The largest question the American people are considering is knowing that we spend too much and that we have people in need.
Even the questions are difficult to articulate…… is it this?
Or is it this……
Well, when one frames the questions as either or, then the answers would be difficult. But, what if we don’t frame them as an “either/or” question?
What if we simply accept that both of the cartoons reflect some small part of reality. Let’s start by acknowledging that there are some people who have a genuine need for help. But, we also need to have an honest evaluation of some of the “help” that we provide and some of the people and institutions we provide our help to.
I’m the first to state the banks should not have been bailed out. They should have been left to their own devices. What occurred in that regard is unconscionable. We should also acknowledge that like the first cartoon, there are people out there who simply refuse to help themselves or even try. Have the U.S. citizenry bear responsibility to poor decisions of both individuals and/or institutions is a form of tyranny. We’re worried about people upside-down on their homes? Here’s a news flash, I don’t own a home, I’m renting. I should be held responsible and help buy some jackass’s house because I wasn’t stupid enough to sign a mortgage that I knew I couldn’t pay? Or a bank that was stupid enough to accept such mortgages? This is tyranny! Could someone please give me a moral justification of why I should help buy someone’s home? Please!
But, I also know people are hurting in this economy. There are some people who need welfare, food stamps, SSI, etc……. And this is where the faux dilemma is formed. The extremists on the left would have you believe that if we cut government spending that our poor will suffer.
A well-off Seattle couple who lived in a $1.2 million waterfront home and purchased expensive items like jewelry while collecting tens of thousands of dollars in welfare has pleaded guilty to theft of government funds.
So, we see that there are people defrauding the government and taking assistance from the people we intended to help. My favorite example of people claiming to be helpless and drawing assistance is this one…….. please read it….
Here are some of the key details from the Washington Times expose, including an effort by Senator Coburn to end the ripoff.
Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican and the Senate’s top waste-watcher, asked the agency’s inspector general to look into 30-year-old Stanley Thornton Jr. and his roommate, Sandra Dias, who acts as his “mother,” saying it’s not clear why they are collecting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits instead of working. “Given that Mr. Thornton is able to determine what is appropriate attire and actions in public, drive himself to complete errands, design and custom-make baby furniture to support a 350-pound adult and run an Internet support group, it is possible that he has been improperly collecting disability benefits for a period of time,” Mr. Coburn wrote in a letter Monday to Inspector General Patrick P. O’Carroll Jr.
The sorry excuse for a human being, otherwise known as Mr. Thornton, responded to Senator Coburn’s letter with a perverse form of moral blackmail.
In an email response to The Washington Times, Mr. Thornton threatened to kill himself if his Social Security payments are taken away, and said the television episode showing him doing woodwork oversold his abilities. “You wanna test how damn serious I am about leaving this world, screw with my check that pays for this apartment and food. Try it. See how serious I am. I don’t care,” the California man said. “I have no problem killing myself. Take away the last thing keeping me here, and see what happens. Next time you see me on the news, it will be me in a body bag.”
The government has since affirmed that this ……. ‘man’ …… is disabled and he continues to draw disability payments. This story enrages me. It is likely that my ire is so inflamed because of my personal experience. While time and space won’t allow for details, I’ll relate just a small part of my personal life.
The Lord, God Almighty has seen fit for the winds of this earth to blow me here and there. I’ve done many things in my life and found myself in the strangest of circumstances. At one point in my life, I found myself in a very troubling position. While certified to do many things, my education had prohibited advancement. I found myself to be a factory worker. I remanufactured semi-truck brakes. It was laborious. I was quite good at it. At any place on the production line I rocked. My production was a source of pride for me. Too much, it seems. After 5 years at the factory my back gave out with a blown disc. Two surgeries later, I was offered retirement. But, I wasn’t done. I had prepared myself for this eventuality. While convalescing I was taking college courses. On line courses, night courses, day courses….. anything, everything. What I did was to take a hobby, computer science, and I made it a career. I found a job at a software company, I got me a nice piece of paper to hang on my “I love me wall”, and I’ve been at it for 11 years now. Some jackass like the person described above chose the easy way. He has chosen to be a dreg of society rather than a contributor.
But, these are just small parts of our spending. There is much, much more……
- Some job training participants spent their days sitting on a bus.
- Some were trained for jobs that didn’t exist.
- Others were paid to sit through educational sessions about jobs they already had.
- High school students were knowingly exposed to the cancer-causing agent asbestos as part of a job training program.
- Funds were misspent to pay a contractor for ghost employees and to purchase video games.
- Job training administrators spent federal funds on extravagant meals and bonuses for themselves.
- In one state, workforce agency employees took more than 100 gambling trips to casinos mostly during work hours.
Our friend, Senator Colburn showing the way, again. People, we can trim $billions from our budget without withdrawing any assistance from the people who require it. These are just 3 examples of fraud and waste. It is everywhere you look. From examples of insipid stupidity and waste such as NIH Funds $2.6 Million Study to Get Prostitutes in China to Drink Responsibly and $500000 spent on shrimp treadmill study – UPI.com
The question then becomes not an either/or dilemma, but rather, a question of prudence. How much more good can we do with money not sent to such vapid endeavors? How many people are in need because we want to teach Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly while working? And, if we give people in need a hand up, how much will they, in turn, contribute to the revenue of the federal government?
It is not an either/or question. It is a question of integrity. It is a question of responsibility. Remove the idiocy of such spending and then let us take stock of where we are. I suspect if we remove such nonsense from our social spending we would find more prosperity than what we could imagine.