New York says: Apply for food stamps its your civic duty!

New York is once again proving that ignorance and government are synonymous. With the economy in a slump and the state already facing huge deficits they have come up with an answer: Push as many people as possible onto the government dole.

The following drivel comes from the New York Times:

Once stigmatized, food stamps find acceptance
Local and federal governments now make efforts to attract working poor

A decade ago, New York City officials were so reluctant to give out food stamps, they made people register one day and return the next just to get an application. The welfare commissioner said the program caused dependency and the poor were “better off” without it.

Now the city urges the needy to seek aid (in languages from Albanian to Yiddish). Neighborhood groups recruit clients at churches and grocery stores, with materials that all but proclaim a civic duty to apply — to “help New York farmers, grocers, and businesses.” There is even a program on Rikers Island to enroll inmates leaving the jail. 

“Applying for food stamps is easier than ever,” city posters say.

This hearkens back to an earlier time when the welfare rolls bankrupted the city. Not being ones to let something as annoying as history get in their way New Yorkers are ready for round two.

The same is true nationwide. After a U-turn in the politics of poverty, food stamps, a program once scorned as “welfare,” enjoys broad new support. Following deep cuts in the 1990s, Congress reversed course to expand eligibility, cut red tape and burnish the program’s image, with a special effort to enroll the working poor. These changes, combined with soaring unemployment, have pushed enrollment to record highs, with one in eight Americans now getting aid.

“I’ve seen a remarkable shift,” said Senator Richard G. Lugar, an Indiana Republican and prominent food stamp supporter. “People now see that it’s necessary to have a strong food stamp program.”

The revival began a decade ago, after tough welfare laws chased millions of people from the cash rolls, many into low-wage jobs as fast-food workers, maids, and nursing aides. Newly sympathetic officials saw food stamps as a way to help them. For states, the program had another appeal: the benefits are federally paid.

..."after tough welfare laws chased millions of people from the cash rolls...into low-wage jobs such as fast-food workers, maids and nursing aides." This is the most disgusting characterization of welfare reform I have ever heard. The author spits out this vomit as if working for a living and foregoing the welfare route is something contemptible. How dare you impoverished make an effort to free yourself from the bondage of welfare. 

But support also turned on chance developments, including natural disasters (which showed the program’s value in emergencies) and the rise of plastic benefit cards (which eased stigma and fraud). The program has commercial allies, in farmers and grocery stores, and it got an unexpected boost from President George W. Bush, whose food stamp administrator, Eric Bost, proved an ardent supporter.

“I assure you, food stamps is not welfare,” Mr. Bost said in a recent interview.

Never let a crisis go to waste right? I have no objection to helping those in need but this is something far more insidious. This is the open recruitment of able bodied workers and the slaughter of self reliance. There should be a stigma associated with welfare. People should not be comfortable in their poverty.

Still, some critics see it as welfare in disguise and advocate more restraints.
So far their voices have been muted, unlike in the 1990s when members of Congress likened permissive welfare laws to feeding alligators and wolves. But last month, a Republican candidate for governor in South Carolina, Andre Bauer, criticized food stamps by saying his grandmother “told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed.”

Mr. Bauer, the lieutenant governor, apologized for his phrasing but said, “somebody has to have the gumption to talk about the cycle of dependency.”

While I think Bauer's choice of words is horrible, he is fundamentally right. When a government actively recruits people onto the welfare rolls the consequence is a flood of applicants.

The drive to enroll the needy can be seen in the case of Monica Bostick-Thomas, 45, a Harlem widow who works part-time as a school crossing guard. Since her husband died three years ago, she has scraped by on an annual income of about $15,000.

But she did not seek help until she got a call from the Food Bank of New York City, one of the city’s outreach partners. Last year, she balked, doubting she qualified. This year, when the group called again, she agreed to apply. A big woman with a broad smile, Ms. Bostick-Thomas swept into the group’s office a few days later, talking up her daughters’ college degrees and bemoaning the cost of oxtail meat.

The article goes on but I do not have the stomach to finish it. I am so enraged at the entitlement mentality of places like New York and California that it sickens me to continue.

There are legitimate cases where welfare and food stamps are necessary; I am not denying that. It is the active manner in which New York is pushing to pile as many people as possible onto the backs of  taxpayers that is unconscionable. New York will no doubt lament the loss of its businesses and high end wage earners as they flee oppressive taxes. The blame lies not with those who are smart enough to leave but with those who are too blind to see what it is they are sowing. 

1 comment:

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