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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hyper-regulated lawlessness -- By John Hayward, RedState

Josh Levin at Slate has a long, interesting article – more like a short online book – about the original “welfare queen,” a Chicago woman named Linda Taylor.  She did a lot more than just scam welfare benefits, but that’s what she became most infamous for, back in the 1980s.  Actually, I’d wager most modern readers don’t realize there was a specific person behind the phrase “welfare queen” – which, as Levin points out, was coined by the Chicago Tribune, not Ronald Reagan.  Most people would nevertheless get a fairly accurate idea of Taylor’s marquee crime just by hearing that phrase, which conjures images of someone living high on the hog while soaking up welfare benefits.  As Levin notes, despite stubborn efforts by some on the Left to claim the “welfare queen” was apocryphal, or an unfair characterization created for political purposes, that’s exactly what Taylor did, and to put it mildly, she didn’t show any remorse about it when she got caught.

The political significance of the “welfare queen” story rests on how many of them are out there.  A single person scamming the welfare state does not, by herself, represent a devastating indictment of the welfare state.  It matters how easy it was, and whether a large number of people participate in such activities, albeit on a less grandiose scale than “the haughty thief who drove her Cadillac to the public aid office” and wore “expensive clothes and oversize hats” to her trial.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of scamming going on, and the Left is not even slightly interested in cracking down on it, or even admitting it’s a problem.  Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) tried to stop the cuts to military pensions in the Murray-Ryan budget deal by replacing them with simple enhanced identification reforms to a welfare tax credit that gets ripped off to the tune of $4 billion per year, in many cases by people who aren’t even legal residents of the United States.  That assessment comes from the Inspector General of the Treasury Department, not Sessions’ office.  His reform effort was thwarted by Democrats, who like to fill the “amendment tree” for bills with garbage so that nobody can attach a serious amendment to bills they are determined to ram through.

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