Friday, June 28, 2013

A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out

And yet, to many it is.
I don’t care for politics.  I don’t get involved.  I know, I know. It’s my responsibility as a citizen to participate.  Yeah, yeah.  I usually don’t write about politics, either.  Mainly it’s because I don’t want to listen to the die hard idiots that disagree with me.  If you search the almost 300 posts in The Mess, you will probably only find three posts with a political bent to them.  I’ll tell you what, to keep you from searching the archives, I’ll list them in the For Further Reading section at the end of this post and you can check them out for yourself.

It’s not that I hate open discussion or debates.  Actually, I love them.  However, I have discovered that when people are passionate about some politician or cause, they cannot discuss things rationally and are soon spouting disparaging remarks about my mother and my conception.  Therefore, I choose to remain silent.

I do, that is, until I get pissed off at the lack of common sense in government.

Again, I know.  Common sense and government are two things that never seem to go hand in hand.  However, when this bit of news came across my desk, the girls stuffed a cigar in my mouth and a bottle of Jameson in my hand and told me to go to the porch and calm down.

Florida Governor Scott had to sign a bill which banned welfare recipients from being able to use their EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards at “adult entertainment establishments.”  Now, this is how far out of the loop I have become.  I was unaware that EBT cards were now like debit cards and people could get cash off of them.  Apparently, the Temporary Cash Advance is a short term cash benefit which goes to families on welfare with children under the age of eighteen or pregnant women in their last trimester.  Instead of using them for what they are intended, they are going out and having a grand old time - on my dime!

Did we pay for this date?
Some have said, “It’s not so rampant that it’s a major problem and worth the effort of trying to stamp it out.”  Then why did a law have to be created in order to put a halt to it?  NBC2, a television channel near me, did an investigation and discovered the cards were being used at ATMs inside liquor stores, strip clubs, dog tracks, bingo parlors, and bowling alleys throughout Florida to the sum of $190,733.  That is quite a bit of “nothing to be concerned about” if you ask me.  The report I saw broke it down in usage.  In establishments selling alcohol the dollar amount was $63,598, in amusement parks, sports arenas and the like it totaled $96,804, and in hotels and airports, $35, 400.  That is too much abuse to be ignored.

Someone made the ludicrous statement that just because they walked into those places and used the ATM doesn’t mean they spent the money there.  Really?  They just happened to be walking by Universal and decided to pop in and use their ATM machines?  There was no other ATM machine other than the one in Boobs Are Free, Dances Aren’t strip club?  I knew people in government were stupid, but I am really tired of them assuming we are, as well.  How in the world did someone on welfare afford to get into an amusement park anyway?  We have four incomes coming into the house and it’s a struggle for us.

DCF spokesperson Joe Follick was quoted as saying, “I don’t think it’s in anybody’s best interest to have the State of Florida monitor every single transaction.  Nobody wants Big Brother in here.”  I want Big Brother in here!  It’s in these situations that government should be monitoring and investigating to keep things from getting out of hand.  It’s in my best interest for them to keep an eye on where the money is going because it’s my money!

I played on my own pennies.
And it’s yours.

I do not mind giving people a hand up when they are struggling, but I am fed up with the handouts that allow people to live better than I do when the girls and I work fulltime jobs.  Welfare is not an assistance program; it’s a dependence program that enables lazy people to remain lazy and keeps some politicians in office.  The time has come for it to end.  There is a way to help those who really need it, but the current system is not it.  It is time for some old school philosophies to come back into play where people earn what they receive.

This law should never have needed to be passed.  The fact that it did shows that something is wrong with the way things are handled.  Furthermore, the fact that people like Joe Follick don’t want to know where our money is going shows we have the wrong people in these positions.  They should be more concerned about fixing this problem than taking away this working man’s Super Big Gulp.

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  1. Personally, I tend to agree with you in terms of not writing political posts. Even though I'm a poli-sci major intending to get a Master's in it, I really don't like to blog about politics. My day job, in a sense, is understanding and disecting politics. I try to separate my blog job from said day job. Although I have been sort of bad on that lately as I've been discussing the gay marriage ruling and some stuff on Snowden (feel free to take a look. I think someone with as an intelligent a mind as yours would at least find merit in my musings: But I digress...

    I think that there should be a law that punishes people who use the cards for such flagrantly unnecessary means, so for that I agree with Governor Scott's decision. I feel that if I was to put money into the system as an investment into my fellow man, I'd like to see that investment better spent than on strip clubs and the like. And I'll agree that the way that the man worded how hundreds of thousands of dollars wasn't that big of a deal was a bit ludicrous. However, I think that if we look at it as a percentage, we can see that what he was trying to say is that the system does more good than harm. That the money is more often spent on the true necessities than on these superfluous items and trips.

    1. I would agree. There are probably more benefiting from the system more than abusing it. I disagree with his opinion that we do not want government checking into the few that do abuse it. As one who manages our household finances, any waste caught is money I can invest elsewhere. I hope they figure out a better way of doing it.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Peter. It's always a pleasure when you pop by. I'll hop over and peak at your blog as well. Have a great weekend!

  2. I agree. I always tell my children that laws are for lawbreakers. I had no idea that EBT cards had debit-like powers and could make cash appear where it shouldn't. Welfare alchemy at its best. I, like you, don't mind helping the downtrodden, but the abusers rub me wrong.

    1. It's sad when honest people are taken advantage of in this way and those who really need it are hurt in the long run. Thanks, Chris, for vising and commenting!