For John, BLUF: No system is perfect and there is usually some individual trying to cheat to a better position. Nothing to see here; just move along.
The InstaPundit had this quote at his blog:
I put off reading Josh Levin’s piece about Linda Taylor, the famous Chicago “welfare queen” of the ’70s, in part because I feared it would be so engrossing and revealing I’d be consumed with professional jealousy. I’ve now read it. It’s engrossing and revealing and I’m jealous. (Also, Slate‘s new format mysteriously makes reading a long article easier. You should go there immediately.) But Dave Weigel’s idea that Levin’s piece somehow “vaporizes” Ronald Reagan’s use of the Taylor case in his campaigns is silly.It is from an article by Columnist Mickey Kaus of The Daily Caller, filed under "Politics" and titled "Welfare Queen Probed, Krugman Hardest Hit". This, in turn, links to an article in Slate, by Josh Levin, in the "History: Then Again" section, dated 19 December 2013. The article is titled "The Welfare Queen" and the subtitle goes "In the 1970s, Ronald Reagan villainized a Chicago woman for bilking the government. Her other sins—including possible kidnappings and murders—were far worse."
Levin doesn’t vaporize Reagan’s story. He confirms Reagan’s story.
Ms Linda Taylor (plus aliases) was in the spotlight in the mid-1970s and having made the pages of The Chicago Tribune, was picked up by then Governor Reagan as he ran for the Presidency in 1976. The woman was no myth. That said, she did not represent all other welfare recipients. However, she might be representative of some, which is why fraud tracking is important.
Interestingly enough, the song Welfare Cadillac hit number one on the Canadian Country Sings list for 1970, but not the US list. This was well before Ms Taylor made the headlines.
As voters we need to encourage our elected officials to protect the weak, but without building in perverse incentives. That is hard work.
Regards — Cliff