Gee, where would Republicans like Mitt Romney get the notion that about 47 percent of the electorate “believe that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing”?
The scheme was first reported in May, when Dallas-based Atmos Energy warned its 3 million customers in 12 states that scammers had been asking for Social Security numbers to enroll in the faux federal program. According to the pitch—distributed via email, Facebook, text message, phone and, in some cases, door-to-door sales—the government would pay a month of energy costs through credits offered by the Obama administration.
PSE&G, the New Jersey gas and electric delivery utility, issued a similar warning the same month. According to MSNBC, there were 10,000 reported victims in New Jersey in recent weeks, and thousands more in North Carolina, Indiana and Pennsylvania.
The offer even includes a fake Federal Reserve bank routing number for those who enroll, and solicits “success stories” to pass along to friends online.
According to the Lehigh Valley Morning Call, some residents said that their duped neighbors were enlisted to spread the offer. “My neighbor comes running with a paper that had a routing and account number,” Caroline Morales of Bethlehem, Penn., told the paper. “She said Obama was helping people pay their utility bills, mortgage and any bills you had.”
This MSNBC article describes “tens of thousands” falling for the scam. Here’s another article about the scam in Florida, where “about 4,500 customers have tried to use false bank information provided by the scammers to pay their utility bill.”
This sort of scam only works if there is a significant pool of people who find it completely plausible that the federal government, and this president, would pay their utility bill for them.
WOMAN #1: I don’t know, his stash. I don’t know. (laughter) I don’t know where he got it from, but he givin’ it to us, to help us.
WOMAN #2: And we love him.
WOMAN #1: We love him. That’s why we voted for him!
WOMEN: (chanting) Obama! Obama! Obama! (laughing)
Folks in the media are asking, “How could he say this?” Folks on the Right, who see a growing dependency mentality sucking away the nation’s drive, work ethic, and independence, are asking, “How could he say this only behind closed doors? “