Lifeline is a federal program originally intended to provide low-income people with a free landline phone. Sensing a chance to get more poor people to vote for them, Democrats expanded the program to include free cell phones. To maximize the number of subsidized cell phone recipients, “free phone” vans patrol low-income areas of every Democrat-run city in America, a practice that has resulted in massive fraud.
The “free phones” van pictured above set up shop on a street in a predominately African American area of Baltimore. As revealed in this must-see report by the city’s Fox45 TV, within just three years of Barack Obama’s election, fraud exploded the number of subsidized phones in Baltimore from 6,000 in 2008 to 231,000 in 2011.
Baltimore isn’t the only place where Democrats have used free phones to addict the urban poor to government dependency. In a viral video that illustrates how readily poor people will vote for politicians who promise them free stuff, a welfare recipient in Cleveland, Ohio screamed at a TV reporter that minorities would be voting for Obama because he gives them free phones.
HOW DEMOCRATS DISINCENTIVIZED WORK
Prior to 1995, the federal government gave more money to states that increased their welfare rolls. The following year, President Bill Clinton signed into law major bi-partisan welfare reform that required those receiving public assistance to work in exchange for taxpayer-provided benefits.
Known as “The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996,” the new law changed the rules by instead rewarding states that decreased welfare rolls. The encouraging result was a sharp drop in both welfare dependency and child poverty.
Thirteen years later, Democrats eviscerated the 1996 welfare reform law. Written behind closed doors with zero bi-partisan support, the 2009 stimulus bill passed into law by President Obama and a Democrat Congress effectively ended the requirement that able-bodied adults perform work in exchange for government benefits.
As allowed by the stimulus bill, the Obama administration replaced actual work requirements with the following “work” requirements: Bed rest, personal journaling, motivational reading, smoking cessation classes, weight loss classed, personal care and helping others with household tasks.
Proving that these activities were actually performed was done through the honor system. Defining leisure activities as work enabled Democrats to mislead voters to think that welfare recipients still had to earn their government benefits.
Under the new rules, welfare recipients were disincentivized to transition toward self-reliance, resulting in a return to record levels of welfare dependency and child poverty. The Democrat message to the urban poor: Keep voting for us and we’ll see that you keep getting welfare, this time with no strings attached.
HOW OBAMA EXPLODED FOOD STAMP ROLLS TO RECORD LEVELS
No one minds helping the needy, but Democrats have turned food stamps into a way of life for millions of able-bodied people—under President Obama, 13 million more recipients were added to food stamp rolls. In a move that helped explode food stamp usage to all-time record levels, the Obama administration ran ads designed to lure more people to apply for federal food assistance:
“Host a social event. Make it fun by having activities, games and food, and provide information about signing up for food stamps!”
A 2011 USDA pamphlet revealed that local food assistance offices were rewarded for “counteracting” the pride that many rural Americans have in being self-reliant.
To prevent taxpayers who do not speak Spanish from discovering the content of the ads, the USDA website did not provide English translations. When the ads were exposed in conservative media, the USDA removed them from its website.
According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, food stamp usage among able-bodied adults doubled after the Obama administration suspended work requirements.
THE PLIGHT OF URBAN AMERICANS IS WORSE THAN EVER
Over the last half-century, trillions of dollars have been spent to help lift the black underclass, with a mother lode of anti-poverty funding having gone to blue state governors and blue city mayors. According to Bob Woodson, a former executive of the National Urban League, 70% of the $22 trillion in anti-poverty funding never reached the disadvantaged people it was intended to help. Instead, the lion’s share was siphoned off by high level elected Democrats, who perpetuated inexcusably wasteful bureaucracies that devoured massive sums of anti-poverty funding in ways that did virtually nothing to improve the plight of the inner city poor.
For six consecutive decades, residents of our inner cities have been economically consigned to communities ravaged by urban decay, rampant crime, rat-infested government housing, sorry schools, generational poverty and chronic hopelessness, with each election bringing a new round of empty promises from the party that that uses welfare addiction and the race card to win elections. While the black underclass faces a daily struggle just to survive, the Democrats they helped elect live in new homes, drive new cars and dine at exclusive restaurants.
WELFARE KILLS THE HUMAN SPIRIT
By the mid-1980s, it was apparent that giving on-going welfare to able-bodied people was a counterproductive policy that inflicted lasting harm on the urban poor. Using government benefits to help impoverished people get on their feet is one thing; knowingly habituating them to welfare as a means of securing their vote is a cruel and cynical thing to do.
By continually pushing welfare on those already addicted to the demeaning lifestyle of government dependency, the Democratic Party is guilty of an unconscionable crime against the most vulnerable people in our society.
Except on Election Day, Democrats couldn’t care less about the urban poor. One day, white liberals will be filled with shame when will realize the unmitigated carnage their vote has foisted on generations of impoverished black Americans.
By John Eidson
A 1968 electrical engineering graduate of Georgia Teach and now retired, John Eidson is a freelance writer in Atlanta and a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative.
Photo by clarinetgirl at Flickr.