Each Saturday (unless he has a gig, or is playing with the grandbaby, weeding the garden, or something else), Mr. Blunt and Cranky will display a sample of liars and their lies for his loyal readers (OK, whatthehell, disloyal ones too). 

Without further ado, we’ll start with someone not at all famous – an ordinary Tea Party schmuck who made an astounding claim on a comment thread: that welfare recipients get bennies equivalent to $18.00 per hour. When pressed, he allowed as how it could be as low as $14.00 per hour; when pressed further, he pretty much admitted to making it all up, but still (bizarrely) insisted it proved his point (The LSSOTW is designated as “A”:

 

A Welfare needs reformed.. they give so much that it’s become a lifestyle. This lifestyle amounts to about an $18/hr job for the average joe.

B No, the judges who stuck this sort of law down as unconstitutional previously are what make it currently unconstitutional and it costing more money then what it saves are what makes it pointless. There is no one, no one that makes the equivalent of 18 bucks an hour on welfare.

A I grew up on welfare when I was younger… It was designed as a helping hand then, not a handout. And $18/hr may be a bit high, but when you add in the cost for free health, free college (as long as applying for jobs), etc a person would need to make quite a bit above minimum wage in order to live the same lifestyle that they do on welfare. So then if another judge in another state says it is constitutional, then it is? Which one wins? Simply saying the first ruling is the right one is an invalid argument since then no law could be changed then.

B I am saying the first ruling is the current one, and applies as precedent. If it is tried again, and it will be then it could change. That is how laws are interpreted. Welfare is still designed the same way, as a helping hand and people were able to abuse it back then as they are able to abuse it now. The idea that it was some how ok for you to be on it but not others can only be described as hypocritical, unless there is a nicer way to describe it that currently escapes me. And if Cara had her way and welfare was just gotten rid of, you and your family would have been shit out of luck when you grew up. The idea that you would want to do that to another family after you yourself used it is mindboggling to say the least.

A Thank you. The difference I’m trying to point out is that current welfare recipients are given quite a lot more than my family was. This makes it less appealing to get off ‘the system’ and actually get a job. This is not to say that some aren’t trying to do just that. It seems mind-boggling (sorry to use your word) to me that people making minimum wage are paying for people to live above that level/lifestyle.

C please provide citations to back up your statements about how much recipients currently receive. 18.00 per hour annualizes to about 36,000.00 a year.

A If you read above, I state that $18 may be a bit high. The number is based on how much would an average person need to make in order to have the same things (college paid for, medical, dental, eye, food, gas voucher [in some instances], utilities discounts, housing discounts, cell phone discounts, etc). The point of the argument is not a specific, set in stone number, but that in order to live at the same level/lifestyle they would need to get a job paying ‘a bit higher’ than minimum wage and the incentive to get off the system diminishes because they are not going to want to live a lifestyle lower than what they do currently (and yes I know the argument of they made more before losing their job.. but at least they worked for that lifestyle). I make over $14/hr (took years to get there) and I have to decide whether to use air conditioning (if I can afford the extra cost), but with discounts I could.

 

As you can see, it turns out that he had no basis in fact for his claim; just some inductive reasoning and assumptions.  He lied like a thin, limp, moldy old rug, and he is far from a unique case. How many times a day do you hear someone make a statement without backing it up with data, and without being challenged by his or her audience?  And if they are busted, their response is usually something like, “Well, even if it’s not true, it’s true”. That is how devalued the formerly noble fact has become in these here “United” States of America.

Remember this, when you get one of those chain emails/tweets/Facebook posts: they were almost certainly written by somebody who was, at best, seriously cheesed off at the moment and not thinking things through. At worst, it was somebody who was just making s**t up. Fact checking websites abound these days, and it is easy to bust these cretins. Fun, too.

Next time, we’ll pick on somebody famous. It’s not like there isn’t plenty of material to choose from: the problem will be picking just one lying sack of dung from among the many candidates.

Mr. B & C