Monday, January 14, 2013

Comprehensive Welfare Reform

I have a feeling that my Comprehensive Immigration Reform is not likely to be taken seriously by the intelligentsia in this country. You know, the people who want to bring you the Trillion Dollar Coin as a panacea to all our fiscal woes. So, like any rational person, and John Boehner, I have a Plan B: Comprehensive Welfare Reform.

The left in this country seems to think that unless someone is given all the creature comforts they desire, they are being treated unfairly. Can’t afford a house? Here’s a house for you! Can’t afford to feed your 12 kids and 6 cats? Here’s a debit card, loaded with cash! Can’t afford a cell phone? Here’s an Obamaphone! Can’t afford cable TV? Oh those rotten Republicans!

They want to paint those who think the welfare system is broken as uncaring, as unchristian. But, in my opinion, the Bible calls us as individuals to charity, not to force Joe down the street to do it. And it’s not charity if you’re giving it to people who are capable of work, but who are not willing to work. It’s a scam and it’s buying votes with public money.

Back when I was growing up, there was a stigma to being on welfare: it meant you weren’t pulling your own weight. It didn’t mean you were a bad guy, or that you had no worth as a human being, but that you were at a down point and needed help to get back up. Which you wanted to do as quickly as possible.

Today, the government is advertising, “Food stamps! Get your food stamps! You don’t have to work, just vote the left way! Get your food stamps here!” There are people using high tech equipment that I wish I could afford to sing paeans to the EBT card. They’re not trying to get people off welfare, they’re recruiting!

 Remember that old aphorism about the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching him to fish? The left doesn’t want to teach anyone to fish, they want to give them YOUR fish and teach them how to extract more. The current system is immoral, untenable and unsustainable.

I have a solution.

We need to put the stigma back into using welfare benefits. And not just the old stigma of a guy down on his luck, but the stigma of a guy who not only doesn’t want to work,  but wants to get paid for not working. There are a number of steps I think we should take to make sure everybody knows who is not DOING their fair share.

First, we need to do away with the EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards. They make it look like you are using a normal debit or credit card, like a normal person who actually earns their keep.  This is far too easy. We need to develop a new currency to be used solely by welfare recipients.

For those who are capable of working, I propose using something like the giant stone coins, the Rai, used in Micronesia. These things look like millstones, which is an apt analogy to many modern welfare recipients. They may not need to be twelve feet in diameter, but they should be big and bulky, so everyone can see them. You’re capable of working but don’t want to? Cool, but you’re going to need a pickup truck to get your money to the store, especially since they will be worth about Thirty-three and a third cents apiece. You’ll get to exercise your math skills as well as your muscles when you go to Walmart.

For those who are incapable of working, I propose going back to a paper type currency like we had in the early 90’s. Except, instead of little books of Canadian money looking stuff, we use giant yellow legal pad looking stuff, full of giant one dollar denomination bills that say FOOD STAMPS in giant letters. And on each bill, the user must write their signature, and place a fingerprint on the paper at the time of redemption. Last, the bar code on the food stamp will be read into a database to determine if it has been reported lost or stolen.  If it hasn’t been lost or stolen, and the fingerprint of the user doesn’t match the fingerprint of the recipient, criminal proceedings will commence. If it HAS been lost or stolen, we’ll have a nice picture of the unauthorized user from the store’s security cameras, and a fingerprint as well.

But, I hear you saying, this will be horribly inconvenient for the rest of us, as standing behind these people in line will take forever. Fear not, I also have a plan for this. The food stamp database (for checking the barcode) will only be available from 235am until 516am, and only in the special “food stamps only” lines. There may be huge backups in these lines, but it’s not like the people there will be late to work, or something.

Next, we need to look at what is termed the “welfare queen.” This is the woman who keeps squeezing out brats so she can get more benefits. I understand, as I said, there are times when someone may legitimately need to use the system to get themselves back on their feet. Therefore, you get the benefits for the number of kids you have when you apply. If you are pregnant, that one (or those ones, Heaven forbid) counts as well. Otherwise, no benefits for squeezing out new urchins. I know this might seem a bit harsh: “But you’re not going to let the cheeeldren go hungry, are you?” I hear the lefties screaming. Nope, I’m not. But if the mother can’t figure out how to feed her new kids on what she’s already making, SHE is letting her children go hungry.” Having children for the expressed purpose of increasing your welfare benefits seems to me at least a step lower than actually just selling yourself on the street for cash.

And, you know, since people are so happy to sing about the joys of their EBT cards, I bet they’d be just as happy to sing and dance when faced with the threat of losing benefits entirely. Since they aren’t working anyway, we should have them do a musical revue, like on the Little Rascals shorts they used to show on the UHF channels when I was growing up (See how old I am?!?). The money raised could be used to fund the benefits they are receiving, or maybe just for a few packs of smokes. You’d walk a mile for a camel? Then I bet you’d dance a jig for a pack of Marlboros.

Anyway, this probably won’t get through Congress, at least not this term, since the Senate is held by democRats, who will scream “RAAAACISM!!!” as loud as they can. It’s only true, of course, if you assume that: 1). All welfare recipients are black or Hispanic, and 2). My reasons for wanting these changes is BECAUSE all welfare recipients are black or Hispanic. Neither of these is true, so democRats can kiss my big hairy butt. But, to assuage their imaginary concerns, I propose the following, for  this term at least:

Make the EBT card into a photo ID. The technology and equipment are already in use at your local DMV. This will stop unauthorized users from accessing the funds, and stop the resale of cards for cash. As an added benefit, the card would then be usable as a voter ID, negating the claim that it is RAAAAACIST to expect someone to have the time to get, or be able to afford, a ten dollar state ID card. While this would be a great solution, I suspect the democRats will fight it, because then they would have to resurrect so many more dead people for elections.

Next up: Some other Comprehensive Reform, the subject of which I have not yet decided.


  1. Replies
    1. I'm feeling horribly guilty for ever having been on food stamps.

    2. I spent a year on food stamps: the Canadian money kind, that I had to sign at the register. I was working at McDonald's full time, and expecting a kid. I lived in a $200 a month apartment with no cable and no insulation. It got see your breath cold because I couldn't really afford to heat the place. I ended up not using most of them and sending them back when I shipped out for the Navy.

      Of course, I was a little more liberal in those days.

      I have no problem helping people in need, I just think it's best left to the private sector as much as humanly possible, and the local government when not. The repressivess have nationalized all this, taking the ball from the people and adding a layer of bureaucracy, corruption, fraud waste and abuse.

      If you really needed help, you have nothing to feel horribly about.

  2. Wonderful post – I agree with all your points except the last one.

    Since welfare is a gift to, rather than a right to be claimed by, the recipient, they should have absolutely no say in how large that gift is. I’m pretty sure the “entitlement” crowd has lost sight of the *fact* that they’re not, in fact, ENTITLED to receive a gift from anyone, much less one paid for by funds compulsorily extracted from the public. They’ve forgotten – or never even knew – that welfare IS a gift.

    In my world, welfare recipients would lose the right to vote for the duration that they’re on the welfare rolls, PLUS for at least one election cycle following leaving the welfare rolls. In fact the welfare enrollment process should automatically remove you from the voter registration lists and flag all of your government-issued IDs and numbers to the effect that you are no longer allowed to vote until the “off the welfare rolls plus election cycles skipped” timeframe expires. This requirement would prevent people from jumping off welfare, voting for the leftie promising to raise their benefits the most, and then jumping right back onto the rolls.

    So while the EBT card – if it is allowed to continue to exist at all – should definitely be a photo ID, it shouldn’t be a “valid voter ID”. It should be a “valid this-person-is-not-a-voter ID”, whether you had it with you at the polls, or not.

    1. I don't disagree that being on welfare should be reason for excluding one from voting. But the point of the last paragraph is that, in the current climate, we should try for something that might actually have a chance at passing. Free photo IDs for poor voter? What possible reason could there be for opposing that? Thogh I'm sure the regressives can think of one, or manufadture one.

  3. I forgot to add:
    Five Packages of Bacon to You!
    (my highest rating)

  4. I like the idea of making the EBT card into a voter ID. Hopefully, that would help curb the rampant voter fraud. I hear Hunter's argument, but...I'm not sure I agree that poverty should remove your right to vote.

    I'm not living in poverty now, but I have before and I know I will again before this nightmare is over (long story) Perhaps my situation is my fault. It is a product of my choices. I don't believe I could have foreseen this, however. Maybe you're right, though. Maybe I don't deserve the privilege to vote. This requires further pondering.

    1. I don't think being on assistance should be a permanent bar on voting, like a felony generally is. The real problem is that professional welfare recipients are always going to vote to keep the gravy train rolling, which gets to be a problem as the numbers grow. If we were to enact my common sense emigration reforms, there would be far less of these, and therefore far less concern.

      At the founding, of course, the right to vote was not universal, being restricted mostly to white male landowners. I think there has been a vast improvement in this policy, but oneof the Founding Fathers (I forget which) said something to the effect that a republic could only last until hte people realized theycould vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. That scares me greatly, because I think we're nearly there.

    2. DeTocqueville. Democracy in America. I wanted to write about that.

    3. I would like to read about that. I ahve Democracy in America on my Kindle, but have yet to actually read it. I bet you would bring a fresh perspective.

    4. Well, I'm not sure you'd get a chance to read my perspective. I've submitted two other ideas to Keln/wd without response. I'm not sure they like me. Maybe I should bypass them altogether and just cut and paste my posts here in the comments?? :)

    5. Hey, Keln! Free content!

      I've read the earlier stuff and enjoyed it!