|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
"Welfare queen" was a term out of many other dumb terms coined by Saint Reagan, this time to refer to people who scam the government through the welfare system to live easy on taxpayer money without trying to work. Reagan gave a very memorable speech in 1976 which described a welfare queen drawing an easy living by scamming veteran's and Social Security benefits from four (fake) dead husbands, as well as using eighty different aliases. The closest case to the one he described was of a single woman who scammed the government out of $8,000. Whoops.
It plays very well into pitting people of different classes and races against each other. Race resentments factor into this, since only certain kinds of people (disadvantaged minorities) are portrayed living on welfare. Many opponents of welfare use the welfare queen stereotype as a way to rile up members of the lower middle class and working poor against those on welfare/unemployment/social security/Medicaid benefits. This is by making wild claims that welfare queens are living "high on the hog" while the poor folks have to work hard to barely scrape by.
One argument that popped up in the health care debate is that people on Medicaid get free medical care on your dime, using purely the example of the documented rates of "plastic surgery" for Medicaid patients, while poor folks pay an arm and a leg to wait forever to see a general practitioner. What was not said is that the term "plastic surgery" in a hospital contains covered procedures for the replacement of skin for burn patients and rebuilding of parts removed for cancer surgery (such as mastectomies). Medicaid (and every other insurance) has never covered any purely cosmetic surgery, and nearly all countries that utilize universal healthcare do the exact same.
Stereotyping welfare recipients is an easy way to get voters to get rid of these programs, since many of the more wealthy who pay for the programs through progressive taxation are fewer in numbers. It also has the benefit of manipulating the very people who benefit from these programs the most into getting rid of them.
 Pull out your irony meters, folks!
 Even more irony
Putting Reagan's Hollywood past into perspective, for some reason Republicans have really taken a liking to the 1986 film Ferris Bueller's Day Off, despite the movie's entire premise being a teenager who weasels out of an education, breaks the law, and ruins his rich friend's car just because he wants to.
 See also
- ↑ The Mendacity Index, Washington Monthly
- ↑ West, Laurel Parker. Soccer Moms, Welfare Queens, Waitress Moms, and Super Moms: Myths of Motherhood in State Media Coverage of Child Care. Emory University, MARIAL Working Paper 16, April 2002.
- ↑ Salon.com - The return of the welfare queen
- ↑ WHY REPEAL OBAMACARE?
- ↑ Republican-Heavy Counties Eat Up Most Food-Stamp Growth, Bloomberg
- ↑ No, seriously
- ↑ 5 Horrible Life Lessons Learned from Teen Movies, Cracked