alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

Conservatives Party Like It's 1992: "The Government Is Giving All Your Money to Welfare Recipients!"

Uh oh! Looks like the government is sneakily spending your hard-earned cash to shower welfare moms with Cadillacs again!


One of the GOP’s all-time favorite talking points — the racist, classist (and non-existent in real life) specter of welfare recipients living large on the government’s dime — appears to be making a comeback, this time inspired by a Massachusetts car ownership program for welfare recipients.

A Fox Nation headline proclaims in outrage:  “What?? Free Wheels for Welfare Recipients!”

Clicking through to the actual article, or course, reveals that the program’s beneficiaries are hardly awash in luxury. And, despite the fact that the article itself is laughably biased — one brief quote by an advocate of the program, sandwiched between three quotes by Republicans bloviating about government waste — it’s pretty easy to figure out that the program is not exactly a harbinger of socialism.

The state does not pay for the cars, but rather “... the car’s insurance, inspection, excise tax, title, registration, repairs and a AAA membership.” (The cars are supplied by non-profits.) Applicants have to show that they are either employed, or are actively looking for work. In order to get the cars, they have to prove that it is impossible for them to reach work using public transportation. Only families with children are eligible. And on and on.

You may have already surmised much of this, because you’re not an idiot. The same cannot be said for Fox Nation readers.

The comments that follow the headline are as racist, classist, and generally fucked up as one would expect. I feel gross re-posting samples, but it’s probably important to do so in order to get a true sense of the chilling vitriol and idiocy on display.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close