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Welfare: We All Want That Government Safety Net

In the quietness of a private moment, we think about our parents and how important these programs are to the elderly.

Welfare, according to Wikipedia, is the provision of a minimal level of well being and social support for all citizens. 

We all want that safety net from our Government.

No matter how Republican or Independent you may claim to be, way back there in the back of your mind is that nagging uncertainty about your future. You want the comfort that comes from knowing, or at least thinking, the government is there for you.

You want it for your parents, for yourself and for your children. Very few of us want to bet that seemingly endless resource on the stock market, a voucher system or any change that adds market risk to the Social Security or Medicare system.

In the quietness of a private moment, we think about our parents and how important these programs are to the elderly.

We think about the possibility of a collapse in our own personal situation resulting in a need these programs can meet.

We think about the uncertain future our parents, children or grandchildren face.

Those who rail the most about a welfare state are those of us who really don't need it at the moment.

We complain about the abusers of the system, those who won't work, and the fraud. For everyone who takes advantage or even defrauds the system, there are hundreds whose very existence depends on it.

Can you really vote for leadership that proposes to turn the system upside down?

Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as Vice President puts that question squarely front and center.

Oh sure, electing Romney-Ryan will not instantly change the status of our social welfare programs. But it will start the process.

Washington moves slowly but steadily. Sending the message at the top that the country is ready for massive social welfare reform will work its way all the way down the political food chain. 

If that's what the people want, that's what political candidates will offer them.

The pitch is these changes won't affect you, if you are retired or near retirement. Maybe that's true, maybe not.

But they will surely affect those of you not in these categories and definitely affect your children.

Mitt Romney will be remembered as the first presidential candidate to truly frame the welfare-entitlement reform question and make it a deciding factor in an election.

What Romney may not be remembered for is being the 45th president of the United States.

That honor may well go to Barack Obama. 

e-mail doc at dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend Request.

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Dadhot August 18, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Are hedge fund managers "entitled" to have their income taxes maxed out at 15%? Are coupon-clippers "entitled" to have their dividends and capital gains taxed at a lower rate than factory workers? Are farmers "entitled" to have guarantees which purchase their crops, whether or not they actually sell them? Are oil companies "entitled" to write-offs for their exploration fees? Are higher incomes "entitled" to have part of their income exempt from Social Security and Medicare deductions? If we are putting "entitlements" on the table, then let's discuss all of them
Stephen C. August 18, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Well put Gene. Those who are inclined to remove any social safety-net should spend some time volunteering and speaking to those who they would cast away--They may encounter their former friends and neighbors, if not a relative. The saddest part is that these are generally professed Christians whose economic agendas are in direct conflict with their beliefs. "There but for the grace of God go I", has been subordinated to: "I got mine, go get your own." As you so eloquently pointed out, the abusers of our system are a minority, and should not be the sole focus of corrective action. Abuse and fraud in the military contracting arena has been well documented, abuse will exist; should we eliminate all defense spending too?
cherylwithac August 18, 2012 at 03:31 PM
What I hear from Romney/Ryan is that the elderly are safe, that "they" won't be affected by any changes to Medicare. But before we start cheering for the deep concern (not!) that the Republicans have for grandma and grandpa, maybe we should think ahead a little bit because all of us, should we live so long, will someday become "they."
Red August 18, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Doc, Sometimes you don't agree on issues. This is not one of them There are those that may never need the safety net. For others its taken a lifetime just to get to retirement age . .. ... it's cost us all or at least most of what we worked for, every week after week, month after month, year after year . Cutting away our social and medical benefits to expand the bulging pockets of greedy men is UN-American in my view. The right to live out ones golden years with dignity is not to be snatched away. Never.
leo orley December 04, 2012 at 04:37 PM
All I'm reading here are arguments to emotion. No discourse, no explanations how to sustain a welfare state. Just buzzwords about dignity and 'if you are against it, you obviously don't need it'. I haven't read one word about personal responsibility - the steps taken to save, or seek disability insurance OR charitable help... Noone seems to know what planning ahead is, only how to put their hand out.

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