Who Actually Benefits From Federal Benefits?

Roger Ippolito, a 74-year-old Korean War veteran, receives $450 a month in social security benefits. Amanda Voisard/ZUMA


For years social conservatives have bemoaned those who live off the public dole – the proverbial “welfare queen,” as Ronald Reagan so lovingly put it – rather than contribute to society by going to work and paying taxes.  Reagan ushered in a new era of bigotry, which the Newt Gingrich congressional gang refined in the 1990’s with their “Contract with America.”  All of the current GOP presidential candidates lament the alleged rise of socialism under President Obama.  Rick Perry (who makes Reagan and George W. Bush look like geniuses) even denounced Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme,” although he’s accepted his retirement package while still governor.  But, all of these clowns have ignored the stark reality of the growing wealth gap in the United States  and the simple fact that a large number of those “welfare queens” are people who once contributed mightily to their country with military service and years of hard work.


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