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April 30, 2008

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Thank you QUIT TAKING MY MONEY IN TAXES AND GIVING TO PEOPLE WHO DONT DESERVE IT THE WHOLE SYSTEM IS BACK WORDS MAKE THESE PEOPLE DO SOMETHING FOR THIER MONEY. INSTEAD OF GIVING THEM MY MONEY EVERY TAX SEASON.WHAT YOU SAID SHOWS EVERY TIME I GO TO WALL MART THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS I HAVE SEEN MORE LARGE SCREEN TELEVISONS AND OTHER CARTLOADS OF EXPENSIVE STUFF STEROS DVD'S,CD'S $500.00 VIDEO GAMES GOING OUT THE DOOR AND THE ONLY TV'S I HAVE HAD FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS ARE SECOND HAND, MY STERO IS 20 YEARS OLD AND I BOUGHT SPEAKERS AT THE THRIFT STORE TO MAKE A SUROUND SOUND SYSTEM. MY WIFE AND I MAKE A DECENT INCOME BY STANDARDS SET BY PEOPLE WHO DONT HAVE A CLUE WE ARE CONSIDERED UPER MIDDLE CLASS BUT YET SEEM TO HAVE TO SCRAPE BETWEEN PAY CHECKS WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE. MAKE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE ABLE TO WORK, WORK,THIER IS PLENTY OF LITTER ON THE ROADS AND STREETS AND MAKE IT SO THEY CAN ONLY BUY WHAT THEY NEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EXTREMELY FRUSTRATED AND GETING PORRER BY THE WEEK

It's not so obvious to me that there are millions of desperately poor people in the U.S. If people on welfare, as the commenter quoted above mentioned, have fancy cell phones and cable TV, they hardly sound desperate. The people who probably have the hardest time meeting their basic needs in the U.S. are immigrants, especially the illegal ones. And just the fact that they made the perilous journey to come here would seem to indicate that things are far more desperate where they came from.

I suppose it comes down to where one draws the line on "desperate". To me, desperate looks more like what goes on in large parts of Africa, Asia, and the Americas south of the Rio Grande.

The system absolutely needs to be reformed. I have also met people like the commenter described, and am outraged. However, I know there are also people who make too much money to qualify for welfare but not enough to support themselves and they are left hung out to dry.

chris: Easy on the sauce. Less caps lock, more spell check if you want people to actually read your commments.

I don't think its so obvious that there are millions of truly poor in America. I mean, setting aside the mentally deranged and the drug addicted, who are these millions of people you're talking about?

Matt --

You're cracking me up. ;-)

This reminds me of the time we had a community work day with our church and we were fixing up a local "less-fortunate" person's house. We spent a few hours working on their tiny home and I saw a giant satellite dish on their roof and they were inside watching tv, well-fed (if you catch my drift), and slumped on the couch drinking beer. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE helping people, but it's the ones who truly CAN'T help themselves that really need our help. (ie. elderly, disabled, widowed, catastrophic survivors etc.) I would have to agree that there are TOO MANY able-bodied people who take advantage of the current system!

Having completed one tax seasons working for H&R Block, I am surprised at the number of people who worked only long enough to earn about $7000 and then quit. They did so in order to maximize their earned income credit which provided a refundable credit of $4716. These same people leave the office in brand new SUV's (Escalades being the most popular). This credit is paid out regardless of how much tax you paid (hence it's refundable). In order to earn the maximum amount you need two dependents and an earned income of about 7k with little to none unearned income.

Many, not all, of my clients taking the credit were doing so because they could work for a short time, recieve the credit, and still qualify for full government benefits. They would freely admit that they could have worked the same job full-time and year round to have a much greater take home pay, but didn't becuase they would be giving up the free money and well-fare benefits.

EIC was enacted to provide an incentive for people to work. It has a bell curve payout structure with the credit increasing with earned income to a maximum (at about 7k earned) and then decreasing until it is phased out. The tail end of the curve is an equalizer, putting everyone on the same financial standing. In concept I have no problem with EIC, unfortunately it is a very abused system and I would like to see it either removed or have stricter limits placed on it because I'm tired of seeing my tax money paying for people who are just looking for the next free handout.

I had a professor from Africa who told the class he decided he wanted to come to the United States when he found out the greatest percentage of obese people was also the poorest. In his words, “How can you NOT want to live in a country where the poorest people are fat!?

In my undergraduate days, I remember many times standing in line with my potatoes, rice, and beans while watching someone get steak, chips, and cookies with food stamps.

The last time my wife and I bought gifts for a needy family, we were asked to deliver them. We dropped off a couple hundred dollars worth of stuff to a woman with four kids, no father, and a bigger TV than ours, with a cable box on top.

Now my charitable money goes to my local church (where I know exactly how the money is spent and by whom) and a village in Indonesia (where poor people are skinny).

Thanks for letting me rant!

My wife encounters this at the county clinic all the time. Young, teenage pregnant girls with their baby daddy's sportin' new kicks. They get healthcare throughout the pregnanciy paid for by us, the taxpayers. Some come back a couple years later, pregnant again, and still in their teens. There are also ones that come in that truly need the care.

But, I understand that I cannot control what other people do, I can only control what I do. So rather than use my energy dwelling on the system, I concentrate on how I can prosper, grow, and give back.

You reap what you sow. Like the story above, if you give a little, you'll get a little. If one lives with a poverty mindset, then no matter how many freebies they get, they'll still be in poverty. We can choose to live differently.

I somewhat agree with the first commenter, Chris. The government should not just 'hand out' money to those seeking welfare or protection from foreclosure... there is a reason why most of these people are in the situations they are and its my feeling that the .gov should force these individuals to attend finance classes or a program targeted towards fiscal responsibility... make them pass a test of some kind before giving them a check....

Yup most people who get food stamps eat better than me, have better cell phones than me, and have bigger TVs. In fast as a rule of thumb the poorer the family, the bigger the TV in their house.

The fact that they have cable TV is unbelievable.


So since we are all agree that the system is not working. What can we do? Surely we need reform, but what will work? Unfortunately, I don't think any reforms can change the system. It seems logical that as long as there is a well fare system there will be some people that take advantage of it.
The answer is in people's attitudes and upbringing. It is the since of entitlement that gets people in credit card debt and on well fare. I don't think any changes made to the system will be able to effect the radical social changes needed to fix the broken well fare system. We have to get back to have good family structures where it is honorable to work your ass off and save money for the things you need.

/soapbox off

It's fine to complain about the "poor" who are taking advantage of taxpayers and government handouts. But it'd be even better if one of the complainers offered a practical way for the government to sort out the "poor" (with quotation marks) from the poor (without quotation marks, who really do need government assistance).

Any ideas?

One summer my sister was working at Macy's, and she was processing a sale. A woman came up to buy $70 Tommy Hilfiger or some similar brand of jeans. The woman was fishing through her purse, pushing aside food stamps to find the money that she needed for the jeans.

It was a weird, sad, and possibly angering moment for my sister...
I could point out that could have shopped around at discount or thrift stores, or bought non-name brand clothes...and the naive me could say, well, some people have different priorities...

The weird/sad part is that for many people, like discussed above with the tax preparer, that they are afraid of hitting that limit where they don't get benefits but are not much better off...you know, earning a few dollars more makes you actually poorer...and while saving money is a good idea, at some point it hurts you while you're trying to get out of poverty.

Anyway, I've rambled...and I may not be making much sense...I've got a bit of a cold clouding my mind right now...

Oh, and as a follow up...the angry me just wants people to do anything they (legally) can to get above the poverty line, and continue their rise. Like I said previously, I know it's hard, but I want people to want to change!

Lily --

What's your suggestion? Or do you disagree with the premise that many of "the poor" are taking advantage of the situation?

Unfortunately in many cases 'wealth' is measured by situation. It does sting many who work hard and control their spending that there are people who are getting money for nothing.
In the UK I have come across people who cheat the benifit system and get more money than I make. It seems unfair that they can afford to get their nails and hair done every week and own the latest trainers when I can't dispite working 6 days a week.

This is just a silly re-hash of the "welfare queen" fantasy games of the 1990s. Whenever someone brings up a poor person with *gasp* a TV and a cell phone people go out of their mind and feel the need to rant in all caps lock about "entitlement." Then, predictably, everyone seems to magically know of some poor person they saw with big rims and fancy jeans with food stamps falling out of their pockets (hint, drug money is probably involved). People also assume that "their tax dollars" are going to give those people free handouts. Well, perhaps a very small fraction is, but the vast majority of anti-poverty spending goes to who have lost their jobs, who are sick, and who are old. Is there waste? Yes like any system people are greedy and try to take advantage of things. Poor people, rich people, all people. The difference here is that the stakes are so low that people seem to be able to get worked up about it, while the real money goes by unnoticed.

Lets back up here. Go to http://www.usgovernmentspending.com to see an estimate of total tax spending. Total welfare, that is food, social services, housing, and unemployment, accounts for 9% of the federal budget, and less than that for total taxes.

You want to see where money really goes? Check out defense, and heath care. Social Security. Big companies taking their profits to off shore tax shelters. Fraud in government contracts. Late night earmarks for Billions of dollars for useless pet projects. You wana get mad about something? Get mad about that.

There is a paper by Robert E. Rector that seems to support of lot of the anecdotal evidence being offered in these comments:

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Welfare/bg2064.cfm

I too find it amusing that people can talk about the obesity "plague" among America's poor without a hint of irony.

To Lily and others who want solutions,

The solution is LESS government where people who work get to actually keep the money they earn.

Why does the government have to solve the problem of the poor? Poor people have existed since the beginning of time. What makes people think that the govt can fix this?

Government should not be forcibly taking wealth from one party and giving it to another (if you don't believe this statement don't pay your taxes for a couple of years, armed federal agents will arrest you and jail you).

Private charities like churches, the Salvation Army, etc. will continue to help the poor, just like they did before govt took over. Most charities are more efficient than the government, using 70% or more of each dollar toward the intended goal. Government wastes about 70% of the money and uses about 30% towards the goal.

Smaller government and less taxes are the real answer.

Don't confuse the abuse of government programs with waste. They're different things. I suggest that most of the people who live so highly on handouts/charity became that way they are because they're lazy and nothing was expected of them. We should insert another government program, one that requires these people to work in their communities to make them better places to live. It might make working for a higher wage more attractive than porking the couch, or at least give these people some pride.

Most of these government programs are intended to be a safety net, not a way of life.

Re:Paul J

I would rather see something from someone with out an active political agenda like Robert E. Rector. The goal here, should be allowing people the chance for social mobility and improvement not preventing them from death by starvation or cold as Rector seems to think.

If you want America's poor people to be desperate on the level that we see in Africa then there is not much middle ground there. I for one, do not think that there should be true third world country status inside America because it would just end up dragging down the country as a whole. Desperate people tend to do desperate things. And when did color TVs become the metric of wealth? This is 2008, not 1988. There are billions of TVs out there and they don't cost much money or are even free. And you have to have a car, unless you live in the few places that have public transit.

And yes, the cheapest food you can buy in America is processed corn stuffs that make you fat and sick. Go to a poor neighborhood or poor rural areas. Try and find fresh food, I dare you.

The thing that bugs me most about debates about poverty, is that the American view of what it means to be poor is incredibly skewed. In America, being poor generally means things like buying second hand clothes, eating processed foods purchased with food stamps, and having to use public transportation instead of drive your own car. In areas like Southern Asia and Africa, being poor means living your entire life without access too electricity, education, running water, or medical care and most likely dying at an early age of starvation or disease.

People talk about the poverty line like it means something. The poverty line is just a function of the average income in a given nation. Many Americans who live below our poverty line enjoy luxuries that are unimaginable to nearly a billion people worldwide.

So if we are judging American poor to African poor, shouldn't we be judging American rich to African rich? How about saying all people should make $2 a day as a base salary? Does sitting in an H&R block filling out some one else's tax return really mean you get to live like a God compared to someone in Africa? How about a CEO? He might make as much as the accountant in a day!

I am just saying if you are going to really hold Americans under the poverty line to that harsh of a standard, you had better be holding yourself to the same one.

@ Chris

I'm not saying that we should hold Americans under the "poverty line" to a harsh standard. I fully support philanthropy for Americans who are falling behind in this country. Also, please don't confuse me with the Matt who was posting at the beginning. I've added my last initial to help clear that up.

As to your point about holding CEO's and office workers to those standards, I think you're overlooking one crucial distinction between the situations. In the case of the CEO, we're talking about someone being paid for a service. He gets paid a lot of money because his employer thinks there are very few people capable of doing his job. In the case of the poor though we're talking about people getting paid because we think they need more than what they have.

So when we do that, I think we have to ask ourselves why we're giving aide to people who need it less? In the case of government aide, you could probably make the argument that a democratic government is obligated to aide its own citizens first. In the case of philanthropic aide though, I don't see many valid arguments about why people should donate to someone who makes $10,000/year when there are 1 billion people in the world who have to survive on less than $1 a day.

Eating fresh and healthy meals is often not a matter of choice but of necessity for people living in low-income neighborhoods. Grocery stores are less inclined to invest in new and well-stock stores in areas where the residents are poor and crime is high. This leaves people in these neighborhoods with the choice of going to convenience markets (7-11, AM/PM, etc) and paying a large premium for packaged food with few options for fresh vegetables and produce; or, they can visit any number of fast-food restaurants that litter the area.

We are products of our environment, and the environment in low-income neighborhoods increasingly consists of unhealthy & expensive fast-food rather than healthy & affordable fresh food. Don't believe me? Read the news:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-fastfood29apr29,0,6657131.story

While I'm sure there are people abusing the system, my guess is they are fewer and farther between than this sample of stories would suggest. It seems like everyone's sister, brother or whoever knows someone that is milking it to their advantage.

In a country as big as this, there are bound to be people taking advantage. I would never wipe out these programs simply because of that. I'm sure there are many, many more people that legitimately need help that are getting it because of food stamps, welfare, EIC or whatever.

Rant:
If some jack-ass wants to work for his $7,000 then quit so he can still qualify for EIC and welfare, let him - he'll go back to his trailer park or house in a crappy neighborhood and live there for the rest of his miserable life instead of working his tail off and trying to improve himself. That Escalade will get repo'ed in a couple months and the X-Box will break. In the big picture, I doubt it's costing any of us more than a few dollars a year for all the cheats in the system.
End rant.

I think it is interesting--my viewpoint varies depending on where I live in the US. When I lived in a large southern metro area and worked part-time for the local family services division, I saw tons of "poor" folks really taking advantage of the system--both in the office and around town.

When I lived in rural Georgia I saw lots of people who were really poor, and needed the help (and sometimes were too proud to get it.) It seems to depend on the culture of entitlement and work in the particular area. The urban area had a much more "ghetto" entitlement culture (for all races--black, white, hispanic, etc...) while it was seen as embarrassing in the more rural area not be be able to support yourself.

I for one think we should be thankful that our nation is prosperous enough to even have this debate. By international standards our poor (or "poor") are pretty well off.

While there may be "poor" people who cheat or abuse the system, there are also rich people and middle class people who cheat the system too. Theres always cheaters.

Jim

Just heard on the news Monday night that Missouri's WIC (Women, Infants, Children) food fund was going to be really tight this year because of the increased food prices. So what did they do? They have adjusted the "approved" food list to pay for only store brands when they are available! Huh? You mean that they actually ENCOURAGED people using our tax money to buy the high-dollar brand names when they had a choice before?

The mindset of people caught in this trap is amazing. I worked with a guy last year who spent the better part of a month at work figuring out how he could stay under certain limits (income, health care, etc.) to maximize his government handouts. When he got close to the limits (to the exact day), he just quit his job!. I kind of wish the company would have given him a $50 bonus when he left, just to throw his plans out of whack!

Well - to pour fuel on an obviously emotional fire - why not follow the Scandinavian approach - Send EVERYONE (rich or poor) some predefined amount of money (e.g. $5000 per year or $10K per year or whatever society agrees buys a minimum standard of living that every citizen is "owed" by his/her country). Those who don't need it will be repaying it in their income tax anyway. Those who waste it on beer, cable TV, jeans - whatever the rest of us think is wasteful - will go hungry. Those who have the sense to use their handout responsibly will live at the standard we all agreed was their "due". And there would be no costs of managing all these programs, etc., etc.

Fire away!

Yes, many people cheat the system. In fact, I know some who do, and some who don't.

One of my very dear friends, Liz, is one who doesn't, and some of her husband's (Tim's) relatives are ones who do. Tim's sister is a drug addict, a crackhead, totally irresponsible, and I promise you that's she's out to bilk the government out of whatever she can, probably to spend it on drugs. She also has four kids under the age of 10. Liz and Tim are good, hardworking people, who don't consider themselves poor, and wouldn't be having nay financial troubles were in not for the fact that they have taken in 3 of Tim's sister's 4 children. Mind you, Liz is only 24, and already she's an unofficial foster mother of three. She's a substitute teacher trying to get a full time position, he's working full time in manufacturing. No, they don't have a big tv. No, they don't have fancy cellphones. The presents come from Goodwill, if they come at all, as do all their clothes. Yes, they do receive food stamps. They have no debt, so they're doing $7,000 better than the average American. They need the government's help, they ration out their money carefully, and I think they should go on receiving aid. However, for people like Tim's sister, I'm all for giving the boot. Problem is, how do you tell the difference?

As for "if you're fat you can't be poor" I don't think anyone in the US is really 'poor' like so many in this world are, trying to live on less than a dollar a day. If you have something at all to eat, it's worth being grateful. However, check out this blog post from the NY Times:

"From Tara Parker-Pope's blog, at nytimes.com/well.

Healthy eating really does cost more. Calorie for calorie, junk foods cost less than fruits and vegetables. And junk food prices are less likely to rise as a result of inflation. That's what University of Washington researchers found when they compared the prices of 370 foods sold at supermarkets in the Seattle area.

The survey found that higher-calorie, energy-dense foods are the better bargain for shoppers with limited cash. At the low end, energy-dense munchies cost an average of $1.76 per 1,000 calories; at the high end, low-energy but nutritious foods cost $18.16 per 1,000 calories. "

I wouldn't call these people 'poor', I wouldn't call anyone who has SOMETHING to eat poor, but nor would I say fat=they have plenty of money, what are they whining about.

Since the beginning of the 19th century if not earlier people have been arguing and giving examples of the "deserving poor" versus the "undeserving poor". No one here, myself including, is doing anything that people haven't argued about for centuries. Ultimately, it's a mix, some good people, some bad, most in the middle.

I am curious about Mark's suggestion of sending a baseline amount to each individual, and letting them sink or swim-it does seem to increase efficiency at the very least, and it might get at part of the problem of the person on welfare with cable TV-

Part of the problem is my (our?) reluctance to let poor people 1) starve or 2) die from untreated diseases or 3) freeze which means that I generally support food stamps and Medicare as well as some utility assistance-but that also means that individuals then spend their money on 'luxuries' knowing that other people will provide the 'essentials'

Every system or program has its cheats, government or otherwise; if someone is smart enough to think of it, someone is smarter to get around it. I don't agree with people working the system to their advantage at the cost of others not getting any. Welfare should be set up like the Unemployment program---you only get it so many weeks and after that you're on your own. You have to show that you are trying to find work and have the manager of the business to sign a paper you hand in. You should have to produce check stubs for the jobs you've held for the year and if your company terminates you for no fault of your own, you can keep your benefits, but if you are a lousy employee and fired by your employer for not performing your job well, and quit on your own without having another job to begin when you end that one, then your benefits should be cut. If you are truly in need, then you should get it. But if you can afford a $1400 TV, qualify for a huge SUV, have the best cell phones and wear the best clothes, then you shouldn't be able to get assistance. Assistance, wait, isn't that what the welfare program is supposed to be?

lol, politicians stop wasting our money... too funny... how bout stop ruining the lives of so many people. millions?

how bout real people, you know, you and I, start voting out anyone who wants to increase social welfare? think of it like this fmf if you save your whole life, live frugal, and etc but so many people over-consume because they feel entitled due to social welfare then what is left of your retirement savings? barely anything because it needs to be redistributed to the "poor." which is happening now and will only increase in the future.

btw, eoc, public or private, is one of the primary premises of mnd and considered a root cause of uaw.

I could rant about this for hours, and I'm apparently not the only one. I run into these people every day at work (I'm a paramedic). They go to the ER instead of a Doctor's office cause the Doc demands payment at the time of service. They will take an ambulance to get there so they don't have to use their own gas. Needless to say, they don't pay their bill, guess who does...taxpayers. I've even taken someone to the hospital only to see her hop off our stretcher, sign out, and head to the laundromat across the street to do her laundry. Talk about infuriating!!!


Jim is absolutely dead on about these "people." I'll add that, after these hospitals end up treating "for free" all the riffraff that comes through the door, they often find themselves going out of business.

If anyone feels sorry for this "people," let him spend his own money on them. They should get zero taxpayer money.

Well put, Jennifer. You made a practical suggestion and I couldn't agree more. It's a matter of personal accountability and if there is a legitimate need for assistance, I'm 100% fine with that. But hold those "entitled" people accountable and if they are just flat-out lazy and want to live off of OUR hard work, they are simply out of luck!

Same poster as the "Tax Guy" from H&R Block above.

I hold nothing against the Wellfare system, EIC, or any other government assistance programs when they are assisting those that truly need it. The systems just need to be "enforced." Have government inspectors and auditors pay visits to people participating in these programs, where not just the paper requirements are checked, but also outside considerations. Now the legal system will love this, since their is no way to put on paper that someone who can afford a new SUV is not able to afford housing if they managed to provide proof of need.

claymeadow says we should stop voting for politicians that wish to increase social wellfare, I agree with that, but America doesn't. One of the big differences between the Republican and Democratic parties is their stance on who is responsible for social welfare. Traditionally Republicans place the responsibility of social welfare in the individuals hands and Democrats place it in the governments hands, I am not advocating a political choice, I am just explaining the politics as I see them, there are a lot more considerations than social welfare when looking into politics.

I have a couple solutions for the problem of people abusing the system, none of which are very legal under our current constitution and none of whihc anyone would truly want to submit themselves to unless they truly were desperately poor (and not too proud to accept assistance). I live in an area with a lot of abandoned factories and mills. Have the government purchase one or two of these and convert them into apartments which are then provided free to people in need of assistance. All utilities can be covered and simple or even extended cable could be provided to all units. Each complex should provide financial education and services to the inhabitants. In return the residents are required to try and better themselves through finding employment and providing proof of it and pay stubs to the complex. Based on the income to each unit, foodstamps and other assistance can be handed out to supplement the resident's income. Another possibility is to have the resident fully surrender their income in repayment of the assistance program. A forced savings prgram should also been enacted to help build a nest egg to ad the residents when they are ready to leave.

Now feel free to rip it apart, it's just a thought experiment and I ave highly idealized it and am ignoring legal complications.

A very large government expenditure is debt servicing. I wonder if there are any large governments that are debt free? I know there are several municipalities like laguna nigel, ca that are debt free, but I am unaware of any states or national governments. This is an interesting link.


http://www.cbpp.org/4-14-08tax.htm

All this resentment for the poor who dare to have cell phones and none for the corporations growing fat on government waste? Don't you think you should save some of that indignation for the Halliburton execs buying their fifth home? The government hands out more to the already wealthy than it ever would to the poor.

Thank you Sarah, I was just going to say that.

People overlook how much money the drug trade pumps into areas with poverty, along with its friends violence, illness, and death. Paid cash for that big TV?

People are using the ER, which is fantastically expensive, because they have no health insurance. We need to figure out a way to stop this and get them into clinics.

Todd writing people in quote marks makes me sick. You might as well just come right out and call them animals.

Corporations that you own Sarah? That kick out a nice dividend into your 401k and investment accounts? Those corporations? The ones you are banking on to retire and have a nice income stream? It amazes me when people talk about the "corporations" as if they live off the land and off the grid. You don't eat/buy/use anything that these corporations produce?

I am always amazed how defense people get about poor folks that take advantage of the system. Folks that don't think there are folks ripping the system off have never been poor. I was poor growing up with my mother taking WIC and welfare food stamps until about 12-years of age AND subsidized crappy housing. My mother, God bless her, went to college, had me in the house early to stay out of trouble and SCROUNGED up money from odd jobs to get by! Big TV? No. Cable TV? No. Huge SUV? No. Vacations to Disney? No. There ARE folks who take advantaged of the system (open your freaking eyes ladies and gents) and that should NOT be stuck up for. There were tons of folks in my "project" that blew their money and still live there 20+ years later.

Every day FMF posts about how you should save money, use freecycle.org, cut expenses, delay gratification...Why is it OK for someone making $50K a year to practice discretion and not "poor" folks?


This should not be about is it "OK" for poor people to rip off a system designed to help them stay afloat. That is wrong wrong wrong.

I just find it hard to get outraged about some poor people wasting their money on cable when there is so much greater waste out there. Its like staring at the floor, grumbling about how dirty it is, when the wall has fallen over.

Don, store brands means generic, not name brands. They made a good move that should have been in place long ago in my opinion.

Are poor people with cell phone and cable TV any worse than pastors who own mansions and drive fancy cars? In both cases this is money that was intended for good cause being put to bad uses.

MonkeyMonk --

Not in my book. They're both bad news.


Chris, calling them "animals" would be an insult to animals.

Now, why do these "people" have no health insurance? Because they choose to have no health insurance. Why do I have to pay for that choice?

The resentment is not for the poor per se, but for their taxpayer-funded lifestyle. I don't care how they spend their money as long as it's their money.

How about this:

If you apply for government help:
1) You provide total financial access to Gov. to try and qualify, if you lie, you're out
2) You provide full drug screen with random follow ups - if you fail, you're out
3) Gov. verifies social security number and checks for employment/taxes paid/child support/bank accts. etc.
4) Gov. runs a credit check - will show cell phones, vehicles, credit cards, etc.
5) Gov. cancels remaining line of credit and places SS# on do not upgrade list
6) Gov. drops cell service to the lowest possible plan and places SS# on do not upgrade list
7) Gov. liquidates any vehicle not paid in full
8) Gov. puts a freeze on any new credit, as payments made, credit decreases to balance, eventually zero
9) Gov. verifies address with unannounced in person evaluation, random monthly follow ups
10 Gov. cancels any cable/dish/internet access and places address on do not service list
11) Gov. starts looking for a job you are qualified for that will cover your necessary expenses
12) If no qualifying jobs are available, gov. provides training to build your skill base to qualify for job.
13) You take any job the gov. arranges, failure to do so or to keep the job, you're out.
14) You're check goes straight to the gov., not you
15) Gov. teaches you how to budget and manage your check, jointly covering expenses.
16) After 6 months, swim or sink.
17) Gov. lifts restrictions on your credit, accounts, etc.
18) Program stays on your credit score like bankruptcy for 7 years.
19) Eligible for program once every 5 years.

I'm sure I missed a few points, but you get the idea. Build a responsible individual. If they fail after that, it's a choice they have made. Live with the consequences.

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