Below, I asked: 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”? — and offered some examples.
But the examples are ubiquitous.
Besides the “Obama will pay for your utility bill” scam, there’s the “Obama will pay your cell-phone bill” scam:
Despite a text message claiming otherwise, President Barack Obama is definitely not paying your cellphone bill.
Scammers have been spreading text messages promising that the president will cover your bill in full, and all you have to do to take advantage of this amazing deal is to send your account number to a bank account number included in the text.
Again, this sort of scam only works if a significant number of people believe the government would, can, and should do something like this.
In the Bronx in April of this year, “huge crowds” lined up at an “income tax business” run out of a “99 cent store” to turn over their financial information and IDs to get a “prepaid debt card” allegedly worth $1,000, claimed to be “Obama stimulus money.”
“What did they say about Obama?” Wallace asked.
“That we would get a thousand dollars and you would sign,” a person in line said.
“And you would get a thousand dollars? This was Obama stimulus money?” Wallace asked.
“Yes,” the person answered, “I activated the card and there was nothing on it.”
We remember the video of the young, healthy man singing about the joys of “EBT” — Electronic Benefits Transfer, the more technologically advanced way of distributing food stamps. (Language warning for the above link.) The artist who made the video later explained the video was meant as a parody of those who abuse welfare benefits; one wonders how many folks got the joke.
This video offers some more anecdotes of people on the welfare line, saying that they’ll take “whatever the hell they got to offer.” (Another language warning.) One of them refer to the payments as “I’m here trying to get some Obama bucks, that’s what I’m doin’, trying to get some Obama money.”
Or how about the reaction to rent vouchers in 2010?
Sixty people were taken to hospitals Wednesday in this Atlanta suburb after a lengthy wait and an angry mob scene in a sweltering shopping-center parking lot. Those treated for heat exposure and injuries from scuffles were among 30,000 people who had lined up for a waiting list for just 455 vouchers to cover part of their rent.
Some camped out for nearly three days in temperatures that neared 100 degrees, including pregnant women, elderly in wheelchairs and people who drove down from New York City and Philadelphia, hoping to get on the waiting list in East Point for Housing Choice, or Section 8, vouchers.
What’s fascinating is that people will stand on line for hours, for a 1-in-65 chance that they’ll get a voucher for part of their rent, rather than seek more reliable methods of making money to pay for that rent.