Politics

Alexandra Pelosi, Maher go to NYC welfare office to show plight of the poor

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

On HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” it’s acceptable to ridicule all Southerners as stupid toothless rednecks so long as the next show features something that will make “liberals go insane.”

On his Friday night show, host Bill Maher brought documentary filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, back on his show to discuss the fallout over her mini-documentary on Mississippi voters and debut her response to the criticism — another small sample documentary, this time focused on welfare recipients in New York City.

The video commenced with an interview with “Joe the doorman” at the welfare office.

“For 16 years, I’ve been working here at this address,” Joe told Pelosi. “For 16 years, people have been walking by this building with a white piece of paper in their hand looking perplexed, and they come up freely and say, ‘I’m looking for the welfare office, I’m looking for social services, or I’m looking for food stamps.’ I see that most of them are able-bodied, they don’t look like they are handicapped in any way. They just look like they don’t want to work, and it is really really hard to look at this and say, ‘I come to work every day, why can’t you?’”

Pelosi’s video then offered the perspective of those in the welfare line.

“I’m here tryin’ to get some Obama bucks, that’s what I’m doin’, trying to get some Obama money,” said one man in a Yankees baseball cap.

“I am here to get some benefits, you know I mean, I’m here to get a check,” said another man as he blew smoke in the air. “Bitch, I wanna check.”

Everyone featured in the video promised to vote for President Barack Obama.

“Cause, he gives me stuff,” a woman answered when asked why she likes Obama.

“Cause he’s black,” said another man.

One man admitted to not working in a decade. Another explained he cannot work because of his background as a former convict, and another man added that he deserves benefits because of the country’s history of slavery.

The subjects of Pelosi’s film admitted that they don’t want to work — just a free check.

After screening the film, Pelosi explained that the outrage should not be against welfare recipients, but rather the defense budget, which she claims dwarfs the welfare budget.

Maher added that many of the explanations the welfare recipients offered were legitimate.

“One of the guys there says, ‘I’m black and I’ve been to jail it’s hard to get a job.’ That’s true. That’s really true,” said Maher.

“There is a legacy, and the other guy who says, you know, my ancestors [were slaves], I mean they’re exaggerating — and if this guy is holding out for a career instead of a job, fuck him, because you know I had a lot of shitty jobs before I had a career — but there is some truth to that. I mean, the doorman says, why can’t they go to work, well you know what, most doormen are white. They don’t usually hire black doormen.”

Pelosi then noted that the doorman’s family used to vote Democratic. Now Joe is a Republican, as is her chauffeur Demitri.

According to Pelosi, the welfare society is causing Democrats to lose votes.

“We have to address the fact that this is why Democrats are losing ground. And this is a problem in America. The entitlement culture has gotten so big that we are losing our own people,” she said.

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