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The pros, cons of welfare system

September 23, 2013

It would seem that everyone — or at least those paying taxes — wants serious reforms of our welfare system. In fact, it would seem a large percentage of taxpayers would like to just end it completely....

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(82)

bronski

Sep-23-13 6:47 AM

Thank you Mr. Christopher. I agree with what your saying. There needs to be changes but like everything else people don't like change. If only our representatives would look at it from your point of view maybe the light bulb would go on. I hope there are changes but I don't expect them in my life time. As for those receiving benefits, they have become to complaisant that they don't know how to move forward. I know our DSS is working hard to change this but people need to realize it will not happen over night. As I have said before, we need to change the NYS constitution and go with the 5 year federal limit. This will help at least make people realize that it is not a way of life. Everyone needs to write their representatives and push to have it changed. Until then, it will be a slow process. Keep your fingers crossed that the light bulb goes on soon.

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DarkStar

Sep-23-13 8:18 AM

Most people don't want Welfare totally eliminated, and accept that we need a safey net. The problem is it's been turned from a new to catch people to a couch for people to lounge around on their entire lives.

Other then that point I agree with, and have called for, most of what you propose. For example, I said as long as their are healthy people on Welfare in the County then Town/Villages/Cities should not have to hire work crews to clean their buildings and parks. This should be done by work crews made up of those on Welfare. In this way the taxpayer saves some money on local property taxes, and gets some value from the portion of their taxes that goes to support the welfare system.

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Steiner

Sep-23-13 8:25 AM

Paul is cherry picking again. the repubs are the party of NO he proclaims. hey paul did ya catch the recall election attempts and violence threats against those politicians voting for right to work laws ? its your party paul, the choice only for abortion democrats and their union goons.obama care in trouble, you ignore , yet again, it is big labor that is opposed to it. Paul, you just gotta start thinking a bit. I know its hard. democratic platform is dont think, mimic. example, they do this in europe, we gotta do it. those libs, original thinking eludes them.Even FDR said he ws worried that the safety net would become a hammock. that is exactly what we have and paul blames repubs. wow. Do libs ever learn ? I think not. proof is what they write almost every day in the observer.

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joew

Sep-23-13 8:36 AM

Paul has put forth some good points that I think anyone,well almost anyone,would agree with. My only concern and question is who would provide the insurance for these work crews. How could municipalities etc shield themselves from lawsuits because someone stubbed their toe?

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Dcronlg

Sep-23-13 9:29 AM

Christuufuu, should you & your children ever find yourself, through no fault of your own, to have to go onto welfare program, you would NEVER EVER submit yourself to any of humiliating treatments/rules/regulations your "ideas" propose.

Welfare isn't going to bankrupt our country -- social security & medicare will. Three workers support every SS recipient. Every minute there are more folks going onto SS & MC that those onto welfare. Ever Your grandma/pa are receiving more SS & MC than they ever paid. If I follow your logic Christuufuu, the only SS & MC $$s they should receive is what they paid into it -- & not any more, or else they're mooching just like those welfare folks.

Go ahead Christuufuu, tell your Grandma/pa -- & every other senior -- that "a couple of apples, bananas or other light fare should suffice" for any meal to feed them.

You're a clueless hypocrite. Remember when you're on SS & MC: you're a welfare mooch, too

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judeye

Sep-23-13 10:08 AM

Find much to agree with and much I disagree with in this article.

Foremost, why are we not talking about real welfare drain..that of corporate welfare? Oh..but I guess that will be for another column.

To make changes in the welfare system, why are they not asking the workers who deal with it on a daily basis. I KNOW they have many ideas that could easily be implemented that would save money and reduce the numbers.

CC has about 17% living in or below poverty, which for a family of four is $23,050. Can you imagine trying to make it on such low wages? 41% are living in households with earnings, ie someone is working. One in four is a child.

Why do they make it so difficult for us, the taxpayers, to get actual data? A few years ago I had to file a FOIA just to get the numbers. Why? Should this not be readily available for all of us who are paying the bill to see?

Maybe they do not want us to know. How few, how many are working, how many are seniors, disabled and ch

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Dcronlg

Sep-23-13 10:46 AM

I like Christuufuu logic: drug testing for welfare doesn't work but somehow food police making sure free meals get to where their supposed to is a worthy, cost effective idea. Really...

For a guy supposedly about small, less intrusive government, there's nothing that says small, less intrusive government like food police...or maybe even shopping police...(right up there with drug-testing police)

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commentor

Sep-23-13 11:02 AM

Social Security and Medicare will bankrupt the Country?? Spoken like a true free loader welfare collecting dreg of society. I agree with Paul. I also agree with Steiner that Democrats foster the program. That's how they stay in office. If term limits were instituted it might help to change welfare.

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DarkStar

Sep-23-13 11:14 AM

Dcronlg,

So you support giving out food stamps "for the children" but then needing to feed those kids two of three meals a day at school because the foodstamps are being used for Poweraid, chips and candy bars for the parents?

SS was, and still is, sold to the American public as an insurance type investment. Now if you can only ever get out what you put in then it's just another rape of the taxpayer since in effect it's nothing but a forced interest free loan to the government.

SS itself isn't the problem, it's been the expansion of it to SSDI and the like. That changed allowed people who never put into the system to take from it.

Now add that and similar things to the raiding of the so called SS "trust fund" to cover ever increasing government spending and you have a recipe for disaster.

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judeye

Sep-23-13 11:20 AM

Oh I agree re the cell phones for sure. I believe it was President Reagan who began this program with phones, and now it has been expanded to include cell phones.

From Businessweek..."Wireless operators like Sprint Nextel are building a big business providing free cellular service to the poor. Washington picks up the tab"

Follow the money. How large is their lobby in DC? This just might be why it is growing. GREED hits once again... and we taxpayers pick up the tab..and are convinced it is the poor and not the greed that has expanded the program. Good trick.

Feeding children...breakfast and lunch in school...must continue. Sometimes this is about all they get to eat.

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Marcia

Sep-23-13 11:35 AM

Considering that the SNAP allotment is about $1.43 per person per meal, it is a good idea to feed kids in school. Most teachers will say that kids pay much closer attention in class, and do much better, when they receive a meal. I think this is a great way to help kids do better. Boston, MA is now providing meals to all kids for free. IN NJ, they have decided that if a child gets to the end of the lunch line and they don't have enough funds to cover the price, the parent's pay through a card in advance, they throw the food away and tell the child they can't eat. Which is more humanitarian? Let's see what the end result will be. I, personally, am for providing nutritious meals to kids.

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DarkStar

Sep-23-13 11:58 AM

"...Feeding children...breakfast and lunch in school...must continue. Sometimes this is about all they get to eat..."

So should we cut foodstamps to those families whose children eat two meals a day at at school?

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DarkStar

Sep-23-13 12:10 PM

judeye,

As for your constant use of the word "greed," can we get a definition?

Is it greedy to want to keep what you earn? How about to expect to sitting home popping out kids and expecting the workers of the Country/State/County to pay to support you and any kids you have?

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joew

Sep-23-13 12:41 PM

Marcia SNAP is a supplemental program for those meeting income guidelines just as WIC(you can receive both), assistance for child care,HEAP,rental assistance, and other PA programs. I would never advocate taking anything from anyone needing help. I do advocate people having to participate in the Welfare to Work program.

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Localone

Sep-23-13 12:59 PM

At least the WIC program defines the products a person can buy. The EBT( food stamp) card seems to have little restriction based on the things I see people using it for. That right there is a big part of the problem from a taxpayers perpspective. If you're an able bodied person living off of my tax dollar, you shouldn't be able to afford the luxuries in life that the working taxpayer supporting you cannot afford. Welfare should be configured to make people WANT to support themselves rather than teaching the next generation how to get everything for nothing.

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DKexpat

Sep-23-13 1:31 PM

Agree with joew.

There are always people who are going to need help, and this great country of ours should willingly help them. There but for the grace of God...

That said, there are too many able-bodied freeloaders who are products of “generational welfare” who think it’s the norm to live off taxpayers.

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commentor

Sep-23-13 3:31 PM

Anyone on welfare and getting WIC and PIC should be able to feed their kids. People on welfare do NOT need a plastic card so they can get cash out of an ATM and go to the casino to gamble. Go back to food stamps, paying rent directly to landlords. No cigarettes, booze, cell phones, computers or any other luxury that working people have. If you want luxuries WORK FOR THEM!!!!

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Truthteller

Sep-23-13 4:39 PM

Greed--companies like GE paying zero taxes. The Walton family richer than the lower 40% of America (that's A LOT! And they can't pay their employees better!?) Greed is oil companies accepting taxpayer dollars. Greed is Haliburton accepting lucrative government contracts to do the military work that soldiers used to do and should be doing. (Corporate welfare). Greed is every bank (all of which are now lobbying Congress to create laws that punish credit unions). Greed is any company that lays off workers while giving CEO's massive bonuses. Greed is bailed out companies using taxpayer money to finance private jets and fancy conventions. Greed is Republican legislators lamenting that they only make $170,000. Greed is insurance companies. Dark Star, are you really that confused!?

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Truthteller

Sep-23-13 4:45 PM

It used to be possible to earn a living and support a family with hard work. For 35 years, companies have behaved in despicable, irresponsible ways (see below) that make that dream impossible. Outsourcing is one huge problem irresponsible companies have been allowed to create. Hiring only part-time and temp workers is another trend. If you don't pay the people who do the work that earns your company its wealth a reasonable wage, then you are unethical, immoral, and reprehensible. These are today's trends. Many corporations around here, like Dollar General, will hire welfare people. But as Christopher says, these people won't be able to survive (on part-time or temp pay, as the trend is now.) Corporations, CEO's, stockholders say "Hooray for me, to*****with most Americans, suckers that they are." Any vote for a Republican is just a sucker vote.

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commentor

Sep-23-13 4:54 PM

You want to talk about a living wage. Obama care is causing companies to tell their employees no more than 30 hours a week. Ask around. It's happening everywhere. Republicans want to toss Obama care out. Democrats are fighting for it.

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PhilJulian

Sep-23-13 5:49 PM

Those who complain about those big greedy corporations apparently would rather have socialism. Who among us would not like to see a return of the many manufacturing jobs that were lost to foreign countries? Do we not understand that in our free market, capitalistic country corporations need profits and stockholders need a return on investment? As for cleaning beaches and shoveling sidewalks it's not going to happen for the same reason we are not using prisoners from Brocton to handle those jobs. Putting a prisoner or welfare recipient on a job takes work away from UNION LABOR AND VIOLATES OUR LABOR CONTRACTS. At the core of our welfare problem is a system in New York that makes welfare an acceptable way of life. How do we fix it? I would start with a residency requirement of at least five years and reduce the benefit package to be no more expensive than the national average. Welfare should be a temporary form of assistance for those who have fallen on hard times and not a career choic

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Marcia

Sep-23-13 7:16 PM

Those who complain about those big greedy corporations apparently would rather have socialism. No Pphil, there is a better way. The income gap is worse in the United States than the rest of the developed world. Even worse than a lot of emerging third world countries. How many millions do the Walton's need? They can't even spend all the money they have, and yet you have to pay for their employee's health insurance. That is greed, and morally wrong.

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Marcia

Sep-23-13 7:21 PM

joew ( you do seem to make sure you always call me out, don't you)I never said anything related to your post. I think feeding kids in school is good. I also never said that they shouldn't be trained or have to look for jobs. I'm just saying there aren't a lot of jobs out there. I worked and paid taxes my entire life, and I think all people should. I just wish we didn't live in such an oligarchy, and we would leave the 1890's and come into the 21st century. Henry Ford said he needed to pay people a fair wage.

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Truthteller

Sep-23-13 8:07 PM

"Ask around, it's happening everywhere." That's some hard-hitting persuasion, by god.

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Truthteller

Sep-23-13 8:09 PM

Phil, profit is fine. But it's like too much candy--too much of a good thing. When profit starts cutting into the well-being of the stakeholders who are doing the hard work, and when those stakeholders in a company's well-being are abused while those at the top are given more and more--THAT is greed. Agree with Marcia--how friggin' much do these S O B's need?

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