for taxes, social services that benefit us all would cease to exist, and that would be devastating however you slice it.

So, petty tax naysayers, quit yer boisterous bitchin’. You have every right to bitch about your taxes going toward funding the maiming of Iraqi babies, but you have NO right to whine and moan about your taxes buying awesome autos for black welfare queens, because it ain’t happenin’. Poor black women are not defrauding you of your hard-earned greenbacks while carousing around town in a caddy. They are, like you and me, just trying to get by in a world tiltled more toward corporate compassion than concern for real homeys - the ones like tu et moi.

And if you don’t like the fact that your taxes do help fund housing and services for the poor, then consider the fact that you’re not exactly drowning in dough yourself, and that you too might one day need a hand up. Have some freakin’ humanity, for chrissakes. Of course, here in Amerikkka, we don’t receive as much welfare as do, say, Eurotrash, but that’s because politicians like Reagan have bathed our brains in poisonous anti-tax propaganda. The Euros GET IT about taxes, although globalization is sadly altering their social welfare paradigm.

Anyway .The point is, Welfare Queens rule, and may Ronald Reagan rest in pieces.

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