Cartoon

Unmasked

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - Rob Rogers)

In other news, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is warning that parts of the state are running out of resources because of the coronavirus. Kemp reopened the state last week, of course.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund says world governments will need to invest $20 trillion in public infrastructure like hospitals and clean energy over the next twenty years to meet demand after the coronavirus pandemic is over.

Finally, an audit of Mississippi's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, commonly referred to as "welfare," found that while the state rejected most claims from the general public, they doled out millions to rich people and their friends.

The state of Mississippi allowed tens of millions of dollars in federal anti-poverty funds to be used in ways that did little or nothing to help the poor, with two nonprofit groups instead using the money on lobbyists, football tickets, religious concerts and fitness programs for state lawmakers, according to a scathing audit released on Monday.

According to the report, released by the state auditor’s office, the money also enriched celebrities with Mississippi ties, among them Brett Favre, a former N.F.L. quarterback whose Favre Enterprises was paid $1.1 million by a nonprofit group that received the welfare funds. The payments were for speaking engagements that Mr. Favre did not attend, the auditors said.

Other large sums went to a family of pro wrestlers whose flamboyant patriarch, Ted DiBiase, earned national fame performing as the “Million Dollar Man.” In a news conference on Monday, Shad White, the state auditor, said it was possible that many recipients of the money did not know it had come from the federal welfare program.

Mr. White called the findings “the most egregious misspending my staff have seen in their careers.” The audit found that more than $98 million from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, or TANF, was funneled to the two Mississippi-based nonprofit groups over three years. About $94 million of that was “questioned” by state auditors, meaning the money was in all likelihood misspent or the auditors could not verify that it had been spent legally, Mr. White said.

I am shocked -- shocked! -- that the most conservative state governments with the most restrictive limits on welfare would deny claims so they can use the money for themselves.

Okay, I'm not shocked, but this report did make me angry when I read it.

It's not a coincidence that Mississippi is nearly 40 percent black, the highest proportion of all states, and that so many of the population's claims are denied while the money is essentially embezzled by white people. But I guess that's the story of America as a whole, isn't it? It's literally our history.