As someone who has used Government Assistance systems as a hand up, not a hand out, I have some ideas I would like to share about welfare reform. The largest burden to the system seems to be those people who do not work, those in many cases who never have worked: those who “live” on the system. I believe the solution to this is to have work and work history play a larger role in who gets assistance and how much they ...more »
As someone who has used Government Assistance systems as a hand up, not a hand out, I have some ideas I would like to share about welfare reform.
The largest burden to the system seems to be those people who do not work, those in many cases who never have worked: those who “live” on the system.
I believe the solution to this is to have work and work history play a larger role in who gets assistance and how much they receive. If you are unemployed, but have a consistent work history, you will not be denied benefits. This will stop a lot of the current abuses of the system.
The demographic of people that taxpayers feel the most burdened by are often 3rd generation welfare recipients. They have never been taught culpable ambition; education and civic involvement are not encouraged. They see no one moving forward in their lives. Their life ambitions are contained by their next government check. By changing what is acceptable in the system, we can change behavior in that community.
In the area of section-8 housing, assistance requirements should be inclusive of higher than “poverty line” income levels. Some places like this already exist, but they are not government housing, rather they are privately owned. There are simply not enough of these “subsidized” housing developments to accommodate the demand.
I would suggest that the “Toxic Assets” that we have acquired in the bailout, the real estate specifically, be used as government housing. Employ those who need jobs to fix those properties that have been gutted, foreclosed upon or condemned, and get those properties into a condition where they generate some kind of revenue.
The government states the recommended percent of income it should take to house your family is 33%. That should be the monthly cost of Government housing, and it should be for the Working Class, as defined by those citizens who have shown some history of wanting to work.
Food stamps and Medicaid should work the same way; work for assistance. A gradual step down in the monthly contribution of the government as the pay scale of the individual rises (medical care however, should be available for ALL children, regardless of the parent’s income situation).
The other large setback with welfare is absurdly low amount of income needed for disqualification. Simply by doing your job well, and obtaining a raise, you can lose all assistance. The cut off line is around $10.50 an hour. You cannot run even the most modest household; rent, utilities, food, gas and insurance for your car, and phone, on $10.50 an hour. So the amount of assistance should step down, not cease completely, as you move up the pay scale.
It would be an incentive for the recipients of government aid to try for that higher paying job, that prouder, assistance-free life, because they know that they're not going to be tossed out on their bum by the Gov for succeeding at their job or getting a better one.
Otherwise people will continue to work under the table, or engage in other less than legal forms of income generation, just to keep the assistance rather than “risk” getting a raise or a better job.
If applicants don't work? If they have always had babies for a bigger check, and that's all they know how to do? Then they get to work for the American people who support them. They are required to learn job skills. Perhaps they are trained—as one example—to fix/maintain the roads and rails, or are put to work fixing up or managing the Government’s properties.
The way the welfare system works now doesn’t encourage moving up. In fact it punishes those who would try.