Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Special interest groups gearing up to stop budget...

Interesting this morning as I was doing my scan of news, checking Facebook, Twitter, etc., etc. Saw the following on a FB account:
Urgent! The White House announced that in a big speech tomorrow, President Obama will do what no Republican President has been able to do: Put Medicare and Medicaid on the table for potential cuts. Tell President Obama that if he cuts benefits, he'll lose your grassroots donations and volunteering i...

(note, that's a Facebook link, not sure if it'll work if you're not logged in. Try this if it doesn't: URGENT PLEDGE: Tell Obama no cuts to Medicare/Medicaid benefits.

Earlier I received an email from a group called Welfare Watch which included an "Action Alert" urging everyone to call their Representatives to 'urge them to oppose the Ryan Budget Plan". Why? They say his plan goes too far as it proposes steep cuts to Medicaid and other social safety net programs, and that it would 'eliminate the Medicaid expansion included in the Affordable Care Act."
They go on to say that 2/3's of the cuts in his budget would be made to programs that "serve low-income children and families". 

In my life I've hit some real lows. I remember a time when things were so tight I took restaurant ketchup packets, mixed them with water, heated and ate over spaghetti at home. Yep, that was as disgusting as it sounds. It never, ever crossed my mind to go on the dole with the government. I was definitely eligible. However, I took on part time jobs, typed resumes, did whatever I could (legally) to make sure I survived. 

If I had taken advantage of food stamps, welfare or whatever programs were available to me, I might not be typing this now. My son might have grown up thinking life was all about how to con the system and get more money out of Uncle Sam. I can't imagine taking the help, so I can't really imagine that I'd have succumbed to the enticement of the system.

End result of my choice though is that we survived that rough time way back when and now we're productive, happy, balanced individuals paying our own way.

I was probably the kind of person that the programs were designed to help. Someone who would use the system for a short time, then get back on the saddle. Instead what we have in our country is an entire culture of people dependent on others. People who could be taking care of themselves. 

I know it's a huge problem. How to get people who've never know anything different, who are mired in the culture of dependence to change the way they look at the world, to get off their duffs and work. I also know there are a lot of people who are truly not capable, who only survive in this world because of the system I'm railing against.

I wonder where all the money we dump into government programs goes. I also wonder what good all the money we donate to charities is doing. Where is all the money going that we tithe to our churches going each month? 

I used to go downtown regularly and feed the homeless. As part of our mission we would cook, serve, then serve ourselves and go sit with the homeless to eat. I have to say that most days I wasn't able to do more than go through the motions of eating, but it did open my eyes to the plight of many. There were many though who chose the lifestyle. There were many who, with a little bit of real help, could have gotten back out into the working and self-supporting world. 

I started this blog to write about how the Left was gearing up to attack any changes to the system. They truly believe that just dumping money into taking care of people is compassionate. I wish we had a system of honesty, where people couldn't "work" the system. I wish we could ferret out those who abuse or take advantage of the system without true need. I wish the system trained people, had a true end time frame and that it worked more as a step program with measurable goals.

True compassion pulls people up, it doesn't keep them locked into a cycle of dependency. If there's never an end, why bother trying to rise up? 

Seeing how all the powers are amassing to thwart any fixes to our woeful monetary problems, I am concerned more than ever that our weak politicians won't be able to make any real changes. Paul Ryan's plan has a lot of good things in it. I'm hearing all kinds of things that are said to be included in President Obama's plan. I will be surprised if we get anything more than watered down gruel when they get through stirring the pot in Washington.

I'm watching them all carefully. Based on what I'm seeing thus far, with few exception, I suspect in 2012 I'll be voting for an infusion of new blood in D.C.

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