Living On The Dole


I’m having a very hard time trying to reconcile what comes out of certain people’s mouths. Specifically, the things that come out of the mouths of republican lawmakers. They have successfully painted the democrats as believing in big government, big taxes, big spending and making the electorate dependent on big government social programs. However, this is not the truth. In fact, it is the republicans that are guilty of believing in big government, big spending and, yes, they do believe in the big government social programs. It is true that this nation faces huge budget deficits year after year. This wasn’t the case in the last term of Clinton’s presidency, however. He, along with the republicans, were able to pass a balanced budget with a $200,000,000,000 a year surplus. We all know how that surplus was quickly squandered. President George W. Bush decided to give that money back to the people in the form of tax cuts–tax cuts that bear his name, and go to the people who least need it–the rich. The Bush tax cuts have cost this Country $7,000,000,000,000 in revenue loss that has led to year after year deficits. Add to that the cost of the two wars that have been dragging on for over 10 years, and add to that the decision of President George W. Bush to increase the Federal Government 40% by creating the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Despite all these facts, the republicans are not running away from their record. They still stand behind all their failed policies, and continue to double down on them. Tax cuts that favor the rich are great because that creates job growth, but where are the jobs? These cuts have been around for over ten years, but the nation’s middle-class are faced with huge unemployment, under employment, stagnant wages, weak unions and high energy costs. Yet, this is all the fault of people on food stamps.

Another thing that I’m having a hard time trying to reconcile is the class warfare engaged by the republicans. They have found a way to alienate women, Latinos, blacks, gays and the latest poll has Mitt Romney in a statistical dead heat with President Obama in the presidential election. Really? So, now that the republicans have alienated every voting block–who’s next? Well, Rep. Paul Ryan (R Wis) came out with his own budget. Under Paul Ryan’s America the tax cuts for the very rich American’s would continue, but there will be the annihilation of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and that evil food stamp program.

One of the most racially charged code words is “food stamps”. Just the mention of those two words will drive people to insanity. These people have no problem painting the picture of the people who participate in this program as bums, freeloaders, losers but they find it alright to support the bums, freeloaders, losers that are the so-called job creators. These so-called job creators benefit by getting an average of $125,000 a year per person in the form of a tax cut. The average food stamp participant receives an average of $300-$700 a month in assistance. This is assistance that they wouldn’t seek if the so-called “job creators” would create long-sustaining, high paying jobs.

At this point, I’m sure I lost most of the people reading this. I make no apology for my deliberation. For those who are still with me, here we go.

The United States of America is quite arguably the greatest Country in the World. We all have an infinite amount of opportunity to be as successful as we want–regardless of race, creed, color or religion. The definition of success means many things to many people. However, we all have dreams and aspirations. We are also allowed to follow our dreams and aspirations through the freedom and liberties that we all posses. With freedom and liberty comes responsibility. Sadly, certain people in this Country push the envelope of freedom and use it to break the law.

There are over two million people serving time in jail for committing a criminal act. Crimes such as rape, murder, drug possession, fraud, etc. And as taxpayers, we bear the cost for their incarceration. The average cost to incarcerate someone can range from $36,000 to $54,000 a year on inmates, and as much as $120,000 a year for death row inmates. In addition to all the great things about being an American we also hold true to the belief that if we work hard and play by the rules we will reap the benefits, but that is just not true.

The average median income in America is estimated to stand at $52,000 a year. Sounds like a lot to many, but try feeding a family of four with that salary. Try sending four kids to college with that money. Then again, it’s better than the $24,000 a year that unemployment pays. Either way, the average prisoner in America doesn’t have to worry about survival. They continue to be fed, provided shelter, clothing, exercise and all the other perks that other Americans have to pay for. And they are the ones that don’t play by the rules. Why is it that the people who don’t play by the rules reap the most out of the taxpayers while the ones that do play by the rules get screwed?

To me, this is the most important thing that is missing from this nations dialogue. As States are forced to slash their budgets one of the first things they slash is education. Here in California the Governor wants to make an 18 billion dollar cut in education, but the prison budget will see an increase.

How is it that, in the greatest Country in the World, we reward the people who do the most vile, disgusting acts–while dump on the people who want to participate in the American Dream. The people who are on food stamps are bums, but criminals are allowed to live on “the dole” and it is totally acceptable. The super-rich, who created a barrier for others to not be successful, are the “job creators”. These are just some of the things that bother me, and it’s time to act. I say that the next time some law maker wants to support a program that benefits the rich, while shitting on the guy/gal who is struggling to survive; ask them what they think about criminals not having to worry how to survive. The criminals serving time in prison are living on the taxpayer dole. When is that going to stop?

We all should have a right to good quality education, and it is the lack of a good-quality education will result in incarceration. I know that we’re better than this! We live in the greatest Country in the World for shit’s sake.

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