I posted this before, but have edited this to become a plan that the government can start implementing to reform welfare/food stamps.
Now, before I start on this post, I want everyone reading to know that I am not against helping people in need. If someone really does need help from the government, that is what welfare/food stamps were created for: a temporary assistance until you can get back onto your feet.
I very much believe that we need to make some significant changes to the way government aid is obtained. Too many people take advantage of the system. And they do not face reprecussions when they do. I will outline what I would like to see proposed by the government to change the way this system is run, and make it more cost effecient and worhwhile for our tax dollars that are being used to support people who need help.
We need to end the permanent reliance on government assistance period, unless a person is totally disabled. We cannot continue to pour billions of dollars into people that are not going to help themselves and bring the rest of America down with them.
Step One: Requirements to show job search progress.
The first thing that needs to be done is that job searches must be performed by the person who is receiving help. This needs to be monitored. Even if the person does not get a high end job making six figures, they will be able to provide income that will decrease the amount of government aid they receive. They do this already in Utah when you go on unemployment, I know because I get put on furlough in the job I work every year. We are required to track our job search progress. This needs to be done for all assistance, unless a person is totally disabled.
If that person is on a continued use of assistance, say one year, they need to be placed in a government job. I know plenty of public parks, roads, etc. that need trash picked up. Make the person earn the money they get. If I am going to foot the bill, the person should earn it.
Step Two: Tighten Regulations
We need to have more strict rules when it comes to the receiving of any type of assistance. Here are some of the things I believe should have to happen when applying for aid:
(1) the applicant must be a US Citizen; (2) the applicant must have a government issued picture ID; (3) the applicant must provide their social security card; (4) the applicant must provide their birth certificate; (5) all adults included in the application must provide photo ID in person and proof of citizenship; (6) all minors on the application must have their citizenship information submitted; (7) all adult applicants must apply for a state sponsored work availablity roster of some sort; (8) all adult applicants must submit to a urinalysis to test for drugs; (9) all adult applicants must provide all financial information; (9) all adult applicants will need to provide a budget of current income and expenses.
Now when it comes to the actual aid being provided, when it comes to cash assistance, my plan would call for essentially the applicant, upon approval, getting a bank account for the cash assistance to be deposited. The only authorized transactions allowed to come through the account would be companies that provide medical services, utilities, etc. Included with this would be a debit card, similar to a food card, that can only be used for authorized transactions like diapers, cleaning supplies, etc.
I can not tell you how disgusted I have been seeing a person on assistance using a cash out option to buy cigarettes and beer. This needs to end. If you need help that bad, you don’t need to smoke or drink.
All applicants would be subject to a spending review once a month, to reevaluate their budget. At this time, they would also need to furnish their work search logs, signed by the persons they went to apply, with contact information that is subject to verification.
Step Three: Toughen the Standard
We need to restrict the type of items bought, as I mentioned above. With this, the person on assistance should have to be subject to only certain kinds of food, just as if they were on the WIC program. They should not be able to get the high ticket items. Store brands and basics should be what is allowed on the food card. There is no need for the person to get high priced items.
They should be able to provide good nutrition for their families, but not any food item they want. Soda is not a requirement, nor is candy. Things like this are luxury items. I do not want to foot the bill for people asking for help so that they can buy junk food and soda. And our dollar would be stretched further if there was a limit to the types of food allowed.
Step Four: Educational Requirements
Anyone accepting federal money will need to attend budgey/money saving workshops so they learn how to stretch what they get as far as possible. They need to learn how to spend wisely, save for emergencies, etc. This will help them grow assets and not become a burden on the system in the future. This will actually help them be more successful. Instead of breeding generations dependant on the government, we will give them the tools to make their life execptional and live the American dream.
This I do not think should be a requirement, but a person who is in this situation of needing financial assistance from the government should be able to have access to courses to make them more likeable in the job market.
Providing the tools. It is better to teach a man to fish and have him eating for life, than it is to give him the fish and have him eat one day.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but I feel that if plans like these began to be implemented we could get this country off the government dependence, and ultimately make us all stronger as a people. It would also eventually save this country billions of dollars.
I would urge you to take these words to heart and begin to press your representatives to get this done. If enough of us say that we have had enough, they will have to listen, or they know they will lose their jobs.