Yea, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer took some cheaps shot at poor people in his remarks to GOPers in Newberry a couple of weeks ago. An easy target and pure red meat for the Republican faithful, comparing children on reduced-price and free lunch programs to “stray animal.” That was bad enough. Now it turns out the whole charge was bullshit, pure demagogic malice, intended to inflame the GOP base and boost his gubernatorial campaign. Of course, all he did was embarrass South Carolina in the national media and give Jon Stewart material for a 5-minute rant. And now, according to The Greenville News, he didn’t even have the facts on his side. He was spinning off the top of his head, using 20-year-old data.
Here is an excerpt from a lengthy Greenville News analysis. This alone should disqualify Andre Bauer from ever holding another public office. See the whole story at www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20100131/NEWS/1310307/-1/rss
Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer’s comments that welfare programs in the state are out of control and recipients face no repercussions once enrolled largely don’t square with the numbers, a review of state records show.
People on welfare don’t get rewarded for having babies, the number of those receiving benefits has declined dramatically and South Carolina welfare recipients face some of the toughest limitations in the nation, according to records of the state Department of Social Services….
The Greenville News checked Bauer’s speech and statements on government aid against available records and information about government programs operating in South Carolina to separate fact from political myth.
Some of his assertions were correct, such as the number of voters now outnumbering the number of workers in the state. However, other statements appeared tied to the welfare programs of the 1980s and early 1990s that were overhauled in a 1996 federal reform effort.
“A lot of what was said was somewhat true prior to welfare reform,” said Linda Martin, state director of DSS welfare, food stamps and child-care programs. “But we have worked really hard to change the program and I think we really have.”
Records show the state’s primary welfare program rolls are less than half the number they were before federal welfare reform.