Posts tagged Welfare
Posts tagged Welfare
Oh, now I get it — only moms of means are worthy of praise. Moms who accept public assistance produce indolent kids who lead unproductive lives.
Yeah, I don’t have kids, but I feel pretty good in saying Romney and his faux “mommy war” outrage can kiss off. I love being lectured by a rich guy about welfare in general. It’s not like I actually want a living wage or anything…
(h/t to ThinkProgress)
This is just tragic:
A desperate Texas mother who was denied food stamps is dead after taking a state welfare worker hostage and then taking her own life. According to police, Rachell Grimmer walked into a Laredo, TX welfare office with her two children Monday and pulled a gun. Over the course of the seven-hour standoff, Grimmer released her hostage but then fatally shot herself and wounded both of her children.
"They were all barefoot," said Esther Jaimes, who saw the family waiting at a gas station in October. "They looked dirty, like they hadn’t showered in days, and the little girl was holding a puppy. They were just looking around just trying to see if anyone would help them or something," she said.
The family of three moved to Laredo in July and lived in a small RV in extreme poverty.
Desperation can cause people to do horrible things. Reports also state she had attempted to qualify since July and was first denied because her 18 page application lacked some information, though what was lacking isn’t clear. Her mother said she may have been dealing with mental illness as well. This is an all-around awful event and I hope her children make a full recovery.
As a side note, the benefits in Texas are typically $294 a week for a family of three. It’s not much, but for many, it’s the difference between starvation and barely adequate sustenance. It’s horrifying that Rachell Grimmer felt she had to take the route of shooting herself and her children after this benefit was denied.
An Ohio Democratic lawmaker is proposing to drug-test elected officials, in response to a Republican-backed bill calling for drug-testing of welfare recipients.
Rep. Robert Hagan’s bill would require statewide officeholders, legislators, members of Gov. John Kasich’s jobs board and recipients of federal bailout money to pay for their testing for un-prescribed pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs and alcohol. Officials testing positive would have to undergo treatment or be booted from office.
Hagan says it’s hypocritical for lawmakers to say they’re protecting taxpayer money by testing welfare recipients for drugs if they themselves won’t submit to testing.
Well, well, well… isn’t this just marvelous? Of course, I’d prefer not drug-testing welfare recipients, but let’s make it more equitable, shall we? He suggested anyone who receives taxpayer dollars should be tested if welfare recipients are tested - simple as that. Let us not forget how drug-testing folks applying for welfare turned out for Florida…
Oh, and he supports the Occupy Movement. He spoke at Occupy Youngstown:
"Wall Street started the war, and we the people will finish it," Rep. Robert Hagan of Youngstown told a fired-up crowd.
BAMF credentials established, sir.
Conservative columnist Matthew Vadum, in his column “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American” for The American Thinker.
I literally do not know what to say this, other than the subtlety used in the past by folks like Vadum is dead. They do not want those in poverty to vote for fear their rich cronies will no longer be able to buy political clout. The richest 1% have 1% of the vote. 99% of the vote belongs to those outside of the top income brackets.
Never fear, Mr. Vadum. Citizens United v. FEC has your back. I’ll tell you what’s un-American: Decrying the empowerment of the impoverished via the last vestiges of the democratic process we have left in this country. To insist that a person is defined by what one owns versus who one is - that’s profoundly un-American.
You sir, are attempting to establish a new aristocracy in this country, a pseudo-royalty if you will. I believe the Founding Fathers might have a bigger problem with that than with the poor voting.
Uh-oh. Looks like Florida’s mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients is costing the taxpayers more than they’re actually saving.
Governor Rick Scott had praised the program when he signed it June 1st of this year, proclaiming, “It’s the right thing for citizens of this state that need public assistance. We don’t want to waste tax dollars.”
However, the numbers are not adding up. From WFTV:
Just six weeks after Florida began drug testing welfare applicants, WFTV uncovered numbers which show that the program is already costing Central Florida taxpayers more than it saves. 9 Investigates’ reporter George Spencer found very few applicants are testing positive for drugs. The Department of Central Florida’s (DCF) region tested 40 applicants and only two tested positive for drugs, officials said. One of the tests is being appealed.
Governor Rick Scott said the program would save money. Critics said it already looks like a boondoggle. “We have a diminishing amount of returns for our tax dollars. Do we want out governor throwing our precious tax dollars into a program that has already been proven not to work?” Derek Brett of the ACLU said.
DCF said it has been referring applicants to clinics where drug screenings cost between $30 and $35. The applicant pays for the test and the state reimburses [the applicant] if they test negative. Therefore, the 38 applicants in the Central Florida area, who tested negative, were reimbursed at least $30 each and cost taxpayers $1,140. Meanwhile, the state is saving less than $240 a month by refusing benefits to those two applicants who tested positive.
I’m not at all shocked by this, and the ACLU is planning to file suit. Oh, and they’re also saying to Rick Scott: “We told you so.” Literally.
The sad part? These measures scare people off from applying for benefits. If people test positive for drugs, it means two things: Either they ingested that substance at least once, and maybe only once, within the testing window - or it’s a false positive. Here’s a short list of things that can cause a false positive:
Huh. So drug tests aren’t infallible and they’re not saving Florida any money? As the ACLU points out, Florida should have learned this 10 years ago, when they tried this program and had to dump it for cost reasons.
I’ll indulge the governor for a moment, though. Let’s say there’s parents who have used some kind of drugs in the period before the test. Why deprive children of quite possibly the only support they’ll receive because their parent(s) may or may not have used drugs voluntarily or involuntarily in the testing period? I’m not comfortable with that thought, and any other person with an iota of compassion should not be thrilled with that proposition either.
Cost of one Tomahawk cruise missile: Approximately $756,000-$2,000,000 per missile
Congress appropriated $6,734,000,000 for WIC in fiscal year 2011.
Let’s compare these numbers for perspective:
When Operation Iraqi Freedom began, more than 725 Tomahawk cruise missiles had been fired into Iraq by early 2003. That’s an approximate cost of $548,100,000 to $1,450,000,000 - nearly 20% of WIC’s 2011 budget in a matter of weeks.
War is expensive, but for some reason, it’s easier to to write those costs off than the costs of helping families in need. War is also profitable, whereas assisting the impoverished, well, not so much.
The study’s author, Suzanne Mettler, a Cornell professor of American Institutions, attempted to explain the difficulties the Obama Administration faced in trying to reframe the debate about the effect of government social spending on the economy and on the quality of life of all Americans. [Read the study: The Submerged State]
Mettler argues that most of the effects of social spending are hidden, which she calls the “submerged state.”
To illustrate the difficulty President Obama would have - and is having - in surfacing the submerged state so that we can have a rational discussion about it, she included the results of a 2008 government study asking recipients of government social spending if they had ever used a government social program.
The results are an indictment of American civic literacy.
To wit, 44 percent of Social Security recipients, 41 percent of military veterans, 43 percent of unemployment recipients, 40 percent of Medicare recipients, 43 percent of college Pell Grant recipients and 27 percent of welfare recipients all said they had never used a government social program.
But those programs are not the submerged state, as Mettler describes, instead they were included to illustrate that even obvious government programs are not so obvious to their millions of beneficiaries.
Her main point had to do with other, hidden forms of government spending, such as the home mortgage interest tax deduction. Six out of every 10 respondents to the survey didn’t recognize the deduction as government social spending.
I’d like to see how many people acknowledge corporations benefit from government spending that’s affecting the social programs Americans benefit from every single day. Let’s see how those numbers stack up.