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Some people stay on the food stamp entitlement program practically all their lives. According to a Yahoo.com blogger, food stamps are “not meant to be someone’s income for their entire life unless they are mentally challenged or injured. They don’t feel bad about spending other people’s money; they just seem to think it is the way it should be. They never feel bad or guilty that they are sucking money out of society. I work at Wal-Mart and see the same people every day buying things on food stamps. One time a man bought $87 on just candy and pop…that tells me this person does not really need to be on food stamps. While checking at Wal-Mart, this girl (commented) ‘food should not be taxed, because it is a need.’ While saying this, she was paying with food stamps.”
For more than 40 years the food stamp program, now called SNAP, for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, has been a mainline entitlement program to aid low-income families. SNAP now puts food on the tables of 28 million people every month, according to About.com—U.S. Government Information. In general, people who work for low wages, are unemployed, work part time, get public assistance, are elderly or disabled and have a small income may be eligible.
The Democrat-controlled Senate barely missed giving retirees, disabled and veterans a $250 hand-out to make up for the loss of the cost-of-living increase (COLA) they normally get. Logic, of course, would dictate that because there’s no inflation, why is a COLA justified, especially at a cost of $13 billion? This COLA has been an annual entitlement since 1975.
TEFAP is the acronym for The Emergency Food Assistance Program, a federally funded, state assisted entitlement for low-income families providing them with emergency food at no cost. Not to be confused with TANF, which stands for Temporary Assistance For Needy Families. Its beneficiaries are families with dependent children and women in their last three months of pregnancy. It also helps recipients find jobs—if they want to work. Then there’s SSI, or supplemental security income. It’s a needs-based program for those who have never worked, or those whose earnings in recent years have been low enough to result in a small Social Security benefit, or no benefit at all. Subsidized housing or “social housing” is government-supported accommodation for people with low to moderate incomes. Forms of subsidies for housing include direct housing subsidies, non-profit housing, public housing, rent supplements and some forms of co-operative and private sector housing. Cost runs in the hundreds of billions.
George Bush helped create the prescription drug program for seniors, which made Medicare more expensive. Obama finally got his national health entitlement. ObamaCare was written to make it appear to improve Medicare’s financial picture. But one had to assume that the tough changes the law said would occur actually would take place.
Those assumptions, however, are implausible, according to Richard S. Foster the straight-talking Chief Actuary of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The actuary said the unfunded obligation for Medicare Part A (doctor visits) for was $13.4 trillion, not $2.4 trillion ObamaCare listed as unfunded liability in 2010.
All this does not mean there should be no help for the truly needy. But finally, there’s now the entitlement of wireless welfare. Namely, free cell phones and 250 calling minutes paid for all individuals eligible for food stamps, Medicaid, and other programs if they have an income at or below 133 percent of the poverty level of $14,404. The federal cell phone tab is over $1 billion.
In an Entitlement Society, a nation can stagnate. It’s a society fit for drones, rewarding sloth and blind obedience. It penalizes innovators, risk-takers, and achievers. Is that what we want for America?
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