Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pat Robertson Thinks $90 Is "Big Money" for Welfare Recipients, But $100 Is "Not Worth a Whole Lot" to His Viewers

Former 700 Club co-host Ben Kinchlow (who has a regular column at WorldNetDaily, so that probably tells you something about him) returned to his old stomping grounds last week to promote his new book, Black Yellow-Dogs, where he actually calls the 88% of African-Americans who routinely vote Democratic "house slaves."  (Except it's not a new book, just a new version of the same book he wrote in 2008 and he was on The 700 Club to promote it back then, too.  Curiously, the fact that an African-American was about to be nominated by the Democratic Party at the time goes completely unmentioned.)

I could bother to dissect Kinchlow's petulance about how the African-American community is really socially conservative and if only that 88% could see things clearly, they'd recognize that they agree with the Republican Party on principle, but that chestnut's been going around for 25-30 years, at least.  I could also dissect Kinchlow's equally tired but recently resurgent bit about how a family can make more on welfare benefits than people holding a job, but that one, most recently repeated in a  Cato Institute study [PDF file], has already been discredited elsewhere, like Bill Moyers & Company, or this other blog which I admit I only found while looking into the study's accuracy.

Instead, let's focus on something Pat Robertson says in the middle of Kinchlow's welfare presentation (about 2:40 into the video):
KINCHLOW: "The reason that 70-some-odd-percent of African-American babies are born out of wedlock is because they reward mothers for having children out of wedlock."
ROBERTSON: "That's right.  Big, big reward.  I mean, about 90 bucks a month a child, or something—whatever they pay you, it's big, big money."
Big money!  Three dollars a day to feed, clothe, and diaper a growing child.  And it's not even accurate.  Ninety dollars was the standard addition for a new child under the OLD welfare system, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, before Clinton signed welfare reform into law.  Today, welfare, or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, is distributed through the states, and half of the states impose a family cap that prevents families from getting more money for an additional child.  In most of the other half, the benefit increase is usually a percentage increase from the previous benefit, as opposed to a set dollar amount.  Also, TANF has a lifetime time-limit of five years, so the whole concept of welfare as a permanent way of life is out of date.

But to make this extra special, here's Pat Robertson in 1997 telling his viewers that $100—which in today's dollars is actually $146—is "not worth a whole lot":

You can spend $100 in a hurry.  But if you subtract 10 dollars, you can live large.


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