Note: This is a non-historical post, hysterical perhaps, but not historical.
A recent public announcement showed there are more families living on public assistance in Alabama than there are working families in the state, so I ask you, “Who is paying the bills for these families”? The answer is – hard-working families who are paying more and being taxed to death.
Alabama shares the distinction of having more welfare families than working families with sister states Maine, New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, South Carolina, Mississippi, New Mexico, Hawaii, and California. This is a club to which each of these states should be ashamed to belong. – dated Oct. 2013, Economic Policy Journal.com.
I am not alone in my resentment at supporting families in which one or both adults are perfectly capable of working and choose not to. Let’s look at some statistics for 2014.
In Alabama welfare recipients can receive benefits that are equivalent to $23,310. yearly, or to break it down further, that is about $11.21 per hour if the recipient worked full time, and they do nothing to earn it. A study by CATO showed there are 35 states where welfare benefits are higher than the salary for a full-time job at minimum wage so there is NO incentive for irresponsible people to work.
Let’s look at it another way, “The median salary in Alabama is $29,848. That means a person on welfare can make 78.1 percent of the state’s median salary and live at 136 percent of the federal poverty level” and qualify for all manner of assistance which working families cannot.
Abuse of public assistance programs is running rampant in this country. One only has to look at a few forums and web sites or listen to news broadcasts for an idea of how big a problem it is.
Fraud includes recipients who sell food stamps for pennies on the dollar and use the money to purchase non-food items, often while their children are receiving two free meals a day at school rather than at home.
Total number of Americans on welfare: 12,800,000; total number of Americans on food stamps: 46,700,000; total number of Americans on unemployment insurance: 5,600,000; percent of the U.S. population on welfare: 4.1%; total government spending on welfare annually (not to include food stamps or unemployment): $131.9 Billion dollars. –Source: Dept. of Commerce statistics.
To show the depth of the welfare abuse, the Washington Times reported that welfare spending has increased 32% during the Obama presidency – from $563 billion in fiscal year 2008 to $746 billion in fiscal year 2011. How long can this country stay solvent with welfare spending increasing at this rate?
We haven’t even touched on the number of children some of the families on public assistance have, and don’t tell me I don’t have the right to tell someone how many children they can have because as long as deductions from my paycheck are helping to support these families I have every right. Remember your parents saying, “As long as you live under my roof you will do as I say”? Same difference.
I had two children because I could not clothe, feed, educate, and provide for more than two yet families in which the medical cost of having the children is paid by Medicaid; the cost of feeding them is taken care of by programs such as Alabama Summer Food Service, WIC, Alabama Special Milk Program, Alabama School Breakfast and Lunch Program, and Alabama Food Assistance Program; and homes are warmed or cooled by allowances from the Alabama Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Alabama Weatherization Assistance program, etc. often have large families.
Liberals can ask how can anyone want to deny a family assistance with one of these programs, to which I reply it is a well known fact that another aspect of public assistance fraud is the large percentage of families who receive aid from multiple programs at the same time.
Drawing public assistance, (food assistance program or Medicaid) is not the end of the story. Families on those programs and others are entitled to free cell phones, and in fact, in Alabama a Medicaid recipient has to send a letter declining the phone otherwise it is sent as a matter of course. I think of this every month when I pay my cell bill. A family in public housing, drawing SSI, receiving the NSL’s free school lunch program, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families etc. may also qualify for free phones and free cell service.
I do not include the elderly, the disabled, those who have lost a job due to a plant closing or other circumstance beyond their control, or military veterans in my rant against public assistance. God knows a disabled veteran deserves every form of assistance possible, however, studies have shown that some welfare/public assistance recipients draw more in food assistance per month than some veterans’ benefits combined. See: http://gopthedailydose.com/2013/10/29/welfare-recipients-receive-benefits-permanently-disabled-combat-vet/
There have been bills introduced in Alabama that, if passed, would allow drug testing for some welfare recipients, make it a crime to defraud public assistance programs, require welfare recipients to show proof of trying to find employment, etc., but these measures are simply putting a band-aid on a scar.
Because of prison overcrowding the state is considering releasing criminals with time remaining on their sentences so it is unlikely someone caught selling food vouchers is going to prison and it is doubtful they’d even see a lapse in benefits. The legal system is not going to suddenly decide to get tough with public assistance abuse unless the system is overhauled from the ground floor up.
I agree with Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions – welfare should be viewed as a temporary measure and not as a permanent way of life. From presidential candidates down to the lowliest town mayor candidate may forego their bickering and mudslinging in the coming years, not promise reform they can’t deliver, and tell the American people one thing – what their strategy is for reversing this pattern and rewarding working families for making their own way. You don’t reward an unruly child, so why should you reward someone who chooses not to be a responsible worker with a free cell phone?
Wake up America and demand a change while there is time to reverse, or at least slow down, this downward spiral before working Americans are crushed under the weight of entitlement.