I‘ve written many times recently about the many scams being distributed to the mailing lists of right wing news and blog sites. Conor Friedersdorf recently got an email from the National Review and Newsmax promising to tell seniors how to get government funding to send them on vacation.
The email was sent out to National Review subscribers but came from Newsmax, which is often involved in pitching these absurd schemes to credulous conservatives:
Retirees have received an insulting 1.32% annual increase to their Social Security checks under the Obama Administration. And the rumors around D.C. suggest certain politicians want to drastically decrease your payments, and soon! So when we stumbled upon this weird trick that can add $1,000 to monthly Social Security checks, we knew we had to share it with you.
Your friends at Newsmax.
If you click on the link it says:
Grab up to $20,500 of the trillions in money, services, and other goodies that Uncle Sam may have ALREADY allocated for your family for 2013 — and find out about more than 40 unclaimed government grants, giveaways, and subsidized trips.
Did you know that the U.S. government is “committed” to distribute more than $1 trillion in money, services, free trips, and other giveaways?
According to our source, it’s true!
Despite the budget battles and sequester, that money is still there and has already been allocated. On a percentage basis, every family’s share of the pie comes to around $20,500. What’s more, only 12% of the money in these programs is designated for the poor.
Many people mistakenly believe that you have to be destitute to receive government money and giveaways. However, the truth is that a larger percentage of rich people than poor people are eligible for government money — such as 100% fully paid “cultural exchange” trips to other countries.
Unfortunately, most people don’t even know about the thousands of government-giveaway programs available to them. That’s because most of these programs are funded by Washington but administered through either the states or little-known organizations — and 75% of the programs have no income thresholds.Of the $1 trillion in free government money given away each year, only about $378 billion is distributed as grants. The rest is distributed as direct payments, venture capital, or special “loans” you do not have to pay back.
You can’t find these programs on Google. Most government officials often don’t even know these programs exist. That’s why many ordinary people miss out — and let the tiny handful of “connected” folks get all the freebies.
Literally BILLIONS in free money and bargain adventures go unclaimed every year!
Well isn’t that great news, “according to their source.” All of this is a lie, of course. The notion that more than 25% of the federal budget is available to pay for trips abroad — the picture on the page has an elderly couple standing at the Eiffel Tower — is absolute nonsense. But hey, whatever works. And since they probably paid as much as $100 per 1000 email addresses on the list, it clearly works. Friedersdorf hammers the message of this email:
The whole thing is such a fascinating mix of truth and untruth, and so ideologically dissonant. “Now you can get YOUR fair share,” the email goes on. Your “fair share” of free money, including “government-subsidized trips to vacation resorts worldwide.” Why, “there is a special agency, in fact, that helps older people gain access to services and free programs no one knows about — including subsidized vacations to places like Disney World.” But no Obamaphones. That would be socialism.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that, for a sizable number of people at least, conservative media outlets and blogs are really just a big con game, a way to fleece the masses.