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Plenty for all at the government teat

  • The stigma of government dependence is gone. Government has turned into an El Dorado for the masses. Black, white, brown, old, young, male, female, transgendered — there’s room for all on the government teat.

America is drowning in a flood of government benefits — and the water is getting deeper. The chasm of distinction between need and sloth has narrowed to a hairline fracture that U.S. politicians rarely step on.

Take heart America, our government programs may consign folks to a lifetime on the dole — but they sure build up self-esteem. Shame, stigma, or personal responsibility bothering you? Don’t worry, there will soon be a government program to ease your pain.

The stigma of government dependence is gone. I’m not sharp enough to figure out where it went and why, but it’s plainly evident: Government has turned into an El Dorado for the masses. Black, white, brown, old, young, male, female, transgendered — there’s room for all on the government teat.

Somewhere along America’s path to cradle-to-grave care, self-sufficiency fell out of the wagon. We’ve reached a point where government benefits are championed in society — name it and claim it. It’s either laugh or cry as an increasing number of states allow EBT-payment at fast-food restaurants: McDonald’s, Dominos, Subway, Pizza Hut and many more. In a recent press release, USDA admitted to sending letters to the CEOs of Craigslist, eBay, Facebook and Twitter, asking for help in preventing online sales of food stamps/SNAP benefits. Something smells terribly rotten when our government has to ask eBay for help in nabbing benefit cheaters.

We’ve become a nation that feasts on handouts and bailouts, garnished with attitudes of expectation and entitlement. A few years ago, after the birth of our first child, my wife and I were approached on multiple occasions by friends offering unsolicited advice about how to get on WIC (Women, Infants and Children nutrition program) and qualify for benefits. I had been under the illusion that we should simply tighten the financial belt and make do. It was the same old boilerplate logic they offered: “If they’re giving it away, just get in line.” I then made the mistake of telling some relatives about the WIC advice; turned out they were proud devotees of the program. Ironic — these same relatives constantly complained about welfare recipients.

Anyhow, it’s a surreal state of affairs when the supposedly impoverished have satellite television, SUVs, Xboxes, and the latest iPod. I suppose that after paying for all those, the WIC assistance really does help fill the gaps in the family budget.

In the latest sign of the me-generation apocalypse, Washington, D.C. school officials have sailed away on a ship of fools. They’ve come up with a jaw-dropping plan to get kids in summer school: Pay them. That’s right; D.C. is using tax money to pay the kids $5.25 per hour to attend class.

The Washington Examiner reports that when the program began and only 95 kids signed up, officials went to the employment office (DCPS) and hauled in 305 ringers: “More than 300 students flagged by DCPS and who had signed up for the Summer Youth Employment Program were told that school would be their jobs this summer.” According to school officials, there are plans to expand the program in 2013. No doubt the students are hopeful of a much deserved raise next summer.

Here’s even more macabre comedy from the Examiner: “This summer isn't the first time the city has paid students to learn. The District allowed a Harvard University group to pay about 3,000 middle-school students up to $100 a month for good grades during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years. Grades overall didn't improve significantly.”

We’re now paying kids to attend school in the U.S.A.? Come one, come all, there’s plenty for everyone at the government teat.

Discuss this Blog Entry 3

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 14, 2012

Um, aren't farm subsidies (Farm Bill) hand outs? Pot, meet kettle.

Mary Orcutt (not verified)
on Aug 14, 2012

What a ridiculous article. Almost everyone has had some kind of government aid, including Paul Ryan! If you didn't get government aid, someone close to you did....Grandparents, parents, ex-spouses are especially vulnerable, as are children of divorce. Thank goodness we have these progrmas or we would have more people in poverty than we do now...a scandal in such a rich country.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 18, 2012

what about the military-industrial complex. 1 trillion a year. you might say those boys are the biggest welfare queens of all

and in the good old days we did not have NAFTA/CAFTA/WTO but balanced trade agreements with nations with labor standards who did not rig their currency to outsource jobs.

most people cant get a job as they are being outsourced and it is by design of the elite creating this welfare class to strip the middle class so the elites have little goes back to disisraeli the pm of england who started implementing machiavellils political philosophy for rule by elites.

and you forget the big ag welfare queens who dump gmo corn on mexico and disrupt their corn based economy and turn it into one of pot and migration for free benefits.

it cost us 3 trillion a decade to support the illegals and many of those work in farms through shady contractor.

the fish rots from the head down, and we would have to go all the way back to JFK to find a president who did not take his orders from the money powers of NYC and London. london mainly.

while your sentiment is well appreciated, your ire is misplaced, although people taking welfare in any form from the government, well they put the chains on us just as assuredly on themselves.

i take nothing from the government, not even my social security. i would rather starve to death than to take money from such a greedy war mongering government. i just hope they don't take my small orchard and garden away from me so i starve to death.

its a pretty cruel world out there and by design of our rapacious banking-political elites.

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