Don’t Shoot the Brunette Messenger

To say that the past two weeks have been a little crazy would be like saying Ronald Reagan “squeaked by to win reelection” in 1984. I had my first television interview, I’ve appeared on countless radio shows, and was featured on The Blaze, National Review, and I HotAir.com. The Associated Press ran a story about me throughout the country. Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Dana Loesch, Mark Levin and Howie Carr all gave my blog post either a shout-out or an on-air discussion. To say I’m floored would be an understatement. This has been the most exciting week of my life.

One thing I’ve noticed amongst all the media attention was that somewhere in between the 14th and 16th of December, the focus of the story changed. The story was no longer about the abuse and fraud of the welfare system that I had witnessed while working at Walmart. The story became something different: me. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is completely beyond the point. One impassioned columnist encouraged me to go visit a homeless shelter. Others instructed me to go work as a social worker for a year or two. Still others were calling me out for everything including the size of my arms and color of my hair. Others told me they loved me and proposed. While the proposals were lovely and flattering, I’m still not the story. This shouldn’t be about me. The abuse of the welfare system is the story. That is what we should be focusing on. We shouldn’t be focusing on a 20-year old college student with a laptop and a story to tell.

I wasn’t condemning all welfare recipients, as one website’s twisted headline suggested. I wasn’t condemning the disabled nor the homeless. I was condemning those who make a career out of welfare. I was condemning those who make extravagant purchases with state aid such as those who use aid to purchase items to fund a party (as two boys buying three 24-packs of Mountain Dew one night with EBT announced, “Yeah, we’re having a party tonight!” as the state paid for their beverages. Lovely. Also, I’ve heard Mountain Dew is horrible for your teeth…). I was condemning those who are essentially stealing taxpayer money to use on things for which it was not intended. People should be upset about this.

Those who seemed to actually read my column (as opposed to the AP summary or other article) agreed with me. I had several friends say that my column was the first time they had ever agreed with me politically.  They understood the point I was trying to convey. Nobody likes seeing deductions from a paycheck going to taxes, and it’s reasonable that people would get upset if they found out their taxes were being spent on lobsters, steak, beer, slip ‘n slides, and WWE figurines—things that are absolutely not essential for survival.

Others got distracted by use of language such as “welfare queens” and attacked me based on that. I had one radio host point out that the majority of people on the system use it correctly, and that the amount of fraud reported is very small. This is absolutely correct, and I’m not going to dispute that. To that, however, I say: a newspaper will never report that 5,000 planes safely took off and landed on time. They will, however, report that a plane has crashed, or that a plane just barely landed safety. People using welfare correctly aren’t a story. People taking advantage of the system are the story, and I witnessed numerous instances of such abuse.

I’ve received near-unanimous praise from my former coworkers. Many of them thanked me for telling a story they’ve been dying to tell. They’re upset about the abuse of the system that they witness daily. I’ve heard stories beyond my wildest imaginations in the past two weeks. My mother used to work in the electronics department. She watched customers pay in cash for expensive electronics, and then turn around and buy food with EBT. My aunt was a cashier at another supermarket, and she told of how people would buy glass jugs of milk with EBT, dump the milk outside, and redeem the bottle for $1.50 to spend elsewhere (Maine has a bottle deposit on most beverages). It eventually got to the point where the store had to limit the amount of milk a person could purchase per transaction because the milk was being wasted down the sewer. That’s despicable. Another woman shared a story of one of her customers asking her young daughter where “the card you were playing EBT with yesterday went.” EBT is not a game. Welfare should not be treated as a game. This is how generations of dependency start. If a child grows up thinking receiving governmental help to buy food and other items is a normal, expected thing, and never sees her mother work, she has no constructive example of how to improve her situation. That’s not what I want to see in Maine. That’s not what conservatives want to see nationwide.

The Governor of Maine, Paul LePage, recently released figures showing that Maine has more people receiving welfare than paying income taxes. That scares me. A state cannot continue functioning if these statistics persist. Mainers are compassionate people. We want to help others. Our desire to help others, however, is going to destroy the state unless reasonable reforms are taken. LePage proposed removing all non-citizens (regardless of their legal status) from Maine Care (Medicaid) benefits. One concerned citizen asked if this was a fair thing to do. LePage countered that we need to ensure that Mainers are covered before we extend the benefits to others. I agree.

The Portland Press Herald reported on December 24th that a woman had been arrested for stealing more than $10,000 from the state via food stamp-fraud. She had been reporting that her children lived in her house when they did not. This type of abuse isn’t possible to observe from a cashier’s point of view. If my article inspired anyone to turn in a neighbor/friend/relative who was committing fraud, then I’ve done my job as a reporter. That’s the real story here, folks. As one commenter said, I wasn’t painting a picture of abuse; I was describing a photograph. Just because you may not like what the photograph reveals does not mean you have to attack the person describing the photo.

Regardless of her hair color.

Christine Rousselle // Providence College // @crousselle

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Comments

  1. Paul Lepage’s statistics regarding the number of welfare recipients have been recently condemned as skewed, and you should not be trusting the word of a man who has been proven as a liar in the media recently.

    Also, you discredited your original article by admitting that welfare abusers make up a small proportion of welfare recipients. People abusing welfare is human nature; the only way to completely stem the abuse would be to cut out the welfare completely. Welfare abuse will continue to some extent forever due to our politicians election and re-election needs.

  2. Kerry the conservative says:

    Still love you article, Christine. You are awesome. Stay strong.

  3. current pc student says:

    I am honestly embarrassed at the negative publicity you are giving our school. You are an ignorant and immature brat. As a lowly cashier you have no idea why people come to your register. You do not have the right to judge them or make assumptions.

  4. Rebecca Randolph says:

    Well said, current pc student. Awww, the wonderment of the interent allows anyone to play investigative reporter. Fraud is everywhere and its not only been committed by the poor. It’s ignorant to vilify the poor when you do not know their backgrounds. What about the wall street bailout? Why aren’t you calling for your hypocritical conservatives to be brought up on charges? Who is the real criminal….the single mother of 5 who receives $400 in food stamps a month or the billionaire banker cashing his big fat year end bonus check that taxpayers signed? Educate yourself!

  5. Don’t listen to the uneducated people above (with the exception of “Kerry the conservative”). Fraud is rampant in “the system” all over this nation. Your detractors above have clearly MISSED THE POINT ENTIRELY and continue to spew the standard liberal party line. Understand that for what it is: a desperate attempt to discredit your very real information because it doesn’t fit the narrative. Lest anyone should think I’m some kind of “elitist” rich person who doesn’t “get it,” we barely make it paycheck to paycheck, and my oldest step-daughter – a single mother of two – is temporarily on food stamps while she works full time AND goes to school full time in order to create a better life for her children – and she isn’t making it a lifestyle. Her plan is to get off of “the system” just as soon as she possible can. Welfare ISN’T supposed to be a LIFESTYLE.

  6. Thank you, Christine Rousselle. You presented a set of facts based on your experience. I note that some readers are attached to their ideology and project their values onto your experience. Your experience does not prove that welfare fraud is widespread in Maine, but it is a good first indicator. The experience of you and your co-workers suggests that the welfare system in Maine is not well regulated or well monitored. Honest people will respect those facts and look for other facts to confirm or deny a set of conclusions.

    People who don’t like your message will criticize the messenger. Let that be about them and not about you.

  7. Rep. Heather Sirocki says:

    Christine, Thank you for telling your story and for the follow up. To clarify a couple of things: There are more Mainers receiving some sort of government assistance than filing taxes. But remember tax filings include both joint and single filings, which means that we do have more individuals paying taxes than are receiving benefits. Nevertheless, we seem to be stalled with large numbers of people receiving and not enough money to sustain the current system.
    As far as abuse goes, the anecdotal evidence does indicate significant numbers. And we need to remember abuse may be wrong, but it is not illegal. Fraud is illegal. Abuse needs to be addressed in a different way than fraud.
    The goal is to ensure that our tax payer dollars are wisely spent and safeguards need to be built in to curtail as much abuse as possible to protect the money that is dedicated for those who are needy.
    http://www.maine.gov/audit/fraud/fraud.htm
    From Governor LePage’s July 27, 2011 Press release: Address AG William “Schneider urges people who suspect recipient fraud to call the DHHS hotline at 1-800-442-6003. To report MaineCare provider fraud, call -207-287-4660 or email hcu.ag@maine.gov. Although the caller can remain anonymous, the name of the person or provider alleged to have committed the fraudulent act must be shared in order for the case to be investigated.’

  8. Thanks again, Christine, for giving details of your experience including the follow-up criticism you received. The “take-away” for me is that Marxism/socialism DOES NOT work.

  9. Go girl. Wear any liberal criticism as a badge of honor! Keep on sharing the truth

  10. Critics of Maine’s Gov. LePage using the word “welfare” are … parsing words in the face of “an inconvenient truth”. LePage’s statistics are CORRECT when one uses the technically correct words “any form of state government assistance”.
    Like plain spoken LePage, “We the People” … who are plain spoken and live on the highways and byways of America … incorrectly but commonly day to day call “any form of state assistance” … “WELFARE”. “We” amongst the 53% who do pay Federal income taxes are not well spoken enough for those on the left who like to defend the immoral and unaffordable behavior of some who abuse the “welfare” (insert whatever words you prefer) system.
    Some like to use the immorality, if not actual illegality, by many on Wall Street (who were the BIGGEST DONORS to Obama’s election as President) to dismiss “welfare” fraud. These prefer denial to truth. It’s important to add that Immorality, let alone illegality, by ANY on Wall Street is far too many.
    All the foregoing being said, I compliment Ms. Rouselle for telling a simple and obvious truth as she saw it because … it is real.

  11. Charlie Hunter says:

    ” To that, however, I say: a newspaper will never report that 5,000 planes safely took off and landed on time. They will, however, report that a plane has crashed, or that a plane just barely landed safety. ”

    I find that a bit of an odd comparison. If that is the case, then you seem to be admitting that on the whole welfare abuse is NOT an issue we need to be focusing on.

    Also, they probably focused on you because A) your story is entirely anecdotal in nature and B) your tone was very negative. I am not pointing that out to attack you, instead I am merely explaining the situation to you.

  12. monty smith says:

    keep up the good work…please!!!!

  13. PC Colleague says:

    Christine,
    While I believe your intentions are good, your first article was completely narrow-minded. Not once do you put yourself in the position of one of those welfare recipients; it’s as if you do not even care to see another point of view or find compassion with the customers that came through your line at Wal-Mart. You looked down upon them and unfairly judged their behavior. You should not be shocked to see that you have been attacked personally based on your views of the welfare system, as you did the same thing in your original article. You went after “welfare queens” (absolutely horrific choice of words) and passed judgement without consideration for what they have experienced in their lives and the hardships they may have faced. As you stated yourself, welfare fraud is a relatively small issue facing the American economy, however (as most Conservatives that have come before you) you have blown it out of proportion to scare your readers into finding an “enemy” they can target. Knowing you personally for a few years, you never cease to shock me with your narrow-mindedness. It’s important not to be blind to the issues our country faces (like welfare fraud), however there is a way to approach the issue that is more fully educated and thoughtful.

  14. I HAD FULLY READ the original article and fully AGREE WELFARE REFORM IS NEEDED and there are abuse cases BUT a few things didn’t seem right… a child SHOULD NOT be without a birthday cake just because they are poor & a kit kat bar may be the only treat a person gets themselves in a very long time so I cannot penalise that. The spipnslide, I don’t know but again if its a blistering hot summer children should be allowed something nice & cool especially if they cannot afford air conditooners in the home nor a camp or summer activity centre, The slides cost 25-40$ depending. Jewellry again, I don’t know as it could be a gift for a child and they may not have the money otherwise HOWEVER buying jewellry on a regular basis for yourself is NOT ok in my book. The IPhone comment is perfectly reasonable as in addition to the 25 per month a basic plan of 50+ per month is required too so a total cost is more so in the 100+ per month range so no that shouldn’t be included. HOWEVER that phone could have been a gift OR they could be stuck in a 2 yr contract & had hardship occur AFTER they were locked in. Too many cell companies mandate 2 and even 3 year contracts. Alcohol & fags/cigarettes should NOT be allowed under any circumstances.
    It’s difficult to gauge an entire situation based on a checkout experience with an individual so making across the board statements about everyone who has those items still is wrong in my book. There is ALWAYS a story behind a photograph as well & it is supposed to be from the point of the individuals in it NOT what someone presumes. Thanks.

  15. 2alangroves says:

    Excellent follow up! I was even more surprised/disgusted at the welfare abuse that you detail in this article than in your last one! Thank you for sharing your experiences and sparking a much needed, and long overdue discussion.

  16. Jonathan M. Williams says:

    Christine, I think there are bigger fish to fry…The amount of waste in public aid is a drop in the bucket, and the people abusing the “system” aren’t getting rich off of it. They still lose at the end of the day…because they are still trapped in the claws of poverty. You are actually sounding like a conservative version of Jimmy Carter….trying to micromanage little problems, while failing to pay attention to the darker storm clouds ahead. Trust me…wasteful spending is out there, but you won’t find it investigating people in poverty.

  17. As a fellow conservative college student, I’m always appalled by the harassment that authors like Christine experience after sharing their opinions, especially in an age where we should be sensitive about how our actions/words affect others. There is absolutely no excuse to degrade her education, appearance, or qualifications for sharing her experiences at Walmart and opinions on the Maine welfare system. In her original article, Christine did not attack welfare recipients’ education, appearance, or prior experiences. She instead disapproved of the extravagant and unnecessary items people bought with welfare money. Feel free to agree or disagree with what you read, but for goodness sake, be reasonable and respectful of the author.

  18. Mary Ann Claxton says:

    Dear Christine-both of I am looking forward to hearing more from you in the future.

    Mary Ann Claxton

  19. Jonathan M. Williams says:

    Rachel, whenever you make your opinions public, you open yourself to a wide array of responses, whether it be ridicule, praise, or even marriage proposals ;) However, when you attack someone’s livelihood (even if it is welfare) people are going to respond heatedly and question the author’s level of expertise on the subject…as they should.

    I also am a frequent writer of “letters to the editor” in my hometown paper. I never fail to get off the wall responses, sometimes even letters in the mail attacking me for my beliefs (not to mention all of the Facebook comments). But it goes with the territory. You can count on someone else assessing your show of courage as a display of foolishness. Just make sure the facts are on your side…

  20. It is the typical liberal attack mode we all deal with Christine. Pay them no attention. You are doing the right thing. If their arguments had a leg to stand on they wouldn’t need the petty insults.

  21. Jonathan M. Williams says:

    Sophiemash, conservatives do the same thing…..Don’t pretend otherwise. We’ve got to remove the venom from our political system, and learn to work together…rather than resort to petty insults.

  22. I beg to differ. Having lived as a conservative on a liberal campus and in a liberal town, it really isn’t 50/50. Also, the hateful rhetoric being spewed from the left wing media is nowhere to be found on fox. What comes out of the mouths of bill maher, rachel maddow, chris matthews, etc. has never even been heard of from sean hannity, michelle malkin, andrea tantaros etc. And I’m really not keen on the idea of working with people who have a liberal ideology as it’s done very little good the past few years. However, that’s beside the point. Venom is, in my experience, a general characteristic of liberals. Sure, we have ann coulter on the right, but that’s all I can think of. My comment wasn’t really to gain attention from argumentative commenters like yourself but rather to reassure Christine that all the bile she’s receiving from certain individuals is par for the course, especially when you’re a conservative.

  23. I too worked as a Wal-Mart Cashier in store 1424 I believe, in Colonial Heights, Virginia.

    I worked there at three different times over a three year period, and while Wally world may not be the best position to work, it is a wonderful place to start. Could always tell when the Welfare got their money, b/c the 1st/end of month was packed. My third time working there, I had instances where there were people in my line that were buying 2-3 carts full of food. I had a couple instances where they were buying prepared food (from the deli), and a couple instances where they were buying something that shouldn’t be bought on food stamps.

    You’re right, it’s not something that occurs all them time, and it is those bad apples that give the system a bad name. It’s those bad apples that are never brought front and center. What would people say if the proof was right in front of them day in and day out. Some would look the other way and say falsehood, but most of us that are the bread and butter of the tax system would go, it’s time for a change.

    Thanks for saying what most of us think about everyday. Thank you for having the courage to not only post it, but sign your name to it. I wish some of your detractors would do just that.

    It’s easy to comment and not sign your name, it’s also cowardly. If you have something to say, say it with pride, and sign your name. People may disagree with you, you may disagree with the post, but have the decency to sign your name.

  24. The reaction to this story fascinates me. You obviously hit a nerve. But while the comments reveal strong feelings on the subject, I’m dismayed by them. Few, including your articles, offer any solutions to the problems described. We all agree welfare abuse exists at some level. We all agree we don’t want to pay taxes to support those abuses. So it would be nice to hear some more constructive comments from you and your readers. It’s easy to complain and criticize; it’s harder to find solutions.

  25. I don’t think “welfare queens” is horrific at all. They abuse the system, so that name fits them. Keep on writing!

  26. Christine you have a talent like no other. I enjoy reading your articles and understand exactly what you are writing. When others disagree and say hurtful things it’s human nature. It doesn’t make it right by any means. Others responding here are filled with hate and anger in there lives and there world views are clouded with notions of entitlement. When I was very young my mother made $3.25hr working 40 hours a week in a nursing home in Fort Worth, TX. I remember her qualifying for food stamps. As a child I recall trying to get her to purchase things like candy and junk food with the food stamps. I remember her telling me that it was not permitted and that we needed real food like eggs, milk, and bread. She didn’t use the food stamps all the time. She just used them long enough to get by. So when you inform of us of modern day abuses of the system people should listen as these things will get worse. I fear our nation will become bankrupt due to entitlements the politicians hand out for votes. It has a lot to do with human nature (those who want something for nothing) but it all comes down to government policies which allow abuses as these to flourish. This further diminishes the moral fabric of society. Christine, keep up the good work. No, what I mean is keep up the great work!

  27. Runningman says:

    “current pc student says:
    December 29, 2011 at 2:49 am
    I am honestly embarrassed at the negative publicity you are giving our school. You are an ignorant and immature brat. As a lowly cashier you have no idea why people come to your register. You do not have the right to judge them or make assumptions.”

    I am honestly embarrassed at your ignorance and immaturity! As a lowly, clueless PC student (unlike the author), you’ve shown that you have NO reading comprehension skills and probably should not be commenting as it makes you look as bad as the “Welfare Recipients Gone Wild” that did all the commenting on the previous article!! YOU don’t have the right to tell someone that THEY don’t have the right to judge someone! Who the hell made you the judge of whether someone can judge someone!? You’ve got to just love the cluelessness and hypocracy of the typical LOSER LIBERAL!!

    Sorry… Anyone with half a clue can judge when people are abusing the system, and SORRY, you don’t deserve to buy steaks, cakes, candy, and lobster with other people’s money when you are on “hard” times! If you can afford to buy a new/semi-new car, have a cell phone, buy alcohol, cigarettes, and ANY other thing that’s not necessary to survive… You SHOULD NOT be getting other people’s money!

    I don’t give a democ (rat’s) ass what your circumstances are… If you’ve got money to buy “other” or “non-essential” items, you shouldn’t get JACK SQUAT! Pay your own damn bills!

    Keep up the GOOD work Christine! If they’re squirmin’, you’re hitting the sweet spot!

    P.S. My dad graduated from PC and is a retired Army LTC!

  28. Jonathan M. Williams says:

    Sophiemesh, I don’t think you watch enough TV….I never thought I would say that to anyone!

  29. I would like to commend you on stepping back up to the plate, and reiterating what those of us who read the article saw. It wasn’t EVERYONE on welfare that you were talking about, nor was it condemning of those who use the system, it was a spotlight on those who abuse it, at least as much as you were able to see.

    I know how it feels to get the wicked comments, I got them as well, when I expanded upon your article on my blog. There are so many who are zombied into an agenda, that they will ignore anything that happens to be inconvenient to the point they want to make, just so they can get their spot on the stage.

    Keep it up, and continue to site the sources, facts confuse those who don’t have anything to back up their claims, and the more you can present, the less ammo they have.

  30. Christine –

    Your article received ran at a very appropriate time – the holiday season. That’s when Turner Classic Movies runs its holiday movies that were primarily produced in the 1940s and early 1950. Admittedly these movies are idyllic, but how the country has changed since that time. EBT cards were decades away, the family unit was pretty much intact and only a very small portion of once-great cities like Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis and Los Angeles were viewed as unsafe.

    The “Great Society” changes everything – and not for the better,

  31. While I understand what u are trying to say I also think there may have been a better way to put it in to words… parts of the first column sounded like u were judging ppl because of the words u chose. If it had been said without the colorful extras such as “welfare queens” it may have been better received. I am on food stamps and I agree with alot of what u said… I might buy one frivolous food item a month but at least I don’t buy all junk like I see at the grocery store… I am also a firm believer that everything in moderation is fine… buying ur child a birthday cake with food stamps and a toy with TANIF is hardly abuse… unless of course it happens every month with every check or it is overly excessive… I just think there was a more tactful way to word ur article….

  32. Newspapers may not report on the 5,000 planes that land safely everyday but when they talk about crashes, they do say that it is a rarity and that 5,000 planes land safety.

    Do you think it may be a sign of how messed up our country is right now that people would dump milk out for $1.50?

    I also take issue with the lack of facts – it is impossible for someone to buy lobster all the time on their cards. They would have to save up the points. Again, with the cake, and the sodas for a party, you seem to think that poor people don’t deserve nice things.

    I’m also taken back about how you feel that you shouldn’t personally be addressed in repsonses but can talk about these people when you’ve only seen a proption of their lives.

  33. As a PC alum, I want to congratulate you on standing up and speaking out! I’m sorry people are attacking you personally- hold your head up, they’re just being petty.

  34. Gee, it’s amazing at how many want to attack Christine for reporting her observance. Or, they bring up other issues and ignore the discussion at hand.

    All those with a liberal stand are going to twist the facts to fit their argument. That’s how many operate. Change the terms to fit your argument. And, that works on the ignorant.

    There is a problem. So, address the problem. Stop making excuses for the lazy and abusive members of society.

  35. Christine, you DARED to tell the truth about your direct observations. You clearly skewered several liberal sacred cows (wanna bet most of the comments are from people who don’t pay taxes?).

    Remember: when you are getting flak it means you are over the target.

    Keep it up — many of us are watching you with great admiration! (You have been linked on freerepublic.com)

  36. Same vitriol in some of these comments…..different week. Thanks for the follow-up on an outstanding article. It’s subject is a prime indicator of the crossroads we face this coming November…… http://walkingwithstefan.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/walking-toward…merica-amerika/

  37. You say the focus shouldn’t be on you, yet you spend half the article talking about all the great things that have happened to you in the past two weeks.

    You also try far too hard to make this a partisan issue. In your last article you talk about how seeing welfare fraud “reminded you why you vote conservative” implying that those on the opposite end of the spectrum approve of welfare fraud and abuse. Here you say that welfare fraud is “not what conservatives want to see nationwide.” Welfare fraud is not something that essentially ANYONE wants to see, so why do you have to skew it politically?

    Is it really so ridiculous to you that people using EBT buy steak? You understand that some steak is actually cheaper than things like pork right? What do you expect these people to eat, Ramen and Chef Boyardee? I agree that people shouldn’t be hosting parties with EBT cards, but I grew up on food stamps for a short time after my parents got divorced and I’m sure we had steak once and a while, it’s not “fraud” to buy a $4 steak with an EBT card so stop over dramatizing the situation like you continue to do.

    You make a few good points but also neglect to provide any suggestion for a solution…the current system is flawed and needs to be changed. As a young activist you should be talking about how to fix the problems not just stating that they exist. That should be your motivation, not writing articles to get noticed by Ann Coulter.

  38. Keep it up, Christine!
    I’m a PC alum and couldn’t be more proud!

  39. Preacher Keith says:

    Come to Missouri and watch people pull up to the welfare office in there Cadilacs. I see it and though it may be a small percentage it still adds up. Someone want to give me a small percentage of 5 million dollars? I really don’t want it but hope I made my point. I barely make it paycheck to paycheck myself and it is tough to watch people live better than me when I work 80 hours a week and they work none. Good for you Christine. Keep it up. I am a little concerned about the statement from current pc student being more concerned about the school than the current economic stranglehold the whole country is is. Nice to know we have other conservitive students out there.

  40. Anonymous too says:

    What are you talking about? The only way to eliminate fraud isn’t to eliminate all welfare you j_cka$$. Its to find the people that are abusing the system and eliminate THEM from the program. No, we’re not going to recover any of the money. That’s like trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip. But that turnip doesn’t get another dollar of my tax money. You don’t think there are any jobs for these people? BS. I’ve got an advanced accounting degree, and 10 years of experience in that field. Right now, I’m an overnight janitor. Why? Because its a job, and I need one. Is it glamorous? Do I enjoy it? No. You’re welcome. I’ll pay for myself. Thanks.

  41. Anonymous too says:

    Also, as an overnight janitor, I had the pleasure of going to Walmart Wednesday afternoon, and I must say, it was HILARIOUS. I would say 85% of the customers there were people who clearly were not interested in obtaining any sort of job, most of them pushing strollers, most of them stoned. The woman in front of me in line paid with an EBT, the woman behind me had here EBT card out, and I could overhear the next lane over a beautiful conversation about an EBT card. “I don’t know how much is left on this, so let me know when it shuts me off.” “I can do that. Is there any of this stuff you need more than other things? I can scan those first.” “Well I definately need my frozen pizza, my diet soda, and my people magazine”. Classic. Put the vegetables back.

    The best way to describe this is simple. When I was 10 years old, and my mother made meatloaf, I ate it. I hate meatloaf. But I had no other means to provide for myself, so I ate it. Period. If I had my own money, I could decide otherwise. How about a system gets put in place where people who can’t fend for themselves don’t get to buy anything they want. Limit them to chicken and vegetables. That’s whats for dinner. Until you get a job. Yum. It worked for 100 years up until recently. Ask your grandparents what they used to eat every night. I bet it was delicious.

  42. Keep up the good work, Christine! There is a crippling plague of dependency and entitlement that is overtaking this country. I was beginning to think all young people were brainwashed beyond all hope until I found you. I have small children and the liberal brainwashing they’re subjected to every day at elementary school is horrifying. It’s nice to know that not every young person has allowed themselves to be indoctrinated by government-loving socialists. You’re fighting the good fight. Don’t back down. Our country needs more young people like you.

    And @Anonymous too, your comments are pure perfection!

  43. I agree with you, and I enjoyed the article Christine… oh, and I’m a liberal. So let’s stop the party bashing (on both sides) and stick to the issue at hand.

  44. So you ignorant people that disagree with Christine’s articles don’t mind paying for other people’s luxury items when you probably don’t even buy that stuff yourself (i.e.- lobster, steak, toys, etc.)? Because I’m pretty sure I could be using MY hard-earned money for MYSELF instead of seeing it being wasted on worthless, lazy citizens that don’t even try to find jobs. Do me a favor and give all your money to welfare recipients and the government for extravagant spending purposes.. That’s what you’re doing anyway!

  45. I thought it was a good summary of a personal experience. As usual liberal apologists will attack you as the whistle blower rather than examine the phenomenon itself. It’s all they can do since an examination of the situation would prove their cause to be irrational and unjustified. Pay them no mind and continue on your path; you, as all who work hard, will be recognized and rewarded, while those who do not, well, I guess they’ll also be rewarded until welfare is reformed.

  46. Steve Roberts says:

    I’m never amazed at the capacity of the blind conservative crusaders to ignore the huge abuse of corporate welfare, corporate bought politicians, and Wall Street’s bilking of the economy and to take cheap anecdotal shots at penny ante fraud. They seem to cloak themselves in the righteous indignation of counting missing grains of rice whilst ignoring the heaping piles of rat pooh in the grain mix creating their thought process.

    It would have been more interesting if she had posted something about the former head of the turnpike authority who bilked the state out of a half million dollars, yet is being allowed to pay it back rather than face criminal charges. Or, the Speaker of the House who bilked the state for $1.2M in prescription overcharges never to be prosecuted, or the current governor’s purchasing “maybe” 400 jobs in Millinocket at the price of $17M in future liability for Maine’s taxpayers. That happens to be a cost of approximately $42,500 per job. Do we count that as welfare? Corporate welfare?

    Come on Ms. Rousselle, where is your outrage on these abuses of Maine’s taxpayer money?

    And yet you parrot the erroneous use of statistics used by Governor LePage even though the figures were adequately rebutted in various news sources. Your selective use of information to match your political blindness is as disgusting as his, any chance you will take off your blinders soon?

    If these Maine welfare recipients are crooks, they are just small mirrors of their political leaders and their appointees. When will you speak truth to power rather than piling on the dis-empowered?

  47. Mr. Powers, Yours is an excellent argument for the downsizing of government at both the state and federal levels. As our government grows, so does the corruption.

  48. Steve Roberts,

    Funny how you omitted the half billion dollars given to Solyndra by the Obama Administration and wasted in an corruption scandal. If your going to bring it up you should be transparent about it. Corruption comes from within. Corporations should be prosecuted for briberies but wait, the politicians say it’s legal. Why don’t you start with your elected officials while you are on you high horse? Christine is merely addressing her observations as a cashier. As a student I applaud her for bringing up her observations as a first hand witness to abuses in the Welfare system. What have you contributed except opinion? You folks who slam corporations for making money (although ethically wrong in some cases) should look to your elected officials and protest on there lawns and at there offices. Heck they are the very ones accepting the bribes. Let me guess Steve, all you can do is type. That’s it huh? If your going to preach something put words to action. I am in Baghdad helping to make things safer for people here and back home. Just wondering what are you doing to make the world a better place? So how about we address Christine’s issues at hand? What can we do to fix or mitigate the abuses in the Welfare system in Maine? Any takers?

  49. Yeah,,, Like,,, Really? says:

    Kyle,
    If you are in Baghdad now thinking, as you say, you are helping make things safer for people there and back home, it actually sounds as if you are still sucking at the teet of big government with a cute and endearing story of how you are really saving the world. By the way, be sure and let us know back here in Maine when you find those elusive chemical, biological, and nuclear WMD’s that called you over.

    After a trillion dollars is spent on the misadventure of war in Iraq by the people from whom you borrow cliches, you think you’ve found the kryptonite to use on Obama with Solydra? It seems obvious you don’t realize the Solyndra deal was created during the “conservative” Bush administration.

    But let’s really get down to it. You’d rather pick fights with brother Americans over a few chicken feed welfare abuses than speak truth to power as Roberts above suggests. Don’t you get the strategy? As long as the people at the bottom of the pyramid are fighting among themselves over meaningless government hand outs like a bunch of angry jealous children they will never have any power to alter corruption.

    If you are such a patriotic helper of people, why are you in Baghdad? Why aren’t you here in Maine helping your fellow Americans, making a difference with those who may not really need to be on welfare to give it up? Why are you half a world away making them wrong rather than embracing them as your fellow citizens? What is the source of your anger? And by the way, anger and righteousness rarely make a difference.

  50. Why is everyone appauling her for being a whistle blower? Really, is it surprising that there are a few people that abuse the system? Why did the originial article need to be written? It’s not news, its not a majority, its not some grand discovery. It’s some privilege college student’s watering down of her experiences.

    Further, anyone critizing Obama and the Dems – you realize that laws and government programs take a while to take effect, right? That even though we’ve been talking about Obamacare since 2009, it won’t take effect until 2014? That most of the programs that have been established under Obama were in the works under Bush?

    Further, under Bush our military budget grew and there was no outcry from conservatives? But when someone is buying soda for a party (the poor aren’t allowed to be happy) there’s an outcry?

  51. And yes, I pay taxes, yes I’m employed full time and yes, if someone wants to buy their child a birthday cake using my tax money, I’m perfectly fine with that.

    And no, I don’t judge people who drive nice cars and use EBT cars. You don’t know them, you don’t know their stories, you don’t know if they got the car during better times, if they would lose money by turning it in for something nicer, etc.

    Bascially, no one knows these people other than five minutes that they spend at a check out line and yet we all feel comfortable passing judgement on them.

    Yeah, I’m ashamed of America alright. So much for loving our fellow men.

    I bet Jesus wouldn’t care if someone used their EBT for lobster, man was a fisherman after all.

  52. Again, the only defense, if it can be called that, is not to explain the identified offense but to instead point out something else. I think we can all agree that there’s corruption to be found in corporations just as in government. Does that make corruption acceptable? At any level? Nope. The only answer is to starve corporations of our business, politicians of our votes, and welfare abusers of the gravy train upon which they depend to sustain their way of life. That is all.

  53. Hey Michelle, my son’s birthday is next month. Shall I send the bill for the cake to you? Thanks!

  54. I consider myself as politically independent. Information congregates like The College Conservative are valuable sources of public opinion, some articles actually seem to attract large number of comments.

    There are two kinds of welfare people. One kind has no or only little interest to contribute to society in form of work. The other kind is forced out of employment by various means of life. I do not want to be rude but for instance imagine the following case:

    A person applies to an engineering comany, in a rather small town. The interview results in a hiring even if they weren’t too fond, after all. Then the new employee is assigned some actually boring tasks. There is a computer in his office. The communication with his manager, and also some of the workers makes him experience they are rather rude. Then after two weeks he encounters a rather hudge directory of media files on the computer, relating to pornography, including illegal subjects. He does not view it, but he leaves the company without discussion. In the following 2 years, he lives from welfare, but actually is experiencing strong harassment by the city council staff responsible for welfare, and ultimatively, this person becomes even forced to give up residence in this town, and this person decides to leave the country where he has grown up.

    Is this a lazy one not willing to work, wasting off welfare money for luxury goods such as PC software, internet access, carbonated soft drinks, and browsing through most of the food that is available in supermarkets?

    Seriously, consider the era of time when there was not welfare, in England children young as 8 years were sent into mines to dig for coal manually. Nowadays, in south American countries, many youths see no choice but to live on the streets, in slums, to sniff glue, and to whore off themselves (not explicitely, they are hired on daily basis for instance to carry out tasks such as shopping).

    On the one side I consider your article as good, outlining obscure instances of welfare abuse (let alone the idea the receipients are free to use their welfare how they see it fit, given the fact they must declare their income situation, and they are not free to move).

    On the other side, welfare is a neccessary instance for people which are willing to work, even have good qualification, but are pushed out of the job market by various means and for various reasons.

    People refusing available employment for no apparent reasons could be called lazy or even not social. But there must be available employment in the first instance. What if you browse numerous companies in one sector of employment, and they give a statement that currently, they are not hiring?

    My blog is http://hitechworld.org/stoprisk/

  55. Hi Jase, are you on welfare? No? Then please check your privilege. You completely missed the point, particularly since I don’t mind my tax dollars paying for it. So unless you want to submit your birthday cake bill to the government, I’m not sure where you’re going with your lame joke.

  56. And I fail to see how someone using their EBT for birthday cake is abusing the system. Are the poor suspose to live off ramen, dress in rags and sleep in cardboard boxes?

  57. Boy, the liberal hyperbole in the comments here is astounding. Does anyone have a rational, unemotional, non-why-do-you-hate-poor-people response? Here are the facts: when you pay people to not work and there are no limits or real, enforceable requirements, then people aren’t going to work. They’re going to continue to live off of the government, especially when there is no longer a stigma, or shame, in doing so. Do any of the liberal responders here see the irony at all that this college student was working her proverbial butt off at a minimum-wage paying job and could never afford the lobster and other luxury items that these abusers of welfare were purchasing on their EBT cards? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

  58. I deplore welfare abuse, but I think Christine is a pathetic attention whore, like her idol Ann Coulter.

  59. Actually allyHM, most welfare recipients leave in the first two years.

    We actually don’t know how Christine pays for college – but I’ll let you know that two summers at Walmart isn’t paying for it alone. There could be parental help, government aid or scholarships involved. We don’t know, so there’s no point in commenting on it.

    What everyone seems to be ignoring is how unthought out her original article was. For instance, the Welfare Queen comment, the inability to acknowledge that a cell phone could of come from better times or gifted, and that if someone is buying a lobster that means they’re probably eating nothing. No one seems to want to acknowledge that there are set times to add money to an EBT – its not like a person runs out and can just go get money at any time.

    If Christine feels “attacked,” I think that says more about our culture and how we raised our kids to think that anything negative is “bullying” or people are “just haters.” When you put something out into the public, you have to be ready to accept criticisms, particularly is one wants to be a journalist.

    I hope Christine continues to write but learns something from this and researches more thoroughly next time.

  60. PATRIOTIST says:

    As a hardcore Conservative who grew up Poor, I am appalled at the people attacking this well written, intelligent young lady. All you whiners telling her to have compassion, grow up. I have a deadbeat sister, 4 kids with 4 different baby daddies, she has multiple tvs, AC, A nice house in a good neighborhood, drives a ford EXCURSION, premium cable, internet, gets entertainment money, travel money to take the kids to visit their Grandparents out of state, and a lot more, PROVIDED BY THE TAXPAYERS! We grew up without AC, My Mother worked 2 jobs to put food on the table, often the only meat we had was wild game. We got buy driving beater vehicles, family vacations were a rare treat. No color tv until 1982, and I had no Idea what MTV was until I went to college.
    I see these entitlement types all the time, neighbor down the street, 5 kids, unmarried, also on welfare, 2 year old luxury car, second largest house in the neighborhood, 20ft above ground pool, hot tub,,,, For those telling her to “Volunteer” or “work at a shelter” try it sometime your self. I Spent Thanksgiving at a Turkey giveaway a few years back. Was overwhelmed by the number of people who showed up in nicer vehicles than the volunteers, people with expensive cell phones, $60 nails, $100+ hairdos, Gold and Diamond “grilles”, and how many of them tried to scam multiple Freebies, for their Relatives at “Home”. We also had to stamp the Turkeys, as the local grocers had problems with an influx of “Returns”.

  61. oh, honey says:

    i’m with “Mummy” and “current PC student” and “Rebecca Randolph” and “Michelle”

    you have good intentions and it’s totes cute how you’re like 20 and trying to make huge statements and generalizations abotu welfare about the world, but… no. and it’s not liberals commenting in disagreement with you, it’s people who practice empathy with the poor and understand their plight and the existence of the welfare system.

    you are right in that abuse is wrong, but still- you can’t be the judge of what they buy.

  62. This was the comment I tried to post on Jezebel’s op-ed. [ http://jezebel.com/5870188/insufferable-brown-haired-20%20year%20old-believes-shes-the-second-coming-of-ann-counter ] (Notice she cannot even spell Miss Coulter’s name properly). However, she has me blocked. That just further demonstrates how open-minded she is to actual facts.

    Miss Jezebel;

    What a horrible opinion based solely upon emotive emotional heart-string pulling and completely devoid of relevant facts you have presented here.

    First, on the cell phone commentary. Home phones are cheaper, more reliable, and cover that “necessity” of communication you claim these people are “entitled” to. Sorry, an iPhone IS a luxury, not a right or a necessity.

    Secondly, yes, welfare recipients do have birthdays. That does not make them entitled to spend MY money on their parties. Having a birthday does not entitle one to spend welfare funds on a huge cake. It isn’t a necessity. It isn’t a right. It is irresponsible. It is unethical. It is immoral. It is also fraud.

    The third point is that Miss Rouselle has aspirations. She is WORKING to achieve those aspirations. Your opinion here is nothing less that an attempt to crush the dreams of a productive, hard working young person to pursue happiness. That is a crime against the basic inalienable rights our country is founded upon. You obviously hate anybody who is working to succeed. What is she, a threat to your inability to do the same? Why don’t you work towards achieving on your own merits instead of attempting to destroy those of others?

  63. “Oh Honey” guess what! I CAN Comment on what they are buying. Why? IT’S MY MONEY! That’s right. It is MY money. I earned it, they are spending it.

    And “empathy” is but one part of reason. It should be taken into account, but it is subordinate to LOGIC and FACTS. Remember,even plants and lesser animals have emotions. Only humans have REASON. It is the faculty that makes us superior.

    Don’t pull on my heart-strings unless you have empirical data to support reason. You employed a purely emotional case. That fails as an argument. You lose.

  64. It’s a little late to jump into the discussion, but I must. I have hesitated because when I read Miss Rousselle’s essay about her Walmart experience, I was appalled. First of all, Miss Rousselle is NOT a reporter by any stretch of the imagination. Reporters state objective facts that can be backed up by reliable sources. This Walmart article was not based upon fact. It was based upon Miss Rousselle’s subjective experiences with a very limited segment/percentage of the welfare population: A population that she appears to have been predjudiced about from the very beginning. So, let’s call her article what it is. It is an Editorial, expressing her opinion.

    Editorials and opinions are fine. We have our First Amendment Rights, after all. That is not what almost made me part company with my recently consumed lunch when I read Miss Rousselle’s editorial. (and that’s what it is, having studied Journalism) What caused my automatic gag reflex was her dehumanizing portrayal of people she only met for five minutes or so casually at a cash register and her rush to judgment. How dare they buy good food?? I took special offense by her condesending label of people she did not even know as “welfare queens.” Too bad we don’t have a Nieman Marcus store in the Portland area that Miss Rousselle could work at while working her way through college. That way she could deal with a much more suitable class of clientele, rather than those lazy welfare queens.

    A little about me. Once upon a time I was a Reagan Republican. Those days are long gone. I have NEVER been on welfare, having worked all of my life. I am retired but I STILL work part time. I am financially OK for the time being. AND I pay taxes. I pay LOTS of taxes.(Possibly more than Miss Rousselle will ever pay in her lifetime) I’ve always paid them. In my Reagan years, I did resent those who were on welfare. I can remember the resentment I had that my taxes were going to support someone else, while I was working so hard just to get by. But I have grown up. I do not resent my tax dollars going to support people in need anymore. I am doing what I have to do in order to live in a free society. I DO resent my hard earned money going to bail out banks and corporations that are not being held accountable for the mess this country is in.

    Yes, there is fraud in welfare. Both Conservatives and Liberals will agree on this. I do not know how both sides can go about having a constructive dialogue to solve the problem with editorials like Miss Rousselle’s getting undue attention. Looking at facts and numbers would be much more constructive rather than relying upon hasty and prejudicial observations.

    This what really scares me. This is a quote from Miss Rousselle defending herself as the “Brunette Messenger:”

    ” If my article inspired anyone to turn in a neighbor/friend/relative who was committing fraud, then I’ve done my job as a reporter. That’s the real story here, folks.”

    Yup. Some great reporting job. Didn’t Hitler try that in the 1930’s?

    And, after reading Miss Rousselle’s Editorial, I am reminded of why I now vote Democrat.

  65. PATRIOTIST says:

    REPORTING FRAUD
    http://www.ucowf.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=107&Itemid=65
    HHS Inspector General’s Hotline toll-free at 1-800-447-8477

  66. Runningman says:

    “Susan_S says: It’s a little late to jump into the discussion, but I must”

    You would’ve been better off keeping your mouth shut! You just proved what a clueless tool you are!

    “Susan_S says: Yup. Some great reporting job. Didn’t Hitler try that in the 1930′s?

    And, after reading Miss Rousselle’s Editorial, I am reminded of why I now vote Democrat.”

    You’re trying to

  67. Runningman says:

    continued from above: compare turning in welfare cheats to what Hitler did??!!

    You vote democrat because you’re either a moocher, or part of the sheeple who actually believe they’re out to help the unfortunate!

    Democrats are there for ONE reason… To make you think they care about you by giving you other people’s money, and to keep THEMSELVES in power and money! The moochers will ALWAYS vote democrat, but If the sheep actually caught a clue what was REALLY going on, they would lose elections in a landslide!

    WAKE UP SHEEP!!

  68. @runningman…. glad I made your day. And I am not going to dignify your response with any attempt to educate you with logic as I can see that you are past the point of thinking clearly or objectively. You.Are.A.Lost.Cause. And I have a right to my opinions. :-)

  69. I posted my continued thoughts on the subject here:
    http://pg-matuszak.blogspot.com/2012/01/laymans-view-on-government-subsidies.html

    Miss Rousselle, don’t let the naysayers get you down. The fact your articles have generated this type of discussion and controversy is a compliment.

  70. As a professional person that did a stint at Walmart in order NOT to resort to food stamps, I can only say thank you to Christine. I transfered to the Electronics Dept because I knew one day as a cashier I would be unable to keep my mouth shut. The abuse is shameful. My Walmart days are over, but if it ever happens again I am going straight to the food stamp line. I see no reason why I should suffer such a hardship as working at Walmart when I can get what I need at the taxpayers expense!! Thanks guys!!

  71. PATRIOTIST says:

    Susan_s yes you have a right to your opinion, and the rest of us have a right to the fruits of our LABOR. Your right is in the amendments, Ours is endowed by our Creator.

  72. @Patriotist – Thanks for at least acknowledging I have the right to express my opinion, even if it does not follow the current conservative party line. Thanks for reminding me that I am also protected by the Constitution and the Amendments. I feel safe now.

    Just so you know, I worked hard all my life, lived frugally, invested wisely and prudently, never took a handout, and I AM currently enjoying the fruits of my own LABOR. I made it! I’m comfortable. I’m secure, And I’m content! And (*surprise here*) I don’t mind sharing! i probably worked harder than most of the posters here who are complaining how tough they have it while others are “mooching” off the system. I simply do not begrudge or judge others who are less fortunate than myself and do not mind paying my fair share of taxes. It is the price I pay to live in a free society. I happen to inconveniently believe that others who are less fortunate than I am should be treated with dignity and not dehumanized as some posters here, especially the author, would do. When we do that, we lose our humanity. I used to judge and resent people, just like many of the posters here are doing now. What good did it do? It didn’t solve anything. It just gave me a false sense of superiority at someone else’s expense. Maybe some of you need that in order to feel better about yourselves. I don’t know. I just know that it does not work. It does not make you feel better, having done that myself.

    As I get older, I am consciously trying to become less judgmental and spiteful of others. I heartily recommend it. It feels good. You don’t have to run around being bitter all the time. Being judgmental is not my job. It’s the job of MY CREATOR to judge others. And, YES, I do have a Creator: the same ONE that created ALL of us, including those inconvenient, drain-on-society, welfare recipients we are currently discussing. Actually, I have the same Creator as you do. Imagine that! So, please do not go down that slippery slope telling us that only conservatives are privy to the Creator’s will. That kind of self-serving, fractured logic got us into too many wars. This entire dialogue and why it upsets me so much, is a form of class warfare. We should know better than that by now.

  73. PATRIOTIST says:

    First “our Creator” is an inclusive remark, do not attempt to put words in my mouth. He is everyone’s Creator, whether they claim him or not. Define Fair share? Yes I want a number. If you will not define what you think is fair, then do not make the statement. here is the current income tax structure. Not very FAIR is it.
    top 1% 36.73
    Top 5% 58.66
    Top 10% 70.47
    Top 25% 87.30
    Top 50% 97.75
    Bottom 50% 2.25
    Looks like the harder I work, the more I study, the more I struggle, the better the decisions I make, the more I succeed, The higher the percentage of my fruits, the govt takes, to redistribute to those who do not. Fair would be, if I risk everything I have, Put in long hours, bust my ass to succeed, and develop a business that employs hundreds or even thousands of people, providing jobs for people to feed their families, then the Govt would not demand that I share the profits, My fruits, and the fruits of my workers, with those who refuse to work. Instead those who provide jobs are demonized and attacked, and those who mooch and abuse the system, as the critics in this forum prove are held up as somehow above reproach. Some people do need help, but as the Founders believed, it is not Govt’s job to provide it.
    You have the right to pay whatever you think is fair to you, just do not demand that others be held to your standard, or a higher standard. What do I define as fair. How about everyone pay 10%. No progressive redistribution, no crony GE govt deals, no corp subsidies for Green or other favored industry. If you like to share, Go for it, I would never criticize anyone for sharing “THEIR” fruits, it is when people demand that Govt force others to share their wealth that we disagree.
    As to *surprise here* sharing, every study shows that we Conservatives give far more to charity than libs and progressives. Also studies show that Conservatives are far happier, and not as Bitter as Libs.

  74. Well….let’s see. My marginal tax rate is 25%. Would that put me in the top 50%? Definitely. I think I’m in the top 25% and I’m grateful, not resentful, to be there. As for that bottom 50% that only pays 2.25 of the total: the nerve of the working poor! There’s this other obvious fact that conservatives conveniently tend to forget. There are additional taxes out there that the bottom 50% pays, including sales tax, real estate tax, excise tax, payroll tax. Need I go on? The bottom 50% are not exactly the “bottom feeders” conservatives would like to have us believe.

    And, our government does have the right to levy income taxes. It’s in the Amendments to the Constitution. The taxes we pay do not exclusively subsidize the poor. They are used to pay for our military, build roads and bridges, provide consumer protections, regulate industry, and provide the services we take for granted. If you add Maine taxes, Real Estate taxes, and Excise taxes, I’m probably closer to the 40% rate. I don’t especially like it, but I’m not going to stomp my feet and whine like a spoiled child and refuse to pay. Do I think the top 1% should pay more? They should just eliminate all the loopholes and pay their fair share. I really think you are blaming the bottom 50% for the perceived injustices you are facing while it is the top 1% that is robbing you blind.

    Are you really that naive to believe that these so called “job creators” actually create jobs? I haven’t seen much of that going on lately with Americans mindlessly consuming Chinese imports while these esteemed job creators take advantage of cheap overseas labor. When these “saviors” of our economy actually create some decent paying jobs here in the USA, repatriate some of their profits that they’ve been hoarding overseas in tax haven countries, and start paying taxes on them, maybe then I will reconsider. History has shown us that the old Reagan “Trickle Down” theory is not working. Didn’t Einstein say something to the effect that the definition of insanity is doing something the same way over and over again and expecting different results?

    I’m a Moderate – a vanishing breed of individual these days, as our nation becomes increasingly polarized and incapable of having meaningful dialogue and solving problems. Is constructive dialogue too much to ask for? I’m willing to consider conservative viewpoints as long as they offer viable solutions and do not simply vilify and dehumanize people. I don’t see much chance of that happening around here. Oh, and that part about conservatives being charitiable givers and less bitter than liberals? Yeah, Right. Good for them. I have my doubts, though, based upon what I’ve been seeing. They certainly sound bitter enough with some of the comments they’ve been making here.

  75. Susan; yes the Amendment allows for an income tax. However, the US Constitution states what that tax revenue is allowed to be used for.

    Since you brought up the US Constitution, I dare you to show me where that document grants the US Government the right to take that money and decide what charities or subsidies it can go to. Where does it EXPLICITLY STATE that the USGOV has the power to give that tax revenue to the poor? Where in that document do we, the people, grant them the right to provide food stamps, EBT, or any other subsidy.

    Show me. (hint, it isn’t in there.)

    However, the Defense Budget is.

  76. Quite frankly, the Constutional Arguments used by tax protesters are as old as the hills and quite boring. It is the job of Congress to pass tax laws. The House and Senate versions are hammered out in Joint Committee. (You ought to read some JCC notes sometimes – fascinating stuff. It’s very informative as it provides a glimpse into the intent of Congress when legislating Code Sections.) Treasury will then (not always) promulgate Regulations, further explaining the meaning of the Code.

    One very common theme of tax protest/resistance involves individuals who are anti-war and refuse to pay the pro-rata portion of their taxes that are earmarked for military activity. I bring this up because the principle of refusing to pay taxes because an individual is against government provided social services is exactly the same. “If I don’t like it, I shouldn’t have to pay for it.” Many of these disputes end up in the court system.

    At the very bedrock of our Democracy lies our system of checks and balances. Our Judicial system is often called upon to resolve disputes involving taxation and/or the legality of same. Here are just a few examples:

    United States v. Bressler, 772 F.2d 287, 291 (7th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1082 (1986) – the court upheld Bressler’s conviction for tax evasion, noting, “[he] has refused to file income tax returns and pay the amounts due not because he misunderstands the law, but because he disagrees with it . . . . [O]ne who refuses to file income tax returns and pay the tax owing is subject to prosecution, even though the tax protester believes the laws requiring the filing of income tax returns and the payment of income tax are unconstitutional.”

    Horowitz v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2006-91, 91 T.C.M. (CCH) 1120 – the court imposed sanctions in the amount of $10,000 in rejecting the taxpayer’s arguments, including the frivolous claim that he could find no statute or regulation making him liable for an income tax.

    Bonaccorso v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2005-278, 90 T.C.M. (CCH) 554 (2005) – the taxpayer filed zero returns based on the argument that he found no Code section that made him liable for any income tax. The court held that the taxpayer’s argument was frivolous citing to section 1 (imposes an income tax), section 63 (defines taxable income as gross income minus deductions), and section 61 (defines gross income). The court also imposed a $10,000 sanction against the taxpayer under section 6673 for making frivolous arguments

    There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of cases like those listed above out there. And they all go in one direction. Protestors lose and they lose big time. Moral of the story: It does not pay to be a tax protestor. If you want change, contact your legislator.

  77. No, refusing to pay for not agreeing with participation in a war is not the same.

    The US Constitution explicitly states that Congress will pass a budget for defense spending and utilization every year.

    I am not arguing against paying taxes IAW Constitutional laws. Your point is moot.

    I am against those taxes that are collected then being used on things that are UNCONSTITUTIONAL uses.

    My senators and congressmen hear from me regularly on the subjects. One of them repeatedly votes against spending on those things.

    So, again, your point is moot.

    Go back to school. You might learn something.

  78. Oh, and Susan, we live in a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy. I guess you failed Civics.

  79. My (oh so rudimentary) understanding of Civics is this: The Constitution grants Congress the authority to pass laws. The Constitution grants the Executive Branch the authority to enforce laws. The Constitution grants the Judicial Branch the authority to intepret laws.
    Checks and Balances.

    Since the Constitution grants Congress the authority to pass laws, Congress is empowered to pass legislation pertaining to taxation. They also have the authority to pass other laws, including Social Security and the other so-called “entitlement” programs you are so vehemently opposed to. They also have the authority to pass a budget and to allocate our tax dollars accordingly between these programs. Nothing unconstitutional about that.

    Sheesh!

    I agree perhaps a refresher course may be in order, but not for me.

  80. Nope.Did.Not.Fail.Civics. Graduated at the top of my class, BTW.

    We have evolved into a Democracy. We may have started out as a Rebublic, but (thankfully) we have evolved.

    At the national level the major steps toward democracy can be marked by amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Bill of Rights guaranteed limits to the power of the federal government. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery. The Fourteenth Amendment effectively extended the vote to all adult male citizens, including ex-slaves, by penalizing states that did not allow for universal male suffrage. The Fifteenth Amendment explicitly gave the right to vote to former slaves. After the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments did not extend suffrage to women, a vigorous campaign for the vote was launched by women, who received the vote through the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.

    But the main Amendment that tipped the scales from the national government of the United States being a mere republic to being a true representative democracy was the often-overlooked Seventeenth Amendment, which took effect in 1913. Since 1913 the U.S. Senate has been elected directly by the voters, rather than being appointed by the state legislatures. That makes the national government democratic in form, as well as being a republic.

    So, read THAT and weep.

  81. Democracy = Mob Rule. It means every citizen votes on every law and in every court case. No, that is NOT our system of government at all. We elect representatives based upon geographic locations with representation determined by a census. That is a REPUBLIC, and NOT a democracy.

    Your Comprachicos lied to you.

    Secondly, you did not quote the article and section of the US Constitution that grant Congress to spend tax revenues any way it wants. You quoted no section where Congress is allowed to use that revenue for food subsidies.

    The Constitution also LIMITS what laws congress is allowed to pass. I may refer you to the 10th Amendment, the Second Amendment, and the First Amendment. I can also refer you to Article 1 Sections 8 & 9 for reference on what Congress is and is NOT allowed to do. Oh, and the 10th Amendment states that if the US Constitution does not explicitly grant them the power or purview, that they are NOT allowed.

  82. Sounds like a strict constructionist point of view. I disagree.

    Here you have it. The authority you asked for. It’s right here. I’ve emphasized some parts in CAPITAL LETTERS. I think it’s very clear as to what the text means and as to the legislative powers it authorizes. The Constitution is a living document and was deliberately framed in loosely worded language in order to anticipate future changes and revisions.

    Article I
    Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

    Section 7. All Bills for RAISING REVENUE (revenue = taxes, yes?) shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

    Section 8. The Congress shall have Power To LAY AND COLLECT TAXES, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and PROVIDE for the common Defence and GENERAL WELFARE of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    -The term “General Welfare” is broad in scope, no doubt. However it is not much of a stretch of the imagination to include ‘general assistance to those in need’ within the term of general welfare.

  83. Actually, the term has NOTHING to do with what, in modern SLANG we call “welfare”. It refers to security as in law enforcement.

  84. Runningman says:

    P-G Matuszak:

    I wouldn’t waste your time arguing with Susan S, she is your typical “educated” idiot! All the education in the world can’t save this type. They finished at the top of their class, yet they have no real grasp on reality or logic.

    “But I got straight As!! I know EVERYTHING!!”

    You know everything you were taught in your book and by your liberal professors, which in a lot of cases, never applies to the REAL world. And when applied to the REAL world, it never comes out quite like you thought it would.
    “BUT, BUT, That’s because it wasn’t applied properly, didn’t have enough funding, the wrong people tried it!” BLAH, BLAH, BLLAAHHH… It’s NEVER because it JUST DOESN’T WORK, is it?!

    Hey Matuszak… “General Welfare” can apply to welfare recipients, doncha know! It’s all how it’s interpreted! With liberals, the Constitution is a “living and breathing” document. It’s interpreted the way they believe they want it to be, and should be able to be bent and shaped in the manner they see fit. There is NO black and white, no right and wrong… Only shades of gray and varying degrees of definition. It all depends what the definition of “is” is!

    I didn’t know that we evolved into a democracy after starting out as a Rebublic (sic)! According to the Pledge of Allegiance (Something Susan S probably isn’t too familiar with), you’re pledging allegiance “TO THE REPUBLIC, FOR WHICH IT STANDS”! I’m sure the democrats would like to change that if they ever got a chance to.
    The democrats WANT to make this country into a democracy, something other than what made it great in the first place. Being a Republic made the U.S. great! Being a democracy makes things deteriorate because as Matuszak said, you get MOB RULE! But HEY… That’s what Susan S wants, as long as she’s one of the ones running the show!

    If the Republicans adhered to Republican principals, we’d be in MUCH better shape than we are right now. The problem is that many of the Republicans have evolved into democrats, while the democrats have evolved in to socialists/marxists/communists and are working to destroy the American way of life with the help of the Lame-Steam Media, Hollywood, & public schooling, which just LOVE to cheer-lead liberal beliefs and denigrate conservatives!

    One thing’s for sure… We currently have a mess on our hands with the current “crew” running our country into eternal debt for all the garbage they’ve passed and the money they’ve handed out. And Christine is RIGHT… The welfare system is being MASSIVELY ABUSED by MANY PEOPLE and needs to change!

    Don’t bother responding Susan S… You’ve been sufficiently brainwashed by the liberal establishment, lapped it up and lived it, and no matter how intelligent you “think” are, to people with a grasp on logic and reality the only thing that comes out on the keyboard is “BLAH, BLAH, BLAAAHHH”!!!

    GOOD JOB CHRISTINE AND MATUSZAK!!

  85. Did I just witness a MAJOR temper tantrum, Dude? Complete with stomping, whining, and all? You resorted to personal attacks while I tried to engage in a civil discourse and kept my cool. Don’t you guys possess sufficient language skills to have a logical, constructive debate? And I’m a moderate/independent. God forbid what would have happened if I were a liberal. You guys would have blown an artery.

    Did you know that nowadays, Nixon would have been labeled as a Moderate? That’s how extreme and polarized this so called “republic” has become and how you have bought hook line and sinker into the insanity.

    And (here’s the irony) I think Miss Rousselle has potential as a writer. I hope she does not waste it by attacking people and situations she knows little about, does a little research first, and tones down her rhetoric a little. That comes with growing up. (I hope)

    It looks like I ruffled some “conservative” feathers. That’s good. My work here is done. See ya around. :-)

  86. PATRIOTIST says:

    @pg MAtu and Running mna This forum needs a like Button. Rather obvious who has studied the Founders, the federalist Papers, and who went to a socialist college. Keep up the fight.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Christine Rousselle — whose column two weeks ago about what she described as welfare abuses as witnessed from the position of cashier at Walmart went viral on the Internet — is back with a follow-up. […]

  2. […] and outrageous abuses of the welfare system that I observed while working summers at Walmart.  My follow-up looked at how those who didn’t like my message made me the message.  This one will blow your […]

  3. […] at the tail end of December, she came back with a follow-up, arguing critics of her first column were just attacking her personally and not engaging with her […]

  4. […] and outrageous abuses of the welfare system that I observed while working summers at Walmart.  My follow-up looked at how those who didn’t like my message made me the message.  This one will blow your […]

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