I know a person who is 21 years old. She graduated from high school. She has held one job in her life and that for a total of about 4 months. She is currently receiving food stamps, WIC, medicaid, housing assistance and other assorted monies supplied by our government. Oh wait, that's us. Yes, supplied by us. All told, she is the recipient of approximately $1900 monthly in aid.
This person was with my child in a government assistance office today. My child was acting as chauffeur. My daughter mentioned that she felt awkward, since she had never taken advantage of public assistance. This person said that she really resented people who did.
I am not saying the people do not need help. People do need help. When I was 20 and widowed and left with a 4 month old injured child, I needed help. I applied for food stamps and got them. As soon as I got a job, I went to the food stamp office to tell them that I no longer required the help that I had been receiving. The lady there told me that I still qualified and spent some time trying to convince me to stay on them. I declined.
I think that maybe if we just called welfare, welfare, people would know that it was not an entitlement but an act of charity by those people who do support themselves and their families. As I used to tell my daughter, "You can call it a rock an elephant if you want to, but it doesn't make it so." So you can call it food stamps, but it is welfare. You can call it WIC (Women, Infants, Children), but it is welfare. You can call it Medicaid, but it is welfare. You can call it Housing Assistance, but it is welfare. And welfare is charity.
When I was little, I learned that the 3 theological virtues were faith, hope and charity and that the greatest of these is charity. Nowadays, I hear that the 3 virtues are faith, hope, and love and that the greatest of these is love. It is an act of charity, an act of love to take care of those who cannot care for themselves, be it permanently or temporarily.
I am not even going to address the fact that an unemployed, not making an effort to be employed, non-student is making as much in tax-free aid as I am making working full-time and paying the taxes that support her.
I just think that we are all so worried about not making someone feel bad because they need help that we have failed to realize that a great many of them don't feel bad. They think it is their right.