04 Aug Why Do Republicans Call Americans “Welfare Queens”?
I don’t normally cover political topics in these blogs but intellectual rigor and circumstance forces me to. Republicans in the United States Senate are now discussing what kind of unemployment insurance program if any should follow the expiration of the CARES Act, which included the pandemic insurance assistance program for Americans, providing significant weekly payments for Americans who were unemployed. Republicans are unequivocally opposed to continuing this program, even though the program has shown to be incredibly successful in helping maintain the food, housing and livelihood of millions of Americans.
A recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago found that unemployed workers receiving this benefit searched for more work much more intensively than those whose benefits had expired or those who had not received them at all.
In his column last Sunday, Michael Hiltzik of The Los Angeles Times published an analysis of this very topic. He, like many others, could simply only conclude that the Republicans’ reluctance to extend unemployment benefits to Americans who have lost work in the pandemic is based on the same principle its always been based on, which is “take care of the rich and the hell with the rest.”
However, because Republicans can’t say that in public, they create a disrespectful argument that benefits paid to Americans for primary sustenance have become a disincentive for them going back to work. Of course there is no evidence to support this whatsoever and in fact, as quoted above, there is considerable evidence to the contrary. It’s so outrageous to understand that Republican Senators who line their pockets with the most substantial, fully paid benefit programs in the world are now sentencing millions of Americans to desperate measures if they don’t have work with the expiration of these benefits.
Ronald Reagan had a term for Americans he didn’t want to take care of. He called them “welfare queens.” This was an obvious racist slur at Black American women, who might have been the sole source of support for children and who may have relied on public assistance programs to augment their wages and help them manage.
I suggest to you that Republicans have just called ALL Americans welfare queens because the facts are the following: Americans are not lazy. They are not stupid. They do not want to sit at home in front of the TV. Americans want to work. They want to feel productive. They want to earn a living. They want to take care of their families. They want to feel like their lives count for something. They’re not welfare queens. They never have been – and they never will be.