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January 9, 2014

Rep Sheila Jackson Lee Wants To Create New Definition For 'Welfare'

Topics: Political News and commentaries

In the whacky mind of Rep Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), creating a new politically correct definition for welfare is suppose to change what it has become - an open-ended, non-contingent, government handout that people are actually encouraged by the Obama administration to participate in.

Via CNSNews.com:

In a brief speech on the House floor Wednesday, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) hailed the war on poverty, endorsed government welfare programs, and said the "safety net has to be something for all of us."

"Maybe the word welfare should be changed to something of, 'a transitional living fund.' For that is what it is -- for people to be able to live," she said.

Jackson Lee hailed the Earned Income Credit, food and nutrition programs, jobs training and education programs, Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act as "huge safety nets -- not handouts, but safety nets," she said.

More here ...

Actually, in a way - Lee's partly right ... government assistance should be considered to be "transitional" ... but the problem is that for many if not most of today's recipients, government assistance creates dependency. The problem is that Lee and her fellow Democrats continue to insist on its non-contingent, 'open-endedness'.

As Robert Weissberg notes at American Thinker:

[...] The number of Americans receiving "free" government benefits has soared, and this expansion seems unstoppable even as the economy recovers (see here and here). Less obvious than the depressing numbers is how this assistance inculcates a dependency inimical to a free people. The culprit is not free food, subsidized housing, and all the rest per se, though these certainly do not help. After all, Americans have always received government help during tough times, but this aid scarcely undermined the spirit of independence. Nor is the growing national debt the guilty party. During World War II, for example, government borrowed billions, yet nobody spoke of this liability as breeding hopeless dependency.

The culprit is how these benefits are distributed. It is their non-contingent, open-ended character that breeds destructive pathologies. It is these traits that separate today's munificence from past generosity, and this element is all too easy obscured by burgeoning costs.

In a nutshell, receiving a temporary handout that depends on doing something worthwhile is wholly unlike receiving the identical assistance sans any obligation and for however long as the recipient remains legally eligible.

[...] It should come as no surprise that millions of Americans are hardly shamed by relying on Aunt Samantha for their daily bread. Dependency is almost the new normal. Those who cherish the spirit of independence should take heed. Future entitlement reform requires more than tightening eligibility or cutting benefits. Restoring contingency is essential: beneficiaries must do something to "earn" government's generosity -- e.g., keeping a tidy house or fixing Junior a healthy lunch. Without this link, millions will come to believe that Washington is an all-providing God that demands nothing but self-inflicted poverty to bestow His/Her/Its blessings.

Read the entire piece here.

Posted by Richard at January 9, 2014 10:06 AM



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