The Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC) lists 19 hate groups that are active in South Carolina. That number is being cited in numerous articles due to the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. What groups are listed by the SLPC?
Recently, New York Times columnist Charles Blow quoted the president speaking at Georgetown University about the poor:
“And I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving, got traction,” said the President.
“And, look, it’s still being propagated. I mean, I have to say that if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu — they will find folks who make me mad. I don’t know where they find them. [Laughter.] They’re like, I don’t want to work, I just want a free Obama phone [laughter]…”
The columnist also criticized Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly for calling poor people “lazy.”
O’Reilly then gave his opinion of Blow’s column on his TV show The O’Reilly Factor.
Below is a quote from Media Matters that was cited by Blow in his column. Media Matters states the quote is from 2004 from O’Reilly’s radio show The Radio Factor.
O’Reilly: “Reagan was not a confrontational guy, didn’t like confrontation, much rather be your pal … doesn’t want to get involved with the really nasty stuff, the tough stuff, and that’s what racial politics is — nasty and tough. … It’s hard to do it because you gotta look people in the eye and tell ’em they’re irresponsible and lazy. And who’s gonna wanna do that? Because that’s what poverty is, ladies and gentlemen.”
Are poor people lazy? What about the “working poor?” Are people who work full-time for low wages lazy? Are there times – during an economic downturn, for example – when people are forced to accept low wages?
In the UK, George Osborne – a British Conservative Party politician – proposed a freeze on working-age welfare benefits if the Conservatives are elected in 2015. But its effect may cause some to reflect.
The Chancellor calculates that it will save £3.2 billion over two years, 2016/17 and 2017/18. Treasury figures suggest the total welfare bill across those two years will be roughly £356 billion – so the saving would amount to about 0.9% of the total.
To put it another way, the freeze would not affect 99.1% of welfare spending. Nevertheless, £3 billion is not an insignificant sum and some will argue it would be an important contribution to cutting the deficit.
The question, however, is whether the real-terms cut targets the right people. Around two-thirds of those affected by the freeze are in working households.
Government figures show that some 67% of those receiving child or working tax credits are designated to be “in-work families”. Most of those in receipt of child benefit will also be working.
It will also hit some of the poorest families in Britain. Income Support, which is included in the freeze, is a benefit specifically targeted at the poor. Child benefit can be the difference between just getting by and going without the basics for some low-income families.