[WELL, ISN’T THIS SWEET. I HEARD ABOUT RICH, WEALTHY RIGHT-WING ASSCLOWNS PRESSING TO HAVE THEIR AGENDA PRESENTED ON NPR OR THEY WOULD QUIT FUNDING THEM (VIA THEY CORPORATIONS THEY OWN), SO THE PEOPLE AT NPR ROLLED OVER AND ARE NOW TOUTING THE FASCIST LINE! THEY ARE SIMPLY MAINSTREAM MEDIA LACKEY’S NO BETTER THAN FOX NEWS NOW. WHAT A SHAME!]
(Image: Disabled woman via Shutterstock)
Nearly two decades after Bill Clinton ended “welfare as we know it,” we’re seeing a new push to decimate what’s left of the safety net.
Conservatives and liberals alike who drank the Kool-Aid about the “success” of welfare reform are still waging war on welfare. Now NPR’s Planet Money has joined the chorus with Chana Joffe-Walt’s confused and rhetoric-heavy March 22 piece “Unfit for Work: The Startling Rise of Disability in America.” (Versions also aired on This American Life and All Things Considered.)
Liberal policy analysts and progressive media groups have already responded to the inaccuracies in Joffe-Walt’s piece. Those include her claims about parents getting their children on disability benefits in scam-like ways and her misrepresentations about access to the programs.
These stories have been largely right to focus on these issues—access is actually extremely difficult. The scandal is not that it’s too easy for the non-disabled to get benefits, as Joffe-Walt claims, but that it’s too hard for the disabled to be approved.
But there’s more to the story.
Joffe-Walt’s piece is part of a long lineage of shock journalism that targets poverty programs by misstating the facts and cynically focusing scrutiny on poor people who have almost nothing.
She’s one of many in the policy, journalistic, and academic worlds who are still trying to roll back the meager assistance available to poor people. The attack on disability benefits is part of a larger effort to reduce social service spending by the federal government—whether it be postal service, subsidized housing, or supported income.
Their consensus is that the state owes the working class—including those unable to get or hold a job—nothing…