The Generational Culture of Welfare
A friend recently described on Facebook an encounter she had at the local grocery store. She stated she was there to pick up items for a party and ahead of her in the checkout line was an elderly female. This senior citizen was buying very little—under $40–and yet when the cashier totaled her items the elderly lady realized she was $8 short. She began to remove items such as a head of lettuce, an onion and a bottle of salad dressing because she didn’t have enough money. So my friend looked at the cashier and said, “I will pay for it, let her have it.” The elderly lady looked at my friend and began to weep. As tears streamed down her worn face she looked at my friend and said “God bless you and thank you.” The cashier even became tearful and all was taken care of.
Many people, especially those senior citizens who were productive all their lives, are struggling to make ends meet–and yet we have a large group of young and productive citizenry who would rather take welfare and not work at all. This is a problem not only for the here and now but for future generations as well. While there are those who are seeking temporary assistance for the first time to help with expenses due to a job loss, there are countless others whose way of life is being taken off the backs of the working class.
During President Obama’s first term the number of people collecting welfare hit an all-time high. While some of the numbers in the beginning can be attributed to the recession, the greater increase is in direct result to Obama’s position to take out the work requirement in the great Welfare Reform Law, signed in 1996 as a bipartisan effort by then-President Bill Clinton. It is projected that we as a country are now facing a crisis whereby the takers outnumber the makers–and we can blame both Parties for this screw up.
In the city of Augusta, Georgia, it has been reported that a Section 8 housing complex (Cherry Tree Crossing) is being torn down and over 300 people will have to find other housing within the next 90 days. This is not “new” news because these same tenants were told they were going to have to move almost a year ago. Yet, during the media coverage of the event, there were residents who stated during interviews that they had lived in that community all their lives and it was “all they knew”. Last time I checked, the concept of receiving government assistance of any kind is supposed to be short-term lasting no more than four (4) years, and yet one lady professed in the interview to have lived there for 48 years. Where is the incentive to get off of the taxpayer/government dole if people can stay on the system for their entire lives, while raising their children to do the same?
This is not a Democrat or Republican issue but rather an issue that we should all be focused on because at the rate our government handouts increase we will be at a point where we can no longer afford the cost.
Brett Bair of Fox News recently featured a program that focused on the growing fraud and waste of the food stamp program. Even if you dislike Fox as a news source, you should give this program your attention. One of the people interviewed in the segment was a White male around 29 years of age who has decided he would rather be a surfer and take welfare than find a job and be productive–after all, the government allows him to live that way. In the segment, you watch the surfer at his local grocery store buying items like lobster and fish (things many working families cannot afford), bragging about how he considered getting sushi instead.
When you look at this example of a person who is just being lazy and unproductive, compared to the senior citizen I mentioned earlier who was willing to omit her lettuce and salad dressing because she didn’t have enough money, it should make us all become actively involved as to how our taxes are being used and who is using them.
There should be no excuse for individuals who choose to forego bettering themselves and their surroundings to opt for a government check the rest of their lives instead. There is also no excuse when a woman who can’t afford to pay for one child, decides to have 5 or 8 just to keep herself on the system. There is a mindset in this culture that is robbing people of having decent lives–and for many, it is their choice to do so.
For anyone who suggests that I don’t understand the plight of poor people I say to you, “go pander that pity party somewhere else.” For the past 13 years my husband and I, along with a well-qualified staff, have provided services to these very families. What we have seen firsthand is a culture and a mindset that is very much like a drug addiction. The majority of the people who are raised in this environment choose to stay in it because the concept of branching out and striving for a better life is too difficult to comprehend. It is “safer” to stay in their environment, receiving their “guaranteed check” than it is to actually strive for anything better.
Anyone who does the math will find that we will soon be at a point in our society where there won’t be enough tax dollars to pay for every entitlement offered–there simply won’t be enough people working and paying taxes to take from. What we need is real reform of the welfare system, taking it back to the original intent of serving as a hand up and not a generational hand out. Instead of money in the form of an EBT card go back to handing out cheese, milk and eggs, like the first days of the program. I guarantee that would not only stop the fraud and laziness, but would also continue to assist only those who truly need the program.