Monday, August 1, 2011

Why The Welfare System Promotes Poverty In America

Allow me to repeat what I have said in previous posts. I am very new to the concept of politics. That being said, I couldn't have picked a worse time to learn as I am seeing now how I am directly affected as well as every other tax paying American in this country. If there is anyone in this country to has earned the right to cry foul over the insane money being spent by our elected officials, it is the American tax payer. Time and time again we see bills passed with nary a detail regarding the allocation of money in said bills.

While there are so many areas where our tax dollars are being abused I would like to focus on a few areas which Americans have constantly harped on, but have been pretty much ignored by the government as a result. Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent every year to provide free medical, food, housing and a number of other benefits to low income households. Before you start bashing me for being callous toward the needy, allow me to state that I am a proponent in some areas and an opponent in others.

I am completely understanding that there are families that are stricken with unfortunate circumstances and are in dire need of assistance. That being said, I oppose people taking advantage of these benefits. As previously stated, I think this system is quite flawed.

The problem with the welfare system is that it is a trap. There are so many rules that one must abide by in order to be eligible to receive such benefits. You can only make so much money depending on how small or large your family is. I remember looking at my daughter's lunch form last year to determine whether or not she would qualify for free meals at school. According to the income eligibility guidelines established by the Department of Agriculture - and being a family of four - we could make no more than $28,665 per year to qualify for free lunch and $40,793 for reduced lunch prices. Needless to say, I did not qualify. I'm not necessarily complaining that we didn't qualify. The point I am making is this: the government is fueled by poverty.

It is quite easy to qualify for these public benefits, but it is just as easy to lose the benefits. In some cases, it is stipulated that you cannot have much - if any - money in your bank account. If they check your account, and you have so much in your account you benefits are immediately taken away without question. You can only keep your benefits as long as you stay poor. It is almost as if the government is giving society an excuse to accept a lifestyle of poverty. So much for people pursuing the American dream.

There are plenty of people who game the system. It is because of these people who take advantage of a system geared toward helping the needy that so many have become outraged and would much rather do away with public assistance altogether. After all, it IS the TAX PAYER that is footing the bill. Not to mention that the people who are taking advantage of the public benefits are likely not paying any taxes - and in some cases - are receiving plenty of money as a result of having dependants.

I am sure that there are plenty of people who are in America illegally who are also capitalizing off of said benefits as well. This is a bit of a sensitive issue with many, but I am going to go ahead and put it out there. I am sorry, but people who are in this country illegally do not deserve to be given benefits they are not legally entitled to. I understand folks want to make a better life for their children, but do so in a legal manner. It may take weeks, months, even years to accomplish. I would take no issue if immigrants have the proper legal documentation proving their eligibility to receive such benefits. And yet, President Obama has brought up a proposal to give all illegal immigrants amnesty. If I am not mistaken, that is pretty much like giving a child an XBox 360 after finding out they stole DVD's earlier the same day. You are rewarding people for breaking the law. I am not going to put out one race over the other: illegal is illegal. There is no gray area. The reason political figures from other countries are stepping in as advocates for illegal immigrants is because they don't want to deal with the financial burden of bringing them back to their country of origin. That's ok, the American tax payer will take care of says the President and many of his constituents.

I know I sound like I am completely against public assistance, but I truly am not. I do believe that poverty stricken families deserve a chance. I do not think they deserve the blame because the real blame belongs to the government as well as the environment many of these families were brought up in. There are many times where there is truly no way out of poverty, and the only way is to receive some form of assistance. I also believe that these benefits should have limitations.

I think that a family should - as long as they qualify - be granted public assistance for one year. During that year, they can make as much money as they want (and be appropriately taxed on their earned income) and save as much as they want. Use the benefits as much as you want. Once that year has come to pass, the benefits are revoked and you must then press on from there. Some of you may pose the argument "but what about the woman with 5 kids who doesn't have time to invest in work?" Yes, that is an unfortunate situation: one which could have been avoided had proper protective measures been taken to avoid those circumstances. I am not saying I don't feel for people's situations, but it is the system that allowed people to accept the lifestyle they live today. People have accepted that it is just easier to live off the government and let the tax payer provide them with a roof over their heads, food at the table and guaranteed medical care free of charge.

It's a pretty strong argument for which you can't really generate a solid rebuttal. You get money for which you do not pay taxes. It either that, or succeed and be taxed along with everyone else. Yeah, it seems like public assistance is the way to go. Unfortunately, the tax payers are fed up. It is sad when - out of the 95% of tax payers earning less than $160,000 per year - there is more than 40% of filers who don't pay a dime in taxes. And we wonder why we are in a financial crisis. Of course the president wants to tax the wealthy...if he chose to start taxing that 40% he would be looking at a landslide defeat next year.

The poor are greedy for wanting to further tax the rich, the rich are greedy for not wanting to properly compensate those who work for them. The middle class is greedy because they want the rich to get taxed more AND the poor to start being taxed. We are all horrible and stricken with greed as a result. I guess it's is the route of all evil. It doesn't matter who you are, it is easy to point the finger at someone else to avoid taking accountability for something that goes wrong. I'll say it again, we are the ones who elected the politicians to lead this country. Their poor performance over the last several decades is a result of our choices to put them there in the first place. We look to elect someone not for how they can help the country as a whole, but how they can benefit us and people like us. Evil begets evil. If we only choose to elect officials based on our own personal interests, they in turn will do the same. Therefore, the rich will will become richer, the poor will become poorer, and the middle class will cease to exist...oh, wait, it already has ceased to exist!

The more I look at it, the more America just doesn't make sense. We are losing our identity.

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