I’m glad that many people are generous and caring. I know that there are some among us who have problems and need help. I’m happy to help someone in need, like most Americans are.
In fact, statistics show that Americans are more kind and caring to strangers than pretty much any group of people in the world. When a disaster occurs in any corner of the globe, it is expected that the USA will be there to help pick up the pieces with military, financial, and humanitarian assistance. And at home we not only support charities, we also provide a safety net of food, housing, medical care and other benefits through our tax dollars.
Generosity was expected of the mostly Christian men and women who founded and developed our nation. Our pioneers valued hard work and honesty too. Anyone who took unfair advantage of this generosity was shunned by society. But as our government and our daily lives became more secular over the years, generosity has come to be viewed as a weakness by the unscrupulous, and the number of reprobates and schemes exploded as government officials learned they can build lucrative careers by giving away other peoples’ money.
We moan about our crushing national debt while politicians claim they can’t cut spending because it is mostly untouchable mandatory “entitlements”. How naïve or apathetic does one have to be to not see the enormous waste, fraud and abuse in these entitlement programs?
I remember my shock the first time a drug addict offered to sell me food stamps on the street at 50 cents on the dollar. It had never occurred to me that food stamps could be sold. Yesterday I was in line at the grocery store behind a veiled Muslim woman and her husband, both dressed to the nines, and venting their displeasure to each other (in Arabic) about the cashier who struggled to separate valid food stamp items from the others. The wife used her EBT card for the legitimate groceries, and the husband paid for the non-qualifying products with his American Express card. I didn’t follow them to the parking lot, but I would bet they loaded their groceries into a new luxury car.
One of many problems with ObamaCare is the costly expansion of the Medicaid program to include middle income Americans who can no longer buy health insurance through normal channels. Concurrent with the failure of ObamaCare is an epidemic of opioid addiction, overdoses, deaths, and the related social costs including unemployment and destroyed families. Some politicians claim that even more Medicaid spending is required to address the burgeoning opioid problem. In reality, expanded Medicaid has largely caused the opioid epidemic as millions of people now walk around with unlimited health care credit cards in their pockets and it is only too easy to report aches and pains and ask for opiates which can be easily sold for cash.
Signs appear on the street offering to buy diabetes supplies for cash, next to signs in Spanish advertising tax filing help and promising large refund checks for merely listing dependents. Education grant checks go to people who never appear on campus. Couples live together and raise families but never marry because they would risk losing earned income credit and other entitlements. I could list schemes and scams for the rest of the day and not even scratch the surface.
The Tin Man wanted a heart. The scarecrow wanted a brain. The cowardly lion wanted some courage. There’s no reason why we can’t have all three. We should all care about others, but we have to be smart enough to avoid abuse, and strong enough to say no once in a while.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ on the Right Side
Don’t you see
You’re hurtin’ me
Don’t you care?
Don’t you care?