Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Those Pesky Budget Cuts: Welfare

I know. "Wait a second," you may be saying. "Isn't welfare getting an increase?"

Yes. Yes it is. And that's fine. But there are a few implications as well as reactions that need addressed.

First, this means that either more people need the assistance or ones already using it need more money. Which also means we could use some more jobs.

The problem with an increase in welfare funding is some people have a problem with an increase in welfare funding.

Welfare abuse does happen. Such abuse is bound to. Numbers are hard to come by (especially accurate ones), but it looks like only less than 2% of people on welfare commit fraud. It is possible that the number for Fayette County is higher and some people were recently charged with welfare fraud, but I haven't found any statistics and making assumptions isn't fair. Besides, the poverty rate is still high (remember: as of 1009, 16.5% at poverty level, 18% below, 7.7% with income below 50% of the poverty level).

That said, I had someone on Facebook (the classiest and most mature of political debate platforms) call me a liar when I mentioned how low the welfare fraud numbers really were, because he knows someone who gets $1000 a month and obviously that one person is representative of all welfare recipients in the country. And on that note, if you do know of someone committing welfare fraud, you're asked to report it. Just make sure that you're actually reporting fraud and you're not just cranky.

Far too many people--especially around here--operate under the assumption that all welfare recipients are either abusing the system or are lazy. That mindset is ridiculous, unfair, and has to stop. Being judgmental isn't going to get your tax money back or get people off of welfare. I hear people make these assumptions, and they just make themselves sound pretentious and then I do things like blog about them. Which generally isn't good, because my happy posts are seriously lacking.

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