Every day the media reminds us that so many people depend upon government programs to exist and that one group wants to do away with them and see “old people eat cat food, Small children die of disease, and People starve to death…” You get the point. Sadly enough, and not that I am suggesting it, the food we feed our pets has to meet a higher standard than the food we feed our families. However, what does that have to do with the question of “What is an Entitlement Program“? According to dictionary.com the Definition is, “a government program guaranteeing certain benefits to a segment of the population; the right to benefits offered by a government, esp. as compensation”. That answers the “What” part of the question, now the “Why” part.
Let us consider some of the most common entitlement programs that we hear about on a regular basis and some we did not know existed;
- Social Security
- WIC (Women, Infants and Children)
- Food Stamps
- Family Planning Services
- Training and Fellowships for the Environmental Protection Agency
- Safety Incentive Grants for Use of Seat belts
- Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation
- Labor-Management Relations
For a complete list and the amounts that our elected officials have budgeted for them click on this link: http://funding-programs.idilogic.aidpage.com/
I was surprised at the titles of some and aghast at the amounts at which some are funded. The question now becomes “why do people believe they are entitled to this money?” For many years throughout the development of this nation, the government stayed out of the charity business leaving it up to the organizations that were best suited for handling it. There were good times and bad, sometimes the poor increased faster than the donations, but the fraudulent use of the charitable funds was minimal. The great depression began to change all that. The government felt it could better care for the people and started programs that would appear on the surface to do just that. Promise made by politicians that everyone DESERVED a better life and that the government could help provide that. The welfare system was born and flourished. Some found that it was easier to have babies to collect more money while others figured out how to scam the system. Soon there were third and fourth generation welfare recipients. It was easier to not work and draw that welfare check, get food stamps and yes even commodity food from the government. One problem was that the commodity foods were not that healthy. Obesity is now rampant in society from the lack of exercise and the poor dietary decisions we have made all of our life. Before you stop reading this, Understand that, I do not hold anyone that truly needs help a hand up. I do not believe in something for nothing. Social security was a program that was started to help the agricultural folks with a retirement supplement. It was never meant to be the sole source of retirement. In addition, a funded source as everyone works pays into this fund. In fact many of the people have paid in five times over what they would ever receive. Medicaid was designed to help the Senior Citizens with the rising cost of medical care, and again is a funded program. Unfortunately, the government has used those two accounts to fund other things and continue to write “IOU‘s” to those programs. The high cost of these two programs has been because the programs were not meant to support people who did not ever pay into them and draw from them because they cannot work. Social Security Disability, SSI and others sometimes go to people who have never paid a penny into the system. Our generous politicians continue to turn a blind eye at the problem and continue to include more and more people into programs that are already broken. They have forgotten what their responsibility is and to whom they are to be looking out for. They continue to buy votes with promises that cannot be kept. Eventually the majority of people will wake up from their apathetic slumber and when the call for real change is sounded those that are truly tuned into the will of the people will stay and those that have been sucking from the special interest groups will be standing on the outside looking in. I only hope that we have a country left when that happens.