Your Tax (and Print) Dollars At Work: Welfare Peddlers

It’s not exactly news to anyone paying attention: the US government has a mounting pile of unsustainable debt. A quick look at how we spend our money reveals that welfare (“entitlement”) programs comprise over 50% of the budget.

As the amount of social security paid out now exceeds the amount taken in, as the stated debt level is now nearly equal to one year’s GDP, and we’re spending so much money that we’re literally having to print it to keep up, is it crazy of me to ask the following questions:

WHY are we paying people to peddle welfare?

WHY are we trying to get more people dependent on government?

WHY are we supporting entities who have goals to get people dependent upon government?

I really try to be what people of my grandmother’s generation would call “a lady”. If I didn’t aspire to such behavior, I might use a particular word to describe people who actively promote dependency; I’m thinking of a stereotype that involves a ’79 Cadillac, a garish jacket, and a big hat with a feather.

I fail to see a whole of difference between Mr. Cadillac and welfare peddlers. Those who peddle welfare are creating dependency which undermines people’s self-respect and ultimately society’s cornerstone unit: the family. It’s more true now than it was when LBJ launched his “Great Society” welfare-state agenda. America wasn’t in the financial trouble then that it’s in now. What’s going to happen to all of the people who become accustomed to dependency when the inevitable happens? We couldn’t sustain the levels of spending we had two years ago – we certainly can’t sustain the nuclear explosion in spending that’s been going on since.

Peddling dependency is simply immoral.

There is a particular source to this particular rant:

In doing restoration work following our website going down over a week ago, I had to piece back together an article we posted on September 2, “NE Think Tank Has a Lot In Common With Pelosi“.  In doing this work and going through some of the information associated with that article, I realized there were some points we didn’t address.

The original piece was motivated by an email newsletter article sent out by the Platte Institute, a think tank whose stated mission is the following:

The Platte Institute for Economic Research is a non-partisan research and education organization whose mission is to advance alternatives that foster limited government, personal responsibility and free enterprise for Nebraska.

Linda was on their email distribution list. One can imagine her surprise in discovering the contents of the article; it extolled the virtues of the government food stamp program and how great it is for Nebraska’s economy. Further the article informed, the food stamp program had been re-named “SNAP” in order to remove the stigma for program participants in receiving government benefits. The article was written by a “SNAP Outreach Specialist”.

I say Linda was on the Platte email distribution list. She called the communications director and the call concluded with her request for removal and a dismissal tantamount to “don’t-let-the-door-hit-you”.

Prior to the dismissal, Linda was informed that the “Outreach Specialist” was a former Platte Institute intern. Wow. They really taught that girl some limited government principles. She ran right out and got on the government payroll doing work to expand the number of people who receive government benefits. Yep. That’s the way to limit government alright.

All of that is plenty to raise one’s blood pressure, but I’ve discovered more in my restoration work. I had to go find the reports Miss Outreach Specialist referenced in the article. Included were:

Nebraska’s number? 163,000+ were participants. That’s 9% of the state’s population.

But it get’s better. I checked the June 2010 figures (latest available). The number was 165,000+.

Think total government propaganda. It’s complete with quotations from various community groups, government workers, and even a supermarket “government relations” fellow. All inform the reader about the many virtues and community benefits of the program. One quotation from a benefits administrator refers to food stamp recipients as “customers”.

I cannot say I’ve read the whole report. I honestly don’t think I can stomach it – a visual scan shows a couple of graphics that convey the point of view; the government MUST act – NOW! The main thing about the report that I noticed was that it was written in January 2008. Ms. Outreach Specialist wrote her article in 2010. February 2009 saw the biggest stimulus program in American history passed into law. That’s 20 months of gigantic stimulus from which to pull data. Why use a 2008 document? Two reasons come to mind. First the government is so gigantic it takes literally years for reports to be generated from raw data. When one visits the USDA website to get information about the SNAP program, the useful reports are dated 2008. The second reason a two year old study would be used is because currently available data does not bear out the assertion that stimulus helps the economy.

In order to obtain recent figures on program participation, one has to turn to the FRAC people. FRAC = Food Research and Action Center. They are based in Washington, D.C. and upon examination of their site and some of their reports, it’s clear that their agenda is to get as many people as possible on government “nutrition assistance programs”. A report on schools’ summer food programs, for instance, cites the amount of money a state stands to receive in additional benefits if they can get the number of SNAP program participants per 100 up to 40. The same report quantifies “dollars lost” to states who failed to reach the 40/100 “goal”.

FRAC’s reports on the SNAP program are generally frustrating. Not only is the number of Nebraskans receiving benefits going up, but the underlying agenda is quite clear when reading certain reporting parameters such as the statistic about”food insecure families”.

FRAC has done a bang-up job of implementing its agenda in D.C. – 88% of D.C. students receive reduced price or free lunch.

But it gets much better. Government is actually supporting FRAC’s work to get as many people on some form of welfare program. An examination of the FRAC supporter list reveals that government agencies like the USDA have actually donated $5,000 or more to FRAC.

Does that make any sense?

This is certainly not the end of this subject, but for now, I encourage those who are interested to examine some of the documents to which I’ve linked.

But…I recommend taking an ibuprofen or a tylenol first.

About Stubborn_Facts
Shelli Dawdy is first and foremost the mother of three children whom she has taught at home via the classical method since removing her children from school in 2001. During her early years as a homeschool mother, she worked part-time as a freelance writer. Born and raised in the Iowa, Shelli and her husband moved to the state of South Dakota in 1997, attracted to its more limited government and friendly tax environment. In 2006, Shelli and her family relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska, when her husband’s employer offered a new position. She took a break from work and politics for a time, recognizing the need to focus solely on her childrens’ schooling with two now of high school age. Distressed by many things she was witnessing on the national political scene and disillusioned about the Republican Party, she decided to start writing again, this time online. Motivated to get involved with others at the grassroots level, she networked with activists on the social media tool, Twitter. She was involved in organizing the first tea party rallies inspired by Rick Santelli’s “rant” on CNBC in February 2009. Recognizing that activism should generate on the local level, she founded Grassroots in Nebraska in March of 2009. The group’s mission is a return to Constitutional, limited government, according to its original meaning. While the group has held several tea party rallies, it’s focus is to take effective action. Among its many projects, GiN successfully coordinated testimony for the hearing of the Nebraska Sovereignty Resolution, networked with other groups to ensure a large show of public support at the hearing, and coordinated follow up support to ensure its passage in April 2010. While working to build up GiN throughout 2009, she was asked to work as writer and producer of the documentary film, A New America, which lays out how Progressivism is responsible for how America has moved away from its Constitutional roots. You can see more of her work on Grassroots in Nebraska (GiN) and StubbornFacts