WELFARE FRAUD AND TAX CUTS
My wife’s brother-in-law, who lives in
is a staunch far-right Republican. His
grandparents came to this country from Massachusetts – they had to be sponsored
by their relations. This couple worked
menial jobs twelve hours a day, seven days a week and prospered. They educated their children (his father) who
also had an unbelievable work ethic and, as a result, prospered. His parents were able to send he and his
sister to college and each of them have productive jobs and are hard
His (the brother-in-law) biggest ax to grind has to do with federal poverty programs. He feels that there is a large percentage of the population that chooses to live off handouts from the government instead of working, and, as a result, he has to support them through his labor (taxes.) There is some justification for that attitude.
Let me give you a ‘hypothetical’ situation (Hypothetical because if I did know these people I might be responsible for making trouble for them as a result of this post. So this is strictly HYPOTHETICAL.
A young man and women married about ten years ago and immediately had a child. The man weighed near three hundred pounds and for a couple of years worked washing cars at a car dealership and later worked at McDonald's. Because of his weight he developed a knee problem and eventually had to have a knee replacement (on the dole.) His weight and lack of exercise prevented the knee from healing properly. As he wasn't able to work manual jobs and had no skills he applied for disability and received it. The family was already drawing food stamps and fuel assistance, now due to his disability these increased. About a year ago the couple filed for divorce and he moved out. Now the wife, as a single mother, was eligible for more assistance. A couple of weeks after the divorce was final the man moves back into the house. Later, I overheard the woman saying that her doctor had refused to sign papers stating she was unable to work due to a back problem (though to my knowledge she has never worked a day, so I fail to see the relationship.) She eventually changed doctors and now I understand that she did apply for, and receives, work disability.
The young man (about 35 years old) now works at a sit-down job just enough hours so as not to affect his disability status. The couple has two cars, cable television, both have a cell phone and he smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. The landlord has recently been notified that their rent is to be paid by a federal program so he (the landlord) must perform certain maintenance on the house in order to bring it up to federal standards.
This couple, for all practical purposes, has been able to retire at age thirty five on government programs.
As I have said, this is a fictional account; but if I did know these people I would not hold it against them that they have worked the system. They are a product of a failed public educational policy that has resulted in their inability to qualify for adequate employment that would properly support their family.
Before we designate them as crooks, we must look at the other side of the equation.
The presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, does not work so he pays no income tax from a W-2 income. The millions he made last year were the results of dividends (investment income) that is at present taxed at eleven percent. If elected president, Mitt Romney has declared he will do away with taxes on dividend income which would result in most millionaires and billionaires, including Romney, paying no federal income taxes.
Welfare fraud and tax cuts for the wealthy have an inverse proportion effects on our federal budget and deficit. In other words, the federal government loses money to welfare abuse and the federal government would lose money by doing away with the taxes on investment income of millionaires and billionaires.
Is it any worse for the people on the bottom of the income scale to be bilking the government than it is for the people on the top?
Republicans constantly cry about welfare fraud and at the same time demand tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans; but, both of these situations should be considered welfare fraud in the way they affect the federal deficit. We should also include the money the government pays to mega-businesses like Exxon and the industrial farming industry in this welfare category.
I don’t doubt that welfare fraud exist, and that it is costing the government big time; but it exist on both sides of the equation, and we must ask ourselves which is more heinous, and why should we vilify the people on the bottom and not on the top.
There are many people that legitimately need government assistance, and that assistance should be there for them. Other people need education, training and oversight to move from the welfare system.
Our government should be furnishing free training, education and child care for families in poverty in order to break the chain of welfare dependency. And, we should insure that no child ever goes hungry or homeless in the
. United States of America
All of this could be easily done by defunding corporate welfare, increasing taxes on millionaires and billionaires and drastically downsizing our military. These changes could supply the funding to allow us to institute an aggressive training, education and placement component to the federal welfare program that could move people from welfare to jobs.
The Big Branch Coal Mine
Who’s an outlaw,
Quick on the draw?
Cast the first stone
If you don’t have a flaw.
Who fills the jails,
Who lives above the law?