Is Your Understanding Of The Welfare System
Factual, Fictional Or Fragmented?
A few days ago I came across an article entitled, “Food Stamp Rolls in America Now Surpass the Population of Spain”. I was curious and learned from the article that more than 47 million people in the United States receive food stamps. The population of Spain in 2011, per internet sources, was 46,815,916. We have approximately 315,452,000 people in the states, so 15% of our population supposedly receives welfare (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) funds.
Now I will be the first one to tell you that many more people than in the past need assistance. There are the disabled, the elderly and children – people that may not be able to support themselves. Also, parents that have been abandoned by their spouse or partner, and are left to support the children on their own. I have no problem with these people seeking and receiving assistance if it’s needed. I wish our churches were at the point that they were helping these people, like the Bible instructs, instead of building bigger buildings, but that’s another story for another day.
Anyway, aside from the genuine needy there are millions out there that have learned to “work the system”. For example, the people that used their SNAP cards at casinos, strip clubs, liquor stores and even Disney Land!
- Visit http://bit.ly/ZuDL1V : Colorado Welfare Debit Cards Used at Casinos, Strip Clubs | Washington Free Beacon
- Visit http://bit.ly/15IaTIM : Welfare debit cards frequently used at liquor stores, strip clubs, casinos and amusement parks
- Visit http://n.pr/ZfYeJd : In California, Welfare ATM Cards Used In Casinos : NPR
This abuse has been going on for decades, but something that is almost never mentioned is CORPORATE WELFARE. Here is the definition of corporate welfare from our good friend at Wikipedia: Corporate Welfare is a term that analogizes corporate subsidies to welfare payments for the poor. The term is often used to describe a government’s bestowal of money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment on corporations or selected corporations, and implies that corporations are much less needy of such treatment than the poor.
With that said, here are a few statistics concerning the extent of corporate welfare, from a Cato Institute study. (Although this information is not current the same old stuff keeps going on)
- Visit http://bit.ly/X0aETz : 2003 Cato Handbook for Congress
- In 2002, $93 billion dollars was devoted to corporate welfare. This is about 5% of the federal budget.
- There were $15 billion dollars in subsidies in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, to the oil, gas and coal industries with no goods or services directly returned to the government for those expenditures.
- About 40% of corporate welfare spending went through the Department of Agriculture in the form of farm subsidies. (This is spooky because Big Agra, Monsanto and others are trying to kill us with bad meat and Frankenstein Foods and getting taxpayer money to do it.)
- These farm subsidies are even being paid out to wealthy individuals for meeting certain farm/land requirements. The list includes someone named Charles Barkley, although I don’t think it is the former ball player.
- Visit http://bit.ly/13PPEWO : Farm Subsidy Search || EWG Farm Subsidy Database
- Wal-Mart (Wally World) receives hundreds of millions of dollars of subsidization from local governments throughout the country in the form of bribes and large tax breaks. For example, their distribution center in MacClenny, Florida received $9 million dollars in government subsidies in the form of free land, government-funded recruitment and training of employees, targeted tax breaks and housing subsidies for employees, so the employees could be paid almost a slave wage. (The Wal-Mart near my house took all of that corporate welfare and then shut down after a few years.)
- The government spends about 50% more on corporate welfare than it does on public assistance programs.
- Large, profitable companies are receiving millions in taxpayer funded subsidies to advertise overseas. I remember years ago that the raisin growers received a large subsidy to take the California Raisin Characters over to China. They used your money to advertise, and the campaign flopped because those characters didn’t have but 3 fingers (excluding the thumb) and that means bad luck in China. See how many profitable companies receive government subsidies.
- Visit http://1.usa.gov/YTRPnJ : Coburn Releases New Report Exposing the Taxpayer Subsidized Market Access Program (MAP)
So, the next time you walk into the grocery store and see a young mother with three children and a lot of coupons for milk, don’t just frown up at her for taking your tax dollars, think about Wal-Mart and the fat cat corporate CEO’s able to collect $1,000,000 salaries and bonuses from your tax dollars.
What’s the solution? I know there are millions of able bodied people collecting welfare just to “work the system”. I believe that many states have changed over to some type of debit card with identification requirements, so these people won’ sell their cards for cash or drugs. There are ways that governments can tighten up on this type of fraud if they took the time to do more front-end work to secure the system. However, what’s the solution for corporate welfare? Do we yell and scream at congress like the Grace Commission, Cato Institute and other conservative groups have been doing for years? Do we stop patronizing the corporations that take this welfare? How do we deal with the individuals that receive subsidies because they “qualify” to receive taxpayer dollars?
I want to hear some viable solutions from you. I can think of a few things but they are unpleasant and illegal. Let’s put our heads together and think of some ways to stop the bleeding. As long as we sit by with our mouths open nothing will ever change. Leave your comments and let me know what you think.