When a Fox News show purported to discuss a new Kansas law restricting what people can buy with welfare money, it used the subject to launch an assault on welfare as a whole.
Republican Lisa Boothe said, “What we need to have is a broader assessment of welfare as a whole. Since Lyndon B. Johnson launched the war on poverty 50 years ago, we’ve spent almost $16 trillion building an entitlement nation. …Here’s the kicker. The poverty rate hasn’t changed.”
Host Eric Bolling agreed. “The poverty rate is actually the highest it’s been in decades,” he said. “It’s actually inching up.”
Wayne Rogers didn’t like the Kansas law but he argued welfare should just be cut and further limited.
Regular Jonathan Hoenig said, “There’s no fix for welfare besides getting rid of it.”
Juan Williams was the only welfare supporter on the panel. “If you want, as a government, to be sensitive, to be a caring conservative, give the money to the poor and let them go.”
Hoenig sneered, “You give the money, Juan. You give the money.”
”It’s not a matter of give if you have starving children,” Williams shot back. “That’s a matter of maintaining a stable society for good business.”
But Boothe reiterated we should be “reforming welfare as a whole.”
”The only way to reform it is to get rid of it,” Hoenig insisted. “If you want to help someone who you think is deserving, help them, but it’s wrong, it’s immoral to take from one group to give to another, and welfare’s massive disaster has been the net result.”
Williams noted, “We just went through a terrible recession.” He said that welfare recipients get about $500 a month for a family of four. “That’s about $14 a day,” Williams pointed out.
”Juan, how many tens of thousands did you give away during the great recession?” Hoenig persisted.
Williams answered, “I give away a lot.”
”These programs aren’t working,” Boothe said.
In fact, the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities found that while inequality remains, by and large the war on poverty has worked. “Without question, we have made significant improvements in addressing poverty over the last 50 years, even if we’ve fallen well short of the bright hopes of the 1960s,” the CBPP reported in 2014.
Watch Fox's war on the poor below, from the April 11 Cashin' In.