Uncovering The “Welfare Myth”

The Grio’s “Food Stamp Fallacy”

When you think of “welfare” what’s the first image that comes to mind?

It’s probably the “welfare queen” that former President Ronald Reagan made famous.

“She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards and is collecting veteran’s benefits on four nonexisting deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000.”

But what happens when she isn’t…

The Grio recently highlighted a common misconception among Americans – that the majority of welfare recipients are minorities.

Last Thursday Newt Gingrich told a crowd of senior citizens in New Hampshire, “The African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” Rick Santorum was even more egregious, claiming he doesn’t “want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money” (although he later claimed that he never intentionally said “black”).

The truth? Of the 46 million people living in poverty in America in 2010, the U.S. census revealed that 31 million were white. Ten million were black. Of the 49 million people without health insurance coverage, 37 million were white; 8 million were African American. Latinos of every race and Asian Americans represented the remaining largest ethnic groups.

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