Boston Bombers were on Welfare, and They Were Far From Alone

We actually have two major welfare stories today. The first is about the Boston bombers, who, it turns out were among those immigrants we're always chided not to notice: They were on welfare. As good Americans we're supposed to pretend that immigrants (I'm married to a legal immigrant, by the way, so no, Grover Norquist, I'm not "anti-immigrant") don't come here to get on welfare. Even though millions of immigrants do come here, legally or otherwise, and then get on welfare. Like the Tsarnaevs.

Marathon bombings mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism, the Herald has learned.

State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, was receiving benefits along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter. The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits. Russell Tsarnaev’s attorney has claimed Katherine — who had converted to Islam — was working up to 80 hours a week as a home health aide while Tsarnaev stayed at home.

And why was he a stay-at-home dad? Was Katherine working so he could pursue his dream of building bombs?

In addition, both of Tsarnaev’s parents received benefits, and accused brother bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were recipients through their parents when they were younger, according to the state.

The news raises questions over whether Tsarnaev financed his radicalization on taxpayer money.

Ya don't say.

This family came here seeking asylum. They ended up drawing welfare. Their sons ended up mass killers who hate us.

So there's that welfare story. Here's another. The Obama government keeps selling sequestration as a horror story, straining the FAA and airports, and so forth. But while it's doing that with one hand, it's still actively recruiting to get more Americans on welfare with the other. The Washington Post has a long, detailed profile of a welfare recruiter on its front page today. The food stamp program, which was rebadged as "SNAP" during the Bush years, has in the Obama years become a sales program. SNAP advertises on radio to Americans who have jobs, own their homes and own their cars. Recruiters sell it as a means for people to get what they're owed. It uses sales techniques to remove the stigma of taking government assistance. It treats Americans like sales targets.

To help enroll more seniors, the government has published an outreach guide that blends compassion with sales techniques, generating some protests in Congress. The guide teaches recruiters how to “overcome the word ‘no,’ ” suggesting answers for likely hesitations.

Welfare stigma: “You worked hard and the taxes you paid helped create SNAP.”

Embarrassment: “Everyone needs help now and then.”

Sense of failure: “Lots of people, young and old, are having financial difficulties.”

It's sold in parties and even as a way to be patriotic.

Rhode Island hosts SNAP-themed bingo games for the elderly. Alabama hands out fliers that read: “Be a patriot. Bring your food stamp money home.” Three states in the Midwest throw food-stamp parties where new recipients sign up en masse.

The SNAP brochure even claims that welfare spending helps local economies, a lie that the Post was happy to pass along.

In the real world, the US spent over $1 trillion on welfare in 2011. That's money taken either out of the current economy or the future economy or borrowed from China, laundered through the inefficient government, and then put back into the economy in a way that creates dependence and, by the way, manufactures votes for the party that positions itself as generous with government benefits spending. With recruiters out there working on quotas of enrolling 150 per month, and exceeding those quotas, we'll turn out to spend more in 2012 and even more in 2013. The 2014 mid-terms are coming, dontcha know.