Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Political Commentary

Note: I have nothing against poor people. I do, however, take issue with lazy people.

I worked for the Department of Health and Human Services (aka the Welfare Department) in the State of Nevada. I processed applications for Food Stamps, TANF, and Medicaid. Any one who has ever worked for the "welfare department" knows it doesn't work. I did intake which meant it was a new application for welfare or someone who's benefits had been discontinued (voluntarily or involuntarily). There were two rarities: those who actually could not survive without government assistance and those who were first time applicants. The large majority of the people I interviewed had their benefits involuntarily discontinued usually due to failing to meet program requirements. I would have "clients" during tax season who paid less taxes than I did, mainly because their work history was generally non-existent and yet they received exorbitant tax returns which were almost always for more than they actually paid in taxes some of their refunds were for the total amount or more of what I paid in taxes. I take no issue in helping out those who truly need the help, but I do take issue to "entitlements". I can't tell you how many times I heard "It's not your money, why do you care?" I couldn't say anything at the time, but if I could I would have said, "Money doesn't grow on trees, all of the benefits you get are because hardworking individuals like me have jobs and pay taxes. So it is my money and I'm going to make sure you cross every t and dot every i before I approve your application." Or the voicemails of clients who failed to comply even after a granting of an extension and would not receive benefits would put the blame on me for them not being able to feed their children. On rare occasion I would have a client who truly needed the assistance, generally they had a strong work history and due to illness or loss of employment due to lay-offs needed temporary assistance. I had no problem going above and beyond the call of duty to get them whatever they could qualify for. Many of my clients received free or heavily subsidized housing, assistance with utilities, food stamps, and on top of that cash. So why do I talk about this? The tax plan or economic stimulus package or the whatever you would like to call it will not work. Hold on ...epiphany. The problem is when times are tough people begin to save more and spend less which is hurtful to an economy when you need to spend money. So the plan to give those who pay no taxes a tax refund is appalling, but if you need to infuse money into the economy I guess that is one way of doing it. A lot of my clients would blow through whatever little money they had, no thought of a penny saved is a penny earned. However, I think the tax payers should be rewarded. What would the fair thing be? I agree with the tax holiday. Using the remainder of the bailout to fund federal programs while the hardworking lower, middle, and upper class get a break from paying taxes. There is so much more I want to say and talk about but I must sleep. Which is apparent by my failure to make a cohesive argument. I wish my brain had an on/off switch. Random!


House of Joy said...

You go girl. You have my vote.

You are awesome.

Love ya forever and ever

The Muries said...

Maybe you should run for office, I'd totally vote for you.

Jeff said...

I sooooo agree with you! I understand that there are those in need that should be helped. That's why I give to charities, and I pay my fast offerings. But, I have so many issues with the welfare system that I could not possibly list them all here.

I liked what you said about how it is your money because you are a tax payer. In his book, "The Proper Role of Government" Ezra Taft Benson talks about how the only rights we can delegate to our government are those rights that we already have. For example, we have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Therefore, we delegate the protection of our lives through the police force, we delegate the protection of our liberty to the military. But I do not have the right to take money from my neighbor and give to someone else, regardless of whether that person is in need. Therefore, I cannot delegate the right of taking money from my neighbor and giving it to the poor to my government.

I have lots more to say on the subject, but perhaps I'll save it for my own blog sometime.