The welfare angle

The Boston Herald seems to have struck a nerve in its efforts to uncover the public support that sustained Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his family over the years:

The Patrick administration clamped down the lid yesterday on Herald requests for details of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s government benefits, citing the dead terror mastermind’s right to privacy.

Across the board, state agencies flatly refused to provide information about the taxpayer-funded lifestyle for the 26-year-old man and his brother and accused accomplice Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.

On EBT card status or spending, state welfare spokesman Alec Loftus would only say Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his wife and 3-year-old daughter received benefits that ended in 2012. He declined further comment.

On unemployment compensation, labor department spokesman Kevin Franck refused to say whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev ever collected, saying it was “confidential and not a matter of public record.”

The Herald reported yesterday that Tsarnaev, his wife and 3-year-old daughter collected welfare until 2012 and that both Tamerlan and Dzhokhar received benefits through their parents “for a limited portion” of the time after they emigrated to the United States in 2002.

Whatever the facts, I doubt it will cause us to rethink “a welfare state ample to a fault,” although it should.

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