The Year’s Best Longreads to Catch Up On Over the Holidays

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The Welfare Queen,” Josh Levin (Slate)

“In Chicago, they found a woman who holds the record,” the former California governor [Ronald Reagan] declared at a campaign rally in January 1976. “She used 80 names, 30 addresses, 15 telephone numbers to collect food stamps, Social Security, veterans’ benefits for four nonexistent deceased veteran husbands, as well as welfare. Her tax-free cash income alone has been running $150,000 a year.” As soon as he quoted that dollar amount, the crowd gasped.