You know how Republicans have been referring to welfare recipients as lazy moochers who are stealing money from taxpayers? Well, get ready for a huge helping of hypocrisy.
A North Carolina Republican is in hot water after documents revealed that he committed welfare fraud in the 1990s.
GOP state Senator Wesley Meredith currently enjoys a double-digit lead against his Democratic opponent Billy Richardson. But on Tuesday, Richardson released documents that could be a potential game-changer with a month to go before Election Day.
According to ABC 11,
Richardson released a load of Meredith’s public and private financial and public assistance documents. They indicate Meredith and his ex-wife, Elizabeth Meredith, received welfare in the late 1990s. At the time, the couple earned annual incomes in the six-figure range.
In an interview with the Fayetteville Observer, Elizabeth Meredith confirmed the authenticity of the accusations against her former husband.
Apparently, the Merediths went to the county Department of Social Services in 1996 and applied for Medicaid benefits. The Merediths also applied for WIC (food stamps) benefits at the same time. The released documents corroborate this information.
The documents also show that Wesley Meredith had a gross income of over $100,000 and received benefits at a time when people had to be making less than $19,800 to qualify for government assistance.
The bottom line here is that a Republican who has worked with his political party to punish welfare recipients and the poor in recent years has been caught putting his own hand in the cookie jar. Furthermore, the revelations come as North Carolina Republicans continue to block Medicaid expansion through Obamacare, which would give thousands of North Carolinians the health coverage they desperately need.
And the welfare fraud may not even be the worst of it. The documents also suggest that Meredith abandoned his wife and child financially. Of course, Meredith claimed that he has no memory of signing up for state assistance and then tried to shift the blame to his ex-wife. So much for so-called Republican “family values.”
The Cumberland County GOP issued a statement on Wednesday calling on Meredith to re-pay the taxpayers for the funds if the allegations are true like the documents show. And the North Carolina Senate Caucus called the accusations “desperate and despicable” and proceeded to smear Democratic candidate Billy Richardson.
In the end, the documents show that Meredith did indeed make a six-figure income and that he and his family did apply for and receive welfare benefits, even though they didn’t need the aid. Republicans have been attacking welfare recipients for years, accusing them of stealing money from taxpayers. As it turns out, a real thief of tax dollars was hiding right under their own noses in their own party. That has got to be embarrassing.