In response to my recent post regarding Mitt Romney and his opinion on how best to make America an “Opportunity Society,” I received the following comment from Jo Dick Harris:
If a person believes Dale Hansen why go to school. Somebody in the Democratic Party will take care of them and their family if they marry and have children. Work is for suckers.
I’m not sure which statement of mine led Jo Dick to believe that I support some sort of extreme view of America where this description makes any sense, but maybe that is how it came off.
With that in mind I wanted to clarify my beliefs since I think this sort of rhetoric permeates what should be a rational debate. Polls show that most Americans believe that there are some people who truly need and benefit from welfare and some people who truly don’t need assistance and are just milking the system. If that is the case then the real debate is how many people should really be on welfare, not should we offer any welfare.
What I never hear from commenters or politicians are practical solutions that assure that those in need don’t lose this assistance while eliminating the rest.
If you want the states to decide where the money should go – this has been done.
If you want fewer impoverished people to receive assistance – this has been done.
If you want less money spent on welfare – this has been done.
If you want to limit the amount of welfare people can receive – this has been done.
If you want to have better control of what food stamps buy – this has been done.
If you want to require people to get job training in order to receive assistance – this has been done.
It should be noted that around 75% of all the money spent on welfare goes to children and subsequently the reductions that we have seen over the past 15 years have affected children the most. Have we really reached the point where we put something like corporate tax breaks or tax cuts for the rich ahead of giving underprivileged kids an opportunity to succeed, because that is what will happen if we continuing to arbitrarily attack the welfare system.
I imagine there are some viable solutions to cut the waste out of welfare but you can’t crack down on fraud without spending more taxpayer dollars and hiring additional government employees – two things that Republican legislators seem to hate even more than welfare. But if we’re being honest, this “debate” isn’t really about finding solutions is it?