About . . . . . . Classes . . . . . . Books . . . . . . Vita . . . . . . . Links. . . . . . Blog

by Peter Moskos

May 15, 2010

Right-Wing Lies: The welfare of Larmondo "Flair" Allen

Am I really the only person who is skeptical enough to check the basic truth of emails before forwarding them to my 140 closest friends? I mean, it doesn't take too long to go to Snopes

The thing about mass-forwarded right-wing emails is that they are almost always never true. They're like the headlines in the supermarket tabloid Weekly World News. There might be a grain of truth. But the basic theme, the ultimate point, is a lie.

[Now liberals forward some lies too, but not as much. Certainly not as much since people stopped forwarding that damned "Save Sesame Street" email five years ago.]

What here's what bothers me deep down. I don't know if conservatives really care about the truth. It seems that for too many "faith" and "belief" and "firm conviction" are more valued attributes that the truth. I always think, "Gee, I might be wrong." Does that make me a wishy-washy French-loving lefty? Maybe. But if your faith and beliefs are built on lies, shouldn't that matter?

For the record: Obama was born in the U.S., Saddam Hussein was not behind September 11th, and the ACLU never tried to ban crosses from cemeteries. Just because you get an email or hear somebody who say something on talk radio doesn't make it true! Not even if they're spittle-flying mad when they say it!

So here's the latest, an obit about one Larmondo "Flair" Allen. Now this is indeed a gem (and there's nothing on Snopes).

This apparently murderous drug dealer is called "an entrepreneur." He was 25. He left eight brothers, five sisters, and nine children. Three of his daughters are named Larmondhall, Lamonshea, Larmomdriel.

So I snicker at all this. I have a sense of humor. So do most liberals (despite what many conservatives think).

But here's the text with the email. As usual with right-wing email, it's large and in many colors:
Entrepreneur?????
It took me a couple of minutes to get it, but imagine,
He's 25 and has 3 sons and 6 daughters
NINE welfare recipients collecting $1500 each.....
That equals $13,500 a month !!! Now add food stamps,
Free medical, free school lunches, on and on and on.
Now that, to me, is a real Entrepreneur.
Do the math, that's over $156,000.00 a year.
Anybody out there sittin' on their a** while reading
This message making that kind of money?

YOUR TAX $$$$ AT WORK??
So the message isn't just to laugh at the obit and this loser (and I wouldn't be surprised if the writer of this obit was fully aware of the humor in using the word "entrepreneur"), but to blame the entire Obama communist liberal welfare state for everything that is wrong with America.

First of all (and I only went online for a few minutes to find this out--so I can't vouch with certainly that this is all true), the obit is from 2004. OK, but it's still true, I suppose.

But who the hell thinks that an able bodied man (much less one with "flair") gets $1,500 a month per child? That's what set off my B.S. alarm.

I mean, this is America. We don't have such a welfare system. And yet I firmly believe that opposition to this non-existent welfare system is what drives the world view of so many conservative Americans.

And don't get me wrong. I know there is much abuse of disability and what little welfare system we have. But you can't help the "deserving poor" (my wife grew up on food stamps some of the time) without some abuse from those trying to milk the system. So friggin' what? It's not like we're talking big bucks.

In all of 10 minutes online, I couldn't find details about the welfare benefits (now called TANF) in Louisiana. But let's take Texas simply because I could find it on line. This is federal aid. In Texas, a family of eight with one or two parents gets less than $500 a month. Total. For each additional person, add... $60. [see the update below for Louisiana stats.]

$1,500 or $60 per kid? It kind of matters.

There might be some people out there who might have a kid for an extra $60 a month. But there can't be too many. But in addition to TANF, there are also food stamps and sometimes some city and state aid is well. Still, it doesn't add up to much. And if "Flair" had a legitimate job (ha!), he could get some earned income tax credit, something I have received for more than one year of my working life.

But the straight-up federal welfare for you and your Texas family of nine kids? $6,636 a year. Live large, baby. Live large.

Update, August, 2011. This is from a reader's comment:
In Louisiana, this (now) single mother with 9 children would receive $512/month with a lifetime limit of collecting this for 5 years. She'd be able to get another $500/mo roughly in food stamps and probably get some housing assistance as well.

Now as far as Survivor Benefits from Social Security for the children, it depends on whether or not Larmondo had a regular job and paid into Social Security for at least 18 months. If he did, then they'll qualify for benefits. If not, no soup for the kids. Being generous and saying Larmondo spent some time workin' at McDonald's to get his 18 months in... his partner may be able to collect the one time payment of $255 for his death and 7 of the kids would be eligible for continuing payments until 18. Those payments would be kind of small though, a total of less than $500/mo. combined.
Shameless Promotion: This post has been viewed almost 30,000 times. If you found this post interesting, even if you don't agree with it, please consider buying one of my books! Cop in the Hood is about my days as police officer in Baltimore. Published Weekly called this award winning book , "An adrenaline-accelerating night ride that reveals the stark realities of law enforcement." Colonel (ret.) Margaret Patton of the Baltimore City Police Department said, "Cop in the Hood should be made mandatory reading for every recruit in the Balto. City Police Academy. ... I am so proud that you were a Baltimore Police Officer and a good one." By the end, you too may learn what police already know (but won't tell you): the federal war on drugs is doomed to failure.

Or maybe In Defense of Flogging is more up your alley. It's been called a Swiftian satire, except I'm serious. I say we whip the motherf*ckers. Or at least offer the choice: five years or ten lashes -- what'll it be? In Defense of Flogging is a short and fun book that makes a great Father's Day present in June. (Is it December? Then I mean Christmas. Hanukkah, too!)

In Defense of Flogging has been talked about on everything from Fox TV to NPR. Even The Blaze liked it. Atlantic Magazine listed me as one of the "Brave Thinkers" of 2011. It's a short book, a fun read, and, as Fat Albert used to say, "you might learn something before we're done."

88 comments:

Gotti Rules said...

Only losers do real investigative work.

Anonymous said...

What is real investigative work anyway?

Would you say winners do fake investigative work? or they just don't do work?

PCM said...

I think he's saying I'm a loser. In fact, I know he's saying I'm a loser because in an email he used a naughty word, replacing loser with a four-letter word that starts with H and rhymes with New York State's Attorney General.

Gotti Rules said...

Hey Pete, despite you being a bleeding liberal, I must admit that you really are not a loser. I just thoroughly enjoy giving you a hard time. I actually consider you a friend and one of the smartest people I know.

PCM said...

You're getting soft, Gotti.

archangelo said...

Obits are generally written by family members and submitted to the local paper. This was a real obit submitted by his family in 2004.
Here is the New Orleans' Police Dept press release on the murder:

http://www.cityofno.com/portal.aspx?...cx&itemid=1221

The short-form obituary is here:

http://files.usgwarchives.org/la/orl...its/1/a-05.txt

archangelo said...

Whoops:

http://www.cityofno.com/portal.aspx?portal=50&load=PortalModules/ViewPressRelease.ascx&itemid=1221

and:

http://files.usgwarchives.org/la/orleans/obits/1/a-05.txt

respectively

Michael said...

$1500/kid is not at all ridiculous. I teach a girl who, at 19, has 3 kids, a single and a set of twins. She claims to me to pay 9% of the cost of day care for 3 kids. And this would only be that portion of assistance. Kids father's name on the birth certificate? Doubtful.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone want to address the fact that assuming Larmondo wasn't a legitimate entrepreneur and had to be a drug dealer JUST because he was black, JUST because he happened to live in New Orleans, and JUST because some scumbag decided to gun him down on a public street is incredibly racist? I am quite surprised the liberals here, including the author of this blog, didn't bring that up. Racism is usually the first card liberals pull. I got this e-mail from a friend today, and I told her off. I am a Tea Party participant, a conservative and a Christian, so I guess you could label me "right wing", and I am constantly being accused in the media of being racist. Yet this kind of stuff being circulated disgusts me, and I'm the one bringing it up. The assumptions about Larmondo may all well be true, but for all we know, he was legimately running a business to provide for those 9 kids.

PCM said...

I surprised you didn't follow the links. There's a little research there. And the stories from the NOLA T-P are legit.

Allen is a convicted drug dealer with history of violent felonies. He was shot by his former partner in crime. Now can we begin to make certain assumptions?

Now of course even that doesn't mean he wasn't a hard-working man supporting his children legally. But please...

There's political correctness and there's reality. The two don't always go hand-in-hand.

So yes, I'm willing to make certain assumptions about Larmondo. Is that racist? I don't think so. Maybe it comes from having been a cop. Certainly race plays some role in my assumptions, as it does in levels of violence and economic status.

LCWRIT said...

Hey PCM
Believe it or not there are a lot of us (lefties and right-wingers, if we must make this issue political.) who research info on emails, before we pass them along. I used to pass them along, but not anymore. When I have the time to research, then I pass that info on to the person who sent me the email. The rest of the time, I just hit the delete button. My experience is that a majority of them are a combination of truths and misinformation, some half truths, and some down right falsehoods(lies). I just received the obituary email tonight, and read the police report on the sniper website then read this web page next. Most of the time I do a Google search on a key word, then see what comes up.

Anonymous said...

Yours was the first site I opened in my research. I tried to open one of the links you posted but it was broken. I guess with these details, it is ok to draw those conclusions, but the e-mail being circulated gives none of those details. I found it vulgar. Sorry to hear that race plays a role in your assumptions in regard to violence and economic status. In light of that, it is probably best that you are no longer a cop. Prejudice would severely impair your judgement in that job.

PCM said...

But the link that leads to the evidence I'm talking about still works. I used it myself (it's not like I remember this stuff).

Anyway, to say that there is a correlation between race and violence and economic status in America is not prejudice but simple a fact. How you apply it might be prejudiced... the fancy sociological term for misapplying characteristics of a group to the individual is "the ecological fallacy". But I'm not doing that here.

Why? Because it just so happens that this man in particular, Mr. Allen, was a violent and convicted drug dealer who died the violent death all too typical of violent ghetto drug dealers. So I don't see the harm in pointing that out. (Though it's not the main point of my post.)

And indeed, police must be quick to make judgments. Making those judgments *correctly* is what makes a good cop (and keeps cops alive). Anyway, we're both happy I'm not longer cop, but I guess for very different reasons. I like to think I was a good police officer, but it's a damn tough and dangerous and underpaid job.

Anyway, I didn't want to start an argument. I just wanted to point out that your concern for Mr. Allen's character (like your attack on my character) may come from the best of intentions, but it happens to be wrong.

I wouldn't have made fun of "Flair" had I not been able to confirm some of the facts about his life and death. After all, I have a professional reputation to uphold.

PCM said...

LCWRIT, I was trying to make this a left/right issue. Or at least raise the question.

My sense is that I receive a lot more forwarded email from right-wing friends that is is simply crazy not true.

And the falsehood-filled email I receive from left-wing friends is usually just dumb, but not political or racial (or religious/patriotic) in nature.

Anyway, thank you for not forwarded on email so quickly.

I actually get less email like this than I used. Maybe because people have stopped forwarding stuff to Peter "fact checker/buzzkill" Moskos.

Anonymous said...

Who cares if comments are racist if they're true. Geez. This Larmondo piece of trash from another species was worthless so good riddance. Unfortunately, racist stereotypes exist because they're based on FACTS. Wake up you dumb people.

PCM said...

Here's a sign you're dealing with a racist: when the person says that people who don't share his or her racist views are dumb and sleeping.

Sometimes racist stereotypes are based on facts. As I like to say, reality isn't always politically correct. The racist part comes when you apply those stereotypes to others, based on their race.

And sometimes racist stereotypes are just based on racists. The news in this story isn't that a criminal young black man with too many kids was murdered. That's the fact.

The so-called "news" is that he was "taking" our welfare and living large. See, those "facts" aren't true. But I suspect facts don't get in the way of your prejudices and convictions. That's another sign you're a racist.

Anonymous said...

That's some good work there. Using Texas's welfare data for New Orleans, LA. Keep chasing that unicorn over the rainbow, you dreamy-eyed liberal racist. Don't ever let the pesky facts or integrity get in your way when trying to preach to the ignorant masses!

PCM said...

Ha! Cause if Louisiana is known for anything, it's their generous welfare benefits.

Do the research for me, you cocky bastard. I got better things to do.

Federated Republic said...

First to Anymouse and other like ignorant types, there is only one race in regards to humans and that is the HUMAN RACE, period! Everything else is ethnic and cultural, OK!

Anyone going around using the word "race" as a pejorative, i.e. the false term, "racist", is usually a bottom feeder victim advocate corporate blackmailing race-baiter like Al "Catfish" Sharpton, and Jesse "Jerkoff" Jackson, or one of their ilk, or is just plain ignorant of the facts regarding race!

Ignorance is the biggest problem plaguing our nation and our world today, even with all the inter-connectivity of the present World Wide Web, we still live a world steeped in ignorance and stupidity!

To all you Lefty Liberal types I say your biggest problem is the ignorance of what you believe, the false belief you are owed something by the rest us, which is total BS!

To all you self righteous right wingers that feel you owe nothing to society, I say, BS!

To all you that think the government is here to bail you out, solve your problems, or support you, I say a big emphatic, B F'ing S!

This country was setup as, and is, a Federated Republic under LAW, NOT A DEMONCRACY!

IF you don't like that, move yo azz to the country that has the just the right amount of socialist/communist tyranny or right wing tyranny that suits you and move there, pronto!

You may now return to your regularly scheduled brainwashing by the MGMSM! OYVEY!

JCC said...

My right wing friends must be slow - I just got this email. Why do they take such delight in such obvious fabrications? You would think those who lie so often would eventually learn to lie better.

PCM said...

People always take delight in "proof" that supports their world-view. Alas, that isn't limited to right-wingers. This email, however, is.

J.Sclafani said...

After all is said and done- even if this guy was a lowlife( regardless of the color of his skin) the email that is running rampant with his "obit" told me one thing:

Prejudice and Racism is alive and well in this country, no matter how many people try to deny it.

Ignore the fact that we eventually learn, he was a vicious criminal.

Before those facts were known, anyone who passed that email on to their friends,family,coworkers,etc;was helping to encourage and perpetuate Prejudice/ Racism.

Why else would anyone forward the email Obit? (I mean really people - examine your motives for emailing it-forwarding it)

How far have we really come as a society? This kind of incident is very revealing indeed :-(

One of your readers said it best: THERE IS ONLY ONE RACE - THE HUMAN RACE.

Not everyone in the human race is going to be a shining example to all-regardless of color or culture.

HOWEVER, AS SOMEONE WHO IS OFTEN FINDING THEMSELF EMBARRASSED TO BE HUMAN, I WILL TAKE THE ANIMAL SPECIES OVER HUMANS FOR THEIR LOYALTY AND LACK OF MALEVOLENCE, ANYDAY.

Man's inhumanity to man reveals much. Frankly? People can really suck.

J.Sclafani said...

PS: Oh yeah, and before someone decides to take my words and attempt to label me with some political stance- I have none.

No party loyalty whatsoever.
I just say it like it is.

Steve Grover said...

FWIW - Here I am a hard-line conservative and I take the same approach as you regarding forwarded emails. The $1500/child set off my BS alert as well, and I looked about for some corroboration that this was either true or not true. You and I are reading from the same book here.

I am always responding to people who forward stuff without vetting it first. Just as you say, most of it is BS. I've never kept track of whether liberals or conservatives are more likely to forward incorrect stuff, seems to be about 50/50 to me.

As far as your 'for the record' statements, neither you nor I am in a position to declare with certainty whether these are true or not. I suspect you are correct with the last 2, but with the birth issue, it hasn't been fully put to bed. There are photoshop experts who swear the long-form birth certificate is a forgery. I have no clue myself, so I don't worry too much about it, persuasive evidence one way or another would do it for me, but we are not there yet. I want it to go away.

Anonymous said...

So you guys go straight to investigating and defending the amount of $$ he received but not that he is a 25yr old drug dealer wif 9 kids all on gub'ment assistance?! Typical liberal thinking.

PCM said...

Now that you mention it, I guess investigating the truth and calling out lies is considered liberal thinking. Funny... but I hadn't thought of it that way. You certainly make a very good point.

I don't defend his drug dealing or his nine kids or even the government assistance. I'm just pointing out it's not a lot.

But yeah, I do think that even kids of criminals should not die of starvation because of the idiocy of their parents. I know, just more typical lib thinking.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if Larmondo is black, white, yellow, brown or green, left-winged or right-winged. I don't care if his life resulted in a $156,000 or $6,636 annual burden on tax payers. What I do care about is our country in in debt up to it's eyeballs and over 40% of the annual debt comes from entitlement costs.

This came to light because Larmondo is deceased (RIP) but it is not isolated to Larmondo. There are hundreds of thousands still living that will eventually leave the same heritage.

Explain to me how this is not an example of how our system is broken. Explain to me why, even if you take the low estimate ($6,636 a year x 100,000 more cases), that I shouldn't be upset.

Maybe they don't live large, but neither do I. And I'm the one working my butt off every day to support my family and theirs.

PCM said...

You should be upset. And the system is broken. But having kids starve in the streets, even kids of bad parents, isn't the answer.

You also need to be able to put this money in perspective. $6,600 X 100,000 is $660 million. That's more than you or I will ever have, but actually not a lot in the scheme of things.

The top one-hundredth of one percent of Americans now make an average of $27 million per household. Increasing their tax rate by just one percent (1 friggin' percent!) would bring in about $9 billion a year. Instead we vote them tax cuts.

The rich are taking our money. Not the poor.

Eristone said...

I just got this e-mail from one of my conservative friends and did some research (which is how I found this page). This is part of my response that I sent out to my conservative friend:

In Louisiana, this (now) single mother with 9 children would receive $512/month with a lifetime limit of collecting this for 5 years. (reference: http://www.dss.state.la.us/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&pid=139) She'd be able to get another $500/mo roughly in food stamps and probably get some housing assistance as well. Now as far as Survivor Benefits from Social Security for the children, it depends on whether or not Larmondo had a regular job and paid into Social Security for at least 18 months. If he did, then they'll qualify for benefits. If not, no soup for the kids. Being generous and saying Larmondo spent some time workin' at McDonald's to get his 18 months in.. his partner may be able to collect the one time payment of $255 for his death and 7 of the kids would be eligible for continuing payments until 18. Those payments would be kind of small though, a total of less than $500/mo. combined.

PCM said...

Thanks, Eristone. That's good research (I was hoping somebody would look into that). I'm going to put it in the main post as an update.

John Q. Public said...

The original Obit lists 10 not 9 children. Regardless of race or the amount of money involved, is there really any disagreement that this is dysfunctional behavior that should not be supported by society, the government or our tax dollars? I do NOT have a constitutional right to have as many kids as I want and make them dependent on the government and our society.

Good research and discussion, much better than SNOPES.

PCM said...

Says 3 sons and 6 daughters. Makes 9, right? Regardless, you really think if we took away food stamps for children he wouldn't have had so many? I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Anyone considered the ramifications on the taxpayers if the children each have a different mother? Assuming the mothers only had the one child, that is nine households qualifying for welfare, food stamps, WIC, housing assistance,etc. Add all the eligible programs together and that will come out to somewhere in the ballpark of $1,000-$1,500 PER HOUSEHOLD.

PCM said...

I don't think it's going out on too far of a limb to assume that multiple baby's mothers are involved here.

But your math still doesn't work out.

From a link in the post: "The average family consists of a mother and two children. The average grant in Louisiana is $200 per month." Times 4.5 would equal $900/month total.

Plus, and this is important, "There is a 60 month lifetime limit." So you only get funds for 5 years.

This figure is just state welfare. it does not include food stamps, public housing, and emergency room visits, the total certainly adds up to more, but how much more?

The total lifetime expenditure in state cash aid to this guy's babies' mothers for all his children comes out to about $11,000 a year for 5 years. About $55,000 total. Meanwhile original email bitches that we're spending $156,000 per year without limit.

My main point, from beginning to end of this post, is not about whether a "culture of poverty" exists and whether undeserving poor people should get assistance (though my answer to both would be "yes").

My point is that this massive welfare system that conservatives get so upset about--this massive expenditure that gives a financial incentive for losers in cities to have heaps of children--by and large, DOES NOT EXIST.

People hear lies and then get all worked up about a boogieman that does not exist (or at least isn't very scary).

It's interesting because among many poor black welfare-receiving communities there's a similar mis-belief, namely that the government gives out heaps of money to immigrants just for being immigrants

Maybe we'd all be better off if we stopped hating and worrying about other people getting something for nothing.

While poor and working people are busy hating each other, the rich take your money, cut your pay, decrease your benefits and their taxes, and laugh all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Friday, June 30, 2006
By Gwen Filosa
Staff writer
A young New Orleans man who escaped a previous murder charge faces decades in prison for gunning down a drug-trade rival two years ago near the Guste public housing complex.

Twdarryl Toney, 23, helped pump some 30 bullets into Edward "Chocolate" Taylor on Feb. 8, 2004, during a shootout in Central City that also left a second man dead, a jury concluded this week after a three-day trial at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.

The jury convicted Toney of manslaughter Wednesday night after hearing testimony in two second-degree murder charges that came from what prosecutors called a drug-trade gunfight, complete with an AK-47-style assault rifle and one victim being shot more than 30 times in the head.

Taylor and Larmondo "Flair" Allen died in the 2300 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard after being riddled with bullets.

But instead of murder, which carries automatic life in prison, the jury came back with the lesser charge of manslaughter for Taylor's killing and failed to reach any verdict on the second murder charge, in which prosecutors blamed Toney for the death of his one-time drug-dealing partner, Allen.

Taylor, 24, who prosecutors said was hired as a hit man to kill Allen that night, left a son and three daughters. Allen, 25, who like Toney had wrangled out of previous murder and other violent charges, was fatally wounded during the gunfight. He was a father to three sons and six daughters.

Toney faces up to 40 years for manslaughter, but District Attorney Eddie Jordan said he would ask the court to send him away for 20 to 80 years under the state's repeat-offender law.

Toney has a 2002 conviction for firing a gun into the air on New Year's Eve, which could lead to the extended prison term. He is due in court July 24 for sentencing before Judge Calvin Johnson....

PCM said...

I think I might name my first born "Twdarryl."

Robert said...

Oh, boy! a welfare horror story!

A quick Google search turns up the following information about this "story" at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clayart/message/326555:

For a fact check of what is actually received by welfare recipients, go to
http://www.welfareinfo.org/payments/. On average a family of 4 would get
approx. $500/mo. food stamps total and cash allowance would be $900/mo.
total. That's $1400/mo TOTAL for a family of four.

Specifically for Louisiana, the maximum total food stamp allotment for a
household of 9 would be $1352/month.
http://www.dss.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&nid=34&pnid=7&pid=93&catid=0
and the total cash assistance would be $477/month. In
addition, the family is ineligible for cash assistance if they have received
benefits for 24 of the prior 60 months with a 60 month lifetime limit.
http://www.dss.state.la.us/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&pid=139

As for the social security payments to the children, the parent must have
worked at least 1 1/2 years in the 3 years prior to death and payment would
be 75% of the amount the parent would have received if he/she had worked
until retirement at the time of death.
http://www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/onyourown5.htm As far as I can tell, there
is the assumption here that the only income was state and federal assistance
which means the children would not qualify for social security payments.
------
Another poster on that site observed that this story has been resurrected annually since 2004 when it was passed around as evidence that the Coast Guard and FEMA were rescuing people who didn't deserve to be rescued.

In addition, I can only presume that the assumption this shooting victim was not effectively supporting his family was based upon the fact that he was black. If he had been white, I suspect this story would never have been passed around with the commentary it has, despite the fact that more whites are on welfare than blacks in the U.S. The commentary questions whether Kawanner Armstrong could be the mother of all 9 children. It fails to entertain the possibility that she had two or more multiple births, or that she may be older and have been previously married, with Mr. Allen having adopted some of her children -or even whether some of the children were adopted by the two of them. Certainly, none of these is a likely scenario for a 25-year old, but neither is the one this message paints. Usually when one makes uniformed assumptions, as the originator one tuns out to be the ass.

Even if this message were half true, what's the point? that someone, somewhere was found to be abusing the system? That because of this, the entire system should be scrapped? Or maybe it should be made even more onerous to qualify for assistance? Maybe make it so that the only way to survive if unemployed, especially given the 60-month welfare limitation in Louisiana, is to turn to crime? Like maybe this fellow had to do, given there was a connection between his vocation and the reason he got shot? Not justifying that, but if al other options are closed, see how fast our most honorable citizes do much the same. Hell, look at al the "honorable citizens" that ripped off millions as well as the government in the recent meltdown -and continue to do so. Don't waste your outrage on penny-ante graft, real or imagined, by people with few other options when your ire is so well deserved by those wearing silk suits while individually sucking millions and collectively sucking trillions out of the economy. That's where the real horror stores are to be found.

j. Charles Dill said...

Good work. Thanks for setting the record straight.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Moskos: I did not vote for Obama, but can find I agree with much of your article. I found it researching an email I received today. You mention in your article and several times in the comment thread how research easily supports FACTS. Could you back up your statement: "[Now liberals forward some lies too, but not as much. ...]?

PCM said...

Anonymous, I have more liberal friends than conservative friends. And yet in terms of forwarded emails I receive, far more of the ones I receive that have a conservative (or anti-liberal, may be more accurate) slant are filled with falsehoods than could have been easily verified.

I would even say a majority of mass-forwarded emails I receive with a conservative bent are more false than true. This bothers me. It brings to mind the old saying, "You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts."

There's also a third category of conspiracy-related email that I wouldn't count as conservative or liberal. Most of these are also false, I assume (or maybe I'm just part of the conspiracy).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to research this.

I received this (for the first time) in my email last week. I searched Snopes to no avail. Today I asked Google, and came upon your site.

I got a chuckle out of the names and said a prayer for the kiddos.

Time to delete the email and get back to work.

Anonymous said...

I doubt the total amount of welfare is accurate, but I think even a penny of handouts to losers like this is too much.

There's way way too many instances of such a waste of money (and air)

Anonymous said...

Had this guy been a dog we would have picked him up and neutered him. Who am I kidding? He was a dog. These litters keep the streets of the ghetto full and all the corners covered. The total cost to society is enormous.

PCM said...

Believe it or not, Anonymous, I agree.

So now that we've identified the problem, what do we do to fix it (pun intended)?

That's the $64,000 question.

My point remains that blaming "welfare" isn't the answer.

Robert said...

So, Anonymous, what is YOUR solution? Obviously, some folks, probably a lot like you, love outliers like him so they can paint all welfare recipients (which he was not, even if his wife and children were)with the same brush just to discredit the system. Do you honestly believe anyone WANTS to live in poverty just so they can "milk the system" when the system provides so little assistance? The real point here is that the e-mail story falsifies the facts because the truth would not support the outrage the originator was seeking to engender. And I suspect the liar behind it considers himself a good Christian. Back to my first question: what would you suggest we (society) do to correct the situation?

Joe Kirkup said...

I'm assuming that PCM puts this email in the "false" catagory. This is a useful insight when trying to understand how liberals make the completely illogical decisions that they do. The email is correct and verifiable according to PCM's own research. What may, or may not, be questionable is the amount of taxpayer money involved. I suspect that if someone got access to PCM's credit card info, but only used a modest $100 per month to buy methanphedamines he would not object. Hey, it's only a C note.
PCM is a typical big government, union liberal who is angry that some folks have the energy and ambition to make more money than he does. He doesn't have the drive or courage to move to NYC and get a job on Wall St where he can join the "filthy rich" capitalists who work like fiends, take huge risks and then burn out in their forties from the health consequences.
I have disheartening news for you PCM, the "rich" are the only ones paying taxes. People like Flair don't. Even though the vast amount of your time as a cop was spent dealing with people like Flair, your entire salary came from the "rich." Google that.

PCM said...

Joe,

Thanks for your input.

But you have a few things wrong.
The email is *not* correct. The email is a lie because the facts aren't true. Yes the obit is true -- and I would have no objection to forwarding that for a chuckle and moral condemnation -- I might even do so myself. But the facts in the email are a demonstrable lie. And the lies are used to push a right-wing agenda. So that's how I label it a right-wring lies. They are so far from the truth that I assume it is not an honest research mistake.

And as a big-government union liberal, I am not at all angry that some people have the opportunity to make gobs of money on Wall Street (mind you Flair never had that choice, but I probably did). I love regulated capitalize combined with a strong social safety net.

And I, like all working people, pay a lot of taxes despite not being particularly rich. In fact, given my income and how that income is made (regular paycheck), I probably toward at the top of taxpayers in terms of percentage paid.

But am I complaining about my job, my salary, or my taxes. Am I happy with all.

And yes indeed I would complain if somebody robbed me. But that's not a good analogy. First of all, giving money to the families of poor children is not robbery, it is a policy decision that we in a democratic society have made (not to mention Flair most likely was not living with all the mothers of his children--and yes, I am assuming there were many more than one baby's mother).

My greater point -- other than we shouldn't form opinions on social policy based on lies -- is that we're talking chump change here. Social welfare does a lot of good for a lot of deserving people. That some undeserving bastards milk the system is no reason to say it doesn't work.

We should give money to poor people based both on our own self-interests in maintaining a rich society and, dare a say, a sense of decency. You might even call it, if its your belief, Christian charity.

People like Larmondo Flair exist. The question is what are we going to do about them? Using his obit to attack liberals and our almost non-existent welfare system seems somewhere between disillusion and downright mean.

There are abuses in the welfare system. So do we shut it down? No, we try to improve it. Maybe we even spend more money. Did we shut down the defense department when they overpaid for toilet seats? Of course not. Because it provides a need function.

Or does Walmart close its doors because a few people shoplift? No. Retail companies just accept a bit of "shrinkage" as the cost of doing business. This doesn't make shoplifting right, mind you. But you keep doing business in the meantime.

Jim P said...

Though I receive errant e-mails all the time, I believe that some of the e-mails are expressing their outrage with government and their disregard for the money spent and ensueing bankruptcy, legitimate rights infringed, and individual selfishness without any regard to the consequences to working tax paying people and our future generation. I must have a drug test to apply for a job, but welfare, college scholarship, polititions, and other reciprients on the Government payroll are not subject to the same tests. Hmmm. Doesn't make much sense. People wuth nothing to hide, hide nothing.

Anonymous said...

Okay, one thing is certain. They were popping out so many kids, they couldn't think up names with much variation. Most likely due to insufficient EDUKASHUN! Any convicted 25 year old felon with 9 kids, is most likely not someone who would be awarded citizen of the year.

Anonymous said...

OK,
9 children from one guy and unknown how many from his dad who seems to have the same problem.
Lady down the road with 5 of these 'medicaid' babies says she's getting around 5 grand a month, no lifetime limit and this is Texas. She also says that when they reach 18 it's out the door and get pregnant again. This is her "REAL WORLD JOB", she says so.
No, do a bit more research there are a bunch of these people who need to have their grapes and twigs cut off. If they get as little as you say they do, then they'd be starving and the kiddos down the road are all obese, go figure.
Nope, it's an accurate description of these losers. Wish it wasn't however. The kids grow up thinking this is way life works.

sevencard said...

Nice job, PCM. You made many valid points, most all of which I agree with. I am apolitical/independent and I too am certain that I receive many more of these doctored fact emails from the right This one I just received today and it set off my BS alarm. Just another grain of truth wrapped in a glob of BS. The obit itself is worthy of forwarding without commentary. I suppose I should be ashamed to admit that I got a good laugh out of it. I will delete the right wing "facts" before sending it to anyone.
Thanks for the good work. I'll stay tuned for more.

Anonymous said...

I think we are missing an important point. Larmondo and his brood are part of a problem that has gone on since the days of Reconstruction and magnified by Lyndon Johnson's great society. Larmondo's story is one of too many; a father to a bunch of kids, but a DAD to none. Was he ever there to take them to school, to help them with homework, to haul them to the park to play games, to take them to get clothing, to help feed them when they were babies? Need I go on? The real tragedy of this story is not just the taxpayer dollars thrown into a bottomless pit, but the murky future all these kids will have---the girls with innumerable pregnancies and the boys with a life of crime, while they all use the welfare system to cover their day-to-day expenses. You can leave race out of this discussion as we all have examples of haphazard and disfunctional families of other races. The real point is that unless this cycle is broken, we will be a financially and morally bankrupt nation.

NikT

PCM said...

You make a good point -- even if I think it's absurd to blame LBJ much less Reconstruction for Larmondo's failed life (because life was so much better for America's poor before then?). But the real point? Unless the cycle is broken, we will continue to have absolutely the same America we have today and have had for generations. I don't think we are a morally bankrupt nation (I suspect neither do you). My point is simply we can and should do better. Honestly, the problem isn't getting worse. It's getting better. But it's still a horrible shame that it exists at all.

Another part of the problem is they can't use the welfare system to cover their day-to-day expenses. That's (sometimes) why and when the crime comes in.

Anonymous said...

tax the 1% more will only give you billions...our problems are in the trillions...it is not the rich people's responsibility to subsidize the poor....not in a capitalistic society where freedom of choice rules...

PCM said...

That's cute you think taxing the top 1% would bring in just a few measly billion.

We can argue about the responsibility of the rich to the poor... but we can't argue about how rich the rich are.

We are talking about trillions. That's kind of the point.

Taxing the income of the top one percent at 50% could bring in about $1 trillion per year. Boom. Balanced budged (or close to it). And that's not counting wealth, which is much larger. Wealth can and should be taxed through the estate tax. Now we're talking real money.

Moe Badderman said...

PCM, thank you for the information you posted about this e-mail going 'round, I just received it today. It's a shame that it's wasted on the knee-jerk racist wingnuts, but there's no helping them.

PCM said...

And yet I try...

But seriously, I don't think you have to be a racist wingnut to find a problem with a shitty drug dealer having multiple kids by multiple mothers.

If you want to be against welfare and food stamps, that's your right.

All I ask is you be smart or curious enough to know or just google the facts. What kind of welfare system exists? Do that before you blame a person or race for all the woes in our fine country. Why? Because what you believe... it may be based on lies.

El Vox said...

PCM--I commend you for staying level-headed through all the comments and having the temerity to answer back a few of the comments where I might not have the patience to do. All in all you provided food for thought and a certain amount of sobering reality, thank you.

PCM said...

Thanks, my friend! I do wince a bit when I see a new comment to this post. Yours was refreshing to read!

Anonymous said...

It is likely that, given 9 children by the age of 25, there are multiple baby mamas. With as intrusive as the government has gotten, it would be cheaper to regulate the birth rate that to subsidize the perpetually poverty stricken. If it were literally just temporary assistance, I wouldn't mind giving a "hand up." I morally object to the "hand out."
You cannot give anyone hope. That is an abstract emotion that comes from within. Nobody else, especially not the government, can provide it.
Has anyone else noticed that the highest crime rates exist in cities where the most restrictive gun control laws are?
For the record, I am conservative. I don't believe the government has any business spending tax dollars on most of the things it does. And that applies to both state and federal. If you want an interesting view point on what the government has done to the tax paying people, read the essay by Ayn Rand called The Rights of Man. The government has basically enslaved the tax paying people in an effort to help those less privileged...across the world.

PCM said...

"Has anyone else noticed that the highest crime rates exist in cities where the most restrictive gun control laws are?"

No. I have not noticed that. Because it is not true.

Robert said...

Even if it were true -highest crime rate in most restrictive gun law cities- one would then have to determine which came first, the chicken or the egg.

I'm a liberal, and I don't agree with many of the things government spends its money on Like undeclared wars, subsidies to oil companies, giveaways of public resources to private corporations, faith-based initiatives, the drug war, non-negotiated/non-competitive Medicare part D, abstinence-only sex education....

Robert said...

Regarding the "Rights of Man," by Ayn Rand: if you choose to take your Libertarian arguments from a woman who idolized a serial killer and made him the model for her hero in "Atlas Shrugged," thought the evidence against smoking was a government conspiracy until she acquired lung cancer herself, condemned social security and Medicare and then hypocritically went on them herself under her married name and called altruism a “basic evil,” please be my guest. The one attribute the exhibited I deem laudatory was that she was a sexual libertine.

Anonymous said...

I just got this today and am glad I found this blog to clear it up. If I was an "ENTREPRENEUR" like this guy, I would imagine the game is played like this: I start collecting welfare, within 5 years, I need to have as many children as possible with a women and don't get married so she can start collecting welfare on her own and then duplicate the process every 5 years so I have a "baby mama" collecting for me and by the time my first born is 18, I should have 4 "baby mama's" that have supported me and now a rush of children entering the welfare system can start supporting their parents. Seems like a good business plan to me, if I can pull it off without getting shot.

To be serious though, requiring drug testing, no felonies or something of the mix to collect welfare would hamper this abuse.

PCM said...

Even if you don't get shot and piss test clean, the problem with such a "business plan" is that a mother with a child gets just $188/month. Even assuming she gave *all* their money to you and your entrepreneurial self, and even if she sold some some of her food stamps for cash and gave that to you... a monthly contribution of $200 still comes out to just $2,400 a year.

To get to the amount claimed in this bullshit email, you would need to sire 65 kids within five years, or more than one a month. Not *that* is a full-time job.

Anonymous said...

So, disregarding race, entitlements, and all of the other things being commented on; I think "Flair" was a poster child for compulsory sterilization!

PCM said...

He certainly won no "lifetime achievement" or "father of the year" awards.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

PCM, I don't think it's quite as cut and dried as you're claiming, when talking about the $500/mos. Although, I don't think it's as high as the e-mail claims either. What about free housing (section 8)? Doesn't the Gov't usually provide that to most welfare recipients? What about the free medical care?? I pay more for my medical care for my family than I do for my housing. What about the free cell phones? The list goes on and on and I don't think you're accounting for all the misc things.

Also, there's a fine line between helping someone through some tough times and enabling their current behavior. I admit, I don't have the answer, but I believe it's become a problem and more and more people are becoming "enabled" to be without a job every year.

Here are some good links:
http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/08/the-unsustainable-growth-of-welfare

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/On_average_how_much_do_welfare_recipients_receive

http://www.cato.org/research/pr-nd-st.html

PCM said...

You raise fair and valid points. Those are good questions.

But when the government pays more, cut-offs are often prorated if you get a job. In other words, you don't go from receiving government aid to receiving nothing simply because you get a minimum-wage job.

Plus, a lot of the programs are designed to help poor people in general. So to end these programs to punish the "undeserving poor" would be a classic example of shooting one's nose to spite one's face.

And some of the programs conservatives like to list as welfare are simply government programs. I take advantage of roads, public transportation, health care, and mortgage-interest tax deductions. Why is nobody bitching about me?

Regardless... thank you for commenting in a calm and rational and fact supported way.

Anonymous said...

Just for some clarification. I have a girlfriend whose husband died. She collects (in Texas) $1,000 a month for him until he reaches 18 years of age. There are also some other non-monetary benefits, as well, but they do cost money to someone. So this I know to be TRUE....so I'm posting this info for the skeptics who say there's no way the $1500 a month could be true. The amount of welfare depends upon the state you live in, so you can't make blanket assumptions.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. It sounds like I'm saying my girlfriend collects $1,000 a month for her deceased husband. It is for their young son.

Robert said...

I suspect the $1,000 is the Social Security benefit for surviving children. That's an insurance benefit paid for via premiums, 1/2 by the parent and 1/2 on behalf of the parent in lieu of salary by the employer as part of his/her payroll taxes. It's not welfare, and it provides for your children in case you or your spouse die. The payment amount depends upon the decedent parent's level of Social Security insurance payments, which is based upon his/her salary (up to the maximum contribution cap).

Anonymous said...

I think the point here is that even if the article is totally wrong or totally true the perception of many people is that the system allows for massive abuse.it's this perception that makes such an outrageous story credible.

PCM said...

I agree. But my point is that people's perceptions (on matters of public welfare) are mostly wrong. And then the people whose world view is based on lies waste so much emotionally energy getting mad at something that doesn't exist.

If people want to get upset about things, get upset about things that actually exist. It's not asking too much.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole point is the continued lies to influence opinions and therefore elections through mass e-mails designed to get forwarded by those simpletons who WANT to believe them.The facts are not whether he was good guy or not...but whether the story is a lie.

What was lost on ALL of you is that the sytem limits those on welfare to an amount not worth staying on and for a limited time overall. The kids of this guy, and all others on welfare, deserve to be fed and housed no matter if their parent is a drug dealer or their job got shipped to Pakistan. If there are multple mothers in this case and using the average of 1 mother to 2 kids it amounts to $55,000 total with no more allowed ever to them. The man who killed him is being sentenced to a minimum of 20 years...at about $35,000 a year. That's a minimum of $700,000 if he only does 20 years. If he gets the 80 years it's 2.8 million.

Now that is a leach on the tax system.

Anonymous said...

People who live in glass houses.. should not throw stones. Point one finger at someone and you are pointing three fingers at yourself. I am a consevative and I am trying to evaluate the truth. Your condeming conservatives is a bird that can not fly. I am really sick of liberals who condemn all Republicans as evil and wrong. Conservaties are brought into this picture and the whole group is blamed. So what is the deal? Obviously the objective of finding out the truth has gone out of orbit and the object is to try to bring in others to blast conservatives. However, I must say this is typical of dealings I have with liberals who rant and rave and hiss about the evil Republicans and stupid people who do not follow their way of thinking. I am sorry that my investigation of this email lead to my confronting people who try to stage a show to blast conservatives as being idiots. This sort of behavior is well described in the new book about the liberal mind. Also, for everyone who wants to bash conservatives... try reading on the liberal logic site and see how much of that is true.

Anonymous said...

The math is much too generous on behalf of Flair, but the point is well taken. In fact, many benefits were not even mentioned, including Section 8, and many, many other subsidies, benefits and preferences. Plus, all the benefits of these "victims" of white oppression are non-taxable.

PCM said...

Fairly stated and well said!

But notice that *your* point is based on rational analysis of the facts.

My problem is when people base their world view on lies, exaggerations, and hatred.

I don't think the point you're making actually is the same point that the creator of the original email was making...

PCM said...

Because the original emailer was saying the Flair was living large on our dough. And that's a lie.

And you're saying (correct me if I'm wrong) that any tax payer money is too much money when it goes to such idiots.

Those are not the same points. One point, your point, is a valid position. The other point, the one based on lies, is simply designed to anger people and push them in a right-wing political direction (while directing anger directed toward poor blacks).

It's like if I said "we need to stop alien abductions," and you say, "well, I'm against abductions, and abductions do happen (even if not by aliens). So we're basically making the same point."

No. Not so.

First we base our beliefs on facts and reality, then we discuss.

Anonymous said...

Umm, you only included TANF, the E-mail specifies several welfare payments NONE of which are included in TANF. That is the point, it took me minutes to see that it was the COLLECTIVE welfare, not just TANF. Why do liberals ignore all other forms of welfare? Obamaphone anyone? It apparently is not welfare.

Anonymous said...

You left out many other welfare programs like $10 a month internet and free housing and free electric and such (Obamaphone, free health care?, etc). So you are taking a very liberal stance in your calculations, and since the email is taking an exaggerated stance I say split the middle, the family is getting around $70,000 a year in tax payer benefits. Those 9 kids spawn 5 plus welfare kids themseleves each and it's a real issue down the road (or even now after 3 generations of welfare generations) The bottom line is it's a drag on the truly needy and handicapped and they are going to suffer the most when the system totally collapses. But hey, these people all vote Democrat 100% sop thats all that matters now, it's a numbers game.

Anonymous said...

I just did the research you ignored. Did you run out of research time? Or already know what you wanted to conclude before getting the truth?

http://www.cato.org/blog/work-vs-welfare-trade-response-critics

PCM said...

Split the middle?! How does $10/month help add up to $70,000?

What pisses me off isn't just your smugness. It's the fact that you are both smug and wrong.

Let's assume the Cato numbers are correct. (I have some issues with Cato, since they are an ideologically based think tank... ie: they are our to prove their libertarian point more than do independent research. But Cato generally does not straight up make shit up--unlike, say, the Heritage Foundation or the DEA).

That study you cited. I actually read it. I'm assuming you did too. So what does Cato say the "complete welfare package" is for Louisiana? $26,538. That your fucking middle, dumbass.

And that's taking the most generous definition of "welfare." Where I come from, welfare is cash the government gives you. If you want to count all government spending as welfare, count mortgage tax breaks and social security and disaster relief while you're at it.

But regardless, Cato breaks it all down for you. Just because you want believe something doesn't make it true. Can you not read the numbers or do you not care? I am left to assume you're either a liar or idiot. I suspect the latter.

And "Flair." He can't vote because the the fool was undoubtedly on probation when he was killed.

Anonymous said...

Somebody please help me... I can't stop laughing! The best and biggest lie from this entire article/fiasco is by the typical leftie holier-than-thou "we know better than anyone who dares to disagree with us" writer. I give you... Wait for it... Wait for it:

"Now liberals forward some lies too, but not as much".

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Side... Hurting... From... Laughing!!!

I guess you've never met your president Liar-In-Chief, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, NYT, HuffPo, etc., etc., etc..

Please, I'm begging you... You're not really this dense are you?

DanielTribeofDAN said...

You trust this snopes fellow, Eh? I don't. He said some forged, pdf on-line is a birf certificate, din't he?

PCM said...

I'm talking about forwarded emails.

But glad to make you laugh! We should have a drink sometime. It beats the hating that fills so many other people.

PCM said...

You know what amazes me about 87 comments and tens of thousands of views. Not one person -- not one -- has said, "Gosh, I guess my facts were wrong. And since my opinion was based on the something that I now know isn't true, I've got to reconsider what I believe."

Not one. That bothers me because if the facts don't matter, what is the point of all this? Go ahead and hate. Call me crazy, but if people believe an email that says some loser with nine kids gets $13,500 in free government cash every month, but the real figure is $550, doesn't that matter? If not, then why not say he gets a million dollars in cash every month? How much of a lie does something have to be before you might reconsider what you think?

To hate something based on facts is one thing; to hate based on lies, that is foundation of fascism.