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Even Critics of Safety Net Depend on it

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LINDSTROM, Minn. — Ki Gulbranson owns a logo apparel shop, deals in jewelry on the side and referees youth soccer games. He makes about $39,000 a year and wants you to know that he does not need any help from the federal government.

He says that too many Americans lean on taxpayers rather than living within their means.He supports politicians who promise to cut government spending. In 2010, he printed T-shirts for the Tea Party campaign of a neighbor, Chip Cravaack, who ousted this region's long-serving Democratic congressman.

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Rafterman

That points to the real problem - the "safety net" has become a lifestyle for many; even those who don't realize it.

But it's not just individuals, it's our entire economy and in some cases other areas of the world depend upon US investment.

This is why sudden and massive cuts in Federal spending will be disastrous to both the US and world economy. We're no different than crack addicts and it's going to take at least a decade or more to ween us off of such uncontrollable spending.

Perhaps we need to get back to a time when there was a social stigma placed on those who took these kinds of handouts. I remember being in high school and because I lived with my retired grandparents I qualified for free lunch at school. But there was absolutely no way my grandparents were going to accept such a handout because 1) we didn't need it and 2) the thought that others would think that they weren't responsible enough to take care of their familial obligations was not acceptable to them.

In a more timely story, I was talking to the mother of one of my daughter's daycare friends and she was telling me that we needed to sign up for New York State's Child Health Plus Program. Now this is a woman who has a very good job at Global Foundries - a major chip manufacturer here in the Albany area - and has very good benefits. So I asked her why she was enrolled in CHP and her answer, "it's cheaper. I can take my daughter to the doctor and it doesn't cost anything."

Perfect example of the problem - here's someone who has the ability to more than provide for her family through a very good benefits package, but yet she chooses the free, government option simply to save money.

Perhaps if we had fewer folks such as this who were more than happy to take such handouts, the safety net could do a better job of taking care of those who truly need it.

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That points to the real problem - the "safety net" has become a lifestyle for many; even those who don't realize it.

But it's not just individuals, it's our entire economy and in some cases other areas of the world depend upon US investment.

This is why sudden and massive cuts in Federal spending will be disastrous to both the US and world economy. We're no different than crack addicts and it's going to take at least a decade or more to ween us off of such uncontrollable spending.

Perhaps we need to get back to a time when there was a social stigma placed on those who took these kinds of handouts. I remember being in high school and because I lived with my retired grandparents I qualified for free lunch at school. But there was absolutely no way my grandparents were going to accept such a handout because 1) we didn't need it and 2) the thought that others would think that they weren't responsible enough to take care of their familial obligations was not acceptable to them.

In a more timely story, I was talking to the mother of one of my daughter's daycare friends and she was telling me that we needed to sign up for New York State's Child Health Plus Program. Now this is a woman who has a very good job at Global Foundries - a major chip manufacturer here in the Albany area - and has very good benefits. So I asked her why she was enrolled in CHP and her answer, "it's cheaper. I can take my daughter to the doctor and it doesn't cost anything."

Perfect example of the problem - here's someone who has the ability to more than provide for her family through a very good benefits package, but yet she chooses the free, government option simply to save money.

Perhaps if we had fewer folks such as this who were more than happy to take such handouts, the safety net could do a better job of taking care of those who truly need it.

Wrong analysis, the problem is that over 50% don't even get to the median income, over 30% don't get to $30,000 living in a city where the median rent is $20,000 a year. No matter how much they work they can't make ends meet. So, either the cost go down (little likely) or they will stay on social programs. And it is not only people with little or no education. Those with a degree have student loans to pay for, which, while they have a higher income at the end of the day still don't have more in the pocket and therefore dependent on social programs.

The problem is that everything got so liberalized that at the end of the day the only viable solution are Brazilian favelas.

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Rafterman

Wrong analysis, the problem is that over 50% don't even get to the median income, over 30% don't get to $30,000 living in a city where the median rent is $20,000 a year. No matter how much they work they can't make ends meet. So, either the cost go down (little likely) or they will stay on social programs. And it is not only people with little or no education. Those with a degree have student loans to pay for, which, while they have a higher income at the end of the day still don't have more in the pocket and therefore dependent on social programs.

The problem is that everything got so liberalized that at the end of the day the only viable solution are Brazilian favelas.

Seems that many of the issues you highlight can be summed up with two words "personal responsibility".

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Seems that many of the issues you highlight can be summed up with two words "personal responsibility".

Tell me that again when you have to pay $10 for a burger 'cause the burger flipper gets a salary high enough to stay off social programs.

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Rafterman

Tell me that again when you have to pay $10 for a burger 'cause the burger flipper gets a salary high enough to stay off social programs.

Personal Responsibility - I won't buy a $10 hamburger.

Perhaps the "burger flipper" should have planned his/her life a little better.

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Keel M.

In a more timely story, I was talking to the mother of one of my daughter's daycare friends and she was telling me that we needed to sign up for New York State's Child Health Plus Program. Now this is a woman who has a very good job at Global Foundries - a major chip manufacturer here in the Albany area - and has very good benefits. So I asked her why she was enrolled in CHP and her answer, "it's cheaper. I can take my daughter to the doctor and it doesn't cost anything."

Perfect example of the problem - here's someone who has the ability to more than provide for her family through a very good benefits package, but yet she chooses the free, government option simply to save money.

This kinda makes me wonder what the requirements are by the State. I volunteer at the local Children's Hospital and know that they offer an assistance program, but you cannot be on Medicare/Medicaid and you have to prove how much money you make. Perhaps this isn't going on in NY if someone who makes a substantial amount of money can sign up for something like this if she really doesn't need it.

I'd also ask if she's a single mother providing for more than one child. If so, then she may be taking what cost-cutting measures she can to survive.

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conspiracybeliever

That points to the real problem - the "safety net" has become a lifestyle for many; even those who don't realize it.

But it's not just individuals, it's our entire economy and in some cases other areas of the world depend upon US investment.

This is why sudden and massive cuts in Federal spending will be disastrous to both the US and world economy. We're no different than crack addicts and it's going to take at least a decade or more to ween us off of such uncontrollable spending.

Perhaps we need to get back to a time when there was a social stigma placed on those who took these kinds of handouts. I remember being in high school and because I lived with my retired grandparents I qualified for free lunch at school. But there was absolutely no way my grandparents were going to accept such a handout because 1) we didn't need it and 2) the thought that others would think that they weren't responsible enough to take care of their familial obligations was not acceptable to them.

In a more timely story, I was talking to the mother of one of my daughter's daycare friends and she was telling me that we needed to sign up for New York State's Child Health Plus Program. Now this is a woman who has a very good job at Global Foundries - a major chip manufacturer here in the Albany area - and has very good benefits. So I asked her why she was enrolled in CHP and her answer, "it's cheaper. I can take my daughter to the doctor and it doesn't cost anything."

Perfect example of the problem - here's someone who has the ability to more than provide for her family through a very good benefits package, but yet she chooses the free, government option simply to save money.

Perhaps if we had fewer folks such as this who were more than happy to take such handouts, the safety net could do a better job of taking care of those who truly need it.

I qualified for the free lunch all through school but never took it. Actually it wasn't all through school. In grade school we used to carry a bagged lunch. Through high school I never ate anything until I got home from school. I think there was a social stigma attched to it then. For some reason not all feel it.

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Rafterman

This kinda makes me wonder what the requirements are by the State. I volunteer at the local Children's Hospital and know that they offer an assistance program, but you cannot be on Medicare/Medicaid and you have to prove how much money you make. Perhaps this isn't going on in NY if someone who makes a substantial amount of money can sign up for something like this if she really doesn't need it.

I'd also ask if she's a single mother providing for more than one child. If so, then she may be taking what cost-cutting measures she can to survive.

She told me she makes $60K a year and, yes, she is a single mom but receives child support. And, as I mentioned, she works for one of the highest demand employers in the Albany area. Folks line up for hours just to get on a list of potential interviewees because the pay/benefits are so good.

Obviously the bar is pretty low for qualification.

Edited by Rafterman

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