Thursday, April 28, 2011
A Welfare program existed but it was always tied to a bit of "shame". Back then, a case worker came to a Welfare applicant's house, looked over the kids to see how they were dressed, checked their school attendance and had no qualms about peeking into kitchen cupboards and inspecting the cleanliness of the house. If an applicant passed the "test", approval was granted for a welfare family to receive a small check and, upon visiting the welfare office once a month, could expect to take home a box of powdered milk, flour, government cheese, a few cans of vegetables and some canned meats, as available.
Accompanying the welfare home inspection was the central, all encompassing question "where's the man of the house?" If the father was alive he was expected to contribute child support. In almost all cases, when support from the father was not forthcoming the welfare office coordinated with local law enforcement issue an arrest warrant for the deadbeat dad.
Needless to say, back then, applying for Welfare was serious business that required alot of thought and serious consequences for the responsible parents.
Contrast that with welfare today. The program, and the number of recipients has grown to stratospheric levels compared to those who needed and sought assistance forty years ago. The generosity of welfare programs have become so widely available that qualifying for several very generous programs is easy. In our nation today people who wish to do so may acquire assistance from city, county, state and federal programs that will afford you a living standard higher than the average tax-payer is achievable....and done so with very little program auditing...and with little "shame" as government does not wish to make a welfare recipient "embarrassed". To alleviate the shame of "taking", debit cards are issued and afford the recipient the ability to buy fast food at McDonald's or steak and lobster at Safeway! Whee!
Further, if the welfare is insufficient the IRS will issue child tax credits in the thousands of dollars and, should you wish to work, just ask to be paid in cash, and no one needs to know that you're enriching yourself because no one is checking.
Should government largess not be sufficient to your needs, feel free to visit a Food Bank. I often take citrus from my yard and canned food to my local food bank. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a late model SUV pull into the lot, the family disembarks with IPOD earphones protruding from their ears, a new cell phone attached to their belt and go into the Food Bank for more goodies. My more tender-hearted friends have recounted to me stories of delivering turkey dinners to homes at Thanksgiving and folks being perturbed at having to pause from watching football games on their big screen televisions long enough to open the door and grab the box of Turkey and trimmings.
So, folks, it's getting harder and harder for me to find "truly needy charities" since my tax dollars seemed to be doing the trick. I see most everybody exceedingly well-fed, and many quite obese. I now research the charities. I still give but I make sure that half of my donation is not eaten up by administrative fees, or whether the "charity" is already augmenting what I'm giving through my tax payments.
I give generously to St. Jude's Children's Cancer and Research hospital and the Humane Society. I have yet to meet a dog that could swipe a food stamp debit card.