Writ large in Michigan – from Detroit News:
…Here we go again — the cold-harded GOP elitists are balancing the budget on the back of the poor.
More than 11,000 people will see their welfare benefits end on Oct. 1.
What will they do? Well, most haven’t considered working as an option.
The Department of Human Services sent letters to 11,062 welfare recipients, notifying them their checks are coming to an end. Included was a toll-free number people could call for information and assistance.
The hotline got 1,401 calls. Of that number, only eight callers requested help in finding a job.
Many of those being cut off have been on public assistance for 14 years. That’s not a safety net; it’s a hammock…
Except for those actually incapable of work – and, remember, I have an exceptionally high bar for that – all people must work. I don’t care if its just picking up trash in the city streets, no one should ever be allowed to sit on their rear and collect any sort of government benefit. Furthermore, in order to ensure that the search for work is diligent, welfare should never pay more 80% of a minimum wage job. Any job, any where – even those “jobs Americans won’t do” and are thus filled by illegals – should pay more than government assistance. Welfare should only be just enough to keep body and soul together until the recipient finds a job.
The best estimate that I have found of non-health care, non-Social Security welfare spending by the United States government is in the range of $350 to $500 billion per year (its hard to tell because Uncle Sam – determined to not make it easy for us – doesn’t have a category of spending called “welfare”…you have to dig around for it). I’ll bet that State and local welfare spending adds at least 25% to that figure (and it is probably higher)…even at the low end, we’re talking more than $400 billion per year spent by government in various transfer payments to people who didn’t pay any “input” taxes (in other words, didn’t pay SS taxes, didn’t pay taxes which fund unemployment, etc). I’ll bet that three quarters (at least) of that money is going to people who can work, but choose not to.
Add in the waste and fraud in Social Security disability, the number of people who get healthcare on the public dime without putting in anything, the drain caused by illegal immigration, and the money spent on worthless aspects of education (what is that? Worthwhile education spending: education spending which results in an engineer, teacher or doctor. Worthless education: spending which results in diversity coordinators, corporate bureaucrats and lawyers) and you’re probably getting in to the range of a trillion dollars per year of drain on the economy…money which is spent that has no net, positive benefit. Money which just goes to leeches.
This has to change – and the welfare reform in Michigan shows why: some people are so long on the public dime that they simply have no desire to get off it. They must be forced off – work, or starve. A complete audit of all recipients of government money must be done…and all able-bodied people with no minor children must be kicked off of government support; those with children must be forced to do at least some work in payment for their welfare; only those absolutely incapable of working (or on a program they directly paid in to over the years) should be allowed to remain.
There is still plenty of work on the low end in the United States…work which doesn’t need even a high school diploma (how many from the backwaters of Mexico and the third world who come here illegally have such?). It is, often, hard and dirty work…but work is honorable, and all honest work creates personal dignity. Better to be poor digging a ditch than poor watching daytime television. Mind you, I’ll go ten thousand extra miles to help out anyone who is working hard and still not able to make ends meet…you put in your 40 hours and you’re still short, you can count on me to either work it through charity or, if need be, enact laws to ensure that you and your family have decent food, housing, clothing and basic health care…but the first step is that 40 hours of work.
We must become a nation of hard work, thrift and careful investment…massive reforms need to be undertaken, and none of them can really be done in isolation. Big Corporation also needs to feel the hammer; Big government, naturally; all of us have to stand up and do what is right…after generations of coasting on borrowed money. The only way we keep our nation is if we work for it. Period, end of story. Anyone who says otherwise is simply not understanding the nature of life.