Poverty in America and the Republicans

Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Republican hopeful Rick Santorum recently made headlines when he spoke to a group of Iowa voters and said, he does not want to "make black people's lives easier by giving them somebody else's money." (thinkprogress.org). He said this to a mostly white audience.

Let's just forget about national statistics for a moment, which show that it is NOT mostly black people who are on welfare in our country. In fact, 37.2% of the people on welfare are black, and 38.8% of the people on welfare are white. But blacks are only 17% of the total population in our country, so the majority (by a large margin) of actual PEOPLE on welfare are white.

But let's just look at Iowa, since that is where Santorum was. According to CBS news only 9% of people in Iowa on welfare are black. 84% of those on welfare are white in Iowa. Not only is Santorum being insulting and racist by singling out black citizens as those who are bleeding off the system, but it sets up a question in voters minds that the financial crisis in our country should be placed squarely on the shoulders of minorities.

And while we're pointing fingers here, let's address the one pointed at 'single mothers'. There is a myth that single mothers (mostly black) are taking the biggest bite out of welfare and remain on welfare for about 10 years. Fact is, there were more teen mothers in the 1950's than there are now. Child poverty is found to be higher with single mothers, but the reasons are mostly that they are under-trained for employment, they do not make as much as their male counterparts can make, and about half of all fathers do not pay child support. (7.6% of welfare recipients are under 20).

Santorum is not alone. Gingrich attacks Obama constantly and calls him the 'food stamp' President. He also has stated in the past that blacks cannot acquire wealth because of their "habits" and that our country should deny money to young mothers (note stats above which indicate this group is not responsible for most of welfare recipients) and that the money could be used to establish other ways of caring for the children like creating orphanages.

If the republicans and democrats want to have a real discussion about welfare, let's talk about what is really costing the American people: corporate welfare. But, that's another blog. 


  1. Reality, not something the Republicans seem to get


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