Tuesday, January 18, 2011
We are being plundered
I have given this a lot of thought. I have held my peace. I have made excuses. There is a part of me that wants to believe that it is our job to help people out long enough for them to get back on their feet, but then, I am slapped in the face with the realities of life. My family is being plundered.
My husband goes to work every morning, rain or shine, tired or invigorated, injured or ill. It is what he does. His job is how he provides for his family. Providing for his family is his moral obligation before God. Not only does he provide for us, he also helps provide for the infrastructure to support the system that, as Americans, we are all a part of. Through his job, he supports the elderly on Medicare, disabled folks on Social Security and indigent people on Medicaid. His taxes pay for WIC, Food Stamps and the huge debt created by unemployment benefits. And still he works.
I have heard more people that I can count tell me that they "deserve" to be on unemployment because they paid that money into unemployment insurance. Of course, if they were to stop and add up the benefits they have received and contrast that with the money "they" (usually their employer) paid into the system, they would realize that they have won the lottery. The "investment" they made into unemployment has paid off ten fold and then some. Somebody has to be paying that bill. It is my husband. It is our family.
When people receive food stamps, were do they think that money comes from? How do they justify eating frozen pizza and tater tots while our family eats beans and rice? And don't even get me started on Medicaid. How is it that my family is punished for being responsible and buying health insurance? We have to pay twice! Not only do we pay for insurance (no, my husband's employer does not foot the entire bill), but we are also responsible for the bills that our insurance company does not pay. When we have a $12,000 hospital bill ($4,000 of which our insurance company covers) we are still on the hook for the other $8,000. When you have Medicaid, the state pays $1,800 and the patient $0. Who pays the rest? My husband. My family. Your husband. Your family.
Do I begrudge people help when they need it? Absolutely not! Do I begrudge entitlements with no accountability. Absolutely!
We have failed. We punish responsibility and reward slothfulness. We are like lazy parents refusing to deal with disobedient, wayward children. Rather than holding them accountable, disciplining them and making respectable citizens out of them, we throw money at them hoping they keep quite so we can get on with other things. We are throwing our countrymen to the wolves.
What got me frothing at the mouth? Just this article on SurvivalBlog. I have posted a chart here, but to really understand the chart, you have to read the whole article. This is a chart showing how someone on minimum wage has more disposable income than someone making $60,000 a year. It is very enlightening.