The Artful Dodger on Welfare

June 16, 2005 

In the days of Charles Dickens, thieves and liars were common criminals subject to harsh punishment.  Today, your government encourages thieves and liars to be thieves and liars...and subsidizes their larcenous lifestyle with billions of your hard-earned tax dollars. 

Take the case of 25-year-old Brenda Williams from Hartford Connecticut.  Williams, who was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for breaking 15 bones in her youngest child’s body, launched her career as a welfare mooch in her preteen years and has been artfully dodging ever since.  This “mother” of three had her first child at the age of 12. 

With tax dollars funding over $200 billion of means-tested aid to families with children and, with three quarters of this aid flowing to single “parents”, it is no wonder that Williams allowed herself a second child at the age of 15 and a third at the age of 23.  With an average of $3100 per year being underwritten by each taxpayer in the top 50% of tax returns filed (i.e. those who actually pay taxes), Williams has every motivation to procreate on somebody else’s dime.  If you are a taxpayer...that dime is yours. 

Probably sensing the allure of this taxpayer-funded gravy train for Williams, the Hartford Superior Court judge who sentenced her remarked that “if he had the power, he would have contemplated ordering 25-year-old Brenda Williams sterilized.”  Perhaps that is a power society should consider granting the courts. 

Oh, I can just hear the screams now...”Mandatory sterilization smacks of Nazism!”...”It is a violation of Constitutional rights”....  But, think about what happened in this case. 

Williams, to date, has given birth to three children from different sires.  The state has successively taken custody of these three children because they were physically abused.   

Think about it.  Williams enjoys some copulatory bliss at the age of 12 and produces a taxpayer-funded child.  She proceeds to abuse this child who then becomes a taxpayer-funded ward of the state.  She reproduces this sequence of events another two times with identical outcomes.  At the age of 25, Williams still has the potential of further delight for taxpayers. 

Add to this that, once she was finally facing prison time, Williams claimed that “She cares very much about the child” but that she is “border-line retarded”.  But...not so “border-line retarded” that she couldn’t also claim that she “was abused as a child and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and acute psychological distress” as a defense to stay out of jail. 

Not hearing any of this nonsense, the sentencing judge said that “Williams was lying, and as a result, still shows no remorse for repeated assaults, which if not noticed by the health care worker could have resulted in death or permanent paralysis”.  Further, the judge lamented that “I can't prevent you from having another child, but if I could, I would probably take those steps”.  As a stopgap measure, the judge directed the state Department of Children and Families to monitor Williams when she is freed and “ordered her to take birth control and parenting skills classes”.  I’m sure that will make a big difference. 

To recap...Williams has some rolls in the hay and produces 3 children (for which the taxpayer is billed in perpetuity); Williams abuses the three children and they become wards of the state (for which the taxpayer is billed in perpetuity); Williams goes to jail and, upon release, is monitored and counseled by the state (for which the taxpayer is billed in perpetuity) and Williams has every right to continue producing offspring with no desire or visible means of providing for them (for which the taxpayer will certainly be billed in perpetuity). 

If this were an isolated instance, it would still be bad enough.  But, with “one child in three...born out of wedlock” the societal implications are frightening.  As William W. Beach finds in his 2005 Index of Dependency, “Welfare continues to subsidize illegitimacy and penalize marriage...the welfare system for families is overwhelmingly a subsidy system for single parents”.  Just so you don’t forget...the taxpayer is somehow the responsible party in this love fest. 

In 1997, researchers from Columbia University concluded that in New York City alone “federal and proposed state legislation will push 100,000 additional people (including 15,000 families with children) into poverty, and more than 400,000 people (including 110,000 families with children) into severe poverty”.  What the researchers fail to mention is the truth.  Legislation does not “push” people into poverty...personal lifestyle decisions do. 

For some unknown reason, people like Williams see both their abhorrent and self-indulgent lifestyles as a “right” as much as they view the obligation of taxpayers to subsidize them as an entitlement.  In a rational world, this behavior would be labeled as grand theft. 

Robert Rector testified before Congress that “The growth of single parent families, fostered by welfare, has had a devastating effect on our society...Over half of children will spend all or part of their childhood in never-formed or broken families”.  Yet, this society has failed to come to grips with one of poverty’s most central issues; how do you eliminate poverty when the solution is part of the problem? 

Since people like Williams knowingly and irresponsibly create problems that leave taxpayers and innocent children stuck in the middle, isn’t it time that people like Williams be held accountable? 

Every time that the Brenda Williams of this world do as they please and expect society to pay for it, they are stealing from the taxpayer.  Every child created by parents who have absolutely no idea or intention of providing for that child steal money and opportunity from the children of responsible parents.  A dollar in medical expenses for Brenda’s abused child is a dollar less that you have to raise your family. 

Since you can’t blame the children...blame the perpetrators.   

The next time a judge tells a could-care-less child abuser that “I can't prevent you from having another child, but if I could, I would probably take those steps”, it might not be a bad idea to ask “Why can’t you take those steps?”


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