Brett Favre is the face of Mississippi’s welfare scandal, but it’s bigger than him

while playing, Brett Favre Members of the NFL media endlessly called him a “gunslinger,” a characterization that was celebrated and got him off the hook for his numerous interceptions and indiscretions. Somewhere along the way, as Favre’s never-give-up attitude on the football field was repeatedly excused because he could often pull his teams out of the holes he put them in, he may have realized. that it could work. off the field too.

Favre is now the face of the Mississippi Welfare Scandalwith pages of old documents and text messages showing how he allegedly acquired millions of federal dollars intended for the state’s poorest people for his own use, a man who made $140 million during his solo playing career, he treated the funds intended for people experiencing the worst days like his own piggy bank.

He wasn’t the only one. Hell, Favre’s not the only one. Raised in Mississippi athlete involved in this scandal, according to the Mississippi Today report. According to a state lawsuit, former professional wrestler Ted DiBiase, ironically known as the “Million Dollar Man” during his WWF days, and his two sons, Teddy Jr. and Brett, received more than $5 million combined; former running back Marcus Dupree received about $400,000 for “motivational speaking” commitments that he never gave; and former Canadian Football League linebacker Paul Lacoste was given $1.3 million to run three “fitness training camps” in Mississippi.

From what we know from reports in Mississippi Today and the Mississippi Free Press, Favre was allegedly the greediest, getting about $8 million, most of it for the volleyball arena at his alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi. and the rest. for a biomedical company, Prevacus, in which he was an early investor. True to his footballing ethos of never giving up, the Associated Press reported that Favre tried to get more, even to a futsal facility at USM.

The funding of a volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi has been part of the welfare scandal involving Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Fare.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

The funding of a volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi has been part of the welfare scandal involving Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Fare. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

He is in a hole completely dug by himself. It doesn’t look like he can get out of this anytime soon. Yet Favre is just the last person who won’t pay for something with his own money if the public’s money is available, especially if it’s funds intended for the most vulnerable among us.

Earlier this month, the The US Department of Justice indicted 48 people for allegedly stealing $250 million in money meant to feed children in Minnesota during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group, linked to a nonprofit called Feeding Our Futures, said it was providing meals to thousands of children, but prosecutors say only a fraction of the funds went to feeding children. Quite cartoonishly, one of the accused persons allegedly used the website “” to generate names to put on documents, made-up children they were supposedly helping to earn free money.

In the sports world, the Pegulas, Terry and Kim, didn’t need bogus spreadsheets or face scrutiny from prosecutors or state auditors to get their windfall of public money. The couple, who have a net worth of $6.7 billion, didn’t have to consider, gasp! — contributing his own dough to build a much-needed new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. They withdrew the traditional threat to move the team, and Governor Kathy Hochul was only too happy to agree to her bluff.

Hochul agreed to give them $600 million to go to a new facility, unconditional public assistance for two of the richest people in the country who don’t even call New York their home state.

Where did Hochul get that pile of cash? Probably not coincidentally, she cut $800 million from the New York Office of Children and Family Services. That comes from the same state budget in which she appropriated more than $500 million for a building that will be used about 20 times a year by a tiny fraction of New Yorkers.

Do you see a pattern?

Time and time again, Americans living in poverty are told to work a little harder. Get a better education. Learn to spend money more intelligently.

Seldom discussed is the freezing of the federal minimum wage (and the minimum wage in 20 states, including Mississippi) at $7.25 an hour for over 13 years, rarely discussed how college costs have risen nearly 170% since 1980 while wages have stagnatedrarely an acknowledgment that the sad truth is that no one knows how to budget money better than a person living in extreme poverty, whose entire life is a series of desperate decisions about what to spend their few dollars on, how much they can afford public services. to keep the lights on and the apartment warm, how many times can they rewash their work pants in the sink to avoid having to go to the laundromat?

There is only shame and derision, even of elected officials. The belief that they are lazy or unambitious. And the most tropical trope: all they’re after is a handout. The why is a bit complicated, but much of it is rooted in racism and misogyny.

Many of the women who lose out are single mothers, some fleeing domestic violence. Some potential recipients are relatives such as grandparents who take the children in instead of seeing them become wards of the state. Single mothers in particular work full time, if not more than 40 hours a week, but wages in Mississippi are so low they’re still below the poverty line.

But who in Mississippi received handouts? They certainly weren’t the people the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (or TANF) money was intended for. One in five Mississippians lives in poverty, and that number is higher for black residents of the state. Yet the number of people who needed that money for basic human needs like housing and received it is minuscule, less than 1 percent of applicants, according to the most recent data, says Matt Williams, director of research for the Mississippi Low- Income Child Care Initiative (MLICCI).

Williams said there are more than 350,000 adults in his state who live in poverty; an average of 222 adults a month receive TANF funds. Only 2,650 children receive money.

The lucky few who have been approved are eligible for $260 a month for a family of three, a recent increase from the $170 a month it had been for years. That is all.

“Even with that increase, it would take the average family of three 352 years to receive the full benefit payment they are eligible for to get what Favre received in one check,” Williams said. using the $1.1 million amount Favre received from Nancy New, whose Mississippi Community Education Center received millions in TANF matching grants.

Brett Favre is the face of Mississippi's welfare scandal, but it affects many more people, and possibly to a much more serious degree.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Brett Favre is the face of Mississippi’s welfare scandal, but it affects many more people, and possibly to a much more serious degree. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Favre got the $1.1 million from public service announcements and appearances, supposedly going to the now-infamous volleyball stadium in Southern Miss.

“Although it’s an absurd and extreme example, it really reflects how state leadership has approached the use of TANF in the past,” Williams said. “They would rather see it come to that than roll up their sleeves and create a cash assistance program that works.”

The numbers in Mississippi are particularly bleak, making it all the more outrageous that the people who need it most are not just being snubbed, but willfully neglected. Recent data shows that 44.5 percent of Mississippians are still behind on their rent or mortgage and are on the verge of eviction or foreclosure, however, incumbent Governor Tate Reeves recently returned federal funds intended to help with rental assistance related to COVID-19.

There are so few opportunities to experience upward economic mobility that Williams said data shows children born in the Mississippi Delta region have basically a 0 percent chance of growing up and earning more than their parents.

In New York, where Nearly two-thirds of residents — and a shocking 82 percent of those in the Buffalo region — disapprove of Hochul’s financial gift to the Pegulas, advocates say the Office of Children and Family Services was already fighting to keep up with the number of cases it had and will now try to work with a budget that is almost 20 percent less than last fiscal year.

Forty-eight people in Minnesota allegedly stole flyers.

Brett Favre reportedly asked for and received multiple flyers.

The state accuses the DiBiases, Marcus Dupree and Paul Lacoste of receiving handouts.

The Pegulas are receiving the most public aid in the long, filthy history of sports teams fleecing cities, counties (Erie County is also kicking in $250 million), and states to pay their bills while making the lion’s share of the profits.

Favre is the face of Mississippi’s welfare scandal, a welfare queen, if you will, but he’s far from the only wealthy person who realizes that taking from the poor is a proven American way to get rich. .

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