Welfare reform welcomed

Social welfare is meant to be a safety net for people who fall on hard times.
Apr 29, 2013


Formed out of FDR’s New Deal, it offered a glimmer of hope for starving families during the Great Depression. It offered them a way to feed their children while they worked toward a better life.

For many Americans, welfare has served to do just that — give them a leg up when life has dealt them unforeseen blows.

Unfortunately, for some, welfare has served as a long-term, several-generations solution to their money problems.

Roughly 45 percent of the more than 51 million families on food stamps or welfare are on assistance for two or more years. By comparison, 19 percent are on it for less than seven months.

Some of these able-bodied men and women choose to forego work so they can stay on welfare. Others are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Welfare enables their addictions and cheats taxpayers out of their hard-earned money.

This is not pennies we’re talking about, either. The U.S. Department of Commerce clocks the welfare program’s yearly expenses at $131.9 billion, not including food stamps.

No one who has fallen on hard times and truly needs welfare should ever be turned away. But it should also not be a long-term crutch for users and abusers.

That’s why legislation recently introduced in the Michigan Legislature is timely and necessary. Sen. Joe Hune, a Republican from Livingston County, has proposed bills that would require welfare recipients to perform community service if they’re not already participating in work or training programs. It also would require drug testing for welfare recipients if there’s “reasonable suspicion” they are using drugs.

These are common-sense measures that legislators should approve, and never look back. Far too long has welfare been abused because there hasn’t been that hindsight or foresight with the program.

If someone is abusing drugs, they should not be allowed to receive welfare checks. If someone is not working, or is unable to work to get themselves out of the hole in which they’ve fallen, then community service might be the right answer. It could give them crucial resume-building experience, as well as connect them in service to the community that is putting meals on their tables and roofs over their heads.

Let’s deal the abusers a new deal: Stop leeching off society. Start giving back. Find your solutions and way to a better, self-sustaining life.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



"Liberal thinking" = I feel so I'm right!

Then move some factoids around sprinkle in a little arrogance. Don't forget to accuse any opposing opinion as being simple, mean, uncaring, racist, elitist, homophobic, chauvnist, fear mongering, and diluted.

Mystic Michael

Well, not just "any" opposing opinion. Just opposing opinions that are in fact simple, mean, uncaring, racist, elitist, homophobic, chauvinist, etc.

BTW, I'm guessing that you actually meant "deluded", as in "deceived" or "brainwashed"; rather than "diluted", which means "watered down". But for all I know, maybe you really do think that progressives accuse right-wingers of being watered down.

Remember: You stepped in this. Lanny invited you - twice - to quantify your remarks. Both times you declined, preferring instead to fall back on the familiar old "anecdotal observation", "gut feeling" schtick. You have no right to throw a hissy fit now, just because Lanny exposed the superficiality of your case.


Well, well that didn't take you long for you to come back out of your willy weed patch did it! So you want to step back into it huh. The homework assignment Lan decided NOT to do because she knew she could not win the argument is why I didn't quantify my argument.

Here is a clue for the both of you, $3,576,976,465 was spent in total on all welfare programs in this state in 2012. Now together if you both can whip out your calculators and apply the 1/4, 1/3 number she threw out there you can see what this occasional abuse of the program cost. What, you say you where playing with my simple mind with those numbers, cut it in half then. He double tooth pics, cut it in half again. Think maybe some of that could feed those starving children you lefties so care and worry about!

Puff, there goes that Mystic cloud again.


Wing - you have it all wrong. I was looking to you as being a person with experience in the field (which you declared in an earlier post) to provide some general sense of the depth of abuse in the welfare system. It was not in a spirit of argumentative baiting or trapping; I was just attempting to get an expert opinion. Like Pavlov's dog, you seem sensitized to everything being a win/lose proposition.

Speaking of weed(s), I'm beginning to think you are smoking too much of Vlad's.


What no retort to the numbers? Just more of the same. Oh well just as I thought. My experience is in the field and real but I choose to keep that powder dry as you are famous for alternative motives for most everything you draw out of a conversation. The stats are the same stats you can google but you chose not to. Which is fine because you like to omit facts if they do not fit your liberal, (oops not supposed to labeling am I) agenda.

Like many Libs in an argument they are losing, you switch to name calling or character assassination. (I'm sure you don't like me using your tactic but that's my compliment to you)

I'll take your last line as a compliment, even though the metaphor you use regarding Vlad's clear thinking on most topics is odd as weed generally clouds one's reasoning.

“Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!”
― Theodore Roosevelt


Heavy, dude. It only took a dozen comments to get somewhere. How many libs do you argue with, anyway? How many Independents? I mentioned weed because it is a common theme in the final statement of any number of Vlad's comments, generally used to denigrate any opposition in any number of disrespectful ways, and especially Obama. You know - all those alternative motives (love this phrase - must remember to use it often).

Remember these words from a great man the next time you're tempted to blame others:

"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month." Theodore Roosevelt


You must stand a lot!


Surprisingly you missed the humor in ole Teddy's quote inserted here as it relates to your poor attempt at humor with the Cheech and Chong reference. Your slipping Lan!


I got it immediately, but made the quick decision to incorporate it as "lip and laughter" into my meditation reply, rather than run the risk of online etiquette abuse regarding human male anatomy, being into etiquette and all, you know.


Never mind, wrong quote, wrong iterpretation. Thought being a peace, love and hippie beads type you would have picked up on it.


You're a little too cryptic here,.....maybe it's because I was never into hippie beads....


I don't think it is right that people who really need welfare, medicare, medicade, or foodstamps should be ignored. There are people out there who are retired (and cannot work). I have a friend that had it taken away from her and now she has no insurance or fooodstamps. She doesn't know what she is going to do. She can't walk not even a block maybe 2 if lucky to her mailbox without getting tired or sore. She uses a walker to walk with. I hate seeing her like that but that is her life now. I just don't think that it was fair Social Services took everything away from her. I just want to cry. I also have an autistic nephew. He cannot talk at all we have to do all of the talking for him and it is hard because we don't know how he feels inside. I still don't know if he is on disability or not. It isn't right the way the government is doing things. I hate it. Especially when it comes to family and friends.


I don't believe anyone is suggesting that people with autism should not be helped by the government. Maybe, if we took away all welfare and SSI disability and made everyone re-apply and show they are incapable of working, there would be plenty of funds available for those who cannot help themselves because of a real physical or mental disability.

The problem is we are supporting a huge number of people who simply find it more to their liking to live off the taxpayer than work.


Welfare if there to help all people...and is open to all people and it should never be taken for granted!



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