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  • President Obama Admits Welfare Encourages Dependency

    During his Twitter Townhall on Wednesday, President Obama admitted that government welfare has created dependency. He noted:

    I think we should acknowledge that some welfare programs in the past were not well designed and in some cases did encourage dependency.… As somebody who worked in low-income neighborhoods, I’ve seen it where people weren’t encouraged to work, weren’t encouraged to upgrade their skills, were just getting a check, and over time their motivation started to diminish. And I think even if you’re progressive you’ve got to acknowledge that some of these things have not been well designed.

    He’s absolutely right. The United States welfare system has not promoted prosperity and self-reliance but, rather, a culture of entitlement. Since the federal government got into the welfare business with the War on Poverty back in the 1960s, the poverty level has remained nearly the same, yet government welfare spending has soared. Today, the federal government operates over 70 welfare programs at a cost edging toward $1 trillion a year, or roughly 13 times the cost of what it spent in the 1960s.

    And unfortunately, President Obama’s comment doesn’t acknowledge that it was not simply “some welfare programs in the past” that “did encourage dependency.” In reality, the story is no different today.

    Of the more than 70 welfare programs in operation today, only one requires able-bodied recipients to work or look for work. The President’s suggestion that today “there are work obligations attached to welfare” is vastly out of touch with what is really taking place.

    Furthermore, that he has attempted to slash funding for the program that seeks to promote the one thing that has the greatest effect on reducing poverty—marriage—further evidences his misunderstanding of poverty in the United States.

    Children in single-parent homes are five times more likely to be poor, and 80 percent of all long-term poverty occurs in single-parent homes. Little wonder, then, that nearly three-quarters of all families with children on welfare are headed by single parents. Tragically, the number of out-of-wedlock births has skyrocketed since the War on Poverty began. The majority of these births occur to low-income women, those most likely to struggle as single parents. Sadly, many of these women come from communities where marriage is all but obsolete and where they rarely, if ever, receive the important message of waiting to have children until they are married. Yet the President has attempted to de-fund efforts to promote marriage among the members of these communities.

    Earlier this year, Representative Jim Jordan (R–OH) introduced a bill to encourage the types of reforms to welfare that promote personal responsibility as well as greater government accountability. These types of changes, along with efforts to promote marriage, are the necessary steps to break the pattern of dependence perpetuated by the current welfare system.

    President Obama is absolutely correct that a welfare system that promotes dependence is not “well designed.” Sadly, for the poor and all U.S. taxpayers, that accurately defines the current welfare system. If President Obama is really serious about helping the poor, he must admit that the U.S. has a long ways to go in promoting work. And he must realize that the best way to fight poverty is through strong marriages.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    79 Responses to President Obama Admits Welfare Encourages Dependency

    1. burgron says:

      This article presents a singular perspective making the issue seem one dimensional. It is not simply black and white. These social assistance programs are time limited and people must meet very strict guidelines in order to qualify. No one who is able-bodied is riding unrestricted on the coat tails of government charity. Articles such as this seem more intent on inflaming the issues to support one's own bias about the subject, than actually trying to illuminate the crux of the problem itself. Irresponsible journalism such as this fails to bring us to deeper understanding of the problem. If you're going to point fingers of blame simply, the least you could do is suggest some viable solutions worthy of consideration.

      • B Huffman says:

        Able bodied are not on these programs? you must be joking, they are able bodied enough to go out and sell drugs from the window of their escalades and mercedes..I see it everyday people in section 8 housing, driving to the local WIC to pick up food stamps for their kids, pulling up in brand new vehicles. There is so much fraud going on its no wonder why America is going broke..we need to end all of these entitlement programs and get back to being a country reliant on self… so heres a soluton, get off your butts and go find a job, if you are truely disabled look to your families and churches and other non-profit charities. Stop expecting the government and the American taxpayer to pick up your pieces, we were a Country of hard working self reliant individuals, now we have become a Country of pitifully corrupt, government dependent, selfishly lazy theives.

      • StoneCold75 says:

        @ Burgron- BS! I have a friend makes an average of $75,000-85,000 a year and they are receiving WIC because his wife falsified her app and nobody followed up on it! 2 1/2 years now!

      • Patrick says:

        @ burgon

        If you really believe that then I have a bridge for you in Brooklyn that is up for sale real steal my friend!

        The system always has exceptions and the social workers fight to get anyone and everyone enrolled. Last summer I was in a motorcycle wreck that was no my fault (other driver sideswiped me, didn't look, didn't signal on the freeway) we lived off Catholic Charities and they forced us onto Food Stamps, while I was out of work for two months.

        The Food Stamps Social Worker was very nice and helped us out greatly, my only problem was that she openly encouraged us to illegally keep the Food Stamps even after I returned to work. She said that since they only check eligibility twice a year that I should keep what I "earned" until they ask me how much a make again in 6 months.

        The welfare system is full of fraud and waivers to allow ineligible people to continue to receive handouts. Not too long ago, I met a man who has been on unemployment for 4.5 years, he has fought for and got waivers to keep him on his handout, he put more effort into fighting to stay on unemployment than he ever did on getting a job. There are a million and one ways to abuse the system and massive abuse happens on a daily basis.

      • Guest says:

        Unfortunately, too many of the programs attached to an attempt to leave poverty are time limited. Multi-generational welfare that *insists* on total government dependence are not. They are designed to keep the comfortably dependent just that – dependent. Make a dollar too much and they lose their benefits. Where's the incentive in that?

      • hotovi says:

        I agree with you in concept. Regardless of what view or views of a particular problem are presented, there is a need to take the next step and offer prospective solutions. However, this should also apply to our own commentary. You state the crux of the problem is not being illuminated. What then is the crux of the problem in your view, and what possible solutions do you present?

      • Edie says:

        I personally know a number of able-bodied individuals who "ride unrestricted on the coat tails" of working America's tax dollars. FYI it's not "government charity". Our government has no income of it's own to dispense charitably. Working Americans hard earned tax dollars support the social programs for which "The Government" gets credit. It has been my experience that a large number of individuals have learned to exploit loop-holes in the "very strict guidelines". These individuals are all to eager to share their knowledge of these loop-holes to help others "get their free share of what they are entitled to from "The Government".

      • Slim says:

        "No one who is able bodied is riding unrestricted on the coat tails of government charity." How do you explain how people are living year to year, decade after decade on these programs? Do you honestly believe that people who've been living off the government tit all their lives are folks who are simply "down on their luck?" If children are given everything they have with no strings attached, they become spoiled brats. Do you somehow believe that changes when people reach adulthood? When our church holds rummage sales for the "poor" we have literally dozens of people say "This is the same shit you had last year!" When I see the "poor" in America (who live today in relative luxury compared to the truly poor around the world) I see dependency, not poverty. They are stoned on the narcotic of welfare and government assistance brought to them by the Pied Piper Democrats who are systematically destroying the lives of generation after generation, all for the sake of a vote.

      • willK says:

        Haha! I'm proof that you don't have any first hand experience with any government assistance programs. For all 3 in which my wife and I are active participants the ONLY requirement os that we be poor enough! The ridiculous part is that it's not just low income (which we have) but also incredibly low assets which are required to qualify (Which we had upon applying to each because I took all our $$ out of my brokerage accounts, checking, and savings accounts just long enough to submit a "current accounting of assets"). It's busted it's ridiculous. I got a $6,000 tax refund on the $300 in taxes I actually paid. We have had our two kids on the government's dime, we live in gov't subsidized housing (VERY subsidized) and we get free healthcare. Now if only there was a gov't assistance program for car insurance we'd be fully funded! You may think this is a joke but it is not. I see the system is completely misguided like everybody else (who's not willfully ignorant or living in a rose-colored unreality) does, I just happen to be one who doesn't mind taking full advantage of it until somebody figures out how to fix it. You may think I'm a bad person but if some stranger walked up to you on the street and handed you $30,000 (my estimate of our annual "gift") and said you didn't have to do anything for it, would you take it? That's it. Forget the conscience-laden arguments against taking it, the source of the money, and so on. That's it. Free money. Free work essentially. Done for me by the government whihh means done by everybody else. How sweet it is suckers!

      • detroitsucks says:

        You sir are oblivious to the realities of the welfare system.

      • Mark Meade says:

        Here are some simple common sense suggestions……#1 mandatory drug testing means the children are protected and the adult is actually work eligible. #2 Penalize recipients for having additional children once they are already dependent on the system so you are not rewarding someone who can not even afford to take care of themselves. Last time I checked birth control and common sense are FREE! #3 Find and prosecute deadbeat dads since they are as much to blame. #4 Mandatory workfare / job training to get payments to help break the cycle of poverty and provide childcare so there are NO excuses.
        Is this one dimensional or just common sense? The programs do not work and family structure among the poor continues to deteriorate? Feed a person a fish and feed them for today…..teach them to fish or require them to learn and feed them for life!

      • Frank Goffena says:

        So what have you done to "illuminate the crux of the problem itself"? All I see is complaining about the article. I believe they are trying to make the case that these programs encourage dependency. If you read any of the articles from the heritage Foundation, you would find that they provide solutions to many problems.

      • Colorado says:

        There are numerous points in this article from which to work toward solutions . Apparently they're not ideas you like, since you turn a blind eye to them.

      • kdm says:

        I don't know what world you are living in where you say NO ONE who is able-bodied is riding unrestricted on the coat tails of government charity. I've seen it happening first hand myself and even seen the gall of some who blatantly flout the fact.

      • Joe says:

        "…..people must meet very strict guidelines in order to qualify"?
        When kids on college campuses are encouraged to apply for food stamps and are successful in their efforts to enroll in the FS program I wouldnt exactly call that meeting very strict guidelines.

        When someone is receiving govt assistance from many different programs while working for "under the table" cash I wouldn't exactly call that meeting very strict guidelines.

        Both instances are commonly referred to as "gaming the system" and it is out of control. Additionally, as long as the govt promotes this type of behavior it's only going to get worse and more costly.

        With an adequate level of oversight and policing the costs of the govt entitlement programs can be drastically reduced and, as such, would be less of the financial albatross that they are.

        Just like with anything that is "free" once it's granted it is very difficult to reduce it or eliminate it. So it goes with the hordes of govt programs.

        The end result of the whole shebang is dependence….it's like a "financial narcotic" to most recipients.

      • Sick-N-Tired says:

        You are right, BUT and that is a HUGE BUT, because I believe you just stated an absolute that is as biased as the original writer. To say that 'No one who is able-bodied is riding unrestricted on the coat tails of government charity' is totally wrong. Just last week I watched a show on ABC (who is so left leaning liberal they need propping up) about how hard it is for people these days and they showed a grocery store where all food stamp customers line up at midnight on the first of the month. Over 50% of those people had on fasionable clothes, jewelry and make up and several teenagers had cell phones. The food they were buying is all your high price boxed crap.

        Yes some seemed to legtimately need the help, but don't have 5 kids and drive a suv (yes that was the parting shot) and whine about your food stamps not being enough. California paid out 67 million at casinos, convenience stores, etc with food stamp SNAP VISA CARDS.

        I don't know what fairy tale fantasy land you live in, but it sure isn't reality.

      • Rob says:

        I am in a confidential profession in which I am directly aware of lots of individuals who work "under the table" in order to avoid losing social assistance programs, including medical assistance, food stamps, housing, etc. I am also aware of several individuals who have used some of these programs for illicit drug money. I do not believe our country needs to end the programs; but I do believe we need to have stricter guidelines, stricter enforcement of the guidelines and wiser use of government money – which is money either being borrowed for future generations to pay off or is being removed from the earnings of taxpayers who, in general, are attempting to use their abilities to work "above the table."

      • Fillmore Millard says:

        Right on.

      • mike says:

        Wrong! I live in NJ and know of several families who get several types of help free and they all could be working! Free heating oil, free cell phones(4 of them at 500 minutes each), free food stamps, at least $2000 a month twice, and free college and go to the hospital whenever they want, free! The 2 adults are able to work.

      • mrsrsoltero says:

        U clearly have no ACTUAL experience working in the welfare field….the 'strict' guidelines that you speak of come well equipped with loopholes galour! Have children under 6? Exempt from having to work! Have low self esteem? Exempt! Have too much property to qualify? Take a planned parenthood pamplet and we'll ignore it. No joke!

    2. Jessi says:

      Really?? Time limited & strict guidelines? No able-bodied ppl are riding the coat tails??! Really? Ha! Idk what world you're living in but apparently you haven't been around or dealt with very many ppl on these assistance programs! I see it all the time in my profession…

    3. American says:

      I believe they did suggest a viable solution-marriage. Young girls of today need to be more respondible about having children and not depend on others to be responsbile for them. As Mother's, it is our duty to teach this lesson on life to our daughters.

    4. jschick says:

      Im not exactly clear on how "strict" these guidelines must be. When I repeatedly witness women with a line of screaming kids using a food stamp EBT debit card to pay for groceries, or Medicaid to get prescriptions, its hard not to question the relative ease by which they access these programs. This is something that I and my close friends/family witness on a weekly basis. Either these programs are providing a blackberry/iphone and designer clothes as well, or the guidelines aren't THAT strict as these people choose to spend their limited income on those "necessities" while we pick up the tab for such frills as food and medical care.

      • Tonya says:

        I totally agree with everything you are saying. I use to get food stamps when I first had my my child and then my second. But, I used it for a stepping stone. I did not stay on it. Now I am buying my house. I have a really nice car. And I have a good job after going back to school. Alot of women are not doing the same. They depend on social service and do not want better. They say why should they work when tax payer will support them. I thought there where a time frame that people could stay on social service. They are teaching their kids to do the same. Who is going to make the change?????? older people who needs help, social service is not helping. I hear about it from people all the time. I truly feel their should be a limit to how many kids a women who is getting social service should be allowed to have.. And that is my opinion.

        • Jerry says:

          I believe they should not have more children while they are getting assistance for the ones they already have. And they should have to look for work, and find work, and if it doesn't pay more than the assistance they are getting now, maybe we could help make up the difference as long as there is a real effort on their part to take care of their responsibilities for a very limited time.

    5. Bravo says:

      That's absurd. Maybe in the state where you live, there are restrictions and requirements, but not where I am. What are these strict guidelines? Stop it! You are just another guy making excuses for the welfare entitlement mentality. You are a hypocrite, too. You say, "Suggest solutions". Bring them on!!!

    6. JC says:

      Must meet very strict very strict guidelines in order to qualify? Your comment is as irresponsible as your so call "journalism" of the article. People have for years cheat the system. Where does that fall on your strict guideline? The article CLEARLY states the "CRUX" of the problem. WELFARE IS GOING TO DRIVE US TO BANKRUPTCY like it did in a couple of countries in Europe.

      Viable solutions worthy of consideration? Simple STOP THE WELFARE STATE. People should be more responsible financially and the government should stop bailing out the individual.

    7. jschick says:

      My suggestion would be "if you're not too good to eat at mcdonalds then you're not to good to work at mcdonalds." We have an entire strata of our society that believes hard work or unskilled labor is below them and they are entitled to a high standard of living while they have no skills that make them employable in any other facet. To them entitlement programs are the answer because it requires no effort, yet the reward is roughly equivalent to a minimum wage job. If that incentive were removed I believe you would see these people suck it up and get a job they would have refused in the past, the only other option would be prison/homelessness, where I would not have sympathy for them.

    8. Louise says:

      I don't know where you are from, but in Mississippi there is no time limit, as you stated. The problem here is multigenerational. Children who grow up in the projects have no desire to better themselves and leave the projects because it is socially acceptable to them. They think that all people receive welfare services such as Medicaid, food stamps, and daycare assistance. As far as the guidelines, most are only income limits, and little is done to promote the welfare recipient to better themselves or provide for themselves.

    9. JaniceK says:

      burgron, you are wrong. You will never convince me that anyone needs 99 weeks of unemployment. I could find a job in a week if I were hungry and/or had a family to support. It wouldn't be the job of my dreams and would likely pay minimum wage, but it'd be honest work.

      No one should receive an unemployment check that is of greater value than would be paid to a minimum wage worker after taxes. No one should be on the dole at all who dropped out of high school thereby refusing a free education when offered. No one should be paid any taxpayer-supported assistance for more than one child — you messed up once, and should learn from that error.

      I could go on, but am quite certain that folks like burgron will never open their eyes.

      • Pauline says:

        Sorry , but go to school FREE where? We are paying 395.00 A month for when my husband went to school because he lost his job and don't have A job now A year after being out of school.We need unemployment check of 494.00 every other week, money we get don't pay the bills. So tell me what to do, ok.

      • Sharinlite says:

        O.K. When you are through paying the rent and utilities, where is the $$ for food, medical, clothes…and that's only if there is just you…now add a couple of kids….just saying!

        • Anna says:

          Then don't have them if you can't afford them! I am a women WITH OUT children. Life would be so much easier if I did have children because of all the free programs. I don't do it why? Because it isn't right for other people to pay for my child and wouldn't want to bring them into a world where I would constantly struggle to make ends meet. I will wait untill I have a good career and MARRIED like God intended us to do! So guess what? I did go to school for FREE… you know why? Because I focused myself, got my GED and score high enough to be accepted into one of the midwest's top 20 universities with a SCHOLORSHIP. No excuse! You have to WANT it! So if life was tough before children… after having children will be tougher. Common sense. By the way I am 26 too.

        • anna says:

          NO ONE helps me in anyway..no family no one. I even applied for assistance for an EBT card and was denied because I am a STUDENT. That won't make me drop out of school and better myself especially after fighting a horrible opiate addiction! Waa! Waa! Waa! Cry me a river! I eat once a day only! And I am underweight because I eat once a day and have 70 hour weeks for a year now. Still won't have children…(boy life would be SO much easier then!) Quit your complaining and WOMEN UP!! Your teaching your children to whine just like you!

    10. Texian Preacher says:

      The Government has NO CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY to steal money from those who earned it and give it to those who don't. Private Charities and Churches could easily take care and help those who are truly in need and if people were allowed to keep what they earned instead of having it forcefully confiscated from them then they would give as God or their conscience leads them.

    11. Postal Worker says:

      You need to ride with a mail carrier in a low income area on check day. You will then see who gets these checks. Many of these checks go to able bodied people. There are entire families that get checks, from Grandma on down to the children. I have personally delivered 6 checks a month to the same house, month after month for the four years that I carried that route. This system is badly broken. If it isn't fixed our country is going to eat itself.

    12. Donnie says:

      So… because the author did not suggest a solution, there is no problem with overspending on social assistance programs? Seems to me he made a pretty effective argument on the issue as well as explaining some of the why. And it is black and white, you either need it or you don't.

    13. Ann-Louise says:

      Despite the above comment, I think this article did "illuminate the crux of the problem itself." Although I am divorced and raising 3 children alone, I am in complete agreement that strong families build strong societies and reduce dependence on social systems. As an amateur blogger with very conservative views who has benefitted from entitlement programs, I had to spout off a bit on the subject after hearing of Nancy Pelosi's statement yesterday.


      Those who don't see the whole picture may find it enlightening.

    14. buckleupministries says:

      obviously you didn't read the full article or click the links . . . welfare is out of control – it certainly has it's place but a better regimen needs to be established to overcome dependency and instigate encouragement and desire to become contributors to society.

    15. GoMom125 says:

      burgron, sometimes things need to be presented in black and white because when you add in all of the other mumbo jumbo the facts become mottled.

    16. BillJoeBob says:

      If 80% of all long term poverty occurs in single parent homes, why then, we really need work on strengthening the family. Parenting out of wedlock children and quickie divorces all seem to be taking their toll and at the children's expense too.

      Moreover, it the government would pattern it's welfare program after some of the better run welfare programs that I have seen, it would have minimal and temporary assistance as it's guide ensuring that recipients don't try and make welfare a way of life. Rather, a means of lifting you up during troubled times.

    17. Scott says:

      burgron, I hate to break it to you but you are mistaken. I would like it if you would name a welfare program that is time limited and what you would consider "strict guidelines" For most its just as simple as filling out the paper work, there is no one that checks the accuracy of this paperwork. Ive seen people lie and cheat to get welfare, and if you call and report these cheaters, as I have done, nothing is done.

      Ive been in the grocery store with a half empty cart of generic products, because that's all I could afford, behind a person with a heaping cart full of name brand products and watch them pay with their food stamp card and then pay cash for their liquor and cigarettes. Is it fair that the welfare bums get to live better than I do, because I am helping to pay for their lifestyle and life choices?

      • DAVE says:


      • Guest says:

        Absolutely! I live in New York State, where apparently the "gold standard" in welfare benefits are doled out. I totally get what you just said: going to the grocery store with my budgeted list; checking out behind a woman with several kids, manicured nails and styled hair, chatting on her smart phone, buying a full cart of groceries paid for with the EBT "credit card" food stamp card, then loading it all into an SUV parked outside in the fire lane. I've worked full time since I was a teenager – for the last 35 years. But if you really add things up: taxes taken out of my paycheck, paying into my medical insurance, property taxes, school taxes, regular bills, etc. how much better off am I when you compare my bottom line to a person on welfare whose: rent is paid, child care paid (apparently even if the parent doesn't work), lights/gas paid, food paid for, cash for "necessities" paid, cell phone (everyone has one, even kids) paid, all medical bills paid. And they still have enough cash left over to pay for full spectrum cable TV, internet, usually drive a rather nice vehicle and put gas in it, hairdos, manicures, jewelry, cigarettes ($10 a pack in NY), etc. etc. etc. There really is something wrong with this picture.

    18. Leon says:

      There is a culture in this country that promotes sucking money from any gov't agency, getting your kids qualified as ADHD so they can get a SS Disability check(crazy check) every month and other methods. Some programs are time limited but there are work arounds for that also. One key is always work for cash so it isn't reported. Another key is always stay pregnant and never marry. You can have a man living with you but don't marry him.

    19. singlemomof2 says:

      As a single mother I thank you for your comment Burgron!

      • Soxfan4life says:

        So while you are a mother of two, it is up to how many taxpayers to help support those two as well as yourself? You and your partner made a choice to have children, yet the taxpayer gets no choice about paying your ways. Seems like we get the responsibility without the roll in the hay.

    20. Roger says:

      People do not need welfare, they need a job. If you give anybody anything they should not get it as a handout. There are plenty of jobs that need to be done, picking up litter, painting schools, cutting grass at public buildings. If you want welfare, here is a job for you. If you don't like the job, then go find a job somewhere else or live without welfare.

      • Peggy says:

        I agree. If they get money from welfare they should do some type of work, because people you work to get money so this is the same thing.

    21. George W. Ehrwell says:

      When the government attempts to solve any problem, it may be wise to remember that "the path to hell is paved with good intentions." Is it possible that welfare programs and even federal income tax codes have led to the break-up of traditional families? Almost fifty years of historical evidence suggests that is the case. Public policies may often result in the opposite of what was initially intended. For example, placing animals on endangered species lists make these animals more endangered; TSA screenings at the airports (which are less accurate than private screenings by the airlines themselves) make airline travel more dangerous. Is it possible then that "the path to HEAVEN" is paved with "BAD intentions"? For example, the pursuit of PROFIT -which is frowned upon by the news media and President Obama- may be the ultimate solution to major social issues such as health care, education, and poverty. In the latter case, give poor families an incentive to stay together rather than welfare incentives to dissolve.

    22. Robin says:

      Burgron, I don't know where you get your info but there are plenty of able-bodied riding the government coattails. The focus need to be placed on training these people to hold jobs, implementing affordable childcare, and strict drug testing of all welfare recipients. Welfare has become a way of life for many and they know nothing else. It is a cycle that needs to be broken.

    23. jay says:

      Apparently Rachel has never taken a course that involves statistics. Correlation does not prove causation, there are about 1000 different things that can affect both marriage AND poverty rates.

    24. Guest says:

      The fact that children in single female families are much more likely to end up in prison is not noted in this article. There are many women that have multiple children so they can collect MORE WELFARE. Why don't we only allow one child per woman. More than one child the woman is responsible for their well-being. The fact that children in single female families are much more likely to end up in prison. Meaning these children are a burden on the taxpayer for many years of their lives.

      • mineisnotyours says:

        Why don't we only allow one child per woman(?)

        Mao thought that was a grand idea–and was responsible for the murders of millions of Chinese.

        How many siblings do YOU have? Which one should YOUR mother have been forced to choose?

      • Peggy says:

        I don't agree that they all end up in prison, but I think children should be limited if you are getting welfare.

    25. John Doe says:

      The author is using an unrelated point (single mother households) to attack the President for his decision to not defend the homophobic and discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. I thought conservatives were opposed to federal overreach and in favor of states rights? Oh right, only if it does not interfere with their social agenda.

    26. mineisnotyours says:

      I can't count the number of people I've run across who are are on disability for the most absurd reasons. What really galls is when they wonder how much they can earn at a legitimate job without giving up the goodies.

      One gal told me she was getting SSDI because "my back hurts." My back hurts, too. Another guy had had surgeries on his knee. I've had four.


      One of the criteria is a condition/disease that is/can be terminal. I'll go along with that….WHEN the condition/disease gets to the point where the person can do absolutely no work at all. If a quadriplegic or someone with MS can work full-time (two acquaintances of mine–neither would dream of applying for SSDI until it became dire), then "my back hurts" or having had knee surgery are laughable reasons for being receiving SSDI.

      Seems that if one persists in seeing doctors and calling in sick, doctor or SSA) will cave and give 'em the check. SSA should be audited, and the people on all these programs should meet stringent criteria.

    27. @VickiBramer says:

      @American, I know you are against government assistance. First, I am totally AGAINST government welfare as having seen relatives & neighbors abusing the system from the time I was young, when the early programs were first instituted. We reported abusers to no end, yet the government checks & programs flourished for these losers living a fine life, eating steaks compared to our hunted venison. As an adult, I am amiss at how these programs have branched out, consuming society at every angle. We have sacrificed finer things so our children could have a better education & attend college. We are small business owners, attend church & read the bible. Our 2 girls work part time to help pay their expenses such as gas, books, & minimal entertainment. They personally know people USING the system; college students & unmarried mothers receiving FS. Many of these kids went to Christian school, sat in church every Sunday listening to the preacher, were actively involved in church & school activities, got good grades, & had dinner most nights with their family! These are kids that should KNOW BETTER, but have fallen into a society that accepts such behavior. Now, to make a point about viable solution marriage. We also personally know kids that have fallen to the social ills of PEER PRESSURE & personal pleasure, as if that is not a plastered everywhere one looks or listens. I could not with good conscience condone or recommend marriage to my daughter or one of their friends as a solution. These kids see an instant solution with government funded programs being an easy answer if they can't 'quite make it' on their own. When their friends are getting hospital bills covered, assistance with college funding, & FS…HOW do we instill solid values as long as these programs remain? We continue to do everything in OUR POWER that we legally can to keep them in college, working, UNmarried, & NOT pregnant. A happy engagement, followed by marriage should ALWAYS come first, then housing, then children! Our society is extremely broken because our government enables it to remain that way. If assistance programs were privatized without government involvement, perhaps the tide could change.

      • Pat Kepler says:

        I agree with you, Vicki. It is the number one abuse, as I see it in CaliforniA. I wonder if they are audited. I want our children in this country to not be hungry (and these children come into school so hungry they have three helpings of breakfast.) They come in their PJ', We need a system of aacountability. I have talked to
        friends, that at one time were on welfare for a period of time, and said the system is full of holes letting people cheat the system.

    28. disapppointed says:

      This thread amazes me. Obviously no one who has commented has ever had to utilize these services. As a former SINGLE MOTHER who reared two children WITHOUT welfare, received food stamps ONE TIME , but then I got a raise to $4.25 an hour and that was making too much money so I couldn't get anymore. The father of my children did not want to pay child support and we had been married for X number of years. I went on to college, taking advantage of Pell Grants while they were younger. Now I am disabled and no longer able to work at all. I am fortunate that I was awarded disability and due to my LTD insurance from work, I am able to pay an outrageous sum for COBRA to keep my insurance going. Both my children are grown and neither are in jail or have been arrested. One has a college degree but can't find work related to her field of study, but she does work. The other is going to college now, served in our Armed Forces, and is not longer able to hold down full time work because he got messed up in the military and they didn't want to compensate him for emotional / mental issues caused from that. I take great offense to the above comments, as now I am on food stamps, but I was one of the ones contributing to the bigger pot for others to be able to have access to these programs. The brand name clothes, come from thrift shops. Such bias in our country!! People do fall on hard times. In our country now, it seems that some would prefer that those that are poor or are "milking the system" would just die rather than receive the health care the need.. I agree there need to be limits placed on some of these programs. It would be cheaper in the long run to train welfare recipients. Limit the children to two (beginning now and continue paying for four if they've been on it awhile), make it mandatory for recipients to have parent training, nutrition training, budget training, etc. It would be cheaper to pay for two years of college, even four years, than it would be to keep supporting them on welfare checks. And it is not EASY to get on any of these programs, and yes there are some that can work the system, but that is certainly not everyone. Some have illnesses that you can not see, whether physical or mental. As for marriage being the "solve all", give me a break!! It seems every one is laying all the blame and responsibility on the woman. Last time I checked, it takes two to tango, so how about a class to teach men on welfare about "wearing a raincoat", and "if you can't for the consequences, don't be lying down and making babies with women you wouldn't marry!" Teach men how to respect women and value them. Finally, I'd like to say, I PRAY none of you ever have to find out what it's like to live like this. I am now living on probably 30 to 40 % of what I used to make. I'm doing it, but it certainly isn't easy. Would I rather be working? You betcha, but my body decided it was ready to retire. Just stop being so judgmental when you have NO CLUE what it's like to live like this and have people make ugly faces at you, like you're trash or have to right to be here. I paid my dues, and I do have a right to be here and to enjoy what little in life that I can. Spread some love and joy and not so much negativity. You can't take your money with you when you die, so get over yourselves!!!!

    29. Bill Stanley says:

      "I think we should acknowledge that some welfare programs in the past were not well designed and in some cases did encourage dependency .… As somebody who worked in low-income neighborhoods, I’ve seen it where people weren’t encouraged to work, weren’t encouraged to upgrade their skills, were just getting a check, and over time their motivation started to diminish. And I think even if you’re progressive you’ve got to acknowledge that some of these things have not been well designed." — That may be the most honest and intelligent thing he has said since being elected Czar of the U.S. http://www.newsandopinions.net

    30. One2Stupid says:

      There is a small U.S. Post Office here is Arizona that is on the Mexican border. It has about 400 mail boxes which should be plenty for this small rural area. However, there are 3 or 4 "families" per box. On the day the government checks arrive it's like a parade as people walk across the border and get their U.S. check. By the way, the area is a mess with the disguarded government envelopes as the "mob" walks back across the border. I'm sure this happens all along the border, but this in one that I've seen with my own eyes. Gee, why are we broke?

    31. wildman says:

      Dependency? He is quite right. He and the democratic party along with the republicans are dependent on the middle class forking over hard earned cash so the Less fortunate can have a middle class existence without effort. And by the way, also vote the compassionate dems into office to maintain the cash flow.

    32. f dajero says:

      the purpose of welfare is to encourage dependence on the government,.to create the modern day slaves.if they control people they can control their votes.

    33. Bobbie says:

      Government welfare ALWAYS discourages people's willingness to do for themselves! If America had dignified leadership of integrity, Americans would be personally free and self reliant with no need for safety nets that deter ANY personal responsibility!

      And the devil of all skin colors, convinces weakness and that there's no "hope" without him.

    34. Leah says:

      NO they are NOT time limited!!! I know of a woman who has been LIVING off of whatever welfare she can get her hands on since 1987!!! She is more than capable of working!! Absolutely NO health issues……just lazy!! AND…. she continues to have babies…..so far 5!! by 5 DIFFERENT fathers!!! NONE of which pay any child support…..WHY? Because she claims to not know WHO they are!!!! (LIE!!) And yet…..for 25 years….she sits back and collects for her and her kids!!! Oh yea, she does now work at Mcdonalds for the bare minimum hours so not to affect her WELFARE CHECKS!!!!! So don't sit there and say it's TIME LIMITED!!!!

    35. Jonathan Ellis says:

      Unskilled labor doesnt get u anywhere.U cant just blame welfare for everything when they're other factors. There were poor people before welfare and there will always be. People need Skills and education. Our education system doesnt even focus on requiring skills or how to run a business or things like that.

    36. Tess says:

      GO TO WORK – DON'T BE DEPENDING ON THE GOVERNMENT'S HANDOUTS. In that case, this country will boom.

    37. Nana Anna says:

      I worked with Welfare recipients for years and know the ends and outs of the program, the Welfare Reform Act (1998) limited able bodied adults to 5 yrs of aid. During this time they were given every opportunity to further their education through schooling & job training, with child care available, these were some of the programs in place to assist these adults to becoming self sufficient. Those not in compliance were sanctioned (their portion of the welfare grant was reduced). The only exemption to Welfare to Work was a disability (Dr. verified). If it was deemed that this disability was to be long term, they were encouraged to apply for SSI, which in effect is a Federal Welfare program. for the disabled. Of the hundreds of people I've seen over the years I have to admit that very few took advantage of the opportunity offered to them under this program. Most complied to the minimal requirements to keep their checks from being reduced, or were willing to suffer the sanction. The 5 yr requirement did not extend to their minor children, so as long as the family unit met the standards for qualifying, they basically could collect welfare pymts until each child turned 18. Many of these recipients had to be working under the table because what they received in cash aid could not meet their needs or pay for the hair do's and nail jobs nor the clothes on their backs. If the States would put more effort into investigating fraud & hire more investigators…..there is no telling how much money would be saved. This is a program that is truly out of hand & encourages fraudulent actions. Other programs like Medi-Cal/Medi-Caid and SSI are huge areas where fraud is rampant as well. I'm not against helping those that need a helping hand but when they choose to make Welfare a life style…..it disgusts me. I have relatives that use the system in anyway that they can & they have their entire adult lives. I have worked my entire life and yet I see them lay back, get up at noon, get pedicures/nails done, attend concerts, smoke, drink, and party…..my blood boils. BTW one is getting a boob job on tax payors money, she had a single mastectomy because of breast cancer. She is also getting SSI (she is disabled because of the removal). Funny disability….I have had two co-workers & one relative who had double mastectomy's & neither of them were off work for more than 6 wks., nor did they have implants, but then no one else was footing the bill. Charities do more to verify a ligitimate need than the welfare depts.

    38. KM08 says:

      For those saying welfare benefits are not time limited you are dead wrong. I have a friend who has children, and was married. She decided to stay home and raise the children, and then one day her husband just left her and her children behind. She had to get an education at that point so she went to get cash assistance, and the limit was five years for welfare which was okay because she was only going for two. My point is it is time limited for general welfare, and I believe five years is the standard for all states, if not all than most. Also, those claiming to deliver their "checks" are liars. Anymore recipients get electronic cards. The only way people can get lifetime benefits is if they are put on disability, and by the way that is not easy to get and can take YEARS to get even if you are severely disabled. My uncle is a hard working man and has been his whole life. Now he has heart disease and can't work, and my aunt is constantly working to help pay bills because even though he is going to die he cant get ssi or insurance, so she pays his medical bills. Those who honestly think another person can live comfortably on welfare are dead wrong, and need to have a reality check fast. Oh, and telling people to "get a job" is a laugh, you speak as if these jobs were just falling from the sky, news flash they aren't especially for us younger, less experienced citizens.

    39. Patricia Kepler says:

      In CA an infant in Childcare, the single mother is given most of the 175.00 per week. This is the amout it costs at a preschool. I know a mother that has 5 children, can not stand to stay home with her five so they ALL attend school, She plans to have 2 more and none of the men are married to her. She drives an Escalade and just had her kitchen remodeled. My friend is a teacher at the Preschool and makes just a bit more than minimum wage. How is this system fair? There is story after story on the abuse of the system. The woman must be in full time school or be LOOKING for a job or have one. PLEASE CA do something to reform this corrupt system. The children are not to blame but the Mothers know how to work the system,

    40. zflea says:

      Do you guys even understand or know how the welfare program works. its a 5 year limited plan throughout the duration of ones life. Yeah some people may abuse it for those 5 years but thats it. Welfare has been around for years and years not just with this administartion. why is it these things surface because Obama is now in office from the right wing extremeists? Are you guys that hateful and ignorant? For crying out loud know the policies before you whine and slam it. If it wasnt for Clinton in 96 this plan wouldnt have a had a cap and it would be even more abused today.

    41. Aaron says:


    42. Steven says:

      I know a woman who gave childbirth over 2 yrs. ago out of wedlock. She lives with her mother and 19 yr. old brother and 18 yr. old sister none of who work or make any attempt to seek work but are content living on welfare. She even sees a chiropractor twice a month , not because she needs one but as she put it "Why not its free" And she is not the only family I know who does this type of thing !And there is nothing I nor any other working American can do to try to stop this? It is simply ludicrous!

    43. Steven says:

      How can a woman who had a child out of wedlock 2 yrs. ago., live with her mother 20yr. old brother and 18 possibly 19 yr. old brother all collect welfare when her mother is the only one who has ever had a job,and that was much longer than five yrs. ago. She even stated to me that she sees a chiropractor once a week because as she put it "Why not it's free" While us other hard working Americans pay for such activity because "It's free" I can't afford a chiropractor let alone a Dr. and I work for a living instead of collecting government "freebies" just because I can. What is this world coming to? It's ridiculous!

    44. Jesse Lyles says:

      This is the Root to to Destroying America. These people don't vote.

    45. Jacob AG says:

      This article makes the same mistake I see over and over on this site, that of confusing causality and correlation…

      Also, does the Heritage Foundation really support federal subsidies for programs that seek to promote marriage?

    46. Jon P. says:

      let's not overlook all of the government jobs that provide little or no benefit for society. Is this not welfare?

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