Thursday, January 26, 2006


Post and discuss


skids said...

I think both sides of the political spectrum should call a temporary cease fire and level-fund social programs until such a point as they implement this here idea of mine: 9191

Smooth climb out of aid programs
Submitted by anonymous in Massachusetts

Programs like unemployment insurance, SS disability, and welfare have a major flaw which penalizes people for finding temporary/part-time work. Many people on these programs would love to support themselves at least partially, and all dream of making their own way someday. Even many disabled would love to work a small part-time job despite their disability. The minute they make a very small amount of money, though, they lose all their benefits -- sometimes permanantly!

This proposal would phase benefits from such programs out smoothly, rather than in large chunks. For every dollar earned at a job, the enrollee would lose only a fraction of a dollar in aid. When the amount of aid received in the program went to zero, they would still be in the program, they just wouldn't be seeing any checks (already the case for unemployment insurance, but not for disability insurance.)

In America when you work more, you should get payed more. No American should have to wonder if they will LOSE money by pulling an extra shift.

Dan/Mich said...

A simple plan that I think might be very well supported by the political spectrum you spoke of. It's got my support.

Judy B. said...

I agree. Women with children often feel so stuck when it comes to working. When they bring in a little money, their child care costs completely negate their reasons for working.
Also, often (most) times getting even a minimum wage job (that doesn't include health care) removes the worker from medical care.
What is the incentive to getting off off welfare when their life is going to be even worse off?

john Ashman said...

I actually kind of agree with that to a point. Though that is mainly because I think what we are doing is pretty stupid. I've had people tell me "why the HECK would I get a job when I am doing alright without one?" I think we're just giving too much away as well as not having a smart way of segueing out of it. There are *so* many people receiving welfare checks, including illegal immigrants and Mexican citizens, it's just painful.

I also think that *every* welfare recipient should be drug tested and screened for alcohol abuse. We need a bit of stick to go with the carrot.

Here's a test we should use - if we as a family would deny aid to a person because he's a slacker ne'er do well, we probably shouldn't give him government aid. Many, if not most of these people are people who have families too smart and disciplined to help them because they know it's a lost cost. But the government doesn't care. They fund failure. We should fund failure. We should only fund success. I'd rather help someone who is working as best they can than someone who does nothing and expects everything. That just creates dependency.

skids said...

John: the flip side is of course that the government is a blunt instrument, and too much rollback might hurt the benefits of those who really have no other hope. But my point is mainly that we should put a hold on this divisive argument and rework the system with no changes in level of support or criterion for receiving support until the way to better one's lot in life without sacrificing security is clear-cut: just work.

After that we can go back to arguing about how much support is appropriate -- but to fight over that when the system has such an obvious and easily fixable flaw does noone any good.

john Ashman said...

Like any drug, weaning ourselves off of government takes time and pain, but it's worth the effort. Remember Clinton's dire predictions of welfare reform after he signed it? How it would hurt America's poor? And it was mean-spirited? Within 6 months, he was claiming credit it for it. I don't think we should do cold turkey, but we do need to make steps towards teaching people to work for success and to take responsibility. Only then can we get back to being a truly great society. Our current system simply is no better than having a bunch of drug-addicts being enabled, sadly. I remember my dad always saying about how we destroyed the Indians by making them wards of the state. But he couldn't see how welfare was doing the very same thing to our poor. It really is the same. I live where there are a lot of indians and it's so sad to see what's happened to them because we took away their pride and tried to take care of them.

Art N. said...

The problem is, there are idiots and charlatans running business AND government, and the vulnerable need protection from them. And NOW, they're trying to screw me out of my Social Security money that I worked 32 years for!

Judy B. said...

Health care is a big reason why people are on welfare.. Come over the Health blog and discuss how UHC can cut the welfare rolls..

Also dont for get to vote at the alternate site...