Arthur Schaper: Takers Get Taken, Makers Make It
Friday, November 15, 2013
Former US Senator John E. Sununu (R-New Hampshire) penned a telling column in Time Magazine: “One Nation On the Dole.” Sununu warns that a culture where more people are living off the government clashes with a political foundation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
In contrast to the “Welfare Queen” reigning in all Americans, Michael Grunwald itemized corporate subsidies which feed and clothe him in his Florida home. He also mentioned the public schools and public parks, paid for with tax dollars.
I am focusing on welfare, entitlements, and public assistance.
Food Stamp Use
With Sununu, the issue is not shame, but what’s the best thing for the American People. Where’s the life and liberty in waiting to get by on a government check, which can barely cover the bare essentials? Working in a local supermarket, I have witnessed elderly ladies and business types breaking out the food stamps. They can't purchase enough. Should they get anything?
Forty-seven million Americans today subsist on food stamps. While the Mainstream Media has underreported this discouraging trend, BBC America researched the causes and the encompassing concerns connected with fiscal frenzy. Even though the economy is improving ever so slightly, more people are taking food stamps. In California, Governor Brown advertises the supplemental nutrition program “CalFresh”. Who’s paying for this airtime, and isn’t anyone ashamed, yet?
San Francisco Chronicle’s token conservative Debbie Saunders blasted the rise of food stamp use in conjunction with the slightly improving economy. Check out this video documenting a shiftless welfare slacker, paid to play at the beach.
Yes, there’s abuse. Democrats do not seem to care about the expanded dependence in their state, so far. I have spoken with a dedicated group of Republican Party leaders in Rhode Island. They tell me that the number of people taking from the government as opposed to making it on their own has reached unprecedented levels, with 17% getting some kind of aid. In Woonsocket alone, one in three need public assistance. One leader mentioned that dependents travel from Connecticut, with a stricter food stamp policy, to Rhode Island, where they can depend on the program for five years, then stay off for one month, then reapply for another five years.
The 47 Percent
Forty-seven: we’ve heard that ominous figure pronounced before, have we not? Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared in a presumably private forum, with wealthy benefactors in Florida that the same figure would never vote for him. Why?
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it -- that that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them."
Let’s sift through these statistics.
“They believe they are victims.” Social Security recipients are victims, all right: they had to pay into the system. Let’s not forget the working-class communities in our country who pay into Social Security before wealthier individuals, yet die sooner without receiving a substantial benefit.
There are veterans receiving benefits, but not much else. They are victims of a distant, dysfunctional bureaucracy, one which ignores their service. Men need to be restored, not shelved with taxpayer dollars. The unseemly bureaucracies mistreat wounded warriors.
What to Do?
What about the remaining 47%-ers?
Medicare pays out three times what people pay in. Time for means testing. And let’s not forget Obamacare’s $500 billion raid on the fund.
Disability payments are crippling our federal budgets, and at least 25% of recipients should not be getting any. Great Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron demanded that “disableds” submit to an interview. Half of them dropped off the welfare rolls. MP George Osborne has stumped for “Work for your dole”.
Yet there are those born into welfare. They are victims, too, of bad parents subsidized to bear children, yet who refuse to rear them. Bad schooling, no options, and an easy cult-like hold of “Gimme!” have trapped them.
Is there any hope for those individuals?
You bet! Following President Clinton’s reforms, able-bodied Americans found employment [ACS1]. South Carolina is tracking successes. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is mandating measures to make it easier to get a job. There are many stories of people who broke out of the welfare life, notably conservative radio shock-jock Adam Carolla.
A dependency kid from birth (welfare, food stamps, lunch tickets), Carolla shared no fond memories of a dependency childhood. He wanted more than what the government let his family get by on. “We are all capable of doing a ton, or nothing depending on what’s demanded of us”.
Takers get taken, but makers can make it. It’s time to tell all Americans: you have what it takes to make it!
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow him on Twitter @ArthurCSchaper, reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and read more at Schaper's Corner and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.
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