Secondly: How many of you know the requirements to receive food stamp benefits in your state and in the same vein, keep them?
Thirdly: Do you know the reason people are on government assistance?
What I know from first-hand experiences:
Third: Simple. Life happens. Not everyone can afford food from their $8.50 an hour job. Their jobs laid them off due to the economy or downsizing.. sometimes the tips that saddle up their $2.16 waitressing wage have been short.. or they only get 15 hours a week at work.. they may have been in an accident that prevents them from working.. they have been born with a disability and their SSI doesn't quite cover enough. It can happen to anyone.. your own parents may have been on them at some point.
Second: Here in Indiana, all finances are accounted for: Copies of bank accounts are taken, all assets.. cars, houses, retirement funds, child support, etcetc.. all earning are accounted into the budget.. if a person makes $110 a month, a family of three takes home around $500 in food stamps.. a person makes $600 a month, the family of 3 will take home around $97. Regardless of any bills that need to be paid, the amount is static. For medicaid, adults cannot qualify if their entire family wages is over (I believe) around $108 a month.. if their minor kids are on disability, it all counts towards their final funds. For children, they have state caseworkers that call up every 3 weeks to make sure the kids are getting their checkups and visits taken care of, asking about their wellness and literally taking over their health profiles (the calls take a minimum of 30 minutes each time. Really annoying.. though, my daughter's caseworker is freaking adorable.) Every 3 months, the cases are pulled in for review. If even one dollar isn't accounted for or if something is entered into the computers wrongly (Happens way more than it should..), a person can lose their benefits. Food stamps here can buy food.. it cannot buy toiletry goods, none of the funds can be drawn out as cash, it cannot buy alcohol, pet food, or smokes. For those people saying 'oh, they should only be allowed to buy healthy foods!' ...consider how expensive natural and healthy foods can be and how expensive it can be to make an entire meal. For those saying 'well, these people buy the more expensive brands..' ...well then, that's their fault and they will have to deal with ramen at the end of the month. Once it's gone, it's gone. So what if the people buy some candy or chips? They're human too. Take a household that has $20 for the next 2 weeks, which NEEDS to be used for gas? What if their kid is having a birthday? What if the people who receive stamps have company coming and would like to offer something for their guests to nibble on and don't want them to know that they're on hard times? What about the women that get horrible sugar cravings during their pms days and chocolate is the only way to save her partner's sanity and life?
First: Using some examples of people I know and have met during the years I was a cashier in a grocery store and from my doctors' offices..
- Woman in her 40's on medicaid. She received a letter saying she was going to be cut off of it because she hadn't been able to get to her neurologist appointment due to car problems. She is recovering from 2 brain tumors and works part-time.
- Family of 5, the father works full time, the mother is disabled. We have a type of insurance here called the Healthy Indiana Plan.. it's like medicaid, but the adults pay into it monthly at an extremely discounted rate. It only covers medical, no vision/dental. The adults' cases were tied to their food stamp case. HIP put in that the father quit a job he never had, which triggered a sanction on their food stamps. The mother and father had to share their budget amount, choosing not to sacrifice the quality of food/nutrition their kids were getting. Both parents were malnourished for almost 6 months before the state did anything about it.
- Legally blind woman.. usually gets around $120 a month for food.. her disability was entered into their computers incorrectly and her benefits were dropped to $18 for that month. She couldn't get the rest of the money for that month since she had received something. Thankfully, everything was corrected the next month.
- 35-year-old woman, met her when she was about to have a hearing for her HIP account.. they cancelled it because she was short by 14 cents.
All-in-all, I see drug testing as necessary if there is probable cause. Not everyone on welfare is a lazy deviant. They need to use that money to fix the system in place before pulling in another clustertrash.
In my personal opinion, I believe that the welfare system should be abolished and let Charity take over. But... that would make me, by default, an evil, racist, christian, conservative. And, now that the church is deemed evil, and a large portion of the population is either anti-religion, or just does not care, the ideals of Charity would fail. Also, now that there is a cap on individual donations to Charities resolving in tax cuts... a large double digit percent of donations has decreased.
After all, not that long ago, something called "Natural Selection" played out its importance in nature. ;D In fact, "Natural Selection" and "Mutations" are in essence the reason nature progresses and evolves.
However... no, ultimately (probably in the near future), nature will impose the ideals of "Natural Selection" whether the self-important, self-entitled, participation trophy generation humanitarians like it or not... Thus the progress and advancement of this worlds creatures will continue.