Sunday, December 29, 2013

"Welfare Queen" Linda Taylor featured in Jet, December 19, 1974

Looks like I am getting to Josh Levin's Slate report on Linda Taylor a bit late.  After Robert Stacy McCain and The Daily Caller have picked over the story, there is not much new for me to say.  I urge all reading this to read every word Levin has to say too.

Anybody born after 1950 might know Taylor as 'Ronald Reagan's totally made up welfare queen.'  There is good reason for your ignorance and my sarcastic quotes, since Reagan did not make her up and he did not use the term "welfare queen."  Reagan's detractors made up the story that he made it up, and they lied for decades that he coined the term too.

From Levin's research, Chicago Tribune reporter George Bliss coined the term "welfare queen" (that Reagan never used) and was reporting on the case two years before Reagan brought up the specifics of the Taylor case.

Jet was reporting substantially the same thing as the Tribune in their December 19, 1974 edition (p. 16, 17).

Facts are facts, and people like to ignore them when they are inconvenient to their narrative.  Let me count the ways...

Consider, for example, the famous story about the "Chicago welfare queen": all wrong, but Reagan carried on regardless.Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy By Murray N. Rothbard

Back in 1976, John Fialka of the Washington Star might have gotten the ball rolling, by taking the facts Reagan cited and dismissing them because the trial was not yet concluded.

This case is also used as one of those examples of 'yea, sure, maybe she got away with this stuff but it is not widespread.'  Which is a different puzzle, when you take into account Taylor's 1970s everybody does it defense.  Here, a few words from her lawyer via the Slate article:

For much of the 1970s, Taylor had consistent legal representation from celebrated black Chicago attorney R. Eugene Pincham. In the run-up to Taylor’s welfare fraud trial, Pincham—who managed to delay the proceedings for years, winning continuance after continuance—positioned his client as a victim of coldhearted, overreaching prosecutors. “It would be a pretty sorry situation if the state tried to prosecute and send to jail everybody from the South Side that took welfare money they didn't have coming," he told the Tribune in 1976. "There'd just be nowhere to put them.” Prosecutors, meanwhile, called Taylor a “parasitic growth,” a leech who gleefully extracted taxpayers’ money.

Mind you, these events are nearly four decades old.  The Tribune's initial reporting, and Ronald Reagan's criticism were of the bureaucracy that allowed this sort of abuse of public funds.  And for over forty years, the Left has been calling anybody who points this out everything from liar to baby killer.

It is not like anything has gotten better over the years either.  As I type in 2013, Russian diplomats in New York city have been uncovered scamming Medicare.  It really does not matter how often these cases are uncovered, as long as there are no consequences for the bureaucrats involved, it will continue.

In 1988, George Will spoke of his experience as a campaign follower and the Jet story had taken in a life of its own.  People in 40 States had seen the same woman, in the same outfit, cashing in food stamps.

Today, folks like Thom Hartmann have carried the torch all the way off of a cliff.  Not only does he deny an easily verifiable true story of welfare fraud and abuse, but he goes so far to say Reagan just made it all up.  Just like Dan Rather, there is no need to verify anything, just make your statements year after year, decade after decade, and don't worry about it.  Truthiemess is what matters:

So, back again to the story, or actually back to Slate. Good old David Weigel decided to pipe up and attempt to carry the cross that his elders, Matthews and Hartmann have not yet dropped.  In his article he states (while defending Paul Krugman's indefensible nonsense, sprinkled with all of those race tags the Left is so fond of):

Taylor was actually a white woman who passed for multiple races, but Krugman was implying that she was black. Conservatives now writing about the story are making sure to score on Krugman, then going on to describe all the other waste the government allows. Doesn't that sort of miss the point? Taylor wasn't emblematic of all welfare users.
Of course Taylor was not emblematic of all welfare users any more than I am "emblematic" of all McDonald's customers.  However, if Weigel would have bothered reading the whole article he might have found the quote, in section 3 of 12 sections, from Taylor's lawyer that I quoted above - “It would be a pretty sorry situation if the state tried to prosecute and send to jail everybody from the South Side that took welfare money they didn't have coming," he told the Tribune in 1976. "There'd just be nowhere to put them.”  That the welfare system is so porous, so unaccountable that Taylor was the canary warning of a poisoned mine.  A mine so poisoned that even today, four decades later, Russian diplomats are pulling the same welfare ripoffs that Taylor pulled and Weigel seems to have no problem with.  Or, perhaps, he has decided to remain as blissfully ignorant of as Progressive greats Chris Matthews and Thom Hartmann.

Ⓐ Steve Ⓐ

No comments:

Post a Comment