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Sue Prout: What’s become of welfare?

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Posted: August 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.

In response to Lori Rivas’ column, “Welfare is a form of compassion,” Aug. 14:

Somewhere along the way, Lori, you have decided that those who vote differently than you are less compassionate than those with whom you seem to agree.

All of your points are well thought out, but they are just stating the obvious. The majority of the people living in this country care about and for those who are hungry, homeless, ill or otherwise in need.

It is when people see the abuses in the billions of dollars that they come down hard on their government for its mismanagement of their money. It is when we see government officials using our hard-earned tax dollars to enrich themselves.

It is looking at your paycheck and seeing state, FICA and federal taxes taken out and knowing that you soon will have to pay your property taxes right along with the taxes we pay daily when we purchase something at a store and the taxes we pay at the gas pump. Pay your taxes and help the needy?

Our government has become so big and cumbersome and so full of regulations that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. When you see that millions and millions of your taxpayer dollars are sent in the form of payment by the IRS to people who pay no taxes using fraudulent child tax credits, it doesn’t put you in the mood to give more.

When you hear about local officials using your tax dollars for their own personal indulgences, it kind of makes you less likely to send them more money.

It isn’t the giving, Lori — it is how your hard-earned dollars are being spent. Sure, we can take more money from the folks who earn more money, but all that does is give the government more money to misspend.

We have to learn as a country how to live within our means. The government spends $200 billion more each year than it takes in. So what does that tell you?

The more we send to Washington, the larger our government grows. There is no way to personalize it because it is so out of control that every year we need more and more to satisfy the needs and wants of our overseers.

There is no doubt that there are many accomplishments for which Washington can take credit. The question is, what did it actually cost us to accomplish these good works?

Could these things have been accomplished at half the cost or less by the private sector? At least these folks have set in place budgetary restrictions.

The United States government has no budget, nor can we look for one soon. The state of California has a budget, but it will require millions and millions in cuts to make it work. When you see where the money is being spent, it again doesn’t encourage you to send more money.

As stated in your article, the political system of your preference benefits those in need more than that of any other system of government. I guess much depends on what is identified as need and to whom we agree to supply food, housing and health care.

Some 3.1 million people live in government-subsidized housing, many of them newly arrived people from other countries. More than that number are using and abusing our charitable nature with the use of food stamps or however it is referred to these days.

Both political parties wish to help those in need. The issue is identifying who is in need and who is not.

I am a charitable Christian woman. I don’t see paying my taxes as a way of ignoring my responsibility to care for those in need. The sooner I see our elected officials take their jobs seriously to oversee the abuses and outright fraud against our government, the sooner I will feel comfortable helping the underprivileged through my taxes.

I, for one, will not count on Washington for my giving to those in need. All I have to do is look in my own community and I can find numerous organizations that will better use my charitable dollars. I also support World Vision, where I know the money is well spent.

Sue Prout is a Valencia resident.


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