“I’m Tryin’ to Get Some Obama Bucks”

That’s one of the responses from a man standing in line at the welfare office.  If your stomach can take it, please watch this video.  Our country is spending money faster than we can print it and there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re heading in the same direction as Greece – a big fat entitlement society.

Our national debt is now $15.6 trillion dollars and we’re spending over a billion dollars a day just on the interest payments.  If anyone doesn’t grasp the enormity of the problem, they must have their head in the sand.  And these problems continue to trickle down to every state and local government.

That’s why 23 states are tightening their belts and trying to enact stricter laws regarding public aid.  I wrote about this whenFlorida enacted its law to require prospective aid recipients to drug test.  To be expected, the ACLU filed a lawsuit arguing that the law scapegoats poor people.  For the time being, a federal judge has temporarily blocked the law stating it violated the Constitution’s ban on illegal search and seizure.  It’ll now make its way through the court system.

Once people get on government aid/assistance, government is incapable of tracking fraud and I’ve read story after story which proves there is no accountability after the fact.  So why not do better screening of potential recipients of government assistance?  Sounds reasonable to me.

Last month, USA Today reported some states are making changes to the way they do business.  They’re trying to implement asset limits for food-stamp recipients, longer waiting periods for welfare benefits and mandatory substance abuse counseling for people receiving housing assistance.

At least ten states are considering bills that would require photo identification for food stamps or electronic benefit cards.  (If the voter identification brouhaha is any indication, just consider the uproar over these changes!)

Ohio and Tennessee are considering restricting or eliminating eligibility for those convicted of drug felonies.  (Haven’t the good people in these states already paid enough for the criminals’ room and board, cable, air conditioning, utilities, gym memberships, medical and dental, etc. etc., while they were in prison?)

North Carolina and New Jersey are considering requiring people to perform community service to receive government help.  (This is a no-brainer for me and sounds perfectly reasonable.  Why this was never a quid pro quo for receiving any type of welfare, I’ll never know.)

Here’s my suggestion.  Why not implement a test for recipients?  Someone has to take a citizenship test to become a citizen or to drive a car, why not require people to answer simple questions about money?

A couple of years ago, friends of mine told me about one of their customers who worked for minimum wage at MacDonald’s.  She told them she had just qualified for a home loan.  (I didn’t believe it either.)  Anyway, she said her mortgage was X number of dollars and her salary was only X number of dollars (obviously not enough to pay for the monthly mortgage, food, utilities, etc.)  When my friends asked her how she planned to pay for all this out of her salary, she kept saying, “but I qualified.” She didn’t have a clue about income and expenses.  Scary, huh?

How about testing their knowledge of their state government?   Why shouldn’t someone be required to know the name of their governor?  Or their State representatives?  Or who the Vice President is?

Someone asking to benefit from our generosity should, at least, know something about our political system.  After all, there is no Constitutional right to public aid and people should have to do/give something in return.

Hell, even that crazy show “Repo Games” requires people to answer three out of five questions before they actually get their car back – free and clear!  On the other hand, it is incredibly frightening to realize how dumb some people really are.  In answer to “What metropolis is known as the “City of Brotherly Love?” the contestant answered “California.”  And asked to name the three states, except for Alaska and Hawaii, bordering on the Pacific Ocean, the contestant said, “North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.”

And what about all those man-on-the-street interviews I’ve seen of people, old enough to know better, who can’t identify a photo of Jimmy Carter, or thought Dwight Eisenhower was Franklin Roosevelt or said a photo of Ronald was actually George W.H. Bush?

What’s even more frightening is that, in the end, all these people get to vote in November.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.