One of the problems is that the discussion always becomes anecdotal. We complain that Mary gets SNAP while having a Gucci purse and a Lexus and Lawrence counters that Mary had a job until three months ago, bought the purse at a consignment shop, and drives a five year old Lexus that looks new because it was given to her by her late aunt. We're supposed to see how stupid we were for making assumptions.
The problem is that the people who do the data gathering and analysis are by and large from the group who would otherwise be getting welfare, and they come at it in precisely that mode. "Any one of us (translation: I) could be on SNAP if we lose our job." So the people who make a living justifying and delivering welfare are the ones who collect and analyze the data which tells us if it's needed and working.
I don't begrudge poor people food. I don't begrudge them treats or small luxuries. Our literature is chock full of stories about abject poverty, and the parent, uncle, or grandmother who worked an extra day or sold a prized possession to provide a kid with something special, something to make life a little less bleak. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn or the Gift Of The Magi, somebody probably groused that they could have bought some oatmeal with the money. Intelligent discussions elude such people. The discussion needs to be intelligent. It needs to be comprehensive, and I think that's what is lacking.
Mostly though, the people who want to talk about facts need to be more insistent than those who want to talk about emotions. MSNBC recently showed us how not to discuss the news if you are interested in the truth. Night after night, hour after hour, host after host they beat it into the heads of the American people that George Zimmerman was a racist and that even if he wasn't aware of it he was being racist by wondering what Trayvon Martin was up to. They promoted lie after lie. I can easily find you ten people with college degrees who will swear that they followed the Zimmerman trial who believe that:
1- Z disobeyed a police order to stay in his truck, presumably that the police had such authority, and that he had no right to follow Martin.
2- That Z "stalked Martin with a loaded gun" , now when they say that is there a doubt that they are implying the gun was out and in his hand?
3- That Martin was "unarmed" and had not harmed Zimmerman at the time Z shot M, or at least had not harmed him much and was probably just defending himself from the armed man stalking him.
MSNBC said the same thing over and over, night after night, and while they didn't successfully throw the trial they did convince America that Zimmerman "got away with murder" and that Trayvon was killed for "Walking Around Black".
Why can't conservative media stay focussed and drive home the truth about things like welfare and immigration? Why? Because they are too busy trying to skewer Obama on the next scandal and run against him in the 2016 election even though he can't run.