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Free Stuff Doesn't Work

Updated on July 10, 2017
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Tevya is at the Table

Good Morning, Breakfastpoppers. Today is Monday, July 10, 2017. Our dear friend, Wasp Tevya, is in my kitchen preparing potato pancakes for breakfast. He has been thinking about the poor in our nation and the poverty that defines our inner cities. He has asked for the pleasure of your company this morning. Please come over, eat Tevya's luscious pancakes and listen to his thoughts about a problem that has yet to be solved. We hope to see you soon.

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The Magic Wand

Thanks so much for joining POP and me this morning. I was thinking about how food stamp usage rose like a rocket during the Obama years. Advertisements for the program were all over the place and a huge effort on the part of the Obama administration was made to eliminate the stigma of the program. The result of all this publicity was a massive increase in people using the stamps. In 2013, the number rose to whopping 48 million.

The idea of a leg up was originally intended to help people to cope while they worked their way out of poverty. Instead, welfare became a way of life for many and fraud and poor oversight allowed recipients to take taxpayer money and sit back without trying to turn their lives around. Recently a few states have begun requiring able bodied adults without children to find a job or participate in work training if they wish to continue to receive SNAP(Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefit. The results of this change are astounding. Alabama instituted a work requirement and witnessed a significant decline in SNAP participants. Georgia tried the same thing in a few counties and the results were the same. Maine and Kansas have followed suit and the results are impressive. In Kansas, for example, work requirements were implemented and 60 percent of former SNAP beneficiaries found jobs. The results have ben a win-win for everyone. Requiring participants to play an active role in their own "recovery" makes common sense. They benefit and so do the taxpayers. The lesson in all of this is quite simple. Get the government out of the business of keeping people dependent and watch things turn around for the better.


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The Core of the Problem

The left has always been wrong when it comes to welfare reform. They consistently attack any attempt to reform the welfare system. Our inner cities are in bad shape. They have been under Democratic control for decades and nothing of any consequence has been accomplished. It is time for voters to hold those in power accountable. It is time for voters to opt for a change in leadership. Republicans have always been characterized as unfeeling, wealthy elites when it comes to dealing with poverty. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Rep. Jim Jordan a Republican from Ohio has proposed a bill that would increase work requirements for welfare recipients. It defies common sense to oppose a bill that would get able bodied people off welfare and back into the work force. In order for any good to come out of increased work requirements, we need to monitor the programs and root out fraud and non-compliance. Just beefing up the work requirements is not enough. If we are going to do something, it has to be done right. Again, it would be a win-win for everyone. Breaking the cycle of dependency benefits everyone.

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Free to be a Liar

A perfect example of what can go wrong when you hand out freebies is displayed in the Obamaphone program. The Government Accountability Office conducted an undercover investigation and concluded that the majority of Obamaphone recipients lied on their applications. The lies didn't prevent them from obtaining the free service. They also concluded that when it comes to this particular freebie, fraud dominated the program. Those receiving the phones didn't need them and the lies they told on their applications were obvious and should have been detected. The program was flawed from the onset. The only requirement for participation was being able to say that you were already on another welfare program. Of course, verifying the claim was not important, and the phones were handed out to undeserving people at taxpayer's expense. We can thank the Obama administration for making it easy to defraud the government. Poverty became acceptable during his terms in office.

We have a chance now to turn things around. The move by a few states to require able-bodied adults without children to work is a great beginning. The fruit of these changes are already in evidence. We need new leadership in our inner cities. We need to encourage education and hard work. We need black leaders to step up their game and reach out to their communities. Welfare is necessary in many cases, but it should never be a way of life for those who are able to work.

President Trump is in a unique position to improve the hideous conditions of our crumbling inner cities. When the president appointed Ben Carson to run the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs it was a good move. Mr. Carson possesses a fresh eye and is not stuck in the past. Existing policies have failed miserably and it is time for a new and creative approach. We have that opportunity now and it is a golden chance to right the wrongs of the past. What do we have to lose?


Tevya's Song

Dear God, you made so many liberals

It's no shame to be a liberal

But it's no great honor either!

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 9 days ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm wondering how long it is going to take a Republican President, with a Republican Congress, to pass major legislation. This kind of bungling is historical in scope, something to really be proud of.

      Have a great week, Pop!

    • breakfastpop profile image
      Author

      breakfastpop 9 days ago

      God morning ill,

      I am disgusted as well, particularly if they fail to fix healthcare. However, Trump has accomplished quite a bit when it comes to helping the VA, lifting strangulating regulations, enforcing the borders and unleashing energy sources. As far as Congress is concerned, all I can say is they ought to be ashamed of themselves, and I mean all of them. See you at the Inn.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 9 days ago from Yorktown NY

      You are so correct. The big questions is why can't "smart"liberals or progressives see it as well?

    • breakfastpop profile image
      Author

      breakfastpop 9 days ago

      Dear Jack,

      Are there any smart liberals or progressives? See you at the Inn and we'll talk some more.

    • FitnezzJim profile image

      FitnezzJim 9 days ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      What would happen if Trump chose to veto legislation that did not have the votes needed to overturn his veto?

      Would that force members of both parties in both Congress and the Senate to come to mutually agreeable solutions? Would it end extended Congressional vacations, and force a truce on partisanship?

      Plus - if welfare does not get funded because Congress can't get the votes to continue funding it, would that slow the move towards becoming a welfare nation?

    • mslizzee profile image

      elizabeth 9 days ago from Buncombe County, NC

      Hi Pop

      It's sad but true, once a person gets used to something free, it's almost impossible to take it away. I am used to Social Security. I'm retired and worked all my life. I look for that check every month and I wish I did not. I wish I'd saved more. Social security is not equitable. People live a long time and take out more in SS than was ever put in. I would go back to work if I could, but no one will hire someone my age.

      Removing the millions of welfare recipients from government money will never happen. It's a way of life, deeply ingrained.

      Liberal government has made it way too easy to collect free money. Have you ever watched Judge Judy? Almost everyone in her court is on government welfare, subsidized housing, food stamps and disability.

    • mslizzee profile image

      elizabeth 9 days ago from Buncombe County, NC

      Hi Pop

      I wrote a brilliant comment but it seems to have disappeared, so thank you for your article. I agree 100%

      lizzee

    • breakfastpop profile image
      Author

      breakfastpop 9 days ago

      Good Morning Jim,

      You pose some interesting questions, but I can't come up with an answer. What's happening now in Congress is hideous on all sides. Schumer is derailing routine appt.'s and is against anything that Trump proposes good or bad. And then we have the Republicans who can't seem to pull their act together. If they don't resolve healthcare and choose go on vacation, they are doomed and so are we. Welfare needs to be overhauled, as well, but welfare is the Dems calling card. I can't imagine the fight. See you at the Inn. See you at the Inn.

    • breakfastpop profile image
      Author

      breakfastpop 9 days ago

      Good Morning lizzie,

      I don't consider Social Security to be an entitlement. We pay into Social Security Welfare is an entitlement. SNAP is an entitlement. Recipients don't pay anything, but the taxpayes do. There is no question that many people need this kind of assistance, but the number of people who use these programs and don't need to is incredible! See you at the Inn.

    • wba108@yahoo.com profile image

      wba108@yahoo.com 8 days ago from upstate, NY

      It's ironic that the right incentives can work destructively or beneficially. In the Obama administration, dependency was encouraged due to incentives created and now that some states have created incentives to be productive its worked like a charm. It should be a no-brainer, its hard to understand how people could oppose this.

    • breakfastpop profile image
      Author

      breakfastpop 8 days ago

      Dear wha,

      It is a no-brainer. I put resistance to this idea in the same category as refusing to institute voter ID procedures. Sounds fishy to me!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 8 days ago from Pacific Northwest

      I am one who desperately could use food stamps and can't get them. I am on disability and own my own company housesitting, which is still a pittance. Social Security has explained why I don't qualify but I don't understand it. Usually DSHS makes the determination, but s0mehow because I have my own business SS calls the shots. My business only cleared 6k on my best year. Last year was not good. All this to say I can't afford groceries much and have had to rely heavily on a grocery ministry in our church. They serve the community. They have lots of processed foods. But I'm grateful for them.

      As to Trump and the coming health care I am worried. I feel like they've rushed it. I doubt it will be a quality product, but I'm hoping I'm wrong.

      An improvement in the VA? My son has not seen it. He has a cardiac problem he found out after a brief stay in the hospital. He was told to follow up with a cardiologist and an appt was made. The VA cancelled it and rescheduled for next month. Meanwhile his symptoms are worsening. However, waiting a month is a great improvement over his waiting, and jumping through years of hoops to get treatment for his PTSD.

      Republican, Democrats, doesn't matter in certain matters. I like some of Trumps hard work, but I'm still not feeling like he's the great white hope everyone seems to think he is.

    • breakfastpop profile image
      Author

      breakfastpop 8 days ago

      Dear Lori,

      I am so sorry to hear about your problems. I think you have to reapply for SNAP and be persistent. If you can't get satisfaction, I think you should contact your representatives and be aggressive. As for Trumps efforts with the VA, I think he is on the right track. Again, I think your son should be aggressive and if necessary contact Trump himself. I read today that over 500 people were fired from the VA and 200 more are suspended. It is a beginning, but if your son is in danger health wise, he needs to be more aggressive. How I wish I could help both of you.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 7 days ago from Nashville Tn.

      Healthcare should be the #1 priority in our country. I see hard working folks trying to find affordable health care and it just makes me sick. And social security is what I've paid into my whole life. (I'm still angry that I don't draw more. I know darn well I've been cheated.) Great hub!

    • breakfastpop profile image
      Author

      breakfastpop 6 days ago

      Good Morning Audrey,

      Congress had better get reform of healthcare right. People are losing coverage all over the country, and there is no excuse for hanging back and bickering. In the private sector, if the boss said to work out the problems with a program it would get done or those involved would be toast! As for Social Security, if the government had not stolen our money the program, which we pay into would be sustainable. Again, this is just more evidence of government screwing up the works. See you at the Inn.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 6 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Audrey and pop, you make a great point. So the current state of healthcare is dismal. We had 80 years of social security. It is running out of funds... the BIG question should be, why would any one want the government to do more of the same... and screw up more?

    • breakfastpop profile image
      Author

      breakfastpop 6 days ago

      Dear Jack,

      Human nature is funny thing. Hand people something for free long enough( I am not speaking of Soc. Sec. ) and the want more of the same. Motivation dries up, incentive dies and the easy way seems like the only way. Granted some people need a leg up, but way too many people on these programs are capable of supporting themselves. In my view, it is rare when government performs anything better than the private sector. Just look at the VA. Less government is better for everyone.

    • profile image

      Pino Krisio 5 days ago

      POP: I am late to the breakfast; hope there are some potato pancakes left for me! Obama phones accomplished one thing and that was to secure votes for Obama. So, in the eyes of the liberals, it was a great success! To me it was a disaster. My hard working tax money going for that? Who said everyone needed a phone with them all the time? They had phones that would only call 911 in the case of an emergency; but that was not good enough for these people. They get 250 minutes a month, and we pay for it. This is not a necessity, but now how do you take it back? Great hub, as usual! See you at the Inn.....

    • breakfastpop profile image
      Author

      breakfastpop 4 days ago

      Good Morning Pino,

      All you have to do is ask for proof if eligibility and the number of recipients will shrink to a few! See you at the Inn. Nothing is free there and I am looking forward to that!

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