Saturday, January 29, 2011

Best and Worst on Immigration

NumbersUSA is a group concerned about immigration policy, particularly illegal immigration. They've graded nine potential presidential contenders, including President Obama, on their declared positions on various immigration-related issues.

It will probably not surprise anyone that President Obama comes out with the lowest grade in the group, but it may surprise some that not faring much better are Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. The top score was a C+ which they gave to....well you should go to their website to find out.

Re: Poverty in America

Several years ago we put up a post titled Poverty in America that captured the interest of a reader who came across it while browsing the archives. She sent us the following thoughts:
I would have to say that I agree with this post for a number of reasons, as well as a few of my own personal viewpoints on the issue. I have very strong feelings about this, and they may sometimes come across as harsh and un-caring, but I can justify very strongly why I feel this way. In my opinion, the government of this country is too lenient on the welfare system. People have become dependent on the government to support them, and have lost all desire to achieve anything on their own. I believe that it is too easy to get welfare benefits, and there are too many ways to cheat the system.

Personally, I have a few family members who I have seen my entire life cheating the system. My aunt, for example, has a drug and alcohol addiction, and has never held a job a day in her life. She asks why she should get a job when the government gives her almost $2000 a month in food stamps, cash assistance, and disability to not work. In a way I see her point...I work full time and pay for my education (with no help from the government), and I make barely $1200 a month. She has to go to monthly psych visits, which is also paid for by the government, and tells them that she has a problem and can't function in the "real world". But knowing her personally, I know that she can, she just doesn't want to and lies so that she can continue to get support. This is just one of many examples that I can think of.

I also work in retail, so I see the abuses of the system there every day. Almost every customer that walks through the door has an access card in their wallet. I am not exaggerating. Probably 99%. I see them pull out cash from the ATM with their cash side of the benefit card to buy things like cigarettes and lottery tickets, and then use their cards to buy a soda. It frustrates me so much! I don't think that it is fair that MY tax money goes to these people so that they can make poor choices and buy cigarettes and lottery tickets, but can't afford to buy food. Why should I have to pay for their poor life choices? I watched a lady one time spend over $100 on lottery tickets in an hour, and then use her access card to buy a soda. Ridiculous!

Because of these reasons, and probably countless other examples that would probably take up 30 pages, I feel that the welfare system should be completely modified, if not eliminated altogether! If they need help, then they need help. But I think that they should monitor the people who receive help more carefully to determine if they actually need it in the first place, and while they receive it. I also think they shouldn't let them purchase "convenience" items (such as gourmet coffee and smoothie drinks like they do where I work), cigarettes, and lottery tickets.

If they can afford that kind of stuff, then they shouldn't need help to begin with. I also think that they should limit the food they can buy to healthy choices. I see people every day come in and buy nothing but junk food...what is the point? So that in 10 years when they are obese from poor eating habits and have cardiorespiratory disease from smoking the government can then pay for their health care? It seems like an endless cycle.

The bottom line is that these people will never have the desire to better themselves if the government continues to support them. They will do what is necessary to get by and that is all. After all, why work and get an education when you will always have a paycheck no matter what? Why worry about using condoms when the government will support any child born without a father? Why worry about anything at all when you know that all of your needs will be taken care of, leaving you to not have to work hard to support yourself or your family? Many of these people come from families that have been that way for a long time, and they learn from their families that they don't have to work hard. So they don't.

The reason I have such strong feelings about this issue is because, like I said before, I have a few members in my family that are on welfare and abuse the system. I could have easily gone down that same path, but I didn't. I made a choice to better myself and to work hard, and I feel that if I can do it, then anyone can.
The reader chose to remain anonymous, but I think she speaks for a lot of Americans who are just fed up with pulling a wagon full of people who refuse to get out of the wagon and help.