Your personal angst is of no consequence to me. However, having now brought myself back up to speed on your posts in this thread, I’m of the opinion that your purpose in this thread is to either bask in your own smugness by protectively cloaking of irony (“I had … no way to avoid a long life of gainful employment and contribution to society.”) or else you are carrying out a dryly satirical version of the “Ask the …” threads posted by people who have legitimate gripes over how they are viewed by part or all of society."
Actually you began in your previous thread by hypothesizing about my motivations, and continue to do so. If it’s of no consequence, why make an issue of it. I’ll be happy to procede in either case, but you cn’t have it both ways.
Since you’ve expressed curiosity, what I’m actually trying to do is make a point and thought it might be fun to do so within the confines of the “Ask the…” format. I am also trying to be true to the format by responding to questions as honestly as I can.
Concerning foodstamps and $30,000 trucks, I would think that anybody with a $30,000 truck probably shouldn’t be receiving public aid. Neither should anybody who has the means to consider the purchase of a luxury foodstuff like Lobster.
"Some of the money I pay is used to offset the money the government loses by allowing you to deduct your mortgage interest, which in turn allows you to buy a home that you otherwise couldn’t afford. Does the fact that my tax dollars make it possible for you to buy that house give me the right to stand on the sidewalk and cluck my tongue at the color you decide to paint it? "
I don’t have a mortgage. Even if I did, you are not subsidizing it. I could only deduct the interest if I gave up the standard deductions and itemized. I would still only get roughly a third of the money back. Buying a home, and paying interest on a morgage are behaviors that benefit society economically both at a local and a federal level. It is in the best interests of the Government to encourage this behavior, as it results in increased revenue to the economy, homebuilding and increased state and local tax revenue. You don’t pay for it. The point is not valid I’m afraid.
“Your taxes are a payment to the government for the right to live in this society.”
That would imply that the government owns society. I thought the Govoernment was supposed to serve society, not the other way around.
“Your say in how the government uses that money comes at the voting booth, not in the checkout line”
Basic economics would suggest that the opposite is true.
“Welfare of any form is intended to be a safety net for people without means. Those who actually have means and nevertheless exploit the system are unethical.”
“The fact that a small number of people abuse an otherwise worthwhile program does not justify opposition to the program as a whole.”
Do you have any data to suggest that welfare has served to alleviate chronic poverty to any degree whatsoever?
“A person of limited means who decides to invest the bulk of their means in a truck instead of tidying up their home has made a different set of choices than you might. They may get the most enjoyment out of their dollars by owning a nice truck than by owning a nice home. Assuming that these people are not somehow unethically using public monies, what right do you have to judge how they choose to spend their own money?”
In your example, I have no right nor desire to suggest how they use their money. On the other hand, somebody who makes foolish choices, and squanders what money they have really doesn’t have any right to dip into the pockets of those who acted wisely, do they?
“But what are the alternatives that serve the beneficial purposes of protecting people against destitution without the same demoralizing effects?”
Sweeping reform is what is needed. Poverty is unpleasant. Attempts to make it pleasant remove the motivation to strive. As has been stated before, woman should not be “paid” to have children they cannot support. There should be motivation instead of penalties for those on welfare who get a job.
Contrary to your statement, the Government is not tinkering with welfare to make it more efficient. Politicians are generally loathe to endorse reform programs that will create distress among their constituents.
Nobody should starve, or sleep outside, or die for lack of medical care in this country.
Social programs though should be tough-love, not a free ride. They are too often the latter.