Conservative Republicans have officially made it their mission to end food stamps as we know them. Such was evident last week, when the House GOP voted to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as food stamps are now known, by $39 billion over a decade and begin bulking up its work requirements, along the lines of welfare reform in the 1990s. Whether you believe this a good or humane idea probably boils down to your take on a single question: Why don´t the poor, who make up the overwhelming majority of food stamp recipients, go to work? In 2012, more than
Reply 1 - Posted by:
Country Boy, 9/26/2013 5:49:28 AM (No. 9537359)
Nobody is going to starve (not even the morbidly obese). The free stuff just needs to be inventoried.
We need to get Food Stamps out of the closet. Used to be able to see the Food Stamps folks signing over the vouchers in the grocery store. Let´s go back to something like that. More ... print off the list of all stuff bought (free) by whom, and post in the front of the store. Publish it on the internet. Sunshine is a wonderful cleaner.
And come to think of it, since we are on a big health kick, why are taxpayers buying huge quantities of candy, ice cream, cookies, sugared drinks and salty snacks for the 47%? I thought this stuff was taboo (ain´t that right big Moochele?)
FTA: Each year, the bureau asks jobless Americans why it is they´ve been out of work. And traditionally, a only a small percentage of impoverished adults actually say it´s because they can´t find employment...
Maybe these "impoverished" are not quite as stupid as liberals would believe. The dramatic rise in Social Security disability claims might be indicative more of the discovery of a new government teat than of some epidemic of illness. For someone to choose between low-paying, unpleasant work and free money (assisted by an aggressive group of politically-motivated enablers)is simple enlightened self-interest.
And then there are those who manage to get EBT cards from 3 states.(VA,MD,DE) Found out this weekend that many of the Haitians that infest this area have moved to MD where the benefits are better, bet they keep their VA benefits,too.
Regarding the disability claims, there are the two-bit shyster lawyer commercials of TV hawking “I’ll get you the money you deserve,” along with the 35ish Black woman with an attitude claiming “I’ve worked hard and now I’m going to get the money I deserve!”
IMO, lawyers should be disallowed from filling out or advising clients on how to fill out applications for government subsidies.
Apparently all of the governments IT money is spent on NSA upgrades and buildings. With a little bit of effort, the Feds could have a databank of bar codes for food and non-food products that can be bought with the EBT card. I don´t think it would be that difficult to have a databank of social security numbers so that 1) an individual is not getting benefits from multiple states, 2)qualifies for the benefits (not an illegal) and 3) is not dead (and voting). But that would require someone in the government to have a coherent thought... not to mention all the paperwork to do the IT work.
I agree with #3: people make rational choices based on the available options.
Say you had a mildly-to-moderately bad back that gave you pain from time to time. Say you could work part-time, endure periodic pain, forfeit most or all the disability-linked and/or means-tested subsidies you now enjoy, and end up losing money/benefits (all things considered); or, you could go on claiming full disability, not have to work at all, and make MORE money than you would working.
You would be a fool to get a paying job.
It´s a hella system. But hey, *I* would not *pay* for the privilege of working. Would you? Would you get a tiring hassle of a job that pays you less than zero -- that actually costs you, and which sharply increases your economic insecurity?
I didn´t think so.
So, OK, I blame "the System". But I am not blaming the person who chooses their legal, rational self-interest. Not one bit.
The constitution only mentions ´welfare´ in the preamble in the phrase ´to promote the general welfare´ which is used as a reason for establishing the constitution. Clearly it refers to all aspects of the well being of the entire country. It does not mean food stamps, disability and housing subsidies for the poor. That said I doubt many people object to the government providing a safety net for people who, through no fault of their own, become impoverished to the detriment of their health and well being. The problem is that because we have such a dynamic and powerful economy, over time, we have become wealthier and wealthier and the definition of impoverishment has evolved from hungry, perhaps sick and on the street to having to live in a small air conditioned rental property with plenty of food, a wide screen TV, a car but little or no money for much of anything else (at least no documented income). The government is willing to maintain people close to that line or even above it. That´s where reality bites . . . a lot of people are comfortable with that level of poverty. I think living in the safety net ought to be a miserable existence so those people will be nudged back into the labor force. Lack of well being is supposed to be an incentive to work in a free market capitalist system. It used to be a common idiomatic expression, if you don´t work you don´t eat. No longer.
Of course with half the country voting to maintain themselves on the dole it´s very hard to make the government live up to the constitution which does not provide for welfare.
One research provided info stating that the benefits to welfare, food stamps, medicaid, etc. added up to approximately $60,000 annually. They are doing almost as well as the government employees and it hard to exchange all of that and lay on the backside instead of working to earn an income of $30-40K annually.
No poor person is going to say "I can get more free stuff than I could earn by going to work." I´ll bet that is not even a possible answer. Yet, given human nature, it is often true. Why would someone commit to 40 hours of labor when they could do nothing and get the same benefits?
Sure, many successful people wouldn´t take that bargain because they want far more out of life than the bare minimum. But maybe THAT is why many of these people are poor. They simply do not have the values and work ethic that would lift them out of poverty. They won´t find work unless they HAVE TO!
Hard circumstances are often the prod to get people to work. Once they start, some find it better to be working. That´s a transformational experience. Others may prefer to get free stuff but if they are not given the choice, they will work.
There will always be a portion of the population that truly cannot work. We should support them. But most could.
And if a little less public support is the goad, great.
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