Government Assistance.

This topic came up between a few friends of mine - and I was suprised at some of their thoughts on it.

What do you think of people who ask for government assistance? Do you think they are looking for a handout? Do you think they deserve it? Do you think that it’s a justified request? Do you think the government should help them?

I myself - have had government assistance a couple of times in my life. I do not regret it at all - but it seems that some people tend to look down upon it. I got assistance when I was quitting drugs - so that I could go through rehab and get myself sober. I got assistance when I got pregnant with my son - because I did not have health insurance at the time and could not afford medical care.

I know people who have never asked for help - and have just let their bills and debt add up and cause them problems - they say their still have their pride. What’s better though -to be healthy and taken care of - or to have your pride?

Answer #1

It’s there for a reason. If you qualify and are not committing fraud, then what’s the big deal?

Answer #2

I see no problem with it as long as it is for a reason, not just because someone cba to work or doesn’t care. Things like having kids and getting sober are perfectly good reasons. And also if people let debts build up then ventually when they give in they will need even more government assistance.

Answer #3

I don’t see them as mutually exclusive. My government asks things of me, and in return, I get things back from my government. By virtue of the sales, vice, and income taxes I pay, I get streets, sewage treatment, and the right to expect programs to help me not freeze to death should I need help with my heating bill. I don’t see it as a matter of pride or socialism. I see it as a matter of return on my investment.

Answer #4

I think people ask for government assistance for a variety of reasons. In some cases, they are unemployed as a result of mass corporate layoffs or downsizing, and need help providing for their families while they get back on their feet. In some cases, they are employed or were employed but their wages did not keep pace with the rising cost of living, and need help to provide for themselves and their families. In some cases, they cannot afford expensive medical procedures or even basic health care, and can’t afford insurance. And in some cases, they are trying to exploit the system.

I do think, when talking to people, that there are stereotypes about welfare recipients, thanks partly to Newt Gingrich and the “Contract with America” Congress of the mid 1990’s, which proposed sweeping changes to several government assistance programs. Not everyone who is on a welfare program is trying to milk the system. Some people are on and off welfare in less than three years, and many are embarrassed to ask for a “handout”.

I’ve been paying taxes for years. If I’m ever unemployed, I see unemployment insurance as a benefit I’ve earned. I think it’s that way for a lot of people, especially these days with companies firing and outsourcing.

Answer #5

My humble opinion, it is HUGELY abused and everybody knows it - yet nothing or very little done to improve - Gov’t won’t touch it largely because it translates into votes / retention of power - ‘me’ ‘me’ ‘my benefit’ has replaced ‘what is good for the American people’ - sure hope our new President will jump on same - sad but such is life today.

Answer #6

“My humble opinion, it is HUGELY abused and everybody knows it “

amblessed, is it only your opinion that it is abused, and that “everybody knows it”? Or is “everybody knows it” a fact?

It amazes me how conservatives say public officials who support public assistance for those in need are only motivated by self preservation, but have no problem with corporate welfare and tax breaks for the wealthiest.

Answer #7

While there will be people who no doubt will game any system most people on assistance are off it and productive in a short period of time. The number who abuse are a small minority of recipients.

Reagan popularized the idea that “welfare queens” fraudulently receive benefits. He claimed that a Chicago woman collected benefits under 80 names at 30 addresses and veteran’s benefits on 4 non-existent husbands. Nobody has ever been able to find this woman but the idea that the welfare system is being widely abused has never left the collective consciousness. Stories of such abuse have been part of a campaign to reduce or eliminate benefits.

I was on unemployment for a short while. The rules were quite strict. It would have been tough to abuse this system.

Answer #8

I think everyone desereves help if they need it.

im glad your clean and sober. :)

Answer #9

I think the overwhelming majority of those seeking assistance are in real need, and they would rather not be in that situation, but see no other choice. No one should be ashamed of being in need. Many opponents of any welfare seem to think those getting assistance are just deadbeats sponging off the system. It just simply is not true.

Answer #10

I too think that people who need help should get it…

However, I think it’s naive, to think that there isn’t a whole lot of scamming going on…I’ve known people who hop freights once a month to collect in 3 different states…people who the day they get their food stamps, gather friends to help “bust” them into cash…people who have moved from one state to another simply to get bigger benefits…and I can tell you I ate more prime rib, in those days… when I sat at “welfare” tables…than I’ve ate since.

The same goes with SSI…people who, if they’d put as much energy into getting a job as they did trying to “prove” their diability, could have actually been very well off…I’m not say all…but I’m saying there’s a LOT of them.

I lived many years on the streets… homeless… among the welfare recievers…and I’d say it’s about 50/50…as many scammers as there are rightful receivers…If you haven’t lived the lifesyle then it’s hard to know.

The simple fact is…government handouts is a big joke to many of those who receive it…they’re laughing all the way to their “connection”.

p

Answer #11

Phrannie, while your life experience might seem to be a good guage to you, it is by no means a wide sweeping view of the whole system. Most experts agree that fraud is not very large, and certainly no where near 50/50.

Sounds like you had tough times. I am glad you survived and made a better life for yourself, I am sure many don’t.

Answer #12

I thought I was being generous with my 50/50, since I never met, ran with, bumped elbows with, or heard of a single person who truly was in need of it… :) Avoiding day labor was a hobby…and panhandling and dealing were “suppliment income”…Finding a “welfare mama” who hooked on the side, was a prize!

Of course it’s not a “wide-sweeping view”…I only ran in the Seattle/Portland/Spokane area… but it certainly is more of a bird’s eye view than sitting around reading the stats from so called experts who have never step foot in a ghetto, skid row, or took a sabbatical to get a real feel…that scamming a bored social worker at DHS is an artform…Numbers are just numbers…Telling the gut truth to the “suits” just wouldn’t happen…why blow a good thing? The only people who know the real truth are those who are living it…and they ain’t tellin’.

That is just the past view, however…nowadays, there’ll be many who truly need it, won’t like having to apply for it, and will do what they can to get off it…It’s next to impossible to live on it, unless you can call “under a bridge” or in a car…”home”… It’s not enough money, if a person is TRULY trying to care for a family.

p

Answer #13

Sorry phrannie, can’t buy it. I am not saying you are being untruthful, but it is unlikely that your experience is indicative of the amount of people truly in need. Maybe you never heard, ran with, or bumped elbows with a person who was truly in need, because they were too busy trying to survive.

Agreed that it is not enough to live on, but it is more than nothing, which is what many conservatives think they shoud get.

Answer #14

People deserve assistance, especially in the troubles that were having at the moment. Peoples pride can cause so much problems. If these people admitted they needed help they wouldn’t get in to debt. they need to think about the long run and there families and not there pride

Answer #15

I personally feel that if you are truely in need of government assistance that it is completely 100% justified and acceptable.everybody needs help sometimes and I commend mandyloo for utilizing government aid to take care of her drug problem and raise her child.

I feel though,when people abuse the privledge and use the money for drugs or etc. then it is not good.

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