Boston Bombers And Family Received $100,000 In Welfare Benefits

tsarnaev-suspects-boston-bombing

I’m a little underwhelmed about this story. We’re talking about $100,000 spread over a decade, so that amounts to $10,000 per year for multiple people.

That’s not much. We’ll spend far more on paying Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense lawyer to help him avoid the death penalty. But still, the optics of terrorists living in America at the expense of the taxpayers is politically toxic.

The Tsarnaev family, including the suspected terrorists and their parents, benefited from more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded assistance — a bonanza ranging from cash and food stamps to Section 8 housing from 2002 to 2012, the Herald has learned.

“The breadth of the benefits the family was receiving was stunning,” said a person with knowledge of documents handed over to a legislative committee today…

“I can assure members of the public that this committee will actively review every single piece of information we can find because clearly the public has a substantial right to know what benefits, if any, this family or individuals accused of some horrific crimes were receiving,” said state Rep. David Linsky (D-Natick), the committee’s chairman.

I’m less worried about the role of welfare in this particular case than I am with the role of welfare in creating a permanent class of government dependents. Such a thing is fertile ground for domestic unrest, if not necessarily outright extremism.

I look at the European nations that are in fiscal crisis – that have literally spent everything and are forced to turn to austerity to make ends meet – and we see protests in the streets, many times violent, from people outraged at the idea of being more independent and less dependent on the government.

The fact that the Boston bombers were on welfare is little more than coincidence. I don’t think slashing welfare programs would really accomplish anything in terms of anti-terror policy.

But there is something to be said about the dangers of creating a welfare class in general.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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