This country is in trouble, both fiscally and ideologically. If we do not get serious and make some drastic changes, now, we are going to find ourselves in a situation with no way out.
Let’s start with the fiscal issues. Our national debt as I am typing this stands IN EXCESS of $21 TRILLION! It is more than $64,000 per citizen and more than $174,000 per tax payer. The tax revenue per citizen averages just over $10,000 and just over $27,000 per tax payer. Our current budget deficit is currently more than $6 Trillion dollars. It does not take an economist or a mathematician to know that these numbers do not work, they spell catastrophe. For those of you who are interested here is a link to the National Debt Clock displaying in real-time: http://www.usdebtclock.org/. As of July 7, 2017, 42.6 million Americans were receiving SNAP (food stamp) benefits during the current fiscal year (current estimate is about 40.2 million), down from 44.2 million in 2016. The 2017 figure is the lowest since 2010, when 40.3 million people were on food stamps. The number peaked in 2013, at 47.6 million. This downward trend is encouraging, however, we still have more than 10% of our population receiving food stamps! Medicaid roles are in excess of 75 million. For clarification, while graphs and statistics tend to include Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits into “welfare”, I find it difficult to think of those two programs in the same light as most of us have spent our lives forcibly paying into those programs and therefore the term “entitlement” does seem reasonable.
I don’t know how many of you have looked at the classifieds recently, but there are most certainly jobs out there. Why then, are so many Americans unemployed? Studies have found strong empirical evidence that reliance on welfare in one generation is likely to cause greater welfare use in the next generation. Additionally, although a causal relationship is unclear, long-term receipt of welfare is associated with a number of negative outcomes for children, including fewer years of schooling completed, lower academic test scores, difficulties in the labor market as an adult, and greater risk of becoming a welfare recipient as an adult. This begs the question, why has Congress not addressed this issue? Why do they insist on continuing year after year with in excess of 69 different public assistance programs that are designed to trap the recipient as opposed to helping them to become self-reliant? Here is a thought, why not place a time limit, say a year and a half on certain benefits, allow recipients time to become employed and allow them to keep their benefits during that time frame, regardless of income, to give them a chance to get on their feet as opposed to cutting them off as soon as they attempt to better themselves? Should not the idea be to help people out of their situation and not to trap them into government dependency? And again, I exempt things such as social security and Medicare from this as many of have paid for those benefits. We were sold a lie, forced to contribute 7.5% of our income (15% if self-employed) into what was supposed to be our retirement. If we had been allowed to invest that money into a 401k or other private program, we would likely have a much cushier retirement!
Unfortunately, welfare reform is a taboo issue because too many of our elected officials are worried about losing voter approval from those that are lifetime and generational recipients. One positive move, some states have passed legislation requiring recipients to be drug tested. Of course liberals are vehemently opposed to such legislation, not sure why. Most of the people that are working to pay for those benefits are required to submit to an initial drug to test for employment, and many are required to submit to random drug testing as a condition of employment, it does not seem the least bit unreasonable that those receiving the benefits should also be required to submit to random drug tests. Once again, representatives are more concerned with maintaining power and being re-elected than what is best for their constituents and this nation as a whole.
Ideology. It seems absolutely unreal that people actually believe some of the things that come out of their mouths these days. As if generations have completely lost the ability for critical and independent thinking. This is an issue that falls on parents and our education system. I cannot imagine sending my child to a public school in the current atmosphere. Libocrats have overtaken education and are using that foothold to brainwash our children. Kudos to those with the means who have chosen to home-school their kids as opposed to exposing them to such nonsense. If we can make a difference, make some changes in the younger, formative years, our children will be much better equipped to withstand the insanity on our college campuses today. It is time for parents to pay better attention to what their children are being taught in the classroom, take a larger role in the education of their children. Start attending local school board meeting and get to know your representatives. Many of us that do take them time to stay engaged and informed politically often stick to national or state issues, local government is just as, if not more so in some cases, important. Society has moved to a point where much of our parental authority has been taken and/or given over to the schools, it needs to be taken back by the parents, and quickly.
The media no longer holds our elected or appointed officials and representatives accountable for their actions or inactions. It is our responsibility as American citizens to be informed, to act when necessary and hold each and every person tasked with representing us accountable. Will you step up?