My last segment on social engineering may draw the most ire from many of my Progressive friends, but here goes...
In the last two segments, I spoke of personal responsibility, and education. Here, I will talk about accountability to the taxpayers who are helping the poor.
First, let me differentiate between those receiving public assistance with those receiving unemployment benefits. Those on unemployment have shown the ability to obtain work, and are normally unemployed due to no fault of their own. Instead this is more toward those that receive such benefits as AFDC, Food Stamps, housing, and medical assistance for an extended time.
As I wrote Monday, anyone spending government assistance cash should not be using that money to buy booze or illegal drugs, maybe even tobacco products. Different states handle welfare benefits in different ways, but in no way should it be a cashable check. Furthermore, benefits payed through a EBT card should not be allowed to withdraw from an ATM, Nor should they resemble a typical credit card. I also feel that assistance should include a rent and utilities vouchers, as opposed to giving the recipient X amount of dollars to spend at their discretion. Welfare recipients should be accountable for every dime of taxpayer money allotted to them. I also feel mothers receiving AFDC should be required to participate in what I call day care cooperatives, in order to assist other low income families.
Food Stamps should not be used to buy an over abundance of junk food, ie... chips, soda, candy, or cupcakes. We have a major epidemic of obese children in this country, a majority of which come from low income families that receive Food Stamps. That said, Food Stamp benefits should be increased, to allow for the higher price of healthier foods.
Finally, health care... Those receiving medical assistance should show some responsibility for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That would include smoking cessation, and realistic effort to lose weight.
Here's the bottom line... I am all for helping the needy. But simply cutting a monthly check without some degree of accountability is a blatant waste of taxpayer money. The short term cost of of this so called social engineering will be high. But if done properly, the long term result would bring less money spent on caring for the chronically poor.